The Foundation Phase
Children in the Foundation Phase Nursery to Year 2, are taught using the Foundation Phase curriculum as set by the Welsh Government.
The children in the Early Years are taught through the Foundation Phase Framework for Children’s Learning for 3 to 7 year olds. We provide a curriculum to develop skills and provide experiences which allow children to become independent thinkers and learners, experiment, solve problems and make decisions. We consolidate their learning through a balance of play, structured
teaching programmes and the use of the outdoor environment as a resource for learning.
The key areas for learning are:-
Personal and Social Development, Well-Being and Cultural Diversity
Language, Literacy and Communication Skills
Knowledge and Understanding of the World
Welsh Language Development
All activities the children meet are designed to give experience in all areas of learning and development. A cross curricular approach is planned for by the teacher to form a practical, relevant curriculum in which children can make connections about themselves and their world.
Children have opportunities to participate in adult led activities, independent activities and child initiated activities. There are full time L.S.A.’s to support children’s learning. The environment is organised to allow children to access equipment easily. The children are also encouraged to value and respect the equipment by helping each other to put things away carefully after use.
Children are immersed in language and literacy experiences and activities. Their skills are developed by talking, storytelling activities, early writing activities, structured phonics sessions and being introduced to early reading skills and the use of a structured reading scheme, with the earliest stories containing no text at all, but detailing information for parents on how to share these important books effectively, with their children. Children are listened to by adults and encouraged to listen to each other and respond to a range of stimuli.
The children develop their mathematical skills daily in practical tasks, real life problems and in cross curricular activities. They use a variety of ICT resources as tools for exploring number and other mathematical concepts.
The children develop a knowledge and understanding of the world around them by having opportunities to investigate and understand past events, people and places, living and non living things and the work people do. They are taken on trips and guest speakers are invited into school to enrich their understanding of new concepts. Learning is through participation and experiential activities and
through the use of artefacts, a range of materials and the use of the outdoors.
Children’s physical development, enthusiasm and energy for movement is continually promoted to develop their fine motor and gross motor skills. Children are encouraged to enjoy physical activity across all areas of learning both indoors and outdoors. This allows the children to develop excellent physical skills and to develop concepts of health , hygiene and safety.
Children have opportunities to develop their imagination and creativity across the curriculum. They can engage in creative, expressive and imaginative activities in art, craft, design , music and dance.
Welsh Language development
Welsh is taught as a second language to children in the Foundation Phase. The teacher uses Welsh in situations that arise naturally in the life and work of the school, therefore incidental Welsh is used daily. The language is introduced by means of roleplay, songs, rhymes, games, general classroom instructions and a variety of material presented on classroom interactive whiteboards. Children are encouraged to listen to and speak Welsh as often as possible during the school day.
We are very keen to develop close links with parents and have three parents evenings during the year. We also have an “open door” policy in the Foundation Phase setting and welcome visits and feedback to and from parents, informally.
The Early Years Foundation Phase is very much part of the whole school and the children mix with older children and are included in all whole school activities. They have two representatives on the School Council and their voice and opinions are valued and included as part of the decision making process.
We aim to nurture and feed the curiosity and disposition to learn in a stimulating approach which caters for all learning styles.
What are Foundation Phase Outcomes?
These provide a broad framework of working ability and attainment within the Foundation Phase Key Areas of Learning.
The Outcomes for each key area of learning are clearly defined within the Foundation Phase curriculum and are available in school.
Generally, Foundation pupils should attain Outcome 5 in the Key areas of learning with outcomes in Language, Literacy and Communication, Mathematical Development and Personal and Social Development being reported on at the end of the Foundation Phase (Year 2).
The assessment of these Outcomes is by class teachers. Pupils’ work is then moderated within the Pembroke family of schools to verify Outcomes.