Foundation Stage Curriculum
Nursery (Foundation 1) for ages 3-4 years & Reception (Foundation 2) for ages 4-5 years
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Our Foundation Stage offers a truly exciting start as the children take their "first steps" into the world of education.
We believe play is essential to childhood. Play is a child's natural means of expression and discovery. When children re-enact their lives in play with others, they grow socially, and their understanding of their world is strengthened. As children climb, jump, build and lift, they learn problem-solving as well as physical skills.
Children in the Nursery (Foundation 1) and Reception (Foundation 2) follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum known as the EYFS Framework. The early learning goals (the knowledge, skills and understanding which young children should have acquired by the end of the reception year) and the educational programmes (the matters, skills and processes which are required to be taught to young children) are set out in the ‘Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage’.
The 7 areas of learning and development are broken down into Prime and Specific areas. These are as follows;
Communication and Language (C&L)
Physical Development (PD)
Mathematical development (PSRN)
Understanding the World (UW)
Expressive Arts and Design (EAD)
We believe these 7 areas to be equally important and depend on each other to support a rounded approach to child development. We aim to deliver all the areas through planned, purposeful play, with a balance of adult-led and child initiated activities.
Many play-based experiences take place outdoors in our spacious play area which is for Foundation children only. There are no set playtimes in the traditional sense because outdoor play is part of the ongoing curriculum. Children have access to a large range of equipment from the well-resourced sheds and are encouraged to make their own choices as they play. For example, if they notice that a plant is wilting, what could they do about it? If they want to make a boat, what could they use? If they want to clean the shed, what do they need? We have created stimulating environments which are well resourced with open-ended flexible materials that support play and learning across the curriculum. Children can choose, create, change and be in charge of their play. With this in mind, all children will need suitable footwear and coats for outdoor play.
Staff are trained to observe the children as they play and to develop their understanding through questioning or providing further equipment or experiences. These observations are recorded electronically through taking photographs of the children as they learn. We are able to send photographs and notes to parents via email so that they can keep up to date with their child’s learning too. At the end of Foundation 2, children are assessed against the 17 Early Learning Goals (ELG’s). To find out what is expected of your child by the end of the year, follow this link:
Areas of Learning may be taught through short topics or stories. The children engage in a rich cross curriculum and creative range of activities. For example, children study the seasons throughout the year and learn about different festivals such as Christmas and Chinese New Year.Some areas of the curriculum are taught as high quality stand-alone lessons eg. phonics and maths. There is an expectation that children will be able to listen to the teacher for short periods and this is built up as the children mature. However, lessons are made as active as possible to ensure that all children are engaged.
In Foundation 1 (Nursery) phonics is delivered following Phase 1 of the Letters and Sounds programme – Letters and Sounds. In Foundation 2 (Reception), a scheme called Read, Write Inc is used to enable children to develop their reading skills. Short phonics sessions take place on a regular basis. We hold a reading workshop to help parents to understand how we teach phonics and this helps them to teach their child to read in partnership with us.
Our main school reading scheme is primarily the Oxford Reading Tree (ORT)- these books are about a family of characters called Mum, Dad, Biff, Chip, Kipper and Floppy the dog. For free interactive ORT reading books visit http://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/reading-owl/find-a-book/library-page. You will simply need to register by logging in and creating a password to be able to enjoy them with your child.
Children can, and are expected to change their home reading book twice a week in Foundation 2. They do this themselves by choosing another book from their colour box under the direction of the teacher.
Children are taught to read in school through weekly "guided reading" lessons when they are organised into small ability-based groups. This starts in January during Foundation 2.
We change our school library books on Thursdays
We change our reading books on Mondays and Fridays
Don’t forget to bring it back if you want a new one!
Knowledge & Understanding of the World
Much work is done outdoors. The children experience different types of weather in the different seasons. They plants seeds and observe them growing and flowering in our raised beds. In the autumn we collect the seeds from them. The children will ask questions about the things they observe and we encourage them to try and test things out e.g. after collecting seeds some children will ask , ‘what will happen if I plant them ?’ They are encouraged to plant the seeds and observe what happens. We have science enhancement boxes outside so that the children can readily get whatever they need to make observations e.g. magnifying glasses. The children record their observations in a variety of ways.
Children have the opportunity to work on a Tinkering Table. The Tinkering Table is where children can safely take apart broken electrical items. The children are taught how to use tools e.g. screw driver safely. They are encouraged to think about how the item has been made and what it is made of.
Nursery - Class 1 - Wednesday morning. Children in Foundation Stage 1 (Nursery) do not need a PE kit.
Foundation 2 - Class 2 - Thursday morning, Class 3 - Monday morning, Class 4 - Tuesday morning.
School PE kit
A drawstring bag to keep your child’s PE kit in (This will be kept on your child’s peg and sent home at the end of every half term to be washed)
A white t-shirt
A pair of black shorts
A pair of plimsolls
In the Winter months your child will need trainers, a hoody and tracksuit bottoms alongside their normal kits please
Please, please, please could you make sure that all items of clothing are clearly named as you would not believe how easy it is to lose pairs of trousers and shoes!
On PE days please tie hair back and remove earrings.
Expressive Arts and Design
Music at our school is exciting and lively. It is an integral part of school life. A visitor walking around school may well hear singing or music coming from any classroom at any time, as we like to use music to support all our areas of learning. We use songs, chants and rhymes to re-inforce our maths work, literacy learning and science ideas. New songs are taught which link specifically with a class topic.
Each class has a timetabled music session where children are taught to use their voices expressively and creatively, to play instruments, to listen to music and to create their own sounds and music. In addition, the whole year group meet every week for their "Big Sing" when all children and staff get together to share a range of fun action songs. These sessions are enjoyed by all taking part. At the end of each term, the whole school joins together for a combined "Big Sing" when we listen to and learn each others songs.
In Foundation, children are given opportunities to experiment with and create their own music and sounds as part of their play-based learning, both inside the classroom and in the outdoor areas.
Come and chat to staff in the Foundation Unit about anything your child has been doing at home—maybe some achievement or visit to share. Please record your child's Magic Moments on the sheet that they have been given and they will be celebrated by staff and pupils in school.
We start learning phonic sounds following the Read, Write, Inc. Scheme. Children will begin to bring home these sounds to practise at regular intervals. Home reading books will be changed twice a week (at least). Please practise regularly – it makes such a difference! Maths homework will be sent home before a half term and then handed back once completed. Homework, linked to other curriculum areas, will be sent home when appropriate.