The Foundation Stage is the educational period in a child's life from birth to five years old. It covers the years they spend from the beginning of Nursery to the end of Reception. Throughout the Foundation Stage, children will be working towards the early learning goals. These set out what most children are expected to achieve by the end of the Reception year.
Children are assessed by the class teacher based on ongoing observations and assessments in the three prime and four specific areas of learning, and the three learning characteristics, set out below:
• Communication and Language - Your child will be encouraged to communicate confidently and clearly. Learning through the enjoyment of songs, rhymes, stories and poems.
• Physical Development - Your child will be encouraged to move confidently, controlling their body and handling equipment competently and safely. They will begin to develop an awareness of health, the importance of exercise and healthy eating.
• Personal, Social and Emotional Development - Your child will be encouraged to be self-confident, independent, motivated to learn, know what their own needs are and respect the needs of others.
The Specific Areas of Learning:
• Literacy - Your child will be taught to communicate clearly and learn through the enjoyment of stories, songs and poems, hearing and saying sounds and linking them to the alphabet. They may begin to read and write some familiar words.
• Mathematics - Your child will be encouraged to develop an understanding of maths through stories, songs, games and imaginative play. They will become familiar with numbers and language such as 'heavier/ lighter than'. They will be aware of shapes, pattern and position.
• Understanding the World - Your child will be encouraged to explore and find out about the world around them, asking questions about it. They will build with different materials, know about everyday technology and learn what it is used for. They will find out about past events and different cultures and beliefs.
• Expressive Arts and Design - Your child will be encouraged to explore colour, shape, texture, dance, model making, telling stories and music.
• Playing and exploring
• Active learning
• Creating and thinking critically
The emphasis on teaching these areas will be through a variety of practical and play-based activities, usually linked to a topic or theme. Activities are planned according to what the children already know and can do, and include opportunities for children to follow their own interests, and to pursue learning outdoors as well as indoors.