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Foundation Stage

The foundation stage curriculum is based on active leaning through play and experimental investigation. There are opportunities for children to engage in activities planned by adults and also those they initiate themselves and for teaching and learning, both indoors and outdoors.

The children will work in large groups, in small groups and individually with a member of staff. We encourage children to be as independent as possible and to make decisions for themselves.

Learning for children is a rewarding and enjoyable experience in which they explore, investigate, discover, create, practise, rehearse, repeat, revise and consolidate their developing knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes. During the Early Years, many of these aspects of learning are brought together effectively through playing and talking, well planned play is a key way in which children learn.

Through play children can:

  • Explore, develop and respect learning experience that help them make sense of the world
  • Practise and build up ideas, concepts and skills
  • Learn how to control impulses and understand the need for rules
  • Be alone, be alongside others or cooperate as they talk or rehearse their feelings
  • Take risks and make mistakes
  • Think creatively and imaginatively
  • Communicate with others as they investigate or solve problems

The Foundation Stage curriculum is organised into six areas of learning:

  1. Personal, social and emotional development – Successful personal, social and emotional development is essential for very young children in all aspects of their lives and gives them the best opportunity for success in all other areas of learning. This area of learning is about feeling safe and secure, valued, confident and independent. Learning to respect themselves and others, respecting children’s cultures and developing a positive self image. Learning about relationships and friendships. Developing a positive attitude to learning and developing concentration and maintaining attention.
  2. Communication, language and literacy – This area of learning includes communication, speaking and listening in different situations and for different purposes, being read a wide range of books and reading simple texts and writing for a variety of purposes.
  3. Mathematics – This area of learning includes counting, sorting, matching, seeing patterns, making connections, recognising relationships and working with numbers, shapes, space and measures. Mathematical understanding is developed through stories, songs, games and imaginative play.
  4. Physical development – This is about improving skills of coordination, control, manipulation and movement. It also helps children gain confidence in what they can do and enables them to feel the positive benefits of being healthy and active.
  5. Understanding of the world – In this area of learning, children are developing the knowledge, skills and understanding that helps them to make sense of the world. It forms the foundation for later work in science, design technology, history, geography and ICT. Activities are based on first hand experiences that encourage exploration, observation, problem solving, prediction and discussion.
  6. Expressive arts and design – This area of learning includes art, music, dance, role play and imaginative play.


The Early Years curriculum is planned to ensure a balance of experiences and activities across the areas of development. Children’s progress is assessed and recorded through frequent observations and is shared with parents on a daily basis, at parent’s evenings and in the form of a written report at the end of the summer term.