The Foundation Stage Curriculum
In Foundation Stage, we plan the curriculum by tuning into the children’s interests and finding a strong thread in their learning. We discover this by observing how the children play and interact in the learning environment and with each other. Once we have noticed a strong interest emerging, we encourage the children to talk and think about their learning. Then, we create a title for our learning and the Foundation Stage staff plan the learning opportunities which link to all seven areas of learning. We will send home information about the learning that we have planned for the term or half term.
The Talking and Thinking Floorbook
We record our learning in our Floorbook. This enables the children to look back and discuss their learning. The Floorbook belongs to everyone: children, parents and practitioners. It will always be in the classroom. You are welcome to look at it with your child in the morning or after school so that you can find out more about what they are doing in school.
We use information from previous nurseries and discussions with parents to find out what children know when they first join us. The first few weeks are spent observing and playing with the children so that we can find their starting point and build upon this. Each child has a Learning Journey folder so that evidence can be collected. We use the focus child sheet to collect handwritten notes to show what the children have done and how we have moved them forward. When your child is a focus, we ask you to give us information about what they are doing at home so that we can link their experiences at home with school. You will have the opportunity to look at the learning journeys throughout the year. The children are working towards the Early learning Goals and in the summer term, we will assess whether the children are emerging, expected or exceeding in each of the seven areas.
Day in the life of a Foundation Stage 2 child
Foundation Stage 2 opens at 8:40 am and you can stay and play or help your child with their morning task. Please help them to choose their dinner and fill in their attendance passport. Then the children take part in whole-class teaching and learning which will be focused on literacy or maths. After this, the children take part in child-initiated play by ‘choosing their learning’ in the provision. The provision is the whole classroom environment (indoors and out), which has been carefully planned and arranged to engage the children and develop their skills and knowledge.
The practitioners support the child initiated learning by ‘planning in the moment’. This means that we teach by interacting, modelling, questioning, discussing and explaining and being a ‘playful partner’.
Before lunch, we have a whole-class phonics lesson (see phonics section to find out more). We always make time for singing as this is an important part of our day. The children go for lunch at 11.40 am until 12.30 pm, this includes a playtime.
When they return to the classroom, they have another whole class session focused on other areas of learning. This may include music or knowledge and understanding of the world. Children continue child-initiated learning and finish each day with a story and a nursery rhyme.
From the earliest years we wish to immerse learners in high quality language, stories, rhymes and songs to embed a life-long love of language and communication. We are committed to ensuring our youngest children have a rich and diverse exposure to literacy that takes them beyond their experiences and existing interests. A multi-sensory approach to reading and writing will be available across the unit to entice and support all learners with their development. We follow the Letters and Sounds phonics resource and use Jolly Phonics songs and actions to ensure that phonics is taught in a kinaesthetic way to engage all learners. There are six phases within Letters and Sounds, we begin by teaching phase 1 in FS1. Phase 1 consists of learning rhyme, alliteration, oral blending and segmenting. As the children move into FS2 we recap phase 1 and move on to learning letter sounds. As part of this the children will learn “tricky words”, these are high frequency words that need to be visually committed to memory. Your child will bring be given a set to practice at home, they will get a new set when they are confident.
In FS2 children will also be issued with a reading book and a reading diary. We encourage parents/carers to read with their child at home as often as they can to support their child’s confidence and development in reading and writing. There will be a reading meeting in the autumn term to explain how we teach reading. We will keep you updated with your child’s progress in their reading diary and you can also tell us how they are doing at home. Please ask if you have any questions throughout the year about home/school reading books.
Parents as partners
Throughout the year there will be various opportunities to come into school and see what your children are doing in the classroom. Here are some examples of events that have taken place: writing parties, Eid celebrations, music workshops, healthy-living coffee mornings (supported by local GP) to name a few. These may change depending on the needs of parents and children. We encourage parents to get involved in all aspects of school life and if there is anything that you think you would like to get involved in please let us know.
The children receive free milk until they are 5 years old. You may be entitled to free milk when they turn 5 or you can choose to pay for it. Please ask at the office for more information.