The Foundation Stage begins when children reach the age of three and covers the Pre-School and Reception classes. The curriculum is designed to facilitate the achievement of recommended targets laid down in the Early Learning Goals and to provide the basis for future learning through the continued delivery of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and with reference to non-statutory guidance such as the Early Years Outcome document (2013) produced by the DfE.
A carefully planned curriculum also incorporates the key knowledge strands laid down in the Independent Curriculum – Discovering, Applying and Communicating.
The delivery of the Foundation Stage Curriculum at West House recognises the importance of active learning through investigation, exploration, listening, observation, creation, experimentation and play.
The key themes which provide a solid learning basis for each child are as follows:
Autumn Term – Me and My Family
Spring Term – Growing Things
Summer Term – The Great Outdoors
All children are able to reach their full learning potential through a variety of child initiated and teacher led activities.
Through the successful delivery of the curriculum we aim to:
Provide quality learning experiences for all pupils – learning which is structured, balanced, relevant to the child and related to the real world. Effective learning is fostered as children learn to play and work individually and in groups. They are encouraged to develop independence and work towards the high standards of behaviour which underpin the ethos of the school.
Provide a curriculum which takes account of, and responds to, individual developmental needs and allows all pupils to make progress. The curriculum builds on previous learning experiences and helps children to develop positive attitudes towards progress and achievement.
Ensure that positive experiences provide pupils with confidence, motivation and readiness for future learning. Children are supported in building a sense of self-respect, personal worth and identity, as well as being taught the value caring and sharing.
Promote the Early Learning Goals.
Maintain a partnership with parents that supports the work of the school in enhancing the development of the pupils.
EARLY LEARNING GOALS
The Early Learning Goals establish expectations for most children to reach by the end of the Foundation Stage, but are not a curriculum as such. They are organised into seven areas and provide the basis for planning throughout the Foundation Stage, thus laying secure foundations for future learning. By the end of the Foundation Stage, some children will have exceeded the goals, while other children will be working towards some or all of the goals.
The seven areas are addressed as follows:
Personal Social and Emotional Development
Develop a positive sense of themselves, and others.
Form positive relationships and develop respect for others.
Develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings.
Understand appropriate behavior in groups.
Develop confidence in their own abilities.
The delivery of a PSHE programme of study – based on the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning – is used to support this development. Progress is measured in terms of children demonstrating self-confidence and self-awareness, the ability to manage their feelings and behaviour, and to form relationships.
A number of opportunities exist within the wider Foundation Stage curriculum to focus on helping children to:
COMMUNICATION AND LANGUAGE
Communication and Language depend on developing increased competence in a number of key skills, together with having the confidence, opportunity, encouragement, support and disposition to use them. To give the children the best opportunities for effective development the school creates a language rich environment in which they learn to listen and to speak in a range of situations. These include:
Listening to stories, accurately anticipating key events and responding to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions.
Listening to what other individuals have to say and responding appropriately while engaged in another activity.
Following instructions which involve several ideas or actions.
Public speaking during concerts and cathedral services.