"All children need achievable challenges so that they have positive experiences and learn to regard themselves as capable and successful"
Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage
What is the Foundation Stage?
This is a Key Stage that precedes Key Stage, 1 beginning at 3 years and finishing at the end of the Reception Year
Children may attend a variety of settings such as Pre-school/ Nursery/ School
The curriculum is organised into 6 Areas of Learning, varying slightly from National Curriculum subjects:
-Personal, Social and Emotional Development
-Communication Language and Literacy
-Knowledge and Understanding of the World
Children will work towards a series of Early Learning Goals along a continuum of Stepping Stones
Key Statements for the Foundation Stage
- "Well planned play is a key way in which children learn with enjoyment and challenge" p11
- "Children do not make a distinction between play and work, neither should practitioners" p.11
- "There should be opportunities for children to engage in activities planned by adults and also those that they plan or initiate themselves" p.11
- "Practitioners must be able to observe and respond appropriately to children" p.22
- "The process of learning as well as the content or outcomes is important for young children" p.23
- "Early Years experience should build on what children already now and can do" p.11
- "Parents are children's first and most enduring educators" p.9
Who Supports the Foundation Stage?
Sue Nield – Early Years Adviser *
Viki Bennett, Gill Hanlan, Nicki O'Brien and Jane Fuller – Early Years Specialist Teacher Consultants *
Helen Tate and Jane Stadward – Early Years Leading Teachers*
Judith Williamson, Joan Whalen, Sarah Nicholls, Tina Jones, Jean Carter – Development Workers from the Pre-school Learning Alliance*
Gill Maddocks – Quality Development Officer *
Donna Tatem, Caroline Tadhunter and Angela Everett – Area SENCOs*
* Contactable at The Professional Development Centre in Melksham on 01225 793349
How does the Early Years Team Support the Foundation Stage?
We have produced an Assessment and Record Keeping document to ensure a smooth and continuous transition from Pre-school/ nursery into school. This is called ‘Building Blocks'
We offer an extensive training programme for practitioners.
Local cluster networks meet termly to facilitate liaison between professionals.
Individual settings can request support or this can be recommended by other agencies.
We can offer input to parent's evenings about the Foundation Stage.
We are running a programme of Governor training during 2002.
We support settings with recommended Quality Assurance schemes.
How can you support the Foundation Stage?
¨Become really familiar with the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage. In particular read the principles for early year's education on page 11 and then consider how these principles can be put into your own practice.
¨Use the Curriculum Guidance to plan activities that are age and stage appropriate for the children in your setting – this means being a strong advocate for the value of play.
¨Make systematic observations of your children to evaluate your provision and their progress.
¨Continue your own professional development by:
Attending the Early Years Network meetings (look out for the red invite sent termly to your setting)
¨Regularly attending Early Years Professional Development courses (the fliers have blue stripes)
¨Ensuring that you effectively cascade information from courses and networks to your colleagues
¨Completing the Professional Development proforma by indicating what issues you need to action
¨By reading Early Years publications
¨Visiting this Early Years website
¨Discussing Early Years issues and good practice with practitioners from other local settings
Establish and maintain effective relationships through ongoing dialogues with parents. Use the Entry profile produced in Wiltshire's Building Blocks document as a starting point