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Early Years Foundation Stage


The Foundation Stage



What is the Foundation Stage?

Foundation Stage is the British government label for education of pupils aged 2 to 5 in England.

At Squirrel Hayes First School we offer education for children within our foundation stage who are between 3 and 5 years old.


What will your child do in the Foundation Stage?

At Squirrel Hayes First School we offer a personalised approach to learning from the day your child starts with us.  We will play with your child and interact with them with some self-chosen and some adult chosen activities to see what stage of learning they are at.  We will then plan for your child in a personalised way to ensure that they are getting the next steps in their education to move their learning on.  The Foundation stage has very close links with year one, therefore if your child needs to be accessing their learning within a year one setting for some of the time then this can be easily facilitated.  The year one team and the Foundation Stage team work closely together in planning and delivery so all the learners are familiar with all the staff in the area.


Learning in the Foundation Stage is carried out in a number of different ways:


Adult Led Activities:  These are activities planned by the teacher in a personalised way to ensure each learner is getting the next steps in their learning.  These activities usually last for between 5 and 10 minutes and learners are strongly encouraged to access these activities.


Continuous provision:  These are activities are linked to all the areas of learning within the Early Years Foundation Curriculum (see below).  Learners access these activities freely and adults interact and observe the learners within these activities.


Child Choice activities:  These activities are chosen by the learners.  Learners may have a particular interest in an area and want to explore resources linked to that interest. 

Learning within the Foundation Stage happens both indoors and outdoors.  The Outdoor classroom is planned for and set up every day (weather permitting) with activities linked to the indoor classroom.  These may include adult led activities as well as continuous provision and child choice activities.   Learners access both the indoor classroom and outdoor classroom throughout the day.


Assessment within the Foundation Stage

Assessment in the foundation stage is an ongoing process.  Learners as usually unaware that they are being assessed.  Adults will observe the learners either within their play or at adult led activities to make a judgement about their stage of development.  The teacher will use these observations to plan the next stage of the learners education.

When the learners move into the Reception phase of their learning they become more involved in their own self-assessment.  The learners will mark their own work as well as peer assess other learners.


The Curriculum


The curriculum in the Foundation Stage is called Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

The curriculum is divided into 7 different areas


Area of Learning and Development







Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Making relationships and behaviour


Self-confidence and self-awareness


Managing feelings

Physical Development

Moving and handling


Health and self-care

Communication and Language

Listening and attention





Specific areas










Shape, space and measure

Understanding the World

People and communities


The world



Expressive Arts and Design

Exploring and using media and materials


Being Imaginative



Within The Foundation Stage there are also Characteristics of effective learning which look at how your child learns. These are:


Playing and exploring – engagement

Finding out and exploring

Playing with what they know

Being willing to have a go


Active Learning – motivation

Being involved and concentrating

Keep on Trying

Enjoying and achieving what they set out to do


Creating and thinking critically – thinking

Having their own ideas

Making links

Choosing ways to do things



Listening carefully to others

Working as a team

Sharing ideas and resources


These like closely with Squirrel Hayes First Schools BLP (Building Learning Power) skills.


Playing and exploring links with the schools resourceful BLP

Active learning links with the schools Resilience BLP

Creating and thinking critically links with the schools Reflective BLP

Teamwork links to the schools Reciprocity BLP


Within the Foundation Stage  we celebrate these skills with learning characters (small cuddly toys on lanyards for the learners to wear) who we have given special names:

Reflective Rebecca

Resourceful Rupert

Reciprocity Reece

Resilient Ruby.


The learners therefore become familiar with the terms and are able to celebrate the different ways that they learn.


Further information about the curriculum can be found at the following website.



Learners within the foundation stage access the schools RWI program as soon as they are familiar with environmental sounds and are able to play a variety of sound games.  Learners access RWI in small groups within Nursery before joining groups throughout the school as they become ready.


Home Learning

We feel that you as parents are the first and most important educator of your child before they reach school.  We think that you play a vital role in helping to develop your child in many ways.  As a result we want to ensure that you are fully involved in what your child is learning at school.


Your child will have a weekly homework task, this will either be literacy or Numeracy based or will be linked to the termly topic.  Your child will also bring home either a library book or school reading scheme book to share with you at home.  When your child has reached an appropriate level in their learning they will bring home letter sound rings, number rings and word rings to practice with you at home.  These tasks are meant to be fun and for you to do together.

If you need to know more about this subject please don't hesitate to ask the subject lead Mrs Taylor. 

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