The Foundation Phase Curriculum
For children aged 3 – 7, a curriculum has been developed known as the Foundation Phase. We have embraced the philosophy of a more developmental curriculum in which children can learn through first hand experiences appropriate to their stage of learning. The children explore new learning opportunities through seven areas of learning:
Personal & Social Development, Well-Being and Cultural Diversity
We provide opportunities for the children to learn how to relate to adults and other children. They are encouraged to co-operate and share and to show consideration for other people. We foster independence but ensure that the children also know when to ask for help. We encourage the children to care for themselves, for one another and for the environment. Multicultural understanding is approached through craft, music, role play, visits and visitors to the school, stories and songs.
Language, Literacy and Communication
We aim to develop all aspects of language so that the children are able to become good readers and writers. Speaking, listening, reading and writing are all closely inter-related, with the emphasis during the early stages of the Foundation Phase being on developing speaking and listening skills. As your child progresses from nursery to full-time education in the reception class, reading will be introduced in guided group reading session using a variety of reading schemes. We ask parents to support reading development, encouraging fluency and expression and to provide good reading role models by reading to children themselves.
A large part of this area is carried out through practical activities. These activities provide opportunities to develop cognitive thinking and can be used independently or through co-operative play. The outdoor environment is used frequently to further develop skills which have been introduced in the classroom. Children are also encouraged to develop their understanding through use of the computer and appropriate software. Mathematics during circle time includes participation in number songs and responding to stories and rhymes.
Knowledge and Understanding of the World
We encourage children to find out about their immediate environment and the wider world. The children are given opportunities to explore, construct and discover and to talk about families, the community and the environment. Adult guided activities include cooking, tasting and smelling different foods, planting and growing in outdoor classrooms and celebrating festivals of the world. The curriculum is enriched by providing lots of opportunities for educational visits off-site in conjunction with topics being studied.
A selection of creative activities is made available to the children every day in individual classrooms and in shared areas for continuous provision. Some activities are guided by staff while others may be completely child initiated. Children may also use creative activities as a means of recording some of their experiences such as illustrating what they have seen during a sensory walk, responding to music through dance, working with a local artist etc.
At St. David’s, we promote regular physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle. Through practice, pupils develop muscle control, co-ordination, awareness of others and the space in which they move. Children also have to think and use their judgement to solve problems when taking part in physical activities which help to build self-confidence and develop imagination. Children are encouraged to use small and large equipment, from pencils to bicycles, to develop fine and gross motor skills with increasing control.
Welsh Language Development.
Our children are encouraged to use the Welsh language on a daily basis. They respond and initiate to incidental greetings and discuss the weather and simple likes and dislikes. Great importance is given to celebrating St. David’s Day and Welsh literature, music and the arts feature prominently throughout the year in topic-linked activities. We introduce the children to people and places of interest within Wales with frequent trips to The Museum of Welsh Life and encourage them to value traditional customs and heritage.