Foundation Stage

This is the earliest stage of a child's education at school, and covers the Nursery and Reception classes. It is called the Foundation Stage because it gives the children secure foundations for later learning.The Foundation Stage is a distinct phase of education for children aged three to five. It provides a framework for children’s learning in Nursery and Reception. The Foundation Stage Curriculum for 3-5 year olds is based on a mix of learning through play and adult directed activities.

At Oriel we work as a team to ensure that the children's first experiences of schooling are as happy and stress free as possible. We are aware that pupils enter the Foundation Stage at a variety of stages both in maturity and academic ability.

We understand that children learn in different ways and that progression in their learning happens at different times and at different rates. We cater for children's individual needs within each area of the curriculum, building on from their existing understanding and experiences.

We know that children learn most effectively through a mixture of self-initiated experiences and adult-planned activities. By providing opportunities for play, young children learn about themselves and the world around them. We provide daily opportunities for the children to explore and investigate in free play situations alongside more formal teaching.

Our aim is for all our children to grow up with confidence in themselves as successful learners.

Children follow a carefully planned educational programme, through a mixture of child-initiated activities, structured play, adult-planned activities and more formal activities when appropriate. We know the importance of developing children's personal and social skills at this age along with the acquisition of early reading and writing skills and basic mathematical concepts. Opportunities are available for creative and physical development daily and we endeavor to nurture an interest in the outside world.

The Foundation Stage provides a secure and supportive environment where children can:

•    Settle into school life

•    Learn to work and play as a member of a group

•    Develop good relationships with other children and adults in the class

•    Grow in self confidence

Each child's progress is monitored carefully and all the children are encouraged to have an enthusiasm for learning and knowledge and confidence in their ability to be successful learners.

Personal, Social and Health Development
The children learn to work, to play and co-operate with each other. We provide a warm, secure environment where children are valued, feel happy and confident. There are opportunities for children to work alone and in small and large groups. Role-play is particularly encouraged.

Communication, Language and Literacy
Through a variety of activities the children's ability to listen attentively, communicate and develop an interest in stories and books is supported and extended. A rich variety of books, puppets, story sacks and other resources are used to make stories come alive.

Mathematical Development
Within foundation stage lessons are carefully planned across all areas including numbers, shape, space and measure allowing children the opportunity for self initiated activities and guided group learning. Children make full use of both classroom and outdoor learning resources to develop their mathematical understanding. On a daily basis children participate in counting songs, stories, rhymes, games and imaginative play, so that they  enjoy using and experimenting with numbers.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World
The children are given opportunities to observe, predict, explore, investigate, discuss and make decisions and to extend vocabulary. The children carry out topic based activities. The experiences form the basis of their learning in Science, Design and Technology, History, Geography and ICT (Information, Communication and Technology)

Creative Development
This area of learning includes art, music, dance, role-play and imaginative play. Through creative activities the children handle a range of materials, experiencing texture, colour and form. The children have the opportunity to experiment and create freely and participate in organized activities. There are also plenty of opportunities to explore sound, make music, play musical instruments and join in with new and familiar songs.

Physical Development
The children participate in activities that develop their control and co-ordination and their awareness of space and others. Their fine manipulative skills are increased by using a variety of tools, within a range of creative activities and small construction play. They use a range of small and large equipment and balancing and climbing apparatus both inside and outside.


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