Foundation 2-3 yrs
Please note that the boundaries of the British Early Years Foundational Stage curriculum cannot be clearly marked by age group. The following expectations across the British Curriculum's developmental areas are guidelines only.
We challenge children who make advances in certain areas just as we support those children slower to achieve developmental targets.
Personal Social Emotional Development:
Children in Foundation, will be solely learning through play-based games, song and activities. Whilst the Reggio Emilia philosphy promotes freedom to explore and create, routine does play a part in the children's daily life, as does learning new social skills such as interacting with others, understanding differences and sharing. Independence in personal health, eating and dressing are all supported by our experienced staff from day one.
The children begin to learn by doing things for themselves, by exploring the classroom and outside environments, the resources available to them and through investigating using the resources as they wish. As Maria Montessori is famously quoted as saying, "Play is the work of the child".
Expect that play can take any form and use of any media or materials. It can be very messy as the children will be exploring sand, water and clay and paint, as well as mud, leaves etc.
An important aspect of your child’s time in Foundation will be their personal, social, and emotional development.
The children at this age are encouraged to develop positive relationships, to play collaboratively and to understand the feelings of others whilst managing their own feelings and behaviour. Building confidence and self-awareness, as well as a continual development of independence across the day's activities will remain targets throughout the year.
Communication is a key area of your child’s learning in Foundation. Circle time activities such as singing songs, rhymes, sharing stories, and playing games help the children develop their speaking and listening skills in a fun, informal and comfortable way.
Active listening activities are an important first step into the world of literacy. Distinguishing between environmental sounds acts to hone this important skill. The children will improve their concentration over time and be able to respond to questions and instructions. As the children become more confident, they will begin to share ideas and experiences, and to take part in class discussions.
Children will have ample opportunity to move in different ways; running, jumping, balancing. As well as interacting with loose part materials; dragging, lifting, stacking, pulling, pushing. An important aspect of physical development at this stage is learning to hold and use tools and equipment. Items such as scissors, pencils and chalk as well as simple tools used to fix, stir, cut and make marks.
In addition to the sharing of stories, children in Foundation will be encouraged to handle and look at books independently and to start learning how stories are structured. Non-fiction books are used to spark interest and curiosity to ignite the start of a project and are shared with the children during the duration of the project theme.
Mark-making using a variety of tools and media is encouraged through provocations. Opportunities to draw, paint are always available both inside and outside of the classroom.
The children are given lots of opportunities to explore numbers and shapes in their daily play. Whether child-initiated or provocations created by the teacher to inspire self-learning, our teachers and support staff look for ways to support the development of mathematical skills during play, without interruption the flow of the play activity.
If a teacher notices that a child has missing knowledge or vocabulary they might play alongside a child and mimic the game. As they play they would use the correct language and vocabulary and give the child the opportunity to listen and repeat without pressure.
Knowledge of the World
Knowledge of the world will come about through play and exploration as well as through project work and provocations. Projects are not 'planned' and are free to move in any direction that makes sense to the child and teachers. The teachers will look for opportunities to extend and develop scientific, geographic and general knowledge as the project unfolds and develops.
Expressive Arts & Design
It is important that the children have as many opportunities to use different materials, tools and equipment. They will often show a preference to working with one material over another and this is completely normal and healthy. They will become confident using it and then start to explore different ways to interact, mix, combine, build etc.