The Foundation Phase
We follow the Foundation Phase’s “Framework for Children’s Learning for 3 to 7-year olds in Wales”. This document explains the statutory areas of Learning in the Foundation Phase. These are:
- Personal and Social Development, Well-Being and Cultural Diversity
- Language, Literacy and Communication Skills
- Mathematical Development
- Welsh Language Development
- Religious Education
- Physical Development
- Creative Development.
The Foundation Phase is an approach to learning for children from 3-7 years of age. It places great emphasis on children learning by doing and experimenting. Young children will be given more opportunities to gain first hand experiences through play and active involvement rather than by completing exercises in books. They will be given time to develop their speaking and listening skills and to become confident in their reading and writing abilities. New parents are given a copy of the Welsh Assembly Government’s document “Learning in the Foundation Phase – A Guide for Parents and Carers”. This will answer many of the questions parents will have about how and what their children will learn.
The National Curriculum
As children move on from the Foundation Phase, they follow the National Curriculum, which is taught throughout the rest of the school. The National Curriculum includes:
Core Subjects *
- Foundation Subjects
- Physical Education
- Religious Education.
The new skills based curriculum in KS2 came into effect in September 2008. This means that teaching and learning will focus on developing children’s skills. This means that subjects in KS2 will be taught in a cross-curricular way.
All children experience a wide range of teaching styles. These include whole class, mixed ability groups, pairs and individual approaches.
Children’s progress is assessed regularly in Literacy and Numeracy and support identified where necessary. The school also implements various intervention strategies i.e. “Catch Up” for reading, “Letters and Sounds,” phonic programme, “Catch-Up and Springboard” for Maths, This supports our endeavours to improve the basic skills of all children in school
National Curriculum Levels
- YEAR 3 This is the beginning of Key Stage 2 and children will generally be working at Level 3.
- YEAR 4 Children will generally be working at Level 3 and perhaps be working towards Level 4.
- YEAR 5 Children will be working towards Level 4.
- YEAR 6 Most children will have reached Level 4 and may be working towards Level 5 and 6 at
- the end of Key Stage 2.
The children have opportunities to read individually, in groups and as a class. They have books to take home and share with parents. They are also encouraged to borrow fiction and non-fiction books from the school library. In the Foundation Phase, the main reading scheme is Oxford Reading Tree, however a variety of different books are also available for reading at home. KS2 pupils also continue following The Oxford Reading Tree scheme before moving onto individual reading books. All children across the school participate in Guided Reading sessions with an adult. These sessions develop pupils reading skills and their understanding of the text.
All of the children enjoy daily “Letters and Sounds” sessions. These sessions develop the children’s phonological knowledge and their ability to blend and segment sounds. Older and more able children will learn complex spelling rules during these sessions.
Writing is used across the curriculum and as such is a very important skill. The children write a variety of genres including, reports, instructional writing, discussion, persuasion, recount and explanation. They also compose different styles of poem and write stories to develop creativity and imagination.
We encourage the children to have a pride in the appearance and layout of their work, with neat handwriting. Joined handwriting is introduced in the Foundation Phase and developed through the rest of the school.
- Daily mathematics lessons are taught across the school and these cover a range of themes:
- number, shape, space and measures, data handling and using and applying mathematical skills.
- Each lesson usually starts with a mental maths session. This is followed by differentiated themed activities. Children are also given the opportunity to use ICT programs linked directly to the topic.