Our Foundation Stage consists of two small classes with a maximum of forty-five children. Our classes are called Dolphin and Jellyfish.
We ensure children learn and develop well and are kept safe and healthy. We aim to provide a secure foundation through learning and development opportunities, which are planned around the needs and interests of individual children. We assess and review children regularly, using Tapestry, our online journal programme.
We strive for strong and positive relationships with parents and involve them whenever possible. We often hold workshops to involve parents in their child’s learning, as well as regular ‘stay and play’ and story sessions.
We also offer weekly ‘open door’ sessions where parents can come into school and see the classroom environment as well as discuss issues, or progress with the class teacher. We encourage parents to add their own observations of their children into our Tapestry programme. We feel information from parents is crucial to children’s development.
From term two we begin our exciting Forest School sessions. For a morning each week, we use our extensive school grounds to explore our outside learning environment. Forest School links to all areas of learning and development and it is always greatly enjoyed by both pupils and staff, enabling skills such as problem solving and resilience to be developed.
There are four guiding principles that shape our practice;
- Every child is a unique child.
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
- Children learn and develop well in an enabling environment.
- Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.
Areas of Learning and Development
There are seven areas of learning and development. All areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.
Three of the seven areas are crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn and to form relationships and thrive. These are called the Prime areas and they are;
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
The four other areas are known as the Specific areas, through which the three Prime areas are strengthened and applied. These are;
- Understanding the World
- Expressive arts and design
Each area of learning is implemented through planned, purposeful play with a mix of adult led and child initiated learning. Play is essential for children’s development, building confidence, problem solving and building relationships with others.
We plan from children’s interests and reflect on the different ways in which children learn.
The three characteristics of effective learning are;
- Playing and exploring
- Active learning
- Creating and thinking critically
These characteristics are carefully considered when planning activities for our children.
Assessment plays an important part in helping staff and parents recognise progress, understand individual needs, plan activities and support. We observe children and reflect upon these observations to build on next steps in learning.
Daily Structure and Organisation
At the beginning of the school year a large part of our day is made up of Child Initiated learning with short sections of directed time filling the rest of our day. As the children progress through the year, our Teacher Directed time becomes longer and more frequent and the children’s Child Initiated learning lessens. Through term six we have a strong focus on getting the children ready for year one, with circle time activities, visits to the year one classroom and visits from the year 1 teaching staff.
Settling in to Foundation Stage
Children transition well into Langafel and we aim to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible. We invite children to join us for a teddy bears picnic in the July before they begin school in September, as well as a morning in school to meet the adults who will be working with them, see their classroom and some of their peers too. We also hold an informative meeting for parents to provide them with key information about school. We carry out valuable home visits before children begin school where we can speak in detail about individual children, their needs and interests and prepare them to begin school. We have a staggered entry into school to ensure children feel happy and confident before they begin full time.