Foundation Stage

Our intention is that:

Children feel safe and secure, developing independence, creative thinking, perseverance and a love of learning for their entire lives.

The work in our Unit is developed through dialogue, negotiation and respect for the ideas and beliefs of children and adults alike. We continually strive to offer provision that is rich in possibilities, providing children with exciting environments of discovery.

Children have freedom to explore their interests to enable them to make sense of the world in which they live.  Children feel valued and listened to, resulting in high levels of self-esteem and engagement that are often commented on by visitors to the Unit.

Children are equipped with the basic skills needed in order to read, write and explore numbers and number problems.

We celebrate the culturally diverse nature of our setting, developing children’s awareness of and respect for others.

Our Unit is a community of learners.  It is hoped that by learning alongside each other, parents and practitioners develop a close relationship that supports each child to achieve the best possible outcomes.  Parents are regularly invited to be actively involved in their child’s learning, making strong and meaningful links between home and school.

How is this implemented?

We have very clear safety guidelines in place to ensure that the children are safe at school. We have key worker groups so that children develop good relationships with an adult, ensuring that their pastoral and developmental needs are met.

All children contribute their ideas during planning time. We build on their ideas and interests, responding to them in different ways to enable us to support each child’s learning and development.

We have a strong focus on teaching the children basic skills. In nursery, children learn and develop their social skills, their communication skills and their gross and fine motor skills. In Reception, children have daily literacy, numeracy and phonics sessions as well as opportunities to follow their interests.

In addition to following children’s interests, we have five themes which repeatedly recur throughout the year, ensuring that children have a broad and balanced curriculum. The themes are as follows:

  • The Changing Year – Observing seasonal changes
  • Colours Around Us – Experimenting with and learning about colour
  • All About Me ­­– Learning about ourselves and how to express our interests
  • The Natural World – Develop a love of nature and learn about the natural environment
  • Let’s Celebrate! – We celebrate many different religious festivals and cultural events throughout the year

We share information with parents in lots of different ways. The use of Tapestry ensures that each child’s progress and developmental needs are documented for parents to see. In turn, parents are encouraged to add to the online journal so that it becomes a two way process. We have regular stay and play sessions which offer opportunities for us to support parents with their children’s learning. Newsletters are shared with parents to keep them up to date. These include important messages, guidance for parents and forthcoming events.

What is the impact of our way of working?

Children feel safe and secure. This is demonstrated by the progress seen in children’s levels of well-being and involvement as the year progresses.

The projects which have been initiated by our children’s interests result in high levels of involvement, creative thinking and a love of learning. Project work has a particularly strong positive impact on the Prime Areas of learning ie Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development. Children feel that their ideas are valued and their confidence soars!

Children make rapid progress in literacy and numeracy as early reading, writing and number skills are built on in Reception. Where possible, these skills are related to children’s interests so that they are developed within a meaningful context. This makes learning fun and relevant, giving many opportunities for independent learning.

Our relationships with parents and carers is very effective with many commenting positively about their child’s progress and the support they receive from our setting.

Our learning environment and our approach is shared nationally with teachers and other professionals. We are very proud that what we do has a wider impact on the education of young children in Leeds and further afield.