Curriculum Intent

In the Foundation Stage at Istead we want our children to become inquisitive, innovative and independent learners. This first stage of being a part of the school family is the foundation upon which their future learning will build. They will continue to extend and develop skills and concepts gained through their pre-school experiences.  We want our children to be excited about coming to school and look forward to the experiences they will have. The children will have many varied opportunities to develop skills, knowledge and understanding. We recognise how important the relationship between the school and a child’s home is at this young age so we endeavour to build good relationships with families too.

Teachers will introduce children to the school’s core values: Independence, Respect, Perseverance and Self-Reflection to encourage them to become socially confident, respectful and independent children, who develop resilience when faced with  challenges. We hope that when children move on from Foundation they are kind, helpful to others and are proud of their own achievements.

Curriculum Implementation

Learning in Foundation Stage is facilitated by carefully planned activities which inspire children’s curiosity and lead to child-led learning and activity choices. Teachers will plan activities linked to books or termly themes but they will also plan activities which stem from the children’s own interests to ensure that learning is engaging at all times. In order to keep children motivated and stimulated by their learning environments, teachers will  continuously develop and adapt lessons in response to specific comments made by children about the world around them. Children in Foundation will take part in whole class and small group learning, with the view that this will lead to them practise and explore this independently through related activities.Throughout the day there are extended periods of time where children are able to make their own activity choices thanks to the numerous resources they can access both indoors and outdoors. During these periods the adults support and extend the children’s ideas and development using what the children already know or can do as a starting point. 

During the first few weeks of school we focus on developing the children's relationships with each other and the adults supporting them. Children will begin to form friendships that could last a lifetime and will start to learn the complexities of developing social skills. We work hard to ensure that children are supported with their social development through the provision of a ‘restorative approach’ which enables them to consider each other’s feelings and find solutions to disagreements. 

All children are included in learning activities and teaching sessions no matter their skill level, ability or additional needs. Teachers will identify areas of additional need and support children as necessary.

Early reading and writing is taught using the Read Write Inc scheme. This phonics based scheme will help children learn letter sounds, how to blend sounds together for reading and how to form letters and segment the sounds in words for writing. The use of pictures, rhymes and mnemonics seeks to support children by embedding knowledge of phonics to memory. Maths is taught using the White Rose Maths scheme, which aims to develop a mastery of early mathematical concepts in number, shape, space and measure.

While the children are learning, teachers will observe them carefully to ensure that progress is being made, identify potential areas where additional learning support may be required and to help children identify their own interests. In order to provide parents with regular updates about their child’s progress in school, teachers will upload information from their observations to Early Excellence, an online tracker, which parents can access. Parents can also upload observations from home, which enable practitioners to build a picture of the child’s learning, progress and development as a whole while they are on their journey towards achieving the Early Learning Goals in July.