Click here to open and print a print friendly version of this page

Website: Great Orton Primary School
Page Title: Great Orton Primary School :
Page Address: index.php?page_no=&category_id=7&return=1;

Foundation Stage

What is the ‘Foundation Stage’ ?

The foundation stage is about developing key learning skills such as listening, speaking, concentration, persistence and learning to work together and co-operate with other children.

The early years are critical in children’s development.

Children develop rapidly during this time – physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially.

It is also about developing early communication, literacy and numeracy skills that will prepare young children for key stage 1 of the national curriculum.

Play as a vehicle for learning




Pupils learning about the world around them

 through making fat balls for the birds. 


Children aged three, four and five learn by…

responding to adults and to each other.


Play is essential for children's development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others." (EYFS 2012)


Through play children can...

  • Explore, develop and represent learning experiences that help them make sense of the world;
  • Practise and build up ideas, concepts and skills;
  • Learn how to control impulses and understand the need for rules;
  • Be alone, be alongside others or co-operate as they talk or rehearse their feelings;
  • Take risks and make mistakes;
  • Think creatively and imaginatively;
  • Communicate with others as they investigate or solve problems;
  • Express fears or relive anxious experiences in controlled and safe situations

The Early Years Foundation Stage 

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication language
  • Mathematics
  • Literacy
  • Understanding of the world
  • Physical development
  • Expressive Arts and design creative development



Personal, Social and Emotional Development 


The construction area gives opportunities for the pupils to work together

and form positive relationships.

Personal, Social and Emotional development: involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.

Self-confidence and self-awareness: children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help.

Managing feelings and behaviour: children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.

Making relationships: children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.


Communication and Language.


Children use language to communicate and listen attentively in a range of situations and respond appropriately



Communication and Language


Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.


Listening and attention: children listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.


Understanding: children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.


Speaking: children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.



Children developing writing skills by experimenting on whiteboards

and writing in thier books




Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.


Reading: children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.


Writing: children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.




Children learn about numbers during outdoor play.


Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.


Numbers: children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.


Shape, space and measures: children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.



 Understanding of the World



Children at Forest School and excitment following a visit to Chinese Store and work on Chinese New Year.


Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.


People and communities: children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.


The world: children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.


Technology: children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.



Physical development


Child improving physical coordination - aiming hoops over the  cones


Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

Moving and handling: children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.


Health and self-care: children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.


Expressive Arts And Design



Children cuttig, sticking and doing a 'design and make' activity during 'planning' time.



Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.


Exploring and using media and materials: children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.


Being imaginative: children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.




Example: Pupils Writing

Step 1: - Use one handed tools and equipment



Step 2: - Draw lines and circles using gross motor movement
- Sometimes giving meaning to marks


Step 3: - Begin to use anticlockwise movement and retrace vertical lines
   - Ascribe meanings to marks



Step 4: - Begin to form recognisable letters
- Use writing as a means of recording and communicating

Step 5: Early Learning Goals

Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simplesentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.

Below is a sample of joined writing which may be achieved by the end of year two.


Assessing Progress


Monitoring of each child’s progress throughout the foundation stage is essential to ensure that they are making progress and that particular difficulties in any of the areas of learning, whatever the cause, are identified and addressed.


Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. Ongoing assessment (also known as formative assessment) is an integral part of the learning and development process. It involves practitioners observing children to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles, and to then shape learning experiences for each child reflecting those observations. In their interactions with children, practitioners should respond to their own day-to-day observations about children’s progress, and observations that parents and carers share.


Nursery Baseline takes place when a child is aged between two and three, practitioners must review their progress, and provide parents and/or carers with a short written summary of their child’s development in the prime areas.

In the final term of the year in which the child reaches age five, and no later than 30 June in that term, the EYFS Profile must be completed for each child. The Profile provides parents and carers, practitioners and teachers with a well-rounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their progress against expected levels, and their readiness for Year 1.



Letters and Sounds Scheme

This Phonics programme,  consisting of a structured programme of short Daily Sessions. 


It provides a structured scheme of word-level work. Initially, rather than focusing on letters and which sounds they are used to represent (decoding), it begins with sounds, which children already use in the course of their everyday speech, and focuses on how we can represent these sounds in writing (encoding). It is made clear form the outset that any given sound may be represented by more than one grapheme (letter or group of letters) and that any given grapheme may represent more than one sound.





Click here to return to the site website