The Foundation Phase

Learning in the Foundation Phase

Click on the images below to download either the English or Welsh version of the Welsh Government's guide or read on to find out more about the Foundation Phase in Torfaen.

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The Foundation Phase aims to enhance the learning experiences which enable children to be creative, imaginative and have fun whilst learning. The curriculum focuses on the developmental stages through which each child progresses, placing greater emphasis on experiential learning and active involvement to develop the following:

  • Skills and understanding.
  • Personal, social, emotional, physical and intellectual well-being.
  • Positive attitudes to learning so the child will want to continue its education for longer.
  • Self-esteem and self-confidence to experiment and learn new things.
  • Creative, expressive and observational skills.
  • Out-door activities where the child has first hand experience of solving real-life problems.

The Foundation Phase has been designed to help all children flourish, whatever their stage of development or learning ability. It promotes discovery and independance, and places emphasis on using the outdoor environment as a resource for children's learning.

The Seven Areas of Learning

The curriculum is built around seven Areas of Learning, where stimulating, structured play activities can be woven into the learning experience:

  • Personal and social development, well being and cultural diversity.

Focuses on children learning about themselves and their relationships with other children and adults, encouraging them to develop self-esteem, personal beliefs and moral values. Also helps children to gain a positive awareness of their own and other cultures.

  • Language, literacy and communication skills.

Focuses on children being immersed in language experiences and activities, developing skills through talking, communicating and listening. They are encouraged to communicate by asking questions, expressing opinions, reacting to situations and making choices, and encouraged to listen and respond to others. They have opportunities to choose reading materials, and are given a wide range of opportunities to enjoy mark making and writing experience.

  • Mathematical development.

Focuses on children developing their knowledge and understanding of mathematics by problem solving. They use numbers in daily activities and develop a range of methods for working mentally with numbers in order to solve problems. They investigate the properties of shape and sort, match, sequence and compare objects and create simple patterns and relationships.

  • Welsh language development.

Focuses on children learning to communicate in Welsh to the best of their ability. Skills are developed through communication in a range of planned activities, using a range of stimuli.

  • Knowledge and understanding of the world.

Focuses on children experiencing the familiar world through enquiry and investigation. They are given experiences to increase their curiosity about the world around them, and to learn to demonstrate care, responsibility and respect for other living things and their environment.

  • Physical development.

Focuses on helping children use their bodies effectively by encouraging spatial awareness, balance, control and coordination and developing motor and manipulative skills. They are encouraged to enjoy physical activity, and introduced to the concepts of health, hygeine and the importance of diet, rest, sleep and exercise.

  • Creative development.

Focuses on children developing their imagination and creativity through activities in art, craft, music, dance and movement. Their natural curiosity is stimulated by everyday sensory experiences.

To find out more, go to The Foundation Phase or contact your child's school.

Torfaen Council Maintained Nursery Schools

Torfaen has 2 nursery schools and 19 nursery classes attached to infant or primary schools. It is the Authority's policy to admit children to its' nursery schools and nursery units (known as maintained nurseries) from the beginning of the school year in which their third birthday falls (i.e. between 1st September and 31st August). Places are allocated on a part-time basis (morning or afternoon sessions only) for five days per week. In certain limited circumstances, full-time placements have been offered.

If you choose for your child to attend a nursery in the voluntary to private sector which is approved by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales (CSSIW), and registered as an education provider by the LEA, the Authority will fund your child's placement on a part-time basis (minimum of 10 hours over 5 sessions per week taken in a minimum of 4/5 days). The level of funding will be comparable with that of a three year old in a maintained provision. Where a child attends a private day nursery, parents will be responsible for any additional payments over and above the funding allocated by the LEA.

You will receive a Schools Information booklet and an application form in the September before your child is due to start nursery. If you have not received a pack (possibly because you have moved since your child was born) please contact the LEA admissions team on 01495 766915 or contact Torfaen Family Information Service on 0800 0196330.

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