Foundation Phase Curriculum
“The Foundation Phase is the statutory curriculum for all three to seven year olds in Wales, having been introduced in September 2010. It encourages children to be creative and imaginative, and makes learning more enjoyable and more effective.” Foundation Phase Framework, 2015.
Here at Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg, the Foundation Phase has been arranged into four classes – Mesen (Nursery), Llygad y Dydd (Reception), Clychau’r Gog (Year 1) and Glas y Gors (Year 2). We welcome our youngest pupils at 3 years of age and they spend either a morning or an afternoon session in the nursery class daily. Each class is led by an enthusiastic and nurturing teacher and we are extremely fortunate to have at least one Learning Support Assistant facilitating the learning in each classroom. From the very first day, the pupils are immersed in the Welsh language through song, hearing language patterns when listening to stories and rhymes and following the example of their excellent language role models in class.
Foundation Phase classrooms are organised into vibrant and stimulating learning areas. These provide pupils with the opportunity to guide their own learning and developing their literacy, numeracy and digital skills across the curriculum within the 6 areas of learning:
- Languages, Literacy and Communication
- Mathematics and Numeracy
- Expressive Arts
- Science and Technology
- Health and Wellbeing
Classes are equipped with appropriate furniture, tools and resources which are carefully organised to provide a variety of learning experiences which are practical, purposeful and fun! Pupils can also enjoy learning outdoors within their class’ outdoor area.
All staff use pupils’ ideas and opinions to create their short and long term plans. We also make effective use of any current issues or events to use as a stimulus for activities or discussion topics. Teachers use the statutory ‘Foundation Phase Curriculum’ alongside the ‘Curriculum for Wales’ which will also be statutory within the coming years. Within our Foundation Phase, there is a big emphasis on learning ‘experiences’ by ensuring that activities are planned in every day contexts to ensure that the learning is effective and relevant to the pupil’s daily life. We provide opportunities for our young children to learn through play and experiment independently in order to ignite their imagination in school and beyond. As a team, we work closely within a Welsh ethos to ensure equal and challenging opportunities for all, to develop:
- ambitious, capable learners,
- enterprising, creative contributors,
- ethical, informed citizens,
- healthy, confident learners.
Each class thoroughly enjoys a variety of trips and visits as a stimulus to the term’s topic or to reinforce what they have learnt in class. We also make use of our local area by visiting a variety of key places e.g. local shop, church, supermarket, fire station to name just a few.
The Foundation Phase actively promotes the importance of physical health through regular exercise and leading a healthy lifestyle. As a part of our role as a ‘Healthy School’, the Foundation Phase provides each child with a piece of fruit and a bottle of milk on a daily basis. The Nursery and Reception class are also part of the ‘Designed to Smile’ scheme in order to encourage correct teeth brushing. In addition to this, pupil’s wellbeing is vitally important to us. Each class has a ‘Circle Time’ session at least twice a week in order to discuss and compare experiences and talk about any current issues. We offer the opportunity for pupils to share their feelings within a comforting, safe and respectable environment.
At Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg, the Foundation Phase is an essential part of a child’s journey – nurturing each individual and providing them with the tools needed for further positive learning experiences throughout the school and beyond.