Foundation Stage

Welcome to the Foundation Stage Unit

The Foundation Stage Unit at OLSP takes in children from the term they are 3 until they leave reception. As a unit we work hard to challenge the children who are ready to be pushed and nurture the children who need more support in certain areas. Our focus is on the 'Prime Areas' as, without these, children will not have the firm foundations they need to progress through the rest of their educational life.

Children in the Nursery (F1) and Reception Class (F2) follow the age-related standards for learning, development and care.

These are organised into seven areas: three prime and four specific.

Click on the below document for an in depth look at the Development Matters EYFS curriculum:
Prime areas:
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
Specific areas:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Another key ingredient to a good EYFS curriculum is the recognition of the Characteristics of Effective Learning.
Playing and Exploring Active Learning Creating and Thinking Critically
Finding our and exploring:

  • What areas / activities are they drawn to?
  • Do they prefer to work in a group / alone?
  • Do they initiate activities themselves or join in an existing one with a group?
  • Do they think aloud describing what they do?
Being involved and concentrating:
  • Do the children keep focused on a self-initiated activity for a long period of time?
  • Are they concentrating and involved in the activity without being distracted?
  • Do they show care with what they’re doing?
  • Do they demonstrate concentration through silence or thinking aloud?
Having their own ideas
  • Do they try something different rather than follow what someone else has done?
  • Do they address a problem with a strategy?
  • Retaining independence – not asking for support even if it takes longer to achieve the outcome

Using what they know in their play:
  • In play do they draw on experiences from home / outside school?
  • Do they act out situations in the role play area?
  • Are they confident in finding tools, materials and resources they need for a particular project or idea?
Keeping on trying
  • Do children show persistence – not giving up even if it means starting again?
  • Do they ask for help / support if they need it?
  • Do they discuss solutions for challenges with peers / adults or work things through themselves?
Using what they already know to learn new things

  • Do they understand patterns and predictability of events?
  • Talks about / explains how their process links to a previous experience
  • Do they draw upon knowledge or experiences not immediately related to their activity? 
Being willing to have a go:
  • Levels of persistence – do they give up at first hurdle or keep trying?
  • Are they eager to try new ideas or do they stay with what they are familiar with?
  • Are they able to talk about / review what they’ve done if things haven’t worked?
  • Do they work best with continual support or prefer to get on with activities themselves?
Enjoying achieving what they set out to do:
  • Is there a sense of satisfaction and pride when they have completed an activity; do they want to show / tell people?
  • Do they relish challenges and continually try to make things better?
  • Do they evaluate themselves and try different things as a result?
  • Are they ‘intrinsically motivated’- achieving things for themselves as opposed to adult praise?
Choosing ways to do things and finding new ways:
  • Are they confident in using a ‘trial; and error’ approach and talking about why some things do / don’t work
  • Choosing different ways of approaching activities and adapting if it doesn’t work

In the foundation stage unit we celebrate our Characteristics of Effective Learning by using the Achievosaurs

What are the Achievosaurs?

There are seven Achievosaurs altogether, each linking to an aspect of the characteristics. They enable children to become more aware of how they learn, build resilience and give them language to explain the skills they use when learning. We will introduce them a couple at a time – meet the Achievosaurs…

Active Learning
TRYATOPS I try my best and never give up
STICKOSAURAUS I stick at tasks and persevere

Playing & Exploring
EXPLOROSAUR I explore everything around me
ASKARAPTOR I ask questions and find things out

Creating and Thinking Critically
SOLVEOSAURUS REX I work hard to solve problems
THINKODOCUS I think carefully about what I learn
SHAREONYX I share my ideas and resources

Lots of you may have heard of the expression ‘School Ready’ talked about by the DfE, hence the introduction and provision of increased nursery places. This is where education providers and schools along with parents, will continue to build upon your child’s social awareness, self and health care and language skills.

The DfE refers to “school readiness” as supporting children to be ready for the opportunities available to them in Year One. Children will leave foundation stage having been assessed as either working within the emerging, expected or exceeding band of each strand of learning. It is anticipated that the majority of children will reach the assessment point of Foundation Stage within the ‘expected band’. It is important to remember however, that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.