This policy has been written to reflect Llangyfelach Primary’s Vision Statement in relation to the education and well-being of all children in the Foundation Phase. It provides a framework within which both teaching and non-teaching staff can operate and give guidance on planning, teaching and assessment. This policy should be read in conjunction with the Foundation Phase framework which sets out in detail what the children should be taught.
The Foundation Phase places great emphasis on children “learning by doing”. Our youngest pupils are given more opportunities to gain first-hand experiences through play and active involvement which focus on exciting learning activities both indoors and outdoors.
There are seven areas of learning:
Developing Skills across the Curriculum
We believe children should be given as many opportunities and experiences to develop the following skills, through group and individual tasks in a variety of contexts across the areas of learning:
Thinking – by using the processes of planning, developing and reflecting.
Communication – through the skills of oracy, reading, writing and wider communication.
ICT – by creating, presenting, finding and developing information and ideas.
Number – by using mathematical information, calculating and interpreting and presenting results.
Curriculum Cymreig - Curriculum Cymreig will be developed across all areas of learning through an integrated approach by developing children’s understanding of the cultural identity unique to Wales.
Aims of our Foundation Phase at LPS
At Llangyfelach Primary School we aim to:
provide a welcoming environment for children and their families.
ensure that all children feel included, secure and valued.
establish positive relationships with parents.
keep parents well informed about the curriculum and their child's progress.
build on what children already know and can do and to celebrate achievement.
help children make links in their learning.
stimulate positive attitudes and dispositions to learning.
value children's interests, providing a balance of direct teaching and child initiated activities.
help children build friendships and learn to co-operate with each other.
provide a solid foundation in the seven areas of learning through well planned, rich and stimulating experiences.
make careful observations in order to support and extend children's learning appropriately.
identify More Able and Talented pupils, and ensure that teachers’ planning and teaching include suitably challenging activities to extend learning further. (Top down approach)
ensure that children with Special Educational Needs are identified and receive appropriate support.
develop children’s skills and understanding.
develop children’s personal, social, emotional, physical and intellectual well-being in order to develop the whole child.
develop children’s self-esteem and self-confidence to experiment, investigate, learn new things and form new relationships.
develop children’s creative and expressive skills and encourage their development as individuals with different ways of responding to experiences.
develop children’s activities in the outdoors where they can have first-hand experiences of solving real problems and learn about conservation and sustainability.
ensure children are taught to reflect their stage of development not their age.
At Llangyfelach Primary we believe a well-planned curriculum is vital to prevent underachievement and to raise overall standards.
All curriculum planning shows that:
it is broad, balanced and differentiated.
it is flexible to cater for children who are at different stages of development including More Able and Talented pupils, pupils with Additional Learning Needs, English as an additional language and pupils with Special Educational Needs.
it takes into account prior learning and attainment.
educational provision is holistic.
the child is at the centre of all planning.
there is a balance between structured learning through child-initiated activities and those directed by adults.
the activities inspire and challenge children’s potential for learning.
adults are aware of using good open ended questioning.
The Foundation Phase Framework for Children’s Learning is used to provide the skills coverage alongside half-termly Cornerstone projects.
Continuous and Enhanced Provision
Indoor and outdoor environments that are fun, exciting, stimulating and safe promote children’s development and natural curiosity to explore and learn through first-hand experiences.
Within the Early Years and Year 1, the enhanced provision should promote discovery and independence and a greater emphasis on using the outdoor environment as a resource for children’s learning. As pupils move into Year 2 there will be a greater emphasis on independence and managing their own time and learning experiences through the use of Challenge Areas within the enhanced provision. Challenges are set fortnightly.
Challenges will be discussed and revisited at the start of the week with the children. Within the classroom display, the children will have the opportunity to mark off each challenge as they progress through each one. It is the pupil’s responsibility to ensure they plan their time effectively to ensure all challenges are undertaken by the end of the fortnight.
Challenges will be set out in the following areas with the learning environment:
Reading and Research Station (Chrome Books)
Pupils will have their own Challenge books to record their ideas and responses to the challenges set. They may return to them or extend their entries as they wish. It is also good practice for their peers to assess their challenges and provide feedback on how their work could be improved.
At the start of every new Cornerstone Project, the children are given a stimulus that relates to their new topic to engage them and promote discussion. This could be a picture, video clip or a book. Once this has been introduced, the children activate their prior knowledge and discuss this with their classmates. They then formulate questions and ideas that they would like to follow within the Engage Stage of their new Cornerstone Project.
Within the classroom display, the continuous provision will be set out in a grid. Pupils will then be given a post-it note and asked what they would like to add to the continuous provision (or challenge areas in Year 2). All pupils’ ideas are listened to and valued by sticking them on the display in the corresponding area of learning. A discussion then takes place with the teacher and the children’s ideas are written on the planning grid in black. Finally, adult-led ideas are then written on the planning grid in red.
Assessment for Learning
The children are involved in thinking about and leading their learning from a very early age. They are introduced to Mr Men characters which act as physical prompts and stems for discussion as the children progress through the Foundation Phase. The characters will be available in the form of an AfL mat and in larger forms for younger pupils to select to describe how they feel about their learning in that session or activity. Older Foundation Phase pupils will use the characters as a prompt for discussion. Each character stimulates thought and reflection. The characters are:
Mr Happy – Have I met the success criteria?
Mr Forgetful – I’ve forgotten to...
Little Miss Curious – What can I do next to improve my work?
Little Miss Chatterbox – Can you talk about your learning today?
Mr Stretch – How have you stretched yourself today?
Mr Ooops – I need more help to...
The use of the outdoor environment is an integral part of learning, teaching and planning at Llangyfelach Primary School. As well as the daily use of our outdoor environment, a more structured approach is also planned to ensure that pupils experience the outdoor environment in all weathers and seasons. Our Early Years pupils will experience Muddy Mondays and Welly Wednesday sessions. Year 1 and 2 pupils will take part in Funday Friday where pupils will be outdoors for most of their school day carrying out a range of activities. With this structure in place parents are also well- informed in order for pupils to wear the suitable clothing to ensure there are no barriers to the learning experiences taking place.
Off-site outdoor learning experiences
Pupils will have the opportunity to experience outdoor learning experiences in a range of settings both locally and further afield. These planned sessions will be closely linked to the Cornerstone topic being studied. A range of settings have been planned for to ensure pupils benefit from both coastal and woodland experiences.
Assessment, Recording and Reporting Achievement
Assessment is an integral part of the planning process and focuses on children’s achievements and development along a learning continuum. The main purpose of assessment is for teachers to gain an in-sight into what each child knows, understands and can do in order to plan subsequent learning experiences in partnership with them.
Foundation Phase Profile
The FPP provides a nationally consistent method for scoring the Foundation Phase outcomes and progress data. It will assess children’s abilities and development in 4 areas of learning:
personal and social development, well-being and cultural diversity language, literacy and communication skills (to be revised in September 2015 to incorporate the literacy component of the National Literacy and Numeracy Framework [LNF])
mathematical development (to be revised in September 2015 to incorporate the numeracy component of the LNF) physical development.
the assessment will be in the form of observations and formative assessments.
As a key part of the Welsh Government’s Early Years Development and Assessment Framework, the FPP has been designed to line up with assessments carried out by health professionals. In this way it supports early identification of possible developmental delay, special education needs or additional learning needs and informs the provision of additional support for children who need it.
The Foundation Phase outcomes detailed in the FPP reflect the skills expressed in the revised areas of learning (including the LNF) for language, literacy and communication skills and mathematical development (statutory from September 2015) and those for personal and social development, well-being and cultural diversity, and physical development (published in 2008).
The Foundation Phase profile (FPP) supports summative assessments and will be used to support the statutory baseline assessment during Reception. In order to support the accuracy and consistency of these assessments, internal standardisation sessions take place within Foundation Phase staff meetings on a half termly basis. During which, examples of pupil work are analysed and discussed, and all staff agree on the final Outcome of the work.
Formative assessment is a powerful way of raising pupils’ achievement. It enables the learner and the teacher to understand what progress has been made and what goals should be set for further learning. Assessments are recorded and tracked on Incerts.
Formative assessments are used to:
identify children’s strengths and gaps in their skills/knowledge
identify next steps for learning
inform future planning
enable appropriate strategies to be employed
facilitate the setting of appropriate targets for the class, group, and individuals
track the child’s rate of progress
facilitate an evaluation of the effectiveness of teaching and learning
inform future teaching and learning strategies
identify individuals and groups for specific intervention support.
These formative assessments will be undertaken through:
discussions with the child during individual, pair or group work
marking and feedback
During the first six weeks of a child starting Nursery, they will be assessed. This baseline assessment will be recorded on INCERTs and within a FPP booklet in red. Further assessments will then be recorded within the FPP booklet in green, showing value added. The FPP booklets will be used to assess pupils during observations and focused tasks by all adults within the classroom. The booklets will provide information on the progress of all pupils and will inform parents during termly consultations and their end of year report.
End of Key Stage Assessments
All Year 2 pupils will be teacher assessed at the end of Foundation Phase; they are given an outcome in three areas of learning:
Language, Literacy and Communication.
Personal and Social Development, Well-being and Cultural Diversity
Formative assessment is complemented by summative assessments which help us to track the progress of children through the school. Where pupils appear to make less progress than expected, given past achievements, the school tries to intervene and support children to fulfil their potential.
Standardised tests (NGRT) are carried out for reading in September from Year 1 to Year 6. The information gained from these formal assessments assist us in identifying children who have a reading age below their chronological age. These children are then considered for reading support. All children are then re-tested in May and this information will indicate the progress made.
Statutory National Testing for both Literacy and Numeracy are carried out in May from Year 2 to Year 6.
We acknowledge that these tests do not necessarily present the ‘whole picture’ of a child’s progress in a curriculum area and teachers therefore supplement this information with their own observations.
Additional Learning Needs
We feel it is vital that pupils with special educational needs are identified at an early stage. Every teacher in this school is responsible for identifying pupils with special educational needs.
We will inform parents at the earliest opportunity of the school's concerns and to work in partnership with them to establish the support the child needs.
We will adopt a graduated approach coordinated by the ALNCO and using the following four stages of action: Assess, Plan, Do and Review (see ALN policy).
Parents will be kept well informed of and involved in all four stages.
Transition to Key Stage 2
Moving from Foundation Phase to Key Stage 2 is a big step for many children. Year 2 and Year 3 staff liaise closely to share information which could further improve the transition of Year 2 pupils into Year 3; including assessment data, issues surrounding well-being, progress with Jolly Grammar and Reading, as well as Mathematical work covered and ability groupings.
It is the responsibility of all teachers to ensure that all pupils irrespective of gender, ability, ethnicity and social circumstances have access to the whole curriculum and make the greatest possible progress.
We ensure this in various ways, including:
valuing every child.
treating each child as an individual.
providing an environment which is free from stereotypical images.
using resources that positively reflect diversity.
using a wide range of teaching strategies, based on children's learning needs.
planning challenging opportunities for More Able and Talented children.
facilitating equal access to activities by all children.
supporting children with Special Educational Needs as appropriate.
providing additional support from adults.
adopting activities or environments.
using specialist aids and equipment.
using multi-sensory materials and experiences.
supporting children with English as an additional language as appropriate - valuing child's home language.
providing a range of opportunities for child to engage in speaking and listening activities in English with peers and adults.
To be reviewed when required.