Foundation Stage

Home / Curriculum / Curriculum Plan / Foundation Stage

At Ethelbert Road Primary School we believe that children in the Foundation Stage learn most effectively when:

Playing and exploring – they are engaged in what they are doing.

  • Finding out and exploring
  • Playing with what they know
  • They are willing to ‘have a go’ at new activities

Active learners – they are motivated to learn new things

  • Involved and concentrating
  • They persevere and keep trying with new skills
  • They are enjoying achieving what they set out to do

Creating and thinking critically

  • Having their own ideas
  • Making links
  • Choosing ways to do things

The curriculum for the Foundation Stage should underpin all future learning by supporting, fostering, promoting and developing children’s:

Personal Social and Emotional Development

Children are encouraged to play co-operatively and take account of one another’s ideas. They develop sensitivity to the needs and feelings of others. We want the children to be confident to try new activities and talk confidently about what they need or think. The children learn to work as part of a group or class, adjusting their behaviour to different situations and taking changes in their stride.

Communication and Language

The children are given opportunities to listen attentively in a range of situations and respond appropriately. They learn to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions and to express their views when responding to stories or events. We want the children to be able to express themselves effectively showing an awareness of the listener.



From the beginning we aim to foster a life-long love of books and reading by using language rich fiction and non-fiction texts in our teaching.

In the Foundation Stage children will learn to use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also learn to read some common irregular words on sight. It is also important that they demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.


The children will practice patterns that will aid their formation as they move towards joined, cursive writing. They will learn to use their phonic knowledge to spell words in ways that match their spoken sounds. The children will also learn to write some irregular common words from memory. They learn to write simple sentences that can be read by themselves and others.


Children in the Foundation Stage learn to count reliably, place numbers in order and identify one more and one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects they learn to add and subtract single digit numbers and count on and back to find an answer. They will begin to solve problems by doubling, halving and sharing. The children will learn to use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities of objects and solve problems. They will have opportunities to recognise, create and describe patterns.

Physical Development

The children are given opportunities to develop good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. We want the children to be able to move confidently in a range of ways and handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing. The children are encouraged to manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs including dressing and going to the toilet. They develop an understanding of the importance of good health, physical exercise and a healthy diet.

Understanding of the World

The children are encouraged to talk about past and present events in their own lives and those of family members. They learn to identify similarities and differences between themselves and others and understand their own and other’s cultures. Children are given opportunities to identify similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things by going out and exploring our local environment. The children are encouraged to observe animals and plants and explain what they see and talk about changes that occur. We encourage the children to recognise that a range of technology is used at home and school. They are given opportunities to select and use technology for particular purposes.

Expressive Arts and Design

The children are given opportunities to explore singing songs, making music and expressing themselves through dance. They are taught to use a variety of materials, tools and techniques. The children can then experiment with colour, design, texture, form and function. Foundation Stage children are encouraged to use what they learn about materials and media in original ways, thinking about use and purpose. They are given opportunities to represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design technology, art, music, dance, role play and stories.