Foundation Stage

Foundation Stage

The youngest children in our school follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) this is a framework for children up to the age of five, setting out seven key areas of learning around which activities should be based. Children’s learning must take place in both the inside and the outside learning environments.

Foundation Staff

In Foundation Stage the teachers are Miss Gowing (Class A – Ducklings) and Mrs Adams (Class B – Chicks)

Miss Roberts (Class A) and Mrs Finn (Class B) are the teaching assistants in this team.

Our Ex Days are every Friday morning.

To find out more about our curriculum, visit the Curriculum section of our school website.

Miss Gwyn Gowing

Reception Teacher (Ducklings)

Science Co-ordinator
Health and Safety Officer
Educational Visits Co-ordinator

Miss Georgia Roberts

Teaching Assistant (Ducklings)

Mrs Vicky Adams

Reception Teacher (Chicks)

Earl Years Foundation Stage Lead
Volunteers Co-ordinator
Pyramid Club Leader

Mrs Karen Finn

Teaching Assistant (Chicks)

At St Francis, children are given the opportunity to learn through play based activities both inside and outside. The Foundation Stage Curriculum has seven key areas of learning.

The first three are known as the prime areas and these are the main focus for learning in the nursery. In reception we continue to focus on the prime areas and develop key skills in the other four specific areas:

> CL
> PD
> Literacy
> Mathematics
> Understanding the world
> Expressive arts and design

Teaching and learning ensures that opportunities to explore key skills within these seven areas are provided through enabling, exciting and supportive environments. Observations of children in their play by adults, including parents, supports the curriculum and informs next steps in the children’s learning.

Before the children start at St Francis school we visit the children at home and have several ‘Stay and play’ sessions in the reception class. The class teachers also visit the children in their current settings to enable a smooth transition into school and opportunities for key people to share information about the children. Parents are also invited to an information sharing evening at our school.

We strongly believe that parental partnerships are essential to support the children in their learning.

We hold fortnightly drop in sessions for our parents to enable us to share information and teach skill skills to help parents support their children further. These sessions also support parents in building relationships with each other and encourage them to become involved in the school community.

Our vision is that all children are happy, thrive and succeed during their first year at school. A carefully planned curriculum, which is informed by the children’s interests, ensures children are active participants in their learning and development. Enrichment experiences enhance the children’s learning, they are planned throughout the year and provide real life first hand experiences including cafe visits, meeting paramedics, roasting marshmallows in forest school, visiting local parks and beaches.

At St Francis C of E School we follow the Read Write Inc approach to teaching Reading and Phonics, supplemented with additional reading materials. Our approach is systematic, consistent and rigorous in order that all children become readers as quickly as possible.

We use the same phonics program across the school providing continuity and a vehicle for guaranteed progression.

RWI sessions take place four times a week for 30 minutes. Pupils are taught in ability groups from Reception to Year 2 thus enabling them to be taught according to their reading level not their age. Teaching is very precise and tailored to the needs of each child irrespective of year group.
Please see our new parent meeting presentation for information about Reception at St Francis.
If you have any questions about Reception, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Children work their way towards The Early Learning Goals – these goals summarise the knowledge, skills and understanding that the children should have gained by the end of their Reception year.

The Characteristics of Learning are an important part of the Foundation Stage and underpin all that we do. These are the characteristics that we aim to develop in the children as they are learning through play.

Playing and exploring – this focuses on engagement

  • Finding out and exploring
  • Playing with what they know
  • Being willing to ‘have a go’

Active learning – this focuses on motivation

  • Being involved and concentrating
  • Keeping trying
  • Enjoying achieving what they set out to do

Creating and thinking critically –this focuses on thinking

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

We have a strong Foundation Stage team here at St Francis and all work together to ensure that your child has a happy, successful and fulfilling start to their school life.