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Welcome to the Foundation Stage


During their Foundation Year at Athelstan Primary School, children work towards the Early Learning Goals: children are expected to meet most of these by the end of the year across the 7 areas of learning and development. These 7 areas are split into the Prime and Specific areas of learning.




  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development


As children develop, the skills gained within the Prime areas form the foundations on which children are taught the knowledge, skills and understanding within the four specific areas.




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


These seven areas are used to plan a broad and balanced curriculum based on the interests and specific needs of the children.


Children learn in a variety of ways. We always provide access to continuous provision which the children can access independently. Within the provision, children learn through playing, exploring, talking, questioning, reflecting and interacting with adults and each other. Adults work with children within the provision to model quality talk and move the learning on based on the needs of the individual.


Phonics and reading are taught through the Read Write Inc programme which is delivered in small focus groups, and on an individual basis if needed.


Both maths and writing are taught as whole class input followed by small teacher and TA focus groups.  Adults work closely with these small groups on carefully tailored activities within the provision to move their learning on, based on children's specific next steps.


Throughout our continuous provision, both indoor and outdoor, purposeful opportunities are provided to encourage talk, reading, writing and mathematics.  This encourages children to apply their knowledge and skills in different ways and develop their independence.



We keep a record of children’s development throughout their time in Foundation Stage in the form of three books; Literacy, Maths and Special Books. We include photos, notes from home, milestones and observations of what children do and say. These are used to track individual's stages of development and are shared regularly with parents and carers.



Parents and other family members are invited to contribute to children’s Learning Journey in the form of Leaves of Success. Information about children’s achievements, interests and ‘wow’ moments that occur at home are passed on to the class teacher and are used to build a more rounded picture of children’s development.



During the summer term, the children have the fantastic opportunity to take part in a weekly Forest School session.


What is Forest Schools?

Forest Schools is a fun, exciting way to learn in an outdoor setting such as woodlands.  It is proven to improve children’s confidence, self-esteem, and communication skills as well as them having lots of fun!  They also develop skills in team work, using tools safely and learning about looking after our natural environment. During the session, the children will take part in a range of activities including den-building, wood craft, playing games and cooking on a camp fire!


Where will the Forest Schools activities happen?

We will be based in our garden area which is on the edge of the infant playground. During the sessions, we will walk around the school field and explore the wildlife on its perimeter. .Also we will take the opportunity to use the local woodland, Bowden Housteads, to experience the environment and collect natural resources to bring back to school and use.


What will my child need?

Forest Schools will happen in all weathers (unless it is VERY windy or icy), so please make sure your child has plenty of warm clothes including a jumper, gloves and a hat (sunhat in sunny weather), boots or wellies and a waterproof coat. Lots of layers are more effective than a single thicker layer in terms of protecting from the cold.  Please make sure your child is suitably dressed to ensure they can fully enjoy the experience. There are some examples of ideal clothing attached. Please speak to a member of the Foundation Team if you need to borrow any items from school. YOUR CHILD NEEDS TO COME TO SCHOOL DRESSED FOR FOREST SCHOOLS IN THE MORNING. NO SCHOOL UNIFORM ON THE DAY OF FOREST SCHOOLS.