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Foundation Phase

Language, Literacy & Communication

Children are immersed in language experiences and activities. Their skills develop through talking, signing, communicating and listening. They should be encouraged to communicate their needs, feelings and thoughts, retell experiences and discuss individual and group play. Some children will communicate by means other than speech. Children refer to their intentions by asking questions, voicing/expressing opinions and making choices through a variety of media and by building on previous experiences. They should be encouraged to listen and respond to others, to the variety of life experiences that their peers bring to the learning environment, and to a range of stimuli, including audio-visual material and ICT interactive software. They should have opportunities to choose and use reading materials, understand the conventions of print and books and be given a wide range of opportunities to enjoy mark-making and writing experiences. They should be helped to develop an awareness of Wales as a country with two languages, and to show positive attitudes to speakers of languages other than Welsh and English

Mathematical Development

During the Foundation Phase, children develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of mathematics through oral, practical and play activities. They enjoy using and applying mathematics in practical tasks, in real-life problems, and within mathematics itself. They use a variety of ICT resources as tools for exploring number, for obtaining real-life data and for presenting their findings.

Physical Development

Children’s physical development, enthusiasm and energy for movement should continually be promoted through helping them to use their bodies effectively, by encouraging spatial awareness, balance, control and coordination, and developing motor and manipulative skills. They should develop their gross and fine motor skills, physical control, mobility and an awareness of space, using large and small equipment, across all Areas of Learning, indoors and outdoors. Children should be encouraged to enjoy physical activity. A developing sense of identity should be linked closely to their own self-image, self-esteem and confidence. They should be introduced to the concepts of health, hygiene and safety, and the importance of diet, rest, sleep and exercise.

Knowledge & Understanding of the World

Children should experience the familiar world through enquiry, investigating the indoor and outdoor environment in a safe and systematic way. They should be given experiences that help them to increase their curiosity about the world around them and help them to begin to understand past events, people and places, living things, and the work people do. Using all their senses, they should be encouraged to enjoy learning by exploration, enquiry, experimentation, asking questions and trying to find answers. They should learn to demonstrate care, responsibility, concern and respect for all living things and the environment. They should develop and communicate using an increasing range of appropriate vocabulary. They should learn to express their own ideas, opinions and feelings with imagination, creativity and sensitivity. The children’s skills should be developed across all Areas of Learning through participation in experiential learning activities and through the use of sources such as stories, photographs, maps, models and ICT.

Creative Development

Children should be continually developing their imagination and creativity across the curriculum. Their natural curiosity and disposition to learn should be stimulated by everyday sensory experiences, both indoors and outdoors. Children should engage in creative, imaginative and expressive activities in art, craft, design, music, dance and movement. Children should explore a wide range of stimuli, develop their ability to communicate and express their creative ideas, and reflect on their work.

Personal, Social, Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing Development

Personal and Social Development, Well-Being and Cultural Diversity is at the heart of the Foundation Phase and children’s skills are developed across all Areas of Learning through participation in experiential learning activities indoors and outdoors. Children learn about themselves, their relationships with other children and adults both within and beyond the family. They are encouraged to develop their self-esteem, their personal beliefs and moral values. They develop an understanding that others have differing needs, abilities, beliefs and views. The Foundation Phase supports the cultural identity of all children, to celebrate different cultures and help children recognise and gain a positive awareness of their own and other cultures. Positive attitudes should be developed to enable children to become increasingly aware of, and appreciate the value of, the diversity of cultures and languages that exist in a multicultural Wales. They should become increasingly aware of the traditions and celebrations that are important aspects of the cultures within Wales

Welsh Language Development

During the Foundation Phase, children should learn to use and communicate in Welsh to the best of their ability. Children should listen to Welsh being spoken and respond appropriately in familiar situations, using a range of patterns. They should be encouraged to communicate their needs in Welsh and should be increasingly exposed to Welsh. Skills are developed through communicating in a range of enjoyable, practical planned activities, and using a range of stimuli that build on and increase children’s previous knowledge and experiences, in safe and stimulating indoor and outdoor learning environments.

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