Foundation Stage

Foundation is called foundation for a very important reason- it truly is the foundation of children’s time in school. It is probably children’s most important year in school and at Trekenner we are passionate about ensuring this year gives children a positive start to their 7-year learning journey with us.

In foundation, teachers focus on facilitating the characteristics of effective learning. These are the fundamental skills and attitudes for children to become lifelong learners. Teachers focus not only on what children learn but how they learn it developing key skills and attitudes such as:

  • Being willing to have a go and try something new
  • Bouncing back after difficulties and persisting in the face of challenge
  • Being encouraged and supported to have their own ideas
  • Finding more than one way of doing something
  • Being proud of how they achieve something, not just the achievement itself
  • Making links and connections between their learning

The foundation stage curriculum is structured around the Early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework - GOV.UK ( This framework sets out Seven areas of learning. Three prime areas:

  • communication and language
  • physical development
  • personal, social and emotional development

and four specific areas:

  • literacy
  • mathematics
  • understanding the world
  • expressive arts and design

Teachers structure children’s learning experiences around these areas ensuring that children attain a good level of development and are ready for the Primary School Journey.

At Trekenner, children in reception are taught in a mixed-aged Foundation/ Key Stage 1 class. There are several advantages to a mixed-aged approach specifically around children having the opportunity to learn from older children. Vicarious learning- that is learning through watching others- is one of the key ways in which young children develop and by having time learning and playing alongside older children, our pupils benefit greatly from this.

Having said that, the Foundation curriculum is very different to the Key Stage 1 curriculum; therefore, in order to ensure that children get the best of both worlds, we also have a separate reception classroom where children go to engage in play based learning focused on their needs and stage of development. We are very lucky to have not only a qualified teacher in the class but also two highly experienced Higher Level Teaching Assistants. This enables us to ensure that the individual needs of each year group are met effectively.  

In foundation learning is delivered through “Continuous Provision.” This is carefully planned to ensure that children will learn skills which challenge their thinking and embed concepts. It also provides a context for learning conversations between children and adults with opportunities for modelling and extending children’s speech and vocabulary. Areas are set up within the classroom with activities focusing on key elements of the early learning goals. Adults, observe children’s play to track the development of their skills. This is recorded onto a programme called Tapestry.  As parents, you will have access to your children’s Tapestry profile and will therefore see in real time how your child is developing and learning. Not only will this make you aware of your children’s progress, but it will also help you, in collaboration with your child’s teacher, to identify ways of helping your children’s learning at home.

Early reading and mathematics are key priorities for us as a school and like the rest of the school, foundation children follow highly effective and targeted programmes to ensure they develop their skills effectively. In Mathematics we follow white rose maths scheme. This has recently been updated considering the guidance produced by the Department for Education in 2021. Information about this scheme can be found here. Reception SOL | White Rose Maths | Free Teaching Resources

Information about our approach to early reading is available in our reading section, but in summary. We follow a systematic phonics programme called Read Write Inc. This enables children to learn and apply key sounds supporting them to become confident and fluent readers. From the very beginning of this programme children begin to access books specifically tailored around sounds they know meaning they experience success and flourish in the learning of reading.