Foundation Stage Overview

Primary school Years 1 and 2 make up the Foundation Stage. Children build on the learning experiences that they bring to school from home and/or pre-school. They learn through well-planned, challenging play that develops their interests, curiosity and creativity.

In the Foundation Stage, the curriculum is statutory and is set out in six Areas of Learning and Whole Curriculum Skills and Capabilities. Children need these skills and capabilities to achieve their potential in school and throughout their lives. Religious Education is also a compulsory part of the curriculum. However, parents can withdraw their child from part or all of Religious Education or collective worship.

Foundation Stage teachers teach the full range of Areas of Learning. They have some flexibility in what they teach, which means they can:

  • follow the children’s interests;
  • make links in their learning; and
  • help children to understand that what they learn in one area can be applied elsewhere.

Learning through play in the Foundation Stage helps to support children’s social, emotional and educational development.

Children’s experiences in the Foundation Stage should build on their learning from home and/or pre-school and prepare the foundations for Key Stage 1.

The Big Picture of the Primary Curriculum