Foundation Stage

Foundation Stage

At Beauclerc and Chennestone children learn through self initiated play and adult led play based activities.

Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others.  -(Practice Guidance for Early Years Foundation Stage 2012)

Play can help children to develop positive attitudes towards learning such as:

  • finding an interest,
  • being willing to explore, experiment and try things out,
  • knowing how and where to seek help
  • being inventive-creating problems and finding solutions,
  • being engaged and preserving with a task,
  • making choice and decisions,
  • playing and working collaboratively with peers and adults.

The best outcomes for children’s learning occur indoor and outdoor, when most of the
activity in a child’s day is a 50:50 balance of;

  • Child initiated play, actively supported by adults.
  • Adult led learning, with adults guiding the learning through playful activities.

At Beauclerc and Chennestone this is promoted through an effective use of an all weather canopy, children moving freely between the indoor and outdoor environment, engaging in variety of playful learning experiences.

What does ‘learning through play’ actually mean? What is the adult role in this?

Child Initiated Play

It has many characteristics in common play, as the child makes its own decisions based on their own motivation and interests. Therefore it gives the child the control to take ownership of their learning however it is guided by certain expectations of the foundation stage curriculum. This is implemented through creating high quality learning environments and is developed further by careful questioning from adults.

...child initiated activity is a powerful opportunity for learning. - (Learning, Playing and Interacting in the Foundation Stage 2009) Adult Led Learning

Adult led learning is initiated by the adult through playful and imaginative starting points. These activities are as open ended as possible to promote motivation and interest from the children. At the start of every topic children are given the opportunity to share their interests which is then used to plan activities to support the children’s progress. Adult led examples can include story time, songs, counting games, guided reading and writing, letters and sounds and role play.

How is pupil progress monitored?


The Early Years Foundation Stage is based on seven areas of learning three of which are considered prime areas of learning. The prime areas of learning are particularly critical for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

The prime areas of leaning are;

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development

The other four areas are known as the specific areas, through which the three prime areas of strengthened and applied.

The specific areas are;

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

Adults have a crucial role in stimulating and supporting children to reach beyond their current limits. At Beauclerc and Chennestone a child’s progress is carefully monitored through recorded observations, focused questioning, photographs and examples of children’s work. These are to make informed decisions about the child’s progress and plan next steps to meet their learning and development needs.

This does not mean pushing children too far or too fast...but showing them the next open door, and helping them to walk through it. - (Practice Guidance for Early Years Foundation Stage 2012)

Assessment will be on-going throughout the year and informs the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile which is completed throughout the Reception year.

At Beauclerc and Chennestone high quality provision and play based curriculum helps children to develop positive attitudes which lay the foundations for becoming lifelong successful learners.