Gad’s Hill School Foundation Stage (Reception) provides a stimulating, caring and vibrant environment where children learn important social skills and thrive on the planned learning opportunities, particularly in early reading, writing, mathematics, technology and creativity.

Reception is a natural progression from Kindergarten Nursery, combining a warm, welcoming atmosphere with a bright, spacious and stimulating environment, which provides a wide variety of learning areas. The children are well-motivated learners, who continue to work within the seven areas of learning from the Foundation Stage curriculum, with an increased focus on the teaching of reading, writing and numeracy.

Each child enters Reception with his or her individual temperament, family structure, cultural heritage, language and learning ability. At Gad’s Hill School we value and respect each child’s unique sense of self. We believe children thrive when they are given abundant opportunities to play in a creative supportive environment and this is what we strive to provide in our Foundation Stage unit.

Having its own separate entrance and play area The Foundation Stage boasts excellent self-contained facilities for role play, story time, class activities, language and literacy groups, reading and computer activities and teacher led tasks. Outdoors there’s a secure, fully enclosed area with units for art and wet activity and of course play!

The Foundation Stage is split into seven Areas of Learning. Each half term our learning focuses on one or two different topics through which we incorporate a range of Adult Led, Child Led and Child Initiated learning and play.

  • Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
  • Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
  • Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
  • Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
  • Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
  • Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
  • Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role- play, and design and technology.

An online journal called ‘Tapestry’ is compiled for each individual child, which includes a range of evidence collected from school and home. Tapestry’ is a secure online system, used to create individual E-Learning Journals to record the experiences and development of each child in our setting. ‘Tapestry’ allows us to work with parents and carers to share information and record the children’s play and learning, both in and outside of, our setting.