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What is Foundation Stage?

The Foundation Stage curriculum starts from birth and concludes at the end of the Reception year. 

Right from the start young children need high quality provision to develop successful learning. It is our intention to provide children with a safe, secure and happy environment in which they can extend their knowledge of the world.

Booker Hill provides an environment of structured activities that caters for the whole child intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically, in a way that is appropriate to each child’s stage of development. We plan a variety of stimulating experiences that the children are encouraged to investigate and so further their learning. All forms of play are essential for the development of the child and provide the necessary steps for further development.

The Reception class offers a balanced programme of activities which incorporate skills and concepts based on the Early Learning Goals from the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Activities are extended by the staff team through planned and unplanned discussion and questioning.

What is the Foundation Stage Curriculum?

The activities that are planned in the Reception class will involve your child developing many skills. These activities are purposeful and have meaning for your child. All forms of play are essential for the development of your child. Play that is well planned and pleasurable helps children to think, increase their understanding of the world and improves language competence. Adult involvement in play can help children to develop and build on their understanding of key concepts.

Booker Hill follows the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum which is split into seven areas of learning.


Prime areas

These are fundamental, work together, and are moved through to support development in all other areas.

Personal, Social & Emotional

Children are encouraged to work, to play and to co-operate with others. Through this they learn to become independent but also part of a group in which they develop skills such as listening, sharing and taking turns. Children are encouraged to talk about their feelings and develop respect for the feelings of others.


Communication & Language

During each session, children will have opportunities to talk to adults and children in group time and on an individual basis. They will be encouraged to express points of view, recall events from the past and describe places, events, situations and feelings.


Physical Development

Physical development can improve co-ordination and control in all areas of the curriculum from mobility, awareness of space and manipulative skills to other activities which require hand and eye co-ordination such as reading. In the Reception Class children experience a wide variety of physical activities indoors and outside. They learn to move confidently and imaginatively developing skills through their use of a range of small and large equipment. 


Specific Areas

These include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society.


Storytelling, poetry and songs play an important part in this development of language and in encouraging interest in books and reading.

Children are encouraged to take a book home from the school library once a week and once the children are settled in you will be asked to attend a reading workshop, where we will explain our approach to early reading. Following this the children will bring home three reading books a week.

All children will have their own name cards and are encouraged to make marks and prepare for correct letter formation. Most children are eager to write their names, please encourage this and only use a capital letter for the first letter in their name.


Maths in the Early Years is largely based on practical activities and experiences which are an integral part of the routine. Children learn mathematics in a practical, meaningful and purposeful way.

We introduce mathematical language as appropriate. Maths is about relationships of number, size and shape. The curriculum enables children to sort, match and count objects, to develop mathematical language, to learn about the number system, extend their spatial awareness and develop ideas of sequences, pattern and order.

Understanding the World

We provide a wealth of opportunities for developing children’s awareness of their environment. They are encouraged to talk about where they live, their families and their experiences. Children are able to investigate as they play with natural materials such as sand, water and clay. Through practical activities they are encouraged to recognise features of objects, living things and events in the natural and made world. There are opportunities to find out why and how things happen and how things work. The children use construction kits to gain experience of the principles of joining, fixing and linking. They learn how to choose materials and use tools appropriately to make things. Children have the opportunity to support their learning with computers. 


Expressive Arts & Design


We aim to develop children’s imagination and their ability to communicate and express ideas and feelings creatively. Children have opportunities to explore sound, colour, texture, shape, form and space in 2 and 3 dimensions. They are helped to respond to what they see, touch, feel and hear through painting, drawing, modelling, making, moving to music and imaginative play. Skills are taught which will enable them to gain greater control over tools, instruments, materials and other resources they use.