Foundation Stage

“Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfill their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances’’
(Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, 2012)

In Foundation Stage 1 and 2 students, follow the Early Years Foundation Stage program.

Our aim at Apple International School is to ensure the holistic development of all students as every child is unique. Through a rich, diverse, and exciting curriculum offer our students develop into well-rounded, confident learners pursuing excellence in all that they do. A lot of care is taken in the planning and delivery of the curriculum which is a balance of child-led and adult-initiated activities to meet the needs of all groups of students.

Apple International School believes in fostering the relationship between home and school in the wider community. The young learners feel secure, safe, and happy in the nurturing environment of the foundation stage.

Integration of STEAM, theme-based learning, and coding into the curriculum is an intrinsic feature of learning in the Foundation Stage. Students’ well-being and a holistic approach towards developing intellectual, artistic, creative, and imaginative potential in students are at the crux of everything we do in the Foundation Stage, ably supported by pedagogical approaches – Reggio Emilia and Montessori Principles of children’s learning and development in addition to the EYFS curriculum approaches. The curriculum has been designed keeping in mind the 21st-century learner and is a harmonious blend of best practices used in early years settings.

By the end of the Foundation Stage, students will be confident and comfortable in the school environment. They will have the knowledge of core concepts in order to prepare them for the National Curriculum for England in KS1.

The seven areas of learning and development within the EYFS are equally important and interconnected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships, and thrive. A combination of both play and hands-on activities forms the foundation of learning in the early years.

These three prime areas are:

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social, and Emotional Development.

The four specific areas of learning, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied, are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

The Foundation Stage students are suitably prepared for literacy and numeracy. Phonic methods and well-graded writing patterns follow a comprehensive foundation-building programme focusing on listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The programme is geared toward developing self-esteem, and social and interactive skills, in addition to basic cognitive and motor abilities. Learning takes place directly through formal teaching including ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and an activity-based programme.  The focus is on both individual as well as group activities.

Communication and Language

This prime area of learning involves:

  • Giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment.
  • To develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves.
  • To speak and listen in a range of situations.

At AIS, some of the ways we do this are by providing a wide range of first-hand experiences that introduce children to a new language; having lots of opportunities for high-quality interactions with adults and with other children; and sharing lots of stories and rhymes.

What you can do to help your child:

  • Speaking and listening are also the foundations of reading and writing.
  • Everyday activities, such as preparing a meal, going shopping, or walking to and from school give you a chance to talk with your child, explaining what you are doing.
  • Books will have lots of new words for you to discuss with your child.
  • Share a story every day, talk about the pictures, and ask your child to tell you about the story. Reading the same favourite story may get boring for you, but helps your child’s understanding of language.
  • Listen to your child telling you about a favourite activity or the painting they bring home which to you just looks like a blob of colour. “Tell me about your picture” will often lead to a long explanation!
  • Ask ‘why?’ – It’s your child’s favourite word, so try asking it back! It will encourage your child to think about what they are saying and to use reasoning.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

This prime area of learning 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;
  • To have confidence in their own abilities.

What you can do to help your child:

  • Play turn-taking and sharing games with your child. These can be very difficult concepts for children to learn. Give lots of praise when your child shares to encourage this positive behaviour. This could be playing a board game or taking turns kicking a ball to each other.
  • Talk about and name feelings with your child e.g. “I’m feeling cross because …” or “I’m feeling excited because we’re going to the park”. This will help children to understand their emotions and how to react.
  • Talk about and explain rules and boundaries. Children need boundaries but need to understand the reason for them, e.g. we don’t throw blocks because it might hurt someone, but it is OK to throw balls outside. Recognizing you have similar boundaries at home will help children settle at school.
  • Encourage your child to tidy away their toys. They will be expected to help at school, and it helps children learn about the value of caring for belongings and resources.

Physical Development

This prime area of learning involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive and to develop their coordination, control, and movement. Children need to be helped to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

At AIS, students have the opportunity to use different-sized equipment inside and outside every day. They are encouraged to take risks, learning how to keep themselves safe, for example, when climbing or using tools such as scissors. We request parents to provide a range of healthy snacks every day and children are given education and awareness of having a healthy lifestyle. Here at AIS, we strive to run a healthy childcare environment that promotes healthy eating, if you are unsure what to provide in your child’s snack/lunch box, please speak to your child’s teacher.

What you can do to help your child:

  • Allow your child to safely use tools such as scissors, or to help you chop vegetables such as mushrooms and peppers.
  • Talk about the food you eat at home, what is healthy, and what is an occasional treat. Discuss other ways of staying healthy such as getting enough sleep or drinking plenty of water
  • Find different ways for your child to move when they are going home—can they hop or skip some of the ways?
  • Go to the park regularly—it gives your child space to explore different ways of moving.
  • Teach your child to use a knife, fork, and spoon.

Physical activity is a mandate during childhood. For children, regular moderate physical activity can:

  • Build self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Improve strength and endurance
  • Develop healthy musculoskeletal tissue (bones, muscles and joints)
  • Develop a healthy cardiovascular system (heart and lungs)
  • Develop neuromuscular awareness (i.e. coordination and movement control)
  • Reduce anxiety and stress, promote psychological well-being
  • Improve concentration and attentiveness
  • Help control weight and reduce the risk of obesity
  • Promote better sleep patterns


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.

At AIS, we provide a literacy-rich environment, with plentiful opportunities for sharing fiction and non‐fiction texts and mark‐making activities both inside and outside, using traditional materials such as pens and pencils, but also brushes and water, or sticks in the sand. Children’s early marks are the basis of writing.

What you can do to help your child:

  • Children who are read to and enjoy books from an early age are most likely to be successful readers in the future. Try and share a book with your child as often as possible.
  • Encourage your child to turn the pages, talk about the book and notice familiar letters, such as letters from their name. You could point to the words as you read. Give your child lots of opportunities for making marks using different materials, e.g. writing shopping lists together, making cards, or drawing with chalk outside.
  • Notice print in the environment ‐ shop names, food labels and car logos are often instantly recognizable to young children.


Mathematics involves providing students with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding, and using numbers, calculating including simple addition and subtraction problems; and describing shapes, spaces and measures.

At AIS, we provide opportunities for children to use mathematics through their play and real first-hand experiences, as well as playing ‘math games’. Mathematics is in everyday experiences, from measuring ingredients when cooking, to working out how tall to build a tower of blocks and filling a plant pot with compost.

What you can do to help your child:

  • Use as many opportunities as possible to count with your child ‐stairs, fruit, buttons.
  • Look for numbers around you e.g. house numbers, bus numbers, telephone numbers
  • Cook with your child as this involves lots of counting and measuring
  • Calculate in everyday activities – laying the table for dinner is always a good opportunity for working out how many more we need.
  • Look for shapes around the home and as you walk around the local area.
  • Talk about the number of edges and corners and use the proper names for shapes.
  • Sing counting songs and rhymes together.

Understanding the World

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 and the environment. At AIS, they develop their understanding of other cultures as we celebrate different festivals throughout the year. Students will also learn about recycling and growth, caring for the environment and nature.

What you can do to help your child:

  • Answer the ‘why?’ questions as best as you can and if you don’t know the answer try and find out together using the library or the internet. Young children are naturally curious about how things work and why things happen.
  • Notice changes in the natural environment, such as autumn leaves falling or the first signs of spring and talk about these with your child.
  • Look at photos of family and friends ‐ talk about how we change as we grow older.
  • Plant with your child ‐ cress is easy and quick to grow or try sprouting carrot tops on a saucer or planting sunflower seeds.

Expressive Arts and Design

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, singing, movement, dance, role‐play, design and technology

At AIS we sing and dance. We have a rich environment for encouraging creativity from using malleable materials such as dough and clay, paint mixing, collage, block play, role play and using a range of materials inside and outside. Children are encouraged to talk about their creations, and these are valued ‐ it is the process and not the product which is important in supporting children’s learning.

What you can do to help your child:

  • Let your child listen to and sing songs and rhymes with you.
  • Dance with your child
  • Value your child’s creation.
  • Talk to your child about what they have done and listen to their ideas.
  • Use natural materials such as stones and twigs to create pictures outside.
  • Explore different materials and tools, such as paint, glue, crayons, pencils, scissors and hole punches.
  • Make play dough ‐ staff can provide you with a simple recipe to use at home.

There are four guiding principles that shape our practice.

A Unique Child: Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident, and self-assured.

Positive relationships: Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.

Enabling environments: children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.

Learning and Development: children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.

The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

The ways in which the child engages with other people and the environment— playing and exploring, active learning, and creating and thinking critically— underpin learning and development across all areas and support the child to remain an effective and motivated learner.

Playing and Exploring (Engagement)

This characteristic of effective learning involves:

  • Finding out and exploring
  • Showing curiosity
  • Using senses to explore
  • Engaging in open-ended activities
  • Showing particular interests
  • Playing with what they know Pretending with objects
  • Representing experiences
  • Roleplay
  • Acting out experiences
  • Being willing to have a go
  • Initiating activities
  • Seeking challenge
  • Showing a ‘can do’ attitude
  • Taking risks

Creating and Thinking Critically

This characteristic of effective learning involves:

  • Having their own ideas
  • Thinking of ideas
  • Finding ways to solve problems
  • Finding new ways to do things
  • Making links
  • Noticing patterns in their experience
  • Making predictions
  • Testing their ideas
  • Developing ideas of cause and effect
  • Choosing ways to do things
  • Planning, making decisions, solving problems and reaching a goal
  • Checking how well their activity is going
  • Changing strategy when needed
  • Reviewing how well their approach has gone

Active Learning (Motivation)

This characteristic of effective learning involves:

  • Being involved and concentrating
  • Maintaining focus for a period of time
  • Showing high levels of energy or fascination, paying attention to details
  • Keeping on trying
  • Persisting with challenges
  • Showing belief that more effort or a different approach will help
  • Bouncing back after difficulties
  • Enjoying achieving what they set out to do
  • Showing satisfaction
  • Being proud of their effort, not just the result
  • Enjoying challenge for its own sake, not for rewards

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