Welcome to the Foundation Unit
In the Foundation Unit children develop a love of learning within our immersive environment. The children are encouraged to explore, investigate and develop their ideas through play. A wide variety of experiences are offered to enrich the overall development of each and every child. We strive for the children to become confident, independent learners, with a thirst for knowledge, a keen interest in the world around them and a desire to express themselves creatively.
We aim to give you an insight into the daily lives of the children at the Foundation Unit, sharing experiences and discoveries.
We update our Twitter page on a daily basis:
We celebrate the children's ideas, developing their interests and deepening their learning.
"We must be able to catch the ball that the children throw us, and toss it back to them in a way that makes the children want to continue the game with us, developing, perhaps, other games as we go along."
Into The Woods
Nature provides us with an opportunity to be in our element within the elements. For each child the woods offers a realm of endless possibilities.
Through regular trips to the woods the children are given the chance to slow down their pace and just be.
Trips to the woods allow friendships to be consolidated and new relationships to be built.
Time in nature to catch our breath.
As a Reggio Emilia inspired setting, long term project work is developed with the children. Projects allow the children a chance to examine their interests with other like minded individuals, learning to negotiate with each other and take responsibility for the group.
"Io chi siamo." "I am who we are."
Take a closer look at how their ideas have grown...
Foundation Stage Letters
We can’t quite believe that we have arrived at half term already! Although everyone is tired and in need of a break, from a very busy start to our year, we are thrilled that the children have settled in and are enjoying making new friends and discovering all that the Unit has to offer.
We have been spending a great deal of time listening to and getting to know your children this half term. As the children have explored their current fascinations and ideas, many lines of enquiry have developed. After the holiday your children will be offered an invitation to become involved in a project, exploring a selection of their ideas and interests further. We will keep you informed of what they’re all about as they develop.
As I’m sure you are all aware, the children enjoy spending a great deal of their time outdoors in our wonderful garden. Thank you to all those parents who have ordered and paid for outdoor suits and wellies! The suits make a huge difference to the children’s freedom to engage with our often muddy environment and also make the children easy to spot when they’re out and about. Your child’s suit should be taken home at the end of each week to be washed. Please remember to provide a separate bag (plastic or canvas) in which to transport the suit home and also to send the suit back the following Monday. A big thanks to those parents who help us to get on with our day by transferring suits from bags to suit pegs during Monday morning drop off. We would really appreciate parents also ensuring that suit bags are hung on their coat pegs. Those children who don’t have a visible bag to transport their suit home on Fridays will just go home wearing it instead. Wellies will also be sent home at the end of each half term to be cleaned and can be washed in the washing machine with the suits. Currently jumpers, socks, shoes and coats seem to be the items that go missing the most and are the most difficult to locate, so please ensure that you have clearly labelled them all with both your child’s name and group. Although we endeavour to protect children’s clothing, it is inevitable that the paint, clay, mud or water still manages to find a way in! It is essential that children have spare sets of clothing in school for changing into. In the Foundation Stage we positively discourage children from wearing school uniform as it is so difficult to locate when it is misplaced. If you do want your child to wear uniform, please, please ensure it is labelled with their name and group to avoid having to search for items around the Unit and garden.
Our woodland school afternoons with our little groups of 4 continue to be met with great enthusiasm by children and adults alike. Those magical moments that seem to occur as a matter of course in our little
beech wood just off Stonegate Road, are so worth the difficulties we face when trying to take the children out and about. Just come in and have a look at the photographs and learning stories that have taken place during those sessions, or follow us on twitter, to understand why we go to such lengths to make woodland school happen.
We believe that strong and positive communication between home and school is of the utmost importance to your child’s progress. We welcome Parents and Carers into the Unit at the beginning and end of each day but ask you to understand that the staff’s priority at these times is the children’s safety. We know you have lots of questions and information for us but please wait until all the children are picked up if you need to talk to a member of staff. I’m sure you can appreciate how important it is for staff to be free from distraction at the end of the day as it is an extremely busy time. If you need to have a longer conversation about your child please make an appointment either through the school office or with your child’s Key Worker when you drop them off.
The safety of the children is of paramount importance to us. If you are unexpectedly unable to collect your child at the end of the day, it is vital that you telephone school to let us know. This avoids any confusion at pick-up time. Similarly, if there is a planned change to the routine, please inform us in the morning. The Foundation Stage Unit opens at 8.50 am and closes at 3.10 pm each day. Foundation Stage children should be dropped off after and picked up before their older siblings in school to ensure nobody is late. If you wish to drop off your child before we open, in the morning we do offer an Early Birds club, available from 8.15 am for £1 per session. Please see Gina or Amy if you need more information about this service.
Last Wednesday, we held our very successful parent partnership day, which we believe is incredibly valuable as a chance to meet with you to talk about how the children have settled in and for you to share knowledge about your child. Each Key Person shared photographs and learning stories with parents. The meetings were a celebration of the children’s progress and learning as well as a chance to discuss any worries or concerns. We hope that everyone was able to attend and would encourage anyone who hasn’t met with their child’s Key worker yet to arrange a meeting soon.
On Wednesday 6th November at drop off, our first “stay and do” - “stay and sketch”, will take place for Orange group parents and children. More sessions will follow so please keep a look out for invitations from your child’s Key Person over the forthcoming weeks. On Thursday the 14th November you are invited to join us, during drop off, for a book breakfast; tea, crumpets and stories turned out to be a winning combination last year! If you’re intending to come along to our open morning on the 23rd November you will be able to look around our setting, as well as the rest of school. Staff will be available to answer questions, explain our approach and take you on a tour! Early next half term you will also be invited to a phonics workshop and a chance to observe and join in with one of your child’s phonics sessions. Dates are being finalised and will be confirmed as soon as possible after the half term holiday.
The Autumn term is bursting with wonderful celebrations, which not only inspire the children in their exploration and learning but also help us discover more about other members of our school community. As well as Halloween, we will be celebrating Diwali a little early this year, as it falls on the first Sunday of the half term holiday. On Friday the children can dress up in scary costumes if they wish and there will be a variety of activities on offer at the end of this week for them to take part in, to celebrate both festivals.
Bonfire night will also be a particularly special occasion for us this year as Year 1 and the Foundation Stage Unit are hosting a bonfire party from 4-6pm on Thursday 7th November, to raise money for future continuity events. Details were emailed out this week to parents and tickets can be purchased from the school office if you’d like to come along.
If you have noticed any small racing cars or marbles that may have accidentally found their way home over the last few weeks, they probably belong to us. We have a much depleted stock of both, in the discovery room at the moment and would really appreciate parents keeping a look out for them and returning any they find.
Should you have any questions, worries or concerns about your child please do not hesitate to speak to a member of the team. School reopens after the half term break on Monday the 4th November when we will all be refreshed and ready to go!! Abbie, our new member of staff will be joining Green group and Eva and Ayah our trainees from Leeds Beckett will be working with Purple and Orange groups respectively until just before Christmas.
We wish you a very happy half term holiday and look forward to seeing you all soon!
Hilary and the Foundation Stage Team