FS1 - FS2
Welcome to Foundation Stage
At GEMS Wellington Academy, Silicon Oasis, we follow the British Early Year’s Foundation Stage Curriculum. We take pride in providing an outstanding curriculum which lays the solid foundations for every child’s learning journey WSO. The EYFS curriculum is broken down into seven areas of learning and development.
These areas are crucial for igniting a child’s curiosity in the world around them and for developing their capacity to learn, form positive relationships and thrive during their early years. The specific areas are literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design. The specific areas develop the essential skills and knowledge required to allow students to successfully progress into more formal learning in the Primary years.
The Foundation Stage at Wellington Academy has been rated Outstanding by the KHDA for six consecutive years. Our Foundation Stage provides an engaging, supportive and empowering environment for our youngest students....
Explore the Foundation Stage
The EYFS Curriculum
The specific areas grow out of the prime areas and provide important contexts for learning in the classroom. Our pedagogy is underpinned by the three Characteristics of Effective Learning: playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically.
Our dedicated and passionate teachers create classroom environments which are nurturing, creative, and fun. Allowing children to learn through play and child-led experiences is at the heart of everything we do and ensures every child develops a real love of learning. Teachers carefully plan and prepare engaging activities which excite and inspire children. Through personalized learning opportunities and outstanding teachers every child makes rapid progress across all seven areas of learning.
Children in the Foundation Stage at WSO also have enriching opportunities to develop a range of skills in our specialist lessons which include Arabic, French, Performing Arts, Physical Education and Outdoor Learning. Furthermore, the curriculum in enhanced through celebrating the diversity of cultures within our academy and the appreciation of the local culture of the UAE.
The EYFS Prime Areas
Communication and Language
Communication and language skills are always a constant focus in the Foundation Stage. We always ensure that children are encouraged to use, develop and recognize these skills daily through daily routines and teacher input and focus sessions where the teacher can act as a model, supporter and observer. Children also rely on daily interactions with each other, developing conversational skills and the ability to communicate with each other in different contexts. By beginning with the basic communication skills of talking and listening, children can begin to use their experiences at school and home to extend their vocabulary knowledge and work towards speaking in full sentences and asking and answering who, what, where and why questions. Developing these basic skills also helps children be clear in their thinking and prepares them to begin towards first stages of reading and writing which depends on being able to understand and use language. It is also very important to us that children are able to communicate their needs, wants and opinions with confidence.
Physical development focuses on moving and handling and health and self-care. We practice these skills in school and encourage independence where children can build their confidence and self-esteem at the same time. Children are constantly encouraged to do things by themselves and be independent in both their self-care and their learning. FS1 children spend much time building and strengthening hand muscles through planned fine motor activities where we prepare them for more formal writing in FS2. We encourage children to experiment with mark-making in a variety of ways.
Children develop gross motor skills through daily active sessions and also weekly PE and Outdoor Learning experiences. Through whole school initiatives, we promote and celebrate healthy eating and ensure children are aware of the importance of taking care of ourselves and our bodies. FS1 age children are at a stage where rapid and wide-ranging physical and physiological developments are happening which contribute to their future overall health and well- being.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
PSED involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others. We focus on positive relationships and aim to develop social skills and learn how to manage feelings through a variety of experiences, but always commit to understanding that every child is unique with their own individual personality. Children will have the opportunity to form relationships with other children and adults, develop in their own self-confidence and awareness and also being to recognize and manage their own feelings and emotions. Children must be able to understand and express their own feelings and emotions and also recognize the feelings and emotions of others. We like to involve the children as much as possible in understanding and following a shared and agreed set of guidelines and expectations that allow all children to be happy, self and secure in their learning environment, constantly focused on recognizing and celebrating their achievements.
The EYFS Specific Areas
Within the Foundation Stage we develop a passion for a long-lasting love of reading and writing. We promote the reading and sharing of books, both through providing opportunities to listen to a range of stories and visiting our state-of-the art library facilities where children are encouraged to select a book, following their own interests to take home to share with their family. Within our classrooms the love of reading extends with an inviting reading space where children are excited to independently engage in different texts. Here at WSO phonics, is at the heart of our literacy curriculum, where we provide daily creative, engaging sessions which encourage sound recognition, letter formation and early development of reading and writing skills. Our children are inspired to write across the curriculum with a purpose in mind. We promote independent, resilient learners who are not afraid to have a go both through our teaching and our continuous provision in the classroom.
In the early stages of the Foundation Stage, children experience mathematics through songs, rhyme and games as this allows children to have a hands-on-approach and take part in active learning. Children are introduced to early concepts of number recognition and problem solving through play-based learning giving them the opportunity to talk about their findings and introducing them to basic concepts and life skills at an early age. Here at WSO, we follow a mastery approach ensuring children develop a deep understanding of numbers, shape, space and measures where they work collaboratively to expand their mathematical language and solve meaningful problems in real-life concepts. Our continuous provision inspires our love for mathematics and promotes independence allowing children to explore and develop new skills and apply them with confidence and at their own pace.
Understanding the World
Understanding the World is one of the four specific areas of learning in the EYFS framework. It 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. We promote the skill of questioning and enquiry through critical thinking tasks and encourage children to investigate and explain their opinions. At WSO, we use a range of opportunities including our outdoor learning space and continuous provision, to enable children to explore and investigate across a range of exciting topics and themes. Within our teaching of understanding of the world, we integrate the growing need for children to experience a range of technologies, through our teaching, play and visits to our blended learning plaza. Children are encouraged to operate simple programs using technology and use a selection of programs to complete their tasks.
Expressive Arts and Design
Expressive Arts and Design involves supporting 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. They are given the opportunity to select their own tools ensuring that they learn the necessary skills to handle tools, equipment and materials safely and effectively. Expressive arts and design is an opportunity for children to explore their creativity in an environment where they won't be tested on their skills or choice of technique. It's part chance to experiment, part chance to have some fun. Participating in drawing or crafts with a large choice of materials and no strict guidelines will allow children to build confidence in their own creativity. Expressive arts and design weaves its way through all 7 areas of the curriculum and provides creative and inspiring connections.
Foundation Stage Specialist Lessons
At WSO, we offer inspiring specialist lessons and enrichment activities, within the school day for all students. Building in these lessons into our outstanding curriculum allows our students to have many opportunities to develop key skills from a young age across a range of environments and subjects.
Our main goal in P.E lessons is to have lots fun and to provide students at WSO with a high-quality active P.E lesson. In order to flourish, every child must be in a safe and positive environment. Therefore, children are encouraged to take risks, be active and make healthy choices. Physical activity, movement, control and coordination are extremely important in early year’s development. Students are given time and space to explore different ways of moving and how their bodies react. We like to inform our students how important physical activity is, including how the body works in a fun and interactive way. We follow the GEMS Stretch & Learn program, swimming lessons, athletics, gymnastics and fun games. This lays the physical foundations for our youngest children, which they will continue to develop through more formal sessions in Foundation Stage 2 and Key Stage 1.
Outdoor Learning is a truly magical element of our Primary provision and in these sessions, students learn through a sense of wonder, exploration and play. A key benefit of Outdoor Learning is in instilling in our students that learning is not confined to the classroom or certain subjects, but something that is actively and rewardingly acquired in the world around us. Through play and tangible life experiences, students will learn the key concepts that they will proceed to construct their more formal classroom learning on throughout their school career. Students encounter, first-hand the effects of gravity and those forces that influence them through their play. In the natural environment, they can observe and investigate the life processes in action and this experiential discovery-based learning equips them access and engage with the most complex of curriculum content.
The child-led and collaborative approach taken in our Outdoor Learning sessions, supports students in developing the essential skills and competences required to be successful in later life. Whilst also instilling in them a strong sense of responsibility and citizenship, as students fully engage with the symbiotic relationship that we have with the natural world.
During this period, our students have necessarily become more aware of the increased risk in the world around us. However, within Outdoor Learning students learn that risk is a natural part of life and explore the actions and processes we can take to assess and manage risk. Through the session's students learn how they can interact with the world in a meaningful way.
Primary Performing Arts at WSO focuses on cultivating the skills and interests of each student to encompass the three essential elements of the subject: Music, Dance and Drama. Our curriculum aims to develop the self-esteem and self-confidence of our students, while also providing them with communication skills that they can utilise throughout their lives. By giving students a creative outlet to express themselves, the incorporation of Performing Arts has a positive effect on our student's wider academic and personal well-being.
Every student in our Foundation stage will have opportunities to develop their Arabic language skills within the classroom with their specialist Arabic teacher. Children will be offered a range of learning experiences to introduce a wide range of Arabic words and phrases.
All the activities provided are aimed at developing early language skills in Arabic through fun interactive songs and rhymes to teach Arabic as a foreign language.
Frequently Asked Questions
When does the school day start and end?
The school day for FS1 and FS2 students begins at 7.45am. We have a ‘soft start’ to the day with classes opening at 7.25am to welcome students before registration for those children with older siblings or those who go by bus. Children in FS1 and FS2 finish at 1.30pm every day. For students that have an older sibling we offer a sibling club to accommodate siblings finishing at the same time.
How many adults do you have in a FS class?
Every Foundation Stage class has one teacher and one teaching assistant. All children in the Foundation Stage can form strong relationships with the adults in the classroom and receive personalized learning experiences due to our small class sizes.
Which subjects are taught by specialist teachers?
Children at WSO, can enjoy world-class facilities and enriching opportunities through our specialist subjects. The children in FS are taught by specialist teachers for Physical Education, Outdoor Learning and Arabic. In FS2, they also have a specialists Performing Arts teacher. For every specialist lesson the children are taught by the specialist teacher and supported by the teaching assistant.
Do you offer a bus service for FS?
Students in FS1 and FS2 have access to the School Transport Service. Our Teaching Assistants and Bus Conductors accompany children to and from the bus daily, ensuring there is always an adult-to-adult handover. CCTV, GPS tracking, live updates and ‘sleeping child’ checks are some of the key safety features on board our STS buses.
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