You may be aware that a couple of years ago the Welsh Assembly commissioned a report on education for the 21st century in Wales. Professor Donaldson completed this and it was submitted to The Welsh Assembly. The Donaldson Report, as it is known, has recommended a number of changes to education in Wales and over the next few years these will start to take place.
One of the results has been a review of The Foundation Phase in Wales and The Assembly have issued an action plan which will address both the successes of the Foundation Phase approach and the recommendations made in the Donaldson Report. As a result of this, working with colleagues from other schools and with County Staff, we are making some changes to the way in which Foundation Phase teaching in Churchstoke is structured and undertaken.
One of these changes is that we will start to have themed days. Rather than each day being broken up into a series of lessons on different subjects, each day will have a focus activity (for which the children will work closely with a member of staff who will direct their work), a series of enriched tasks (where the children have greater freedom to choose their activity under supervision and help of staff) and a section of continuous provision tasks which they can choose for themselves. Each group of children in turn will work on the enriched task at an appropriate level at some point during the day but will also have the opportunity to work on enriched tasks in other parts of the curriculum.
The themes for the days are as follows:
Maths Monday with Mrs Pawley, supported by Mrs Nash (where the focus task for the day is numeracy related.)
Tell a Story Tuesday with Mrs Pawley, supported by Mrs Nash (the focus task being literacy related.)
Well Being Wednesday with Mrs Pawley (focus task Personal/Social/R.E) and Activ8 (P.E.), supported by Mrs Nash
Thinking Thursday with Mr Roberts, supported by Mrs Richards (with a focus task based around Knowledge and Understanding of the World.)
Forest Friday with Mr Roberts, supported by Mrs Richards (based in the Outdoor Classroom.)
Whilst the theme of the day provides the focus for the day, the children will still undertake literacy, numeracy and ICT tasks on each day. We will still obviously be ensuring that reading is a priority every day, and fitting in spellings for those children who are ready for this stage.
There will inevitably be a need to fine tune the arrangements but this is the pattern which we will be using from next week. Bearing this in mind, could you please ensure that your child has suitable outer clothing and wellies (NAMED PLEASE) every Friday so that we can get out whatever the weather (although we do have some spares in school if this is a problem.)
We would welcome any feedback from parents as to their children’s experience of the new arrangements and will make some more formal arrangements for this once the new system is up and running. In the meantime if you wish for any further information please get in touch.
Mrs Pawley and Mr Roberts