The Foundation Year is a year that combines explicit teaching, investigation and child-centred learning. The students develop confidence in their own abilities and are taught to think for themselves and express their opinions in a stimulating and challenging learning environment.
Each Monday and Friday the day begins with Discovery Learning, a developmental play-based program with an oral language focus. The children are provided with many opportunities to role play, talk, listen and make things. It enables the children to develop the social skills of sharing, participating, assisting and caring for others with a major emphasis on spoken language. The literacy program is often based around what happens during this 45 minute session.
During the first 10 weeks of school, the students follow Level A of our Smartwords© Spelling Program, which consists of auditory skills(including phonemic awareness), visual skills, motor skills (both gross and fine), concepts of print (including directional concepts), language skills (both receptive and expressive) and memory skills. These foundation skills are vital to beginning formal learning.
At the end of the 10 weeks the students are assessed for their readiness for formal learning in Literacy and Numeracy.
Level B of our Smartwords© Spelling Program follows on from Level A. It introduces the sound/name/symbol relationship for the single letters.
The Literacy block is a 2 hour block comprising reading and viewing, writing and speaking and listening.
In term 4 the Foundation Year students are involved in Big Write.
A period of one hour is set aside for Big Write. The time allocated to each of the following activities could vary from week to week.
- The first part will be fast, lively oracy driven activities. Eg children share what they discussed at home during the Big Talk time, with the class and then in pairs.
- Children wear head bands and Kung Fu Punctuation is done. Different children are given the opportunity to be Sensei.
- Wow words are discussed and other appropriate types of vocabulary related to the topic are listed on the whiteboard.
- Children draw a picture about the Big Write topic.
- Children write about the topic using Big Write resources eg greylead pencils. During the writing process, calm music is played.
The 1 hour Numeracy block covers the AusVELS strands of Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, Statistics and Probability. Students are engaged in activities using concrete aids to reinforce the concepts taught.
Speaking and Listening are core components of the Foundation year. At the end of each learning session, time is allocated to sharing about the learning process. All students are given the opportunity to discuss their learning with the class.
Students use class sets of notebooks and ipads across the Literacy, Numeracy and Integrated program.
Children have a one hour library lesson each week. During this time a story is read, follow up activities are done and the children borrow a book to take home and share with their family.
Topics taught often form part of the literacy/numeracy programs in the morning.
The children have a half hour Indonesian lesson per week.
We welcome helpers in the classroom and the students love having them share their learning experiences.