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. We have a large open space which gives the children the opportunity to really move around during play. 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 is only done in the Foundation Year), 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.
We also follow Sounds Write, which is a linguistic phonics program. It begins with the sounds in the language and moves from the sounds to the written word.
The Literacy block is a 2 hour block comprising reading and viewing, writing and speaking and listening.
The 1 hour Numeracy block covers the Victorian Curriculum strands of Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, Statistics and Probability. Students are engaged in activities using concrete aids to reinforce the concepts taught.
The Top Ten Hands On pack is followed, which is a sequential program that continually assesses the children to determine their mastery of skills 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 and Numeracy 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.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)
Children have one hour of STEM each week.
The children have a half hour French lesson every fortnight.
We welcome helpers in the classroom and the students love having them share their learning experiences.
All Foundation children are given a Year 6 buddy early in Term 1 and throughout the year activities are planned for the two year levels to come together. It enables the children to develop greater confidence and bridge the gap between the two levels of the school.