We aim to make the Foundation year a time of enjoyment and discovery, with our children being encouraged to develop the skills of investigation, communication and expression. We believe children learn when they are actively engaged in their learning. Knowledge and language are developed as children build, construct, play imaginatively, count objects, have excursions, visits, learn rhymes, have stories read to them, play shop, cook, grow plants, care for animals, measure with balances and play with sand and water.
We encourage them to question, discuss and express what they have seen and done. By creating an environment in which children feel secure they will be confident to attack new tasks with a positive attitude.
In all areas of the curriculum children are recognised and respected as individuals with their own strengths and learning rates; by catering for their differences all children have the opportunity to succeed at their own level. In the Foundation year all areas of the curriculum are usually integrated around a theme.
At Billanook Primary School we place great importance on learning in the Early Years. The Early Years Literacy program provides a rich program to ensure all children develop literacy skills. As they progress to Level 1, children deemed to be at risk in literacy acquisition will be supported by individual or small group tuition.
The Foundation room provides an environment where listening, speaking, reading and writing are all related. We surround the children with books and print and encourage all children’s attempts at reading and writing, so that they enjoy success and can see for themselves the value of becoming literate. As children learn to read by being read to, the best way you can help your child is by making reading at home a regular, enjoyable part of your daily routine.
As children come to understand the writing process you will observe the following stages.
1. Scribble, often from left to right as they understand that print moves in this direction.
2. Non-conventional letters.
3. Strings of conventional letters.
4. Groups of letters with spaces in between.
5. Writing which reveals developing knowledge of sound-symbol correspondences.
Our Early Years Numeracy program is based on the need for children to have hands-on experiences if they are to develop an understanding of mathematical processes and properties. We believe maths is a practical, real life subject and to cater for this we plan everyday situations such as cooking, shopping and games. Children have opportunities to observe, count, measure, estimate, sort and classify a wide variety of material. Emphasis is placed on using mathematical language correctly to describe the activities.
THE ARTS – VISUAL ARTS
Children are encouraged to experiment, to create and to explore their feelings, thoughts and the artistic potential of any media or tool.
Art concepts are introduced.
Types of lines – straight, curved, wavy, thick, thin, zigzag, wobbly, long etc.
- Shapes – identify and draw shapes.
- Colour – identify colours and try mixing.
- Pattern – repeat a line, shape or mark to make a pattern.
- Texture – describe how things actually feel.
Children continue to develop skills of cutting, tearing and pasting and will have experience with painting, sewing, weaving, modelling and construction.
Musical skills such as beat, rhythm and pitch are taught through listening, moving, singing and playing.
Our major aim is for children to enjoy listening to and making music, exploring movement and expressing ideas through drama.
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND HUMANITIES
We aim to give children the opportunity to investigate and explore the world.
By giving children a variety of first hand experiences they will be able to:-
- show a caring interest in the environment
- be willing to handle living and non living material
- observe change
- enjoy using all the senses to explore their world
- be willing to participate and cooperate in group work
- show sensitivity towards the actions and views of others.
Foundation children come to the library for regular lessons. They are introduced to many stories, and get to know their way around the library. After a settling in period, they will be able to borrow a book regularly during their library lessons. The library is also open for half of lunchtime twice a week for children to browse, borrow and do quiet activities. Foundation students enjoy coming in at these times.
COMPUTER EDUCATION (I.C.T)
We aim to develop an awareness of computing resources as an educational tool. All children will have opportunities to use ICT tools and to gain confidence in using computers in a variety of applications. Children will have access to computers in the classroom and computer lab.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND HEALTH
Children are able to take part in a wide variety of physical activities. We offer a structured developmental program in the areas of agility, creative movement and dance, small and large apparatus work, general body fitness and flexibility.
A Fundamental Motor Skills Program (FMS) run with parent help compliments the P.E. program and builds skills of co-ordination, agility, ability to follow a sequence of physical movements and the ability to carry out a series of instructions. The Health program focuses on healthy lifestyles.
Foundation children are offered an intensive swimming program in Term 4.
German is the Language that is taught at Billanook. We aim to enable all children in Foundation to gain confidence in speaking some German, such as greetings, days, colours and counting.
The Out of School Hours Program of child care operates daily from 7.15 am to 8.45 am. and 3.30 p.m. to 6.00 pm. The on-site program offers quality supervised care and purposeful activities. The fees vary according to total family income and childcare benefit is available for after school care. Childcare benefit is not available for before school care.
There are 45 permanent places available. A registration form needs to be filled in for your child (available from the office) and returned before you can use this service. Casual bookings are also available once your child has been registered. You will need to ring the school if you wish to cancel.
In instances where parents are unavoidably delayed and cannot collect a child, registration will enable your child to be placed in care (given an available place) until you arrive at school. We urge all parents to enrol their children.
Foundation Early release OSHCARE is available from 2.00 to 3.30 pm. every day of early dismissal for the first four weeks of Term 1. The children are welcome to stay until 6.00 pm. if necessary. A healthy afternoon snack is supplied in a friendly and safe environment.
Here is an example of our Foundation program at work. This was P03’s Inquiry Unit where the children investigated ocean environments.