The new Foundation Phase Framework for Wales

There have been some big changes happening in Wales recently. With updates to the Welsh national curriculum on the cards, schools have been eagerly waiting for clarification.

The revised Foundation Stage Framework was finally released in August 2015, outlining the statutory curriculum for all 3–7 year olds in Wales, in both maintained and non-maintained settings.

The framework continues to impress the importance of first-hand experiential activities and play. It has the development of children’s self-image and feelings of self-worth at its core.

What are the main changes?

The framework outlines learning characteristics including playing with ideas, experimenting, taking risks, solving problems, and making decisions. It talks about working individually and in small and large groups as a basis on which to build learning experiences. To outline some of the main changes from the previous framework, we have provided a brief overview of the highlights.

Areas of Learning

The following revised Areas of Learning reflect a higher level of expectation:

  • Personal and Social Development, Well-being and Cultural Diversity
  • Language, Literacy and Communication Skills
  • Mathematical Development
  • Welsh Language Development
  • Knowledge and Understanding of the World
  • Physical Development
  • Creative Development.

From 1st September 2015, the revised Areas of Learning for Mathematical Development, and Language, Literacy and Communication Skills became a legal requirement via an Order made by the Welsh Government.

Revised Foundation Phase outcomes

The revised Foundation Phase outcomes align with the higher level expectation statements in the Areas of Learning. This means that reaching Foundation Phase Outcome 5 will be more challenging. Children starting in Reception year 2015/16 can be taught the revised Areas of Learning for the whole of the Foundation Phase before they are formally assessed against the revised outcomes. They will then be assessed against the revised outcomes when they reach the end of the Foundation Phase in the summer term of 2018.

New outcome statements

Three additional outcome statements (Foundation Phase Outcome Bronze, Foundation Phase Outcome Silver, and Foundation Phase Outcome Gold) have been added for assessment in the Foundation Phase. These can be used for the end-of-phase assessment at the end of Year 2.

Three additional outcome statements have been added for Personal and Social Development, Well-being and Cultural Diversity, and Physical Development. These become a legal requirement on 1st September 2017.

Read the full report on the Welsh Government website.

Cornerstones Curriculum Wales

We designed the Cornerstones Curriculum Wales to support schools in Wales through this period of change and beyond. For more information, complete our contact form, email or call 03333 20 8000 and speak to one of our team.

Published by

Helen Bell

Helen works with the Curriculum Team to write our exciting range of projects. She has 12 years experience teaching in Key Stage 1 and has worked as an Assistant Headteacher, Key Stage Leader and Literacy Coordinator. She has also worked as a teacher governor and as a mentor for trainee teachers.

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