Alun Davies, Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language
Today, I am delighted to publish the Foundation Phase Action Plan which sets out a national approach to continuously improve the way in which our Foundation Phase curriculum for three to seven year olds is implemented and delivered in our schools and nurseries.
Publishing this plan confirms the commitment to maintain the Foundation Phase that the Welsh Government set out in Taking Wales Forward.
I am extremely proud of the Foundation Phase and its approach to teaching and learning which has been identified by practitioners as a significant strength of our current educational practice in Wales. The evidence from the independent evaluation showed that where the Foundation Phase curriculum is being delivered well it is raising the attainment of all children, with improvements in overall school attendance, literacy, numeracy and learner well-being. There are many examples across Wales of the Foundation Phase being delivered well. We need to continue to strive for this good practice to become the norm across all our schools and nurseries.
Many of the fundamental approaches used in the delivery of the Foundation Phase, including learning through experiences, will extend across the breadth of the new curriculum. It is important, therefore, that we continue to improve teaching and learning in the Foundation Phase so that we can build the application of the new curriculum on a solid basis of good practice.
The plan has been developed with a wide group of stakeholders under the guidance of an Expert Group and sets out key actions for aspects on which research has shown us we need to focus. It will come as no surprise that ensuring that teachers and other practitioners delivering the Foundation Phase have access to the development opportunities they need to become excellent practitioners is a key area within the plan.
This is an exciting time for education in Wales. There is a new momentum in Welsh education driven by our reforms, and focused on raising standards across the board. Welsh Government is committed to ensuring that all children have the opportunities, through a developmentally appropriate curriculum, to gain the skills and knowledge they will require to become lifelong learners. We need to do this from an early age and that’s why the Foundation Phase will continue to be an important area for this government.
The Foundation Phase Action Plan has been published on the Welsh Government website at http://gov.wales/topics/educationandskills/earlyyearshome/foundation-phase/action-plan?lang=en