Foundation Home Learning Statements

Term Two


Since teaching reading and writing involves a structured approach to acquiring new skills based on the children’s existing knowledge, each child will progress at a different pace and be at varying stages of learning. 


Some of the writing strategies that we are working on in the classroom are:

  1. Brainstorming ideas by drawing a picture or discussing the sentence with a friend or a teacher.
  2. Some children find it helpful to count the words in a sentence and then draw lines to represent each word.
  3. Focusing on using lowercase letters.
  4. Mapping each word by its sounds, and writing a letter (or letters) to match. This may show up as invented spelling, such as ‘prte’ for ‘party’, which is an indication of strong phonemic awareness.
  5. Ending the sentence with punctuation.
  6. Using their finger to mark a space between each word.


To support this learning at home:

  1. Encourage real life opportunities for writing; birthday cards, shopping lists, messages to friends or family.
  2. Read together.
  3. Notice environmental print such as signs at the supermarket, writing on cereal boxes, and street signs, etc.
  4. Encourage and support your child to map each word by its sounds, writing a letter (or letters) for each sound they can hear in a word.


Many of the phonics skills that students are learning within the classroom, will also improve their writing and spelling skills. You will soon see in your child’s reading folder, a ‘Smiley’s Super Reading Strategies’ card. This will have your child’s reading goal circled so that you can see what they are working on in partner reading and in reading groups. In addition to the goal setting card, there will be a document outlining these specific goals and some ‘phonics tips and tricks’ to support them in their literacy learning. 



In Foundation we teach through open-ended maths experiences so that students on varying levels are able to adapt their current knowledge to complete the same tasks as their peers. This provides great opportunities for students to learn from each other.


We call these activities ‘challenging tasks’ or ‘sweaty brain exercises.’ One of the tasks completed recently in the Foundation classrooms was around exploring Hundreds Charts. This ‘sweaty brain exercise’ allowed students to notice what numbers up to 100 look like, explore patterns in rows and columns, revise formation of numerals, and practise counting by 1s, 2s, or 10s. 


This activity has allowed students to begin learning about place value. Place value is the idea that the position of a digit within a number determines its value. For example, in the number ’15’, the digit ‘1’ represents one group of ten, while the digit ‘5’ represents five ones. Having a deep understanding in place value, allows students to develop other mathematical skills. 


To support this learning at home:

  1. Explore numbers in the environment, e.g., prices at the shops, letter boxes, number plates. You could even turn the numbers on number plates into 2 or 3 digit numbers and talk about the value of each digit.
  2. Play games at home e.g., card games, Monopoly, Snakes and Ladders.
  3. Write numbers with chalk or other special writing tools.
  4. Count groups of items at home (making predictions first).
  5. Looking at the score when watching footy (or other sports) and noticing any counting patterns.
  6. Estimating and comparing large amounts of items.
  7. Comparing numbers as ‘bigger’ or ‘smaller’ and talking about how you know which is which.


Term One


At the beginning of Foundation, our primary focus within reading instruction is to ensure that students are proficient in Phonemic and Phonological awareness.

  • Phonemic awareness is a knowledge of speech sounds.
  • Phonological Awareness is the mapping of speech sounds to letters. In the classroom, we are exploring rhyming, syllables, and onset & rime (this is the beginning and end sound in a word).


To support this learning at home:

  • Listen to your child read each day, making sure the experience is without too many distractions, and when your child is not too tired.
  • Read Rhyming Books: Together you can identify the words that rhyme.
  • Rhyming I Spy: For this game, give I Spy rhyming clues. Examples: I spy something that rhymes with dig (pig). I spy something that rhymes with bat (cat). I spy something that rhymes with fun (sun). I spy something that rhymes with bug (rug). You may also let students come up with the clues for an added challenge. 
  • Syllables I Spy: The focus of this game is syllable counting using a collection of items. Collections could include toy animals in a basket, a picture in a book or food in the fridge. Examples: “I spy a 1-syllable animal,” “I spy an animal with 4 syllables.” You could also add in beginning sounds. For example, I spy an animal with one syllable that begins with a /b/ sound. Answer: bird.  
  • Initial Sound I Spy: Clues using initial sounds. Remember to say SOUNDS, and NOT the NAMES of letters. Example: I spy something that begins with /s/ (sun)
  • Initial Phoneme Deletion (Onset-Rime): Give clues that require students to remove the initial sound from a word and say what’s left. Examples: “I spy a chart without the /ch/” (art), “pants without the /p/” (ants).
  • Initial Phoneme Blending: Students listen to two parts of a word you say (pausing a few seconds in between the initial phoneme and the rest of the word) before blending them together. Examples: I spy a c-lock (clock), s-wing (swing) , s-ki (ski). 
  • Syllable hunt: Write the numbers 1,2,3 on individual pieces of paper and put them on the floor. Children can then go around the house and find objects and put them next to the correct number of syllables they have.
  • Identify beginning, middle, and ending sounds of words: What sound do you hear at the beginning of this word? (repeating the sound, not the name of the letter).
  • Pronunciation: Mirror sounds when reading a sound, have your student watch how your mouth makes the sound and then they can practise making the sound while looking in the mirror.
  • Heart words (orthographic mapping) If your child is ready to begin identifying heart words, you can map the words by their corresponding sounds. For example, write the word ‘with’ but place a box around the ‘th’ and a heart above it, to demonstrate that ‘th’ is the irregular sound in this word, and makes one sound.

Ultimately the goal for every child is that they have a love of reading, and can understand what they read and listen to.



In Foundation students have been focussing on drawing pictures to match a range of their experiences. Drawing is a key component of learning to write and is itself a valued mode of communication, as well as a way of getting ideas ready for the process of writing and early experimentation with letters and sounds. 


Stages of writing:

Once students have begun expressing their experiences as drawings they are encouraged to begin labelling their drawings. Initial labels can appear quite simple as students label using the initial sounds that they know. As students progress and learn new sounds and sound combinations, these new sounds appear in their labels. When students are still developing their phonemic awareness, being able to label the beginning sound for something in their drawing can bring a sense of accomplishment.


When writing becomes exciting, and students are developing complicated sentences or ideas that they are not sure how to put into written words, we encourage them to use a Magic Squiggle. This is where they can record the beginning sound(s) in the word they want to write, followed by a squiggly line. The line represents the rest of the word and highlights to us that they are aware there are more sounds than just the onset of the word. The Magic Squiggle supports students who sometimes get frustrated when they cannot write a full word or sentence. 


As they start to recognise more letters and sounds, they may write one word to label their drawing. They are encouraged to stretch out all of the sounds that they hear. We might say that they are putting the word in ‘slow motion’- ‘park’ may be represented as ‘prc’. Rather than correcting their writing, we celebrate their accomplishments of recording the sounds that they know!


For children who are ready to begin writing a sentence, they start by counting the amount of words in their idea and drawing a line to represent each word, i.e.: “I played with blocks” needs four lines. They then stretch out the sounds they hear in each word. This may look like: I plad wif boks. They may record some of the heart words that they know. Finishing the sentence with a full stop, exclamation or question mark.


To support this learning at home:

  • Encourage your child to draw and write as often as possible. Giving children a ‘real’ use for their written expression (writing in a card, helping with a shopping list) helps them to understand the purpose of writing and the benefits of being able to read back what has been recorded.
  • Promote lots of exposure to a range writing surfaces and mediums, such as blackboards and whiteboards. Playing with play dough, threading and cutting activities are all beneficial to your child’s development in their fine motor skills and writing fluency.
  • Use a whiteboard to encourage children who worry about making mistakes (they can rub it out and have another go).
  • Label photos of their favourite things. This could be labelling whole words, beginning sounds, or writing a sentence.
  • The activities listed in the Reading Home Learning Statement (above) will also assist your child to develop and strengthen their writing skills.



Children are learning to count forward and backward, recognise, form and sequence numerals and correctly count collections of items.


Counting is taught explicitly and children are provided with opportunities to explore counting and challenge themselves, sharing their understandings with their peers. We will soon explore the counting strategies we already know and learn new ones. The aim is for each child to choose an appropriate strategy to count a collection of objects, using one-to-one correspondence and for them to address why their strategy helps them.


To support this learning at home:

  • Counting in real life! Counting the steps to the car, counting the rocks you throw in the creek, counting the trees at the park, counting the letter boxes you pass on the way to school, counting the red cars you pass on a car trip, counting the apples you buy at the shops.
  • When counting, ask your child ‘more or less’ questions: ‘Are there more red or blue cars in the street?’ and so on.
  • Playing Snap, War! or memory with a deck of cards. Cards are a great resource as they represent both a numeral and value, so if your child can’t recognise the numeral, they can count the diamonds on the card.
  • Look out for the ‘verbal pathways’ sheet that will soon be sent home in your child’s reading folder. These rhymes assist children to remember the correct numeral formation assuring that they can clearly communicate the numbers.