The first year of school is an exciting time for children and families alike. Learning to read, write and become numerate are important goals for all involved, along with the opportunity to make new friends and continue to develop social and emotional maturity. At Fairfield Primary School we honour this unique and special time by offering a program that balances learning, child-directed play and guided play.
Early in the Foundation year, teachers carry out one on one literacy and numeracy assessments with each child. This assists teachers to understand the children’s starting points – whether that might be learning to write their own name, or completing a simple sentence independently. Explicit whole group and small group instruction is provided each day in reading, writing and mathematics to build on and extend these understandings.
We respect that play is a critical element in young children’s engagement with learning. Daily Exploration sessions support children’s intellectual, physical, social and creative development, through a range of intentional play-based learning opportunities and meaningful interactions with adults and peers. These experiences of learning through play allow children to follow their own interests, investigate topics more deeply and build on their prior understandings about the world. Exploration reflects and respects children’s ideas, interests, strengths and challenges, and ensures that school is a place of possibilities.
Foundation students also participate weekly in Visual Arts, Physical Education and Performing Arts, each with a specialist teacher. In the second half of the year they are introduced to French. The BounceBack program guides children each day, building social and emotional resilience and instilling our school’s core values.