Foundation Phase

The Foundation Phase is based on the principle that early years provision should offer a sound foundation for future learning through a developmentally appropriate curriculum in Wales.

The National Minimum Standards for Regulated Childcare - for children up to the age of 12 years - states that ‘It is important that childcare settings, particularly those looking after 3-7 year-olds are aware of the principles and ethos of the Foundation Phase'.

The Foundation Phase Framework (revised 2015) and the seven Areas of Learning are outlined in the following standard:YE
7.10 :   The principles of the Foundation Phase for 3 - 7 year-olds and its seven areas of learning are understood and applied in a way appropriate to the age, abilities and stage of development of children in their care and the nature of the provision.

The Foundation Phase has seven Areas of Learning which are delivered through practical activities and active learning experiences both indoors and outdoors. The areas of learning are; 

  • 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.

View the Foundation Phase Framework


Foundation Phase Profile (FPP) Handbook

As a key part of the Welsh Government’s Early Years Development and Assessment Framework, the FPP has been designed to line up with assessments carried out by health professionals. It supports early identification of possible developmental delay, special education needs or additional learning needs and informs the provision of additional support for children who need it. 

The FPP has been developed as a summative assessment tool using observations and formative assessments to build up a holistic picture of children’s development and abilities in key areas.

Since September 2015, it has been a statutory requirement to use the Compact Profile at baseline. This includes four skill ladders from each Area of Learning, as a smaller assessment for use at baseline.

The Full Profile contains more skill ladders for detailed skill tracking throughout and at the end of the Foundation Phase. Both assessments produce a score in Outcomes, so progress can be easily be measured. 

View the Foundation Phase profile handbook


Qualified for life: a Curriculum for Wales – Curriculum for life 

In February 2015 an independent review team, led by Professor Graham Donaldson, published the Successful Futures document. 68 recommendations were made and accepted in full by the Minister for Education and Skills on 30 June 2015.
Successful Futures proposes a broad and balanced curriculum, delivered through six Areas of Learning and Experience (AoLE), with three cross-curriculum responsibilities embedded throughout.

Qualified for life
A Curriculum for Wales - curriculum for life is the Minister for Education and Skills’ plan for taking forward Successful Futures.  The plan focuses on eight essential building blocks for our new curriculum for 3-16 year-olds.
This will be available to schools by September 2018 and will be used to support learning and teaching in settings and schools across Wales from September 2021.

View the Qualified for life document