Foundation Stage

The Foundation Stage Curriculum

The Foundation Stage is the phase of the school that includes the Nursery and Reception classes.

All schools follow the Early Years Statutory Framework which you can see here:


The Areas for Learning are:                                                                   


At Riverside Literacy (including phonics and communication and language) and Mathematics are taught every day. We consider these areas to be fundamental to all learning and life skills and therefore need special attention, consistent reinforcement and direct teaching.

Expressive Arts and Design, Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Physical Development are taught and discussed regularly throughout the school week and are incorporated in topics that are learnt each term.

Understanding The World is the basis for the topics that are investigated each term. We follow a two-year programme which you can find here:


A creative and balanced curriculum means everyone can achieve, enjoy learning and prepare you for the future ahead. We aim to provide an environment that supports and encourages investigation and curiosity – a key part of early learning.

Learning in the Foundation Stage is a balance of direct teaching, games and play. The Nursery and Reception classes have dedicated outdoor areas. There are opportunities to work with the teacher, to practise independently what has been taught and to play in and out of the classroom using all our new skills.

Each teacher is responsible for planning and delivering lessons and organising activities that follow the requirements of the curriculum and is personalised to each child. This ensures knowledge and understanding, even at an early age, builds on previous learning and supports each individual’s progress.

Speech and Language is a vital area of development in all phases and the foundations for this are embedded in the Nursery and Reception classes. Good speaking and listening skills are crucial to learning now and in the future.

Reading and Phonics

Time for reading and listening to stories is a key feature at Riverside every day. These are times when we can read our favourite books and find new favourites. We do have the Oxford Reading Tree scheme in school but this is not the only books we read – we just like to hear what Biff, Chip and Kipper are up to…not forgetting Floppy!


Baseline Assessment will be completed on entry to the Reception Year, in line with statutory requirements.

At the end of the Reception Year statutory assessments are completed for every child in school – these are not tests; they are teacher assessments made by the people who know them best in school – their class teacher.

Educational Visits

We are very lucky to live in an exciting part of London that has so many amazing resources for us to use to make our learning interesting and fun. Planned visits are part of what we do, visiting places of interest while learning new skills; being so close to the River Thames means just a walk to the end of the road can launch a whole new discovery experience. As soon as restrictions allow, we will be up and about!


While there is a separate curriculum for the Foundation Stage, at Riverside the Nursery and Reception Classes are not separate and are part of the whole school. They have Reading and Maths practice (Mathletics) to work on at home as well as any remote learning should it be necessary. Pupils attend assemblies, participate in performances, join in with workshops and are expected to represent Riverside in and out of school the same as all other pupils and uphold the school’s ethos and values.