Foundation Stage

At Dover International School, Foundation Stage is grounded in solid educational principles, providing children with a wide array of knowledge and skills that prepare them for future advancement in both their academic journey and life.

The Early Years Foundation Stage at Dover consists of two-year groups, Foundation Stage 1 (FS1) for children aged 3-4 years and Foundation Stage 2 (FS2) for 4-5 years.


The Pedagogical Approach:
We strive to provide our students with a warm, compassionate, child-centered introduction to their educational journey. We firmly believe that a happy child is a more receptive learner. From the very beginning, our students experience the joy of learning. Our facilities offer a diverse range of opportunities for physical and creative play, fostering a spirit of exploration and self-discovery.

Children acquire knowledge through active engagement in play, exploration, physical activity, and the application of creative and analytical thinking.

Children are encouraged to pursue their individual interests, take the initiative, and exercise self-directed learning, all under the guidance and support of our educators. Our teachers actively engage with students, fostering an environment where children can expand their cognitive abilities. Additionally, structured activities are provided to enhance the acquisition of fundamental skills.

By adopting this methodology, our students develop greater independence, exhibit initiative, and cultivate the confidence to embrace challenges, recognizing that solutions are not always confined to a single ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ approach. Play-based learning prioritizes the journey of learning over the final outcomes and thrives through the adept guidance of our educators.

Overarching Principles that Shape Foundation stage Practice:
Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured

Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships

Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs, with a strong partnership between home and school

Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.

The statutory framework of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) constitutes the foundational structure upon which our curriculum is developed, encapsulating developmental
expectations across this age range. Our Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum aligns with the UK Foundation Stage Curriculum, designed to meticulously structure children’s learning across seven
distinct domains. These areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected with a special emphasis three prime areas. These Three prime areas play a pivotal role in kindling children’s curiosity and enthusiasm,
fostering their eagerness to learn, while also enhancing their ability to form relationships and thrive.


The EYFS Framework: Areas of Learning

The 7 Areas of Learning covered by the EYFS framework are broken down into 3 Prime Areas and 4 Specific Areas of Learning

Area of Learning and Development


Prime Areas

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Making Relationships

Self-confidence and self- awareness

Managing feeling and behaviour

Physical Development

Moving and Handling

Health and self- care

Communication and Language

Listening and attention 



Specific Areas






Shape, Space and measure 

Understanding the world

People and Communities

The world


Expressive Arts and Design

Exploring and using media and Material

Being imaginative

These areas are, interlinked, overlapping, and are enhanced by our Free-Flow learning approach.

Prime Areas of Learning:
Communication and Language

Communication and language development entails providing children with opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations

Physical Development

Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; as well as to enhance their coordination, control, and movement. Additionally, it is essential to support children in understanding the significance of physical activity and to guide them in making healthy choices regarding food, among other aspects.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop a respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.

Specific Areas of Learning:

Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write.

Children learn how to read and comprehend simple sentences, using phonic knowledge. As they advance, they will be able to understand some of the more commonly used irregular words and to converse with others about what they are reading.

Using phonic knowledge, children should learn how to write down words based on the sound of the word when it is spoken, including some irregular words. They work towards writing simple sentences that can be understood and read out. At DIS, we use Jolly Phonics to learn the sounds of the alphabet and move on to diagraphs, which are two letters together which make a sound, such as ‘ai’. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest. Each week children take home a reading book to share with adults at home.


Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems, and describing shapes, spaces, and measure. Under the framework, children will be able to count from 1 to 20 and beyond and carry out basic addition and subtraction. When looking at shape, space and measures, children should be able to problem solve and compare quantities using measurements such as size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money. Children will also develop their understanding of different patterns.

Children learn how to read and comprehend simple sentences, using phonic knowledge. As they

advance, they will be able to understand some of the more commonly used irregular words and

to converse with others about what they are reading.

Understanding the World:

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. As such, there are three segments to this section:

Past and Present

children will be able to talk about similarities between the past and present and relate to these through stories and their current environment.

People, Cultures and Communities

talking about events in their lives, children will be able to describe things that have happened to themselves and family members and recognise that there can be differences in what other people enjoy doing, including different traditions.

The Natural World

children will be able to recognise similarities and differences in their own living environment and that of others, whether place, object, material or living things, such as plants and animals.

Creative Development (Expressive Arts & Design)

Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for the sharing of thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology. Whilst exploring and using different media, children will sing, make music and dance, as well as use different materials, tools and techniques to experiment with colour, design, texture, form and function. Being imaginative is also very important. Children are encouraged to represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings using media and materials through creative activities such as art and design, music, dance, role play and storytelling.

Progress & Development: Early Learning Goals

Our goal is to ensure that by the end of the Foundation Stage, children are confident and independent, facilitating a seamless transition into Key Stage 1.

EYFS outcomes are the result of ongoing observations and assessments of individual children, ensuring that they are developing at the rate expected and spotting any areas where the child may need further support.