Foundation Phase: nursery support from NDNA Cymru

NDNA Cymru is funded by the Welsh Government to support settings across Wales to raise the standards of, and develop, the Foundation Phase.

To do this, see our support below:

What is the Foundation Phase?

The Foundation Phase is currently the statutory curriculum for all 3 to 7 year olds in Wales, having been introduced in September 2010 and subsequently revised in 2015. It encompasses the developmental needs of children and encourages children to be creative and imaginative, and makes learning more enjoyable and more effective.

Children learn through first-hand experiential activities with the serious business of ‘play’ providing the vehicle. Through their play, children practise and consolidate their learning, play with ideas, experiment, take risks, solve problems, and make decisions individually, in small and in large groups.

Seven Areas of Learning

At the centre of the Foundation Phase lies the holistic development of children and their skills, building on their previous learning experiences and knowledge. 

The Foundation Phase Framework sets out the curriculum and outcomes for 3 to 7-year-olds in Wales in the Foundation Phase and include seven statutory areas of learning which are delivered indoors and outdoors:

  • Personal and Social Development, Well-being and Cultural Diversity (PSD, WB&CD)
  • Language, Literacy and Communication Skills (LLC)
  • Mathematical Development (MD)
  • Welsh Language Development (WLD)
  • Knowledge and Understanding of the World (KUW)
  • Physical Development (PD)
  • Creative Development (CD).

Each area of learning sets out what children should be taught and the outcomes set out the expected standards of children’s performance.

Find out more about the Foundation Phase here and see a parents/carers guide to the Foundation Phase here.

Useful link: See the Foundation Phase Framework here

The Foundation Phase Profile

The Foundation Phase Profile sets out the Welsh Government’s requirements as part of the Early Years Development and Assessment Framework (EYDAF) and supports assessment of children’s learning and development throughout their time in the Foundation Phase.

The document 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. Observation plays a key role in the everyday practice in the Foundation Phase.

See Foundation Phase Profile guidance for practitioners

Foundation Phase Excellence Network Zone

Have you heard of the Foundation Phase Excellence Network Zone?

The zone is a one-stop shop for all Foundation Phase practitioners. It showcases effective practice in key areas such as child development, Welsh language, pedagogy and leadership, with case studies and films, quality assured resources, links to networks and regular news items.

Free Foundation Phase factsheets and activities

Foundation Phase training 

Embedding the Four Purposes
This online course will improve your understanding of the new ‘Curriculum for Wales 2022’.

In this course your will explore the reasons for a change within education in Wales, what those changes are, how they affect the early years sector and how to prepare for curriculum reform. Find out more and buy now.

Useful link: See Live Virtual Classroom training here

Supporting your setting on request

Here at NDNA Cymru, our Early Years Education Officer aims to identify and share good practice with members, in order to consistently develop effective practice within the Foundation Phase across Wales.

The position is funded by the Welsh Government. For more information contact; Hayley Edwards,