Foundation Class FAQ’s

What happens when my child turns five year old?

Every child who turns five and enrols in Te Anau School will start their schooling in the Foundation Class.

How will the Foundation Class benefit my child?

Benefits include:

  • Smooth transition from ECE to primary school
  • Tailored programme to meet the individual needs of each child
  • Organised and directed play
  • Hands on, active learning
  • Prepares the child for formal learning situations
  • Great academic success
  • Improves confidence
  • Builds relationships and interpersonal skills
  • Children enjoy learning and school in general
  • Parents are an important part of the process and included in decision making
  • Each child will start formal learning when they are ready for formal learning

How long will my child be in the Foundation Class?

The length of time your child stays in the foundation classroom depends on their needs and level of development.  The minimum length of time is 4 weeks as every child still needs to adjust to primary school.  The teacher also needs this time to ascertain the child’s “readiness to learn”.

Who decides when my child moves to the next class?

The decision to move your child through to the next class is done through consultation with the parents.  The teacher will develop a clear picture of the child’s readiness and will make the recommendation to the parents.

I want my child to be with their friends when they start school.  Will this be possible?

The Foundation Classroom is designed to make the transition from early childhood to primary school as smooth and enjoyable as possible.  Friendships are an integral part of this however, each child’s length of time in the Foundation Class depends on the level of foundation skills they have when they start school.  Depending on the individual needs of the child, some children may progress through to the next class before their friend/s or visa versa.

What’s different about the Foundation Class?

The priority of the foundation class is to prepare the children for formal learning by developing the body awareness, balance, fine and gross motor skills they require to learn in formal learning situations.  Therefore the children will participate in a regular ‘Move to Learn’ Programme which builds and consolidates these skills.  Move to Learn is an active and fun way of building these skills.

All subjects of the NZ Curriculum including Reading, Writing and Maths are still taught daily, however lessons are structured to be in a slightly lesser duration of sitting and listening.  More emphasis is put on active learning through movement.

What is the Move to Learn Programme?

Move to Learn is a “PMP” programme which stands for Perceptual Motor Programme.  “PMP aims to teach a child perceptions and understandings of him/her self and their world through movement and motor experiences”.  (Bulluss and Coles).

There are 4 aims of the programme.

  1. To assist each child in acquiring efficient movement patterns
  2. To promote improved sensory motor functioning
  3. To develop a positive self image
  4. To develop interpersonal skills.

‘Move to Learn’ aims to give the child experiences in seeing, hearing, touching, making perceptual judgements and reacting through carefully sequenced activities which they enjoy doing. These include running, hopping, skipping, jumping, balancing, crawling, climbing, throwing, catching, bowling, sliding etc.

Will my child still learn the 3 R’s in the Foundation Class?

Absolutely!  All learning areas of the NZ Curriculum are taught and assessed as part of their normal schooling.

Who is the teacher of the Foundation Class?

Mrs Dawn Hansen is the teacher of the foundation classroom.  Once the child is ready, they will progress through to a regular Yo/1 classroom.

What are the Foundation Skills?

The Foundation Skills include:

  • Vestibular System (Balance)
  • Left and Right Brain Integration
  • Body Awareness
  • Reflexes
  • Visual and Auditory
  • Fine and Gross Motor Skills

These foundation skills are listed on this website with practical examples of how to develop them.

Where can I find out more information?