Welsh Government, Social Research (37/2012)

The Foundation Phase is a Welsh Government flagship policy of early years education (for 3 to 7-year old children) in Wales. Marking a radical departure from the more formal, competency-based approach associated with the previous Key Stage 1 National Curriculum, it advocates a developmental, experiential, play-based approach to teaching and learning The Learning Country: a Paving Document (NAfW 2001a) notes that following devolution, Wales intended to take its own policy direction in order to ‘get the best for Wales’. Getting the best for Wales appeared to involve meeting the challenges of the globalised marketplace (raising levels of basic skills1); overcoming social disadvantage; building a strong, enterprising society that embraces multiculturalism; and promoting the language and traditions of Wales. Participation was seen as a key approach.

The aim of this report is to develop a policy logic model that outlines the objectives and intended outcomes of the Foundation Phase, including the context to its introduction, the theory, assumptions and evidence underlying its rationale, and its content and key inputs. It is designed to assist in the ongoing evaluation of the policy.