Welsh Government, Social Research (43/2013)

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.

This is the first in a series of reports that will examine outcomes available from analysis of the National Pupil Database (NPD). In particular it presents findings on rates of absence and teacher assessments for all children in Wales who were aged four to seven between 2004/05 and 2010/11.