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New funding allocated for Foundation Phase teaching in Wales

22/05/2017 Joanna

The government of Wales has announced a fresh injection of funding to develop skills among teachers delivering Foundation Phase education across the country.

A total of £1 million will be spent to help enhance the expertise of staff teaching the Foundation Phase curriculum to three to seven-year-olds in Wales, as recent research has indicated that this teaching approach is helping to raise attainment levels, but requires greater consistency of delivery in order to achieve its full potential.

The Foundation Phase was developed to encourage children to be more creative and imaginative, moving away from overly formalised teaching methods towards a greater focus on experiential learning, enquiry and creativity.

To enhance this, a Foundation Phase Excellence Network will be established using the new funding, which will support the sharing of effective practice in close collaboration with the new National Networks of Excellence in Science and Technology and Mathematics.

The aims of the network will be to strengthen the links between universities, schools, settings, consortia and local authorities to develop research on professional learning for Foundation Phase practitioners, while utilising global and local evidence to develop validated professional learning methods for staff.

It will also support Pioneer Network Schools in the development of  professional learning for the new curriculum, with the ultimate goal of improving children's experiences of the Foundation Phase in schools across Wales.

Education secretary Kirsty Williams said: "The £1 million for the Foundation Phase Excellence Network is part of our ongoing investment to raise standards across our education system. We want to make sure our pupils have the skills and knowledge they need to succeed and thrive in the modern world."

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