Welsh education secretary Huw Lewis has welcomed findings that the Foundation Phase is raising standards of literacy and numeracy.
The Foundation Phase - the segment of the Welsh curriculum covering three to seven-year-olds - places a strong emphasis on learning by doing and finding different ways to solve problems.
These skills are highly valued by groups such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Confederation of British Industry.
According to recently-published studies by the Welsh government, the majority of Foundation Phase leaders believe there has been at least some improvement in youngsters' literacy and numeracy skills since the scheme's inception.
Oracy and communication skills have also improved, according to Year 3 teachers and local authority representatives.
Levels of commitment to the Foundation Phase are high among its practitioners and representatives, and they would like to see it largely unaltered.
Schools feel improvements around funding, guidance, assessment and transition to Key Stage 2 would assist their delivery of the Foundation Phase.
Mr Lewis said: "This latest research paints a really encouraging picture of our flagship Foundation Phase and the impact it is having on our youngest learners.
"It shows that the Foundation Phase is helping our three to seven year olds to develop better speech and communication skills and that vitally, it is helping to drive up their literacy and numeracy skills."
He added that the studies also confirm that practitioners believe it is the right choice for Welsh learners.
The latest findings follow statistics recently published by the Welsh government showing that those eligible for free school meals had achieved historically high levels of attainment.
At the Foundation Phase level, the government has already met its targets of reducing the attainment gap by ten per cent against 2012 levels by 2017, and had secured an 11.6 per cent reduction by the end of 2014.
Posted by Alan Douglas