Foundation Stage

FS1 and FS2

At GCS, we follow The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS). The EYFS is a holistic curriculum, this approach to learning emphasises the importance of the physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing of children which we value highly at GCS.



From the Head of Foundation Stage

Charlotte Brookes

I am delighted to be part of GEMS Cambridge Private International School, Sharjah as the Head of Early Years.

My vision for the Foundation Stage at GCS is to ensure that all young children receive a high-quality education that fosters curiosity, problem solving and an understanding of the world around them. I want the children in our Foundation Stage to grow to be independent, to develop their thinking skills and to love learning. In the Early Years, we provide children with a safe, stimulating and innovative environment where they can take risks, be challenged and reflect on the process of learning. We teach young children to be global citizens and to care for others.

As the Head of Early Years, it is my priority to ensure that all students are safe and happy at GCS.



Areas of Development

The curriculum is broken down into 7 areas of development, 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas.

Prime Areas

  • Communication and Language Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development

Specific Areas

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Each area is carefully planned for by our British qualified teachers through a mixture of explicit teaching sessions and play based learning opportunities within the classroom.



Research shows that young children learn best when they are active, engaged and interested. Here at GCS, we recognise this and use children’s own interests to plan for learning that will engage and excite them for extended periods of time. We believe in learning through play and provide a mixture of child initiated and adult led play opportunities both inside and outside the classroom. Play is both valued and celebrated in our school. Everyday children in our FS1 and FS2 classes will experience a balance of adult-led teaching sessions and opportunities to consolidate their learning within the areas of continuous provision in their classroom or the outdoor learning environment.

Our teachers and teaching assistants facilitate learning through a mixture of observing, play partnering, modelling, questioning and explicit teaching. These interactions support teachers in assessing where children are currently at in their development and in turn planning for children’s individual next steps.

Open-ended Opportunities

Across our FS1 and FS2, we provide open-ended opportunities for children to develop their early literacy and number skills. From FS1, we introduce children to our Letters and Sounds Phonics Scheme with  Phase 1 Phonics where we  support children’s speaking and listening skills while laying the foundations in phonemic awareness. In FS2, children begin to learn letters and the sounds they make as well as learning to segment and blend the sounds in words. In FS1, we focus on learning numbers through songs and rhymes and practise spotting numbers of personal significance in the environment around us. In  FS2, children engage in short mathematical inputs planned for using the Power Maths scheme of work which we use across the whole primary school.

At the end of FS2, teachers will assess children’s attainment in line with the Early Learning Goals. Using observational evidence gathered over time, these assessments will help inform the children’s next teacher of their starting points. The EYFS framework allows a natural progression into the National Curriculum at the beginning of Year 1.



  • What subjects are taught in FS1 and FS2?

    The EYFS is a holistic curriculum and is not broken down into specific subjects. There are 7 areas of development: Communication and Language Development, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. Teachers will cover all areas of the curriculum through either an explicit teaching session or through interactions within our continuous provision.

  • What is continuous provision?

    Continuous Provision refers to the play-based opportunities created for children within the learning environment where children can further their learning themselves. For example: A role play area where children practise their language development, a water tray filled with water, numbers and toy fish or shells where children can practise their counting or number recognition.

  • What will my child learn in FS1 and FS2? 

    In FS1 and FS2 children will learn a huge variety of skills from each of the areas of development. For example, they will learn to speak in sentences, play with peers, hold a pencil, write their name and simple words and sentences, count, add and subtract, create and build models and use simple programs on a tablet or iPad. 

  • What is an Early Learning Goal?

    Each area of learning is broken down into several aspects and each aspect has an Early Learning Goal. There are 17 Early Learning Goals in total. At the end of FS2 your child will be assessed against these goals. Each Early Learning Goal is a statement and refers to what children should be able to do by the end of FS2.

    Here is an example:

    Numbers: Children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.

  • What are the facilities provided?

    At GCS we are extremely lucky to have a newly renovated purpose-built school with top of the line facilities and resources. In FS1 and FS2, we benefit from a separate KG playground with fantastic climbing equipment where children can develop their gross motor skills. We are also fortunate to have our own library, with a range of age-appropriate books to foster a love of reading in our pupils. Children have the opportunity to use our free-flow room which is equipped with a range and variety of resources to support their learning across the curriculum. Our classrooms are all equipped with the latest model BENQ screens which ensures children have access to a wide range of interactive lessons and activities. At GCS we provide children with all the resources (books as well as online resources) and stationery they will need for the whole year which is included in the annual SPEA approved book fees, this ensures parents peace of mind, so that they do not need to purchase any additional books or resources. Every one who visits  GCS always comments on the high quality learning environment and overall welcoming atmosphere in the school.





Life in Foundation Stage



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