Thematic report search

The impact of advisory teachers on funded non-maintained settings - May 2015

This report is published in response to a request for advice from the Welsh Government in the Minister’s annual remit letter to Estyn for 2014-2015. The report examines the impact of advisory teachers on funded non-maintained settings. The report includes case studies of best practice illustrating the impact of advisory teachers. Three appendices cover a detailed evidence base for the report, current arrangements for supporting and challenging non-maintained settings and a checklist for advisory visits to settings. Read more >

The impact of advisory teachers on funded non-maintained settings - Training material

This PowerPoint is a way for providers to share the main findings of the report and review their own performance in a particular thematic area. The presentations summarise the report and include questions which providers can consider when looking to improve. Read more >

Welsh in the Foundation Phase: Developing Welsh as a first language in primary schools and the non-maintained sector - December 2013

The purpose of the report is to: report on the standards of speaking, reading and writing in Welsh in the Foundation Phase in Welsh-medium schools and non-maintained settings; consider the differences between schools which have a high percentage of pupils from Welsh-speaking homes, schools with a high percentage of pupils who do not come from Welsh-speaking homes, and schools where there is a mixed population in terms of the language of the home; and consider the balance between the need for formal education to develop language, and providing the opportunities for play and informal activities which are part of the philosophy and operation of the Foundation Phase. Read more >

Welsh in the Foundation Phase - Training Material

This PowerPoint is a way for providers to share the main findings of the report and review their own performance in a particular thematic area. The presentations summarise the report and include questions which providers can consider when looking to improve. Read more >

Outdoor learning: an evaluation of learning in the outdoors for children under five in the Foundation Phase - September 2011

Provision for outdoor learning was good or better in two thirds of the providers we surveyed. Pupils’ wellbeing, behaviour and physical development have all improved as a result of learning outdoors. Schools and non-maintained settings also work well with parents to support their provision. However, outdoor learning isn’t used enough to develop skills in areas such as mathematics and ICT. Teachers assess children’s learning less often and less well outdoors, which means important milestones may be missed. Read more >

Literacy and the Foundation Phase - September 2011

The Foundation Phase is having a positive impact on the wellbeing of five to six-year-olds. The majority of primary schools provide a varied, productive and motivating environment for children to thrive and develop their skills in reading and writing. However, in a minority of schools there is a lack of understanding of the principles and practices of the Foundation Phase and children are not challenged enough to practise their literacy skills. Read more >

Play and Active Learning: A toolkit for Foundation Phase practitioners - September 2009

This toolkit offers practical support to practitioners in schools and settings on implementing a play and active approach to learning in the Foundation Phase. It should help practitioners to: raise standards of children’s achievement by considering how well they are currently providing quality play and active learning experiences; identify and celebrate their strengths in providing quality play and active learning experiences; recognise where good quality provision needs to be maintained; identify areas where there is room for improvement; make decisions about how to improve; and promote good practice. Read more >

Best practice in mathematics for pupils aged 3 to 7 years - June 2009

Standards of teaching mathematics in primary schools have improved overall, but many schools do not provide enough challenge for pupils to work to their full potential. In the best schools, staff discuss with pupils how they can use their skills in mathematics to solve problems and record their findings in different contexts and situations. In addition, girls’ attainment is consistently higher than boys’ attainment. However, the introduction of the Foundation Phase has helped to raise standards of attainment for boys because of its emphasis on practical learning. Read more >

Best practice in the reading and writing of pupils aged five to seven years - March 2009

Although many schools have been successful in improving standards over the last decade, the pace of improvement has now slowed. Over the past five years the proportion of 5-7 year olds achieving good levels of reading and writing skills has stopped rising, in both English and Welsh. At the end of key stage 1, the gap between boys’ and girls’ performance is almost three times wider than in maths and science. The slow rate at which boys develop reading and writing skills is recognised as one of the contributory factors that lead to an even wider gender gap later on in learning. Read more >

Improving the learning and teaching of early reading skills - June 2007

Many schools already support pupils well in developing their early reading skills. Pupils achieve good standards in their early reading skills where systematic programmes to develop sound language and literacy skills are implemented consistently. Our inspection evidence has shown that phonics is an important skill inn learning to read, but that this is not the only skill that pupils need in order to be able to read successfully. Although approaches to teaching phonics differ, there are characteristics that are common to the successful learning and teaching of reading. Read more >