Early Years Foundation

Foundation Stage (FS1 & FS2)

The Foundation Stage department at GEMS C.I.A provides outstanding early years learning for children between the ages of three and five. In the Early Years, we believe that children learn best through a balance of child-initiated play and adult-guided activity. Learners have daily access to our outdoor provision, which enhances the areas of learning set out in the EFYS and enhances our P.E programme and physical literacy.  

Coinciding with our HPL philosophy, we personalise learning for every child, supporting and extending learning for unique abilities. Planning is personalised on a daily basis and informed by formative and summative data analysis; using learning ladders and seesaw. As well as our smaller class sizes and full time teaching assistants, our exceptional Inclusion Team, identifies any additional needs and areas of support so that every learner makes accelerated progress. Early intervention ensures that no learner is left behind.

Parental engagement:

We strive to work in full partnership with parents, sharing information, progress and achievements throughout the year to best support children’s learning in school and at home via weekly chatters and monthly meetings/phone calls. We have three formal parents’ evenings across the school year, however we have an open-door policy and encourage parents to meet teachers frequently to discuss progress and next steps in learning. We also offer regular opportunities for parents to share a 'star moments’ so that every achievement is celebrated.


In FS, our learners work towards seventeen Early Learning Goals, across the 7 prime areas of learning, through a thematic, text rich topic based approach. 

  • Communication and Language Development: Daily Talk for Writing sessions and give learners opportunities to speak and listen in a range of situations and to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves.
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Our daily circle time sessions help learners to develop a positive sense of themselves and others. They learn to form positive relationships and develop the social skills necessary to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities. 
  • Literacy Development: In FS we used Read Write Inc. as a Phonics scheme to support learners to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension.
  • Mathematics: Our White Rose Mathematics scheme focusses on the development of functional skills and provides  opportunities to learn through exploration.
  • Understanding the World: Continuous provision guides our learners to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. This area of the curriculum includes a focus on early Science discovery. 
  • Expressive Arts and Design: FS1 & FS2 students are introduced to various genres of music and explore pulse/beat and how their bodies can demonstrate this. Students learn to find their singing voice through nursery rhymes, lullabies and simple 3 -5 note melodies. Students are also be given the opportunity to perform simple melodies on a variety of tuned and untuned percussion instruments and showcase this as circumstances permit. Play and exploration form a significant part in FS musical development.
  • Physical development: Our carefully designed outdoor provision provide daily opportunities for children to explore and develop gross-motor movements, including: climbing, balancing, jumping, running and cycling. Our weekly PE lessons develop core movement skills and interest children in sports from an early age, including gymnastics and athletics.  

Creative Innovative Activities (C.I.A’s)

At C.I.A. our half termly curriculum days allow learners to develop interests and skills beyond the statutory curriculum and create engaging and memorable moments for our learners. Days such as ‘SEWA Day’, ‘Express yourself’, ‘Analysing day’ place a high-emphasis on developing positive and trusting relationships with peers and adults. We utilise a combination of virtual, flipped and physical school trips to enrich the curriculum each term.  

Deputy Head of Primary

Bronwyn Tocknell

It is an honour and privilege to be teaching at GEMS Cambridge International School. I first joined C.I.A in 2020 and I am currently in my first year as Head of the Foundation Stage.

Bronwyn Tocknell - Head of FS