How to help your child thrive in Foundation Stage One in Dubai

Rebecca Mundy, Head of Foundation at Kings’ School Al Barsha in Dubai, answers some common questions on helping your child feel confident, safe and happy in Foundation Stage One (FS1) at their new school.

foundation stage one dubai

Starting Foundation Stage One can be nerve-wracking and exciting at the same time. How can my child and I learn to embrace it?

Foundation Stage One is a magical time in a child’s life and an opportunity for them to develop into a lifelong learner. We work closely with parents to ensure children are provided with a strong foundation for learning as they move towards Foundation Stage Two and beyond.

How long does it take to settle, on average, and what can parents do to help?

Joining a school is a huge learning transition for children. They are exposed to new and high expectations and it can often take time for them to respond to those boundaries at school.

Children may take some time to settle and there may be some issues in the beginning as children are learning how to manage their own emotions and behaviour.

At Kings’ we communicate any issues with parents and work together to ensure we are supporting the child to build relationships and manage their own behaviour in and outside of school.

What can parents do at home to help children thrive in Foundation Stage One?

It’s a saying that the best gift we can give to anybody is our time, but this is especially true for our young children. A child’s brain is 85% developed by the age of five, so it’s incredibly important we give them a strong foundation to become lifelong learners. We would ask all parents to spend time with their children – talking, listening and sharing experiences with them.

It’s also so important that parents encourage children to be independent and have high expectations of them. If we believe that children can be successful, then they’ll achieve and believe in themselves.

Please encourage your children to feed and dress themselves and take ownership of their belongings, as we expect this of all children from the very beginning of Foundation Stage One.

Parents should read to their children and model using imaginative and rich language as children can only ever say words they hear and are exposed to. Finally, it’s also important to encourage your child to spend time outdoors and build up core strength in their bodies.

Describe a typical day in the life of a Foundation Stage One student at Kings’.

Our school day begins at around 8 am, when Foundation Stage parents will bring their child to the classroom and have an opportunity to speak to the class teacher and share any important messages.

Upon arrival, children are encouraged to independently put away all of their belongings and get ready to start the day. We then register all the children and sing the UAE National Anthem. Next, our children wake up their brains and bodies by engaging with ‘squiggle while you wiggle’ or ‘dough disco’, which promote gross and fine motor skills to get them ready for writing.

During the rest of the day, the children will have some teacher-led phonics and maths sessions and participate in ChiL (child-initiated learning) time, where they can access our indoor and outdoor learning environments.

Children in FS1 also have weekly music, swimming, PE and library sessions. Our day finishes with story time and children are collected from the classroom at 1 pm.

For more information about Foundation Stage One at Kings’ visit:  kings-edu.com/dubai

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