17 November 2008>
German government ministers and senior members of the Welsh Assembly Government have paid a visit to the innovative Foundation Phase pilot scheme at Pontllanfraith Primary.
The pilot, which is now in its fifth year at the school, is based on the experiential way of learning which mixes activities and creativity with knowledge and understanding. The new curriculum, aimed at pupils aged 3-7, places play at the centre of learning and there is also a focus on outdoor learning.
Over the last few months, a number of open days have been organised by Pontllanfraith Primary to give other schools in the authority the opportunity to find out what the Foundation Phase is all about.
The school has also seen a major makeover, including a complete refurbishment of the Foundation Phase buildings including the installation of new colourful toilets for the pupils. The school also had a successful Estyn inspection in Spring 2007.
Caerphilly County Borough Council's Director of Education and Leisure, David Hopkins, said, "The Foundation Phase is vitally important. Many others want to learn from experiences in Wales, and it was a pleasure to welcome a Ministerial delegation from Germany and senior Welsh Assembly officials to Pontllanfraith Primary School. The school has been a very successful pilot for the Foundation Phase, and I was struck by the enjoyment allied to a sense of real purpose in learning exhibited by pupils, teachers and support staff alike."
The Head of Pontllanfraith, Mrs Sian Shankland, said, "The Foundation Phase has brought creativity back to teaching. It's a real way of learning. It is all about independence and collaboration and learning through play. The children have become very independent and the staff think it's a fun way of teaching."
For further information about the Foundation Phase pilot please contact the school on 01495 222128.
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