Foundation Stage - About Us

What is a Foundation Stage?

A Foundation Stage is where our youngest children start their school journey.

Foundation Stage at Hillside is where 3 to 5 year-old children learn together with Early Years practitioners work as one distinct phase in a school to an agreed and established pedagogical approach. Nursery (Foundation 1) and Reception (Foundation 2) aged groups combine to form an integrated teaching and learning provision across the Foundation Stage until they transition into Year One.

This is a very successful approach to meet children's emotional and academic needs, ensuring they are ready to start Year One and strengthens relationships in a spacious, well-resourced environment.

Other practitioners from different schools come to visit Hillside and see how our Foundation Stage works so well.


Benefits of a our Foundation Stage

  • To offer outstanding provision for children in Early Years Foundation Stage.

  • So children can experience continuity of educational experience throughout their time in the Foundation Stage.

  • To enable well-being and early learning to be nurtured without the disruption of transition.

  • Children are taught by specialist adults trained to teach in Early Years Foundation Stage.

  • Children work in small groups to enable staff to get to know them really well.

  • Parents get to know school staff well and build up a crucial relationship.


  • The Hillside Foundation Stage is a purpose built environment specifically designed to provide high-quality learning for 3-5 year-olds.

  • Our Foundation Unit is set up to promote learning through play and experiences. Play is an integral part of EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage). Children are given lots of opportunities to initiate, investigate and develop their own play, ideas and thinking within the 6 areas of learning inside and outside.

Foundation Stafe Organisation

On entering to Foundation Stage children and parents are allocated to a Key Person. A Key Person (teacher or an Early Years Specialist) has special responsibilities for working with their small group of children. Alongside education, their role includes reassuring and helping the children to feel safe and cared for.  It is important that the Key Person builds relationships with the parents and children and help both parties with their transition into the school. Although the teachers take overall responsibility for the children’s educational needs, the Key Person is very involved with their group’s educational, personal, social and emotional development.

It is important for parents to share any information with their Key Person that could affect their child's day. Parents should be assured of confidentiality. Your Key Person will be your first port of call for any problems and queries. Our Key Groups are named after British Wildlife:

  • Rabbits Group – Mrs Attewell

  • Squirrel Group – Mrs Cox

  • Badger Group – Mrs Clarke (Tues, Wed, Fri) / Mrs Hope (Mon, Thurs)

  • Foxes Group - Mrs Binks

  • Hedgehog Group – Miss Hart

  • Owl Group – Mrs Kang

Moving from Nursery (F1) to Reception (F2)

Gaining a place at Hillside Foundation 1  DOES NOT automatically guarantee a place in Foundation 2.  Parents are responsible for registering their child with Wokingham Borough Council for admission to the school as a Reception child.

Places for F2 are not allocated on a first come first served basis but are determined by Wokingham Borough Council admissions.

Click here to view our Admissions page.

Click here to view our Admissions policy.




Your child's Key Person is responsible for recording and sharing progress and milestones. These observations are recorded on an iPad and are sent to you via email.  Please ensure you let the school know your email address. We also welcome observations from home.



Support in Foundation

We always welcome parental support in Foundation.  If you can spare some time to come in to read a story, play a game, or share your expertise, we’d really appreciate this!  Let your child’s Key Person know.


First Aid

We have trained paediatric First-Aiders in our Foundation Stage at all times.


Parent Meetings

During the Autumn Term, F2 parents will be invited to a meeting to discuss how well their child has settled in at Hillside and the progress they are making.

In the Spring Term, F1 parents are invited to a parent meeting to discuss settling in and progress being made in their child’s learning and development.

In the Summer Term, F2 parents only, are invited to a final meeting to discuss profiles and reports, as well as transition into Year One.

Throughout the year, parents are invited to workshops t find out how their child learns and how parents can support their child at home.