Foundation Stage - About Us

What is a Foundation Unit?

A Foundation Unit is where 3 to 5 year old children with 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 transition into Year one.

We believe working in this way gives children the emotional security to cope with moving into Key Stage 1 and strengthens relationships in a spacious environment.


Benefits of a Foundation Unit

  • To improve the quality of 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 smoothly without the disruption of transition.

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

  • To enable children to work with staff who have got the time to know them really well.

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


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

  • Our Foundation Unit is set up to promote learning through play. 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.

FSU Organisation

Children and parents are allocated to a Key Person. A Key Person has special responsibilities for working with their small group of children. 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 unit. 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.

Parents can give any information to their Key Person and can be confident that it will be passed onto the correct adult. 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 Clark / Mrs Hope

  • Foxes Group - Mrs Binks

  • Hedgehog Group – Miss Hart

  • Owl Group – Mrs Kang

Moving on to School

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 Council for admission to the main school.

Places are not allocated on a first come first served basis but are determined by Wokingham Borough Council. Details of the nursery and school admissions criteria is available on request.




Key People are responsible for collecting observations of children in Foundation. These observations are recorded on an Ipad and twice per term the observations 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 First-Aiders in our Foundation Unit 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.

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 1.