Foundation Year Exemplars: Overview

Curriculum overview

The theme for the Foundation year is People live in places.

Place is the starting point of geography. From our earliest years, we have an attachment to certain places and an increasing knowledge of their uniqueness. We learn about their features, and we have strong feelings about places we like, dislike, feel comfortable within or fear. Foundation students are in a process of learning their way around their local surroundings — their place.

At Foundation level, children will be learning from hands-on play activities which develop their fine motor skills, their personal organisation skills and their group cooperation skills. Flowing on from these hands-on activities come the questions, inquiries and the communication of understandings. The illustrations of practice use these principles and are focused around learning by doing.

About the illustrations

The two illustrations for Foundation level are both hands-on activities involving individuals and groups in structured play. The activities are developed from the natural play of children at this age. Toys and other items are used to create models of objects commonly seen in the places around them. Toy cars and toy people are used together with roads, trees, fences, buildings, parks, rivers made from paper, cardboard and other materials.

Illustration 1: Making a model of a place like mine supports the creation of models of familiar places. Some photographs are provided to stimulate ideas.

Illustration 2: Mental maps suggests a variety of methods to recreate places that are significant or special to your students.

Each of the illustrations has a physical product of a 3D model or a map. Each of these can be dynamic and modified by individuals and groups. They can be used for discussion, for comparison, and as the basis of stories and further inquiries.