• The Foundation Phase in Wales – time to grow up?

    Research Articles

    The Foundation Phase in Wales – time to grow up?



The Foundation Phase for 3 to 7-year-olds in Wales is an innovative play-based curriculum that was introduced in the country over a period from 2008–11. This article provides an overview of the life of the Foundation Phase in Wales to date. It reviews the history of the curriculum innovation following devolution from UK central government, outlines the issues and challenges facing the early years education sector at the current time and sets out 'where we might go', in relation to early years education provision in future. With reinforced governmental backing for the future of the Foundation Phase, the article considers what lessons can be taken forward to scaffold the effective longevity of an initiative that, in general terms, enjoys warm support locally and the envious attention of external observers. The article spends some time establishing 'where we have been', in order to fully set the context of 'where we are' and, using evidence from evaluation studies and from national and international early years education research, explores priorities for the future. The article suggests that serious attention to high-quality professional learning should be top of the priority list as we move forward.

How to Cite:

Waters J., (2016) “The Foundation Phase in Wales – time to grow up?”, Wales Journal of Education 18(1).



Published on
01 Mar 2016
Peer Reviewed