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Foundation Stage Units


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My name is Sue and i am an advisory teacher for my local education authority, presently on a secondment .

Does anyone have experience in establishing a foundation stage unit? Settings in our authority are generating lot's of interest in units for many different reasons, however none of the settings are purpose built .

Issues around planning, resourcing, staffing are high priority at the moment for most settings who wish to esablish a unit for their foundation stage.

Would love to hear of anyone interested in the topic.

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Hi Sue -

Welcome to the forum and thanks for posting! :D


This is the 3rd or 4th time someone has posted about foundation stage units, so even I have to take this hint. I'm going to set up a dedicated forum for questions and discussions about FSU's. In the meantime, I thought you'd like to see some of the other conversations, so I've linked to them below. I think Mundia probably has the greatest experience of such structures, so look out for any of her posts!


Discussion 1


Discussion 2


Discussion 3


In addition to the above conversations which are mostly introductory as yet, you might want to have a look at this general reception conversation, which is so good it's going to be famous one day! :oClick here


Hope this stuff helps - welcome in again!

Regards, Steve.

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  • 3 months later...

[hello Im new here and so happy to see discussioon on FS units.

:D Im EY coordinator in a first school .The structure of our building was changed 2 yrs ago to accomodate a unit.We hav tried a few different ways to run it and at the moment things are working well.[39 part time nursery children ,50 reception,3 teachers 3 nursery nurses

Main concerns were-

could 3 yr olds cope without the security of their own classroom-

Would they get lost in the large unit

How would we plan

Could all staff see the benefits of this way of working.

Head teachers do tend to think we can cope without supply if a member of staff is absent but Im working on that.

if anyone wants more detailed onfo Id be happy to give it :

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Hi Crestacat, and welcome to the site. :D

Thank you for making your first post; I'm sure you must be thrilled to be at the cutting edge of early years education. Many many practitioners would love to work in a setting such as yours, and I hope you'll have the time to tell us more about the day-to-day workings of it. :) Can you tell us how you set up for a session, eg what the layout is like?

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  • 7 months later...

Hi everyone

I am a headteacher and hoping to start a FSU in September. Mainly because at the minute we have mixed Y1 and reception. All the FS staff are on board with it and keen but our only hurdle is where we stand legally with amount of space required for each child. Can anyone help or point me in the right direction?

Thanks Valerie


PS This is my first post. :o

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Hi Valerie

welcome aboard, hope it will be your first post of many.

I can't offer you any answers to your questions but I am envious of the project you are about to embark on.

Good luck.

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Hi Valerie -

Welcome to the Forum and thanks for your first post. :)


Like Susan, I'm not really qualified to give a full answer to that question - but for children of 3 - 7 years in full daycare settings, the standards are 2.3 square meters per child.


Your kind of setting - presumably a nursery/primary school? - may well have a different requirement, however. They do in many respects, such as child/staff ratios.


I'm sure someone will know the answer however!


Good luck with your exciting project! Let us know how you get on. :D

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Hi again

The nursery is a double unit but there has been quite a fall in numbers so we think we have enough space. Our advisors are helpful but it is difficult to pinpoint exactly who in the LEA can give us an answer. Anything must be better than having to mix FS with KS1 though. Thanks for the info about the square metres. I will look into that tomorrow. I love the site and will continue to return to read about problems/solutions from other schools.

Valerie :o

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Hi there Valerie and welcome on board. Its a really exciting project you are taking on, and great that your staff are all on board.


We faced the issue of space when our school started to expand, and effectively we now have 100 foundation phase children in a space originally meant to accomodate 60. But when we queried this on health and safety grounds, the LEA said there were no statutory minimum space allocations in LEA funded schools. We quoted the same figures that Steve gave you, but were told that they didnt apply, even for the under 5s.

Consequently across our whole school, we are swinging from the rafters!!

We are even giving up our staff room next year to create another classroom.


How many children do you plan to have in your 'double unit'. We make the best of our space issue by using our outdoor area as much as possible- will this be a possibilty for you?


We also have it as top priority in our SDP to expand the foundation space, but this is more of a long term vision.


Im sure you are doing the right thing. A fs/KS1 mix is really difficult, and I think its really exciting way to work.


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