Imagine the Possibilities




Early Years and Foundation Stage





2016 - 2017

Early Years and Foundation Stage


I. Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.

II. British International College Cairo sets the standards that early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. We promote the highest quality of teaching and learning practises to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.

III. British International College Cairo provides:

  • quality and consistency in all early years settings, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind;
  • a secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly;
  • partnership working between practitioners and with parents;
  • equality of opportunity ensuring that every child is included and supported.

IV. British International College Cairo specifies requirements for learning and development and for safeguarding children and promoting their welfare. The learning and development requirements cover:

  • the areas of learning and development which shape activities and experiences (educational programmes) for children in all early years settings;
  • the early learning goals that we at British International College Cairo implement help children work towards (the knowledge, skills and understanding children should have at the end of the academic year in which they turn five); and
  • assessment arrangements for measuring progress (and requirements for reporting to parents).

V. The safeguarding and welfare requirements cover the steps that British International College Cairo takes to keep children safe and promote their welfare.

Overarching principles

VI. At British International College Cairo there are four guiding principles that shape our practice in our early years settings


These are:

  • every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;
  • children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
  • children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents;


  • children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.

Section 1

Our Learning and Development Provision

1.1 This section defines what British International College Cairo do, working in partnership with parents, to promote the learning and development of all children in our care to ensure all children are ready for school. Our learning and development provision are informed by the available evidence on how children learn and reflect the broad range of skills, knowledge and attitudes children need as foundations for good future progress. At British International College Cairo we guide the development of children’s capabilities with a view to ensuring that children in our care complete the British Foundation Stage ready to benefit fully from the opportunities ahead of them.

1.2 British International College Cairo learning and development provision comprises of seven areas of learning and development and our educational programmes (described below);

• our early learning goals, which summarise the knowledge, skills and understanding  that all young children should have gained by the end of the Reception year; and

• the assessment requirements (when and how we assess children’s achievements, and when and how we discuss children’s progress with parents.

The areas of learning and development

1.3 We provide seven areas of learning and development that shape our educational programmes in our early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three of these areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:

  • communication and language;
  • physical development; and
  • personal, social and emotional development.
  1. 4British International College Cairo also supports children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
  • literacy;
  • mathematics;
  • understanding the world; and
  • expressive arts and design.
  1. 5Our educational programmes involve activities and experiences for children, as follows:
  • Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
  • Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
  • Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
  • Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
  • Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
  • Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
  • Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.
  1. 6At British International College Cairo we consider the individual needs, interests, and stages of development of each child in our care, and use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience for each child in all of the areas of learning and development. Our practitioners work with the youngest children and focus strongly on the three prime areas, which are the basis for successful learning in the other four specific areas. The three prime areas reflect the key skills and capacities all children need to develop and learn effectively, and become ready for school. We expect the balance will shift towards a more equal focus on all areas of learning as children grow in confidence and ability within the three prime areas. But throughout the early years, if a child’s progress in any prime area gives cause for concern, our practitioners will discuss this with the child’s parents and agree how to support the child. Our Practitioners consider whether a child may have a special educational need or disability which requires specialist support. We link with, provide and help families to access, relevant services from other agencies as appropriate.
  1. 7For children whose home language is not English, we provide opportunities for children to develop and use their home language in play and learning, supporting their language development at home. As a British International curriculum college we ensure that children have all opportunities to learn and reach the highest standard in the English language during their Foundation Stage years, ensuring children are ready to benefit from the opportunities available to them when they begin Year 1. When assessing communication, language and literacy skills, our teachers assess children’s skills in English. If a child does not have a strong grasp of English language, our practitioners will explore the child’s skills in the home language with parents to establish whether there is cause for concern about language delay. We may also refer parents to our learning support centre partner, which is LRC Cairo (Learning Resource Centre).

1.8           Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults. There is an ongoing judgement made by our practitioners about the balance between activities led by children, and activities led or guided by adults. Practitioners respond to each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction. As children grow older, and as their development allows, it is expected that the balance will gradually shift towards more activities led by adults, to help children prepare for more formal learning, ready for Year 1.

1.9           In planning and guiding children’s activities, practitioners reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in their practice. Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

•                playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’;

•                active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements; and

•                creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

1.10        Each child has an assigned key person (a safeguarding and welfare requirement). We inform parents of the name of the key person, and explain their role, when a child starts attending our school. The key person ensures that every child’s learning and care is tailored to meet their individual needs. The key person seeks to engage and support parents and in guiding their child’s development at home. They also help families engage with more specialist support if appropriate.

1.11        At British International College Cairo we believe that a quality learning experience for children requires a quality workforce. A well qualified, skilled staff strongly increases the potential of any individual setting to deliver the best possible outcomes for children. Requirements in relation to staff qualifications are outlined in Section 3. We regularly consider the training and development needs of all our staff members to ensure they offer a quality learning experience for children that continually improves.

1.12        The level of progress children should be expected to have attained by the end of their Foundation Stage is defined by the early learning goals set out below.

The early learning goals

The prime areas


Communication and language

Listening and attention: children listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.

Understanding: children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.

Speaking: children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.

Physical development:  Moving and handling: children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.

Health and self-care: children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

Self-confidence and self-awareness: children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help.

Managing feelings and behaviour: children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.

Making relationships: children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.

The specific areas


Reading: children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.

Writing: children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.


Numbers: children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.

Shape, space and measures: children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everydayobjects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.

Understanding the world


People and communities: children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.

The world: children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.

Technology: children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.

Expressive arts and design


Exploring and using media and materials: children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function


Being imaginative: children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.

Section 2


2.1 Assessment plays an important part in helping our parents and our teachers to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. Ongoing assessment (also known as formative assessment) is an integral part of the learning and development process. It involves practitioners observing children to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles, and to then shape learning experiences for each child reflecting those observations. In their interactions with children, practitioners should respond to their own day-to-day observations about children’s progress, and observations that parents share.

2.2 Our assessment processes do not entail prolonged breaks from interaction with children, nor require excessive paperwork. Our systems are limited to that which is absolutely necessary to promote children’s successful learning and development. Parents are kept up-to-date with their child’s progress and development. Our practitioners always address any learning and development needs in partnership with parents and any relevant professionals.

Progress check for Nursery children

2.3 When a child is aged between two and three, our practitioners review their progress, and provide parents with a written summary of their child’s development in the prime areas.

This progress check identifies the child’s strengths, and any areas where the child’s progress is less than expected. If there are significant emerging concerns, or an identified special educational need or disability, our practitioners develop a targeted plan to support the child’s future learning and development involving other professionals.

2.4 Beyond the prime areas, our practitioners also provide a written summary which includes, reflecting the development level and needs of the individual child. The summary highlights: areas in which a child is progressing well; areas in which some additional support might be needed; and focus particularly on any areas where there is a concern that a child may have a developmental delay (which may indicate a special educational need or disability). It describes the activities and strategies we intend to adopt to address any issues or concerns.

2.5 Our practitioners discuss with parents how the summary of development can be used to support learning at home. Our practitioners should encourage parents and to share information from the progress check. Our practitioners agree with parents and when will be the most useful point to provide a summary. It is provided in time to inform on health and development allowing us to identify any developmental delay and any particular support from which we consider the child/family might benefit. Taking account of information from the progress check (which reflects ongoing, regular observation of children’s development) should help ensure that we can identify children’s needs accurately and fully at the health and development review. We always ensure we have the consent of parents to share information directly with other relevant professionals, if we consider this would be helpful.

Assessment at the end of the Foundation Stage

Foundation Stage Profile

2.6 In the final term of the year in which the child reaches age five, a Profile is completed for each child. The Profile provides parents, practitioners and teachers with a well-rounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their progress against expected levels, and their readiness for Year 1. The Profile reflects: ongoing observation; all relevant records held by the setting; discussions with parents and carers, and any other adults whom the teacher, parent or carer judges can offer a useful contribution.

2.7 Each child’s level of development is assessed against the early learning goals (see Section 1). Our practitioners indicate whether children are meeting expected levels of development, or if they are exceeding expected levels, or not yet reaching expected levels (‘emerging’). This is the Foundation Stage Profile.

2.8 Year 1 teachers are given a copy of the Profile report together with a commentary on each child’s skills and abilities in relation to the three key characteristics of effective learning (see paragraph 1.9). These inform a dialogue between Reception and Year 1 teachers about each child’s stage of development and learning needs and assist with the planning of activities in Year 1.

2.9 We share the results of the Profile with parents and explain to them when and how they can discuss the Profile with the teacher who completed it.

2.10 The Profile is completed for all children, including those with special educational needs or disabilities. Where appropriate and agreed there is a full assessment of all areas of their development, to inform plans for future activities and to identify any additional support needs.


For children aged two:

  • there are at least one suitably qualified and experienced member of staff for every four children;

For children aged three:

  • there are at least one suitably qualified and experienced member of staff for every six children;

For children aged four:

  • there are at least one suitably qualified and experienced member of staff for every eight children;

For children aged five:

  • there are at least one suitably qualified and experienced member of staff for every twelve children.


We promote the good health of children attending our school. We have procedures, discussed with parents for responding to children who are ill or infectious to take the necessary steps to prevent the spread of infection, and take appropriate action if children are ill.

We have in place an implemented policy and procedures document for administering medicines. This includes systems for obtaining information about a child’s needs for medicines, and for keeping this information up-to-date

The school Nurse is solely responsible for the administration of medicine. Medicines must not usually be administered unless they have been prescribed for a child by a doctor, dentist, nurse or pharmacist (medicines containing aspirin will only be given if prescribed by a doctor).

Medicine (both prescription and non-prescription) will only be administered to a child where written permission for that particular medicine has been obtained from the child’s parent. The School Nurse will keep a written record each time a medicine is administered to a child, and inform the child’s parents and on the same day.

Food and drink

British international College has very carefully produced guidelines on providing a nutritious, healthy and balanced packed-lunch. When a child is admitted to our school we must obtain information about food allergies that the child has, and any special health requirements. We record and act on information from parents about a child's dietary needs. We strictly prohibit children sharing their food.

Fresh drinking water is always freely available and accessible at all times.

Accident or injury

The School Doctor ensures there is a first aid box accessible at all times with appropriate content for use with children. We keep a written record of accidents or injuries and first aid treatment. We inform parents of any accident or injury sustained by the child on the same day, or as soon as reasonably practicable, of any first aid treatment given.

Managing behaviour

We have an implemented behaviour management policy and procedures document. A named practitioner is responsible for behaviour management in every setting. They have the necessary skills to advise other staff on behaviour issues and to access expert advice if necessary. We NEVER administer corporal punishment to a child. This is a criminal offence. Physical intervention is solely used for the purposes of averting immediate danger of personal injury to any person (including the child) if absolutely necessary. We provide a record of any occasion where physical intervention is used, and parents are informed on the same day.

We manage behaviour positively through rewards. This includes stickers, house points, star of the week, special mention book and golden time.

Safety and suitability of premises, environment and equipment


The British International College Cairo ensures that our premises, including outdoor spaces, are fit for purpose. Spaces, furniture, equipment and toys, are safe for children to use and premises are secure. We continually keep our premises and equipment clean, and constantly monitor a high standard of cleanliness and hygiene.

British International College Cairo has a fully implemented policy document covering all aspects of Health and Safety, which cover identifying, reporting and dealing with accidents, hazards and faulty equipment.

We take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of children, staff and others on the premises in the case of fire or any other emergency, and have an emergency evacuation procedure. We have appropriate fire detection and control equipment (for example, fire alarms, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers) which are in working order. Fire exits are clearly identifiable, and fire doors are free of obstruction and easily opened from the inside.

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Imagine the Possibilities

About Us

British International College (BICC) in Cairo delivers an outstanding best International education in Egypt and established itself as one of Cairo’s leading schools. We aim to expand the minds of our students and infuse them with a passion for learning and the ambition to make a difference in the local and global community. Mail us at:

Contact us

British International College Cairo

Fifth District - 1st Area, New Cairo,  Cairo, EGYPT

بريتش انترناشيونال كولدج بالقاهرة، التجمع الخامس 

Tel: +20 100 3973 731



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