The Learning Environment at Foundational Stage


An inclusive, welcoming, colourful, and joyful environment that supports every child’s participation is very critical for achieving the Competencies outlined in the NCF.
a. The indoor environment needs to be well lit and well ventilated.
b. It should feel safe and inviting for the children.
c. It needs to be inclusive.
d. It should have a balance of both familiar and novel experiences for the child.
e. It should have a balance of materials that encourage different domains of development.
f. It should allow for both individual work and cooperative work.
g. It should include displays of children’s work and also allow for children’s work-in-progress to be preserved.

Organising the Indoor Environment


Based on the above principles, one way to organize the classroom has been illustrated below. This arrangement has been made using some of the fundamental principles of ECCE. Teachers have the autonomy to arrange their classroom environment based on the dimensions and shape
of the classroom, local conditions, and materials available.
Both the floor space and the wall space has been represented in the drawing and the different locations and their uses have been numbered and detailed below:

Running Blackboard

  • a. Running Blackboard: Running blackboards can be painted on the bottom of the three walls of the classroom after leaving half a foot of space at the bottom of the wall as children can’t
  • write in that space. Each child needs at least 3 feet of space on the blackboard. The running blackboard can be put to use in multiple ways for children to express themselves in the arts as
  • well as for literacy and numeracy activities. The advantage of this arrangement is that children’s work becomes immediately visible for both the Teacher and other children in the environment.

Circle

  • b. Circle: It would be good to draw a set of concentric circles on the floor for children to sit during circle time. Keeping the floor space clean and organized is very import for the children to work with a sense of order and purpose.

Corners set up

  • c. Corners set up: Corners can be planned inside the classroom. This space could accommodate around four children at a time. The corners can be demarcated by cardboard boxes or low height shelves and the appropriate materials can be kept within them. This could be of various kinds, illustratively:
  • i. Dramatic Play Corner – This corner could be covered with transparent curtains on two sides. Along with masks and puppets, different kinds of material sets can be placed in the corner. These materials can be gathered or prepared with the use of low cost and locally available material. Children get the opportunity to play without hesitation and imitate what they observe adults doing.
  • ii. Blocks/Puzzles and Math corner – In this corner, we could arrange blocks, puzzles, beads, pegboards, matching, classification materials and so on. Materials would need to be changed often. Activities for sensorial development as well as numeracy are very effective using such material. Children can also use blocks and other materials to build models and talk about these models to develop their imagination and oral expressions.
  • iii. Art/Drawing corner – This corner can have paper, crayons, pencils, colours, brushes, leaves, and sticks. This corner would give opportunities to children for free drawing and express their views and emotions. Cloth, thread, origami paper, cardboard sheets, would also enable 3-D expressions through craft work.
  • iv. Books/language corner – This corner can contain picture books, picture charts, picture cards, and children’s literature. Through this corner, children would get the opportunity to browse through books, read books quietly on their own, talk about the picture cards and share their thoughts with other children in the group, and so on. Through these activities children gain oral language competence, print awareness and reading abilities.

Additional corners can be added based on the space availability. A tinkering corner where common household devices that are safe for young children to dismantle and put it back together
would be ideal to challenge young minds.

Classroom Display

d. Classroom Display: A specific place in the room to display both children’s and Teachers’ work is important to keep the classroom lively and dynamic. The display can be arranged with the use of a cardboard piece with a white sheet pasted on it. The display needs to be hung on the wall, not very high, but at the eye level of the children. It is important to make sure that all children’s work is put up for display by rotation.
i. Weather chart: The daily and weekly weather along with the day of the week information can be displayed in this location. Again, a cardboard piece with a chart paper can be the background and the weather for the day can be indicated pictorially and through text.

ii. Timetable: It is important that the timetable is displayed clearly in the classroom, and this guides the Teacher as well as the children. Children of this age appreciate structure and sequence.
iii. Teacher prepared charts: This location in the classroom can display charts prepared by the Teacher. It can contain relevant stories, or picture of objects found in the vicinity of the school or in the children’s’ homes that is relevant to the topic being learnt. Teachers and children can prepare these charts together for display.
iv. Norms charts: It is important to prominently display classroom norms. These charts should not be mere sequence of instruction, rather should be conveyed creatively through pictures and stories.

Portfolio Bags

  • e. Portfolio Bags: It is important to record and store children’s work. Making it accessible and visible to other children is equally important. This becomes relevant for assessment too.
  • Portfolio bags can be hung on a wire/rope and should be neatly labelled with each child’s name.
  • Along with these display areas, every classroom should have a mirror, clock, allotted spaces outside to keep footwear and a dustbin.
  • The labelling of these locations, the text in the displays and the reading corners should make the environment print rich, colourful and a happy place.

Reference and Excerpt

National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage-2022

https://ncert.nic.in/pdf/NCF_for_Foundational_Stage_20_October_2022.pdf

https://ncf.ncert.gov.in/#/web/home