EYFS Policy

Early Years Foundation Stage Policy

Introduction

This policy has been developed after looking at Early Years Foundation Stage documents, consultation with involved staff on current practice and discussion with all staff through staff meetings. The school believes that all staff need to be aware of EYFS practice within school to ensure understanding of procedures and enable progression of provision. The Early Years are a crucial time in a child’s development both physically, intellectually and socially and it is recognised by all staff as being a distinct stage in its own right.

Aims and objectives

As outlined in the EYFS Statutory Framework ‘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.’
We adhere to the Statutory Framework of the EYFS and the four guiding principles that shape practice within Early Years settings.

  • 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 and/or carers
  • Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates

We acknowledge that the curriculum and setting is in the hands of the practitioners and we aim to create an environment that nurtures learning and development through a variety of approaches and methods.

  • Adult led activity
  • Adult directed activity
  • Independent activity ( adult or child initiated)
  • Self-initiated activity

It is our aim to create an environment where children feel secure and confident. We aim to provide a curriculum that builds on present knowledge and interests and extends their ability to enable them to develop their talents and thereby achieve their full potential both socially, emotionally and academically. In creating this environment the school believes that strong links with parents are essential. The sharing of information between parents, carers and practitioners enables both parties to have clear knowledge of every child, their present abilities and the next steps.

By the end of the Foundation Stage the school aims that the children will enter Key Stage 1 having developed a sense of achievement and self-esteem resulting from their experiences in EYFS. We aim for children to be interested, excited and motivated to learn, that they can work effectively as an individual and as part of a team and have developed a positive attitude to learning.
Roles and Responsibilities

The EYFS leader will:

  • be the key person for the setting
  • plan in liaison with the job share teacher and the teaching assistant
  • ensure planning is broad, balanced and enables progression.
  • ensure all staff are aware of new developments in EYFS.
  • liaise with practitioners about issues, resources etc.
  • liaise with all the EYFS staff with regard to assessment procedures

Welfare Requirements

Safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare

The school has effective policies and procedures to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

The school promotes the good health of children, taking the necessary steps to prevent the spread of infection and takes appropriate action when they are ill.

The school manages children’s behaviour appropriately taking into account their stage of development and particular individual needs.

Suitable people

The school ensures that adults looking after children supervised or unsupervised are suitable to do so.

The school ensures that adults looking after children have appropriate qualifications, training, skills and knowledge.

The school ensures that staff arrangements are organised to ensure safety and meet the needs of children.

Suitable premises, environment and equipment

The school ensures that outdoor and indoor spaces, furniture, equipment and toys are safe and uitable for purpose.

Organisation

The school has policies and procedures in place to ensure that every child receives an enjoyable and challenging learning and development experience that is tailored to meet their individual needs.

Documentation

The school has maintained records, policies and procedures required for the safe and efficientmanagement of school and to meet the needs of the children.

Implementation

Prior to starting school there are opportunities to bring pre school children into the classroom environment to familiarise them with the surroundings and to develop relationships with staff and other children. It is important for the children to be familiar with the setting to minimise any anxieties they may have about starting school. It is also important to note that the Infant classroom has a very open ethos and siblings of children already attending school are regularly welcomed into the classroom.

In the summer term parents are invited to a meeting for new starters. This meeting gives information
about the practicalities of school life e.g. school uniforms etc. Parents and carers are given an
opportunity to ask staff questions.

The Infants class consists of Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children.
In the mornings the Reception children are generally taught separately from the Key Stage 1 children. In the afternoons they return to the main classroom and are taught with the Key Stage 1 children. This organisation can change year on year depending on the size of the cohort and the school is flexible and can adapt to suit the needs of the class.

The Reception children have a variety of learning environments that enable a broad and balanced curriculum to be delivered.

  • Little room – tables, laptops and carpeted seating area.
  • Conservatory – areas of provision.
  • General classroom – tables, carpeted seating area, computers, some areas of provision, wet
    area.
  • Playground – seating, markings, equipment.
  • Various grassed areas – field, sensory garden, seating, climbing frames, wildlife garden, greenhouse, growing plants facilities.

The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is divided into seven areas of learning where all are important and interconnected.

Prime Areas

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and emotional development

Specific Areas

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design
  • Each area of learning has a set of Early Learning Goals which the majority of children are expected to achieve by the end of Reception class.

Planning

As an EYFS team we write long term and medium term plans using the Development Matters EYFS
guidance document based on a series of topics each of which offers experiences in all prime and
specific areas. These plans then inform our short term weekly planning, alongside our observations,
which remain flexible for unplanned circumstances or children’s responses.
We plan a balance between children having time and space to engage in their own child-initiated
activities and those that are planned by adults. During children’s play, early years teaching staff interact
to stretch and challenge children further.

Reading

The school follows the principles and practices of ‘Letters and Sounds’ for the teaching of phonics.
High frequency words are highlighted in manageable groups each week and are revisited regularly. Flash
cards are also used to consolidate learning. For reading books there is a wide choice of various
schemes available and children choose books of an appropriate level and interest. These are read with
the children in school as well as being taken home to share with parents and carers. A reading record book also goes home which enables communication between school and home.

Observation, Assessment and Record keeping

‘The majority of evidence will come from the practitioner’s knowledge of the child and observation of the child’s self-initiated activities’.
EYFS Profile handbook 2012.

As part of our daily practice we observe and assess children’s development and learning to inform our future plans. We record our observations in a variety of ways. Each child has a book which follows their individual learning journey. Significant observations of children’s achievements are collated in
these ‘Learning Journeys’ which are always available in the classrooms for parents to look at. We actively encourage parents to contribute to ‘Learning Journeys.’ Ongoing observations are used to inform the EYFS Profile/developmental matter bands and the Characteristics of Learning.

The child’s progress is reviewed on a daily and then termly basis and is regularly discussed with parents as well as teachers and teaching assistants.
In addition to their Learning Journeys there is a book and folder that contain examples of practical and recorded work.

EYFS cluster meetings are attended regularly by the class teachers and/or teaching assistant to keep up to date with new documents/practise and moderation.

Parental Involvement

As previously stated the school values the contribution that parents make. Parents and school are partners in educating children. Parents can become involved in their child’s learning in a variety of ways. The school has an open door policy with parents and liaison and exchanges of information often occur informally at the beginning and end of the day with members of staff.

There are two formal and one informal parent’s evenings throughout the year where progress within the Early Learning Goals is given. At the end of the year a formal report is written.

Safety

Children’s safety and welfare is paramount. We create a safe and secure environment and provide a curriculum which teaches children how to be safe, make choices and assess risks. We have stringent policies, procedures and documents in place to ensure children’s safety.
We promote the good health of the children in our care in numerous ways, including the provision of nutritious food, following set procedures when children become ill or have an accident.

Inclusion

We value all our children as individuals at Storth CE Primary School, irrespective of their ethnicity, culture, religion, home language, background, ability or gender. We plan a curriculum that meets the needs of the individual child and support them at their own pace. We strongly believe that early identification of children with additional needs is crucial in enabling us to give the child the support that they need and in doing so, work closely with parents and outside agencies.

  • Other relevant policies
  • Equal Opportunities
  • SEN
  • Every Child Matters
  • Health and Safety
  • Child Protection

Policy last updated: September 2013
Adopted at the meeting of Storth CE School Governing Body on 12 November 2013

Download EYFS policy PDF here >