EYFS policy

1. Aims

This policy aims to ensure:

Children are provided with well planned, playful opportunities that challenge and extend their knowledge, skills and understanding while also developing their self-esteem, confidence and independence.

Quality and consistency in teaching and learning within a safe and supportive environment, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind

Parents are valued as partners in the education of their child and are kept well informed about their child’s progress.  This includes working in close partnership with parents and/or carers in order to establish an accurate understanding of each child’s individual needs

Every child is included and supported through equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice

2. Legislation

This policy is based on requirements set out in the 2017 statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This document also complies with our funding agreement and articles of association.

3. Structure of the EYFS

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the Reception year. In our school, children join us for a minimum of 15 hours in Nursery, with some children taking up the 30 hours, and full time in Reception.  Children will begin Nursery in the school year that they are turning 4 and they will begin Reception in the school year they turn 5.

4. Curriculum

The EYFS framework includes 7 areas of learning and development that are equally important and inter-connected. However, 3 areas, known as the prime areas, are seen as particularly important for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building children’s capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

The prime areas are:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development

The prime areas are strengthened and applied through 4 specific areas:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

None of these areas can be delivered in isolation from the others. They are equally important and depend on each other. All areas are delivered through a balance of adult led and child initiated activities. In each area there are Early Learning Goals (ELGs) that define the expectations for most children to reach by the end of the EYFS.

4.1 Planning

Staff plan activities and experiences for children that enable children to develop and learn effectively. In order to do this, practitioners working with the youngest children are expected to focus strongly on the 3 prime areas. Learning opportunities are provided both inside and outside, allowing children to follow their interests and maintain their motivation.

Staff also take into account the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in their care, and use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience. Where a child may have a special educational need or disability, staff consider whether specialist support is required, linking with relevant services from other agencies, where appropriate.

In planning and guiding children’s activities, practitioners reflect on the different ways that children learn and include these in their practice.  These are called the Characteristics of Effective Learning – playing & exploring, active learning and creativity & thinking critically.

Playing & Exploring

Through play our children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. They practice and build up ideas, and learn how to control themselves and understand the need for rules. They have the opportunity to think creatively alongside other children as well as on their own. They communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems. They express fears or re-live anxious experiences in controlled and safe situations.

Active Learning

Active learning occurs when children are motivated and interested. Children need to have some independence and control over their learning. As children develop their confidence, they learn to make decisions. It provides children with a sense of satisfaction as they take ownership of their learning.  We plan educational visits related to the children’s learning in both Nursery and Reception in order to enhance their learning by providing real-life experiences and a wide range of different learning opportunities.

Creativity & thinking critically

Children should be given the opportunity to be creative through all areas of learning, not just through the arts. Adults can support children’s thinking and help them to make connections by showing genuine interest, offering encouragement, clarifying ideas and asking open-ended questions. Children can access resources freely and are allowed to move them around the classroom to extend their learning.

4.2 Teaching

Children across the EYFS will take part in short whole class and small group sessions for phonics, mathematical development and communication.  Phonics is taught systematically through the Letters and Sounds programme. These sessions will lengthen as children’s concentration develops and they near the end of the EYFS phase. Mathematical learning is taught using the White Rose Yearly Outline, ensuring coverage and opportunities for mastery across all areas of mathematics.

Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play, and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activities. Practitioners respond to each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction.

During dedicated child-initiated learning sessions, the adults in the Early Years environment work with and alongside the children, scaffolding their learning and unobtrusively encouraging the acquisition and embedding of skills and knowledge.  The classroom is set up to enable children to find and locate equipment and resources independently. The EYFS classes have their own enclosed outdoor area that they can ‘free flow’ into at all times and during all weathers.  This has a positive effect on children’s development. Being outdoors provides opportunities for doing things in different ways and on different scales compared with indoors. It offers the children opportunities to explore, use their senses and be physically active.

5. Assessment

At Temple Grove Academy, ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development processes. Staff observe pupils to identify their level of achievement, interests and learning styles. These observations are used to shape future planning. Practitioners also take into account observations shared by parents and/or carers.

Assessments begin when each child enters the EYFS.  Practitioners complete a Baseline Assessment on each child through observations, photographs and work samples.  These are recorded on Tapestry Learning Journal and shared with parents/carers.

Practitioners continue to observe each child throughout the year, capturing significant moments of achievement, and building a personal Learning Journal for each child. This includes Wow Moments from the classroom as well as comments from parents on significant achievements at home.

The Development Matters statements are used to track the age band that the child is working at and to set ‘next steps’ each half term. ‘Next steps’ or ‘termly targets’ are shared with parents each term in an interim report and at parent consultations. To ensure teacher judgements are consistent, both in-house and external moderation is completed.

At the end of the EYFS, staff complete the EYFS profile for each child. Pupils are assessed against the 17 early learning goals, indicating whether they are:

  • Meeting expected levels of development
  • Exceeding expected levels or,
  • Not yet reaching expected levels (‘emerging’)

This final assessment is shared with parents and/or carers in an end of year report.

6. Working with parents

We recognise that children learn and develop well when there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers. In order to maintain this relationship, Temple Grove Academy will:

  • visit all children at home to meet them in a safe environment, allowing us the opportunity to speak to the child and parents;
  • invite all parents to a Welcome Meeting during the term before their child starts school;
  • offer parents regular opportunities to talk about their child’s progress and allow free access to their child’s E-Learning Journey;
  • provide the opportunity through the E-Learning Journeys for parent contributions;
  • encourage parents to talk to their child’s teacher if there are any concerns. There is a formal meeting for parents each term at which the teacher and the parent discuss the child’s progress in private. Parents receive an interim report on their child’s attainment and progress at the end of each term and then a final report in the Summer term;
  • arrange a variety of activities throughout the year that encourage collaboration between child, school and parents: open mornings, parent drop-ins, school trips, assemblies, Sports Days, etc.

Parents and/or carers are kept up to date with their child’s progress and development. The progress check and EYFS profile helps to provide parents and/or carers with a well-rounded picture of their child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities.

6.1 Homework

Children in the EYFS will not be given formal homework to complete.  However, we do expect the children to share story books nightly with parents for 10 minutes and record this in the Home-School Diary. Initially this may be parents reading to the child but once they are starting to read independently we do expect the children to read regularly to an adult; ideally five times a week.

Reception children will bring home a ‘Sharing Book’ each Friday and this will have a sticker inside, outlining what the children have been learning during the week.  This will help parents when talking with their child about what he/she has been doing in school.  Parents are also encouraged to record any family weekend events or outings.  These are then shared with the class on the following Monday.

7. Safeguarding and welfare procedures

It is important to us that all children in the school are ‘safe’. We aim to educate children on boundaries, rules, and limits and to help them understand why they exist. We provide children with choices to help them develop this important life skill. Children should be allowed to take risks, but need to be taught how to recognise and avoid hazards.

We aim to protect the physical and psychological well-being of all children. Our safeguarding and welfare procedures are outlined in our Safeguarding Policy.

8. Monitoring arrangements

This policy will be reviewed by the EYFS Leader and approved by the Head Teacher every two years.

At every review, the policy will be shared with the governing board.

 

Appendix 1. List of statutory policies and procedures for the EYFS

This checklist lists the policies and procedures that we must have according to the EYFS statutory framework.

Statutory policy or procedure for the EYFS
Where can it be found?

Safeguarding policy and procedures

See child protection and safeguarding policy

Procedure for responding to illness

See health and safety policy

Administering medicines policy

See supporting pupils with medical conditions policy

Emergency evacuation procedure

See health and safety policy

Procedure for checking the identity of visitors

See child protection and safeguarding policy

Procedures for a parent failing to collect a child and for missing children

See child protection and safeguarding policy

Procedure for dealing with concerns and complaints

See complaints policy