William Law C E Primary School. Early Years Foundation Policy

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1 William Law C E Primary School Early Years Foundation Policy Policy shared with staff on Intranet [by /staff briefing] Policy confirmed by the Governing Body of William Law CE Primary School on: Date: 12 th June 2014 Signature: Stephen Forster Policy to be reviewed on: 12 th June 2017

2 William Law CofE Primary School Policy for Early Years Foundation Stage Introduction In the Early Years a child s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. All children join us at the beginning of the school year in which they are five. (Compulsory schooling begins at the start of the term after a child s fifth birthday.) Key Stage One begins for our children at the beginning of Year One. The Foundation Stage is important in its own right, and in preparing children for later schooling. The Development Matters statements and Early Learning Goals for each area of learning and development set out what is expected of most children by the end of the Foundation Stage. Children joining our school have already learnt a great deal. Most have been to one of a range of settings that exist in our local area, attending part time. The Early Years education we offer our children is based on the four themes of the Early Years Foundation Stage: A unique child where every child is a competent learner who can be resilient, capable, confident and self assured. Positive Relationships where children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents/carers. Enabling Environments where the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children s development and learning. Learning and Development where children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of learning and development are equally important and interconnected. Aims of the Foundation Stage To provide a safe, caring and secure environment, that aids the transition from home to school and encourages the growth of independence, confidence, co-operation and learning. The Foundation Stage curriculum needs to be well planned and resourced in order to take children s learning forward and should provide opportunities for all children to succeed in an atmosphere of care and feeling valued. The curriculum of the Foundation Stage underpins all future learning by supporting, fostering, promoting and developing children s: Personal, social and emotional wellbeing; Positive attitudes and dispositions towards their learning;

3 Social skills; Attention skills and persistence; Independence and confidence; Language and communication; Reading and writing; Problem solving, Reasoning and Numeracy; Knowledge and understanding of the world; Physical Development Expressive Arts and Design The overall aim of the Early Years Foundation Stage is to help young achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes to: Be healthy Stay safe Enjoy and achieve Make a positive contribution Achieve economic wellbeing The Early Years Foundation Stage will achieve this aim by a principled approach to: Setting standards Promoting equality of opportunity Creating a framework for partnerships Improving quality and consistency Laying a secure foundation for future learning and development

4 Teaching and learning style Teaching and learning styles vary according to the activity or objective pursed. Throughout the Foundation Stage there is an emphasis on learning through play. A variety of different learning experiences and styles are planned into each day in order to provide children with a variety of learning experiences and opportunities. The more general features of good practice in our school that relate to the Foundation Stage are: The partnerships between children, parents, teachers, governors and the wider community, so that our children feel safe and secure at school and develop a sense of well-being and achievement; The pedagogic knowledge and understanding that teachers have of how children develop and learn, and how this affects their teaching and impacts the children s learning; The range of approaches used that provide first hand experiences, give clear explanations, make appropriate interventions, extend, develop, play and talk or other means of communication; The carefully planned curriculum that helps children achieve the Development Matters Statements and Early Learning Goals by the end of the Foundation Stage; The provision for children to take part in activities that build on and extend their interests and develop their intellectual, physical, social and emotional abilities; The encouragement for children to communicate and talk about their learning and to develop independence and self management; The support for learning with appropriate and accessible indoor and outdoor space, facilities and equipment; The identification of the progress and the future learning needs of children through observations and assessments, which are regularly shared with parents; The good relationships between our school and the settings that our children experience prior to joining our school; The clear aims for our work, and the regular monitoring to evaluate and improve what we do; The regular identification of training needs of all adults working within the Foundation Stage.

5 Play in the Foundation Stage 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. Play is a key way in which children learn with engagement and challenge. Inclusion in the Foundation Stage In our school we believe that all our children matter. We give our children every opportunity to achieve their best. We do this by taking account of our children s range of life experiences when planning for their learning. In the Foundation Stage we set realistic and challenging expectations that meet the needs of our children, so that most achieve the Early Learning Goals by the end of the year, with some children progressing beyond this point. We achieve this by planning to meet the needs of boys and girls, children who are more able, children with special education needs, children with disabilities, children from all social and cultural backgrounds, children of different ethnic groups and those from diverse linguistic backgrounds. We meet the needs of all our children through: Planning opportunities that build upon and extend children s knowledge, experience and interests, and develop their self esteem and confidence; Using a wide range of teaching strategies based on children s learning needs; Providing a safe and supportive learning environment in which the contribution of all children is valued; Using resources which reflect diversity and are free from discrimination and stereotyping; Planning challenging activities for children whose ability and understanding are in advance of their language and communication skills; Monitoring children s progress and taking action to provide support as necessary. This could involve other professionals e.g. speech therapists, physiotherapist. The Foundation Stage Curriculum The Early Years Foundation Stage learning and development requirements comprise of: The seven areas of learning & development The early learning goals

6 The assessments There are seven areas of learning and development and all are important and interconnected. Three areas are particularly crucial and for igniting children s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three prime areas are: Communication and Language Physical Development Personal, Social and Emotional Development The four specific areas, where the three prime areas are strengthened and applied are: Literacy Mathematics Understanding the World Expressive Arts & Design Children use the outdoor area daily, in all weathers, to enrich their learning. Each area of learning and development (AOLD) in both the prime and specific areas are split into aspects. Each aspect set out the skills, knowledge and understanding and attitudes which it is hoped children will reach or exceed by the end of the Foundation Stage. The Development Matters statements and Early Learning Goals provide a basis for planning throughout the Foundation Stage. All staff involved with the EYFS aim to develop good relationships with all children, interacting positively with them and taking time to listen to them. At our school each Reception Teacher acts a Key Person to all children in their class, supported by the Teaching Assistant. With a large cohort of children, we draw from an average of 25 pre-school settings each year, from across the city. We work hard to ensure a smooth transition for every child joining our school. Prior to starting school each child is visited at their pre-school by a member of the reception team. Staff and children from the pre-schools closest to the school are also invited to school during the summer term to watch our concert and to play in the reception classrooms. Assessment Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners to recognise children s progress, understanding their needs and to plan activities and support. The children s learning and development is assessed in relation to the Development Matters statements and Early Learning Goals. These assessments are made through observations of the children throughout the Foundation Stage and compiled in their Learning Journey. By

7 the end of their Reception year, the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile Report will provide a way of summarising their achievements. As part of the teaching and learning process, we assess each child s development in relation to the Development Matters Statements and Early Learning Goals that form part of the Early Years Foundation Stage. The role of the parents We encourage parents to take an active part in their child s education by informing them of the topics to be covered each term and providing them with suggestions as to how they can be involved and what they can do to support this learning. We also invite parents into school to share their skills. We rely on the support of parents and value their role as co-educators. We believe that all parents have an important role to play in the education of their child. We recognise the role that parents have played, and their future role, in educating the children. We do this through: Talking to parents about their child before their child starts in our school; The teacher and teaching assistant visits children in their home setting prior to them starting school; The children have the opportunity to spend time with their teacher before starting school; Inviting all parents to two induction meetings during the term before their child starts school and attending a social evening in the first term their child starts school; Offering parents regular opportunities to talk about their child s progress; Inviting parents to attend stay and play sessions during the summer term; Encouraging parents to talk to the child s teacher if there are any concerns. There is a formal meeting for parents in the Autumn and Spring terms, where the teacher and the parents discuss the child s progress with the teacher. Parents receive a report on their child s attainment and progress at the end of each school year; Open door policy in the morning, where the parents/carers can come into the classroom to settle their child in and speak to the teacher. Parents complete Wow cards of their child s achievements at home; these help us to build up a complete picture of each child s learning.

8 Resources We plan a learning environment, both indoors and outdoors, that encourages a positive attitude to learning. We use materials and equipment that reflect both the community that the children come from and the wider world. We encourage the children to make their own selection of activities on offer, as we believe that this encourages independent learning. Monitoring and Review This policy is monitored by the governing body, and will be reviewed every three years. Claire Bellamy

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