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LIVE- EYFS Policy

Co-op Academy Glebe

Early Years Foundation Stage Policy

Academy Owner:

Kirsty Suleman

Governor Owner:

Kay Price

Policy Date:

6 December 2022

Review Date:

December 2023

Frequency:

Annual

The School’s aims

The aims of the school are developed through the experiences within the EYFS to establish the foundations of lifelong learning.

Philosophy of the Key Stage

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.  

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning 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.  

The policy of the EYFS reflects the current philosophy of the school.

Aims of the EYFS

The EYFS seeks to provide:  

  • quality and consistency in the early years settings, so that every child makes at least expected 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 and/or carers
  • equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported
  • a well-planned and resourced curriculum to take learning forward and to provide opportunities for all children to succeed in an atmosphere of care and of feelings valued
  • a carefully structured Early Years curriculum
  • opportunities for children to engage in activities planned by adults and also those that they plan and initiate themselves  
  • time to become engrossed, work in depth and complete activities
  • opportunities to find out about children’s ethnic, faith and cultural heritage and home experiences so they can be used as starting points for teaching and learning
  • planned experiences that are relevant, imaginative, motivating enjoyable and challenging
  • effective use of unforeseen opportunities for children’s learning that arise every day
  • effective use of outdoor space so children are enabled to learn but working on a larger more active scale  
  • opportunities for children to become involved by planning experiences based on real life situations
  • Equal opportunities / Inclusion
  • Smooth transition for pupils entering EYFS so they are settled and have the opportunity to be full time after 3 weeks of starting school

Inclusion

Reference should be made to the equal opportunities policy but it should be noted that the school supports the stance on inclusion of all pupils by a holistic approach through:

  • setting suitable learning challenges
  • overcoming potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups of pupils
  • responding to pupils’ diverse learning needs
  • contributing to inter-agency support where necessary
  • taking account of diverse cultures, faiths and family situations
  • taking account of health, physical, emotional and mental requirements

 

Equality

At Co-op Academy Glebe, we hold the view that our equal opportunities policy together with high expectations will support the highest standards of achievement for all pupils.  

Practitioners in the EYFS must consider the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in their care, and must use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience for each child in all of the areas of learning and development.

The EYFS sets standards to enable Early Years providers to reflect the rich and personalised experience that many parents give their children at home.  Like parents, we deliver individualised learning, development and care that enhances the development of the children in our care and give those children the best possible start in life. Every child is supported individually to make progress at their own pace and children who need extra support to fulfil their potential receive special consideration.

Practitioners ensure positive attitudes to diversity and difference – not only so that every child is included and not disadvantaged, but also so that they learn from the earliest age to value diversity in others and grow up making a positive contribution to society.

Practitioners focus on each child’s individual learning, development and care needs by:

removing or helping to overcome barriers for children where these already exist;

being alert to the early signs of needs that could lead to later difficulties and responding quickly and appropriately, involving other agencies as necessary;  stretching and challenging all children.

All children, irrespective of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties or disabilities, gender or ability have the opportunity to experience a challenging and enjoyable programme of learning and development.

Teaching methodology and organisation

It is crucial to their future success that children’s earliest experiences help to build a secure foundation for learning throughout their school years and beyond.

Practitioners are sensitive to the individual development of each child to ensure that the activities they undertake are suitable for the stage that they have reached. Children need to be stretched, but not pushed beyond their capabilities, so that they can continue to enjoy learning.

The keys to achieving this are:

  • ongoing observational assessments including notable achievements, to inform planning for each child’s continuing development through play-based activities
  • a flexible approach that responds quickly to children’s learning and development needs;
  • coherence of learning and development across different settings and related to the child’s experience at home

Children are competent learners from birth and develop and learn in a wide variety of ways.

All practitioners, therefore, look carefully at the children in their care, consider their needs, their interests, and their stages of development and use all of this information to help plan a challenging and enjoyable experience across all the areas of Learning and Development.

The EYFS learning and development requirements comprise of:  

  • the seven areas of learning and development and the educational programmes (described below)
  • the early learning goals, which summarise the knowledge, skills and understanding that all young children should have gained by the end of the FS2 year
  • the assessment requirements (when and how practitioners must assess children’s achievements, and when and how they should discuss children’s progress with parents and/or carers)
  • We know that children learn best and become strong and independent learners through positive relationships with other children and the staff.  That is why a strong partnership between school staff and parents and/or carers is important to us.
  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.  At Co-op Academy Glebe we understand that children develop and learn at different rates and that they all have strengths in different areas of their learning. We ensure that all children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. The Nursery and Reception class develop the children’s learning to ensure that they are ready for their next journey in school.  The EYFS curriculum is split into sections.  Children within the Nursery and Reception may be working within the different sections depending on their own level of development.  Staff will work with children and parents to find out where the children are currently working and provide teaching and development to move them through the sections.  

The sections are:

Birth to three year olds.

Three and four year olds.

Reception age children.

Early Learning Goals.

By the end of Reception children are expected to have covered all of the early learning goals (ELGs).  The ELG are a set of statements that provide goals for each area of the children’s learning and development.  

The areas of learning and development

There are seven areas of learning and development that make up the EYFS curriculum that your child will learn from.  All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.

Three areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving.

These are the prime areas:

•Communication and Language

•Physical Development

•Personal, Social and Emotional development

There are also four specific areas that develop children’s learning.  These are:

•Literacy

•Mathematics

•Understanding the world

•Expressive Arts and Design

Practitioners consider the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in their care, and must use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience for each child in all of the areas of learning and development. Practitioners working with the youngest children are expected to 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. It is expected that 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, practitioners discuss this with the child’s parents and/or carers and agree how to support the child. Practitioners consider whether a child may have a special educational need or disability which requires specialist support. They link with, and help families to access, relevant services from other agencies as appropriate.

None of the areas of Learning and Development can be delivered in isolation from the others.

They are equally important and depend on each other to support a rounded approach to child development.  

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 to be made by 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.

In planning and guiding children’s activities, practitioners reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in their practice. There are gold star activities throughout the week in both classes and these are learning activities which enable the children to revisit and practise previously taught knowledge and skills. All pupils must complete these activities.

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

Planning

Long term planning is in the form of a series of ‘Imaginative Learning Projects’ delivered throughout the year.  Practitioners match their key objectives from the EYFS curriculum to give a long term overview of curriculum content.

Medium term planning begins by practitioners identifying both the next steps for learning in each of the seven learning areas, and also careful consideration of the children’s individual areas of personal interest and enthusiasm.  This helps the practitioners to prepare a loosely structured line of enquiry and learning throughout the theme.  This is to allow for an approach that responds quickly to the children’s learning and development needs, and for effective use of unforeseen opportunities that may arise.

Short term planning is prepared on a weekly and daily basis where appropriate.  This again is to allow for an approach that responds quickly to the children’s learning and development needs, and for effective use of unforeseen opportunities that may arise.  Practitioners plan a range of adult led, independent and child-initiated activities, using both the indoors and outdoors settings.  More specific plans for areas such as Phonics lessons and Guided Reading are also prepared on a short term basis.

Special Educational Needs

Children with special educational needs are supported through the SEND-Inclusion policy.

The EYFS sets standards to enable early year’s providers to reflect the rich and personalised experience that many parents give their children at home. Like parents, practitioners deliver individualised learning, development and care that enhances the development of the children in their care and gives those children the best possible start in life. Every child is supported individually to make progress at their own pace and children who need extra support to fulfil their potential receive special consideration.

Practitioners have a responsibility to ensure positive attitudes to diversity and difference – not only so that every child is included and not disadvantaged, but also so that they learn from the earliest age to value diversity in others and grow up making a positive contribution to society.

Practitioners focus on each child’s individual learning, development and care needs by:

removing or helping to overcome barriers for children where these already exist;

being alert to the early signs of needs that could lead to later difficulties and responding quickly and appropriately, involving other agencies as necessary; stretching and challenging all children.

 

All children, irrespective of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties or disabilities, gender or ability have the opportunity to experience a challenging and enjoyable programme of learning and development.

Monitoring of each child’s progress throughout the EYFS is essential to ensure they are making progress and that particular difficulties in any of the areas of learning, whatever the cause, are identified and addressed.

This process starts before the child enters the setting, with practitioners listening to parents’ and previous settings accounts of their child’s development and noting any concerns.

Prompt and appropriate action at this stage could help to prevent the children from developing learning difficulties later in their school career.

There will be a small number of children in the EYFS who have special educational needs or disabilities that will require specific provision, adapted equipment or support from an adult for particular activities.  It is essential that these children are identified as early as possible and appropriate support provided.

Safeguarding  

The Early Years will work collaboratively with other agencies and practitioners where necessary in order to promote well-being and safeguard children in our care. Please refer to the Safeguarding Policy.  

Children learn best when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met, and when they have positive relationships with the adults caring for them. The safeguarding and welfare requirements for the EYFS are designed to help providers create high quality settings which are welcoming, safe and stimulating, and where children are able to enjoy learning and grow in confidence.  

Practitioners take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well: safeguard children; ensure the suitability of adults who have contact with children; promote good health; manage behaviour; and maintain records, policies and procedures.  

English as an Additional Language

Children with English as an additional language are supported through the English as an Additional Language Policy.  Please refer to the English as an Additional Language Policy

For children whose home language is not English, practitioners take reasonable steps to provide opportunities for children to develop and use their home language in play and learning, supporting their language development at home. Practitioners also ensure that children have sufficient opportunities to learn and reach a good standard in English language during the EYFS, ensuring children are ready to benefit from the opportunities available to them when they begin Year 1. When assessing communication, language and literacy skills, practitioners must assess children’s skills in English. If a child does not have a strong grasp of the English language, practitioners must explore the child’s skills in the home language with parents and/or carers, to establish whether there is cause for concern about language delay.

Cross-curricular links

Effective learning in the EYFS involves children making links in their learning. In EYFS practice, every aspect of learning is interrelated.  This is clearly illustrated through the Imaginative Learning Project planning, and by practitioners using the same activity to make informed judgements of the children’s progress across several aspects of the seven learning areas.  

 

Beyond the policy – Extra-curricular activities

Children in the EYFS are given opportunities to take part in some of the school’s extra-curricular activities, including Breakfast Club (before school) and after school clubs/extended provision (until 5.00pm).

Time allocation

None of the areas of Learning and Development can be delivered in isolation from the others.

They are equally important and depend on each other to support a rounded approach to child development.  All the areas are delivered through planned, purposeful play, with a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities; using both the indoor and outdoor environments. This is reflected through equal time being allocated to the delivery of each of the seven learning areas and is illustrated in planning.  We aim to give equal time to each of the seven areas of learning whilst maintaining our ethos of children leading their learning.

Recording, assessment and marking

Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. Ongoing 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 and carers share.  

Parents and/or carers are kept up-to-date with their child’s progress and development. Practitioners address any learning and development needs in partnership with parents and/or carers, and any relevant professionals.   In EYFS the parents are encouraged to share ’WOW moments’ with their class- these are moments that the parents have seen at home that they are proud of, it helps to give a whole picture of the child’s development.

Assessments are based on practitioners’ observation of what children are doing in their day-to-day activities. As judgments are based on observational evidence gathered from a wide range of learning and teaching contexts, it is expected that all adults who interact with the child contribute to the process, and that account will be taken from information provided by parents. An essential feature of parental involvement is an ongoing dialogue, building on the partnership began by any previous practitioner(s). We report progress and achievements to parents throughout the EYFS.

At the point of induction, practitioners will encourage parents and/or carers to share information from the progress check at age two allowing them to identify any developmental delay and any particular support from which they think the child/family might benefit. Taking account of information from the progress check (which reflects ongoing, regular observation of children’s development) will help ensure that practitioners can identify children’s needs accurately.

Children will be assessed throughout the EYFS using our school assessments.  This includes ongoing observation; all relevant records held by the setting; discussions with parents and carers, and any other adults whom the teacher, parent or carer judgments can offer a useful contribution.  

Practitioners will use their ongoing information to identify progress and stages of development using the ages in months and descriptors.  

Once a child has achieved ‘expected’ levels in their ELG’s then the EYFS Profile will start to be built up for each child. The Profile provides parents and carers, 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 continues to reflect: 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.  

Each child’s level of development is assessed against the early learning goals.  Practitioners indicate whether children are meeting expected levels of development, or if they are exceeding expected levels, or not yet reaching expected levels (‘emerging’).

A range of assessment strategies are used and encouraged within the Early Years and we aim to collect evidence using post it notes, play observations, annotated work or photographic evidence, class assessment records and guided reading records. We aim to collect a variety of evidence in order to maintain a good ratio of child initiated and adult led learning.

The observational evidence itself is annotated using generic abbreviations to show which of the learning areas it supports.   It is then placed either in each child’s individual evidence file, in the relevant half-termly section, or where appropriate kept with whole class and group records.

The evidence collected is recorded on Arbor. The Government  Reception Baseline is also completed to support judgements at the start of their FS2 year. The school also completes its own baseline assessments within the first 4 weeks of pupils entering either class.

The evidence gathered is used at assessment points to help build the overall picture of the child’s development and provide their next steps. This information is recorded on Arbor.

The local authority will be welcome to enter the premises to observe the completion of the EYFS Profile, and to examine and take copies of documents and other articles relating to the Profile and assessments. Practitioners will take part in all reasonable moderation activities specified by their local authority and provide the local authority with such information relating to the EYFS Profile and assessment as they may reasonably request.  

Within the final term of both FS1 and FS2 we provide the parent of a child in relation to whom the EYFS Profile has been completed with, a written summary reporting the child’s progress against EYFSP where relevant.  

Year 1 teachers are given a copy of the Profile report together with a short commentary on each child’s skills and abilities in relation to the three key characteristics of effective learning.  These inform a dialogue between FS2 and Year 1 teachers about each child’s stage of development and learning needs and assist with the planning of activities in Year 1.  

Practitioners take part in any moderation activities specified by their local authority and have regular internal moderation activities and also moderation activities within the local Co-op trust schools.

Monitoring and evaluation

This subject forms part of the monitoring and evaluation programme guided by the school and is delivered through:

  • observation of teaching and learning
  • constructive feedback and target setting
  • scrutiny of long, medium and short term planning
  • scanning pupils’ work and collecting evidence
  • formal and informal discussions
  • moderation internally and externally

 

Parental involvement and Homework

Children will have already learnt a great deal by the time they are 3 years old.  Many children will have been taken to groups such as parent and toddler groups and some will have had experience of settings such as day centres or home settings with a childminder.  For others it will be their first experience of a group setting.  It is important that early years practitioners work in partnership with parents and other adults.  Partnerships are promoted by valuing and building on children’s previous learning.

At whatever age children begin preschool or school, they will have had a range of different experiences.  They will have learnt a great deal, particularly from their families, and will have varied interests and skills.  

Parents are children’s first and most enduring educators.  Partnerships with parents have a positive impact on children’s development.  Parents and practitioners should work together in an atmosphere of mutual respect within which children have security and confidence.

 

  • The principles of partnership with parents within our Early Years practice are that practitioners: Respect and understand the role of parents in education
  • Recognise and encourage the part played by parents in education
  •  Listen to parents accounts of children’s development and any concerns
  • Offer flexible arrangements for settling in, giving time for discussion with parents re circumstances, interests, skills and needs
  • Make parents feel welcome, valued, and necessary through collaboration
  • Use the knowledge and expertise of parents to support learning in the setting
  • Keep parents informed in many ways
  • Discuss children’s progress in regular meetings
  • Continue learning activities at home and similarly use experiences from home used to develop learning in the setting
  • Find out about children’s ethnic, faith and cultural heritage and home experience’s so they may be used as starting points for teaching and learning
  • Offer workshops and guidance for supporting learning at home  
  • Parents share their child’s achievements by completing “wow moments”

Health and Safety

Please refer to the School’s Health and Safety Policy.  

Practitioners take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well: safeguard children; ensure the suitability of adults who have contact with children; promote good health; manage behaviour; and maintain records, policies and procedures.  

There are named paediatric First Aid Aiders who support EYFS children in class and whilst out of school on enrichment opportunities.