‘Every child deserves the best possible start in life and 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.’
Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, Department for Education 2012
At Barton Seagrave Primary School we value the important role that the Early Years Foundation Stage plays in laying secure foundations for future learning and development. We use the Ruth Miskin Read, Write Inc approach for the teaching of phonics.
It is every child’s right to grow up safe, healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and with economic well-being. At Barton Seagrave the Foundation Stage’s overarching aim is to help young children achieve these five ‘Every Child Matters’ outcomes.
Our Principles and Aims are;
To provide a solid foundation in the areas of learning through well planned activities
To enable children to make an effective and happy transition from home, playgroup or nursery to school through effective liaison.
To provide a safe, challenging, stimulating, caring and well structured environment in which children are motivated towards independent learning
To provide opportunities for children to learn through planned, purposeful play in all areas of learning and development in the indoors and outdoor environment
To value parents as partners in the education of their child. To keep parents well informed about the curriculum and their child’s progress
To enable choice and decision –making ,fostering independence and self-confidence
To ensure that the provision for children builds on and extends the children’s interests
To ensure children who are Gifted and Talented, EAL ,SEN or those in a vulnerable group are identified and receive appropriate support
Principles into Practice – Foundation Stage Practitioners will
Provide a curriculum that has a balance between child initiated and teacher directed activities.
Use the extended classroom (outdoor provision) throughout to provide challenge across the areas of learning.
Use observations and assessments to enable all staff to be aware of the different ability levels of the children and to plan for progression
Plan for differentiation, including necessary support for children with SEN, EAL. vulnerable groups and ensuring the more able children are given tasks that will challenge and stimulate their thinking
Ensure equal access to equipment for all children
Record children’s progress using post it notes and ensuring at least one long observation is carried out each half term
Track children’s progress by completing the Foundation Stage Profile assessment.
The Early Years Foundation Stage is based upon four principles
A Unique child
Learning and Development
A Unique Child
‘Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self- assured’
We recognise that every child develops in different ways and at varying rates. We value the diversity of individuals and we do not discriminate against individuals because of ‘differences’. All children in the Foundation Stage are treated fairly regardless of race, religion or abilities. All children and their families are valued. We believe all children matter and we give them every opportunity to achieve their best. In the EYFS we set realistic and challenging expectations that meet the needs of our children.
‘Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships’
We recognise that children learn to be independent from secure relationships. We aim to develop caring, respectful and professional relationships with the children and their families.
Parents as Partners
We recognise that parents are children’s first educators and we value the contribution they make. We do this through
Talking to parents about their child before their child starts school either during the story time or home visits
Inviting all parents to an Induction meeting during the term before their child starts school encouraging the parents to talk to the child’s teacher if there are any concerns
Staff visit all the children in their pre-school setting to ensure a smooth transition into school
Staff attend home visits in the first week of the Autumn term (these are optional)
The Foundation Stage teachers greet the children and parents as they enter school each morning and are availablefor quick conversations re any concerns.
All parents are invited to attend formal meetings in the Autumn and Spring terms at which the teacher and the parents discuss the child’ progress and parents receive a formal report on their child’s attainment, achievements and progress at the end of the Reception Year.
Staff liaise closely with the school’s before and after school provision
Parents are asked to complete Achievement Stars at home detailing things children have achieved across all areas of learning. These are then returned to school and displayed in the classrooms.
All parents are asked to complete termly review sheets commenting on their child’s progress and interests. Staff use these for future planning.
In our Foundation Stage the EYFS teachers and support assistants act as the ‘Key Person’ to their nominated group of pupils. The class teacher is responsible for planning to meet the needs of the individuals in their class, for tracking their progress and reporting this to parents.
‘Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences repond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers’
The Foundation Stage is organised to allow children to explore and learn securely and safely. There are learning areas where children are able to access equipment and resources independently.
The Reception children have free access to the outdoor provision. This learning environment is set up to support and extend children’s learning in all areas of the curriculum. Being outdoors allows children further opportunities to explore, use their senses, develop their language skills and be physically active. We plan activities and resources both inside and outside enabling the children to develop in all the areas of learning.
Effective learning builds on and extends what the children already know .Our planning is informed by conversations we have with the children and the observations we have carried out on the children in order to understand and consider their current interests, experiences, development and learning needs.
‘There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. These are crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning ,and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive’
There are 3 Prime Areas of Learning Communication and Language Physical Development
Personal, social and emotional development
We also support children in the four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are
Understanding the World Expressive arts and design
We recognise that children learn and develop in different ways, at different rates and have their own learning styles. We value all the areas of learning and understand that they are often linked. We provide a range of teaching approaches that provide first-hand experiences, give clear explanations, make appropriate interventions and extend and develop play and talk. 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. We believe in the 3 Characteristics of effective Teaching and Learning- Playing and Exploring, Active Learning and Creating and Thinking Critically.
All staff must take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well. All staff must follow the procedures stated on the Foundation Stage Risk Assessments and in the school Safeguarding. Behaviour, Health and Safety, Special Needs, Equal Opportunities policies.
Play and Exploration
We believe that it is extremely important for adults to support children’s learning through play, by getting involved in the play when appropriate and by modelling play. We do not distinguish between work and play.
Well planned play both indoors and outdoors is one of the key ways in which children learn. It is the process through which children can explore, investigate, recreate and come to understand their world. It is not just imaginative play and role play but includes spontaneous, self initiated lines of enquiry and exploration. Play is a vital component of children’s lives. It is an important way that skills are developed and practised. Play is essential for physical, intellectual, linguistic, emotional, behavioural and social development.
Role of the Practitioner
To plan and resource a challenging indoor and outdoor environment
To extend and support children’s spontaneous/self-initiated play
To observe child-initiated play in order to understand and provide future opportunities which develop children’s interests and next steps in their learning
To extend and develop children’s language and communication in their play
Through play, in a secure but challenging environment with effective adult support, children can:
Explore,develop and represent learning experiences that help them make sense of the world
Practise and build up ideas,concepts and skills
Learn how to understand the need for rules
Take risks and make mistakes
Think creatively and imaginatively
Communicate with others as they investigate or solve problems
Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2007
‘Each area of learning and development must be implemented through, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity’
‘Practitioners must 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, ready for Year 1’
Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, Department for Education 2012’ Observation, Assessment and Planning
The reception classes organise the curriculum through agreed half termly topics. The topics cover areas that are familiar, of interest to young children and also enable us to deliver a creative and balanced curriculum. The planning reflects a balance of the areas of learning and development from the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. These plans are used by the EYFS teachers as a guide for the weekly planning, however the teachers may alter these in response to the needs, achievements and interests of the children. This will be indicated on the weekly planning.
We make regular assessments of children’s learning and we use this information to ensure future planning reflects identified needs. Assessment in the EYFS takes the form of observation and this involves the teacher and the other practitioners as appropriate. These observations are recorded in a variety of ways and are used to inform the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.
In the final term of the Foundation Stage Year and no later than 30 June in that Term the EYFS Profile must be completed for each child. The level of progress children should be expected to have attained by the end of the EYFS is defined by the Early Learning Goals. Practitioners must indicate whether children are meeting expected levels of development,or if they are exceeding expected levels or if they have not yet reached expected levels(’emerging’)
‘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 must reflect on going observations, all relevant records held by the setting: discussions with parents and carers and any other adult whom the teacher, parent or carer judges can offer a useful contribution.’
Monitoring and Review
It the responsibility of the Foundation Stage teachers and other practitioners to follow the principles stated in this policy. The foundation stage co-ordinator carries out monitoring through observation and discussion and provides regular feedback to the Head teacher.