Early Years Foundation Stage Policy (EYFS)

To value each child as uniquely created by God and help further their spiritual, intellectual, moral, emotional and physical development
To foster in each child a love of Christ and a desire to grow closer to him through prayer
To provide an experience of living in an authentic and outward-looking Roman Catholic Community
To provide a supportive, creative and welcoming environment for learning, where high standards of endeavour and attainment are achieved
To promote values of tolerance, consideration and mutual respect
To encourage a partnership between the children, their families, parish communities and the school

 The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the reception year. In our school, all children join us, at the beginning of the school year in which they are five. They may attend school full or part time during the Autumn term and all children attend full-time in the spring term.

A Unique Child

At St.Wilfrid’s RC School we recognise that every child is a competent learner who can be resilient, capable, confident and self assured. We recognise that children develop in individual ways, at varying rates. Children’s attitudes and dispositions to learning are influenced by feedback from others; we use praise and encouragement, as well as celebration/ sharing assemblies and rewards, to encourage children to develop a positive attitude to learning.

Inclusion

We value the diversity of individuals within the school and do not discriminate against children because of ‘differences’. All children at St.Wilfrid’s RC School are treated fairly regardless of race, religion or abilities. All children and their families are valued within our school.

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 EYFS we set realistic and challenging expectations that meet the needs of our children. We achieve this by planning to meet the needs of boys and girls, children with special educational needs, children who are more able, 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 wide range of opportunities to motivate and support children and to help them to learn effectively;
  • 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.

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. (See Whole School Safeguarding Children Policy)

Welfare

“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.”

At St.Wilfrid’s RC School we understand that we are legally required to comply with certain welfare requirements as stated in the Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage 2007. We understand that we are required to:

  • promote the welfare of children.
  • promote good health, preventing the spread of infection and taking appropriate action when children are ill.
  • manage behaviour effectively in a manner appropriate for the children’s stage of development and individual needs.
  • ensure all adults who look after the children or who have unsupervised access to them are suitable to do so.
  • Ensure that the premises, furniture and equipment is safe and suitable for purpose
  • Ensure that every child receives enjoyable and challenging learning and development experiences tailored to meet their needs.
  • Maintain records, policies and procedures required for safe efficient management of the setting and to meet the needs of the children.

We endeavour to meet all these requirements

Positive Relationships

At St.Wilfrid’s RC School we recognise that children learn to be strong independent from secure relationships. We aim to develop caring, respectful, professional relationships with the children and their families.

Parents as Partners

We recognise that parents are children’s first and most enduring educators and we value the contribution they make. 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 offers to visit all children in their pre-school setting prior to their starting school;
  • the children have the opportunity to spend time with their teacher before starting school during ‘Come and Join in’ afternoons and Transfer morning;
  • inviting all parents to an induction meeting during the term before their child starts school;
  • offering parents regular opportunities to talk about their child’s progress in our reception class and allowing free access to the children’s ‘Learning Journey’ booklets;
  • encouraging parents to talk to the 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 with the teacher. Parents receive a report on their child’s attainment and progress at the end of each school year;
  • arranging a range of activities throughout the year that encourage collaboration between child, school and parents: Stay and Play sessions, Class assemblies, Sports Day etc;
  • providing space in the children’s ‘Learning Journey’ booklets for parent to leave comments relating to the children’s achievements.

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 the EYFS teacher acts a ‘Key Person’ to all children in EYFS, supported by the Teaching Assistant.

We have good links with St.Wilfrid’s Nursery. Regular visits are undertaken by the EYFS Leader and Head teacher. The EYFS Leader meets with staff to discuss new intake children. Staff and children from the Nursery are regularly invited to school events (Share days, Christmas productions etc.). Where children continue to attend Nursery provision, while only attending school part time, we aim to ensure continuity and coherence by sharing information about the children’s achievements.

 Enabling Environments

At St.Wilfrid’s RC School we recognise that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending the children’s development. This begins by observing the children and assessing their interests, development and learning, before planning challenging but achievable activities and experiences to extend the children’s learning.

Observation, Assessment and Planning

The Planning within the EYFS follows the schools’ Long Term Plan and Medium Term Plans (MTP’s), which are based around half termly themes. These plans are used by the EYFS teacher as a guide for weekly planning; however the teacher may alter these MTP’s in response to the needs (achievements and interests) of the children. This will be indicated on weekly planning.

We make regular assessments of children’s learning and we use this information to ensure that future planning reflects identified needs. Assessment in the EYFS takes the form of observation, and this involves the teacher and other adults as appropriate. These observations are recorded in children’s individual ‘Learning Journey’ booklets. They also contain information provided by parents and other settings.

At St.Wilfrid’s RC School, we use the eProfile to record judgements against the EYFS Profile. Each child’s level of development is recorded against 13 assessment scales derived from the ELG's.

Within the final term of the EYFS, we provide a written summary to parents, reporting their progress against the ELG’s and assessment scales. We give a reasonable opportunity for the parents to discuss these judgements with the EYFS teacher.

The Learning Environment

The EYFS classroom is organised to allow children to explore and learn securely and safely. There are areas where the children can be active, be quiet and rest. The classroom is set up in learning areas, where children are able to find and locate equipment and resources independently. The EYFS class has it own enclosed outdoor area. This has a positive effect on the children’s development. Being outdoors offers opportunities for doing things in different ways and on different scales than when indoors. It offers the children to explore, use their senses and be physically active and exuberant.  We plan activities and resources for the children to access outdoors to enable the children to develop in all 6 areas of learning.

Learning and Development

At St.Wilfrid’s RC School we recognise that children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates. We value all areas of learning and development equally and understand that they are inter-connected.

Play

“Children’s play reflects their wide ranging and varied interests and preoccupations. In their play children learn at their highest level. Play with peers is important for children’s development.”

Through play our children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. They practise 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

“Children learn best through physical and mental challenges. Active learning involves other people, objects, ideas and events that engage and involve children for sustained periods.”

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 satisfactions as they take ownership of their learning.

Creativity and Critical Thinking

“When children have opportunities to play with ideas in different situations and with a variety of resources, they discover connections and come to new and better understandings and ways of doing things. Adult support in this process enhances their ability to think critically and ask questions.”

Children should be given 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 questions. Children can access resources freely and are allowed to move them around the classroom to extend their learning.

Areas of Learning

The EYFS is made up of six areas of learning:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication, Language and Literacy
  • Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
  • Knowledge and Understanding of the World
  • Physical Development
  • Creative Development

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 (ELG's) that define the expectations for most children to reach by the end of the EYFS.

Monitoring and review

It is the responsibility of the EYFS teacher to follow the principles stated in this policy. There is a named Governor responsible for the EYFS. This governor will discuss EYFS practice with the practitioners regularly and provide feedback to the whole governing body, raising any issues that require discussion. The Head teacher and EYFS Leader will carry out monitoring on the EYFS as part of the whole school monitoring schedule.