Early Years Foundation Stage Policy
Curriculum Leader: Mrs T. O’Sullivan
At St Aidan's, 'Every child matters and more importantly, they know they matter!'
At St Aidan's we believe that children should be curious about their learning. Through our engaging and inclusive curriculum, ‘Live, Laugh, Love, Learn!’ we ensure that children can foster a passion for learning that will help to develop high aspirations and a lifetime of memories. We believe in ensuring that children receive a broad-balanced curriculum; where individual talents can be spotted and nurtured to ensure that all children experience success and reach their full potential.
We believe an exciting and engaging curriculum is one of the key foundations of any successful school as we want our learners to be highly motivated as we feed that thirst for knowledge and of course provide the opportunities to develop existing skills while discovering new ones.
At St Aidan’s we believe the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the area of education upon which young children build the rest of their lives. It is a single framework for care, learning and development. All children should be given the opportunity to experience the best possible start to their education to develop solid foundations which will ensure that they flourish throughout their school years and on into adulthood.
The Early Learning Foundation Stage Curriculum refer to the children from Birth to the end of Reception class. It sets a series of steps for children to work towards by the time they reach the end of EYFS at the age of 5+ (including the statutory welfare requirements 2021).
For most children, the end of the Reception year will be the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, when the expectation is that most children will have achieved the national expectations (Early Learning Goals, ELGs). At St Aidan’s all children will be provided with experiences which will support them in reaching the goals at the appropriate time according to their individual ability.
In the Reception class, a high quality, well resourced, integrated early education should make a positive contribution to this distinct stage in a child’s development with the key learning skills of listening, speaking, concentration, persistence, co-operation, literacy and numeracy.
Rich, stimulating and appropriate experiences will provide each child with opportunities to develop these skills, their competencies and their thinking to the best of their ability across all areas of learning.
- A clear induction process involving parents, pupils, staff and contact with prior preschools or childcare.
- Intake in September may be staggered, dependent upon numbers of children attending that particular year e.g. small numbers over three days or all pupils beginning half days am/pm.
- A gradual, well supported introduction to the various aspects of school life and its members is catered for. The children are introduced to the routine of school which require more conforming, socialising and directed learning situations than will have been experienced before.
- The children have playtimes in the infant playground and are introduced to named older play buddies and other regular members of staff.
- The routine of the school day is introduced slowly, especially those aspects which take the children away from their environment, for example, P.E. and Assembly.
- Staying for lunch time either with a packed lunch or a school dinner is approached gradually and increased to everyday, once all adults concerned feel that it is appropriate and not detrimental to the happiness or confidence of the child.
- A carefully structured curriculum based on the “Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage, EYFS 2021” will offer provision which takes account of the differing starting points on which to build the various elements and match differing levels of need. St Aidan’s will also use the non-statutory ‘Development Matters’ guidance 2021 to support overall EYFS development. These milestones may need breaking down or may be missed altogether for some children dependent upon abilities and competencies. This provides a progression through to the end of Reception year, laying the foundations for KS1 curriculum.
PSED – Self-regulation and Executive Functioning. (Effective learners, engaged, motivated, curious and critical thinkers)
- Managing Self (including self-care)
- Building Relationships
Physical Development – Gross Motor
Communication and Language – Listening, Attention and Understanding
Literacy – Comprehension
Mathematics – Numbers
Understanding the World – Past and Present
People Culture and Communities
The Natural World
Expressive Arts and Design – Creating with Materials
Being Imaginative and Expressive
Planning will take place collaboratively between the teachers and other staff involved in the unit. These describe teaching and learning activities linked to objectives and assessment opportunities. There will be medium term plans (spanning a few weeks) which include the learning objectives to be covered including continuous provision for indoor and outdoor learning. Short term plans are decided on a weekly basis from observations, pupil’s interests and more importantly taking into account current needs of the children. Observations on focus children will also provide additional information for assessment purposes. There will also be a timetable showing the activities taking place each week which will be displayed for all staff concerned.
- The children will be given opportunities to explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world through structured play. They will practise and build up ideas, and learn how to control themselves and understand the need for rules. They will have the opportunity to think creatively alongside other children as well as on their own. They will communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems.
- The learning environment is planned for both indoors and outdoors to encourage a positive attitude to learning. In addition to skills based learning the children choose their own selection of the activities on offer as this encourages independent learning.
- Monitoring of each child will take place through regular observations, discussion, photographs, record keeping and planned assessments.
- Informal assessments to gauge individual children’s abilities will take place at the start of the year (baseline assessments)
- An end of year report summarising the achievements is given to parents.
- The information discussed with Year 1 teachers so that they can continue to help the children to achieve and support access to the KS1 curriculum.
- All planning and assessments are rigorously monitored by Senior Leadership each term. Moderation judgements and discussions of pupil observations are used to support pupil progress and intervention, e.g. continuous provision resources and external support, ensuring value for money in EYFS and also to aid smooth transitions for pupils from pre-school, inter-schools, and into year one.
Children will be encouraged to develop a positive attitude towards people of different ethnic groups, cultures, beliefs, gender and ability. We are an inclusive school and all areas of the curriculum will be available irrespective of race, gender, gender orientation, ability, ethnicity and social circumstance.
Work will be differentiated to meet the needs of all pupils and pupils with Special Educational Needs may be given support from other adults/agencies. Support will be identified on Individual Pupil Profiles and Targeted Learning Plans.
- To make the child’s first experience of school happy, positive and fun.
- To ensure that all children feel valued and secure in the Early Years Foundation Stage setting with positive relationships between carers and staff.
- To experience a curriculum firmly based on active learning to meet the needs of the individual child which has a flexible approach, using a wide range of strategies and teaching styles to address the particular needs of the child, families and the community regardless of disadvantage, or disability developing self-esteem and confidence in their ability to learn.
- To ensure a breadth of balance in the curriculum through carefully planned adult input and sensitive interaction, while having regard for the skills and attitudes, preparing them for the KS1 National Curriculum demands.
- To encourage parents to become partners with the school in the education of their children.
- To further love of learning, enquiring minds and the ability to discuss, adapt and negotiate. Children should be able to explore, investigate, question, test, observe, experiment, plan, make decisions for themselves and participate in activities which are planned by adults as well as those which they plan and start themselves.
- To help children develop self-control and to respect the feelings, needs, culture and the abilities of others.