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Early Years Foundation Stage Policy

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Policy

EYFS Policy

Approval date: September 2021

Reviewed: September 2023

Review by Sept 2024 - BB


1. Aims        2

2. Legislation        2

3. Structure of the EYFS        2

4. Curriculum        3

5. Assessment        4

6. Working with parents        4

7. Safeguarding and welfare procedures        4

8. Monitoring arrangements        4

Appendix 1. List of statutory policies and procedures for the EYFS        5

1. Aims

This policy aims to ensure:

  • That children access a broad and balanced curriculum that gives them the broad range of knowledge and skills needed for good progress through school and life
  • Quality and consistency in teaching and learning so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind
  • Close partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers
  • Every child is included and supported through equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice

2. Legislation

This policy is based on requirements set out in the 2021 Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

This document also complies with our funding agreement and articles of association.

3. Structure of the EYFS

At Co-op Academy Nightingale, we have a Reception cohort that consists of 2 classes with a maximum number of 30 children in each. Both classes are led by qualified class teachers and have at least 2 teaching assistants to support in each class which meets the ratio requirements of a reception class of: At least one school teacher for every 30 children and one staff member for a class of 30 where he majority of the children will reach the age of 5 during the school year.

Our Foundation Stage provision reflects the four main principles of the EYFS:

  • A unique child – developing resilient, capable, confident and self-assured individuals
  • Positive relationships – supporting children in becoming strong and independent
  • Enabling environments – where opportunities and experiences respond to the individual needs of the child by developing a strong partnership between practitioners, parents / carers and the child
  • Learning and developing – an acknowledgement that children learn in different ways and at different rates

In line with this our setting aims:

  • to encourage self-help and independent learning skills across all areas and activities throughout the day
  • to keep key aspects of the daily routine as consistent as possible, yet recognise the value of adapting this routine due to children’s interests, weather conditions or other key events
  • to provide opportunities for children to learn independently as well as within large and small groups, including both planned and spontaneous group sessions
  • to encourage parental / family participation in the children’s learning, e.g. through cultural experiences, storytelling, cooking and valuing home languages
  • to protect the physical and psychological well-being of all children

4. Curriculum

Our early years setting follows the curriculum as outlined in the 2021 Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

The EYFS framework includes 7 areas of learning and development that are equally important and inter-connected. However, 3 areas known as the prime areas are seen as particularly important for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building children’s capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

The prime areas are:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development

The prime areas are strengthened and applied through 4 specific areas:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

4.1 Planning

Staff plan activities and experiences for children that enable children to develop and learn effectively. In order to do this, practitioners working with the youngest children are expected to focus strongly on the 3 prime areas.

Staff also take into account the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in their care, and use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience. Where a child may have a special educational need or disability, staff consider whether specialist support is required, linking with relevant services from other agencies, where appropriate.

In planning and guiding children’s activities, practitioners reflect on the different ways that children learn and include these in their practice.

The planning of early reading and supporting all our children to become readers by the end of the Foundation Stage is led by Read Write Inc. Phonics. Ability-set groups are taught daily and led by both class teachers and teaching assistants. Continual phonics-based games and activities are then completed with all children throughout the school day.

Reception class teachers use Cornerstones to plan and resource high quality provision throughout the wider curriculum. The planning is completed on Curriculum Maestro and creates the foundation that is then built upon going into key stage 1.

4.2 Teaching

Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play, and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activities. 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, the balance gradually shifts towards more adult-led activities to help children prepare for more formal learning, ready for year 1.

5. Assessment

At Co-op Academy Nightingale, ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development processes.  Staff observe pupils to identify their level of achievement, interests and learning styles. These observations are used to shape future planning. Assessments do not entail prolonged breaks from interaction with children. When assessing an individual child’s level of development, practitioners draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgement. Practitioners also take into account observations shared by parents and/or carers.

At the end of the EYFS, staff complete the EYFS profile for each child. Pupils are assessed against the early learning goals, indicating whether they are:

  • Meeting expected levels of development or,
  • Not yet reaching expected levels (‘emerging’)

The profile reflects ongoing observations and discussions with parents and/or carers. The results of the profile are then shared with parents and/or carers.

We also use the online programme Class Dojo for recording observations of individuals and groups of children. We support our parents to also sign up to Class Dojo so that observations can be added at home and so that there is a clear communication between school life and home life.

6. Working with parents

We recognise that children learn and develop well when there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.

Parents and/or carers are kept up to date with their child’s progress and development. The progress check and EYFS profile helps to provide parents and/or carers with a well-rounded picture of their child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities.

Each child is assigned a key person who helps to ensure that their learning and care is tailored to meet their needs. The key person supports parents and/or carers in guiding their child’s development at home. The key person also helps families to engage with more specialist support, if appropriate. In most circumstances, the key person will be the class teacher of the individual child.

7. Safeguarding and welfare procedures

Our safeguarding and welfare procedures are outlined in our Safeguarding and Child Protection policy.

8. Monitoring arrangements

This policy will be reviewed annually and approved by the Executive Headteacher, every 2 years. 

At the review, the policy will be shared with the governing board.

Appendix 1. List of statutory policies and procedures for the EYFS

Statutory policy or procedure for the EYFS

Where can it be found?

Safeguarding policy and procedures

See ‘Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy’

Procedure for responding to illness

See ‘Health and Safety Policy’

Administering medicines policy

See ‘Intimate Care Policy’ and ‘Medicines Policy’

Emergency evacuation procedure

See ‘Health and Safety Policy’

Procedure for checking the identity of visitors

See ‘Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy’

Procedures for a parent failing to collect a child and for missing children

See ‘Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy’

Procedure for dealing with concerns and complaints

See ‘Complaints Policy’

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