Early Years Foundation Stage Policy
Review Date: September 2022
“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.” EYFS Statutory framework 2021
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the Reception year. The EYFS has one annual intake in September as children leave and spaces become available these are filled across the year. Our Nursery has 50 part time places; the morning session has a maximum of 25 children as does the afternoon session. Places are offered to pupils who will have their fourth birthday during the academic year. Each of our Reception classes offer 30 places, which are allocated by the London Borough of Ealing. All children have to make a separate application to Reception and are not guaranteed a place having been admitted to the Nursery.
We are an EYFS with high expectations of our children. We embrace open-ended learning and creativity, encourage independence in all areas and aim to motivate children to learn and also teach children how to learn. The process of learning is valued over the end product, which means that children are able to be truly creative and express their unique personalities - we do not want 30 identical pictures or models in our classrooms! Everything we do in the EYFS builds on the foundation that parents have already built for their children.
As stated in the Statutory Framework for EYFS, the EYFS is based upon four principles:
- A Unique Child
- Positive Relationships
- Enabling Environments
- Learning and Development
A Unique Child
At Tudor Primary 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, displaying a variety of characteristics of effective learning. Children’s attitudes and dispositions to learning are influenced by feedback from others; we use constructive praise and encouragement to encourage children to develop a positive attitude to learning. We encourage a growth mind-set in all pupils, providing a safe learning culture where children know that making mistakes is useful in helping us learn. All children’s ideas and contributions are valued equally.
We value the diversity of individuals within the school and do not discriminate against children because of ‘differences’. All children at Tudor Primary School are treated fairly regardless of race, religion or abilities and all children and their families are valued within our school.
In our school we believe that all of our children matter. We give our children every opportunity to achieve their best, 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 support children with all types of SEN by reflecting on their needs and providing the resources and support needed. This may include; additional adult support, extra small group sessions, equipment such as pencil grips or visual aids. We are proud to have had children in our EYFS setting over the past few years, who use, for example, PECS. We work with our school SEN Co parents, borough specialists, occupational therapists and speech therapists to support children’s additional needs. We also greatly value our school Speech Therapist as a valuable member of our school team. Our speech therapist is mainly based in the EYFS, as we believe that it is vital to address communication needs as early as possible to ensure the best future for our children.
We meet the needs of all our children through:
- planning opportunities that build upon and extend children’s knowledge, experience and interests, whilst developing their self-esteem and confidence;
- taking into account the characteristics of effective learning, helping us to reflect on how children learn best;
- 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 contributions of all children are valued;
- using resources which reflect diversity and are free from discrimination and stereotyping;
- adopting assessment for learning (AfL) strategies throughout our teaching;
- 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. Children will receive specific bi-lingual, language and SEN support as required;
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 Policy) and we understand that we are legally required to comply with certain welfare requirements as stated in the Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage 2021. 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.
- Ensure that we monitor and rigorously act to ensure children have good oral health, recognising this to be a safety concern when they do not.
- 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.
- Safeguard children, being alert to any areas of concerns in any area of a child’s life and follow safeguarding procedures when concerns arise.
- Ensure that the premises, furniture and equipment are safe and suitable for purpose.
- Ensure that every child receives enjoyable and challenging learning experiences tailored to meet their individual needs.
- Maintain records, policies and procedures required for safe efficient management of the setting and to meet the needs of the children.
- Ensure that photos and videos taken for assessment and learning purposes are securely stored (only taken on school iPad/cameras and passwords applied to maximise security). Staff mobile phones are not used in the classroom when children are present.
We endeavour to meet all these requirements.
If a situation arises where a child has not been collected from school, the whole school
Child Protection Policy is followed to ensure the child’s safety.
We take our children’s safety extremely seriously. To prevent children from going missing we take the register twice a day and ensure all staff are aware of the number of children in school; this is displayed in every EYFS classroom. We ensure all external gates are locked at times other than the start and end of the day; when gates are open for parents there is a member of staff supervising safety and welcoming parents. When off the premises on educational visits, staff will do regular headcounts and ensure that the adult to child ratio is sufficient to ensure the safety of the children. Children will also wear hi-vis jackets with the name of the school on the back, and wrist bands with the school’s phone number on it. If a child does go missing, all other children will be accounted for immediately, a search of the immediate area will be conducted and if needed, a search of the wider area will be conducted by other relevant adults. If the child is not found quickly, the head teachers and parents will be informed and the police will be called.
Health and well-being:
A selection of fruit, water and milk are available for children throughout the day.
Children are encouraged to be responsible for helping themselves to refreshments and washing their cups. Children are also advised to bring in a water bottle daily. Fizzy drinks and juices are not permitted in a child’s water bottle (please see the whole school policy on healthy eating).
Sickness and injury:
If children are too unwell or badly injured to stay at school their parents, carers or emergency contact are phoned and asked to take them home. If children sustain injuries during the day parents or carers must be informed of this at home-time or earlier if appropriate. Accidents are recorded on a white form that the children take home and in the Pupil Accident Book. If children have bumped their head, parents will receive a Bumped Head Letter, advising them on what to do if their child’s condition deteriorates. We have 3 First Aiders in the EYFS, who oversee medical treatment as well as a school welfare office where children are treated for injuries by a first aider.
If children require medicines to be administered during the school day, we follow the whole school Medical Needs Policy, which ensures that medicines are stored securely and information is shared and administration is recorded. Our school has a policy and procedures in place for administering medicines. There is a clear system for obtaining information about a child’s needs for medicines, and for keeping this information up-to-date. Training is provided for staff where the administration of medicine requires medical or technical knowledge. Prescription medicines are not administered unless they have been prescribed for a child by a doctor, dentist, nurse or pharmacist (medicines containing aspirin are only given if prescribed by a doctor).
Medicine (both prescription and non-prescription) are only administered to a child where written permission for that particular medicine has been obtained from the child’s parent and/or carer. Our school keeps a written record each time a medicine is administered to a child. (EYFS Statutory Framework 2021)
Changing children’s clothes:
We will change children’s clothes in school if they soil themselves at school and are unable to dress themselves. Children will be changed in a semi-private area of the EYFS bathroom, where they are not on view to other children but they are also not hidden away. There should always be two staff members in the room when children are being changed. (Please see the Whole School toileting policy).
Paediatric First Aid
At least one person who has a current paediatric first aid (PFA) certificate is always on the premises and available at all times when children are present, they must also accompany children on outings. All newly qualified entrants to our early years must also have either a full PFA or an emergency PFA certificate within three months of starting work in order to be included in the required staff:child ratios.
Each child has been assigned a key person. The key persons, role is to help ensure that each child’s care is tailored to meet their individual needs, to help the child become familiar with the setting, offer a settled relationship for the child and build a relationships’ with their parents.
Staff ratios in the EYFS
At Tudor Primary School we follow the staff ratios as directed by The Early Years Statutory Framework 2021.
For children aged three and over in maintained nursery schools and nursery classes in maintained schools:
• there must be at least one member of staff for every 13 children
• at least one member of staff must be a school teacher as defined by section 122 of the Education Act 2002
• at least one other member of staff must hold a full and relevant level 3 qualification
Reception classes in maintained schools and academies are subject to infant class size legislation. The School Admissions (Infant Class Size) Regulations 2012 limit the size of infant classes to 30 pupils per school teacher (subject to permitted exceptions) while an ordinary teaching session is conducted. ‘School teachers’ do not include teaching assistants, higher level teaching assistants or other support staff. Consequently, in an ordinary teaching session, a school must employ sufficient school teachers to enable it to teach its infant classes in groups of no more than 30 per school teacher.
At Tudor Primary School we recognise that children learn to be independent and confident by having secure relationships. We aim to develop caring, respectful, professional relationships with 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 and recording and using the information they give us;
- The EYFS team visit all children in their home setting prior to their starting school. We take a Tudor book bag, pencils/paper and a story book for the child. We give parents and carers information about the school and use the opportunity to find out more about the child;
- the children have the opportunity to spend time with their teacher before starting school during Stay & Play in both Reception and Nursery throughout the final Summer half term;
- Organising half termly parent workshops on subjects such as ‘phonics’, ‘developing language skills’ ‘early maths at home’ to help parents prepare their child to begin school. More workshops are planned throughout the year depending on emerging needs, such as ‘oral health’, and other whole school events such as ‘cyber safety’ and ‘healthy eating’;
- Offering parents regular opportunities for example at parent’s evening to talk about their child’s progress and allowing free access to their child’s Learning Journal.
- Parents are invited in for ‘Family Friday’ in Reception to observe shared writing; this helps parents adopt the strategies used in school at home.
- At the start of Reception and Nursery, a welcoming coffee morning helps to answer parents’ questions about what the year will entail.
- At the start of each term, a curriculum letter will be sent home to ensure parents are aware of what is being taught that term.
- Parents are kindly encouraged to talk to the child’s teacher if there are any concerns. There is a formal meeting for parents each term at which the parent discuss the child’s progress in private with the teaching team. Parents receive a report on their child’s attainment and progress at the end of each school year, which they are welcome to discuss with the class teacher;
- Arranging a range of activities throughout the year that encourage collaboration between child, school and parents: parents are invited on educational visits, invited to special assemblies, Sports Day and frequent cooking sessions.
- In the nursery Stay and Play sessions run each week (after each class is fully settled in) where parents are welcome to spend time playing and learning with their child.
The role of adults
All adults working in our early years have a responsibility to ensure children experience positive nurturing relations with them.
- Adults should provide a high quality environment both indoors and out, this should support children’s emotional well-being and help them to be motivated to learn.
- Evaluations of children’s observations should determine how the environment is enhanced.
- Adults should respect children and create a safe environment for them to try out new skills without being outlined as a failure.
- To establish rules, boundaries and behaviour expectations.
- Adults should spend quality time supporting children in accessing equipment and learning routines.
- Adults need to recognise the importance of each area of continuous provision and ensure these areas offer children maximum learning opportunities as well as self- initiated play.
- Adult should play alongside children and listen and respond to the child, ensuring children view them as a play partner.
- To model ideas and language.
- To ask questions and make suggestions, this will help extend children’s learning.
- Think out loud to make clear their thinking processes.
- Offer children additional resources to enable them to extend their ideas further.
At Tudor Primary School we recognise that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending the children’s learning. 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.
The Learning Environment:
The EYFS is situated in a separate building to Key Stage 1 and 2. The Reception works as a unit with 3 areas; the 2 Reception class bases and the Reception outdoor area. The nursery works as a unit with 2 areas, the Nursery class base and the Nursery outdoor area.
The outdoor environment is open to children to free flow only once a learning session at the carpet has finished. The Nursery have direct access to the outdoor area through the doors in the Nursery class. Reception have a brief walk down the corridor outside their classrooms to access the outdoor area, this area is made safe by the use of screens sectioning of the zone.
All areas are decorated in an exciting way, to capture children’s interests and reflect our broad topic for the term. The setting is equipped with its own child-height kitchen and bathroom facilities. All EYFS resources are stored within the setting.
Outside learning/ Forest school activities
. The EYFS classrooms are 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 classrooms are set up in learning areas, where children are able to find and locate equipment and resources independently. The EYFS setting has its own enclosed outdoor area, which has a positive effect on the children’s development, as being outdoors offers opportunities for doing things in different ways and on different scales than when indoors. It offers the chance to explore, use their senses and be physically active and exuberant. We recognise that as our setting is largely tarmac outdoors there are less opportunities for children to connect with nature, therefore we have taken on a forest school approach to our outdoor learning activities.
Our enabling environment includes the people in it. All staff aim to foster safe learning culture, where children are comfortable expressing themselves uniquely, taking sensible risks and trying new things in the knowledge that the adults around them will encourage their efforts and support them when things go wrong. All activities planned are set up in an imaginative way, motivating children to want to learn. Activities are as open-ended as possible, with children having access to the majority of resources at all times during their child-initiated play, thus being able to extend their learning independently and change the direction of their play as they desire. Examples of such open-ended resources are: planks of wood, large wooden blocks, very big cloths, tyres, chalk and crates.
Learning and Development
At Tudor Primary 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 interconnected.
Teaching and Learning Style
This ethos runs throughout the EYFS;
- Partnership between teachers and parents is vital, so that our children feel secure at school and develop a sense of well-being and achievement. We value parents’ contributions to their child’s learning and understand that support at home is vital to achievement ;
- We aim to provide first-hand experiences to inspire children in their learning. This may take the form of a letter from The Big Bad Wolf which needs replying to, or a visit from some baby chicks who need looking after;
- educational visits are used to inspire and extend learning and are planned carefully to enhance the curriculum;
- Children are encouraged to take risks in their learning, safe in the knowledge that mistakes are celebrated and lead to more learning!
- Children are equipped with the skills needed to help them lead their own learning.
- staff observe and respond to children’s current interests, which impacts on daily activities and also future plans;
- Outdoor and indoor learning are both planned carefully for, to cater for all seven areas of the curriculum. Indoor and outdoor learning are equally valued;
We have decided to use Birth to 5 matters 2021 as our curriculum guidance across the EYFS. The EYFS is recognised as a distinctive phase in education which requires a specialised, developmentally appropriate approach to curriculum planning. Weekly plans are discussed at a regular weekly planning meeting which all staff contributes to.
The planning within the EYFS follows the schools’ Long Term Plan, with Medium Term Plans
(MTPs) being written termly, which are based around termly themes. These plans are used by the EYFS teachers as a guide for weekly planning; however the teachers will most often alter these MTPs in response to the needs (achievements and interests) of the children.
This will be indicated on weekly planning.
Medium term plans:
The nursery topics are different to the Reception topics, the nursery works on an annual 2 year cycle of termly topics or themes. These change depending on the children’s interests, school initiatives and themed weeks throughout the year. MTPs are created each half term to ensure they are relevant to the cohort of children.
The weekly plans are drawn from the medium term plan and observations on individuals and groups of children. Plans incorporate adult focus and opportunities for purposeful independent play linked to the learning outcomes. Plans are evaluated through teacher reflection and discussion with other staff who have worked with the children daily and adapted where necessary to incorporate children’s interests, their style of learning, their wellbeing and their involvement. The weekly plan details the literacy, maths, topic and mind up carpet sessions for Reception. Nursery also have a daily planned for carpet time that incorporates prime areas and links to specific areas. A forest school activity is planned for weekly that all of the children are expected to engage in. The environment is planned to be stimulating, exciting and varied. The classrooms are carefully organised to maximise children’s ability to challenge themselves as rooms are designed for self-selection of resources.
The role of the adult is to introduce new learning by modelling, demonstrating and supporting children with activities they would not be able to access independently. During this time it is important to use talk to extend children’s learning and assess children’s achievement against the learning outcome. In Nursery, much of these activities will involve the adult meeting children where they are in the environment, to ensure that learning is meaningful and enjoyable for them.
At 11.25am Reception children wash their hands in preparation for lunchtime. All children eat in the lunch-hall. If it is a wet lunch day, children with a packed lunch will eat in their classroom with a designated SMSA. The children who are school dinners will eat in the lunch-hall and then come back to their classroom. Children choose their own food from a selection and all are offered salad and bread to accompany their meal. Water is served at each table. Children are welcome to bring a packed-lunch and parents are referred to the Healthy Eating at Tudor leaflet for ideas of what to pack to ensure a healthy lunch. Children are supported throughout lunch time by 2 members of the EYFS team as well as additional SMSA’s. After children have finished their meal they enjoy playtime on the playground with all other year groups.
Characteristics of Effective Learning:
Playing and Exploring
“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.”
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.
“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 satisfaction 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 where appropriate, are allowed to move them around the classroom to extend their learning.
Areas of Learning:
“All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.”
There are seven areas of learning and three of these are Prime Areas as detailed in the
Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2021.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
EYFS settings must also provide for the four specific areas of learning, through which the prime areas are strengthened and developed. These are:
- Mathematical Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
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 focused and child initiated activities. In each area of learning there are Early Learning
Goals (ELGs) that define the expectations for most children to reach by the end of the
Assessment, Recording and Reporting
We make regular assessments of children’s learning and styles of learning and we use this information to ensure that future planning reflects identified needs and next steps for each child. Assessment in the EYFS is captured on Key Learning Focus trackers where we assess how well a child has got on in an adult led activity. In the Reception classes’ children have Writing and Mathematics books that also is used as a form of assessment tracking.
In Reception the children are assessed half termly and termly in the nursery. Each child receives personal level scores for each area of learning and these are inputted into O track. The children are assessed against the bands in Birth to 5 matters. At the end of reception the children will be assessed against the Early Learning Goals.
Formative assessment (Assessment for Learning):
These strategies support children in their learning and include creating a learning culture, using clear learning objectives and oral/ kinaesthetic success criteria to give children the opportunity to evaluate their work, and adults provide them with feedback on their successes and ideas for improvement.
Learning Journals (self-assessment):
Learning journals are used as further form of assessment and provide detail on children’s thinking and learning styles. Our learning journals contain 4 pieces of key evidence each half term, a learning story, an example of the child’s speech, a written piece of evidence, a painting, and feedback from parents on a child’s speech.
The Evidence me profile is hosted on secure dedicated servers in the United Kingdom.
Access to Evidence me can only be gained by unique user I.D. and password.
IPAD’s that are used by staff members to access Evidence me are only to be used for professional purposes not personal purposes at home. Learning journals should not ever contain pictures of other children, furthermore, they should not be taken home by staff members.
Assessment during adult-focused activities:
During these activities children are assessed for significant outcomes or development during the process of the activity. Such assessments are always used in conjunction with observations made during their independent play. Adults carrying out a focus activity provide detail on how much support was given to the child to enable them to achieve the outcome as well as detail on the strengths and next steps.
Marking Adult Led activities
When marking teachers or teaching assistants must:
- Speak to the child reflectively about something they liked about their work and something they found a little tricky this time
- Use the school triangle systems (full triangle if child has met Learning intention, half triangle if they have met some of the Learning intention or a line to show the child has not met the Learning intention
- Write a next step in the child’s book and discuss this with the child
- Write the initial of the person who is marking
- Writing must be neat and clear
- State I.W (independent work), M.I. (Mostly independent) S.S ( some support) W.S (with support)
Transition to Year 1:
A variety of strategies are used to support the transition to Year 1 from Reception. These include:
- Working with their new teacher in the Reception and later in the Y1 classroom
- Going to assemblies
- Playing in the big playground with all of the Reception staff to support them
- Taking PE in the hall
- Setting up an appropriate Year 1 classroom environment for the Autumn term
- Passing on data from the EYFS Profile, along with end of year reports to the Year 1 teacher during Handover meetings, where information about wellbeing is also shared
- Moderation between the Year 1 teacher and Reception teacher takes place in the Summer term, to ensure that any Exceeding judgments in the Profile are accurate
- Using the EYFS alongside National Curriculum for the first term if appropriate.
Monitoring and review
It is the responsibility of the EYFS teachers to follow the principles stated in this policy.
There is a named Governor who has responsibility for the EYFS. The governor will discuss EYFS practice with the senior management team termly and provide feedback to the whole governing body, raising any issues that require discussion.
The Senior Management Team, EYFS Leader and other school leaders will carry out monitoring on the EYFS. We have good links with other EYFS settings in the Borough where moderation takes place and best practice is shared.