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St Peter's and Clifton CE VC Primary School

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Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

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The Early Years Foundation Stage team consists of high quality, experienced practitioners, including teachers, nursery nurses and teaching assistants, and we ensure a good ratio of adults to children. We are proud of our learning environment, but always strive to improve and are not afraid to make changes, to respond to new research and guidance and to reflect upon our practice. We work to give children a secure framework to build upon, both personally and in terms of education. We continually engage in high quality communication and interaction with the children to promote high quality learning in all areas.


Play is an integral part of the foundation stage it is through play our children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. They practice 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.

Foundation Stage Policy

‘Every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to fulfil their potential. A child’s experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right and it provides the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.’  EYFS Profile - Department for Children, Schools and  Families 2012 
Our Ethos

We are committed to providing the very best that we can for the children in our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at Horbury St Peters and Clifton CE Primary School.  Our aim is to ensure that learning is fun and that children are enthusiastic about coming to school.  In EYFS we celebrate the child, unique and curious, ready to learn. Our aim is to care for our children and their families, to teach them and to learn from them and to enable children to achieve their full potential.  We offer the children an early years education based upon the following principles:


A Unique Child

• Every child is a unique, competent learner.

• Children develop in individual ways and at varying rates.

• Children’s attitudes are fluid and can be influenced by others.
Positive Relationships

• Children learn to be strong, independent individuals by developing secure relationships with teachers and peers alike.

• Relationships with parents and carers are also important and will be nurtured and developed.

• Any relationship will be respectful, caring and professional.
Enabling Environments

• The learning and play environments are vital for supporting and extending a child’s development.

• In the classroom and outdoor environment, we observe and assess the children’s development and interests.

• Based on these observations, suitably challenging activities and experiences are planned to extend their learning and achievement.
Learning and Development

•The EYFS at Horbury St Peters and Clifton is organised in a way that encourages children to explore and learn safely.

• There are areas for activities and play, and others for quiet time and rest.

• The setting is designed to enable children to learn and play independently
The EYFS Curriculum 

Our curriculum for the Foundation Stage reflects the learning aims and objectives set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.  There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational provision in all Early Years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected and none can be delivered in isolation from the others. Our children’s learning experiences enable them to develop competency and skill across these areas of learning. They require a balance of adult led and child initiated activities in order for children to develop effectively and to give them the best chance of obtaining a good level of development at the end of Upper Foundation. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. 
The three prime areas:-


Personal Social and Emotional Development

• Making Relationships

• Self Confidence and Self Awareness

• Managing Feelings and Behaviour


Physical Development

• Moving and Handling

• Health and Safe Care


Communication and Language Development

• Listening and Attention

• Understanding

• Speaking


Staff also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. Specific areas:-


Literacy Development

• Reading

• Writing


Mathematical Development

• Numbers

• Space Shape and Measures


Understanding of the World

• People and Communities

• The World

• Technology


Expressive Arts and Design

• Exploring and using media and materials

• Being Imaginative


Children learn an astonishing amount in their early years, using their inborn drives and learning power as they encounter people and the world around them.  The revised EYFS requires us to put a clear focus on how children learn, alongside what they learn.  The 3 Characteristics of Effective Learning are an integral part of our daily work with the children:
Playing and exploring – engagement 

• Finding out and exploring

• Playing with what they know

• Being willing to ‘have a go’


Active learning – motivation  

• Being involved and concentrating

• Keeping trying

• Enjoying achieving what they set out to do


Creating and thinking critically – thinking  

• Having their own ideas

• Making links

• Choosing ways to do things

" Children must be taught how to think, not what to think." - Margaret Mead


All children are assessed by observation and discussion on a regular basis and we use this information to ensure that future planning reflects individual needs. The assessment mostly takes the form of observation both planned and spontaneous and involves the teacher and other adults as appropriate. The information gained from the observations is used to inform OTrack (our whole school assessment tracker) at various points throughout the year and to make summative assessments at the end of the year. Each child has a learning journal which is used to record their ongoing observations and assessments. We use 2Build a Profile to create each child’s learning journal.  It is a formative assessment app that enables early year’s staff to track children’s progress in a fast and effective way.  We share this regularly with parents by sending them reports.  Parents can send comments and pictures back to add to their child’s learning journal. 
The Role of Parents

We believe that all parents have an important role to play in the education of their child. We recognise the parent’s role as the child’s first educators and their future role, in educating the children. We do this through:-

• Talking to parents about their child before their child starts at our school

• Opportunities for the children to spend time with the teacher before starting main school

• Inviting parents to a talk about the Foundation Stage and routines of the school

• Offering parents regular opportunities to meet with the teacher

• Encouraging parents to talk with the Foundation Staff if there are any concerns or worries

• Arranging a range of activities throughout the Year that encourage collaboration between child, school and parents

• Termly Consultation Meetings

Starting school can be a difficult time for young children; we therefore plan this time carefully to support children with the transition and to ensure it is as smooth as possible for each child and that they settle in to their new class quickly and happily. Transition visits take place in the last summer half term for children who are in Lower Foundation and moving up to Upper Foundation in September.  Children spend time in their new class with their new teacher, learning all the new routines and expectation.  In both Lower Foundation and Upper Foundation children are invited to a taster session before their official start date. Staff are on hand to meet and greet parents with their children and answer any questions they might have. 

Foundation Stage operates an equal opportunities policy. As we live in a multiracial, multicultural community, all children have equal opportunities regardless of gender, race, religion, or ability. They all have equal access to the curriculum, and equipment. Foundation Stage staff strive to enable all children to develop to their full potential and be fostered as individuals. Often Foundation Stage staff will seek the help and support of outside agencies and other resources to enable this to happen.

Safety is paramount and at Horbury St Peters and Clifton CE (VC) Primary school.  There is a robust and effective Safeguarding Policy to ensure the children in our care are protected.

See below for some useful websites that you can use with your children for Early Years play :-