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Early Years Foundation Stage

Foundation Stage

‘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 it’s own right and it provides the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.’

Early Years Foundation Stage Profile

Department for Children, Schools and Families 2012.

The EYFS is based upon 4 principles:

A unique child – 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 and 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 and rewards to encourage and develop a positive attitude to learning.

Positive relationships – We recognise that children learn to be strong and independent from secure relationships and aim to develop caring, respectful and professional relationships with the children and their families.

Enabling environments -We recognise that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending the children’s development.  Through observations we assess the children’s interests, stages of development and learning needs before planning challenging and achievable activities and experiences to extend their learning.

Learning and development – The 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.

Early childhood is the foundation on which children build the rest of their lives.  At Hippings we greatly value the importance that the EYFS plays in laying secure foundations for future learning and development.  However, we also believe that early childhood is valid in itself as part of life.  It is important to view the EYFS as preparation for life and not simply preparation for the next stage of education.

The EYFS for children is from birth to five years of age.  All children begin school with a wide variety of experiences and it is the privilege of the adults working in the Foundation Stage to accept the task of building upon that prior learning experience.  This is done through an holistic approach to learning ensuring that parents and guardians, support staff and the Foundation Stage Teacher work effectively together to support the learning and development of the children in their care.

Aims – It is every child’s right to grow up safe, healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and with economic well being.  The overarching aim of the EYFS is to help young children achieve these outcomes.

We will provide a broad and balanced curriculum that will enable each child to develop personally, socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically, creatively and intellectually to their full potential.  Each child is valued as an individual and teaching and learning is based on the understanding that children develop at different rates.

At Hippings Methodist Primary School, we aim to:

  • Provide a safe, challenging, stimulating, caring and sharing environment which is sensitive to the needs of the child including children with additional needs.
  • Provide a broad, balanced, relevant and creative curriculum that will set in place firm foundations for further learning and development in Key Stage 1 and beyond.
  • Use and value what each child can do, assessing their individual needs and helping each child to progress.
  • Enable choice and decision making, fostering independence and self confidence.
  • Work in partnership with parents and guardians and value their contributions ensuring that all children, irrespective of ethnicity, culture, religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties, disabilities, gender or ability have the opportunity to develop to their potential.
  • Provide opportunities whereby children experience a challenging and enjoyable programme of learning and development.
  • Provide experiences for all children, whatever their needs, which are inclusive rather than parallel.

Learning and Development

Learning and Development is categorised into three prime areas of learning:

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Additionally there are four specific areas of learning:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

The above are achieved through the following Characteristics of Learning:

  • Playing and exploring
  • Active learning
  • Creating and thinking critically.

Learning through play

At Hippings Methodist Primary School, we do not make a distinction between work and play.  Children learn through planned play activities and staff will decide when child-initiated or adult-led play activities would provide the most effective learning opportunities.

The Induction Process

During the month of May parents/carers will be invited to attend an information and induction evening.

Children and Parents/Carers will also have the opportunity to spend an afternoon in the Reception classroom with the staff.

Nurseries will be contacted to discuss individual children and their learning needs.

During the first week of September, the Reception staff will arrange a home visit to formally introduce themselves to the family and discuss any concerns the child or family may have.

During this week the children will also spend an afternoon in their new classroom without parents/carers.

Home/School Links

We recognise that parents and carers are a child’s first and most enduring educators and we aim for the school and parents/carers to work closely in the Foundation Stage.  This can have a very positive impact on a child’s development but relies on a two-way flow of information and knowledge.

  • We will develop this working relationship between the school and parents/carers as follows:
  • We will outline the school’s expectations in a Home/School Agreement
  • We will hold a Parent’s Evening early in the Autumn Term to establish how a child is settling into the school environment
  • We will operate an ‘open door’ policy that will allow parents/carers to discuss concerns and developments in an informal manner (8.50-9.00)  If Foundation Stage staff have concerns about the progress of a child, they will approach parents/carers to discuss them.
  • We will conduct workshops for parents/carers to enable them to become familiar with the teaching methods used in school to make it easier to emulate at home
  • We will conduct a further Parents Evening in the Spring Term to inform parents/carers formally of their child’s progress.

Inclusion and Equal Opportunities

Children with Special Educational Needs will be supported as appropriate to enable them to access the curriculum fully.  This includes children that are more able and those with specific learning difficulties and disabilities.  Individual Education Plans identify targets in specific areas of learning for those children who require additional support commensurate with the school’s Special Educational Needs Policy.  The school’s SEN Co-Ordinator is responsible for providing additional information and advice to staff and parents/carers and for arranging external intervention and support as necessary.

In line with the school’s Equal Opportunities Policy, we will provide all children, regardless of ethnicity, culture, religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties, disabilities, gender or ability with equal access to all aspects of school life to ensure that every child is valued as an individual.  All staff are role-models and are aware of the influence they have in promoting positive attitudes and use that influence to challenge stereotypical attitudes.