Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Policy
At Lakefield School, we aim to provide the highest quality care and education for all our children thereby giving them a strong foundation for their future learning. We create a safe and happy environment with motivating and enjoyable learning experiences that enable children to become confident and independent. We value the individual child and work alongside parents and others to meet their needs and help every child to reach their full potential.
As outlined in the EYFS ‘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.’
We adhere to the Framework of the EYFS and the four guiding principles that shape practice within Early Years settings.
- Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
- Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers
- Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates
Principles into practice
As part of our practice we:
- Provide a balanced curriculum, based on the EYFS, across the seven areas of learning, using play as the vehicle for learning.
- Promote equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice. We provide early intervention for those children who require additional support.
- Work in partnership with parents and within the wider context.
- Plan challenging learning experiences, based on the individual child, informed by observation and assessment.
- Provide opportunities for children to engage in activities that are adult-initiated and child-initiated, supported by the adult
- Provide a secure and safe learning environment indoors and out
Foundation Stage Curriculum
We plan an exciting and challenging curriculum based on our observation of children’s needs, interests, and stages of development across the seven areas of learning to enable the children to achieve and exceed the early learning goals, based upon broad termly/half termly topics.
All the seven areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. 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.
These three areas are the Prime areas:
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Children are also supported through the four Specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
The specific areas are:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Children are provided with a range of rich, meaningful first-hand experiences in which children explore, think creatively and are active. We aim to develop and foster positive attitudes towards learning, confidence, communication and physical development.
Children are taught through whole group and small group sessions which increase as they progress through the EYFS with dedicated daily phonics sessions using ‘Letters and Sounds’. Mathematics and Literacy are taught in daily sessions including shared reading and writing and are supported through continuous provision.
The curriculum is delivered using a play-based approach as outlined by the EYFS. ‘Each area of learning and development must be implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activities’. We plan a balance between children having time and space to engage in their own child-initiated activities and those that are planned by the adults. During children’s play, staff interact to stretch and challenge children further.
In planning and guiding children’s activities, practitioners reflect upon the different ways that children learn and reflect these in our practice. We create a stimulating environment to encourage children to free-flow between inside and out.
Observation and Assessment
As part of our daily practice we observe and assess children’s development and learning to inform our future plans. We record our observations in a variety of ways. Everyone is encouraged to contribute and daily informal as well as planned more formal discussions take place. These ongoing observations are used to inform the EYFS Profile/developmental matter bands. The child’s progress is reviewed every term/half term and is regularly discussed with parents. In Autumn(1st), Spring(2nd) and Summer(3rd) term we provide parents with a report based on the child’s progress in the profile against the 17 Early Learning Goals and in relation to the characteristics of Effective Learning. Parents are invited half way into each term and at the end of each term and given the opportunity to discuss these judgements with the class teacher.
Children’s safety and welfare is paramount. We create a safe and secure environment and provide a curriculum which teaches children how to be safe, make choices and assess risks. We have stringent policies, procedures and documents in place to ensure children’s safety.
We promote the good health of the children in our care in numerous ways, including the provision of nutritious food, following set procedures when children become ill/accident.
We value all our children as individuals, irrespective of their ethnicity, culture, religion, home language, background, ability or gender. We plan a curriculum that meets the needs of the individual child and supports them at their own pace so that our children are given every opportunity to achieve and even exceed the Early Learning Goals. We strongly believe that early identification of children with additional needs is crucial in enabling us to give the child the support that they need and in doing so, work closely with parents and outside agencies.
Parents as Partners
We strive to create and maintain partnership with parents and carers as we recognise that together, we can have a significant impact on a child’s learning. We welcome and actively encourage parents to participate confidently in their child’s education and care and in wider school life.
Transitions are carefully planned for and time given to ensure continuity of learning. Children from pre-school or nursery attend introductory sessions towards the end of the Summer Term to develop familiarity with the setting and practitioners. Where possible our Nursery 2 class staff visit the children in their current setting and liaise with setting staff.
In the final term in Nursery 2, the class teacher and Year 1 teacher liaise to discuss the individual children, their needs and analyse the assessment data/handover notes to inform planning before the children join their new Year 1 teacher.
The Early Years Foundation Stage is a statutory policy and will be reviewed annually. Any suggested amendments will be discussed with the head of School, head of preschool and staff, and presented to the management team for approval.