The Foundation Stage Policy for Orchard Primary and Nursery School.
1 Introduction- Utilising the statutory EYFS Curriculum Guidance and Promoting British Values.
1.1 The Foundation Stage extends from the age of three to the end of the reception year. Entry into nursery is usually at the start of the term after a child’s third birthday in accordance with our school admission policy. Entry into our primary school is at the beginning of September for children who are 5 between 1st September and 31st August each year. (although compulsory schooling does not begin until the start of the term after a child's fifth birthday).
1.2 The Foundation Stage is important in its own right in preparing children for later schooling. It is the Early Learning Goals from the Early Years Foundation Stage that set out what is expected of most children by the end of the Foundation Stage. The curriculum of the Foundation Stage underpins all future learning and motivates children to embark on their life long learning journey.
1.3 Children joining our school have already learnt a great deal. Most have been learning in our nursery, but others may have had other early experiences in private nurseries, with childminders, playgroups or at home. The early-years education we offer our children is based on the following principles:
it builds on what our children already know and can do;
it ensures that no child is excluded or disadvantaged;
it offers a structure for learning that has a range of starting points in accordance with the ages and stages stated in the EYFS, with content that matches the needs of young children and activities that provide opportunities for learning both indoors and outdoors;
it provides a rich and stimulating environment.
The aims of our Foundation Stage
To provide a caring, happy and safe environment in which each child is respected and valued. (B V –Mutual Respect and Tolerance)
To thoroughly assess each child’s ability in order to provide for their individual needs, including any special educational needs and ensure that their early education is as valuable as possible. (BV- Individual Liberty)
To ensure coverage of the Early Learning Goals by planning topics and activities to ensure these are met including following children’s interests.
To provide a wide range of teacher led activities and actively promote child initiated activities that promote learning through free and structured play opportunities and educational experiences designed to develop skills and extend thinking skills and understanding.(BV- Individual Liberty)
To actively promote children’s physical, social and emotional development and communication and language as Prime areas of learning.
To prepare the nursery children for a smooth transition into the reception class and from the reception class in to the KS1 department.
To encourage the children in developing their abilities to socialise and build relationships with peers and adults and to develop their own identity and independence.(BV-Individual Liberty)
To value the individual and promote positive images to enhance self-esteem and encourage respect for others. (B V –Mutual Respect and Tolerance)
To maintain a high standard of display of children’s work, use of high quality and age appropriate resources and provide access to a wide range of activities/ opportunities using both the indoor and outdoor environment.
To welcome parents into the Foundation Stage and encourage participation at all levels in establishing good home/school links.
3 Teaching and learning style
3.1 The features of effective teaching and learning in our school are defined in our policy on teaching and learning. They apply to teaching and learning in the Foundation Stage just as much as they do to the teaching and learning in Key Stage 1 or 2.
3.2 The more general features of good practice in our school that relate to the Foundation Stage are:
the partnership between the staff and parents/carers that helps our children to feel secure at school, and to develop a sense of well-being and achievement;
the understanding that the staff have a sound knowledge of how children develop and learn, and how this must be reflected in their teaching;
the range of approaches that provide first-hand experiences, give clear explanations, make appropriate interventions, and extend and develop the children's play, talk or other means of communication;
the carefully planned curriculum that helps children achieve the Early Learning Goals by the end of the Foundation Stage;
the provision for children to take part in activities that build on and extend their interests, and develop their intellectual, physical, social and emotional abilities;
the support for learning, with appropriate and accessible space, facilities and equipment, both indoors and outdoors;
the identification, through observation, of children's progress and future learning needs, which are regularly shared with parents and carers through targets;
the good relationships between the staff in both our nursery and our reception class which enables the ease of transition and our regular exchange visits which enable the children to work together in both the nursery and the reception class environment.
the clear aims of our work, and the regular monitoring of our work to evaluate and improve it;
the regular identification of training needs for all adults working within the Foundation Stage.
4 Play within the Foundation Stage
4.1 Through play, our children explore and develop the learning experiences that help them make sense of the world. They practise and build up their ideas, learn how to control themselves, and begin to understand the need for rules. (BV-Rule of Law) They have the opportunity to think creatively both alongside other children and on their own. (BV-Individual Liberty)They communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems. They express fears, or re-live anxious experiences, in controlled and safe situations.
5 Inclusion at the Foundation Stage
5.1 We believe that all our children matter. We give our children every opportunity to achieve their best. We do this by taking account of our children's range of life experiences when we are planning for their learning (see our policy on inclusion). (BV- Individual Liberty, Democracy)
5.2 In the Foundation Stage, we set realistic and challenging expectations keyed to the needs of our children, so that most achieve the Early Learning Goals by the end of the Foundation Stage. Some children progress beyond this point. We help them do this by planning to meet the needs of both boys and girls, of children with special educational needs, of children who are more able, of children with disabilities, of children from all social and cultural backgrounds, of children from different ethnic groups, and of those from diverse linguistic backgrounds. (BV- Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance)
5.3 We identify children with special educational needs and utilise the support of the school Senco, inclusion support and other professionals such as the speech therapist in order to best support the children. We use the Derbyshire Language Scheme, Portage, ECAT and BPVS to aid identification of their particular needs and use the information to ensure the child’s needs are being addressed, this may be through an individual support plan which is drawn up collaboratively with everyone involved with the child and including parents/ carers. (BV- Mutual Respect and Tolerance)
5.4 We meet the needs of all our children through:
planning opportunities that build on and extend the children's knowledge, experience and interests, and develop their self-esteem and confidence;
using a variety of teaching strategies that are based on children's learning needs;
providing a wide range of opportunities to motivate and support children, and to help them to learn effectively;
offering a safe and supportive learning environment, in which the contribution of all children is valued; employing resources that reflect diversity, and that avoid discrimination and stereotyping, (BV- Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance)
planning challenging activities for children whose ability and understanding are in advance of their language and communication skills;
monitoring children's progress, and providing support (such as speech therapy), as necessary.
6 The Foundation Stage curriculum
6.1 Our curriculum for the Foundation Stage reflects the 7 areas of learning identified in the Early Years Foundation Stage culminating in the achievement of the Early Learning Goals. Our children's learning experiences enable them to develop competency and skill across the learning areas.
6.2 The Early Learning Goals prepare children for the National Curriculum in year one. Accordingly, by the end of the reception year, our children have a daily numeracy based lesson and a daily literacy lesson. These requirements are addressed in a flexible way at first, but they quickly become the normal morning routine for the children.
6.3 The Early Learning Goals provide the basis for planning throughout the Foundation Stage. Teachers use the national schemes of work, where appropriate, to support their planning for individual children. Our medium-term planning is completed each term, following our 3 yearly topic cycle, and identifies the intended learning and assessment statements for 22-36 months, 30-50 months, 40-60 months and the Early Learning Goal.
6.4 The Foundation stage makes full use of the outdoor environment, where a daily planned timetable of appropriate learning opportunities takes place at all times of year.
7.1 The Foundation Stage Profile is the nationally employed assessment tool that enables teachers to record their observations at the end of the Foundation Stage, and to summarise their pupils' progress towards the Early Learning Goals. It covers each of the seven areas of learning contained in the curriculum guidance for the Foundation Stage and requires a written statement commenting on 3 aspects of learning- Playing and Learning- engagement, Active Learning- motivation and Creating and Thinking Critically. We make regular assessments of children's learning, and we use this information to ensure that future planning reflects identified needs. Assessment in the Foundation Stage takes the form of observations of child initiated activities and working with specific groups on teacher led activities, this involves all staff working in the Foundation Stage to share information from observations in discussions with colleagues. The collection of assessment data in the Foundation Stage Profile is a statutory requirement.
7.2 During the first half term, at the mid point and at the end of the nursery, the staff assess the ability of each child, using the EYFS ages and stages, this is also done termly in reception and at the end of the reception year. These assessments allow us to identify patterns of attainment within the cohort, in order to meet the needs of individual children and groups of children. The Foundation Stage tracking sheet is completed on entry and at the end of each term for all 17 aspects. We share the information related to the EYFS at our target setting meetings and we provide a written statement of attainment at the end of the Foundation Stage stating exceeding, expected or emerging related to the ELG. The Foundation stage staff complete an individual highlighter book for every child each term and their progress is charted each term on an EYFS assessment grid, across the 17 aspects of learning which enables, cohort and girl and boy progress to be analysed.
7.3 At the end of the final term in reception, we send a summary of these assessments to the LA for analysis. There are 17 summary scales. The child's next teacher uses this information to make plans for the year ahead.
7.4 Each member keeps up to date records for individual children in their Foundation Stage assessment and achievement booklet and in the milktime record book, and uses these to set targets and make provision for individual children.
7.5 Parents and carers receive individual targets for their child and are able to talk these targets through with their child’s key worker up to 3 times per year. A school report is written for each child as they leave the nursery and at the end of the reception class, it offers brief comments on each child's progress in each area of learning. It highlights the child's strengths and development needs, and gives details of the child's general progress.
8 The role of parents and carers
8.1 We believe that all parents and carers have an important role to play in the education of their child. We therefore recognise the role that parents and carers have played, and their future role, in educating the children. We do this through:
talking to parents or carers about their child before their child starts in our nursery, via the meetings held in school;
mini visits and regular shared sessions for nursery and reception children allow children to spend time with the staff and their peers before starting school;
inviting all parents and carers to an induction meeting during the term before their child starts in the reception class;
offering parents and carers regular opportunities to talk about their child's progress in our nursery and reception class through our target sharing evenings;
encouraging parents and carers to talk to the child's teacher if there are any concerns;
having flexible admission arrangements to meet each child's needs ;
arranging for children to start in our nursery over the first week of term, so that the staff can welcome each child into our school in a positive way;
encouraging parents and carers to stay if there are problems with the child's admission;
encouraging parents/carers to contribute to their child’s learning journeys.
offering a range of opportunities across the school, throughout the year, that encourage collaboration between child, school and parents/carers;
providing various activities that involve parents and carers, i.e. regular communication with home through daily contact with the child’s parents/carers, the child's home/school diary, newsletters, reading folders, story sacks and inviting parents and carers to information evenings, in order to discuss the kind of work that the children are undertaking.
8.2 There is a formal meeting for parents and carers in the Autumn and Spring term at which the parents/carers discuss the child's progress in private with the staff and at which the child’s individual targets are discussed and individual learning journeys are shared. During the summer term parents and carers receive a report on their child's attainment and progress at the end of their time in the nursery and at the end of the reception year.
9.1 We plan a learning environment, both indoors and outdoors, that encourages a positive attitude to learning. We use materials and equipment that reflect both the community that the children come from and the wider world. We encourage the children to make their own selection of the activities on offer, as we believe that this encourages independent learning.
10 Monitoring and review
10.1 This policy is monitored by the governing body, and will be reviewed in two years, or earlier if necessary.