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2021-22 Early Years

Teaching and Learning Policy 

EARLY YEARS 

 

 

Policy last reviewed:

Reviewed by: Matthew Ascroft

Agreed by governors:

Shared with staff:

Frequency of review: Bi Annually 

Date of next review:

Head Teacher: Matthew Ascroft

Leaders with responsibility for Teaching and Learning Policy

Curriculum : Victoria Noone (AHT)

Reading : Holly Haines

Writing : Joanne Ward

Maths : Gary Bennett

Early Years – Carla Lapworth

SENDCo - Anke Brooker (AHT)

 

Chair of Governors: Mr Bill Gallagher

 

 

1 Vision

Throughout their time in EYFS, the children develop a sense of belonging to our school community, ready to continue their learning journey as they move up the school. They have the confidence and skills to make decisions and self-evaluate, make connections and become lifelong learners.

In EYFS at Stoke Primary School, the curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning and current interests, including their experiences at home. We provide first hand learning experiences, whilst allowing the children to build resilience, ambition and integrity. Every child is recognised as a unique individual, and we celebrate and welcome differences within our school community. The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts, and values.

 

2 Aims and Objectives

We intend:

•          To work in partnership with parents and carers to encourage independent, happy learners who thrive in school and reach their full potential from their various starting points.

•          To understand and follow children’s interests and provide opportunities throughout our EYFS curriculum to support learning, consolidate and deepen knowledge and ensure children meet their next steps.

•          To create an indoor and outdoor environment which supports learning.

•          To prepare children to reach the Early Learning goals at the end of the Foundation Stage and ensure children make at least good progress from their starting points.

•          To support transition from Nursery to Reception and then into KS1.

 

3 Key Principles of Effective Learning at Stoke Primary

During the school day, children will have an opportunity to work independently, work collaboratively with their friends and with members of staff. Daily guided activities are also planned to cover different areas of the EYFS curriculum and allow children to develop their next steps in learning. Through observation and discussion, areas of need and next steps are identified for all children to ensure good progress is made. There are also a range of stimulating and engaging activities which the children can access independently and a variety of opportunities for child-initiated play. In planning and guiding children’s activities we reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in our practice.

Stoke understands the importance of lifelong learning skills for all our children to enable them the chance to fulfill their dreams.  To facilitate this, we have three key aspects of effective learning.

  • Transition

We understand that transitions between year groups or starting school for the first time are big milestones. The transition starts through organised tours of school and then further to a place being offered and accepted a EYFS meeting with parents takes place in the summer term.

As a school we have a very successful ‘Transition Week’ where all year groups move up to spend the week with their new class and teacher. Prior to this week new Reception pupils have stay and play sessions to meet their teacher with their parents. Nursery children have several sessions including a Forest School session, stay and play, where the parents discuss their child and a home visit.

When moving to KS1 children have a story with their new teacher in their current class before the transition week and their current LSA’s go up with them as a familiar adult. Parents have the opportunity to meet with new teachers and visit their child’s new learning environment.

  • Widening Horizons

We aim to provide enhancement opportunities linked to topics, to engage learning and believe that our first experiences of school should be happy and positive, enabling us to develop a lifelong love of learning. Community involvement is an essential part of our curriculum as we celebrate local traditions, learning new skills to enable the children to take an active role in events throughout the year.

We have a dedicated time focusing on health and self-care where we explore meditation, yoga and relaxation techniques. We share a range of healthy snacks and learn about the importance of a healthy balanced lifestyle to maintain our own wellbeing. All of children perform in a Nativity and participate in trips. They encourage visits from a vast range of people from our community such as, the police, fire service, postal workers, vets, doctors and nurses. They plant bulbs and seeds, watch them grow and eat their produce such as strawberries.

To support our wider curriculum, we provide regular opportunities for parents and carers to come into school and work with their child, share their work and celebrate successes. We keep parents informed and we meet regularly with them to ensure children’s transition into school and through the EYFS is happy and allows them to reach their potential with the support needed.

  • Characteristics of Effective Learning

Children in EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. Our outdoor areas are used all year round and in most weather conditions. We ensure activities support the Characteristics of Effective Learning to ensure learning takes place. These are:

Playing and Exploring – children investigate and experience things, and have a go;

Active Learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements;

Creating and Thinking Critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things.

Stoke Primary School considers the Characteristics of Effective Learning, as defined in the EYFS, to be key components that lead to lifelong learning.  Stoke Primary School applies a progression of these throughout all year groups as a structure that underpins good learning.  The language and its application develop through school and our children learn to develop these characteristics throughout all their learning.

 

4 Planning and Assessment

The Early Years Foundation Stage is the period of education from birth to 5 years. In our school we have a Nursery provision (FS1) and two Reception (FS2) classes that work together in one open plan classroom.  We work together across our Early Years provision to provide a well thought out and planned curriculum for every child.

Throughout EYFS at Stoke Primary School, we follow the Early Years Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, updated September 2021, by the DfE. This framework specifies the requirement for learning and development in the Early Years and provides prime and specific areas of learning we must cover in our curriculum.

We have a curriculum that is child-centered and that is based upon experiences and topics which engage the children. We encourage active learning to ensure the children are motivated and interested. We take time to get to know children’s interests and their likes to support learning. All areas of the EYFS curriculum are followed and planned for to ensure there is a broad, balanced and progressive learning environment and curriculum. The children will learn new skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate understanding through the seven areas of the EYFS curriculum.

• Personal, Social and Emotional Development

• Physical Development,

• Communication and Language,

• Literacy,

• Mathematics,

• Understanding the World,

• Expressive Arts and Design

These 7 areas are used to plan children’s learning and activities. Planning for this curriculum is designed to be flexible so that a child’s unique interests are supported. We place a high value on good quality interactions, which we promote throughout the time children are in Early Years. A vital aspect in the development of essential knowledge and skills is the use of continuous provision. This means that children are using and developing taught skills throughout the year daily. Continuous provision practice and principles begin in EYFS and support children to develop key life skills such as independence, innovation, creativity, enquiry, analysis, and problem solving.

Staff in the EYFS make observations of the children’s learning to ensure their next steps are met. These are collected in each child’s online learning journey. We regularly assess where the children are, using ‘Development Matters’ and then ensure our planning, adult interaction and learning environment; including continuous provision, support children to reach their next steps. We will include interventions for groups or individuals when necessary. Children with English as an Additional Language may be assigned an interpreter to support their understanding in the classroom for a period of time working with the EYFS practitioners.  It is expected that children with EAL are supported to make rapid progress with their English so that they can access the curriculum more fully.  

 

5 Impact

We strive to ensure that our children’s progress across the EYFS curriculum is good from their varied starting points. We also strive for children to reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception and to be at least in line with National Expectations. Evidence in children’s learning journeys support all areas of the EYFS curriculum.

The impact of our curriculum is measured by ongoing observations, which are not all recorded but noted by the EYFS team. All staff know and understand the needs of all children and can talk about them in depth linked to ‘Development Matters’. At the end of Reception, we follow assessment procedures which allow us to measure outcomes against all schools nationally. We measure the percentage of pupils achieving age related expectations throughout the academic year, put supportive interventions in place when needed. Class teachers use observations to make formative assessments which inform future planning and ensure that all children build on their current knowledge and skills at a good pace.

Summative assessment compares children attainment to age related expectations using age bands from Development Matters and our own school system. This is tracked by the EYFS Lead and shared with the EYFS Team to ensure rates of progress are at least good for all children, including vulnerable groups such as those with SEND, disadvantaged or summer born children. Our assessment judgements have been moderated both in school and externally with local schools and others in our trust. The impact of our curriculum will also be measured by how effectively it helps our pupils develop into well rounded individuals who embody our values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them lifelong learners and valuable future citizens. We endeavor for pupils to be Key Stage 1 ready and have our school values embedded by the time they leave Reception, preparing them for their future.

 

6 Policies that support the Early Years Policy

  • Teaching and Learning Policy
  • Assessment
  • Safeguarding and Inclusion
  • SEND Policy

 


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