EYFS Policy

Mission Statement:

To create a welcoming and purposeful learning community that recognises and respects all groups and which, together achieves the highest possible standards in teaching, learning and behaviour

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the Reception year. At Acton Gardens Primary School, children join the Nursery (FS1) at the age of three and will join the Reception class (FS2) in the year that they turn five. In partnership with parents and carers, we enable the children to begin the process of becoming active learners for life

At Acton Gardens Primary School we ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe… We promote Teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ whilst giving children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life

(Statutory Framework for the EYFS 2021)

The EYFS is based upon four principles:

A unique child
– developing resilient, capable, confident and self-assured individuals

Positive relationships
– supporting the children in becoming strong and independent

Enabling environments
– where opportunities and experiences respond to the individual needs of the child by developing a strong partnership between practitioners, parents/carers and the child

Learning and developing
– An acknowledgement that children learn in different ways and at different rates

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, 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/sharing assemblies and rewards, to encourage children to develop a positive attitude to learning

We celebrate achievements at home by collaborating with the Class Dojo app and face-to-face dialogues from our welcoming open door policy in both Nursery and Reception

All children and their families are valued at Acton Gardens Primary School School. Children are treated as individuals and have equal access to all provisions available. All children are encouraged to achieve their personal best and planning is tailored to meet the needs of all groups and abilities

Assessments take into account contributions from a range of perspectives to ensure that any child with potential special educational needs is identified at the earliest possible opportunity. Early identification of special needs is crucial to enable staff to support the development of each child. Concerns are always discussed with parents/carers at an early stage and both the previous school and our own SEND Leads are called upon for further information and external advice from outside agencies if required. Appropriate steps are taken in accordance with the school’s inclusion policy for SEND

We meet the needs of all our children through:

Planning opportunities that build upon and extend children’s knowledge, experience and interests, and develop their self-esteem and confidence

Using a wide range of teaching strategies based on children’s learning needs

Providing a wide range of opportunities to motivate and support children which will help them learn effectively

Providing a safe and supportive learning environment in which the contribution of all children is valued

Using resources which reflect diversity and are free from discrimination and stereotyping

Planning stimulating and challenging activities for all children including those whose ability and understanding are in advance of their language and communication skills

Monitoring children’s progress and taking action to provide support and next steps as necessary

Working closely with parents/carers and specific professional outside agencies

In order to accommodate the individual’s particular learning style lessons will be planned wherever possible in a multi-sensory way so that the various activities will cater for all pupils in the spirit of inclusion. There will also be consideration of how to record lesson outcomes so that the pupil is offered a variety of methods and is not inhibited by any specific difficulty.

It is of paramount importance that all children in the school are ‘safe’. We aim to educate children on boundaries, rules and limits and to help them understand why they exist. We provide children with choices to help them develop this important life skill. Children should be allowed to take risks, but need to be taught how to recognise and avoid hazards. We aim to protect the physical and psychological well-being of all children with regard to pupil’s mental health and well-being

The school has both mental health first aiders and first aid qualified at hand at all times to support and deal with issues immediately and appropriately

Children learn best when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met and when they have positive relationships with the adults caring for them.’ (Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage 2021)

At Acton Gardens Primary School we understand that we are legally required to comply with certain welfare requirements as stated in the Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage 2021

We know that we are required to:

Promote the welfare and safeguarding of children

Promote good health, preventing the spread of infection and taking appropriate action when children are ill

Manage behaviour effectively in a manner appropriate for the children’s stage of development and individual needs

Ensure all adults who look after the children or who have unsupervised access to them are suitable to do so

Ensure that the premises, furniture and equipment are safe and suitable for purpose

Ensure that every child receives enjoyable and challenging learning and development experiences tailored to
meet their needs

Maintain records, policies and procedures required for safe efficient management of the setting and to meet the needs of the children.

  • All children should be toilet trained on entry to both Nursery and Reception classes. In the event of accidental soiling we would first support the child to clean themselves but if the situation requires a more thorough clean and wash we would first of all call parents/carer to come in and clean their child themselves or take them home to do so. In the event that a parent or carer is unable to attend, two members of staff will help the child with intimate care to ensure the child is clean and comfortable
  • Always leave a clean change of clothes at school
At Acton Gardens Primary School, we recognise that children learn to be strong and independent from secure relationships. We aim to develop caring, respectful, professional relationships with the children and their families, the local community and the wider world

We recognise that parents are children’s first and most enduring educators and we value the contribution they make. We recognise the role that parents have played, and their future role, in educating children

We do this through:

  • Talking to parents about their child before their child starts in our school
  • The children have the opportunity to meet with their new teacher before starting school
  • Inviting all parents to an induction meeting during the term before their child starts school and again during the first half term of the child’s Reception year in order to detail how we aim to work with their child, particularly in relation to the EYFS framework and phonics.
  • Encouraging parents to talk to the child’s teacher if any concerns is offering an open door policy for parents twice a week at which the teacher and the parent may discuss the child’s progress and any concerns in private with the teacher
  • Once a term parents are requested to discuss their child’s progress if they have not already done so
  • Parents receive a report on their child’s attainment and progress at the end of each school year
  • Arranging a range of activities throughout the year that encourage collaboration between child, school and parents: celebration assemblies, school visits and shared reading sessions
  • Providing parents an opportunity to celebrate their child’s learning and development by completing ‘wow’ moments on DOJO or other mediums which inform planning and provision
  • Written contact through home school reading comment books as well as the acknowledgement that parents can arrange meetings with class teacher as and when needed
  • Ensuring all parents know who their child’s class teacher and teaching assistant are
  • Providing information about our school life on our website

We aim to create an attractive and stimulating learning environment where children feel confident secure and challenged. The children have daily access to an indoor and outdoor environment that is set up in discrete areas of learning with planned continuous provision

Effective learning builds and extends upon prior learning and following children’s interests. Effective planning is informed by interactions, brief observations and photographs of the children to ensure we follow their current interests and experiences and the topics planned for are supported with relevant resources and focus activities which will offer experiences and teaching foci which will match each planned learning intention. These snapshots of learning may be recorded in the children’s individual learning journals

Play-based learning is paramount and children direct their own learning from carefully planned opportunities provided by staff. Staff will enhance play, extend and scaffold as needed to further individual learning. Focus activities are planned for which allow small groups to work together with a teacher including provision for whole class learning sessions, circle times and one-to-one work

Teachers and teaching assistants provide the curriculum in the Nursery and Reception classes of class sizes of up to 30 children for FS2 and 25 children for FS1

There are seven areas of learning and development of which consist of three ‘prime areas’ and four ‘specific areas. Refer to the Statutory Handbook for Early Years Foundation Stage 2023 for more in-depth information regarding the strands within each area

The prime areas are:

Communication and language
Physical development
Personal, social and emotional development

The specific areas are:

Literacy
Mathematics
Understanding of the world
Expressive arts and design

Through careful assessments and observations, including information provided by parents and other settings, children’s development levels are assessed

The balance will shift towards a more equal focus on all areas of learning as children grow in confidence and ability within the three prime areas. Systematic Synthetic Phonics is taught daily following the Little Wandle scheme of work and daily Maths opportunities are planned for using a Maths Mastery scheme of work

We embrace the Harmony Curriculum which allows us to reach into the enchanting world of nature and the natural wonder it brings to our lives whilst encouraging wisdom, respect and appreciation for our World by helping pupils to understand the many ways in which we can help reduce our carbon footprint in order to help save our planet Earth

‘Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Play is used as an essential part of children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others. Children learn by leading their own play and by taking part in play which is guided by adults. There is an ongoing judgement to be made by practitioners about the balance between activities led by children and activities led or guided by adults with the key aim being to develop independent learning and school readiness for Year 1

Practitioners must respond to each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction. As children grow older, and as their development allows, it is expected that the balance will gradually shift towards more activities led by adults, to help children prepare for more formal learning, ready for Year 1.’ (Statutory Framework for EYFS 2021)

Planning and guiding children’s activities will reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in their practice. At Acton Gardens Primary School we support children in using the three characteristics of effective teaching and learning

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; and
  • Creating and thinking critically – children have to develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things
All members of the school are treated as individuals. We aim to meet the needs of all, taking into account gender, ability, ethnicity, culture, religion, language, sexual orientation, age, special educational needs, disability, and social circumstances. All staff are aware of the need for the curriculum to reflect cultural diversity and the need to prepare pupils for life in a diverse and multi-faith society

At Acton Gardens Primary School there are clear procedures for assessing risk (see whole school risk assessment policy) which includes procedures for keeping children safe during outings and for any aspects of the environment or provision that may require a further risk assessment. In addition to this, an annual risk assessment is conducted of the EYFS and in the staff handbook, safeguarding and child protection polices, there are detailed information and procedures to ensure the safety of the children

In line with the EYFS statutory framework 2021, at Acton Gardens Primary School we undertake and have in place

  • A whole school medicines policy ensures that there are systems in place to ensure that medicines and the systems for obtaining information about a child’s needs for medication are kept up to date. Medicines will not be administered unless they have been prescribed by a doctor, dentist, nurse or pharmacist. Training is provided for staff where the administration of medicine requires medical or technical knowledge. Medicines (both prescription and non-prescription) are only administered to a child where written permission for that particular medicine has been obtained from the child’s parent and/or carer. ‘At Acton Gardens Primary School a written record is kept each time a medicine is administered to a child and informs the child’s parents and/or carers on the same day.” (Statutory framework for EYFS 2019)’
  • Allergies for individual children are on display in relevant places around the school and key staff have undergone EpiPen training in the event of an allergic reaction
  • Fresh drinking water is available at all times
  • Children’s dietary needs are recorded and acted upon when required
  • Each classroom has a snack and sink area that can provide healthy snacks and drinks
  • A first aid box is accessible at all times and a record of accidents and injuries is kept (see accident and injury policy). All Teaching assistants are pediatric first aid trained
  • A health and safety policy and procedures which cover identifying, reporting and dealing with accidents, hazards and faulty equipment
  • A fire and emergency evacuation procedure and policy
  • A safeguarding policy stating how mobile phones and cameras are to be used and stored securely whilst children are in the setting. Cameras that are used in school must not be used for staff’s own personal use
  • Appropriate clothing, all EYFS staff are expected to wear clothing that supports them in getting to a child’s level and playing and engaging with children at floor level
  • School trip Policy
  • CPOMS system which will alert relevant staff members of any safeguarding concerns with our pupils, ensuring a whole school approach in keeping all children safe at all times.

From Pre-school/Nursery to Reception

During the summer term before a child’s entry into the Reception year, the following procedures have been put into
place to ensure a successful transition

Parents are invited to a meeting to ensure they know about school procedures and allocation of classes and any concerns they may want to express

The children are invited to visit their Reception class

Members of staff from Acton Gardens Primary School make the necessary decisions as to whether some visits to feeder schools and home settings are required in order to support the child’s successful transition

We have school tour dates on Monday and Tuesday mornings at 10 and 10.30 am each week

A meeting will be held for all joining pupils in the Summer term which will offer informative information and opportunities to talk with the teaching staff

From Reception Class to Key Stage 1

During the final term in Reception, the EYFS Profile is completed for each child. The Profile provides parents and carers, staff and teachers with a well-rounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their progress against expected levels, and their readiness for Year 1

The Profile includes ongoing observation, all relevant records held by the setting, discussions with parents and carers, and any other adults whom the teacher, parent or carer judges can offer a useful contribution. Any safeguarding issues will be passed on and discussed with the new class teacher. All this informs the dialogue between Reception and Year 1 teachers about each child’s stage of development and learning needs and thus assists with the planning of a successful transition period for all pupils as they move from FS2 to Year 1

On entry to the Reception classes and within six weeks of starting school, all children will be required to take the Reception Baseline Assessments which is a statutory requirement. Teachers have been trained to administer them to ensure that they are carried out in a sensitive and child-friendly way and pupils enjoy the activities without seeing them as ‘tests’

In the Summer Term a Good Level of Development is calculated by pupils achieving an expected level in all three Prime Areas and in Literacy and Maths. The child’s overall level of development is assessed against all the early learning goals within the profile indicating whether children are meeting expected levels of development; ‘expected’ or not yet reaching expected levels; ‘emerging’. Year 1 teachers and parents are given a copy of the Profile report together with a short commentary on each child’s skills and abilities in relation to the three key characteristics of effective learning

In line with Government changes it directs that “when assessing whether an individual child is at the expected level of development, practitioners should draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgement and should not be required to prove this through the collection of physical evidence.” By engaging and interacting with the children throughout the year and what the children can do in

“Pupils settle into school quickly when they join. They play together happily. There is a calm and orderly atmosphere around the school. Pupils feel safe. They said that staff are caring and treat them fairly.”

Relevant documents

  • Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022
  • Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage 2021
  • Early Years Foundation Stage Profile Handbook 2023

Date of last review:
November 2022

Date of next review:
November 2023