Watergate School Early Years Foundation Stage Policy
- Mission Statement
- EYFS Aims
- EYFS Curriculum,
- Inside/Outside Provision
- Planning, recording and assessment
- Home/School Links
- Transition to Watergate
- Transition to KS1
- Equal Opportunities
At Watergate pupils’ learning and achievement is our priority.
We provide excellent and motivating education, tailored to individual needs in a safe and secure environment. Success is celebrated; independence is encouraged; everyone is valued, respected as an individual and is eager to learn with enjoyment. The school has a fun, motivating and happy atmosphere where pupils reach their full potential.
We make a difference to our pupils’ lives
In the EYFS at Watergate we seek to provide each pupil with the best possible start to their school career.
We aim to support and nurture the holistic development of each pupil by:
- Recognising that all children are individuals
- Providing a safe, secure and caring environment where children feel happy and know that they are valued.
- Developing functional communication as appropriate to each pupil in order for them to learn to express their needs, wants and feelings.
- Developing pupil’s understanding of social skills and positive behaviour expectations.
- Providing quality, play based learning experiences which use the interests and curiosities of pupils in order to foster motivation to explore and learn.
- Develop and encourage independence and choice making skills as appropriate to each pupil.
- Providing a curriculum which takes account of, and responds to, the pupil’s developmental needs and allows them to make progress related to their differing abilities. “What the child can do” will be our starting point.
- Ensuring pupils have positive experiences of success at their own levels in order to give them confidence and motivation for learning in the future.
- Supporting pupils to achieve the five outcomes of Every Child Matters (ECM), staying safe, being healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic well-being.
- Providing a broad, balanced, relevant and creative curriculum which promotes the ‘Early Learning Goals’ .
- Providing equal learning and development opportunities for all pupils.
- Creating partnerships with parents to support and enhance the development of pupils.
Watergate’s EYFS curriculum has been developed in line with the Statutory Framework of the EYFS and the four guiding principles of best practice within Early Years settings:
Watergate School’s EYFS provides a broad, balanced, differentiated curriculum which addresses the children‘s social, emotional, physical, intellectual, moral and cultural development within a safe, secure, stimulating environment.
Our curriculum enables the child to learn and develop skills, attitudes and understanding in the following areas of learning:
• Personal, Emotional and Social Development. (PSED)
• Communication and Language. (CL)
• Physical development (PD)
• Understanding the World
• Expressive Art and Design
Throughout the EYFS we plan activities to give children learning experiences and opportunities to work towards the Early Learning Goals and prepare them for the National Curriculum. Within these areas children will participate in a variety of activities, with appropriate levels of support. These activities will be both adult and child led.
We recognise the importance of play in the Early Years. It is through play that pupils are able to:
- Build confidence
- Learn to explore
- Think about and solve problems
- Relate to others
- Develop curiosity and a motivation to learn
- Develop their own communication styles
Planned and purposeful play activities are a key strategy for introducing and consolidating all areas of learning and development. They are also carefully planned to take into account pupils’ needs and utilise their interests.
Play activities will include a mix of:
- Child initiated Activities – children make choices from within the learning environment to meet his/her outcome for learning.
- Adult Initiated Activities- practitioners provide the resources to stimulate and consolidate learning.
- Adult Directed Activities – Children engage in planned activities to meet specific learning outcomes.
Staff within the EYFS will continually make judgements through observations and assessment as to the balance required for pupils between child and adult initiated play activities.
Although we recognise that pupils will be, over time, working towards being able to participate in more adult led activities in readiness for moving onto Year 1, we understand and appreciate that our pupils will develop at different rates and having very specific and individual learning needs.
The EYFS classrooms at Watergate are resourced and designed to meet the needs of the class group. The classrooms in the EYFS corridor also have adjoining outside areas, which are used to provide continuation of provision between inside and outdoors.
A larger playground for EYFS and KS1 provides opportunities for pupils to use larger play equipment in order to develop gross motor skills; equipment includes bikes, scooters, climbing and building with larger apparatus. In addition to this, pupils are able to interact socially with a wider range of pupils and adults.
The larger playgrounds are available for pupils for whom it is suitable and beneficial. Pupils will be closely supervised by familiar adults whilst using these spaces.
The use of the Adventure playground, Sensory Garden and KS1 Growing Garden are timetables for use solely by EYFS pupils outside of playtimes.
Teaching and learning will take place within the classroom and outside learning spaces.
Planning, recording and assessment
Schemes of Work (topics) are planned on a 2-year cycle, so that children will experience activities within each topic as they progress through the EYFS and into Infant and Junior classes.
Topic planning takes place on a half-termly basis. Topics may be altered to take into account children’s interests.
Half termly (or termly) activity planning sheets identify each of the Prime and Specific Areas of Development as identified in the Early Years Outcomes for each term. This ensures that all curriculum areas are covered throughout the school week.
Children have the opportunity to work in each of the learning areas within the classroom and outdoors.
Whole class, group and individual activities are used to develop skills in all areas of the curriculum, as appropriate.
On-going formative assessment is at the heart of effective early years practice. At Watergate, this is carried out through cycles of Observation – Assessment (including Interim Recording) – Planning.
Summative assessment is carried out at least once per term. Watergate currently uses the SOLAR assessment tool to enable staff to record and evidence the progress of pupils. This further allows staff to identify where pupils are making good or outstanding progress and where a pupil may require additional interventions or support to raise progress in a given area.
Annually, each pupil’s ECHP will be reviewed and discussed with parents/carers and new targets agreed for the coming year.
The targets set at an Annual Review and those Long Term Outcomes held within the pupil’s ECHP will form the basis of a pupils Individual Education Plan (IEP). IEPs are evaluated and updated each term in consultation with the class staff team, parents/carers and other professional as appropriate (e.g.; Speech and Language Therapists).
It is vital that positive and lasting links with a pupil’s home are established and valued as early as possible. We recognise that parents/carers are a pupil’s primary educator and that they are able to share with the school valuable and insightful information about their child.
Positive relationships where information is shared between home and school on a regular basis can have significant impact upon a pupil’s learning and development.
To this end, Watergate seeks to build links between home and school through:
- Home/School Contact Books – where messages, updates and information can be passed between home and school on a daily basis
- Phone calls between home as school as required
- Informal and formal meeting between parents/carers and staff as required
- Twice annual parents evenings
- Parent training sessions provided ad hoc by a range of staff within the school
- Home Learning resources provided by Watergate
- Variety of informal events throughout the school year such as the yearly and highly successful Community Lunch
Transition to Watergate
Every opportunity is taken to gain as much information about a pupil prior to starting at Watergate. This can include visits by Watergate staff to a pupil’s prior provision (where this is the case), meetings with parents/carers and a visit to Watergate School.
Each pupil’s transition will be organised and agreed on an individual basis according to the pupil’s needs.
Where pupils require the support of a member of the class staff team to complete personal care and intimate care routines, staff will follow procedure as set out in the Personal and Intimate Care Policy and Staff Code of Conduct in line with the whole school.
The EYFS is included within and follows the whole school policy: Watergate Equality Policy.
Further policies relating to the EYFS as part of the whole school
- Safeguarding Policy
- Staff Code of Conduct
- Health and Safety Policy
- Assessment Policy
- Behaviour Policy
- Complaints Procedure
- Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. Setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five (March 2014; effective September 2014)
- EYFS Handbook (2014)
- Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (2012)
Date of policy: February 2017
Date approved by Governing Body: awaiting approval at governing body committee 02/03/2017
Date for review: March 2018