The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the Reception year. At St Hugh of Lincoln Primary School, children join the Reception class 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. We endeavour to ensure that children “learn and develop well and keep healthy and safe.” We aim to support children in their learning through “teaching and experiences that gives children the broad range of skills that provide the right foundation for good progress through school and in life.” (Revised Statutory Framework for the EYFS 2017). During their time in EYFS children begin to understand our Catholic identity and the shared development of our values and beliefs.
The EYFS intent is based upon the following 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.
It is important to us 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.
In accordance with the Revised Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage 2017. We understand 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 is 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.
Children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates. Their attitudes and dispositions to learning are influenced by feedback. We use praise and encouragement, as well as celebration.
At St Hugh’s, we recognise that children learn to be strong and independent from secure relationships with children and adults. By developing caring, respectful, professional relationships with the children and their families we maintain a positive relationship to enable us to measure wellbeing, spiritual growth and development.
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 and to help them to 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;
- Implement challenge through mastery approach planning
Prior to starting at St Hugh’s
- Talking to parents about their child before their child starts in our school through nursery and home visits;
- The children have the opportunity to spend time with their teacher before starting school during play and stay sessions;
- Support children through the transition from pre-school to Reception with a staggered intake during the first week and increasing hours during the following week. This is also to support staff and parents in getting to know each other as well as the children.
- 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 reading and phonics;
- Arranging a rich environment of activities throughout the year that encourage all parents to become involved in their child’s learning.
During Early Years
We aim to create communication friendly spaces and a stimulating learning environment where children feel confident and secure and challenged. The children have daily access to an indoor and outdoor learning environment that is set up in discrete areas of learning with planned continuous provision. Effective learning builds and extends upon prior learning following children’s interest.
Child initiated learning is paramount and children direct their own learning from carefully planned opportunities provided by staff. Staff will enhance play and extend as needed to further individual learning.
There are seven areas of learning and development of which three are “prime areas,” and four “specific areas.”
The prime areas are;
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development.
The specific areas are;
- Understanding of the world
- Expressive arts and design
“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 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.” (Statutory Framework for EYFS)
Planning and guided children’s activities will reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in their practice. At St Hugh’s, 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.
- creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things. (Taken from revised statutory framework for the EYFS 2017)
Collaboration between child, school and parents throughout the academic year encourages the children to develop a positive attitude to learning. We do this through learn and share sessions, celebration assemblies, and masses. These provide parents with an opportunity to celebrate their child’s learning and development, this informs our planning and provision. In addition we monitor each child’s progress and take action to provide support as necessary .
Religious Education is also taught in reception class in accordance with the guidelines set by the diocese for Arundel and Brighton. To fulfil our aims and objectives, at St. Hugh’s we will follow the Come and See programme of Religious Education. Come and See offers the opportunity to search, to explore, to discover, and to respond. Come and See aims to raise questions and provide materials for children to reflect on their own experiences. The curriculum stimulates religious growth and development encouraging the children to live a Catholic life.
Inclusion/Special Educational Needs (SEND)
All children and their families are valued at St Hugh of Lincoln Catholic Primary 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 adapted 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 the schools Inclusion manager is called upon for further information and advice. Appropriate steps are taken in accordance with the school’s Inclusion statement for SEND. Individual provision maps will be developed for children who are not making expected progress or have additional and different needs.
Through careful assessments and observations, including information provided by parents and other settings, children’s development levels are consistently tracked.by;
- Baseline assessment
- Consistent observations and careful questioning- Effective planning is informed by observations of the children to ensure we follow their current interests and experiences. These observations are recorded in the children’s individual learning folders.
- Constant communication and questioning with the children
- Teacher led small step assessments through good learner/super learner assessment.
- Phonic Phase 2/3/4 knowledge assessments
- Data collection, which informs our planning and interventions.
- Summative assessment in the final term directly related to Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.
- 2 parent evenings to discuss each child’s emotional physical and intellectual development.
- Yearly Individual Report on their child’s attainment and progress
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.
Each child’s level of development is assessed against the early learning goals. The profile indicates whether children are meeting expected levels of development, or if they are exceeding expected levels, or not yet reaching expected levels (‘emerging’). Year 1 teachers 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. This informs the dialogue between Reception and Year 1 teachers about each child’s stage of development and learning needs and assists with the planning of activities in Year 1.