“Every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to achieve their full potential. A child’s experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances. A secure safe and happy childhood is important in its own right, and it provides the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up. When parents choose to use early years services they want to know the provision will keep their children safe and help them to thrive. The Early Years Foundation Stage is the framework that provides that assurance.” (Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage document May 2008)
The EYFS is based upon four principles:
- A Unique Child
- Positive Relationships
- Enabling Environments
- Learning and Development
A Unique Child
At Britannia Bridge Primary School 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 value the diversity of individuals within the school and do not discriminate against children because of ‘differences’. All children at Britannia Bridge Primary School, and their families, are valued; they are treated fairly regardless of race, religion or abilities.
At Britannia Bridge Primary School every child matters, and is given the opportunity to achieve their best. We do this by taking account of children’s range of life experiences when planning for their learning. Our pupils have a direct influence on all activities and learning planned for which is fed directly into curriculum practice.
In the EYFS we set realistic and challenging expectations that meet the needs of our children. We achieve this by planning to meet the needs of boys and girls, children with special educational needs, children who are more able, children with disabilities, children from all social and cultural backgrounds, children of different ethnic groups and those from diverse linguistic backgrounds.
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;
- monitoring children’s progress and taking action to provide support as necessary;
It is important to us that all children in our 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. (See Whole School Safeguarding Children Policy)
“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.” (Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage document May 2008)
At Britannia Bridge 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 2007. We understand that we are required to:
- promote the welfare 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
At Britannia Bridge 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.
Parents as Partners
We recognise that parents are children’s first and most enduring educators and we value the contribution they make.
We support and expect parents to play an active role in educating their children. We do this through:
- talking to parents about their child before their child starts in our school;
- providing the opportunity for the children to spend time with their teachers before starting Nursery/Reception by way of ‘taster sessions’;
- inviting all parents to an induction meeting during the term before their child starts school;
- we operate an ‘Open Door’ policy at the start of each session daily.
- offering parents regular opportunities to talk about their child’s progress in our nursery and reception classes;
- encouraging parents to talk to their child’s teacher if there are any concerns;
- arranging a variety of activities throughout the year that encourage collaboration between child, school and parents: Share days, Class assemblies, Sports Day etc;
- providing home/school learning opportunities for parents and teachers to leave comments relating to the children’s achievements;
All staff involved with the EYFS aim to develop good relationships with all children, interacting positively with them and taking time to listen to them. At our school the EYFS teachers act as a ‘Key Person’ to all children in EYFS, supported by the Teaching Assistants.
At Britannia Bridge Primary School we recognise that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending the children’s development. This begins by observing the children and assessing their interests, development and learning, before planning challenging but achievable activities and experiences to extend the children’s learning.
The Learning Environment
The EYFS Unit (FSU) is organised to allow children to explore and learn securely and safely. There are areas where the children can be active, be quiet and rest. The classroom is set up in learning areas, where children are able to find and return equipment and resources independently. The EYFS Unit has it own enclosed outdoor area. This has a positive effect on the children’s development. Being outdoors offers opportunities for doing things in different ways and on different scales than when indoors. It offers children the availability to explore, use their senses and be physically active and exuberant. We plan activities and resources for the children to access outdoors that help the children to develop in all 6 areas of learning. Where possible the outside environment reflects the inside one.
Learning and Development
At Britannia Bridge Primary School we recognise that children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates. We value all areas of learning and development equally and understand that they are interconnected.
Teaching and Learning
Our policy on teaching and learning defines the features of effective teaching and learning in our school.
“Children’s play reflects their wide ranging and varied interests and preoccupations. In their play children learn at their highest level. Play with peers is important for children’s development.” (Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage document May 2008)
Through play our children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. They practice and build up ideas, and learn how to control themselves and understand the need for rules. They have the opportunity to think creatively alongside other children as well as on their own. They communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems. They express fears or re-live anxious experiences in controlled and safe situations.
“Children learn best through physical and mental challenges. Active learning involves other people, objects, ideas and events that engage and involve children for sustained periods.” (Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage document May 2008)
Active learning occurs when children are motivated and interested. Children need to have some independence and control over their learning. As children develop their confidence they learn to make decisions. It provides children with a sense of satisfactions as they take ownership of their learning.
Creativity and Critical Thinking
“When children have opportunities to play with ideas in different situations and with a variety of resources, the discover connections and come to new and better understandings and ways of doing things. Adult support in this process enhances their ability to think critically and ask questions.” (Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage document May 2008)
Children are given opportunities to be creative through all areas of learning. Adults can support children’s thinking and help them to make connections by showing genuine interest, offering encouragement, clarifying ideas and asking open questions. Children can access resources and are allowed to move them around the classroom to extend their learning.
Areas of Learning
- The EYFS is made up of six areas of learning:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication, Language and Literacy
- Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
- Knowledge and Understanding of the World
- Physical Development
- Creative Development
None of these areas can be delivered in isolation from the others. They are equally important and depend on each other. All areas are delivered through a balance of adult led and child initiated activities. In each area there are Early Learning Goals (ELG's) that define the expectations for most children to reach by the end of the EYFS.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the reception year. In our school, children are able to join our Nursery Department at the start of the term after their third birthday. They attend school full time in September following their fourth birthday. Our nursery children are known as ‘Ladybirds’ and our reception children as ‘Butterflies.’
Mrs. Donaldson Reception Teacher / FSU Manager
Mrs. Thornhill Nursery Teacher (Job Share)
Miss Booth Nursery Teacher (Job Share)
Mrs. Weaver HLTA / Nurture Room
Mrs. Bailey Nursery LSA (Learning Support Assistant)
Miss Kearsley Reception LSA (Learning Support Assistant)
* We have a number of volunteers and students to provide valuable support to both adults and children in FSU. They are all CRB cleared and have clear induction procedures (see Safeguarding Policy).
Our nursery children are entitled to 15 hours free flexible delivery provision. For our nursery children there are 4 different options for choices of sessions.
- Mrs. Donaldson Reception Teacher / FSU Manager
- Mrs. Thornhill Nursery Teacher (Job Share)
- Miss Booth Nursery Teacher (Job Share)
- Mrs. Weaver HLTA / Nurture Room
- Mrs. Bailey Nursery LSA (Learning Support Assistant)
- Miss Kearsley Reception LSA (Learning Support Assistant)
We try where ever possible to give parents their first option but will take into account specific circumstances in the event of an option over subscribed.
In any one session the maximum capacity of nursery aged children is 26. This is split with a capacity of 14 for Options A and B and 12 children maximum for options C & D.
Nursery providers can sell to parents additional hours above the 15 free hours. However due to the popularity of our Nursery and all places being taken, we are unable to offer any buy back places at this moment.
Our Reception children come each day of the week for a full day. Sessions begin at 9am and finish at 3:30pm. We do operate an ‘Open Door’ policy from 8:50am each morning and actively encourage parents to settle their child into provision and share an activity at the start of the session. The main gates will close at 9:05am and at this time we expect all parents / guardians to vacate the building (please see school Security Policy for additional information).
We encourage our children to wear the school uniform as it allows them to feel a part of our setting. It also ensures that children do not damage their own clothes. On a Wednesday of each week we use the school hall for PE and ask that nursery aged children come to school in a suitable PE kit on that day (jogging pants, t-shirt, shorts and pumps). Reception children also need a PE kit on this day but will get changed as part of the PE session. For health and safety reasons children are not allowed to wear jewellery.
Children will have full access to outside during their time in FSU and we ask they come into school with suitable outdoor wear. A suitable coat, shoes and hat & gloves keep your child warm and ready for all conditions. In summer we ask that they bring a sun hat to protect them from the sun and keep cool. Please label all items of clothing with your child’s name.
We operate continuous snack opportunities, encouraging the children to be independent in when they choose to each their snack. They will have the opportunity to do this during each morning and afternoon session they are with us. Choices of drinks are water and milk and foods range from fruit, toast to a range of nutritious sandwiches. We ask for a voluntary contribution of 50p a week for nursery children and £1 a week for reception children to cover the cost, to be paid at the start of your child’s first session each week.
Children can always access water if thirsty and can ask any member of staff for drinks at any time.
We encourage all children to bring a healthy packed lunch from home. Fizzy drinks, chocolate bars and sweets are not allowed and other sugary or high salt foods are discouraged.
We have strong links with local Health Services and our school nurses are regular visitors of school to ensure the health and development of pupils. Vision, hearing, height and weight tests are done during the Foundation Stage.
If parents require teachers to administer any medicine then they need to sign a consent form at the main school office (see managing medicines in school policy).
We liaise with a wealth of services through Wigan’s Early Years Access and Inclusion Team to ensure that all our pupils are well supported for all their individual needs.
At the start of each new topic, children will receive a “home challenge” sheet which has different activities linked to the various areas of learning. You and your child can choose an activity each week to complete. These range from making a junk model, learning new songs and dances, to going on nature walks. Parents can take photos and fill in home observation sheets which are placed in the learning journey books alongside the work completed in school.
We promote parents and children fostering a love of books and would therefore encourage you to read bedtime stories, visit the library etc on a regular basis. Nursery aged children will also be involved with a programme called ‘Firm Foundations’, which are packs of activities promoting communication, language and literacy that are taken home and to be shared with parents on a weekly basis.
More formal teaching of reading begins in the reception year and children are heard to read at least 3 times a week in FSU and we encourage daily reading practise at home to support this. Parents are provided with the focus on key words each half term and ‘Flying Start’ packs of games andactivities help to support early reading, writing and maths skills.
It is the responsibility of the Early Years Foundation Stage to follow the principles stated in this policy.
The Head teacher will carry out monitoring on the EYFS as part of the whole school monitoring schedule.