Early Years Policy

Lord Blyton Early Years Policy


In Early Years Foundation Stage four main principles are considered;

  A Unique Child
  Positive Relationships
  Enabling Environments
  Learning and Development

Rationale:

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the area of education upon which young children build the rest of their lives. It is a single framework for care, learning and development. All children should be given the opportunity to experience the best possible start to their education to develop solid foundations which will ensure that they flourish throughout their school years and on into adulthood. The EYFS curriculum and Early Learning Goals sets a series of learning goals for children to work towards by the time they reach the end of EYFS at the age of 5+ when the KS1 curriculum begins. A high quality, well resourced, integrated early education should make a positive contribution to a child’s development with the key learning skills of listening, speaking, concentration, persistence, co-operation, literacy and numeracy. Rich, stimulating and appropriate experiences will provide each child with opportunities to develop these skills, their competencies and their thinking to the best of their ability across all areas of learning.

Purpose:

  • To make the child’s first experience of school happy, positive and fun.
  • To ensure that all children feel valued and secure in the setting with positive relationships between carers and staff.
  • To ensure a breadth of balance in the curriculum through carefully planned adult input and sensitive interaction using the Early Learning Goals while having regard for the skills and attitudes the Key Stage 1 National Curriculum demand.
  • To encourage parents to become partners with the school in the education of their children.
  • To provide a curriculum firmly based on active learning to meet the needs of the individual child. Within any Early Years Foundation Stage cohort there will be wide variations in terms of development and maturity as well as family, religion, cultural background and special needs. Children will have differing experiences, interests, skills and knowledge, which affect both their learning pace and styles. This diversity is catered for within planning which has a flexible approach, using a wide range of strategies and teaching styles to address the particular needs of the children, families and the community. No child should be disadvantaged but each encouraged to develop self-esteem and confidence in their ability to learn.
  • To further love of learning, enquiring minds and the ability to discuss, adapt and negotiate well planned play and purposeful activity with challenge and enjoyment, both in and out of doors, will provide opportunity for teaching and learning. Within a well planned, organised environment, children should be able to explore, question, test, observe, experiment, plan, make decisions for themselves and participate in activities which are planned by adults as well as those which they plan and start themselves.
  • To provide the children time to become engrossed in what they are doing, to work in depth and to complete activities in order to develop positive attitudes to learning while staff need to understand how young children learn and develop, in order to observe and respond to them. Appropriate intervention can help children to become more involved in the learning process and provide opportunities for new learning and development, so that they can make progress.
  • To monitor progress throughout the Early Years Foundation stage, while taking action to identify areas of concern and provide necessary support.
  • To help children develop self-control and to respect the feelings, needs, culture and the abilities of others.

Parent Partnership:

Induction meetings are arranged for Nursery and Reception parents in June to enable them to get to know the setting and the practitioners and where they receive information packs and have an opportunity to talk to other parents. Parents of Nursery children are encouraged to sign up for a home visit prior to starting at Lord Blyton. All parents are encouraged to visit the school with their child/ren for a variety of activities throughout the year including, drop in events, Whole School Summer & Christmas Craft Fairs. A range of Parent Workshops are also organised throughout the year so parents feel involved and valued in their child’s learning. The 2-3yrs room run ‘BOO Groups’ and ‘Time Together’ and the 3-4yrs and Reception classes run a variety of ‘REAL’ projects.
The children from Lord Blyton Nursery will visit the Reception setting accompanied by the Nursery Staff to experience a morning or afternoon to get to know the Reception Staff and the other children in their new class. Children from other Nurseries who are to start are invited as well.
Parents are asked to complete a variety of forms which include information, contacts, any necessary medical information and a questionnaire about their child. The questionnaire asks for their likes, dislikes, and friends and relatives from home or nursery starting Lord Blyton at the same time and any concerns they may have. A Home School Agreement, Permission slips for visits locally, photographs and videos for assessment, display and use on website etc. are also included.
Parents of Nursery and Reception children are given the opportunity to talk about to the child’s teacher on entering school each morning or at home time. This is also when concerns, accidents or incidents can be discussed. Both Nursery rooms also have a telephone where parents can also contact staff and vice versa. In Lord Blyton Early Years a Home/School Record book is sent home each week with individual comments from the class teacher and a reply encouraged from the parents. In Nursery there are regular opportunities for parents to stay and play and information about the Nursery week is recorded in a ‘Floor Book’ made available at all times. In Reception there is regular communication with parents/carers through the child’s Home Reading Diary and a ‘Homework letter’ sent each week to inform parents and carers what the children have done that week etc. In both there are also extra Family Learning Events planned throughout the year, currently promoting Early Reading, and opportunities for parents to meet the practitioners formally each term. Our EYFS also regularly update our school website with what the children have been doing at school.
Parent helpers are encouraged in Reception, once children have settled, to accompany trips, check Story Sacks, listen to readers and generally to support children either in the classroom or our outside environment. All parents or regular visitors must have a current DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) police check to ensure the safety of our children.

 

Curriculum:

A Topic based Creative Curriculum is planned each half term, based on children’s current interests, to incorporate activities which enable progression in the children’s learning. Adult led activities are planned each week with learning objectives designed to support the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Children move between planned whole class, group, pairs or individual activities to plan their own child initiated activities and focussed play challenges.
Weekly plans (Reception includes specific Phonics, Literacy and Numeracy sessions) are freely available for all staff to access. These are working documents developed around the children’s interests, understanding and needs and are used to add notes and evaluations and changed if necessary. This planning aims to support, promote and develop children’s progression through Nursery and Reception, building the foundations for K.S.1. In our Nursery both 2-3 yrs and 3-4 yrs old practitioners plan together to ensure progression in activities and sometimes joint activities are planned for festivals and special events to ensure the children get a wide range of experiences. We hold regular EYFS staff meetings to discuss current issues and upcoming events.

The Prime Areas of Learning and Development:

Communication and Language: Including Listening and attention, Understanding and speaking. The key skills will develop confidence in communication, speaking and listening in a variety of settings and purposes including role play and drama opportunities.

Physical Development: Including Moving and handling and Health and self care. Specific PE lessons for Reception are timetabled in the hall and opportunities provided both inside and outside the Nursery and Reception settings will improve the skills of co-ordination, control, manipulation and movement. This helps children to gain confidence and feel positive about being healthy and active which promotes a positive feeling of well being.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Including Making relationships, Self-confidence & self awareness and Managing feelings & behaviour. This subject is crucial for all aspects of life which will give the children the best opportunity for success in all other areas of learning. Each child needs a positive sense of him/herself and respect for others.


The Specific Areas of Learning and Development:

Literacy: Including Reading and Writing of which Phonics underpins both. Discrete daily phonics lessons are taught to build skills to first recognise sounds to decode text to read then to word build. The children will have a wide range of books read to them and read simple texts for themselves, individually to adults, and in groups with the teacher. Mark making is valued as the first steps to writing and opportunities to write for a variety of purposes. This develops to be able to write holding a pencil correctly and using correct letter formation to create simple words and sentences at the end of Reception to become ‘school ready’ for KS1 the following September.

Mathematics: Including Numbers and Shape, Space and Measure this subject will develop confidence and competence in learning and using key skills including counting, sorting, matching, recognising and creating patterns, making connections, recognising relationships and working with numbers, shapes, space and measures.

Understanding the World: Including People and Communities, The World and Technology this subject develops crucial knowledge, skills, problem solving, exploring and understanding which will help the children to make sense of the world. Foundations are developed for Science, Design and Technology, History, Geography and I.C.T.

Expressive Arts and Design: Including Exploring and Using Media and Materials and Being Imaginative. Creativity is fundamental to successful learning. It enables children to make connections and extend their thoughts, feelings and understanding. It will include art, music, dance, role-play and imaginative activities.

Assessments:

Baseline Assessments are made of each child on entering Nursery and Reception using the Development Matters descriptors for age related expectations. Each child’s learning can then be planned for according to their needs and progress is tracked throughout the Early Years. The ‘Two year old check’ is completed by Nursery practitioners in our 2-3 yr old setting. ECAT and BOO Baskets, provided by the LEA, help assess the children’s speaking and listening skills in Nursery, which is an area we aim to support and improve. Other EYFS observations are made throughout the day with evidence collected by practitioners through incidental or planned observations, questioning, discussions, outcomes, self-evaluation and parental input to assess the children’s learning and progress. The most important and informative observations are made during child initiated activities where the children review, consolidate and practice their new skills, knowledge and understanding. These observations are recorded on a continuous basis using whatever means necessary e.g. post-its, observation slips, annotated photos; children’s work; outcomes; digital recordings; parents oral observations and notes from parents. The observations are collected in the children’s ‘Learning Journals’ which the children and parents enjoy sharing as a record of their progress and achievements throughout their Early Years at Lord Blyton School. This evidence is discussed by practitioners to inform future planning and at the end of each term to assess progress on the schools tracking system. This information is also used to report on the progress of children at a formal parents evening each term.


The Early Years Foundation Stage Profile:

A profile for each child is completed at the end of the Nursery and Reception Year and a written report summarising the achievements and characteristics of learning is sent to parents. The information is transferred to the LEA data base which is collated and passed onto the National data base where it can be compared to local schools and National data. Data is also analysed by school staff noting to compare progress of each year group and significantly higher or lower achievements. Specific group’s achievements are also compared and analysed such as gender, special needs children and those children receiving Pupil Premium. This information is particularly useful for the Y1 teacher who can continue to plan for the children’s individual learning needs.

Routines:

The routine of the school day is introduced gradually, especially those aspects which take the children away from their environment, for example when the Reception children begin weekly P.E. lessons and some whole school Assemblies in the hall and in Nursery the children’s day is gradually increased from 1hr, 2hr then by the third day a full 3 hrs. See also Settling In Policy. All whole class activities are followed with small focussed group and individual work rotating with child initiated tasks so that all the children have an opportunity to work with a practitioner.
In both Nursery settings the children may access the built in toilet facilities when necessary. There is a specific nappy changing times allocated in the 2-3 yr old room. In Reception where the toilet facilities are shared with the school, two boys and/or two girls may go to the toilet at any one time but must ask first and take a ‘toilet pass’ so the practitioners know where the children are in case of fire etc. The toilet passes are used by all children in KS1 and stuck on the wall outside the toilet entrance so other adults can see how many children in total are using the facilities during lesson times in case of fire alarm etc. The outside doors all operate on a magnetic tag system so that children cannot get outside without the practitioners knowledge but open freely when triggered by the fire alarm.
Focussed play challenges are offered to the children during child initiated play. These challenges provide opportunities to learn in various areas of the setting and are related to the current term’s topic and linked to specific learning needs. Areas in both our Nursery and Reception settings have been developed to provide a wide range of activities to encourage the children’s imaginative play and promote independence. The children often interweave their activities between areas and may free flow between indoors and outdoors when not working with a practitioner on a focussed activity in the 3-4 yr old Nursery and Reception settings. The children’s choices are occasionally tracked and discussed by practitioners to ensure all areas are being accessed and to make changes if and when necessary. In Reception milk and fruit is freely accessed throughout the day at a snack table although occasionally the whole class (as in Nursery) may sit together to encourage a social environment where the adults join in conversations, review activities and share experiences, such as birthdays, with the children.

The Reception children are gradually introduced to whole school Assemblies, initially an ‘Achievement Assembly’ each Friday afternoon where best work from each class is shown to their peers and combined House Group Achievements are celebrated. They also take part in a KS1 Assembly each Tuesday morning in the hall which the teachers from Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 lead, following the Assembly Theme List created at the beginning of each school year. This helps with transition to Y1 and the children in Reception become familiar with the other children and staff from the school. The children are also allocated House Groups when starting Lord Blyton School and are always put with siblings and other relatives if possible. Two teacher mentors, from KS1 and KS2 are allocated to each of the three House Groups (Blue, Green and Yellow). They stay in these House Groups throughout their time at Lord Blyton getting to know their own group well during special planned events, such as World Book Day, and therefore smoothing transition between classes and giving them someone else to share any problems or news with if they are unable to go to their own class teacher.

32 Story Sacks have been developed for Homework in Reception. Each sack contains a linked fiction and a non-fiction book with associated toys, a game and an activity to be completed with the support of parents. These contain a variety of current and traditional literature to engage both boys and girls and different interests. The sacks are given out from September to encourage an interest and love of books and reading and to encourage parents to support their own children’s learning at home. This is supplemented with a home reading scheme organised progressively. As well as whole class stories the children also read individually to a practitioner or parent helper whenever possible during the school day and in small differentiated guided reading groups (when appropriate) to challenge their reading skills. The 3-4yr Nursery provide weekly home tasks in the Spring and Summer Terms to build on work done in Nursery and to prepare the children for Reception. Both Nurseries provide weekly home library books to promote reading for pleasure.

During each term trips are arranged linked to current topics e.g. Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens; Newcastle Discovery Museum; Hall Hill Farm and the beach. We take full advantage of our wonderful grounds with ‘All weather’ pitch, field and nature garden, outside toys, play areas and local community with shops and St Simons Church. We also have visits from Fireman; Police; School Nurse; Vicar; Visiting Drama Groups and Science Road-shows etc. The children also takes part in the school Summer & Christmas Fairs, Sports Day, Class Assemblies, Christmas Shows and a Carol Concert and Nativity at our local church, St Simons, plus a variety of Charity events.

Special Educational needs:

Children with Special Educational Needs are identified by practitioners and their needs discussed with Mrs H Campbell our Early Years Lead and our SEN co-ordinator Mrs J Atherton. Individual ‘Passports for Learning’ are then developed and assessments and referrals to SALT etc. made as necessary. Interventions are then planned for and provided by either classroom staff or Mrs A Quinn our Family Liaison Officer. Any children requiring extra support in speaking and listening skills take part in Early Talk Boost and BLAST sessions (6 weeks of 20minute daily structured sessions) when appropriate.

Requirements:

  • Uniform consists of black or grey skirt, pinafore, shorts or trousers; yellow polo shirt; Royal blue sweatshirt. All clothes should be named before starting school; orders for uniform can be taken at the office. Uniform is not compulsory in the 2-3 yr old Nursery.
  • Book bags for Reception children will be given on their first day at school and Nursery children receive a library book bag.
  • Parents of Reception children must supply a small PE bag with a pair of indoor black plimsolls, shorts and a white T-shirt.
  • Parents of Nursery children must supply a change of clothes in a bag (all named) to keep at school in case of accidents.
  • In Reception the children will attend half days, mornings one week and afternoons the other during the first 2 weeks. From the third week the children may stay for dinners.
  • Milk is paid for each term (unless entitled to free school meals when the necessary forms must be completed prior to the children starting school) and is currently subsidised by LEA.
  • All Infant children are entitled to free dinners.
  • Free fruit is provided daily to all EYFS & KS1 children by the government. 

Equal Opportunities

Children will be encouraged to develop a positive attitude towards people of different ethnic groups, cultures, beliefs, gender and ability. We aim to provide opportunities for children to experience other cultures and beliefs through celebrating festivals such as Diwali and Chinese New Year. Through PSED we aim for our children to realise they are all unique and special.

Mrs H. Campbell February 2017
To be reviewed February 2019

 

See also Settling In policy, Play Policy and Action Plan.

 

 

Click here to download a printable copy of this policy
 

Upcoming Events

Mon Nov 20, 2017 @13:00 - 18:00
Parents Evening Key Stage 1
Tue Nov 21, 2017 @13:00 - 18:00
Parents Evening Key Stage 2
Fri Nov 24, 2017
Year 1 Visit Planetarium
Fri Dec 01, 2017
Non-Uniform Day (Chocolate Donation Required)
Fri Dec 01, 2017
Nursery Visit Souter Lighthouse

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