Widden Primary School EYFS Policy
“Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up”
At Widden Primary school and Widden Plus Nursery we seek to provide:
Quality and consistency, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind;
A secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly;
Partnership working between teachers and with parents and/or carers;
Equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported.
For the specific area of literacy, the children are taught to read and write through the use of phonics, and specifically the ‘Read, write, inc programme; including handwriting. Storymaking is used to develop writing.
Mathematics is taught using some materials from Glow Maths.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the
At Widden Primary School, we provide provision for up to 60 two, three and four year olds in our Widden Plus Nursery Provision.
The two year old children can attend up to 15 hours per week in the mornings or afternoons. Three and four year olds are eligible for 15 or 30 hours of government funded hours dependent on eligibility.
Funding becomes available the term after your child turns two years old or the term following their third birthday depending on eligibility.
Parents are welcome to remain to play with their child or can leave them with the qualified early years Teachers and Practitioners. The children have a very well resourced and dedicated space with facilities designed to meet their needs and inspire a love of learning. The building is shared with the Bartongate Children’s Centre. The Nursery’s private entrance can be accessed through the main school gates.
Children join us in the Reception classes in the September after their fourth birthday Most children will attend full time before January, however some may continue part time until the spring. The children enter the two Reception classes through the entrance at the end of the building. The school day begins at 8.45 and finishes at 3.15.
The EYFS is based upon four principles:
- A Unique Child
- Positive Relationships
- Enabling Environments
- Children develop and learn in different ways
A Unique Child
At Widden Primary School and Nursery 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 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 any child or their family. All children at Widden Primary School and Nursery are treated
fairly regardless of race, religion or abilities. All children and their families are valued
within our school.
In our school we believe that all our children matter. We give our children every opportunity
to achieve their best. We do this by taking account of our children’s range of life
experiences when planning for their learning.
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
- planning challenging activities for children whose ability and understanding are in
advance of their language and communication skills;
- monitoring children’s progress and taking action to provide support as necessary.
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.
“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.”
At Widden Primary School and Nursery we aim 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, introducing them to the whole school approach.
- 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
- 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.
We endeavour to meet all these requirements.
Children who stay in the nursery for a full day can bring in a healthy packed lunch to eat in the school with the reception children. We are currently exploring ways to offer hot meals as an alternative.
All of the children in the reception classes are currently entitled a free school lunch through the universal free school meals programme. At Widden, we actively encourage all children to take up this offer and reception staff join the children at mealtimes to promote healthy eating.
At Widden Primary School and Nursery we recognise that children learn to be strong independent to form secure relationships. We aim to develop caring, respectful, professional relationships with the children and their families.
The children in the EYFS follow the FREE programme. This is based upon the Widden school behaviour values of Friendship, Respect, Excellence and Equality.
Parents as Partners
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 the
children. We do this through:
- a visit to the family in their own home to talk to parents about their child before their child starts in our school or nursery;
- informal drop in sessions for our two and three year olds and their Parents/Carers;
- contribution from parents and families towards the two year old progress check;
- regular meetings to develop the Every Child a Talker programme;
- the children, with their Parents/Carers, have the opportunity to spend four afternoons in the Reception classes during the half term before starting part time at school;
- the children and their Parents/Carers are invited to a fun afternoon session where they have an opportunity to meet other parents of children who are currently in the Reception classes and the Parents/Carers of children who will be in the Reception class with their child;
- all parents are invited to an induction meeting during the term before their child
- encouraging parents to talk to the child’s teacher/key worker if there are any concerns and where possible using an interpreter if necessary;
- regular open mornings where the children can share their learning journeys with Parents/Carers;
- Reading and maths meetings and workshops
Parents receive a report on their child’s attainment and progress at the end of
the Foundation Stage;
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
teacher acts a ‘Key Person’ to all children in EYFS, supported by the Teaching Assistants.
At Widden Primary School and nursery we recognise that the environment plays a key role in
supporting and extending the children’s development. Through observation we assess the
children’s interests, stages of development and learning needs, before planning challenging,
achievable activities and experiences to extend the children’s learning.
Observation, Assessment and Planning
Planning in the nursery is based on the development matters and is changed
regularly to meet the needs of all of the children. The Planning within the Reception classes is based around half termly themes. These plans are used by the EYFS teachers as a guide for weekly planning, however the teacher may alter these in response to the needs (achievements and interests) of the children. This will be indicated on weekly planning.
We make regular assessments of children’s learning and we use this information to ensure
that future planning reflects identified needs. Assessment in the EYFS takes the form of
observation, and this involves the teacher and other adults as appropriate. These
observations are recorded in a variety of ways and used to inform the two year old progress check and the final EYFSP.
In the reception classes, during the final term of the EYFS, we provide a written summary to parents, reporting their progress against the ELG’s and assessment scales. The parents are given the opportunity to discuss these judgements with the teacher and both parents and children are encouraged to complete a feedback sheet.
The Learning Environment
The EYFS classes are organised to allow children to explore and learn securely and safely.
The classrooms, bay area and outdoor area are set up so children are able to find and locate equipment and resources independently. The large purpose built outdoor areas allows continuous provision, providing children of all learning styles opportunities to explore, use their senses, develop their language skills and be physically active. We plan activities and resources both inside and outside enabling the children to develop in all the areas of learning.
Learning and Development
At Widden Primary School and Nursery we recognise that children learn and develop in different ways
and have their own learning styles. We value all areas of learning and development equally
and understand that they are often linked.
Teaching and Learning Style
Our policy on teaching and learning defines the features of effective teaching and learning
in our school. These features apply to teaching and learning in the EYFS just as much as
they do to the teaching in Key Stages 1 and 2. Features that relate to the EYFS are:
- the partnership between teachers and parents, so that our children feel secure at
school and develop a sense of well-being and achievement;
- the understanding that teachers have of how children develop and learn, and how
this affects their teaching;
- the range of approaches used that provide first-hand experiences, give clear
explanations, make appropriate interventions and extend and develop play and talk or
other means of communication;
- the carefully planned curriculum that helps children work towards the Early Learning
Goals throughout EYFS;
- the provision for children to take part in activities that build on and extend their
interests and develop their intellectual, physical, social and emotional abilities;
- the encouragement for children to communicate and talk about their learning, and to
- the support for learning with appropriate and accessible indoor and outdoor space,
facilities and equipment;
- the identification of the progress and future learning needs of children through
Characteristics of learning;
The children in the EYFS are also assessed in how they learn. This enables staff to plan effectively for individual children.
Playing and exploring
“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
Through play our children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make
sense of the world. They have the opportunity to practise skills, develop ideas and think
creatively alongside other children as well as individually. The children communicate with
others as they investigate and solve problems. They have the opportunity to 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.”
Active learning occurs when children are motivated and interested. Children need to have 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, they 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.”
Children are given opportunities to be creative through all areas of learning. Adults 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 freely and are allowed to move them around the classroom, bay and outdoor area to extend their learning.
Areas of Learning
The EYFS is made up of seven areas of learning. These are subdivided into Prime and Specific areas.
The Prime areas of learning consist of:
- Communication and Language
- Physical development
- Personal, Social and Emotional development.
The specific areas consist of:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
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.
Monitoring and review
It is the responsibility of the Foundation teachers to follow the principles stated in this
policy. There is a named Governor responsible for the EYFS. This governor has the
opportunity to discuss EYFS practice with the practitioners and provide feedback to the
whole governing body, raising any issues that require discussion.
The Head teacher and subject coordinators carry out monitoring of the EYFS through
observation and discussion.
All quotations included in this document are taken from the Statutory framework for the early years Foundation Stage
Handbook May 2008, September 2012, April 2017