Early Years Curriculum Policy
Early Years Foundation Stage Policy
This policy describes how Golders Hill School implements the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (DfE, 2012). It sets out how Golders Hill School takes a holistic approach to children’s well-being, education and health. It documents the continuing process of improvement of the learning environment, staff training, parent partnership and the quality of provision of education at our school. This on-going reflective practice is fostered through regular staff meetings which offer opportunities for all members of the staff to contribute to our development targets.
This policy is to be read in conjunction with the full range of policies contained in the Golders Hill School Policy Folders (kept in each office).
The Four Themes – Principles into practice
Golders Hill School has regard to the ‘Four Themes’ set out in Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (BAfECE/DfE, 2012). They will not be addressed in isolation as they are integrated into our practice.
A Unique Child Positive Relationships Enabling Environments Learning and Development
Observation, profiling, analysis and planning
Golders Hill School recognises the importance of valuing the perspectives of all those concerned in a child’s care, learning and development.
Daily observations are made by all staff using the Evidence Me electronic software package and ongoing notes. These record interests and preferences, give evidence of learning and provide information relating to each child's achievements. This detailed knowledge of each child informs the planning for their next steps of learning.
Dated photographs and work samples are collected to give a balance of information regarding learning processes and outcomes.
The class teacher is responsible for analysing the observational evidence and using it to plan (and gather resources) for each child’s learning, following individual preferences where possible. (See also the Policy on Teacher Standards, Appraisal and Capability).
Learning through play and teachable moments
At Golders Hill School, we aim to provide a balance between child-initiated play, and well-informed responses to teachable moments. We offer a broad range of experiences to the children in order to stimulate their interest, facilitate meaningful communication and promote purposeful, interactive play. We offer a balanced curriculum to extend their thinking processes. Staff are aware of the benefits of sustaining a dialogue with the children either individually (responding to questions and asking open questions) or as a group (with shared thinking themes threading through the routines of the class).
Inclusion and diverse needs
(See also our Equality Policy and our SEN/ALN Policy)
Golders Hill School has an open admissions policy. Diversity is celebrated. Individual children are enabled to reach their full potential through differentiated approaches to learning. We strive to offer equal access to the curriculum and equal opportunities to experience success to all of the children in our care. All children should feel that all activities are open to them. Resources should reflect the diverse cultures in our world as well as those represented within the school.
Our learning environment
At Golders Hill, we are aware that both the physical surroundings and the ethos of the school affect the children’s ability to learn. Members of staff working in the EYFS are responsible for preparing a welcoming, safe and enabling environment within their classrooms and the outdoor spaces. This includes offering a range of activities that the children can reach and select themselves. The ethos should be warm and accepting, whilst encouraging children to reach their full potential.
Safeguarding and Welfare
Golders Hill School has a Safeguarding Policy and its provisions apply to the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Reflection and improvement
All staff in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) attend regular meetings and training sessions in order to share good practice and to improve our provision. It is the responsibility of all EYFS staff members to reflect upon their practice and to work as part of a supportive team, working together to implement the national and local requirements. It is the responsibility of the Senior Management Committee to facilitate regular opportunities for training, discussion and shared planning. The School Development Plan also includes Areas for Improvement which involve the EYFS year groups.
Parent partnerships and our local community
The EYFS classes at Golders Hill School strive to maintain open exchanges of information with parents and carers on a daily basis. Parents are also active in the school, running the Library and organising social and fundraising events through FROGS (Friends of Golders Hill School). Parents also share their knowledge, culture and religious beliefs through talks and assemblies. These real life experiences add to each child's 'Cultural Capital'.
The EYFS classes incorporate into the curriculum visits to and by members of our local community. These have included doctors, dentists, the fire brigade, authors, artists and members of religious communities.
The Characteristics of Effective Learning and the areas of Learning and Development
Characteristics: Playing and exploring – engagement
Active learning – motivation
Creating and thinking critically – thinking
Staff working in Golders Hill School’s early years classrooms will observe and note the learning characteristics of the children in their care.
Prime Areas of Learning and Development: Personal, Social and Emotional
Communication and Language
Staff working in the Pre-Nursery and Nursery will focus particularly on the Prime Areas of Learning and Development (but not to the exclusion of the Specific Areas).
Specific Areas of Learning and Development: Literacy
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design
Staff working in the Kindergarten and Reception classes will expand the learning in the Specific Areas and continue planning for progress in the Prime Areas.
The progress of each child through the areas of learning is tracked through observation and some summative assessment. Golders Hill School values the processes of exploration and investigation and records evidence of such processes using photographs, videos, microphones and notes.
Intent, Implementation and Impact
Teachers in the EYFS at Golders Hill should submit their planning to the Head Teacher (by Friday for the following week). From time to time, the Head Teacher reviews evaluations of lessons and activities.
Plans should include learning objectives for groups of children and for individual children. Individual children should be identified by their initials only. Class Teachers may select a general theme for the class to study and investigate each half-term and the on-going planning should include child initiated aspects of that theme.
Outline half-termly and weekly planning should aim to cover the learning and development areas with a balance of exploration, teaching and practical activities.
All members of the EYFS staff have their own training folder with copies of the current Statutory and Non-Statutory documents. All staff are aware that they must have regard to this guidance whilst observing children and whilst planning and resourcing learning opportunities for individual children.
On entry to Golders Hill School, the class teacher will gather information from the child’s parents, previous school and by observation and base-line assessment. All of this information will be placed within the Golders Hill School Early Years Foundation Stage Profile folder.
On transfer from Golders Hill School to a state maintained school during the EYFS or Year 1, the class teacher will review and update the Golders Hill School Early Years Foundation Stage Profile Information. Those parts of the Profile that evidence the achievement of Early Learning Goals will be provided to the new school via our secure Parent Mail system. All other assessments (such as NFER papers, assessments relating to parent consultations and other work samples) will be retained at Golders Hill School and should be given to the office separately for archiving. It is not necessary to complete the London Borough of Barnet’s booklet ‘All About Me – One More Step’ in addition to the Golders Hill School EYFS Profile.
On transfer from Golders Hill School to an independent school during the EYFS or Year 1, the class teacher will provide a report on each of the areas of Learning and Development or will complete any form provided by the receiving school. This is in addition to passing on the GHS EYFS Profile, if requested by the new school.
On transferring between year groups at Golders Hill School, the Golders Hill EYFS Profile Information must be completed by the May half-term holiday. Each year group should make a record of the child’s progress through the ‘ages and stages’ of the Development Matters guidance cross referenced to the accompanying, dated evidence
Reception class teachers will review the children’s achievements (backed by dated, observational evidence) across the final year of the Early Years Foundation Stage (up to the May half-term holiday.) The final draft of the Reception class teachers’ profile judgements and the accompanying evidence will be submitted to the Head Teacher prior to the May half term holiday for moderation, analysis and quality assurance.
A copy of the submission summary sent to the London Borough of Barnet in June will be kept for comparison with previous and future cohorts.
This policy was drafted by the Curriculum Coordinator and circulated to gather contributions from the staff in October 2012.
This Policy was reviewed, updated and ratified on 26th November 2020.
Signed ……A T Eglash………………………..