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A POLICY FOR THE EARLY YEARS 3-5 Rationale Early Years education is important for all children. The period from the age of 3 to the end of the reception year is the Foundation Stage. It is distinct and important in its own right and also in the preparation of children for later schooling. Young children need an environment which is safe and secure in which they can play, explore, experiment, develop confidence, be curious and learn. The children should be involved in activities which are clear and purposeful.

Aims, values and beliefs The school works to address the purpose and aims as described in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. the overarching aim being:

At Hatfield Woodhouse Primary School our fundamental aim is to provide a stimulating start to all children’s early childhood education, recognising and building on what children have already learned and giving them the self esteem and self confidence to become accomplished learners and well rounded individuals who mature into good citizens. Our aims include: •

To provide children with a planned programme which fosters learning and is challenging and progressive, ensuring that every child is unique and makes progress and that individual needs and interests are met

To pursue the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum in an imaginative and challenging way towards the Early Learning Goals

To provide opportunities for children to make choices and become independent in their learning; to plan some of their own activities and be able to describe and reflect on them afterwards

To provide the time, resources and adult support for learning through many forms of play

To foster positive attitudes to learning so that children are able to develop skills necessary to become literate and numerate.

Early Years Policy January 2009

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Quality of Learning The Foundation Stage practitioners will design and provide a range of practical activities which are stimulating, enjoyable, interesting and have a degree of challenge. The activities will recognise that children develop and learn in different ways and will ensure that they help young children achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes of staying safe, being healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic well being. The activities will be based on first hand experiences which will sometimes be chosen by the child and sometimes directed by the practitioner. All the activities will be well planned and sufficiently flexible to take account of the children's prior learning. The activities will provide opportunities for practice, consolidation and extension of skills and give children access to knowledge and understanding. The general ethos will encourage young children to explore, experiment, take risks, make and learn from mistakes and engage in purposeful play.

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Quality of Practice Effective practice in the early years is based upon a well-planned programme of learning which shows an understanding of how young children learn. Young children learn most effectively when: • • • • • • •

there are clear aims for the intended learning adults give sensitive support and timely intervention there is a balance between child selected and adult-initiated activities the best possible use is made of space, materials and equipment children are given opportunities to work and play both individually and in small and large groups children’s feelings and emotions are respected and they are given opportunity to talk about them school staff form an active learning partnership with parents

The Curriculum The curriculum for young children comprises everything they experience and do, but it is shaped and presented in a way which promotes learning through purposeful activities. The curriculum for children in the early years will: •

be broad and balanced and promote their emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual development;

make little distinction between 'play' and 'work' recognising that both are ways in which young children learn;

give regard to the six areas of learning which lead to the early learning goals;

introduce children to the National Literacy Strategy and National Numeracy Strategy;

give opportunities for learning both indoors and outdoors;

be firmly established within a framework for long, medium and short term planning.

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The Role of the Foundation Stage Manager • To keep in touch with developments in Early Years Education • To disseminate information to FS practitioners as well as other colleagues about • • • • • • • •

developments, courses, exhibitions etc. as appropriate. To take the lead in policy development. To plan for the School Improvement Plan. To assist staff by leading staff meetings, providing advice and supporting colleagues in their classroom practice. To be responsible for the development and monitoring of the curriculum, planning with the staff and contributing to their planning. To monitor and evaluate by reviewing planning and by observing classroom practice. To ensure standards, progression and continuity throughout the Foundation Stage. To specify and order resources, co-ordinating staff requests for resources and monitoring and maintaining the condition and availability of resources. To assist with the organisation of visits or visiting “speakers”. To maintain a photographic record of work displayed in the Foundation Stage to be stored on computer.

Equal opportunities and special educational needs In line with the statutory framework we take care to ensure that all children have equal opportunities to engage in activities and learning regardless of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties or disabilities, gender or ability We adopt and implement a policy of inclusion where opportunities are actively pursued to ensure that all children can benefit from the curriculum we provide. Where children are identified as needing additional help, it will be provided.

Accommodation We understand that the learning environment plays a key role in supporting children’s development and learning. The accommodation indoors and outdoors is checked regularly for: • • •

safety security and suitability

We shall provide areas which are conducive to stimulating children's learning and will: • • •

be bright, attractive, orderly and well-ventilated have different areas suitable for a range of purposes have places for children to be quiet and relaxed as well as busy

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having outdoor spaces which are planned with the same degree of care and attention as indoors

Resources Resources; materials and equipment, will be reviewed regularly to ensure that they are safe, suitable for purpose and provide access to learning in all areas of the curriculum. In order to provide areas of activity and resources which most effectively support learning in those areas, the following gives an indication of range and type: •

comfortable, carpeted area with a range of well chosen and well presented books which attract children's interest and which are always easily accessible;

wet and/or dry sand with a range of suitable tools and other equipment [such as model animals] to provide imaginative learning opportunities;

water – again with a range of suitable equipment;

mathematical equipment;

scientific equipment;

an area for writing with a range of paper and 'mark making' tools;

a variety of creative materials such as paint, clay, wood and re-cyclable materials;

a variety of large and small construction equipment eg bricks, lego, mobilo;

a class computer and range of suitable software. Access to a computer suite;

• •

materials and tools for cookery and baking; a range of growing and living things eg easy to care for house plants;

collections of interesting natural and manufactured objects to handle, talk about, draw;

a variety of outdoor play equipment;

collections of materials, artefacts and equipment to stock a range of role play areas.

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Assessment, recording and reporting There will be focused on-going assessment based on regular and close observations of children learning. These observations will take place both informally and systematically and will be recorded where appropriate e.g., pupil profiles. All adults who come into contact with the children should and will contribute to the assessment process. Parents especially will be asked to contribute their knowledge of their children’s enthusiasms, skills, strengths, interests and difficulties. The children's progress will be recorded against learning intentions set out in the foundation stage curriculum. Children's progress and achievements will be shared regularly in dialogue with parents. The school will take part in appropriate moderation activities An written summary report will be sent to parents at the end of the summer term reporting the child’s progress against the early learning goals and the assessment scales. Parents evenings will be termly for FS2 and where there are any concerns from parents or school extra meetings will of course be arranged. Parents in both FS classes are usually seen frequently on an informal basis as children are brought to and from school.

Links with parents and other agencies Parents are children’s first and most important educators and they will be made to feel welcome, valued and encouraged to contribute to their children's school-based learning and development. Opportunities will be offered for parents to: • • • • •

receive a home visit prior to children starting the Foundation Stage; visit the school with/without the children before the start date; be able to give information about their children; have access to all appropriate information; support their children's school initiated learning, at home

Admission Policy In line with the LA policy children are admitted into the Foundation Stage in the term following their third birthday on a part time basis, two and a half hours daily. Children who have attained the age of 4 on or before 31 August will be admitted on a full time basis. Only the LA is able to offer places in school.

Monitoring and Evaluation This policy will be monitored annually and evaluated regularly.

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Other useful publications Hatfield Woodhouse School Prospectus Hatfield Woodhouse Foundation Stage Prospectus The Statutory framework for the Early Years Updated January 2009

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Early Years Policy January 2009

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Early Years Policy 2009  

• To provide opportunities for children to make choices and become independent in their learning; to plan some of their own activities and b...

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