Early Years Policy

 

This policy can also be downloaded as a PDF Document:

Early Years policy

This document is a statement of the aims, principles and strategies for the provision of Early Years at Abbot Alphege C of E Primary School (WASPS).

This policy will be reviewed as and when necessary. 

1)   Rationale

All children have an entitlement to access to learning and it is recognised that ‘attitudes and behaviour patterns established during the first years of life are central to future educational and social development’ (Starting with Quality, DES 1990).  Children aged four and five need an appropriate curriculum and environment in which to develop their skills, concepts and attitudes, in order to make sense of the world around them.

2)   Principles

At Abbot Alphege, we believe in:

  • Children starting from what they know
  • Equality of opportunity
  • Entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum
  • Developing the whole child
  • Using appropriate methods and approaches to teaching and learning
  • Valuing prior experience and partnership

3)   Aims

The aims of the Early Years policy are to:

  • Provide an appropriate curriculum
  • Provide an enriching and stimulating environment
  • Ensure that each child is happy and involved in their own learning
  • Ensure that each child has a positive feeling of self worth
  • Ensure that each child feels secure in their environment

 4)   Curriculum

The school will provide experiences which support, stimulate, and structure learning in order to bring about a progression of understanding appropriate to the needs and abilities of each child by:

  • Teaching within the Areas of Learning, working towards the Early Learning Goals within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
  • Linking to and underpinning the National Curriculum
  • Extending learning out of school hours through home/school links
  • Valuing the importance of play
  • Looking beyond the prescribed curriculum in accordance with Abbot Alphege Statement of Belief

5)   Learning Contexts

Teaching and learning will take place:

  • As a whole class
  • As a small group
  • In pairs
  • Individually
  • As part of the whole school

6)   Resources

   Indoor                                                                        Outdoor

Social Play Area (topic linked)                        Playhouse

Art/craft area                                                       Wheeled toys

Writing equipment                                             Sand and water

Number equipment

Books/quiet area                                            Playground activity markings

Dressing up clothes                                           Environmental ‘Wild Areas’

ICT

Construction equipment

Small World play

PE facilities

Dance/drama

Investigations and Food Activities

 7)   Role of Adults

The class teacher will be responsible for organisation, management, planning, assessment, and evaluation, in liaison with the Headteacher, and will be required to advise and supervise other adults in the classroom, in order to effectively support learning:

 

  • Classroom and learning support assistants
  • Parents
  • Trainee teachers and student nursery nurses
  • Students on work experience
  • Governors
  • School meals supervisory assistants

8)   Home Learning Packs

Children are encouraged to borrow Home Learning Packs. Each pack follows a theme and provides activities to help children develop in key areas of learning identified for Early Years. These packs continue to be available for children in the Reception classes to take home and use with parents.

9)   Special Educational Needs/Individual Needs

a) Abbot Alphege follows the S.E.N.D. Code of Practice (DFE/DOH 2015) and shares the LST with WASPS.

b) Children progress at different rates and those whose achievements exceed the Early Learning Goals will be given opportunities to extend their knowledge, understanding, and skills. Others may require continued support to achieve some outcomes after entering compulsory education, or may make progress with specialist assistance using means of communication other than speech, or adapted equipment.

c) Access to resources and key SEND staff will be provided as necessary.

d) Key issues include early identification of difficulties or particular ability and the need to match work appropriately, using assessment to inform planning. Parents will be kept closely informed of developments, including liaison with outside agencies, and staff training will be available to fulfill specific requirements.

10)   Equal Opportunities

a) All children in the Reception classes are entitled to equal opportunities and access to all aspects of learning and experience throughout the curriculum.

b) Resources will cover a range of gender role models, cultures and ethnic backgrounds, in order to challenge stereotyping and help children to appreciate and respect ethnic and cultural differences.

 

11)   Admission

a) Children are admitted to Abbot Alphege in line with Bath and North East Somerset’s policy of allowing children to attend school from September, provided they have reached the age of four years on or before the previous 31st

b) The school admits children for mornings only for the first 10 days. Children are assessed individually as to their potential for completing a full day, and parents’ comments and wishes are taken into consideration. Generally children will be attending school full time by October half term.

12)   Routines

a) Children enter via the Reception external doors. The school doors are opened at 8:50 am.

b) After the first few days of ‘settling in,’ Registration will take place at 9:00am. Parents are encouraged to stay until they feel that their children are settled.

c) A large outdoor play area with large play equipment is provided for the Reception classes every day at break and lunch times. Children can also use this area at other times of the day at the discretion of their teachers.

13)  The Role of the Early Years Coordinator

  • To take the lead in policy development and the production of schemes of work in relation to the Early Years
  • To support colleagues in their implementation of schemes of work, detailed planning, assessment and record keeping
  • To monitor progress across the Comenius Trust Foundation Curriculum and liaise with Headteacher on action needed
  • To share responsibility for the purchase and organisation of resources with the Headteacher
  • Liaise with other Early Years providers and prospective parents via meetings, visits, and termly newsletters
  • Keep up to date with developments in Early Years Education and disseminate information to colleagues as appropriate

14)   Assessment

a) The main purposes of assessment are:

  • To help the child learn more effectively
  • For the teacher to evaluate curricular provision
  • To provide information for others
    • Specifically in the early years, to identify, recognise, and value the child’s previous experience

b) All children will be assessed during the first few weeks at school using teacher assessment and observations against the EYFS Development Matters age bands. This assessment is ongoing throughout the year in order to make accurate final judgements against the Early Learning Goals.

 

c) Formative Assessment is used to guide the progress of individual pupils, by identifying each child’s progress across the Areas of Learning, and determining what each child has learned and what therefore should be the next stage in his/her learning. Formative assessment is mostly carried out informally by teachers in the course of their teaching.

d) Opportunities for assessment include:

  • Social behaviour in class/role play area, observed by the teacher/LSA
  • Practical tasks directly observed by the teacher
  • Small group discussions related to a practical task
  • Samples of output/photographs
  • Target worksheets

e) Feedback to pupils about their own progress is achieved through discussion between child and teacher.

f) Reporting to parents is done on a termly basis through interviews, and annually through a written report. Individual appointments with the teacher can be made when required.

15)   Links with Other Agencies

  • Visits from Health professionals
  • Participation in local arts events
  • Visits from performing artists
  • Visits from local secondary pupils

16)   Dissemination of the Policy

As with all policies, the Early Years Policy will be made available to parents, governors, staff, LEA, visitors, and OFSTED as required. The school brochure will include reference to the Early Years Policy.