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EYFS Early Years Foundation Stage Policy

REVIEW DATE: Spring 2024

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the Reception year. We follow the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.

At Trinity Christian School we fully believe that every child is a precious gift from God and deserves the very best start in life that we can give them. The School vision of “Bringing the love of God into the classroom” permeates throughout the EYFS setting. We follow the standards set out for all Early Years providers to ensure that the children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. Teaching and learning alongside purposeful play is at the heart of our provision to ensure children’s readiness for school, giving them a broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school life.

At Trinity Christian School children can join after their third birthday on a part time or full time basis and then progress into the Reception year, in which the children turn 5 and complete the foundation stage. In partnership with parents and carers, we enable the children to begin the process of becoming active learners for life.

We offer three intakes into our Nursery setting being September, January and April. To qualify for a Nursery place, children must be at least three years of age. We offer free places for nursery children (15 hours) for which we are funded by Tameside.  Some families may also be eligible for a further 15 hours of funding. Please check the Government website for more information.

If you do not qualify for the 30-hour funding and would like nursery education over the FEF 15 hours per week, a charge will apply.  This cost is subject to change on an annual basis.
See also the Early Years Funding section at the end of this policy.

The Early Years children work at times, alongside Y1 & Y2 under the banner of Trinity Treasures. This offers extended opportunities for building relationships and developing individual needs.

The EYFS is based upon four themes:

  • A unique child
  • Positive relationships
  • Enabling environments
  • Learning and developing

A Unique Child

At Trinity Christian School we recognise every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

What practitioners do?

  • Understand and observe each child’s development and learning, assess progress, plan for next steps.
  • Support children to develop a positive sense of their own identity and culture.
  • Identify any need for additional support.
  • Keep children safe.
  • Value and respect all children and families equally.

Children are treated as individuals and have equal access to all provisions available. All children are encouraged to achieve their personal best and planning is adapted to meet the needs of all groups and abilities early identification of special needs is crucial to enable staff to support the development of each child. Concerns are always discussed with parents/carers at an early stage and the school’s SENDCO is called upon for further information and advice.

Positive relationships

Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.

Positive relationships are:

  • warm and loving, and foster a sense of belonging;
  • sensitive and responsive to the child’s needs, feelings and interests;
  • supportive of the child’s own efforts and independence;
  • consistent in setting clear boundaries;
  • stimulating;
  • built on key person relationships in early years’ settings.

All children are allocated a key person during their time in Nursery and Reception and specific time is timetabled in these groups. Developing a positive relationship and secure attachment with their key person enables them to feel safe and our small class sizes means we are able to better support their emotional needs.

We recognise parents are the child’s first and foremost educators and we work strongly to develop strong links with them, we do this by:

  • Inviting parents into school before their child starts to discuss concerns/give information
  • Invite children and parents into school to familiarise themselves with the provision
  • We have a handover time every morning as an opportunity for parents to chat with staff and settle their child in an activity in the setting.
  • Hold parents’ meetings/family meetings to get to know the parent body and discuss progress
  • Hold parent workshops to support learning at home
  • Provide opportunities for parents to discuss concerns on a daily basis
  • Provide a termly report
  • Encourage two-way communication and sharing in home/school books where parents can find out key learning in school and can share home experiences with practitioners
  • Use Tapestry, so parents can access their child’s learning journeys daily and also contribute regularly

Enabling environments

Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.

Enabling environments:

  • value all people
  • value learning
  • offer stimulating resources, relevant to all the children’s cultures and communities;
  • offer rich learning opportunities through play and playful teaching;
  • offer support for children to take risks and explore.

We aim to create an attractive and stimulating learning environment where children feel confident, secure and challenged. The children have access to an indoor and outdoor environment that is set up in discrete areas of learning with planned continuous provision.

Effective learning builds and extends upon prior learning and follows children’s interests. Effective planning is informed by observations of the children to ensure we follow their current interests and experiences. These observations are recorded in the children’s individual online learning journeys.

Play based learning is paramount and children direct their own learning from carefully planned opportunities provided by staff as well as developing skills through adult led tasks. Staff will enhance play and extend as needed to further individual learning.

Learning and developing

At Trinity Christian School we recognize children develop and learn in different ways. The statutory framework covers the education and care of all children in Early Years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Practitioners teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across the prime (Communication and Language, Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Physical Development) and specific (Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design) areas of learning and development.

They foster the characteristics of effective early learning:

  • Playing and Exploring
  • Active Learning
  • Creating and Thinking Critically

Effective learning and teaching is supported through:

  • The understanding that staff have the knowledge of how children develop and learn, and how this must be reflected in their teaching.
  • The range of approaches that provide first hand experiences, give clear explanations, make appropriate interventions, and extend and develop the children’s play, talk or other means of communication
  • The carefully planned curriculum that helps children to achieve the ELGs at the end of the EYFS
  • The provision for children to take part in activities that build on and extend their interests and develop their intellect and physical, social and emotional abilities.
  • The encouragement for children to communicate and talk about their learning and to develop independence and self-management
  • Support for learning with appropriate accessible space, facilities and equipment both indoors and outdoors, including the effective use of ICT.
  • The identification, through observations of children’s progress and future learning needs, which are regularly shared with parents.

At Trinity Christian School, we aim to give children the best possible start in life enabling them to develop their personalities, talents and abilities irrespective of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, background, learning difficulties, disabilities or gender. We use the Development Matters guidance to understand and support each child’s development pathway and to make best-fit judgments about whether a child is showing typical development for their age. The development matters statements are used to identify possible areas in which to challenge and extend the children’s current learning and development.

The EYFS is made up of 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas of learning:


  • Communication and Language
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development


  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

While these areas provide a framework for the early years’ curriculum, young children’s learning does not easily divide up into distinct areas. A particular experience may develop learning over several of the areas at any one time. All areas are delivered through a balance of adult led and child initiated activities. In each area there are Early Learning Goals (ELGs) that define the expectations for most children to reach by the end of the EYFS. There are a total of 17 ELGs the children work towards during their time in EYFS.

Children will be assessed at the end of the Foundation Stage against the ELG’s. However, there is an expectation that children’s cognitive development must proceed hand in hand with their social development. A reminder that the EYFS curriculum should focus on developing the whole child and not just cognitive or academic ability.

The importance of the early years is not a new idea. Over 2000 years ago the writer of the book of Proverbs in the Bible said: “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”  Proverbs 22 v 6 (NIV).

As we recognize the importance of the early years, we want to make sure that, together with parents/carers, we lay the firmest possible foundations for each child’s future.

We seek, therefore, to provide a very broad and balanced curriculum that focuses not just on academic achievement, but on developing the whole child. The deeper and broader the foundations we lay; the more secure all future learning will be.

Play Based Learning

Well planned play, both indoors and outdoors is one of the key ways in which children learn. It is the process through which children can explore, investigate, recreate and come to understand their world.

All practitioners make time to play with the children as this informs them of the specific learning needs of each child and allows them to plan next steps.

It is not just imaginative play and role-play, but includes spontaneous, self-initiated lines of inquiry and exploration. Play is a vital component of children’s lives. It is an important way skills are developed and practised. Play is essential for physical, intellectual, linguistic, emotional, and behavioural and social development.

Principles of High Quality Play

  • Play is an intrinsic part of children’s learning and development.
  • Play has many possible but no prescriptive outcomes.
  • Play challenges children and offers them the chance to learn in breadth and depth.
  • Play draws on what children already know and can do and enables them to master what is new.
  • Play enables children to apply existing knowledge and to practise their skills
  • Play encourages children to communicate with others as they investigate or solve problems.
  • Play offers children opportunities to explore feelings and relationships, ideas, and materials, connections and consequences.
  • Play empowers children to make choices, to solve problems and to be independent in their learning.
  • Play enables children to express fears or relive anxious experiences in controlled and safe situations.
  • Play encourages children to struggle, to take risks and to become resilient as learners.
  • Play can be supported and extended, but not interfered with by adults.
  • Play presents no barriers to children because of their language, cultures, abilities or gender.

Role of the adult

  • To observe child-initiated play to understand and provide for their interests and needs.
  • To plan and resource a challenging indoor and outdoor environment.
  • To support children’s learning through planned play activity.
  • To extend and support children’s spontaneous/self-initiated play.
  • To extend and develop children’s language and communication in their play
  • To plan and deliver high quality focused sessions based on prior learning and next steps of individual children.

EYFS Photographic Evidence and the use of Mobile Phones

In the EYFS children often have their photographs taken to provide evidence of their achievements for developmental records and older pupils may record events or work using photographs.

Staff, visitors, volunteers and students are not permitted to use their own mobile phones to take or record any images of children for their own records during session times.

Procedures for the use of taking photographs

  • Under the Data Protection Act 1998, the EYFS must check parental consent to take photographs or video recordings.
  • Photographs must be taken using the official school camera.  The EYFS department have school IPads and the children have use of Vtech cameras that are all kept on site.
  • All photographs must be stored on the school computer, which is password protected. Under no circumstances are staff permitted to take photographs of children using anything other than the school camera. The use of mobile phones to take photographs of children is strictly prohibited!
  • Under no circumstances are staff permitted to store photographs of children on anything other than the school computer/EYFS Ipad.
  • The school’s digital camera/s or memory cards or other devices used must not leave the school. Photos of children must be printed in the setting by staff and then images must be removed from the device by either deleting them or storing them on a school computer.
  • The school’s camera must be stored securely in the School Office when not in use.
  • Photographs may be taken during indoor and outdoor play and displayed in albums or a child’s development records for children and parent/carers to look through.  We also use an online program called Tapestry where parents can view their child’s activities.
  • Occasionally photographs may contain other children in the background, but care should be used to minimise this from happening.
  • We may like to use photographs of the children taking part in an activity to advertise /promote our EYFS / school via our website or Facebook page, or in leaflets etc; parent permission for Social Media or Website use is obtained at the start of the child’s enrolment. For any other use not under this area, parent permission will be obtained.
  • In order to minimise the potential to misuse mobile phones – all staff mobile phones must be switched off during lessons. 
  • The use of staff personal mobile phones is limited to specific times such as lunch and breaks.  Staff mobiles may also be used when off site on a trip or other activity in case of emergency as well as to be contactable by school should this be needed. 
  • All staff are responsible for their own behaviour regarding the use of mobile phones and should avoid putting themselves into compromising situations, which could be misinterpreted and lead to potential allegations of misconduct

In the interests of Child protection staff are required to report any contraventions or deviations from the above procedure to the Head Teacher or DSL / Deputy DSL.


Free Entitlement Funding (FEF) in the Nursery

Trinity Christian School Nursery is a valued part of Trinity Christian School. Trinity Christian School Nursery is expected (in keeping with the Primary and Secondary departments) to be self-financing. However, the Headteacher and Governing Body have ultimate responsibility to manage and make all financial decisions and will review the costs of running the Nursery and Early Years classes in light of this requirement. To be most effective, the Governors, together with the Headteacher and Foundation Teacher will review the costs and sustainability of running the Nursery at the end of each academic term.

All pupils aged between three and four years old are eligible for the FEF money. The funding is available on the basis of a child’s date of birth but all Nursery/Early Years pupils have the opportunity to access six terms money based on 5 x 3 or 2 x 6 plus 1 x 3 hour sessions per week. Since the Nursery funding is externally awarded, the Nursery Contract is seen as being separate to the Trinity Christian School Contract issued from Reception onwards.

Early Years Extended Hours in the Nursery

If you do not qualify for the 30-hour funding and would like nursery education over the FEF 15 hours per week, a charge will apply (please request or refer to our website fee table).  This cost is subject to change on an annual basis.

Extended Hour charges are invoiced on a termly basis by the Financial Secretary at Trinity Christian School.  Extended hour payments for the term are due in full by the middle of the term being attended.


Trinity Christian School policy is to accept pupils into the Reception class September of the school year that they become 5 years old (statutory school age).

Reception Age ‘full time’ pupils

Reception age pupils will receive a full Trinity Christian School contract with details of fees required. Any FEF that the child is still eligible for in the Reception class will be deducted from this fee charge.  (For fee information please refer to our webpage under Enquiry).

Reception Age ‘part time’ pupils

Parents of Reception age children, who wish their child to have a part time only place in Trinity Christian School, can be issued with a ‘Part-time’ Trinity School Contract following discussion with the Headteacher and Foundation Teacher.  The appropriate calculation of the school fees will be levied i.e. if a parent wishes to access half-time Reception education, then the school fee will also be halved.  Any FEF that the child is still eligible for in the Reception class will be deducted from this fee charge.

N.B.  The FEF is assigned to the specific child receiving Early Learning Education. This Grant cannot be used to reduce school fees of older children in the family.