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EYFS Early Years Foundation Stage Policy

REVIEW DATE: Spring 2022

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 (Sept 2014)

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. 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 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 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 www.childcarechoices.gov.uk 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 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 that every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

All children and their families are valued at Trinity Christian School. 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 SENCO is called upon for further information and advice.

Positive relationships

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 parent’s 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 Orbit, so parents can access their child’s learning journeys daily and also contribute regularly

Enabling environments

We aim to create an attractive and stimulating learning environment where children feel confident and 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 following 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. Staff will enhance play and extend as needed to further individual learning.

Learning and developing

At Trinity Christian School we recognise children develop and learn in different ways.

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 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:

Prime

  • Personal, emotional and social development
  • Physical development
  • Communication and Language

Specific

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

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.

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 recognise 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. 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. 
  • The school’s digital camera/s or memory cards or other devices used must not leave the school. Photos of children must 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 and must be signed out when being used.
  • 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.

EARLY YEARS FUNDING

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.

RECEPTION CLASS

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.