Foundation Stage Policy
Statement of policy
At Rak Academy we hold the belief that good early year’s education is essential as it is both a distinct stage in its own right and a firm foundation for future learning and development.
Early years is about developing children’s aspirations, motivation, socialisation, self-esteem and mastery of learning.
It is important for children to persevere, become self reliant, enjoy challenge and acquire positive dispositions to learning. It should also provide children with opportunities to succeed, to make mistakes and to cope with failure.
Foundation stage is for children aged three to five. This very important stage of education has been given a distinct identity. It sets out learning experiences which establish expectations for children to have experienced by the end of the reception year.
“For young children – when they play- it is their work. Through working in this way children learn to:
Make sense of the world around them
Develop a better understanding of themselves
Form relationships with others.”
Our broad aims for the Foundation Stage are to provide:
- A positive atmosphere in which children feel secure and valued.
- An atmosphere in which children are empowered to develop confidence and independence.
- Opportunities to learn through play.
- Rich environments in which children develop positive attitudes to learning.
- A partnership with parents involving them as educators of their children.
In order to achieve these aims we:
- Provide a wide range of interesting and stimulating resources.
- Provide adult support for planned and unplanned activities.
- Respond to children’s interests, interacting with them and discussing materials, objects and events.
- Encourage children to observe, explore and experiment.
- Work as a team ensuring all adults working with children contribute to the ethos and teaching aims of the learning environment.
We aim to develop the whole child, socially, emotionally, physically, intellectually, and aesthetically.
Teaching, learning and classroom organisation.
Play in the early years.
We encourage children to play. Play is vital for learning and enables children to explore a variety of experiences, make choices and solve problems. Children will play freely and will also take part on carefully planned and structured play activities both indoors and outdoors.
Teaching and learning.
Teaching will be based on a sound knowledge and understanding of the foundation stage ‘Early Years Foundation Stage’
Teachers will plan for six areas of learning –
- Personal and social development
- Communication, language and literacy
- Mathematical development
- Knowledge and understanding of the world
- Physical development
- Creative development.
Teachers will set high expectations for children’s attainment and progress using a variety of teaching approaches and groupings.
There will be balance of teacher directed and child chosen activities. Each classroom is organised to accommodate a teacher’s individual teaching style. However some elements are common to all – cut and stick area, painting easel, role-play area, free writing, play dough, book corner, water, sand, small world, construction.
- In all classes areas of the room are designated for different activitities.
- Year groups plan as a team, with a method of planning and evaluating on weekly bases.
- Long term planning ensures continuity and progression over two years, showing progression from nursery to reception.
- Medium term planning links the Early Years Foundation stage skills’ to specific topics.
- Short term planning includes specific planned differentiated activities and learning objectives linked to Early Years Foundation Stage.
- Nursery class timetables incorporate a language, maths and topic carpet session.
- Reception class timetables incorporate a language/ phonics, maths and topic carpet session.
- The majority of the timetable is made up of active, explorative and play based teaching and learning.
The children have regular access to outdoor play which incorporates the six areas of learning.
All teachers have two sessions a week where they supervise outdoor play. During this time teachers are required to be responsible for the health and safety of all children and manage TA’s in order to ensure safe and productive outdoor learning.
Assessment, recording and reporting of progress.
We make regular assessments of children’s learning, and we use this information to ensure that future planning reflects identified needs. Assessment in the early years takes a variety of forms-
- Baseline tests.
- Early years profiles, assessed termly.
- Ongoing observations.
- Weekly writing and reading assessments (Reception class).
- Keyword and letter sounds assessed termly (Reception class).
- Detailed learning journeys.
By the end of the reception year children will be assessed alongside the national average for children in United Kingdom and levelled appropriately.
Parental consultations are held every term to inform on a child’s progress which is accompanied by a termly written report.
Within the early years settings teachers have high expectations of children’s behaviour. They understand the importance of clear rules and routines and implement a reward and consequences system. Teachers set out clear rules that remain consistent and used by all early years staff.
- Always listen to the adult.
- Always keep hands and feet to yourself.
- Always respect each other and classroom resources.
- Always walk inside.
- Always use kind words.
- Verbal praise.
- Reward stickers.
- Marbles in a jar towards a class reward.
- Verbal warning.
- Time out (listening chair).
- Time out (Remove to another class).
- Inform early years co-ordinator.
- Inform parents.
Self help and independence.
The school recognises that children in the early years need supportive and caring adults to assist with children’s personal needs.
Teachers in the early years encourage the children to become independent. Children are given the opportunity to be responsible for their personal hygiene and needs, however teachers recognise that young children may need support and help with toileting and self help issues and are required to change and support children when necessary.
In our school we recognise the need for adult support within the early years to scaffold children’s learning in the six areas, encourage language development and provide a warm, safe and secure environment for the children.
Each class within the foundation stage one has a ratio of 1 adult to 8 children.
Each class within foundation stage two has a ratio of 1 adult to 13 children.
All foundation stage classrooms have bilingual support to ensure understanding of concepts and skills.
It is the class teacher’s responsibility to manage adult support within the class to ensure effective teaching and learning. This takes the form of-
- Informing EAL support and TA’s of weekly planning objectives.
- Communicating clear instructions relating to classroom activities.
- Supporting EAL support and TA’s with discipline and rewarding children.
- Carrying out termly assessments of TA’s progress.
Partnership with parents.
The school understands the importance of establishing effective relationships with parents in ensuring the children achieve their full potential. Parental involvement is actively encouraged.
Staff ensure that parents are well informed about the curriculum their child is experiencing through-
- Yearly meeting with early years coordinator to outline the curriculum.
- Weekly newsletters.
- Weekly homework activities.
Parents are encouraged to approach staff at the earliest opportunity if they are at all concerned about any aspect of their child’s school life.
Inclusion in the early years.
In our school we believe that all children matter. We give our children every opportunity to achieve their best. We do this by taking account of our children’s range of life experiences and culture when planning their learning.
In the early years we set realistic and challenging expectations that meet the needs of our children, so that all will access the foundation stage.