Click on the following links for further information about Early Years
- EYFS Intent Implementation & Impact Statement
- Nursery Curriculum Content
- Reception Curriculum Content
- 3 I’s poster
- In The Moment Planning Document
- Parents’ Guide to the Early Years Foundation Framework
- Guidance on your child’s learning and development in the Early Years Foundation Stage
- Foundation Stage Long Term Plan
At Holy Family Catholic Primary School, we believe that early childhood is the foundation upon which children build the rest of their lives. Our aim is to provide a caring and stimulating environment where every child feels confident to develop as an independent learner.
What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the Reception year. At Holy Family Catholic Primary School, children join us in our unit after their third birthday in nursery and at the beginning of the school year in which they turn five for reception. In partnership with parents and carers we enable the children to begin the process of becoming active learners for life.
The EYFS is based upon four principles:
- A unique child – developing resilient, capable, confident and self-assured individuals.
- Positive relationships – supporting the children in becoming strong and independent.
- Enabling environments – where opportunities and experiences respond to the individual needs of the child by developing a strong partnership between practitioners, parents/carers and the child.
- Learning and developing – An acknowledgement that children learn in different ways and at different rates
A Unique Child
At Holy Family Catholic Primary School, we recognise that children develop in individual ways, at varying rates. We place high importance on developing children’s personal, social and emotional well being and physical development. We recognise that children arrive with a wide range of skills, abilities and particular interests. We start from the child, find out about them, before planning experiences to intrigue, challenge and extend their learning. We provide opportunities that build upon children’s experiences and interests to enable all children to reach their potential in every aspect of their development. We aim to develop a positive attitude to learning, using praise and encouragement. We celebrate success through stickers, house points, dojos, sharing work with parents and carers, display’s of children’s own work and a weekly celebration assembly. We recognise that children’s attitudes to learning are influenced greatly by positive feedback from others, including their peers.
Cultural diversity in the early years
At Holy Family Catholic Primary School, we recognise that young children are being raised in a society with many sources of cultural diversity. We offer play materials, books and other resources so children can learn about culture and cultural identity. Shared culture is communicated through the events of daily life, such as food, ways of dress and familiar music or art forms. A sense of personal identity through culture is supported by shared language and staff provide experiences in a thoughtful and well-informed way so that children will learn respect for ways of life with which they are less acquainted. We recognise that it is vitally important that children can see themselves and their family reflected in play resources, visual images and books. We teach children about the world in which they live, the world on their doorstep and the wider world. British values are embedded in our every day curriculum:
- We teach children to be kind, helpful and respectful of others;
- We teach children to be part of their local community;
- We plan to celebrate festivals and mark special days from the world around us
All children and their families are valued at Holy Family Catholic Primary 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.
All members of the school are treated as individuals. We aim to meet the needs of all, taking account of gender, ability, ethnicity, culture, religion, language, sexual orientation, age, special educational needs, disability, and social circumstances. All staff are aware of the need for the curriculum to reflect cultural diversity and the need to prepare pupils for life in a diverse and multi-faith society.
Inclusion/Special Educational Needs
All children at Holy Family Catholic Primary School are treated fairly regardless of race, religion or abilities. All children and their families are valued within our school.
We give our children every opportunity to achieve their best. We set realistic and challenging expectations that meet the needs of our children. Through careful monitoring and assessments we plan the needs of boys and girls, children with special educational needs, children who are gifted and talented, children with disabilities and children from all social and cultural backgrounds. Assessments take into account contributions from a range of perspectives to ensure that any child with potential special educational needs is identified at the earliest possible opportunity. Early identification of special needs is crucial to enable staff to support the development of each child. Concerns are always discussed with parents/carers
We meet the needs of our children through:
- Planning the children’s ‘next steps’ which aim to build upon and extend their knowledge, experience and interests, and develop their self – esteem and confidence.
- Providing a safe and supportive learning environment in which the contribution of all children is valued.
- Carefully monitoring children’s progress and taking action to provide support as necessary.
At Holy Family Catholic Primary School, we aim to develop caring, respectful, professional relationships with children and their families.
Parents and carers as partners
In Foundation Stage, we acknowledge that parents and carers are a child’s first educator. We recognise the role that parents and carers have played, and their future role, in educating the children. We do this through:
- Meeting with parents before their child starts school.
- Offering a home visit to all children before their child starts Nursery.
- Children have the opportunity to visit their new classroom and meet their new teacher prior to starting school.
- Offering parents opportunities to talk about their child’s progress and allowing free access to their ibooks.
- A home-school diary is used to encourage a dialogue about reading progress (Reception)
- Arranging a range of activities throughout the year that encourage collaboration between child, school and parents: Special assemblies, performances, sports day etc.
Parent Share (Evidence Me) enables parents/guardians to receive observations about their child from his/her teacher. Parents can reply to an observation by adding their own photographs and comments. A child’s home learning can then be viewed by the child’s class teacher, who will comment on it and send it back to the parent. A child’s observation will be uploaded into their personal portfolio (ibook) where all their school learning observations are stored. Parent Share enables us to establish an ongoing dialogue, share information and take account of parent’s observations and comments on their child. We value parent’s support and any contributions they may have about their child’s learning and development. It is evident that when parents/guardians and teachers work together in early years settings, the results have a positive impact on children’s development and learning.
We understand that starting Nursery or Reception class can be a stressful time for both the child and the parent. To ensure a smooth transition, we employ an induction programme to enable a happy and smooth entry into Nursery, Reception and Year One, thus ensuring ongoing well-being. All parents are invited to an induction meeting in the Summer term before their child starts. The children have the opportunity to spend time/visit with staff in their new classroom before starting school. Staff work in partnership with other settings and will make visits/arrange visits to our nursery or school (where needed /or possible) (Please see the ‘EYFS Transition Policy’ for further details)
During the final term in Reception, the EYFS Profile is completed for each child. The Profile provides parents and carers, staff and teachers with a well-rounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their progress against expected levels, and their readiness for Year 1. The Profile includes on-going observation, all relevant records held by the setting, discussions with parents and carers, and any other adults whom the teacher, parent or carer judges can offer a useful contribution. Each child’s level of development is assessed against the early learning goals. The profile indicates whether children are meeting expected levels of development, or if they are exceeding expected levels, or not yet reaching expected levels (‘emerging’). Year 1 teachers are given a copy of the Profile report together with a short commentary on each child’s skills and abilities in relation to the three key characteristics of effective learning. (see below) This informs the dialogue between Reception and Year 1 teachers about each child’s stage of development and learning needs and assists with the planning of activities in Year 1.
At Holy Family Catholic Primary School we value each child’s well being and personal development. We value each child as an individual and through close personal interaction we grow to understand and learn more and more about your child each and every day. The staff within Foundation Stage work as a team growing to know each child across Nursery and Reception. This is especially important for the transition of children as they move from Nursery into the Reception class at the age of four.
In our nursery, each child is assigned to a ‘key person’, either the Nursery teacher or Nursery Nurse. In our reception classes the class teacher acts as a ‘key person’ to all the children, supported by the teaching assistant. As a team we share information about each and every child across Nursery and Reception.
At Holy Family Catholic Primary School, we recognise that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending the children’s development. We aim to create an attractive and stimulating learning environment where children feel confident, secure and challenged. The children have daily access to indoor and outdoor environments. Staff observe the children and assess their interests, development and learning, before planning the next steps for the children offering challenging but achievable activities and experiences. 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.
The characteristics of effective learning
Through a well organised, stimulating environment, the children will organise their own play and will demonstrate characteristics of effective learning.
- Playing and exploring (engagement)–finding out, playing with what they know, being willing to ‘have a go’.
- Active learning (motivation)-being involved, concentrating, persevering, enjoying, achieving.
- Creating and thinking critically (thinking)-having ideas, making links, choosing ways to do things.
Learning and Development
We believe children learn best through real experiences and active learning. We know children learn at their highest level when at play. We provide a daily routine for the children, which includes teacher directed and child initiated learning opportunities.
The EYFS is organised into 7 …..
Areas of Learning and Development
3 Prime Areas
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
4 Specific Areas
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design
The role of the adult
We believe that it is vitally important for adults to support children’s learning through play. Learning should be personalised by building on children’s interests and involving them fully in reflecting on what they have learned and how they may build upon their skills.
- Question, respond to questions and engage the child in extended conversations that support sustained shared thinking
- Extend vocabulary, knowledge and skills
- Encourage independence
- resources that stimulate, motivate and engage the learner
- Demonstrate/model and work alongside
- Help children to be problem solvers, problem setters and investigators
- Support, reassure and encourage
- Help children to see links in their learning
- Re-direct the play if necessary
- Help children to learn how to negotiate and resolve conflict
- Observe and assess learning
- Record judgments and plan for next steps in learning
- Provide feedback to child/other adults/parents
- Ensure the environment is safe and secure
Observation, Assessment and Planning
At Holy Family Catholic Primary School EYFS teaching staff plan together, following the same theme each half term. Teachers planning includes:
- Being led by the children’s interests
- Long Term Plan (a continuous provision plan for enhancement), which are displayed within the different areas of each classroom
- Medium term plan: based on half termly themes
- Short term plans: including teacher led activities, child initiated activities and a weekly continuous provision plan for enhancement.
All staff working in the EYFS make regular assessments of the children’s learning, and all staff are involved in the planning of ‘next steps’. All observations and assessments of the children are recorded in the children’s individual learning journeys (ibook). At Holy Family Catholic Primary school, we use the e-profile to record judgments against the EYFS Profile. At the end of the summer term, we provide a written summary to parents, reporting their progress against the ELG’s and assessment scales.
It is important to us that all children in the school are ‘safe’. We aim to educate children on boundaries, rules and limits and to help them understand why they exist. We provide children with choices to help them develop this important life skill. Children should be allowed to take risks, but need to be taught how to recognise and avoid hazards (see Whole School Safeguarding Policy)
Health and Safety
At Holy Family Catholic Primary School, there are clear procedures for assessing risk (see Whole School Safeguarding Policy) which includes procedures for keeping children safe during outings and for any aspects of the environment or provision that may require a further risk assessment.
The EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) At Holy Family School
The Early Years Foundation Stage is a period of education from 0 – 5 years. In our Foundation classes (Nursery and Reception) the children learn the skills needed to become strong, confident individuals who are capable of learning and achieving through positive relationships, enabling environments and an understanding that every child is unique. Children are introduced to new ideas and further thinking through the seven areas of Learning and Development:
The first three are known as the Prime Areas (Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development) and these areas develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences. These support and scaffold the four Specific Areas (Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design) which include essential skills and knowledge to ensure that children have the best possible start to their learning journey.
These skills, experiences and learning opportunities are presented to the children through meaningful play contexts and adult led activities which ensure that each child has the opportunity to play and explore in an active and engaging environment that allows them to be creative, think critically and take risks to achieve more.
At Holy Family, children follow the EYFS in their Foundation Years (Nursery and Reception). Through interactive learning, children follow the curriculum areas to build up key basic skills in the seven areas of learning. Teachers very carefully observe children to understand what they can do, how children are learning and use this information to plan the next steps in their learning. Whenever possible children’s interests are used to inspire and engage deep learning.
Learning takes place indoors and outdoors, in all weathers and teaching can be direct in small or large groups, guided by the teacher/teaching assistant or sometimes independent in response to a specific task or learning opportunity. These lessons and learning opportunities are planned to ensure children can apply their basic skills confidently and prepare them for the following stages of schooling in year 1.
Learning experiences and interests children have outside school are very important, especially those they share with parents and carers. Such experiences promote deep learning and hold great value for children as they experience new learning with those they are closest too. To help your child to learn the best they can in the Foundation Stage we really encourage partnership work. Please tell us how your child is learning at home, what they enjoy doing, and any new learning moments they have so we can build upon in this in school. Likewise we aim to share with you the developments your child makes as they progress well through the Foundation stage at Holy Family School.
The Four Principles
These are what the staff and setting integrate into their daily practice.
- A Unique Child – This is based on the principle that every child is a competent learner and can be resilient, capable and confident.
- Positive Relationships – This highlights the importance of children having loving and secure relationships with parents and carers, in order to become strong and independent.
- Enabling Environments – This recognises the key role a child’s environment plays in supporting and extending their development and learning.
- Learning and Development – This is based on the knowledge that children develop and learn in different ways and that all areas of learning are interconnected and equally important.
The importance of the Key Person in Nursery and Reception (Foundation Stage)
It is a fact that children thrive from a base of loving and secure relationships. This is normally provided by a child’s parents or carers but it can also be provided by a key person. A key person is a named member of staff with responsibilities for a group of children who helps those children in the group feel safe and cared for. We recognise this role to be an important one and works successfully in our Nursery and Reception classes.
The key person’s responsibilities are to respond sensitively to children’s feelings and behaviours and meeting emotional needs by giving reassurance, such as when they are new to a setting or class, and supporting the child’s well-being. The key person supports physical needs too, helping with issues like toileting and dressing. That person is a familiar figure who is accessible and available as a point of contact for parents and one who builds relationships with the child and parents or carers. Our aim is to
- Help your child become familiar with the setting
- Create a calm and warm atmosphere for your child
- Talk to parents to ensure your child’s needs are being met
- Participate in small ‘Key Worker’ group sessions
Through transition and working together as a team your child will already be familiar with staff in Nursery and Reception classes before they begin school and have started to form relationships with their key person. Your child’s key person in Nursery will be the Nursery Teacher or Nursery Nurse. In Reception your child’s key person is their class teacher.
As a team we share information about each and every child across Nursery and Reception. Your child’s teacher is still responsible for their development and progress throughout their time within their class. The teacher will continue to meet the needs of each individual child, planning for your child’s interests and needs ensuring that progress is being made across all areas of the curriculum, taking all adult experiences with your children into account. This includes your own knowledge of your child’s development.
If you would like further information about what and who is a key person in our Foundation Stage please speak to Miss Mottram our Foundation Stage Lead who will be pleased to help.
The Seven Areas of Learning in Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception)
These areas combine together to make up the skills, knowledge and experiences that babies and children acquire as they grow, learn and develop. The prime areas are Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development and Communication and Language. These are fundamental because they work together to support development in the other areas. The specific areas are Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. The developmental statements in these areas help practitioners to identify and plan for the children’s individual interests and abilities.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development – This area looks at supporting children to develop a sense of themselves, social skills and respect for others and a positive disposition to learn. Children’s emotional well-being also needs to be supported in order to help them understand and manage their feelings and behaviour.
- Physical Development – This area looks at supporting children in using their senses and bodies to explore the world around them and make connections between new and existing knowledge. They should have the chance to be active and interact with things to improve their skills of coordination, control, manipulation and movement. Children also need to develop an understanding of healthy living practices.
- Communication and Language – This area looks at supporting children’s developing competence in listening and understanding as well as speaking and communicating Children should be given opportunities to build these skills and gain confidence to use them in a range of situations.
- Literacy – This area focuses on learning the skills needed for reading and writing.
- Mathematics – This area looks at supporting children to develop their understanding of numbers, calculating, shapes, space and measures.
- Understanding the World – This area looks at supporting children in developing the knowledge, skills and understanding to help them make sense of their world. They should be able to explore creatures, people, plants and objects and undertake practical ‘experiments.’
- Expressive Arts and Design – This area looks at supporting children in developing their creativity by providing a range of opportunities, materials and media in which to express themselves and use their imaginations. The children should be encouraged to explore and share their thoughts, feelings and ideas.
Characteristics of effective learning
We know that from our own experience observing family and friends that children and indeed adults learn in different ways. When planning and supporting children, we think it is important to consider the different ways children learn and reflect this in how we teach, organise our learning environment and support individual children and groups of children. Within the Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage they identify three “Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning”; these characteristics encompass children from birth to the end of the reception year and children will demonstrate them in different ways depending on the developmental level of the child:
- Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things and “have a go”.
- Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy their achievements.
- Creativity and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas and make links between ideas. They develop strategies for doing things.
Playing and exploring
This characteristic is divided into 3 aspects; finding and exploring, playing with what they know and being willing to have a go.
Finding and exploring
At home and at school children are demonstrating skills in this area when they are being curious about the objects, people and places they come into contact with. They are using all their senses (what they see, hear, smell, touch and taste) to explore the world around them and showing special interests in things. For instance, if you are a baby you might become fascinated by the feeling of different materials (silky ribbon, fur fabric, smooth bendy plastics); a child entering nursery might be fascinated by buildings or holes in the road, stopping to watch road works and asking lots of questions to parents/key person about what the people are doing and wanting to look in books or on the computer about how buildings are made. Children may engage in activities that we call “open ended”, meaning they can stretch and extend their play using different materials not always dictated by an adult and this may continue over a number of hours, days or even weeks.
Playing with what they know
This aspects links very closely to children’s ability to “pretend” and to engage in pretend experiences alone and as they grow develop these ideas in co-operation with others. At home and at school children use one object to represent another, for example, a toddler may pick up a brick and use it as a mobile phone to talk to “mummy”. As children develop, they become more sophisticated and create their own props for role play e.g. making a superhero tool belts and extending their play through assigning particular roles to individual children. They can sustain this play and develop ideas and themes which they continue over a period of time. They might also incorporate ideas from home but are increasingly informed by books and stories “I am the troll and you are baby troll…so we have to wait for him to go over the “trip-trap” bridge.”
Being willing to “have a go”
Children who exhibit this characteristic start up activities and have ideas. They seek out things to challenge them and are keen to show they “can do” things independently. They are willing to try and are keen to (or can be encouraged to) try new experiences. A baby may “try and try” to pick up a small object to drop in into a box, a toddler will persist with carrying their buggy up and down a set of steps to take their baby to the “shops” showing real purpose and being very tenacious despite obstacles in their way. We want to encourage this in our youngest children so they can feel a sense of success and have a positive view of themselves as learners.
This characteristic is divided into 3 aspects: being involved and concentrating, keeping on trying and enjoying what they set out to do.
Being involved and concentrating
Many children at whatever age, can and do show high levels of focus in things that really interest them. They can get really involved in an activity or experiences and cannot easily be distracted. They look very closely at things and pay particular attention to the features of the objects, people and places they find fascinating.
Keeping on trying
This aspects links quite closely with being willing to “have a go” but also involves demonstrating persistence when difficulties arise. Children show a positive attitude and will not be put off by difficulties or challenges. We can encourage this characteristic by allowing children the opportunity to do things for themselves and not jumping in too soon help when challenges arise or judging carefully when to offer support. As children get older we actively talk to them about keeping trying when things become difficult. Throughout school, based on the work of Carol Dweck, we are exploring what we call the “growth mindset”. In school we have a set of reminders which explicitly include
“We don’t say “I can’t do this”; we say, “I can’t do this yet”
“We learn new things as often as we can”
“We are not scared of mistakes of failure because we learn from them”
“We take risks in order to improve our learning”
Encouraging children to think in this way supports them to learn new things and to have a positive attitude to all new learning opportunities. Children need to be able to talk about the benefits of “having a go” and “keeping on trying” and to be able to work alongside interested adults that can help them reflect on overcoming the things they have found challenging and what they have learned from these challenges.
Enjoying achieving what they set out to do
Children at home and at school demonstrate this when they show real satisfaction with what they have done and have enjoyed new learning for its own sake not because they are seeking praise or because the end result is “perfect” or they have achieved the “right answer”. Children revel in the learning for its own sake, for very young children this is often seen in physical accomplishments babies who have learnt to stand and walk will love to “cruise” around and show real pleasure in their new found skill or older children who have mastered “swinging across the monkey bars” will do so, again and again showing real joy in mastering a new skill. We need to value and record these aspects of learning and help children reflect on them. Parent voice stickers are especially important here to record achievements at home (achievements children are really proud of) and to share these with school/children’s centre.
Creating and thinking critically
This characteristic is divided in to having their own ideas, making links and choosing ways to do things.
Having their own ideas
If you observe children and ask them to explain their thinking they are frequently engaged in think of their own ideas, solving problems and finding new ways to do things. We teach children specific problem solving skills e.g. breaking a task into smaller steps but we also give them time, space and offer age appropriate challenges that require them to find their own ways to do things. We also model being a thinker “we don’t always have the answer” or we might not always “settle on the first answer” we need to show that we are puzzled and we use the language involved in thinking, such as, “Idea” “make sense” “plan” “confused” “find out” or “work out”. Challenges might require specialist resources “I need to get the beebot (remote controlled robot) through the maze to the other side how can I do that?” or it may involve setting a challenge” We are going to change the role play area into a café how shall we do that? What will we need? How are we going to make it happen?” It may also involve discussion or modelling an alternative “What do you do when your friend wants to look at the same book as you? Has anyone got any other ideas? What could you do?”
This aspect looks at the way children seek to make links in their learning look for patterns, make predictions and test ideas. They may also groups things, sequence objects or ideas and explore ideas involved in cause and effect. To take a simple example e.g. rolling an object. In the baby room children have lots of experience of rolling; rolling around themselves, rolling soft balls, rolling objects through paint/gloop/ soap flakes, rolling wooden toys, pushing or rolling buggies up and down the ramps. As children get older they can experience rolling cars down guttering, rolling balls through the long pipes, rolling objects through and along the large hollow blocks and planks, rolling/sliding down the large ramp and peddling the two wheeled bike very fast down the fast track at the adventure playground. All of these experiences involve making links in children’s learning and each stage strengthens and builds on children’s understanding. A baby may not have the words to explain “faster” “quicker” “slower” “steeper” all of which are involved in discussing gradients and how things roll but children need to have tested, explored and linked these ideas together and to have been taught the correct vocabulary to develop their ideas.
Choosing ways to do things
All children whatever their age and level of competency can take control, to a lesser or greater extent, over how they want to approach or complete a task. This approach extends from simple tasks such as learning to feed yourself right through to writing a complex story using the correct spelling and punctuation. We expect and support children to be independent and to choose ways to tackle things. Children are provided with the opportunity to plan how to tackle something, to talk about how they went about it and to reflect on the possible challenges and how they were overcome. We talk a lots to children, parents, students, volunteers and each other about “valuing the process not the product”. It doesn’t have to be the “perfect” drawing/painting/model/story/number sentence/first attempt at climbing the tree but it is important that you have been motivated to set about it yourself, put in effort and energy, “had a go” and that in turn you can think about what might be different next time.
During your child’s time in Foundation Stage, we build upon our knowledge of what your child knows and can do. This helps us to make an accurate end of year judgement in Reception against the Early Years Foundation Stage profile. To allow us to do this, statutory guidance allows ‘settings to record children’s’ learning in any way which helps practitioners to support their learning and development and make accurate summative judgements.’ EYFS Profile (2021)
Our final judgement for your child will be based on ALL of the evidence collected from Nursery through to the end of Reception.
In Foundation Stage, we include the following to support our judgements:
- knowledge of the pupil
- materials which illustrate the pupil’s learning journey, such as photographs, observations of day to day interactions
- video recordings
- the pupil’s view of his or her own learning
- information from parents or other relevant adults
To enable us to continually improve the quality and consistency of assessment, we capture your child’s learning using the online learning platform ‘Evidence Me’. This provides a simple and powerful way to record your child’s achievements against the Early Years profile.
Your child will have their own profile for you to view at any time and this will display all the evidence collected by practitioners of your child’s learning.
‘Evidence Me’ enhances and strengthens our partnership with you by enabling us to regularly email your child’s observations directly to you and allows you to reply to the email with your response. You are also very welcome to email your own evidence of your child’s learning and activities at home to share with us. Your responses are automatically stored, creating a comprehensive record of your child’s learning journey with us.
If you would like further details of how we document you child’s learning and progress in the Foundation Stage, please speak to one of our Foundation Stage staff who will be more than happy to help.
What is Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP)?
From April 2015, nurseries, schools, childminders and other childcare providers have been able to claim extra funding through the Early Years Pupil Premium to support children’s development, learning and care. The following information will explain what the Early Years Pupil Premium is, explain who is eligible for this funding and, importantly, to ask you to fill out the forms below so that we as a provider can claim the extra funding.
National data and research tells us that children eligible for free school meals tend to do less well, for example in 2014, 45% of children eligible for free school meals achieved the expected level at the end of the early years foundation stage compared with 64% of other children. The Early Years Pupil Premium will provide us with extra funding to close this gap.
The Early Years Pupil Premium provides an extra 53 pence per hour for three and four year old children whose parents are in receipt of certain benefits or who were formerly in local authority care but who left care because they were adopted or were subject to a special guardianship or child arrangements order. This means an extra £302 a year for each child taking up the full 570 hours funded entitlement to early education. This additional money could make a significant difference to us.
We can use the extra funding in any way we choose to improve the quality of the early years education that we provide for your child. This could include, for example, additional training for our staff on early language, investing in partnership working with our colleagues in the area to further our expertise or supporting our staff in working on specialised areas such as speech and language.
It is well documented that high quality early education can influence how well a child does at both primary and secondary school so we do want to make the most of this additional funding. You may be aware if you have older children that a pupil premium has been available for school-age children and it has proved to have given a real boost to the children receiving the funding. We want to do the same for our early years children entitled to this funding.
Therefore we ask that ALL PARENTS/GUARDIANS fill in the EYPP form. This will allow us to claim the additional Early Years Pupil Premium.
If you have any questions, please contact our school office or speak to a member of our Early Years team.
Early Years Transition Programme
Our aim is to help ease your child into their new class making it as smooth as possible for both you and your child. We begin our Transition programme in June to ensure children who are moving classes are given the opportunity to feel familiar, happy and comfortable in their new environment.
‘It is known that right from the start, babies and young children manage changes in their lives on a daily basis. When small changes are supported by responsive, knowledgeable adults, children will gradually discover that the world is a safe and predictable place. As strong and competent learners, this will stand them in good stead when faced with the challenge of experiencing the bigger changes that will inevitably come their way.’
Transition into our Nursery class:
We aim to manage the transition to their Nursery class in a gradual, staged approach, which allows your child to adapt more easily when they begin on their start date. As part of our Transition programme into Nursery:
- Children are invited to scheduled stay and play sessions starting in June. These are excellent opportunities for you and your child to meet the Nursery staff and explore our Nursery classroom and outdoor area.
- Parents are invited to a parent’s information meeting in May.
- A home visit is offered. This is where staff can visit you and your child at home and begin to get to know your child in their own surroundings.
If your child attends a private Nursery or other setting, information is shared between practitioners in order to ensure a smooth transition.
In Nursery, children will be learning in a practical, creative and lively way mainly through children’s own interests. There will be a combination of focused activities and adult directed activities. For example during English activities there will be plenty of opportunities for role-play, drama, puppets and creative activities and in Mathematics there will be hands-on, practical activities to inspire the children. There are also child-initiated activities taking place inside and outside the classroom where the children have the opportunity to practice and consolidate their learning.
Transition from Nursery to Reception:
Although very similar, there are key elements that are different from Nursery.
- Children attend for a full day.
- Children will continue to have a daily Mathematics and English lesson. However, they will be more structured and in depth.
- A weekly PE lesson in the school hall.
- Children stay for school lunch. (initially supported by Teachers and then led by Welfare Staff).
- A weekly key stage assembly led by the Headteacher.
As stated above we also manage the transition from Nursery to Reception in a gradual, staged approach, which allows the children to adapt easily during the Autumn Term. Children will still be learning in a practical, creative and lively way, and the teaching is delivered using the same structure as in Nursery; through a combination of focused activities and adult directed activities. For example during English activities there will still be plenty of opportunities for role-play, drama, puppets and creative activities and in Mathematics there will be hands-on, practical activities to inspire the children. There are also child-initiated activities taking place inside and outside the classroom where the children have the opportunity to practice and consolidate their learning. Below is an outline of the programme which your child will be immersed in during Term 3 to help the transition from Nursery to Reception class be as smooth as possible.
Nursery to Reception class:
- A weekly visit to the Reception classroom
- Taking part in a weekly ‘Celebration’ assembly with the whole school.
- Nursery children continue to share the indoor and outdoor classrooms with Reception children and are already familiar with all Reception staff.
- A Reception Parent’s information meeting held in the Summer Term
- Nursery and Reception teachers meet regularly to handover information about each child.
- Sharing transition visits through Evidence Me Parent Share.
- Children will meet their new Reception teacher before the Summer Term ends.
- Sharing books and stories about school.
- Continue to encourage children to develop independence when putting on their coats/shoes and with personal self-care.
- Include props in role play – items of school uniform, lunch boxes and utensils.
- Nursery staff to support children as they show children what door they will come in at the start of the day for September.
Transition into Year one:
We recognise that there are elements of Key Stage 1 (Infants Year 1 and Year 2) that are different from the Foundation Stage and therefore we aim to manage the transition from Reception to Year 1 in a gradual, staged approach, which allows the children to adapt during the first half of the Autumn Term. Although our lessons in Year 1 are planned around the subjects of the National Curriculum, the children will still be learning in a practical, creative and lively way, and the teaching is delivered using the same structure as in a Reception Class; through a combination of focused activities and adult directed activities. For example during English activities there will be plenty of opportunities for role-play, drama, puppets and creative activities and in Mathematics there will be hands-on, practical activities to inspire the children. Child-initiated activities continue inside and outside the classroom where the children have the opportunity to practice and consolidate their learning.
Below is an outline of the programme which your child will be immersed in during Term 3 to help the transition from Reception class to Year One be as smooth as possible.
Reception class to Year One:
- 2 weekly visits to the Year One classroom sat at tables completing Mathematics or English work in their ‘have a go’ books.
- Children will become familiar with rules and routines and will find that the Year One classroom mirrors our Reception class with continuous provision and an outdoor area.
- ‘A day in the life’ of a Year One child.
- A more structured day in Reception class with some work completed in ‘have a go’ books at tables.
- Open discussions about moving up and any misconceptions and worries addressed immediately.
- Reception and Year One teachers meet regularly to handover information about each child.
- Sharing transition visits/activities/challenges through Evidence Me Parent Share.
- Children will meet their new Year One teacher before the Summer Term ends.
- Learning Mentor to support Reception staff as they show children what door they will come in at the start of the day for September.
If you would like further details or if there is something you feel we need to know about, please speak to your child’s class teacher who will be more than happy to help. We thank you for your continued support.