Welcome to Holy Family Catholic Primary School                

Foundation Stage Policy

Our aim

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:

P  A unique child – developing resilient, capable, confident and self-assured individuals.

P  Positive relationships – supporting the children in becoming strong and independent.

P  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.

P   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:

P  We teach children to be kind, helpful and respectful of others;

P  We teach children to be part of their local community;

P  We plan to celebrate festivals and mark special days from the world around us


Equal Opportunities

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.


Positive Relationships

 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

Parent Share (2Simple) 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)


EYFS Profile

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.


Key Person

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.


Enabling Environments

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.

P Playing and exploring (engagement)–finding out, playing with what they know, being willing to ‘have a go’.

P Active learning (motivation)-being involved, concentrating, persevering, enjoying, achieving.

P 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                                                                                         4 Specific Areas

Personal, Social and Emotional Development                                                            Literacy

Physical Development                                                                                            Mathematics

Communication and Language                                                                         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.

Adults will:

P Question, respond to questions and engage the child in extended conversations that support sustained shared thinking

P Extend vocabulary, knowledge and skills

P Encourage independence

P resources that stimulate, motivate and engage the learner

P Demonstrate/model and work alongside

P Help children to be problem solvers, problem setters and investigators

P Support, reassure and encourage

P Help children to see links in their learning

P Re-direct the play if necessary

P Help children to learn how to negotiate and resolve conflict

P Observe and assess learning

P Record judgments and plan for next steps in learning

P Provide feedback to child/other adults/parents

P 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:

P Being led by the children’s interests

P Long Term Plan (a continuous provision plan for enhancement), which are displayed within the different areas of each classroom

P Medium term plan: based on half termly themes

P 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.

  • Holy Family Catholic Primary School
  • Arncliffe Road
  • Halewood
  • Liverpool
  • L25 9PA
  • United Kingdom
  • Tel: 0151 282 8971
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