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Early Years Policy 2020 -2021


Early Years Foundation Stage policy


Next Review: April 2020

Early Years Leader: Heather Stephens


1. Aims


This policy aims to ensure:


  • That children access a broad and balanced curriculum that gives them the broad range of knowledge and skills needed for good progress through school and life
  • Quality and consistency in teaching and learning so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind
  • Close partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers
  • Every child is included and supported through equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice


2. Legislation


This policy is based on requirements set out in the


3. Structure of the EYFS


At Cerne Abbas CE VC First School our EYFS setting includes provision for Reception aged children and 3- year-old pre-school provision. Our setting is available for pre-school aged children full time, charging £4.20 per hour. Children can attend for a whole day, morning session or afternoon session with the option to include lunch as they wish.


4. Curriculum


Our early years setting follows the curriculum as outlined in the 2017 statutory framework of the EYFS.


The EYFS framework includes 7 areas of learning and development that are equally important and interconnected. However, 3 areas known as the prime areas are seen as particularly important for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building children’s capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.


The prime areas are:


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


The prime areas are strengthened and applied through 4 specific areas:


  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design


4.1 Planning


Our Early Years Teacher plans purposeful play activities and continuous provision within the learning environment to meet individual needs and enable all children to develop and learn effectively. Practitioners working with the youngest children are expected to focus strongly on the 3 prime areas.


All practitioners identify the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in their care, and use this information to support and facilitate learning enabling a challenging and enjoyable experience. Where a child may have a special educational need or disability, staff will consider whether specialist support is required, linking with relevant services from other agencies, where appropriate.


In planning and guiding children’s activities, practitioners reflect on the different ways that children learn and include these in their practice. Children will be included in the planning process enabling topics and learning to follow children’s interests hoping to inspire and motivate all learners. Children are encouraged to develop as independent learners, accessing their learning through a purposefully planned environment with a mix of child initiated activities and adult led tasks.


4.2 Teaching


Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play, and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activities. Practitioners respond to each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction.


Children have continual access to learning opportunities indoors and outdoors. Practitioners are aware of children’s next steps and target these needs through facilitated learning experiences.


For our Reception aged children, and as their development allows, the balance gradually shifts towards more adult-led activities to help children prepare for more formal learning, ready for year 1.


5. Assessment


At Cerne Abbas CE VC First School ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development processes. Practitioners use observational assessment to continually identify children’s achievements, interests and learning experiences. These observations are shared with parents and/or carers and are used to identify children’s next steps and shape future planning. Practitioners also take into account observations shared by parents and/or carers through the online learning journey Tapestry.


At the end of the EYFS (when the child reaches the end of Reception), the EYFS Teacher completes the EYFS profile for each child. Pupils are assessed against the 17 early learning goals, indicating whether they are:


  • Meeting expected levels of development
  • Exceeding expected levels or,
  • Not yet reaching expected levels (‘emerging’)


The profile reflects ongoing observations and discussions with parents and/or carers. The results of the profile are then shared with parents and/or carers.


6. Working with parents


At Cerne Abbas CE VC First School we recognise that children learn and develop well when there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.


Parents and/or carers are kept up to date with their child’s progress and development. Parents are invited to parent consultations with the EYFS Teacher twice yearly and will receive a written report noting achievements in the summer term of their Reception year. The EYFS profile helps to provide parents and/or carers with a well-rounded picture of their child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities. Parents are involved in discussions about children’s progress and developing from early on and targets or next steps for the child are shared.


Each child is assigned a key person who helps to ensure that their learning and care is tailored to meet their needs. The key person supports parents and/or carers in guiding their child’s development at home. The key person also helps families to engage with more specialist support, if appropriate.


7. Safeguarding and welfare procedures


Our safeguarding and welfare procedures are outlined in our safeguarding policy.


8. Monitoring arrangements


This policy will be reviewed and approved by Heather Stephens every year.


At every review, the policy will be shared with the governing board. 


Appendix 1. List of statutory policies and procedures for the EYFS

This checklist lists the policies and procedures that we must have according the EYFS statutory framework.


Statutory policy or procedure for the EYFS Where can it be found?
Safeguarding policy and procedures

See child protection and safeguarding policy

Procedure for responding to illness See health and safety policy
Administering medicines policy See supporting pupils with medical conditions policy
Emergency evacuation procedure See health and safety policy
Procedure for checking the identity of visitors See child protection and safeguarding policy
Procedures for a parent failing to collect a child and for missing children See child protection and safeguarding policy
Procedure for dealing with concerns and complaints See complaints policy


A positive, purposeful and enthusiastic atmosphere

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