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Copy of EYFS Policy 2022

Co-op Portland Primary School

Early Years Foundation Stage Policy

This Policy was approved by the Governing Body: September 2021

Review Date: November 2023

Signature …………………………………………  (Chair of Governors)

Signature …………………………………………  (Headteacher)

“Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfill their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.”

Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, September 2014

Co-op Academy Portland’s Early Years Foundation Stage ensures that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s school readiness’ and gives children the broad arrange of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.

 Children feel safe and secure, developing independence, creative thinking, perseverance and a love of learning for their entire lives.

The work in our Unit is developed through dialogue, negotiation and respect for the ideas and beliefs of children and adults alike. We continually strive to offer provision that is rich in possibilities, providing children with exciting environments of discovery.

Children have freedom to explore their interests to enable them to make sense of the world in which they live. Children feel valued and listened to, resulting in high levels of self-esteem and engagement.

Children are equipped with the basic skills needed in order to be confident readers, writers and mathematicians.

We celebrate the culturally diverse nature of our setting, developing children’s awareness of and respect for others.

Our Values and The Four Ways of Being

We are proud to be a part of The Co-op Academies Trust. The Co-op was founded on a set of values that we embrace. These are Equality, Equity, Solidarity, Honesty, Openness, Caring for others, Self-help, Self-responsibility, Social responsibility and Democracy.

We also teach the children about the Four Ways of Being, referring to them whenever possible, to ensure that children develop a good understanding of the meaning and implications of each one.

These are:

  • Be yourself, always
  • Do what matters most
  • Show you care
  • Succeed together

Our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) seeks to provide:

Quality and consistency so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind.

A secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly.

Partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers.  

Equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child s included and supported.


The EYFS is based upon four principles:

  • A Unique Child
  • Positive Relationships
  • Enabling Environments
  • Learning and Development


  1. A Unique Child  


At Co-op Academy Portland we recognise that every child is a competent learner who can be resilient, capable and confident. We recognise that children develop in different ways, at varying rates. Children’s attitudes and dispositions to learning are influenced by feedback from others; we use praise and encouragement, as well as celebration and rewards, to encourage children to develop a positive attitude to learning.

  1. Inclusion

  • We value the diversity of individuals within our schools and do not discriminate against children because of ‘differences’.
  • All children at our partnership of schools are treated fairly regardless of race, religion or abilities.
  •  All children and their families are valued within our schools.
  • In our schools we believe that all our 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 when planning for their learning.  
  • In the EYFS we set high expectations that meet the needs of our  children. We achieve this by planning to meet the needs of boys and girls, children with special  educational needs, those who are more able, who have disabilities, are from all social and cultural backgrounds, and of different ethnic groups and those from diverse linguistic backgrounds.

We meet the needs of all our children through:

  • Planning challenging and enjoyable experiences in all areas of learning by considering the child’s individual needs, knowledge, experience, interests and stage of development.
  • Using a wide range of teaching strategies based on children’s learning needs.
  • Providing a wide range of opportunities to motivate and support children and to help  them to learn effectively;
  • Providing a safe and supportive learning environment in which the contribution of all  children is valued;
  • Using resources which reflect diversity and are free from discrimination and stereotyping. Planning challenging activities for children whose ability and understanding are in advance of language and communication skills.
  • Monitoring children’s progress and development of all children,  taking action to provide support as necessary. Where a specific need is identified, we liaise with the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Co-ordinator and seek support from outside agencies.

  1. Safeguarding

 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.

We aim to protect the physical and psychological well being of all children. (See Whole School Safeguarding Children Policy)

  1. Welfare

“Children learn best when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met and when they have positive relationships with the adults caring for them.”

We understand that we are legally required to comply with certain welfare requirements as stated in the Reformed Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage 2017. We understand that we are required to:

  • Promote the welfare of children.
  • Promote good health, preventing the spread of infection and taking appropriate action when children are ill.
  • Manage behaviour effectively in a manner appropriate for the children’s stage of development and individual needs.
  •  Ensure all adults who look after the children or who have unsupervised access to them are suitable to do so and have had appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.
  • Ensure that the premises, furniture and equipment are safe and suitable for purpose.
  • Ensure that every child receives enjoyable and challenging learning and development experiences tailored to meet their needs.
  • Maintain records, policies and procedures required for safe efficient management of the setting and to meet the needs of the children.

  1. Positive Relationships

At Co-op Academy Portland we recognise that children learn to be strong and independent from secure relationships. We aim to develop caring, respectful, professional relationships with the children and their families.

  1. Parents as Partners

We recognise that parents are children’s first and most enduring educators and we value the contribution they make. We recognise the role that parents have played, and their future role, educating their children. We do this through:

  • Talking to parents about their child before their child starts in our school in home visits or visits to the child's nursery setting.
  • The children have the opportunity to spend a half day in their setting during the half term before starting part time school.
  • Inviting all parents to an induction meeting during the term before their child starts school.
  • Encouraging parents to talk to the child’s teacher if there are any concerns. Sharing observations, photographs and videos of their child on Tapestry, a secure web based learning journal. Parents can also use this to inform school of the achievements of their child.
  • There are meetings for parents in the Autumn and Spring terms at which the teacher and the parent discuss the child’s progress and attainment with the teacher. Parents receive a report on their child’s attainment and progress at the end of the Foundation Stage.
  • All staff involved with the EYFS aim to develop good relationships with all children, interacting positively with them and taking time to listen to them.  
  •  Staff in the Foundation Stage meet regularly with the feeder pre-school settings to share good practice and discuss current issues. Where children attend other settings in a day, we aim to ensure continuity and coherence by sharing information about the children.

3. Enabling Environments

At our school we recognise that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending the children’s development. Through observation we assess the children’s interests, stages of development and learning needs, and use these observations to plan challenging, yet achievable activities and experiences to extend the children’s learning

Observation, Assessment and Planning

3.1.1. The Planning within the EYFS is based around termly themes as seen in the Creative Curriculum (see policy). Our Creative Curriculum ensures a balance of the 17 aspects of learning over the year, however children's interests are taken into consideration when planning and therefore the theme titles are broad to ensure flexibility. As such, these plans are used by the EYFS teacher as a guide for weekly planning; however the teacher may alter these in response to the needs (achievements and interests) of the children. We make regular assessments of children’s learning and we use this information to ensure that future planning reflects identified needs. Each area of learning is implemented through planned, purposeful play through a mix of child initiated and adult led activity. Children learn by leading their own play and by taking part in activities initiated or led by adults. 

 There are seven areas of learning and development which are inter-connected and which shape our curriculum. They are referred to as the prime and specific areas and each is viewed with equal importance.  When planning and guiding children’s activities we must consider the different ways that children learn which are referred to as the Characteristics of Effective Learning (Playing and Exploring, Active Learning and Creating and Thinking Critically). We adhere to the DfE Statutory framework for the EYFS (DfE 2017) and we deliver the curriculum as outlined in the EYFS Development Matters guidance document (Early  Education, 2012).               

Online Journals

Every child has an online journal on Tapestry, which celebrates achievements, interests and provides parents/carers with next steps.

It includes:

 Learning stories highlighting particular events and relationships which children have been involved in with an outline of how/why this is important and learning opportunities planned to extend these (next steps). Practitioner reflections are key to moving the learning to the next stage.

 Photos/video clips of the child engaged in activities with comments

 Copies of project work the child has been involved in

 Samples of recorded work completed by the child

 Contributions from home

Assessment in the EYFS takes the form of observation, photographs, video and teacher judgements and this involves the teacher and other adults as appropriate. Observations, photographs and videos are uploaded to Tapestry, a secure web based programme that can be accessed at home by parents. This is used to inform the end of Reception Early Years Foundation Stage Profile for each child which is reported to the Local Authority in July. Within the final term of the EYFS, we provide a written summary to parents, reporting their progress against the Early Learning Goals. Parents are given the opportunity to discuss these judgements with the teacher. We adhere to the statutory guidance for assessment and reporting arrangements (ARA) for the EYFS profile for the latest academic year.


We recognise the importance of moderation, ensuring that assessments and judgments are accurate and valid. To this end, we carry out the following:

 Regular meetings to discuss observations and judgments

 Effective use of the exemplification materials, including those for exceeding judgments

 Attendance at whole school moderation meetings

 Attendance at LEA moderation meetings

 Complying with LEA moderation visits

 Shared observations within the setting

 Shared observations with Reception/Year 1 teachers

 4. Learning and Development

Our Foundation Stage is organised to allow children to explore and learn securely and safely. There are areas where the children can be active, be quiet and rest. The classrooms  are set up in learning areas, where children are able to find and locate equipment and resources independently. Each class has its own enclosed outdoor area. This has a positive effect on the children’s development. Being outdoors offers the children further opportunities to explore, use their senses, develop their language skills, develop creativity and problem solving skills and be physically active. We plan activities and resources both inside and outside enabling the children to develop in all the areas of learning.