St. Aidan’s Catholic Primary School
Early Years Foundation Stage Policy
“The children are at the centre of all that we do and their potential
to achieve is recognised. Their time in our school is characterised by
a sense of belonging, security, challenge and appreciation”.
This policy reflects the values and philosophy of St. Aidan’s in relation to
the teaching and learning goals of the children in the EYFS. This policy is
a framework, within which all staff work, and gives guidance on planning,
teaching, learning and assessment. The policy should be read in
conjunction with The Early Years Foundation Stage: Setting the
Standards for Learning, Development and Care from birth to five by
DCFS and the school’s policy for RE and Collective Worship.
Definition of EYFS
In St. Aidan’s the EYFS includes all the children in the Reception Class.
The philosophy of St. Aidan’s School is to provide a firm foundation on
which all aspects of education are built. We aim to provide a Curriculum
that is broad and balanced in content and wide-ranging in approach,
helping to ensure future progress and success. We believe that we should
create a learning environment that is motivating, exciting and caring, in
order to contribute to the children’s positive self-esteem and to include a
love of learning: both child initiated and adult directed. The RE
curriculum permeates through every area of learning and supports the
aims of EYFS.
“Christ’s ministry, as recounted in the Gospels, and the values he
promoted through his teachings are fundamental to the life of our
school in fulfilling its purpose as a Catholic institution.”
The overall aims for the children in EYFS are:
To be happy
To feel safe and secure
To learn to build good, firm relationships with both their peers
To enjoy the process of learning
To experience equality of opportunity in a caring, safe and
To be valued as individuals and acquire self-confidence,
independence and self-help skills
To develop enquiring minds, encouraging independent thought
To gain knowledge, skills, concepts and attitudes that relate to
all areas of the Curriculum and to life
To learn attention skills and persistence, in particular the
ability to concentrate
To cultivate positive attitudes, values and beliefs and develop
an understanding of, and respect for, other people’s beliefs and
To experience personal achievement and appreciate the
achievement of others
To develop a positive self-image and an understanding of their
value in society
To acquire the skills to communicate their needs, feelings and
To develop respect and responsibility for self and others.
The above aims are embraced by the teachers and support staff at St.
At St. Aidan’s we recognise the importance of the role of parents and the
significant influence that they have already played in the early education
of their child. We wish to build a firm partnership that benefits and
enhances the development and well-being of their child. We involve
parents and encourage continued involvement and interest by them in
their child’s education. We recognise and adhere to the role of the key
person in EYFS.
How Children Start School
At St. Aidan’s a “new parents evening” is held in the Summer Term prior
to the children beginning school in September. This is to inform the
parents of various aspects of ‘School Life’ e.g. uniform, times, school
dinners etc. and to meet the EYFS team.
They are also informed about how the children start school. In the first
week of the Autumn Term all the parents are offered a home visit by two
members of the EYFS team. Then, for the next two weeks, children
attend for half-days only:
9.05 – 11.35 a.m. (younger children)
12.55 – 3.25 p.m. (older children)
The older children are then expected to stay for the whole day for the
next week. Then the following week, the younger children are also
expected to stay for the whole day. This helps the children to settle
quickly and confidently into two smaller groups and also helps the team to
get to know them and begin to assess their learning.
We also hold a parents’ curriculum evening in Sept/Oct to inform parents
about the teaching and learning strategies used in reading, writing and
number. Following this evening, parents are invited to spend a morning or
afternoon session observing and participating in EYFS classroom.
Links with Foundation Stage 1
Although St. Aidan’s does not have a Nursery it has strong links with its
main feeder settings. The team belongs to a local cluster group that is
for all EYFS settings and works in partnership with Croydon Catholic
Primary Schools. As well as meetings during the year to discuss aspects
of teaching and learning, records are shared at the end of the academic
year to achieve consistency of learning throughout the EYFS.
Areas of Learning and Early Learning Goals
The EYFS Curriculum is organised into six areas of learning:
Personal, social and emotional development
Communication, language and literacy
Knowledge and understanding of the world
The six areas help practitioners plan the learning environment, activities,
experiences and framework for the EYFS Curriculum. This does not mean
that all the young children’s learning is divided into these areas. One
experience could provide a child with opportunities to develop a number
of competencies, skills and concepts across several areas of learning.
Early Learning Goals
The Early Learning Goals establish expectations for most children to
realise by the end of the EYFS. The goals are spread across the six areas
of the curriculum and provide the basis for planning through this stage,
so laying secure foundations for future learning. By the end of the EYFS,
some children will have exceeded the goals. Other children will be
working towards some or all of the goals – including younger children.
Areas of Learning
Personal, Social and Emotional Development helps children become
confident and establish constructive relationships with other children,
parents, and adults. Children should be able to work independently,
concentrate and persevere with their learning and explore new avenues,
initiate ideas and solve practical problems. They should show respect for
themselves and others, take turns and share, express their ideas and
feeling and respond appropriately to a variety of experiences. They
should be interested, excited and motivated to learn and have increasing
awareness of their own needs. They should respond positively to cultural,
social and physical diversity and demonstrate care of the environment and
of living things. They should be able to dress and undress themselves and
manage their own personal hygiene.
This area is seen as critical for young children in all aspects of their lives
and gives them the best opportunity for success in all areas of learning.
Communication, Language and Literacy helps children to interact with
other people, communicate their thoughts, ideas and feelings and build up
relationships with adults and each other. Children can listen to, enjoy and
respond to rhymes, stories, songs, music, non-fiction and poems. They can
make up stories and take part in role-play with confidence. They learn to
enjoy books and handle them appropriately and with care. They
understand that words and pictures carry meaning and that, in English,
print is read from left to right and from top to bottom. They come to
associate sounds with patterns and syllables and with words and letters,
to recognise their own names and some familiar words in their reading
environment. The children should be able to develop their writing, using
pictures, symbols, letters and familiar words, enabling them to
communication meaning. The Jolly Phonics scheme is used to teach and
learn phonics as an aid to reading and emergent writing. This is combined
with the Oxford Reading Tree scheme which supports both areas of
reading and writing.
These outcomes cover important aspects of language development and
provide the foundation for Literacy. Children should be helped to acquire
competence in English as soon as possible, making use, where appropriate,
of their advances in talking and listening and becoming readers and
writers. Other areas of learning also make a vital contribution to the
successful development of Literacy.
Mathematical Development enables children to further their
understanding of number, measurement, pattern, shape and space by
providing a broad range of contexts in which they can explore, enjoy,
learn, practise and talk.
These outcomes cover important aspects of mathematical understanding
and provide the foundation for Numeracy.
Knowledge and Understanding of the World is the area of learning
concerned with historical, geographical, scientific and technological
learning. Children begin to solve problems, make decisions, experiment,
predict, plan and question, in a variety of contexts; to discover and
explore their environment, and people and places that have significance in
Physical Development in the EYFS is about improving skills of co-
ordination, control, manipulation and movement. It helps children gain
better control and co-ordination as they move safely, confidently and
imaginatively, and helps them to learn how to handle objects, tools and
construction materials safely and with control.
Physical development has two very important aspects; it helps children
become confident in what they can do and enables them to feel the
positive benefits of being healthy and active.
Creative Development offers children a way to refine their vision of the
world and share these feelings and responses with others. Being creative
enables children to make connections between one area of learning and
another and so extend understanding. Creative Development allows
children to express their feelings in a personal and individualistic way.
Learning objectives are shared with the children in the latter half of the
Autumn term following the Shirley Clarke approach.
We introduce WALT – what we are learning today using a puppet. Success
criteria follows in the second part of the Spring term with WILF What I
am looking for supported by another puppet.
The progress and learning needs of the children are assessed and
recorded through observations and are recorded in the EYFS profile
under the six areas of learning. These are shared with parents in the
Autumn and Spring Terms and targets or ‘Next Steps’ are set and
reviewed. In the Summer Term a written report is given to the parents
and a formal EYFS assessment is carried out.
Links with Year 1
We have an “open door” policy with Y1. This enables children at the
beginning of the academic year in Y1 to access EYFS where there is a
need. Likewise, children in the EYFS who require further extension, join
Year 1 for additional sessions in the core subjects.
All teaching and non-teaching staff at St. Aidan’s will ensure that all
pupils, irrespective of gender, ability, ethnicity and social circumstances,
have access to the whole curriculum and opportunities to make the
greatest progress possible in all areas of the EYFS.
Staff will ensure that all children feel secure, included and valued. No
child should feel excluded or disadvantaged because of ethnicity, culture,
home language, family background, special needs, disability, gender or
Special Educational Needs
See Policy on Special Educational Needs.
Although our Reception Class, is alone in the EYFS, it is, nevertheless, a
valued part of the school. The children attend whole school assemblies,
church based Masses and are totally included in the Catholic life of the
school. ‘Reading partners’ from Year 6 who welcome the children in the
summer before they start have proved key to their rapid integration into
our school family.
M. Chidgey. February 2009.