The Early Years Foundation Stage
Greenhall and The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
'Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil 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.
The EYFS...promotes teaching and learning to ensure children's 'school readiness' and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.'
(Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, 2012, DfE).
Our aims and principles
We will use the principles of Conductive Education to teach children and develop all aspects of learning. Explicit links can be made between the overarching principles of the EYFS (underlined) and the principles of Conductive Education.
A Unique Child
- Conductive Education is a holistic teaching approach, looking at the whole child and considering all of their needs.
- There is a strong belief that the child CAN learn and therefore all activities are viewed as learning opportunities.
- Children are encouraged to be active, independent learners who develop the ability to problem-solve and apply skills (orthofunction)
- The experiences will build on what the children already can do.
- Our curriculum will be carefully structured, following the EYFS Age & Stage Guidance Material, recognising children's different starting points and relevancy to their different levels of need.
- No child will be excluded or disadvantaged.
- The Teacher / Conductor-Teacher will model practice and promote positive relationships with staff and children.
- Children will have opportunities to work in a range of groups and develop their social skills. Working with others is seen as a source of motivation.
- We will forge strong links with parents and carers.
- We will ensure the learning environment is attractive and well organised.
- We will provide opportunities for children to engage in indoor and outdoor activities planned and directed by adults as well as activities that offer opportunities for child choice and free play.
- We will provide facilitation (equipment, manual, use of environment) to enable the children to succeed. Experiencing success is crucial.
- We will observe and respond appropriately to children, informed by our knowledge of how children learn and develop.
Learning and Development
- Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. They will all enter the setting at different starting points. Activities and resources are differentiated to meet individual children's needs.
- We seek to address the needs of the whole child through the holistic nature of Conductive Education.
- Learning is active. Developing the child across the prime areas will be considered in all activities.
The curriculum is well planned to ensure children can select a wide variety of activities and explore independently. The recognition of the prime areas in the EYFS, namely Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development, perfectly compliments the holistic nature of Conductive Education that seeks to promote 'Orthofunction' (children who are as active and independent as possible and demonstrate an ability to problem-solve and apply skills).
The classroom is organised to enable pupils to be as independent as possible when transferring around the room. Children are shown and taught different ways of moving around using the apparatus set up in the classroom.
We provide our pupils with a broad and stimulating range of experiences appropriate to their stage of development, and we plan opportunities and activities for the children to develop across the seven areas of learning and development.
These areas are fundamental, work together and move through to support development in all other areas
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
These 'include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society.'
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
ICT is recognised as being an integral part of the curriculum. It is imbedded into all areas of learning and adapted for children's individual needs. The role that this plays in our school in terms of communication is key and therefore children are encouraged to develop their access skills right from the start.
We believe that parents and carers are our partners in children's learning. We try to develop a close working relationship between home and school involving parents in their child's development as much as possible. Some of the ways we encourage this are;
- Adopting an 'open door policy' so that parents and teachers have the opportunity to chat informally at the beginning and end of the school day.
- Welcoming parents to participate in swimming sessions once a week.
- Involving parents and carers as helpers for regular classroom activities and for special events such as educational visits within the local area.
- Welcoming parents to informative 'coffee mornings' organised by the school nurse, where parents and carers are invited to come, meet and chat with each other.
- Communication via the home-school diary
- Formal consultation meetings held six-monthly (for under 5 year olds) or annually (once the child is 5 years of age) to discuss pupil progress
- Parents evenings
- Whole school newsletter
- School website
Links with community
We use opportunities offered by the local community in the following ways:
- Explore local environment through educational visits related to specific topics
- Visits from the people in the local community who come to talk to the children (police, fire service, nurses, etc…)
- Link days with local primary schools
We seek to develop inclusive practices that promote and value diversity and difference. Inappropriate attitudes and practices are challenged and children are encouraged to value and respect others.
Assessment, Recording and Reporting
We use 'Development Matters' and 'Early Learning Goals' (from the EYFS) and Connecting Steps V4 (P levels for EYFS). Our assessment procedures are:
- Each child has a 'Learning Journey', where positive achievements, observations, annotated photographic evidence, samples of work are kept across all seven areas of learning and development.
- Each child has IEP termly targets which are tracked and monitored across the term.
- A report is written detailing progress every 6 months (when the child is under 5) or annually (once the child is 5 years of age).
- All assessment systems are used throughout the year and provide a basis for reporting to parents and inform future attainment and to set targets.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Under the oversight of the Headteacher, the class teachers / Conductor-teacher has the responsibility for the co-ordination and leadership of our overall provision. Their role includes:
- Ensuring provision of appropriate, comprehensive and stimulating curriculum.
- Providing opportunities for child-led activities as well as adult-led activities, taking into account the children's individual abilities and needs.
- Leading their staff teams and supporting them in ensuring the school's policies and practices are delivered to a high standard.
- Co-ordinating planning, assessment, recording, reporting.
- Maintaining good liaisons with parents and the community.
- Reporting on standards and on teaching and learning to the Headteacher and governors.
We are also monitored by external agencies such as our School Improvement Partner, the Early Years Advisory Team and Ofsted.