'Bringing out the best in everyone.' 'Encourage one another and build each other up' 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Early Years

All of our policies are underpinned by our vision and driven by our values of trust, courage, community, respect, joy and friendship 

Early Years education is the foundation on which children build the rest of their lives and is rooted in the provision of active learning through play. We aim for our children to develop a lifelong love of learning, to treasure the people around them and to flourish. We will bring out the best in every child by inspiring, empowering and engaging them in rich, hands on learning experiences.


The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the Reception year. At Tilston Parochial CE Primary School, children transfer from a number of local pre-schools and are able to join the Reception Class in the September following their fourth birthday. After discussion with the Head Teacher, this can be delayed until the January following their fourth birthday.

The Early Years Foundation Stage is based upon four themes:

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

This policy explains how our practice at Tilston Parochial CE Primary School is underpinned by these four themes.

A Unique Child

We recognise that every child is a competent learner who can be resilient, capable, confident and self assured. We recognise that children develop in individual 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.

Admissions and Induction

Please see the school admissions policy for details of entry criteria and pattern of school entry.

To aid smooth transitions and to provide the best possible start for children, our pre-induction process includes the following:

  • The Foundation Stage Teacher meets with pre-school providers when possible to discuss each individual child and their transition process into school;
  • The Foundation Stage Teacher also spends time with the children in their Pre-School setting;
  • Parents are invited into school to meet other new parents and the staff informally with a followed meeting to introduce the curriculum and the aims of the setting.
  • Providing a Guide to Starting School booklet to all new parents.
  • Provide children the opportunity of a transition day into the setting to meet staff and new starters.
  • Introduce a year 6 buddy assigned to each new starter. The buddy will meet their assigned child during transition day and will meet parents informally on an induction meeting evening.

We value the diversity of individuals within the school. All children at Tilston Parochial CE Primary School are treated fairly, whatever their race, gender, religion or abilities. All children and their families are valued within our school.

In our school we believe that all our children matter. We give our children every opportunity to achieve their best and fulfil their potential. We do this by taking account of our children’s range of life experiences when planning for their learning.

In the Foundation Stage we set realistic and challenging 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, children who are more able, children with disabilities, children from all social and cultural backgrounds, children of different ethnic groups and those from diverse linguistic backgrounds. We also achieve this through clear classroom routines.

We meet the needs of all our children through:

  • planning opportunities that build upon and extend children’s knowledge, experience and interests, and develop their self-esteem and confidence;
  • 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 their language and communication skills;
  • monitoring children’s progress and taking action to provide support as necessary.


It is important to us that all children in the school are ‘safe’. We aim to educate children regarding boundaries, rules and limits and to help them understand why these 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.

We understand that we are legally required to comply with certain welfare requirements as stated in the Statutory Framework for EYFS. 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;
  • ensure that the premises, furniture and equipment is 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.

We endeavour to meet all these requirements.

Positive Relationships

We recognise that children learn to be strong, confident and independent through being in secure relationships. We believe that home support is vital in furthering the development of the individual child. We aim to develop caring, respectful, professional relationships with the children and their families.

Parents as Partners

We recognise that parents are children’s first and most enduring educators and we value being partners with them in their child’s education and strive to keep them informed about the life of the school and their child’s progress. We aim for a secure and happy transition from home to school and we organise our induction programme and classroom routines accordingly, as follows:

  • A half-day ‘stay & play’ in Foundation Stage classroom;
  • Providing an information booklet about the Early Years Foundation Stage prior to starting school;
  • A new parents information meeting is held with the Head Teacher and Foundation Stage teacher during the term before the child starts school;
  • Handover routines set from the beginning, including:
  • Parents invited into the classroom in the first week to settle their child. After that, children are handed over to the Foundation Stage Teacher at the entrance to the classroom

 At the end of the day children are handed back to parents at the classroom door when in view of the Foundation Stage Teacher.

  • Operating an open door policy for parents with any queries;
  • Sharing regularly the children’s ‘Learning Journey’ profile books and valuing the on-going contributions to these from parents using the Evidence Me electronic journal.
  • Sharing of the children’s next steps with parents so they can contribute towards assessment;
  • Initiating and maintaining home-school reading diaries;
  • Sending school and class newsletters through the class web page
  • Inviting parents to ‘Book Look’ three times a year;
  • Offering two parent/teacher consultation evenings per year;
  • Where necessary, conducting a face-to-face meeting to share a written report on their child’s attainment and progress against the 17 Early Learning Goals at the end of the school year;
  • Creating weekly blogs on the class page of the school website so parents can view the learning that takes place
  • Sharing children’s records with parents;
  • Hosting curriculum workshops for parents, on particular areas or themes, for example phonics;
  • Inviting parents to Class Worships, performances and special class moments to celebrate the children’s learning.
  • Encouraging parents to help in school and on trips;
  • Using parents' skills in the classroom and outdoors;
  • Promoting the Parent Teacher Association (TSA) and encouraging new parents to participate and volunteer.
  • Inviting parents to library time every Thursday to read books with their child and to listen to a book read by the class teacher.

Enabling Environments

We recognise that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending the children’s development. The EYFS setting, with its well planned, stimulating environment, encourages the children in the development of skills, attitudes and understanding that will help them to live full, satisfying lives and become confident, active members of a diverse constantly changing society. Through observation we assess the children’s interests, stages of development and learning needs, before planning challenging, achievable activities and experiences to extend the children’s learning.

Observation, Assessment and Planning

Initially information is gathered from previous settings to help form a starting point for the child’s assessment against the Development Matters Statements from the EYFS curriculum. The planning within Foundation Stage is then based on the Development Matters statements. Plans are flexible, so that the teacher and teaching assistants can respond to the needs, achievements and interests of the children. This will be indicated on weekly planning. This fostering of the children’s interests develops a high level of motivation for the children’s learning. We make regular assessments of children’s learning and we use this information to ensure that future planning reflects identified needs. Assessment in the Foundation Stage takes the form of both formal and informal observations. These observations are recorded in a variety of ways, and contribute to the child’s individual ‘Learning Journey’ profile book. At the end of the Reception year in school, each child’s level of development is recorded onto the EYFS Profile against each of the 17 Early Learning Goals as either meeting the level of development expected at the end of EYFS(Expected) or not yet reaching this level (emerging).

Other assessment opportunities include;

  • Exchange of information with parents at parent/teacher consultation meetings providing a two way process where the teacher and parents share their understanding of a child;
  • Pupil progress meetings with the Senior Leadership Team;
  • An annual school report relating to the Characteristics of Effective Learning and 17 EYFS goals;
  • Sharing of the children’s next steps with parents so they can contribute towards assessment;
  • Participation in moderation internally and with local cluster groups.
  • Sharing with other EYFS teachers at Cluster Meetings.

The Learning Environment

The Foundation Stage classroom is organised to allow children to explore and learn securely and safely. There are areas where the children can be active, quiet, creative etc. The classroom has defined learning areas, where children are able to find and locate equipment and resources independently. The Foundation Stage has enclosed outdoor areas, and children are able to free-flow between the indoor and outdoor spaces. Being outdoors offers the children opportunities for doing things in different ways and on different scales than when indoors. They are able to explore, use their senses, develop their language 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.

Learning and Development

We recognise that children learn and develop in different ways and have their own learning styles. There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational provision in Early Years settings. We value all areas of learning and development equally and understand that they are often inter-connected.

Prime Areas

Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive; these are known as the Prime Areas.

Communication and Language

This area provides opportunities for children to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

Physical Development

This area provides opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

This area involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.

Specific Areas

Staff will also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.


Development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children can access a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.


Providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.

Understanding the World

Guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, and the environment, comparing to both the present and the past.

Expressive Arts and Design

Enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

Characteristics of Effective Learning

There are three characteristics of effective learning that run through and underpin all seven areas of learning and development and are required to be reported on annually. They are:

  • playing and exploring;
  • active learning;
  • creating and thinking critically.

Teaching and Learning

In the Foundation Stage children's learning is holistic and takes place across all aspects of the daily routine. Our aim is for each child to learn and develop physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually, as well as intellectually.

Children's interests and motivations are used as starting points for teaching and the activities we plan take account of children's everyday experiences. We ensure that children can learn through first-hand experiences.

We encourage pupils to become independent in their learning and we provide appropriate opportunities for them to take responsibility and make choices and decisions.

The curriculum supports consistent daily routines, which encourage children to feel safe and secure and help them gain confidence in their ability to learn, and developing a sense of well being and achievement which is supported by the partnership between the teacher and parents.

We recognise the other features of effective learning are as follows;

  • the understanding that the teacher and teaching assistants have of how children develop and learn, and how this affects their teaching;
  • Using a range of approaches to give clear explanations, make appropriate interventions and extend and develop play and talk or other means of communication;
  • the carefully planned curriculum that helps children work towards the Early Learning Goals throughout EYFS;
  • the provision for children to take part in activities that build on and extend their interests and develop their intellectual, physical, social and emotional abilities;
  • the encouragement for children to communicate and talk about their learning, and to develop independence;
  • the support for learning with appropriate and accessible indoor and outdoor space, facilities and equipment;
  • the identification of the progress and future learning needs of children through observations.


We believe that childhood is a time of play, and through play we discover the excitement of learning, the reward of achievement, and acquire our life skills. We believe that planned, purposeful play is a central part of young children's learning and underpins all aspects of their development. Through play our children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. They practise and build up ideas, and learn how to control themselves and understand the need for rules. They have the opportunity to think creatively alongside other children as well as on their own. They communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems. They have the opportunity to express fears or re-live anxious experiences in controlled and safe situations. We deliver learning for all of the areas through, purposeful play and learning experiences, with a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities.

Active Learning

Active learning occurs when children are motivated and interested. Children need to have some independence and control over their learning. As children develop their confidence, they learn to make decisions. It provides children with a sense of satisfactions as they take ownership of their learning.

Creativity and Critical Thinking

Children should be given an opportunity to be creative through all areas of learning, not just through the arts. Adults can support children’s thinking and help them to make connections by showing genuine interest, offering encouragement, clarifying ideas and asking open questions. Children can access resources freely and are allowed to move them around the classroom to extend their learning.

Transition to KS1

The transition from the EYFS syllabus to KS1 can be made at a time appropriate to the individual child’s needs. Most children transition from the EYFS syllabus towards the end of Term 2.

Health and Safety

The school’s Health & Safety Policy outlines the safe codes of practice for our school and provides the necessary guidance on the response and the reporting of all incidents.

Children are encouraged to assess hazards and discuss the appropriate precautions. Children are taught the appropriate safe practice when using equipment and they are taught to make decisions safely independently. This will include:

  • How to use equipment correctly and in accordance with health and safety guidelines;
  • How to follow Fire safety procedures;
  • Behaving in a considerate and responsible manner, showing respect for other people and the environment.

All EYFS staff regularly assess equipment, its use and the EYFS environment to ensure the safety of all. A risk assessment for both the inside and outside environment is completed and checked annually. Any issues of safety are brought to the attention of the caretaker and the health and safety committee.

A Risk Assessment will be completed for any educational visit.


Children use Computing in a wide variety of forms to develop skills and support a wide range of learning. They learn to use: laptops, iPads, cameras, video cameras, voice recorders and BeeBots during the EYFS. They are made aware of all the safety and appropriate use procedures. The children have regular timetabled sessions with the computing resources and they can access the classroom computers during their activity time.


When the computers are used in the EYFS without locked programmes, the children are given instructions and reminders about how to use the internet safely and reference to the infant E-safety poster is made. Monitoring and reporting of e-safety incidents with adult support is in line with the Acceptable Use Policy

Leadership and Management

The EYFS co-ordinator is responsible for:

  • Understanding the requirements of the EYFS statutory framework and practice guidance;
  • Preparing policy documents, curriculum plans, schemes of work etc. for the EYFS when appropriate;
  • Encouraging staff to provide effective learning opportunities for all pupils;
  • Helping all colleagues to develop their expertise and understanding of the EYFS;
  • Collecting and auditing EYFS resources;
  • Ensuring and moderating standards and formats for recording and assessment;
  • Liaising with external EYFS practitioners and other Key Stage staff;
  • Communicating developments in the EYFS, e.g. through staff meetings and distributing information;
  • Organising and monitoring continuing professional development in the EYFS.
  • Liaising with relevant organisations regarding the EYFS, e.g. advisory teachers, inspectors.

Monitoring and Review

The Headteacher, Foundation Stage co-ordinator and subject co-ordinators carry out monitoring of the EYFS in association with the EYFS Link Governor through observation and discussion as part of the whole school monitoring schedule.

Files to Download

Tilston Parochial Primary School, Church Road, Tilston Malpas Cheshire, SY14 7HB