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LIVE - Early Years Foundation Stage Policy Smithies Moor 23/24

COOP Academies

Early Years Foundation Stage Policy

Approved by AGC


Last reviewed on: 02.10.23

Next review due by:


Author: Carla Robinson (Director of Early Years)


1. Aims        2

2. Legislation        2

3. Structure of the EYFS        2

4. Curriculum        3

5. Assessment        4

6. Working with parents        4

7. Safeguarding and welfare procedures

8. Health conditions        4

9. Monitoring arrangements        4

Appendix 1. List of statutory policies and procedures for the EYFS        5

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

Throughout this policy the term Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is used to describe children within Nursery and Reception classes.

2. Legislation

This policy is based on requirements set out in the 2021 Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

This document also complies with our funding agreement and articles of association.

3. Structure of the EYFS

At Co-op Academy Smithies Moor there are 26 places available for children aged three and above in Nursery. There are 30 places available for children in Reception. This is for children aged 4 and 5.

Our Foundation Stage provision reflects the four main principles of the EYFS:

  • A unique child – developing resilient, capable, confident and self-assured individuals
  • Positive relationships – supporting children in becoming strong and independent
  • Enabling environments – where opportunities and experiences respond to the individual needs of the child by developing a strong partnership between practitioners, parents / carers and the child
  • Learning and developing – an acknowledgement that children learn in different ways and at different rates

In line with this our setting aims:

  • to encourage self-help and independent learning skills across all areas and activities throughout the day
  • to keep key aspects of the daily routine as consistent as possible, yet recognise the value of adapting this routine due to children’s interests, weather conditions or other key events
  • to provide opportunities for children to learn independently as well as within large and small groups, including both planned and spontaneous group sessions
  • to encourage parental / family participation in the children’s learning, e.g. through cultural experiences, storytelling, cooking and valuing home languages
  • to protect the physical and psychological well-being of all children

4. Curriculum

Our early years setting follows the curriculum as outlined in the 2021 Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

The EYFS framework includes 7 areas of learning and development that are equally important and inter-connected. 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

Staff plan activities and experiences for children that enable children to develop and learn effectively. In order to do this, practitioners working with the youngest children are expected to focus strongly on the 3 prime areas.

Staff also take into account the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in their care, and use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience. Where a child may have a special educational need or disability, staff 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. They plan and resource high quality provision throughout the wider curriculum and ensure they lay the foundations to be built upon going into key stage 1.

The planning of early reading and supporting all our children to become readers by the end of the EYFS is led by Read Write Inc. Phonics. Ability-set groups are taught daily and led by both class teachers and teaching assistants. Continual phonics-based games and activities are then completed with all children throughout the school day.

4.2 Teaching

Each area of learning and development within our EYFS 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.

As children grow older, 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 Co-op Academy Smithies Moor, ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development processes.  Staff observe pupils to identify their level of achievement, interests and learning styles. These observations are used to shape future planning. Assessments do not not entail prolonged breaks from interaction with children. When assessing an individual child’s level of development, practitioners draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgment. Practitioners also take into account observations shared by parents and/or carers.

At the end of the EYFS, staff complete the EYFS profile for each child. Pupils are assessed against the early learning goals, indicating whether they are:

  • Meeting expected levels of development 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.

We also use the online programme Class Dojo for recording observations of individuals and groups of children in our EYFS. We support our parents to also sign up to Class Dojo so that observations can be added at home and so that there is a clear communication between school life and home life.

We use the Trust Assessment system to support baseline and termly judgements. We have termly pupil progress meetings with SLT to discuss strengths and areas for development. We then ensure these assessments inform planning, provision and interventions.

6. Working with parents

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. The progress check and EYFS profile helps to provide parents and/or carers with a well-rounded picture of their child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities.

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. In most circumstances, the key person will be the class teacher of the individual child.

7. Safeguarding and welfare procedures

Our safeguarding and welfare procedures are outlined in our Safeguarding and Child Protection policy. In addition to this we also have an intimate care policy and parents complete care plans if needed.

The Early Years Leader completes frequent welfare checks alongside the Director of Early Years.

8. Health conditions

In our setting we provide a range of healthy food and snacks throughout the day. We have joined the government’s National School Breakfast Programme (NSBP). As a NSBP School we can offer a healthy school breakfast for our pupils and the children receive a freshly cooked toast as they enter our setting. Throughout the morning fresh fruit and vegetables are available and cartons of milk. All Reception children are offered a nutritious free school lunch each day.

Throughout the day children are encouraged to use hand sanitiser/wash hands before snack and meal times and on entering the setting after being outdoors. To ensure we are promoting good oral hygiene the children are supervised whilst brushing their teeth after lunch. We also send home a free toothbrush to each child to encourage tooth brushing at home.

9. Monitoring arrangements

This policy will be reviewed and approved by the Early years leader 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

Statutory policy or procedure for the EYFS

Where can it be found?

Safeguarding policy and procedures

See ‘Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy’

Procedure for responding to illness

See ‘attendance policy’ and  ‘Health and Safety Policy’

Administering medicines policy

See ‘Intimate Care Policy’ and ‘Supporting-Pupils-with-Medical-Conditions-Policy’

Emergency evacuation procedure

See ‘Fire management plan’

Procedure for checking the identity of visitors

See ‘Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy’

Procedures for a parent failing to collect a child and for missing children

See ‘Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy’

Procedure for dealing with concerns and complaints

See ‘Complaints Policy’