St John The Baptist Catholic Primary School "Together, through our words and actions, our work and play,We point towards Christ, each and every day"

EYFS Policy 2020 - 2022

St John the Baptist Catholic Primary School

Early Years and Foundation Stage Policy


‘I promise you that every day your child will learn something new. Some days they will bring it home in their hands, some days they will bring it home in their heads and some days they will bring it home in their hearts’. Valerie Welk


This policy has been approved and adopted by the Governing Body in July 2020 and will be reviewed in July 2022.



At St John the Baptist Catholic Primary School we adhere to The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage April 2017, and the four guiding principles that shape practice in Early Years settings.

  • Unique child – We recognise that every child is unique and is continually learning, resilient and capable, confident and self-assured.
  • Positive Relationships – We recognise that children learn to be strong, secure and independent through positive relationships.
  • Enabling Environments – Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners, parents and carers.
  • Learning and Development – Children develop and learn in different ways.


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



The Common Good

Option for the Poor


Care for Creation

Dignity of Work and Participation

Every person is made in the image and likeness of God.

Each of us is unique and beautiful. We are called to treat every person with respect.

We belong to each other; we were created to live in families and communities.  We stand side by side with our sisters and brothers, especially those living in poverty.

The fruits of the earth belong to everyone. No one should be excluded from the gifts of creation.

We must ensure everyone is safe, healthy and has equal access.

God’s love is universal; he does not side with oppressors, but loves the humble. We must work for the most vulnerable, the poor and those without a safe community.

Peace is a cornerstone of our faith. Through understanding each other, our similarities and differences, we can bridge gaps and heal divides for a peaceful future.

We are stewards of creation; we must care for and protect our shared, common home for future generations to enjoy.

Work is an essential part of our human dignity and everyone has the right to participate. The human person should always come before the pursuit of profit.










Our Learning Values









We are becoming…

determined, conscientious, responsible, reflective

empathy, sympathy, kindness, supportive, forgiving,

questioning, reasoning, exploring, reflecting, predicting

ambition, determination, goal setting, love of learning

risk-taking, consider differing points of view, courageous

adaptability, perseverance, seek challenge and support

honesty, self-belief, social and moral awareness, integrity




According to the ‘Good Practice in Early Education’ Research Report, January 2017, good practice in relation to curriculum planning includes approaches that are:


  • Tailored to individual needs;
  • Capitalised on children’s interests in order to achieve learning outcomes;
  • Flexible and responsive so that plans could be changed or adapted to follow the interests of the children and respond to external events;
  • Informed by on-going assessment;
  • Grounded in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework.


The Characteristics of Effective Learning underpin learning and development across all areas and support the child to remain an effective and motivated learner. These are :


  • Playing and Exploring-engagement
  • Active Learning-motivation
  • Creating and Thinking Critically-thinking.


The EYFS framework includes seven Areas of Learning that are equally important and inter-connected. Three of these areas are known as the Prime Areas and 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 the four Specific Areas:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

These four areas include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society:



Child Initiated learning is learning activity that children initiate themselves, as opposed to learning activity that is initiated and directed by adults, adults participate rather than lead. As such the classroom and outdoor area in EYFS is set up in a way for children to carry out meaningful experiences to support their learning. Children are encouraged to seek resources to support them to be independent learners.

Child-initiated learning involves cognitive, social, and physical learning that is within, but desirably near the upper limit of, each child’s abilities. It involves the inside-out learning of discovery and thinking about experience and the outside-in learning that comes from interaction with other people. Rather than controlling these activities, adults share control with children.


Adult Initiated or Adult-led activities are based on the teacher’s own professional understanding of what should be taught to young children and what experiences they should have. Through adult-led activities teachers introduce children to new ideas, provide opportunities for them to develop their skills and ensure that they experience all areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)


At St John’s, we aim to ensure:

  • A clearly defined learning environment designed to allow and encourage children to extend and deepen their understanding of the Early Years curriculum.
  • An environment that facilitates independence, curiosity and hands-on play-based learning.
  • An organisation of the school day that gives greater emphasis to Child initiated activities
  • Continuous Provision that enables children to explore recent learning, practice new skills and follow their own interests enhanced through careful interactions and use of high quality, engaging resources


Outdoor Learning

Learning outside the classroom supports the development of healthy and active lifestyles by offering children opportunities for physical activity, freedom and movement, and promoting a sense of well-being. It gives them contact with the natural world and offers them experiences that are unique to outdoors, such as direct contact with the weather and the seasons. Outdoor play also supports children’s problem-solving skills and nurtures their creativity, as well as providing rich opportunities for their developing imagination, inventiveness and resourcefulness.

The outdoor environment also offers more space than indoors and therefore is particularly important to those children who learn best through active movement. For many children, this may be the only opportunity they have to play safely and freely while they learn to assess risk and develop the skills to manage new situations

All children at St John’s have the opportunity to explore the outdoor learning environment where they will have the same opportunities to access the curriculum as inside. Focused teaching occurs where children have opportunities to interact with members of staff - practitioners joining the child’s play and skilfully using questioning to move children’s learning forward.

Children are encouraged to find and use equipment and resources independently. These are organised to allow all children including those with disability and/or SEND to explore and learn in a secure and safe space for most of the day. Children are able to flow freely between indoor and outdoor areas whilst remaining in ratio following statutory guidance for the EYFS.



Good planning is key to making children’s learning effective, exciting, varied and progressive. Effective learning builds on and extends what children know and can do. Our planning shows how the principles of the EYFS will be put into practice and is always informed by contributions from home, from the children themselves and from observations have made and interactions we have with the children, in order to understand and consider their current interests, development and learning.


All practitioners who work in Reception class are involved in this process.


There are three stages of planning the curriculum:


  • Long Term Planning: We have created a framework, which gives structure and coherence to the curriculum. Topics are planned for each of the six terms and the early learning goals and educational programmes are distributed over the terms, to determine broad and balanced coverage.
  • Medium Term Planning: We address particular aspects of the curriculum in more detail for each term. We include links between areas of learning and development and opportunities for Technology. Learning objectives, assessment opportunities, and activities and experiences for each area of learning and development are identified.
  • Short Term Planning: We identify specific learning objectives and plan activities, differentiation, deployment of adults and resources, to meet the learning needs of the children on a weekly and day-to-day basis.


Planning reflects and supports the Characteristics of Effective Learning and the different ways children learn. Objective-led planning is used to target a small groups of children who are working towards the same learning goal.



For every child starting Reception, our practitioners will complete a baseline assessment in their first 6 weeks of school.

At the end of Reception we use the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) to judge whether a child is ‘Emerging’, ‘Expected’, or ‘Exceeding’ in all 17 areas of learning.


Effective assessment presents a holistic view of a child’s learning. Our assessment of children is based primarily on the knowledge gained from practitioners within Year R informed predominantly from observation and interaction during a range of daily activities and events it also takes account of the voice of the child, their parents and other relevant adults.

Embedded learning is identified by assessing what a child can do consistently and independently in a range of everyday situations and is recorded through Tapestry and within children Learning Journals


  • Formative assessment: This type of assessment informs everyday planning and is based on continual observational assessment of each child’s achievements, interests and learning styles.
  • Summative assessment: At the end of the Reception year the EYFS Profile is completed which provides information of a child’s knowledge, understanding and their progress. The Profile reflects the on-going observations and assessments which have been made during the year. Evaluations are made in each of the 7 areas of learning, assessing against the early learning goals criteria. Each child will be assessed as either ‘meeting expected levels’, ‘exceeding expected levels’ or not yet reaching expected levels (emerging) in each of the 7 areas of learning.


At the end of EYFS

The national expectation is for children to achieve a ‘Good Level of Development’ (GLD). At the end of EYFS GLD is when a child achieves ‘expected; within all strands within the prime areas of learning as well as all strands within literacy and maths’.

However, every child is unique. Some will exceed this expectation, while others may still be working towards it.

Our aim is for all children to progress to their full potential (and at least make good progress from their relative starting points).



Pre-school – Year R

At St John the Baptist Catholic Primary School, we have close links with the local preschools. Reception practitioners utilise the transfer records from pre-school settings to inform them about each new intake. During the Summer Term, the EYFS teacher and an LSA undertake home visits and visits to the feeder nurseries and play groups, to meet and interact with children in a familiar setting and make contact with nursery colleagues to engage in a professional dialogue about where each child is in their learning and development. In addition, all prospective children have the opportunity to visit the school and their classroom for a number of ‘taster’ sessions.

In the second half of the summer term, parents attend an information meeting which introduces them to the school’s key personnel and its procedures and practices. The children are invited to join their new class teacher for story times to enable strong relationships to begin to develop.

Children are inducted on an increasing attendance programme attending for half a day (either mornings or afternoons depending on their age and stage) which increases to include lunchtimes and then finally to full time. This allows the children to feel secure in their new environment and gradually build up to full-time attendance.

Each child has a key person. Children can concentrate and learn more effectively if not under stress or pressure so having a key person who is attentive and knows their child well will support children in their personal, social and emotional development.

Children thrive when their needs are met by special people who they know, trust and respect. They learn by observing and being with others. The key person is an important role model for the child who they can relate to and rely on. (Early Years Handbook 2020)


Reception – Year 1

Reception and Year 1 work together to make the transition from the Early

Years Foundation Stage to Key Stage 1 as smooth as possible. Teachers have time to discuss and expand on the information presented in the EYFS profile. In particular, the narrative around the Characteristics of Effective Learning which will give teachers significant details about each child’s learning and development.


  • Reception children meet Year 1 teacher regularly during the Reception year for shared learning with Year 1 children
  • Through phased pupil progress meetings year 1 teachers are part of the professional dialogues which occur throughout the year when discussing Reception children.
  • Reception children have the opportunity to make many visits to their new Year 1 class and spend time with their new teacher in the summer term
  • There is a similar structure to the school day during the Autumn Term when the children move into Year 1
  • There is an overlap in approach and routines, e.g. behaviour systems, timetables, etc.
  • Where possible, the Year 1 children continue to enjoy practical learning experiences which gradually become more formalised towards the end of the academic year
  • The ‘Letters and Sounds’ approach to phonics and spelling is continued throughout Year 1 and 2


Home / School links

We recognise that parents are the child’s first and most enduring educators.

When parents and practitioners work together in early year’s settings, the results have a positive impact on the child’s development. A successful partnership needs to be a two-way flow of information, knowledge and expertise.


We develop this by:

  • Outlining the Reception curriculum to parents during the new parents’ meeting in July, to enable them to understand the value of supporting their child’s learning at home
  • Home-School Communication – regular “What we are learning” emails.
  • Operating an “open door” policy, whereby parents can come and discuss concerns and developments in an informal manner in addition to the regular Parent’s Consultations
  • Sharing progress at school and encouraging parents to comment on their child’s WOW certificate.
  • Inviting parents into class to share in their children’s learning.
  • Inviting parents to help in the Reception class or other classes in the school
  • Encouraging parents to listen to their child read each night and to comment on reading progress in a home/school contact book
  • Encouraging relevant learning tasks to be continued at home ensuring that experiences at home are used to develop learning in school
  • Providing an annual written report to parents in July summarizing the child’s progress against the Early Learning Goals and giving an outline of their child’s Characteristics of Effective Learning


Welfare and Safeguarding

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 follow the safeguarding and welfare requirements detailed in the EYFS Statutory Guidance (2017)

  • Children enjoy daily fruit/vegetables and are encouraged to drink water throughout the day
  • Free school lunch is available to children
  • Risk assessments are carried out when children go on a school visit in line with our Educational Visits Policy
  • Transition is carefully planned for the children from Reception to Year 1 (see separate section on transition)
  • Home and nursery visits are conducted at the beginning of the Autumn Term in order for us to gather and exchange important information that will help children settle well into Reception.



At St John’s we provide all pupils, regardless of ethnicity, culture, religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties, disabilities, gender or ability, equal access to all aspects of school life and work to ensure that every child is valued fully as an individual.

Practitioners, as role models, are aware of the influence of adults in promoting positive attitudes and use that influence to challenge stereotypical ideas.



Children with additional educational needs will be given support as appropriate to enable them to benefit from the curriculum. This includes children that are more able, and those with specific learning difficulties and disabilities. Additional adult support may be provided for children with special needs, thus increasing the adult/pupil ratio. The school’s SENCO is responsible for providing additional information and advice to practitioners and parents, and for arranging external intervention and support where necessary.



Useful documents linking to this policy include:


  • Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage
  • EYFSP Handbook 2020
  • EYFS ARA 2020
  • Reception Class Long Term Planning
  • Home School Agreement
  • Agenda for Home Visits
  • Reception Booklet – to support with home learning
  • Induction Pack for new parents
  • Safeguarding Policy
  • Child Protection Policy