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Spring Meadow

Primary School

Aim High, Inspire, Make a Difference

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Foundation Stage Policy (including admissions)

Policy for Admissions to Foundation Stage

 

Aims of our Admission Process

  • To give children and parents / carers as much information as possible about Spring Meadow and the education we provide.
  • To make each child’s start a happy and successful one.
  • To begin a partnership with parents / carers that will be effective, productive and lasting.

 

Local Authority Admissions Procedure

The standard admission number for the school is 50.

 

Parents and carers must apply for their space at Spring Meadow through the Local Authority Admissions process.  We are not permitted to accept applications made directly to the school.

 

Parents / Carers are invited to look round school prior to deciding whether Spring Meadow is right school for them and their child.  We run open mornings in the Autumn Term each year (dates are advertised on our website), but are always happy to accommodate families by appointment if published times are not convenient.

 

On National Offer day, (usually 1st April), the Local Authority Planning & Admissions Department send out confirmation to the parent / carer and the school receives a copy of the list. 

 

Once admissions are confirmed, we will write out to welcome each child and his/her family and invite them to visit us for an open event when staff can share what we offer at Spring Meadow and introduce the team, and parents can ask any questions that they might have.

 

We also invite the children to spend time with us in the term prior to them starting school.  This is organised into 2 or 3 sessions, where the children are invited to spend time in the classroom for a couple of hours to meet their teachers and get to know their new classmates.

 

For some children, particularly if they have additional needs or are very anxious, we will visit them in their nursery settings.  

 

In the Autumn Term, just prior to the children starting school, we will also visit them in their homes.   This provides an opportunity to share information on a less formal basis, and for us to find out about the children as individuals in a secure and non-threatening environment.

 

There is an induction process for the beginning of the child’s first term, building up their time in school.  This will be communicated to parents before the end of the Summer break prior to their child starting school.  This is likely to involve a gradual start of some mornings only, building up to full time sessions.

 

Spring Meadow Foundation Stage Policy

 

 We at Spring Meadow School aim to provide an experience upon which the children build the rest of their lives.  We provide an education that encompasses all learning irrespective of gender, race or social background.

 

In this policy, Foundation Stage refers to all children aged 4 and 5 who are in Reception Year. The principles for Early Years Education and Foundation Stage are followed in this policy.

 

Our Foundation Stage Curriculum is designed to ensure coverage of the Stepping Stones and Early Learning Goals (ELG’s) of which there are 17 arranged under the 7 Areas for Learning headings.  The 7 Areas for Learning and the Characteristics of Effective Learning dictate what and how the curriculum is offer.  There are opportunities for the children to engage in activities planned by adults and also activities that they plan and initiate themselves. 

 

The Early Learning Goals are organised into 7 Areas of Learning.  The first 3 are described as The Prime Areas and the second 4 are described as The Specific Areas:

 

The Prime Areas

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development  -  successful personal, social and emotional development is critical for very young children in all aspects of their lives and gives them the best opportunity for success in all other areas of learning.  This area of learning is about feeling good about you.  It is also about developing respect for others, social competence and a positive disposition to learn. 

 

  • Physical Development - is about improving the skills of co-ordination, control, manipulation and movement.  Physical development is inseparable from all other aspects of development because children learn through being active and interactive. 

 

  • Communication and Language-depends on learning and being competent in a number of key skills, together with having the confidence, opportunity, encouragement, support and disposition to use them.  This includes communication, speaking and listening in different situations and for different purposes, being read a wide range of books and reading simple texts and writing for a variety of purposes. 

 

The Specific Areas

  • Literacy-involves encouraging children to read and write both through listening to others reading, and being encouraged to begin to read and write themselves. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials – for example books, poems, and other materials to ignite their interest. 

 

  • Mathematical Development - involves providing children with opportunities to practise and improve their skills in counting numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems, and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures this depends on becoming confident and competent in learning and using key skills.  This area of learning includes sorting, matching, seeking patterns, making connections, recognising relationships and working with numbers

 

  • Understanding the World - involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.  In this area children are developing the crucial knowledge and skills and understanding that help them to make sense of the world.  This forms the foundation for later work in science, design and technology, history, geography and information communication technology & RE.

 

  • Expressive Arts and Design- involves supporting 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.  Creativity is fundamental to successful learning and enables children to make connections between one area of learning and another and so extend their understanding.  

 

The Characteristics for Learning are followed:- 

 

1. Playing and exploring - engagement 

  • Finding out and exploring is concerned with the child’s open-ended hands-on experiences which result from innate curiosity and provide raw sensory material from which the child builds concepts, tests ideas and finds out. 
  • Using what they know in their play describes how children use play to bring together their current understandings, combining, refining and exploring their ideas in imaginative ways. Representing experiences through imaginative play supports the development of narrative thought, the ability to see from other perspectives, and symbolic thinking. 
  • Being willing to have a go refers to the child finding an interest, initiating activities, seeking challenge, having a ‘can do’ orientation, being willing to take a risk in new experiences, and developing the view of failures as opportunities to learn. 

 

2. Active learning - motivation 

  • Being involved and concentrating describes the intensity of attention that arises from children concentrating on following a line of interest in their activities. 
  • Keeping on trying refers to the importance of persistence even in the face of challenge or difficulties, an element of purposeful control which supports resilience. 
  • Enjoying achieving what they set out to do refers to the reward of meeting one’s own goals, building on the intrinsic motivation which supports long-term success, rather than relying on the approval of others. 

 

3. Creating and thinking critically - thinking 

  • Having their own ideas covers the critical area of creativity - generating new ideas and approaches in all areas of endeavour. Being inventive allows children to find new problems as they seek challenge, and to explore ways of solving these. 
  • Using what they already know to learn new things refers to the way in which children develop and link concepts, find meaning in sequence, cause and effect and in the intentions of others through both narrative and scientific modes of thought. 
  • Choosing ways to do things and finding new ways involves approaching goal-directed activity in organised ways making choices and decisions about how to approach tasks, planning and monitoring what to do and being able to change strategies.

 

Adults

Parents are seen as partners and encouraged to help both in school and at home.  Through regular formal and informal communication with parents / carers, a relationship and understanding is developed which supports effective practice.  Information about Early Learning Goals (ELG’s), the Foundation Profile and ways to help at home will maintain effective two way links.  Each child has a home school contact book which is initially used as a reading log but is also used as a way of sharing information between home and school.

 

Assessment

During the final year of the EYFS, practitioners must undertake ongoing (formative) assessment to support each child’s learning and development. There is no requirement that this is recorded in any specific manner or at specified points in time; practitioners should be mindful of their professional responsibility for the learning and development of every child in their care and plan the provision needed to enable children to take the next steps in their learning. 

In the final term of the EYFS practitioners must review their knowledge of each child using information from all sources to make a judgement for each ELG. 

Practitioners must make a judgement for each ELG as to whether the child’s learning and development is best described by: 

  1. the description of the level of development expected at the end of the EYFS (expected); 
  2. not yet at the level of development expected at the end of the EYFS (emerging); 

 

In making this decision, practitioners must refer to the exemplification material which is available on the Department’s website at www.education.gov.uk/assessment. This material illustrates the standard expected for each ELG at the end of the EYFS. 

 

Practitioners must consider the entirety of each ELG and avoid splitting the descriptor into sections and ticking them off when making the decision. To create the most accurate picture of the child’s overall embedded learning an holistic view of the descriptor should be taken.

 

Equal Opportunities

We plan a learning environment that encourages a positive attitude to learning through rich and stimulating experiences that respect the community the children come from and the wider world.  We avoid stereotypical images and discriminatory practices. 

 

Planning

The school uses the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage for its long term, medium and short term guidance.  The weekly plans are devised from assessments of the children and what needs to be covered to move their learning on.  There are weekly plans to cover all the areas with well planned purposeful activities with identified learning objectives and assessment opportunities.  Regular classroom based observation is used for formative assessment to help inform subsequent short term planning.  All practitioners are part of the assessment and planning process which varies depending on the teacher.  

 

Play

Well planned play, both indoors and outdoors, is a key way in which young children learn with enjoyment and challenge.  The adult’s role is to encourage them to make choices and decisions, to try out their ideas and explore their feelings. 

 

Record Keeping

Records are kept in the form of observations and information gathered during the school day.  Records provide evidence of children’s progress, what interests them and how they are accessing the activities.  Photographs form the basis for this and are put into the pupil’s Profile Scrapbook or into class books.

 

Snack Time

As part of our curriculum and the Healthy School Initiative/Government Provision, there is a snack time each morning.  It is on a self-financing basis using parental contributions.  Children have opportunities to develop social skills and an awareness of healthy foods.  At times children are able to cook and prepare snacks for each other.

 

Special Needs

Some children will join the school with their particular needs or disabilities identified.  We work closely with other agencies to provide the best learning opportunities for individual children.  Other children’s needs may become apparent when they have been in school for a while.  Staff identify areas of particular difficulty and plan strategies to meet these needs in consultation with parents / carers.

 

Staffing

The staffing is based upon a team of adults lead by the Foundation Stage Teachers.  All staff possess different skills and expertise according to their training and roles.  They ensure that the children feel included, secure and valued.

 

Transition

In order to ensure a smooth transition to the literacy hour and daily mathematics lesson in Year 1, both of these elements are planned for by the end of the Reception Year.

 

Review

This policy will be reviewed in line with the Policy Review Schedule. 

 

Reviewed: Spring 2020

Next Review: Spring 2022

You can upload our Foundation Stage Policy here

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