Early Years Education. Policy Statement.
Early Years Education is the foundation upon which children build the rest of their lives and is an education that encompasses all learning. This policy outlines the purpose, nature and management of early years at our school.
The School Policy reflects the consensus of opinion of the whole teaching staff and has support and agreement of the governing body. The document was approved at a meeting of the Governing Body on ...
The implementation of this policy is the responsibility of all the members of staff.
The Nature of Early Years Education.
In this policy the early years of education refers to children under the age of 5 and to all children in the reception year. In the national curriculum this is referred to as YR. Early years education is concerned with the physical, social, emotional, aesthetic and intellectual development of the individual child, with no one area standing in isolation from the others.
The reception children are given opportunities to develop in five areas i.e. physically, socially, emotionally, aesthetically and intellectually. Reception children will encounter the national curriculum where appropriate to their stage of development. Each child is viewed as an individual with specific needs being met in appropriate ways, and with individuality being encouraged. Independence is fostered and each child is encouraged to reach their full potential.
Children use large and small apparatus to promote confidence and competence, and work with a wide range of materials to develop manipulative skills.
Children are enabled to participate as effective members of a group and the whole class, as well as individuals. They are made aware of behavior, which is acceptable to others, and are encouraged to share resources, ideas, thoughts and adult time. Children are helped to consider the needs of others. A positive self-image is reinforced.
Children are led increasingly to independence by being encouraged to develop a sense of responsibility and to take increasing control of their own feelings by expressing them in acceptable ways. Situations are provided where a range of emotions can be experienced and explored.
Children are helped to foster a sense of beauty and wonder and to explore their own creativity.
Children have the opportunity to become involved in a wide range of first hand experiences leading to the acquisition of knowledge, skills and concepts. Concentration and perseverance are encouraged as the children are introduced to appropriate aspects of the national curriculum. A real interest in learning is fostered.
The early years curriculum is delivered through structured play where the learning has been clearly identified.
The curriculum balances experiences in the five areas of development. In the first few weeks of the academic year, emphasis is placed on the social and emotional development of children. Activities are based around topics or themes that introduce skills and concepts from the national curriculum subjects.
A particular emphasis is given to personal health and hygiene.
Children are taught in a mixed ability class. There is a trained Early years teacher and a fully qualified NNEB with STA (Special teachers assistant) qualifications who works in with reception children, particularly during the periods of admission. Activities within the classroom and further afield are planned to encourage full and active participation of all children whatever their ability, ensuring that individual potential is met.
Children will be given opportunities to use the tape recorder to record their stories and sounds around them. They will also have opportunities to use the listening center. Children will be given the opportunity to use the A3000 computer and a variety of software. The Roamer is also introduced to the children during their reception year.
Boys and girls have equal access to, and are encouraged to take part in, all activities. Children are given opportunities to explore and enjoy stories, poetry, music, art and play materials from a wide range.
The reception class is a self-contained area with toilet facilities shared with a small group of YR1 children.
Safe use of equipment is taught and the idea of a safe environment is promoted.
The Reception children have well ordered and easily accessible resource areas.
Role of parents.
Parents are encouraged to help in school on a regular basis and to become involved in their childs education.
The early years teacher will hold a meeting with the parents of pre-school children in the term before admission. At this meeting the schools early years policy and the way in which the school day is structured will be explained.
Parents of pre-school children will receive copies of the booklet Starting School and the school prospectus prior to the meeting.
Children are admitted in September according to their date of birth, initially on a part time basis. There is a staggered admission system, which is explained in detail.
Baseline assessment on admission to the school is integral to the monitoring of subsequent progress. We use the accredited Cheshire Achievement on Entry for our baseline assessment at this initial stage. Teachers make planned, regular observations, which lead, to assessments of the childrens needs and achievements. When children reach statutory school age, more formal assessments are made. During year 1 we use MIST - Middle Infant Screening Test and in year 2 the children are all assessed by compulsory end of key stage 1 testing and this takes place during the last term of year 2.
This policy was informed by reference to the Government Committee of Enquiry Report and guidance from Cheshire Education Authority and Lincolnshire Curriculum Service. Reference is made to SCAA Nursery Education Desirable Outcomes for Childrens Learning on entering compulsory education.
The headteacher and the staff will review this policy in the summer term of 1998 and any amendments will be presented to the governors for discussion at their first meeting in the Autumn Term 1998.