Lowick and Holy Island C. of E. First Schools

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Play Policy

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the Reception year. At Lowick and Holy Island C. of E. First Schools (to be known as the school for the purpose of this document), children join the EYFS Unit in the term in which they become three i.e. ‘Rising 3’s’. They progress through the EYFS becoming Reception aged children in the year that they turn five. In partnership with parents and carers we enable the children to begin the process of becoming active learners for life. We endeavour to ensure that children “learn and develop well and kept healthy and safe.” We aim to support children in their learning through “teaching and experiences that gives children the broad range of skills that provide the right foundation for good progress through school and in life.” (Statutory Framework for the EYFS 2012)

At the school: “Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Play is used as an essential part children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults. There is an on-going judgement to be made by practitioners about the balance between activities led by children, and activities led or guided by adults. Practitioners must 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, it is expected that the balance will gradually shift towards more activities led by adults, to help children prepare for more formal learning, ready for Year 1.”

(Statutory Framework for EYFS 2012)  


The EYFS is based upon four principles:

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 assemblies and rewards, to encourage children to develop a positive attitude to learning.

We meet the needs of all our children through:


It is important to us that all children in the school are ‘safe’. We aim to educate children on boundaries, rules and limits and to help them understand why they 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. (See Whole School Safeguarding Policy)

“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.”

(Statutory Framework for the EYFS 2012)  

At the school we understand that we are legally required to comply with certain welfare requirements as stated in the Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage 2012. We understand that we are required to:

Positive Relationships

At the school we recognise that children learn to be strong independent from secure relationships. We aim to develop caring, respectful, professional relationships with the children and their families.  

Parents as Partners

We recognise that the contribution that parents make. We recognise the role that parents have played, and their future role, in educating the children. We do this through:

Enabling Environments

We aim to create an attractive and stimulating play and learning environment where children feel confident, secure and challenged. The children have daily access to an indoor and outdoor environment that is set up in discrete areas of learning with planned continuous provision.

Effective learning builds and extends upon prior learning and following children’s interest. Effective planning is informed by observations of the children to ensure we follow their current interests and experiences. These observations are recorded using Tapestry and shared with parents immediately.

Play based learning is paramount and children direct their own learning from carefully planned opportunities provided by staff. Staff will enhance play and extend as needed to further individual learning.

Learning and Development

There are seven areas of learning and development, of which three are “Prime Areas,” and four “Specific Areas.”

The Prime Areas are:

Communication and Language

Physical Development

Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

The specific areas are:



Understanding of the World and

Expressive Arts and Design

Through careful assessments and observations, including information provided by parents and other settings, children’s development levels are assessed. The balance will shift towards a more equal focus on all areas of learning as children grow in confidence and ability within the three prime areas.  

Planning and guided children’s activities will reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in their practice. At the school we support children in using the three characteristics of effective teaching and learning. These are;

(Taken from statutory framework for the EYFS 2012)

Equal Opportunities

All members of the school are treated as individuals. We aim to meet the needs of all, taking account of gender, ability, ethnicity, culture, religion, language, sexual orientation, age, special educational needs, disability, and social circumstances. All staff are aware of the need for the curriculum to reflect cultural diversity and the need to prepare pupils for life in a diverse and multi-faith society.  

Health and Safety

At the school there are clear procedures for assessing risk (see whole school risk assessment policy) which includes procedures for keeping children safe during outings and for any aspects of the environment or provision that may require a further risk assessment. In addition to this, an annual risk assessment is conducted of the EYFS (see EYFS risk assessment) and in safeguarding and child protection polices, as well as a daily Risk Assessment of the EYFS environment, there is detailed information and procedures to ensure the safety of the children. The EYFS risk assessment must be read in conjunction with other relevant whole school polices (see EYFS risk assessment)  

Transition From Home/Pre-school /Feeder settings

During the term prior to a child’s entry into the EYFS Unit, the following procedures have been put into place to ensure successful transition:

From Reception Class to Key Stage 1

During the final term in Reception, the EYFS Profile is completed for each child. The Profile provides parents and carers, staff and teachers with a well-rounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their progress against expected levels, and their readiness for Year 1. The Profile includes on-going observation, all relevant records held by the setting, discussions with parents and carers, and any other adults whom the teacher, parent or carer judges can offer a useful contribution.  

Each child’s level of development is assessed against the early learning goals. The profile indicates whether children are meeting expected levels of development, or if they are exceeding expected levels, or not yet reaching expected levels (‘emerging’). Year 1 teachers are given a copy of the Profile Report together with a short commentary on each child’s skills and abilities in relation to the three key characteristics of effective learning. This informs the dialogue between Reception and the Year 1 teacher about each child’s stage of development.

Date Adopted

Review dates

April 2015

April 2017

April 2018

Policy developed by: C. Vanson (Headteacher) April 2015

We were awarded Outstanding in both schools Ofsted Inspections  ARTSMARK: We have achived a GOLD award for our arts in school. "Artsmark provides a benchmark for arts provision that encourages schools to consider the opportunities they offer in art, dance, drama and music.  ICTMark Award  HealthandWellbeingLogo s   Active 08  Financial Management in Schools  Naace Feature School  3rd-Millennium-Learning-Logo-v5Eco Schools Bronze Award s

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