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Foundation Stage

At Hanborough Manor we aim to:

· Provide a safe, challenging, stimulating, caring and sharing environment which is sensitive to the needs of the child including children with additional needs.

· Provide a broad, balanced, relevant and creative curriculum that will set in place firm foundations for further learning and development in Key Stage 1 and beyond.

· Use and value what each child can do, assessing their individual needs and helping each child to progress.

· Enable choice and decision making, fostering independence and self-confidence.

· Work in partnership with parents and guardians and value their contributions, irrespective of ethnicity, culture, religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties, disabilities, gender or ability.

· Provide opportunities whereby children experience a challenging and enjoyable programme of learning and development.

· Provide experiences for all children, whatever their needs, which are inclusive rather than parallel.



EYFS Principles


The EYFS principles which guide the work of all practitioners are grouped into four distinct but complementary themes:

  • A Unique Child

  • Positive Relationships

  • Enabling Environments

  • Learning and Development


    Effective practice in the EYFS is built on these four guiding themes. They provide a context for the requirements and describe how practitioners should support the development, learning and care of young children. This policy outlines how we meet each of the four themes.



    1. A Unique Child

    We recognise that every child is a competent learner from birth 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 parents/carers and practitioners; we use appropriate levels of challenge, praise and encouragement and rewards, to encourage children to develop a positive attitude to learning.


    2. Positive Relationships

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


    3. Enabling Environments

    We recognise that the learning environment plays a key role in supporting and extending the children’s development. We view the environment as an “extra teacher‟, as resources and areas of learning are set out in such a way which encourages children to make independent and considered choices during their play. Children learn and develop well in enabling environments because they respond to their individual need.


    4. Learning and Development

We recognise that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. We aim to cater for all children by providing an inclusive setting.


Teaching and Learning


The Areas of Learning

Individual children’s progress will be at different rates and levels of achievement will vary. All children will follow a balanced curriculum that enables them to make progress towards the Learning Outcomes which are now divided into two areas.


Prime Areas

The prime areas begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, and run through and support learning in all other areas. The prime areas continue to be fundamental throughout the EYFS. Prime areas are fundamental to development in all other areas.


Specific Areas

The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge. They grow out of the prime areas, and provide important contexts for learning. Specific areas include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society. These are divided up further into 17 learning Areas:


Prime Areas

Personal, Social and

Emotional Development

Making relationships

Self-confidence and self-awareness

Managing feelings and behaviour

Physical Development

Moving and handling

Health and self-care

Communication and Language

Listening and attention



Specific areas






Shape, space and measure

Understanding the World

People and communities

The world


Expressive Arts and Design

Exploring and using media and materials

Being imaginative




Characteristics of Effective Learning

We recognise that children learn effectively when they are able to play, explore and think creatively and critically. This belief underpins the teaching and learning experiences provided at Hanborough Manor. The Characteristics of Effective Learning are:

Playing and exploring


Finding out exploring

Playing with what they know

Being willing to ‘have a go’

Active learning


Being involved and concentrating

Keeping trying

Enjoying achieving what they set out to do

Creating and thinking critically


Having their own ideas

Making links

Choosing ways to do things



We recognise the importance of children’s play. It is an essential part of their learning process, supporting them in all areas of development. Play is a powerful motivator, encouraging children to be creative and develop their ideas, understanding and language. Play is also flexible and able to suit the preferred learning style of the child. It can provide multiple ways for the children to learn a variety of different skills and concepts.

We organise the day to provide a balance between the following:

Child initiated activities – children make choices from within the learning environment

Adult initiated activities – practitioners provide the resources to stimulate and consolidate learning

Adult Led activities – children engage in planned activities to meet specific learning outcomes

We recognise that young children learn best when they are active. We understand that active learning involves other people, objects, ideas and events that engage and involve children for sustainable periods. Therefore, we believe that Early Years education should be as practical as possible and we have an ethos of learning through play.


The Learning Environment

We strive to provide an environment which is:

  • Welcoming, stimulating and safe

  • Appropriate for young children’s physical needs

  • Inclusive of indoor and outdoor learning environments

  • Organised with resources so that children can be make choices and be independent learners

  • Using displays to reinforce the value of children’s work and celebrate achievements

  • Good quality with a variety of play experiences

  • Reflective of all areas of the curriculum using designated areas

  • Having designated areas that provide opportunities to promote good listening, sitting, speaking, turn taking and learning behaviours


Observation, Assessment and Planning

On-going formative assessment is at the heart of Early Years practice. We follow an observation, assessment and planning cycle, with assessment in the EYFS taking the form of long, short and recorded observations and this involves the teacher and other adults as appropriate. These observations are used to inform assessments. We make regular assessments of children’s learning and we use this information to ensure that future planning reflects identified needs. Assessment judgements are recorded on Target Tracker four times a year. A baseline assessment is carried out on entry into the reception year.


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

Parents and guardians are given the opportunities to meet with the Foundation Stage Team and an end of year written report in relation to the children’s progress, achievements and next steps.




We value the importance of working in partnerships with:

Parents – We recognise the importance of establishing positive relationships with parents and recognise their role as the child’s primary educator. We encourage regular sharing of information about the children with parents. We encourage parents to share their knowledge of their child, providing further insight into the child as an individual (e.g. wow slips, interests, experiences, likes, dislikes).

Other professionals – we engage with a variety of other professionals as appropriate.

Eynsham Partnership Academy Schools meet regularly to share good practice and take part in moderation activities.


Equal Opportunities

All practitioners at Hanborough Manor have a responsibility to maintain positive attitudes to diversity and difference, ensuring that inclusive practice is delivered in the EYFS setting. All children, irrespective of gender, ability, ethnicity, culture or religion, and social circumstances, have the opportunity to experience a challenging and enjoyable programme of learning and development.


Monitoring and Review

There is a named governor for EYFS who will discuss practice with practitioners. The SMT will carry out monitoring on the EYFS as part of the whole school monitoring schedule.