Ofsted Homework Policy For Kindergarten

Curriculum Policy

Early Years Foundation Stage Policy

Introduction

This policy describes how Golders Hill School implements the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (DfE, 2012).  It sets out how Golders Hill School takes a holistic approach to children’s well-being, education and health.  It documents the continuing process of improvement of the learning environment, staff training, parent partnership and the quality of provision of education at our school.  This on-going reflective practice is fostered through regular staff meetings which offer opportunities for all members of the staff to contribute to our development targets.

This policy is to be read in conjunction with the full range of policies contained in the Golders Hill School Policy Folders (kept in each office).

The Four Themes – Principles into practice

Golders Hill School has regard to the ‘Four Themes’ set out in Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (BAfECE/DfE, 2012). They will not be addressed in isolation as they are integrated into our practice.

A Unique Child   Positive Relationships   Enabling Environments   Learning and Development

Observation, profiling, analysis and planning

Golders Hill School recognises the importance of recording the perspectives of all those concerned in a child’s care, learning and development. Consequently, our EYFS Profile Folders (see Appendix 1) contain information from the parents and carers, the child, the teacher, the teaching assistants and other professionals working with the child.

Brief daily observations are made by all staff.  These record interests and preferences, give evidence of learning and provide information relating to achievement of the EYFS learning goals.  Full contextual information should be noted in addition to the content of the observation.   Longer forms of observation (see Appendix 2) are used to focus on a particular child’s development in particular areas or at key points of personal development.

Dated photographs and work samples are collected to give a balance of information regarding learning processes and outcomes.

The class teacher is responsible for analysing the observational evidence and using it to plan (and gather resources) for each child’s learning, following individual preferences where possible.  (See also the Policy on Teacher Standards, Appraisal and Capability).

Learning through play and teachable moments

At Golders Hill School, we aim to provide a balance between child-initiated play, and well-informed responses to teachable moments.  We offer a broad range of experiences to the children in order to stimulate their interest, facilitate meaningful communication and promote purposeful, interactive play. We offer a balanced curriculum to extend their thinking processes. Staff are aware of the benefits of sustaining a dialogue with the children either individually (responding to questions and asking open questions) or as a group (with shared thinking themes threading through the routines of the class).

Inclusion and diverse needs

(See also our Equality Policy and our SEN/ALN Policy)

Golders Hill School has an open admissions policy.  Diversity is celebrated.  Individual children are enabled to reach their full potential through differentiated approaches to learning. We strive to offer equal access to the curriculum and equal opportunities to experience success to all of the children in our care. All children should feel that all activities are open to them.  Resources should reflect the diverse cultures in our world as well as those represented within the school.

Our learning environment

At Golders Hill, we are aware that both the physical surroundings and the ethos of the school affect the children’s ability to learn.  Members of staff working in the EYFS are responsible for preparing a welcoming, safe and enabling environment within their classrooms and the outdoor spaces. This includes offering a range of activities that the children can reach and select themselves.  The ethos should be warm and accepting, whilst encouraging children to reach their full potential.

Safeguarding and Welfare

Golders Hill School has a Safeguarding Policy and its provisions apply to the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Reflection and improvement

All staff in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) attend regular meetings and training sessions in order to share good practice and to improve our provision. It is the responsibility of all EYFS staff members to reflect upon their practice and to work as part of a supportive team, working together to implement the national and local requirements.  It is the responsibility of the Senior Management Committee to facilitate regular opportunities for training, discussion and shared planning.  The School Development Plan also includes Areas for Improvement which involve the EYFS year groups.

Parent partnerships and our local community

The EYFS classes at Golders Hill School strive to maintain open exchanges of information with parents and carers on a daily basis.  Parents are also active in the school, running the Library and organising social and fundraising events through FROGS (Friends of Golders Hill School). Parents also share their knowledge, culture and religious beliefs through talks and assemblies.

The EYFS classes incorporate into the curriculum visits to and by members of our local community. These have included doctors, dentists, the fire brigade, authors, artists and members of religious communities.

The Characteristics of Effective Learning and the areas of Learning and Development

Characteristics:            Playing and exploring – engagement

                                    Active learning – motivation

                                    Creating and thinking critically – thinking

Staff working in Golders Hill School’s early years classrooms will observe and note the learning characteristics of the children in their care.

Prime Areas of Learning and Development:              Personal, Social and Emotional

                                                                                    Physical

                                                                                    Communication and Language

Staff working in the Pre-Nursery and Nursery will focus particularly on the Prime Areas of Learning and Development (but not to the exclusion of the Specific Areas).

Specific Areas of Learning and Development:           Literacy

                                                                                    Mathematics

                                                                                    Understanding the World

                                                                                    Expressive Arts and Design

Staff working in the Kindergarten and Reception classes will expand the learning in the Specific Areas and continue planning for progress in the Prime Areas.

The progress of each child through the areas of learning is tracked through observation and some summative assessment.  Golders Hill School values the processes of exploration and investigation and records evidence of such processes using photographs, videos, microphones and notes.

Planning for Learning, Development and Care

Teachers in the EYFS at Golders Hill should submit their planning to the Head Teacher (by Friday for the following week).  From time to time, the Head Teacher reviews evaluations of lessons and activities.

Plans should include learning objectives for groups of children and for individual children. Individual children should be identified by their initial only.  Class Teachers may select a general theme for the class to study and investigate each half-term and the on-going planning should include child initiated aspects of that theme.

Outline half-termly and weekly planning should aim to cover the learning and development areas with a balance of exploration, teaching and practical activities. 

Staff Development

All members of the EYFS staff have their own training folder with copies of the current Statutory and Non-Statutory documents.  All staff are aware that they must have regard to this guidance whilst observing children and whilst planning and resourcing learning opportunities for individual children.

Transitions

On entry to Golders Hill School, the class teacher will gather information from the child’s parents, previous school and by observation and base-line assessment. All of this information will be placed within the Golders Hill School Early Years Foundation Stage Profile folder.

On transfer from Golders Hill School to a state maintained school during the EYFS or Year 1, the class teacher will review and update the Golders Hill School Early Years Foundation Stage Profile folder. Those parts of the Profile folder that evidence the achievement of Early Learning Goals will be given to the office for forwarding to the new school.  All other assessments (such as NFER papers, assessments relating to parent consultations and other work samples) will be retained at Golders Hill School and should be given to the office separately for archiving. It is not necessary to complete the London Borough of Barnet’s booklet ‘All About Me – One More Step’ in addition to the Golders Hill School EYFS Profile.

On transfer from Golders Hill School to an independent school during the EYFS or Year 1, the class teacher will provide a report on each of the areas of Learning and Development or will complete any form provided by the receiving school. This is in addition to passing on the GHS EYFS Profile, if requested by the new school.

On transferring between year groups at Golders Hill School, the Golders Hill EYFS Profile folder must be completed by the May half-term holiday.  Each year group should make a record of the child’s progress through the ‘ages and stages’ of the Development Matters guidance cross referenced to the accompanying, dated evidence

Reception class teachers will review the children’s achievements (backed by dated, observational evidence) across the final year of the Early Years Foundation Stage (up to the May half-term holiday.) The final draft of the Reception class teachers’ profile judgements and the accompanying evidence (in the Golders Hill Profile folder) will be submitted to the Head Teacher prior to the May half term holiday for moderation, analysis and quality assurance.

A copy of the submission summary sent to the London Borough of Barnet in June will be kept for comparison with previous and future cohorts.

This policy was drafted by the Curriculum Coordinator and circulated to gather contributions from the staff in October 2012.

Date of Policy:

Signed  ……A T Eglash………………………..

November 2012

Review date: October 2015

Two Folkestone schools are celebrating good Ofsted reports this week after previously being told to improve at their last inspections.

Both Folkestone Academy and Christ Church CofE Primary Academy were rated as ‘good’ by inspectors following their last ratings of ‘requires improvement’.

Folkestone Academy, which has more than 1,800 pupils aged between three and 18, was last inspected by Ofsted in June 2013.

Folkestone Academy

Inspectors said they were impressed with the teaching, pupil behaviour and leadership at the school after their visit to the Academy Lane school in October.

However, one of the reasons it was not rated “outstanding” overall was because the school’s secondary homework policy was “unsustainable”.

The school has been told it needs to review the existing policy “urgently” and “in full consultation with parents and pupils so that it is workable and accepted in the academy community”.

Hundreds of parents protested during the summer holidays over changes made by the school which were described as a “total joke” by some.

A petition was raised against the school’s plans to reintroduce homework to pupils despite the school day lasting two hours longer than most.

Warren Smith, head teacher of Folkestone Academy

Early years provision at the Folkestone Academy, for pupils in the kindergarten and reception class at the Primary Academy, was rated “outstanding”.

The report praises children for achieving higher than the national average by the time they finish reception year. It adds leaders and staff in the kindergarten and reception show “considerable expertise”.

Inspectors recognised the academy did not meet secondary pupils’ results and progress in 2014 but that it is “likely to meet” the standards for both primary and secondary in 2015 based on “unvalidated results”.

Head teachers Warren Smith, of Folkestone Academy, and Louise Lythgoe, of Folkestone Primary Academy, said in a statement: “We are extremely proud that the findings of this inspection reinforced what we know to be true: That our students are wonderful and our staff work exceptionally hard to enable each of them to fulfil their potential.

“The Academy is a good school and it’s improving. We are excited by the challenge of the next phase of our development.”

However, while there were positive reports inspectors noted areas where improvements were still needed.

Louise Lythgoe, head teacher of Folkestone Primary Academy

This included the homework issue but highlighted teaching is “not consistently good in Years 7 to 11” while GCSE results are “not yet good enough”.

Christ Church Academy showed improvements across several areas, inspectors said in the school’s report published this week.

It was rated as “requires improvement” during the school’s last inspection in June 2013.

The Brockman Road school, which has 410 pupils, was visited by inspectors last month.

The report notes there has been “important improvements in the quality of teaching since the previous inspection” and teaching is “consistently good” throughout the school.

It praised teachers for planning “lively, interesting lessons which engage and enthuse pupils”.

Christ Church Academy head teacher Jim Kreiselmeier

The report said the school was not yet outstanding because some teachers did not always tailor mathematics activities to individual pupil needs “particularly the most able” who complete their work “too easily”.

Inspectors said the school should also make sure “all subject leaders analyse and use information about pupils’ progress rigorously to secure further improvements in the quality of teaching”.

Head teacher Jim Kreiselmeier said he was pleased with the report and the recognition from Ofsted about the progress the school had made.

He added: “I think this time they got our Academy spot on.

“We’ve gone through the report and had a thorough discussion and how we can move forward and about how we can keep getting better and better.

“We’re here to provide the best education possible.”

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