At St Giles School, our aim is to provide all our children with a rich, stimulating and well-balanced environment. Our curriculum has been designed utilising Development Matters and prioritising the Characteristics of Effective Learning across its breadth. Due to the nature of our setting we do not have a stand alone Early Years Department. Instead we make provision for pupils in FS1 or FS2 within their appropriate Curriculum Cohorts. Within their classes we can develop and enhance each individual child’s potential.
Children are placed with us on completion of their Educational, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). They may come from local Assessment Nurseries, school nurseries, other placements out of the area and also from Children Centres. St. Giles School follows the current Nottinghamshire County guidelines on pupil entry to school. Pupils at ages three and four (F1) are entitled to 15 hours free education. For pupils at St Giles this means up to three full days in school. Pupils who are aged four (F2) before the 31st August in any school year will be able to attend school full time from the following September. In rare cases, pupils with an EHCP that fulfil the criteria for entry at the age of two years will be accepted. Staggered starts or shorter sessions can be negotiated with staff according to pupil need. In addition, some of our pupils may be dual placed, where they attend a private or mainstream nursery/primary school for a morning or afternoon session, which is a paid session privately arranged with the pupil’s parents and will be applicable in F1 year.
Parents, carers and other professionals working with the pupils play a crucial role in the transition from home and other settings to St. Giles. At the initial stage of entry to St. Giles, parents and carers are welcomed and encouraged to stay with their child and familiarise themselves with the class and school. At all times, in all classes, parents are encouraged to be as involved as they can be in their child’s learning and progress. Close home/school links are encouraged.
We aim to provide equal opportunities of access to the School Curriculum regardless of the degrees of disability, gender, race and culture.
We encourage respect for all people and an awareness of the rich variety of cultures and religions represented in our wider community.
At St. Giles School the majority of our pupils need adult support to access and progress in these areas. Our aim is to provide our children with a wide range of experiences that can help develop their individual needs and skills. Early exploration and play forms the basis of our work.
The aims and objectives of our provision are to work in line with the objectives set in each child’s Educational, Health and Care Plan. The school closely follows the aims of EYFS 2014 through its daily work, our irresistible curriculum, through parents meetings and the Annual Review process.
Teaching and Learning:
The curriculum reflects a topic-based approach led by a Big Question. The broad and ambitious curriculum offer is underpinned by learning directly taken from individual EHCP outcomes. Personalised Learning Plans will be followed in line with school policy and implemented as much as possible through the day to day class activities. There will be a mixture of whole class, small group and 1:1 teaching according to the mix and abilities of the class.
Progression of our children is ensured through differentiation of the curriculum and is monitored by both school leadership and classroom teachers. At the end of FS2 year pupils are assessed following the Early Years Pupil Profile. This is monitored at county and national level.
Foundation Stage Pupils are resourced under current school practice. Extra funds can be made available for specialist resources and equipment by a request to the school principal.
All equipment is monitored on a regular basis to ensure that it is appropriate for class needs and safe to use.
Assessment, Record keeping and Reporting:
In order to meet each child’s individual needs, observations and assessments are carried out regularly. These, along with other reports inform planning and also show progress. For learners within the Early Years, the main assessment tool is called Development Matters and is considered the assessment tool for all children at EYFS stage. Development Matters is a developmental assessment and at St. Giles we recognise that our pupils may need an alternative way of measuring their progress and so we may also use an assessment that measures the “small step” progress that our pupils may needs. We call this the St Giles Steps. Your child will then show their progress under both assessment measures. This progress is then used to form the Annual Review report. At the end of the Reception year (the academic year during which a child is five) children will be assessed using the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile which is a statutory assessment. Prior to and above this age pupils are assessed regularly using the St Giles Steps and also the class teacher’s own knowledge, skills and judgement.
Other professionals such as Speech and Language Therapists, Physiotherapists, Occupational therapists and other visiting professionals also liaise with the class teacher to initiate programmes and provide a holistic continuity of care.
Evidence of each child’s progress and experiences can be found on the class computer and in working books or learning journeys. These are updated regularly.
At St. Giles School we feel that it is important to maintain close collaboration with parents and carers. Communication is made on a daily basis through a home/school diary, informal meetings and telephone calls. Parents and carers are strongly encouraged to attend their child’s annual review meeting and parent’s evenings/coffee mornings. These offer the opportunities to discuss and review their child’s progress and any other issues or concerns. On entry to the school parents, outside agencies and relevant school staff are invited to a “pre – admissions” review where the needs of a pupil entering the school can be discussed and suitable structures put in place where possible. After a period of six weeks parents are then invited to a “post placement” review where a general review of initial pupil progress is discussed.
Staff Roles and Staff Support
The class teacher is responsible for the Early Year’s Curriculum and its delivery to the class. It is the responsibility of the teacher to coordinate and supervise the teaching support assistants so that the curriculum can be effectively delivered. Training for all staff is ongoing and staff are encouraged to participate in regular courses and to further their own professional careers through internal and external college training.
Monitoring and Evaluation
The Early Years Provision will be monitored and evaluated following the school’s Monitoring and Evaluation Policy.
Health and Safety Issues
The school has a medical support team who manage most situations on a daily basis however, if necessary, staff will be given training in the medical care of the children, for example tube feeding, gastrostomy and stoma care, oxygen, tracheostomy management, suctioning and administration of different medications and epilepsy support. Only when staff are trained and certified by a health professional will they be able to carry out medical procedures unsupervised. Reassessments will follow on a regular basis – usually yearly.
Children in class are supervised at all times and good staffing ratios ensure that all pupils remain safe within the school environment.
Staff follow the school’s Health and Safety policy and report to senior staff if there is a concern.
Early Years Foundation Stage 2014 Welfare Requirements.
The EYFS 2017 Statutory guidance sets out ten welfare and legal requirements which must be met by all early year’s settings. These are:
Staff Qualifications, training, support and skills
Suitable Premises, Environment and Equipment
Information and Records
In accordance with the implementation of EYFS 2014 all current school policies have been updated to meet these requirements.
Use of mobile phones.
In accordance with the EYFS Statutory Framework 2017 the following is in place within the classes with EYFS pupils.
Given the more vulnerable nature of children within the EYFS setting, extra care should be given to the use of devices in these year groups. All existing regulations regarding the use of devices apply to the EYFS. The following regulations are expected to be of particular note to the EYFS setting:
- Mobile phones must not be used in any teaching area or within the bathroom area
- All mobile phones and similar devices must be stored securely away from pupils during contact time with children. This includes staff, visitors, parents, volunteers and students
- Only school devices should be used to take photographs
This is to follow in line with the current, whole school policy on the use of technology.
Kirstie Passmore – Assistant Head Teacher