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Early Years Foundation Stage

At Hilltop School, children have the opportunity to start school from the age of 2 with the number of hours attended flexible to their needs. In partnership with parents and carers, we enable the children to begin the process of becoming active learners for life.  We believe that all children are entitled to the best possible start in their school life in order to enable them to develop their full potential and ‘be the best they can be’.

Transition into school is personalised to meet the child and family needs. Each child has a home visit and if appropriate, a visit to see them in their current setting. During the home visit the families will meet one of the Family Support Leads and the child’s class teacher and will have the opportunity to discuss and share information. At Hilltop School we recognise the importance of establishing positive relationships with parents. Therefore, communication between school and families occurs on a daily basis both verbally and through written feedback in home/school diaries. Each child is identified a keyworker who makes regular phone calls home to the families to discuss children’s progress, address any worries and keep families up to date with relevant information. Hilltop school’s Family Support Team are also available to support families when needed.

Hilltop consists of two EYFS classes; Yellow class and Orange class, children are placed in classes according to need. This ensures they are able to access the appropriate provision and the relevant therapies. At Hilltop School we recognise that young children learn best when they are active. Therefore, our EYFS setting has an ethos of learning through play. We believe that Early Years education should develop positive dispositions and attitudes to learning in all of our young people regardless of their needs or abilities. Key aspects of this are helping each child to develop a positive sense of self, develop their communication and interaction skills, and therefore build a child’s confidence by providing motivating activities and encouraging learning and independence.

Teaching in the EYFS at Hilltop is delivered in accordance with the ’The Statutory Framework 2021 for the Early Years Foundation Stage’. At Hilltop School our Early Years classes ensure development opportunities are guided by the four principles outlined in the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework 2021: A Unique Child, Positive Relationships; Enabling Environments and Learning and Development.

The Characteristics of Effective Learning; Playing and Exploring, Active Learning and Creating and Thinking Critically and the 7 areas of learning are inter-connected and form how we plan and deliver our Early Years Curriculum at Hilltop.

The seven Areas of Learning are used to deliver the appropriate teaching of knowledge, skills and understanding for all children. The seven Areas of Learning consist of the 3 Prime areas: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development and the 4 Specific Area: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.

At Hilltop School, children’s individual Education and Health Care Plans, Development Matters 2021, the Early Support Developmental Journal and Multiple Needs Journal are used to support target setting, monitor and track progress and inform planning. The Progress Check at 2, Reception Baseline Assessment and Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) are all completed at the appropriate time.