St Michael and St John's Primary School - Best Practice
Our project has continued to establish strong links between parents as partners and school practitioners in the Foundation Stage. This has led to improvement in accurately assessing children and has accelerated their learning as a direct result of the connection and contribution from their parents. The curriculum is now designed around the children's interest. By breaking down the barriers of home and school we have introduced a variety of home school links, which include parent questionnaires, half termly newsletters, homework grids, target trains and wow moments.
We invite parents and extended family members on a regular basis to work alongside their child through 'coffee mornings', we encourage parent reading sessions where parents come into school to promote reading and we actively seek parent helpers. As a direct impact of establishing these links pupils' end of year results have improved each year, children are motivated and excited to learn and parents have enjoyed taking on a more active role. As a result, our ethos has promoted a family environment where parents feel non-threatened, and are able to approach staff. Together we at St Michael and St John's are proud to have a shared vision in each child's learning.
Great Eccleston COPP CE Primary School - Good Practice Award
Copp's relationship with parents is an important part of the schools ethos with all staff sharing the importance parents can play in the education of their child. It was important to develop the role parents played in the transition process from pre-school to reception class. We wanted parents to feel comfortable and relaxed before their child started in the September, then to build on their involvement throughout the school year. Parents now play a vital role in how school understands and discovers the uniqueness of each individual child and parental feedback has been positive. The strong links and effective communication between school and parents enable parents to have a clear understanding of their child’s learning journey.
Benjamin Hargreaves CE Primary School - Good Practice Award
Following an Ofsted report in September 2013 that highlighted a need for the whole school to develop reading, we decided to focus upon helping pupils to develop a love of reading through using a range of different approaches. The class teachers developed exciting, innovative reading corners within each classroom to encourage pupils to enjoy reading. We invited highly skilled volunteers to come into school to work with individual pupils and hear readers throughout the school. The volunteers are parents, grandparents, governors, retired teachers and community champions from the local supermarket. Each child was registered at the local library and the pupils now attend the library twice in a half term to choose books. We monitor reading across the school and have pupil progress meetings each half term to discuss the progress and attainment of pupils. This allows swift intervention for any pupil who needs further support with reading and it allows us to challenge more able readers. We provide BRP for a pupil in each class and all the TAs within the school are trained to lead BRP. The positive impact of this has already been noted. A HMI monitoring visit commented that " Pupils have made, on average, 13 months improvement since starting on the programme." We have developed comprehension skills through key questions in pupils' individual home reading records and we encourage parents to ask their child questions and comment on the progress.
Rosegrove Nursery School, Basnett Street Nursery School, Rockwood Nursery School, Taywood Nursery School - Innovative Practice Award
It was evident that through the use of 'Little Me', children's personal, social and emotional development was supported and communication between home and school was enhanced.
St John's Catholic Primary and Children's Centre - Best Practice Award
The Forest School Foundation Support Project began in January 2010. The School and Centre had conducted research into the benefits of becoming a Forest School and Centre. We decided to invest in the project by having a member of the team trained as a Forest School Leader.
Forest School took place on a weekly basis with children travelling from other local schools by minibus to access sessions led by a Forest School Leader. We were lucky to already have an ideal Forest School site within the School grounds.
St Mary's RC Primary School - Innovative Practice Award
Lancaster Childrens Centres (Firbank, Lune Park, Appletree) - Innovative Practice Award
Play to Learn ("PTL") is a home visiting scheme centred around play. Outreach staff received four days training to deliver play sessions and to coach parents/carers to acquire core play skills by modelling, inviting and reinforcing of existing skills. This promotes attachment, a positive attitude and disposition, speech, language and social skills thus laying the foundations for later learning.
Each participating centre has received a toolkit containing planned play sessions along with resources and books suitable for babies, toddlers and children. Plans are written in plain English to share with parents and picture prompt cards are also available for parents with limited literacy skills. As an alternative, PTL can take place in a children's centre, local park or wherever families feel comfortable.
Sessions are captured in pictorial and written form in a Learning Story Book and form a powerful record of parents and their children engaged in good practice.
Singleton Primary School - Innovative Practice Award
Ofsted recognised the school as satisfactory with Foundation Stage being recognised as outstanding in all three areas. There is a strong team with the Foundation teacher and TA. The aim is to build on practice and where ppossible share relevant aspects of Foundation practice with the rest of the school. These areas are an exciting classroom and stimulating provision that provides learning experiences at the level of every child; a system of rigorous assessment that
In Foundation we wanted to develop the recording of this through our learning journey. This also provides a manageable way in which to record evidence for EYFSP. Developing the Foundation outdoor area and a whole school approach, valuing the outdoor area as a positive learning environment - we wanted to develop outdoor learning using the natural environment.
... to enthuse and motivate all pupils and raise achievement
St Leonard's Church of England Primary School - Best Practice Award
Our project has been to develop the use of our outdoor areas to enhance learning across the curriculum. We aimed to engage and motivate all learners particularly boys and to have an impact on standards of achievement particularly in writing.
Through training and support the staff have developed the skills needed to plan creatively using the outdoor areas, throughout the school year, in all kinds of weather. All staff now plan and implement ways to include exciting outdoor activities through their cross curricular topics and themes.
The children have access to a wide range of outdoor facilities including an outdoor learning area with sensory garden, vegetable plots, small orchard and an extensive woodland area which have been developed over time. Staff now make regular use of these areas across the curriculum and plan creatively for their use throughout the year to provide stimulating learning experiences for all pupils.
The children are now engaged in active learning outdoors which has had a positive impact on attitudes to learning and standards of achievement. Pupils thoroughly enjoy the outdoor practical learning experiences which are now embedded throughout the school.
... thus becoming partners in Early Years education.
St. Michael and St. John's R.C Primary School (Good Practice Award)
To achieve this we have compiled parent questionnaires, half termly newsletters, homework grids and target trains. Alongside the traditional parents evenings, pre-school visits and open evenings we have taken on a more radical approach to involve parents in educating their child. We invite parents and extended family members on a regular basis to work and learn alongside their child through 'coffee mornings', we hold foundation fundraising activities termly, we encourage parent reading sessions where parents come into school to promote reading and we actively seek parent helpers. As a direct impact of establishing these links pupil's end of year results have improved each year, children are motivated and excited to learn and parents have enjoyed taking on a more active role.
As a result, our ethos has promoted a family environment where parents feel non threatened, are able to approach staff and together we at St. Michael and St. John's are proud to have a shared vision in each child's learning.
...in the Foundation Stage - Improving Provision for Foundation Stage Children
St. Mary's C of E Primary School, Newchurch in Pendle (Best Practice Award)
In response to an Ofsted finding and statutory changes for EYFS provision, as acting Head teacher I felt that the EYFS needed to have a high profile in terms in school development. This saw the beginning of a change in ethos, environment, teaching and learning strategies and staffing.
The last three years have seen significant changes and the motivated and independent staff are now fully aware of the new EYFS principles and the children's entitlement. It has been necessary to review the whole of our Infant Class practice so that we can successfully provide the environment needed to promote independent learning.
.... confidence, learning in the forest school.
Staghills Nursery School/Children's Centre (Good Practice Award)
The aim of the project was to develop children's confidence and self esteem using the natural environment as a medium for learning; exploring the ethos of the forest school to support children to lead their own learning and exploration with the support of responsive adults. Children spend a full session every week in the woodland area which is part of the nursery grounds. The structure of the session is carefully planned to support the children. Sessions always begin in the base camp area, with a chance for the children to chat and reflect and to discuss the session. The children are encouraged to look after themselves and each other and are given a range of responsibilities from putting on their all in one suits and wellies to preparing the resources for the "hot chocolate & snack" at the end of the session. The size of the group (max 10 children) supports children to develop close relationships both with their peers and with the adults. The children are given a range of tasks that allow them to work independently and as a team and the collaborative aspects of the sessions have proved to be very successful.
Appletree Nursery School and Children's Centre (Good Practice)
.... school and pupil progress in the Foundation Stage
Lordsgate Township C.E. Primary School (Innovative Practice)
Assessment in the Foundation Stage was an issue and we were keen not only to improve this but also to involve parents in their understanding of the process. It was important to establish positive parental links to ensure all parents became involved in their child's progress and development in the Foundation Stage. Effective communication was essential. This was established by a 'Taking School Home' book. Throughout the year both school and home developed strong positive links. Feedback from parents was very good and enabled us to identify further developments.
Higher Walton C.E. Primary School (Good Practice)
In response to statutory changes for EYFS provision and staff changes within the school, Higher Walton CE Primary School set EYFS as a school improvement priority in 2008-9. Initially we intended to improve our use of outdoor provision. However the involvement of an AST, combined with the enthusiasm and reflective practice of our newly appointed Foundation Stage teacher, resulted in a complete change of classroom practice. This has had enormous impact on children's enthusiasm, motivation and independence, and established firm foundations for future learning.
.... in the Early Years Foundation Stage - the next phase
Walton - le- Dale Primary School (Best Practice)
Since achieving a Learning Excellence Award for Good Practice in the Early Years in 2007, our ambition is always to continuously improve the teaching and learning of our children. Prior to, and on the implementation of, the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, we have sought to expand upon our initial project which centred on the learning environment.
The next phase of development was underpinned by the well planned organisation of staff to support the maintenance of our OFSTED Grade 1 judgement.
Achievements so far gave us the impetus and motivation to strive to achieve best practice in particular with respect to:
the emotional well-being of children
By taking these aspects, we ensured that we were successfully recognising the Early Years Foundation Stage principles (DCSF) and focusing upon particular parts of 'A Unique Child,' 'Positive Relationships,' 'Enabling Environments' and 'Learning and Development.'
The outcome of this project was an embedded understanding of the Early Years Foundation Stage, developed by the application of new ideas and practices and rigorous evaluation.
Click on titles to download the full case studies in PDF format.
Rosegrove Infant School (Good Practice Award)
Over a six-year period we have worked as a team and linked with outside agencies to transform a plain, dreary playground into a fun, stimulating environment for young children.
Alongside the groundwork that has been completed, staff have developed a structured half-hour play session for children in the foundation stage. Each week the children use resources and complete activities to enhance each area of the Foundation Stage Curriculum. The session takes part in all weathers and umbrellas, tarpaulin and gazebos can often be seen through the school railings.
...learning environment in the Early Years
Balshaw Lane Primary School (Good Practice)
With the introduction of the revised Early Years Foundation Stage document and as a teacher new to the Reception class, I felt that this was an ideal opportunity to develop the outdoor learning provision in the Foundation Stage.
Appletree Nursery School
To enhance the quality of experience for the children attending Appletree Nursery School through the best use and development of our outdoor space.
Staghills Nursery School
The key worker system began in 1993 as a way of developing relationships with parents and meeting the childs personal needs. Over the years it has developed and now acts as an important tool for monitoring the childs overall progress. In a daily timetabled session, that includes circle time activities, the key worker assesses individual needs in a small group setting. The parent / school partnership begins with a home visit and once admitted information is exchanged informally on a daily basis and more formally at parents evenings. Value added scores show that all children make good progress towards achieving the Early Learning Goals and they feel secure enough to work confidently and independently in the nursery.
Hambleton Primary School (Innovative Practice Award)
This unit has now been in place for two years and has also been awarded Lead Practice status. The need for the unit was driven by low pupil attainment at the end of Reception. Its impact has been that all children now make better than expected progress as measured by End of Reception PIPs. We faced legal, financial, administrative, staffing and environmental considerations, which were all resolved due to the passion and commitment of the whole team. The unit is bright and lively and the children are highly motivated to have fun! The creative and investigative approaches practiced in the unit have permeated throughout the rest of school, so the impact has not only been confined to our 3-5 year olds, but to all our children. The staff, including our Reception teacher who is an AST, are happy to welcome visitors from other settings.
...to enhance and acess the Foundation Stage Curriculum.
Lordsgate Township CE Primary School
The school had no designated outdoor facility for the Foundation Stage. This meant there was no proper provision for the pupils. It was highlighted on the School Development Plan and monies were set aside to address this. It required careful designing and resourcing and then embedding in the Foundation Stage Planning and delivery. This has been achieved.The outdoor play area now reflects the areas of provision set up in the classroom. Outdoor storage has been provided for the resources and this is organised to to enable the pupils to become responsible for 'getting things out and putting things away. Laminated A4 photos are tied to the railings to indicate where to to put resources. Evaluation of provision is ongoing and changes are made in response to this.The Outdoor Area has enabled the curriculum to be delivered more effectively. The quality of teaching and learning has been raised.
Sherwood Primary School (Innovative Practice Award)
Sherwood Primary School Foundation Unit is just about to enter its third year of development. Initially, we decided it would be very advantageous if all the children were to be together for their first year in school. This would have benefits for providing the same curriculum for all and also assist personal and social relationships. It would also give the opportunity, for the staff, to make qualified decisions when dividing the group into two classes. This facility would also enable us to develop the facilities to provide a true Foundation Curriculum. We started with a very large classroom and a cloakroom area which gave us room for development. Now two years later we have: the main classroom, a creative room, a cloakroom, toilets, a conservatory, an outdoor area with soft surface and a developing garden area. We believe that the development of our unit provides the children with a rich, stimulating, exciting and varied environment where they can experience fully all areas of the Foundation Curriculum - thus giving all the children the best possible start to their school life and giving a true foundation to their learning.
... to assist the transition between the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One (Good Practice Award)
Leyland Methodist Infant School
Our project for establishing the consistent use of emergent handwriting in the Foundation Stage to help the transition to Key Stage One has been very successful.
The children have had more opportunities to develop their emergent writing through the effective use of small areas and bays throughout the Reception area. The Year 1 classrooms and resource areas have also been developed in a similar way to ensure there is continuity of provision for language development and writing activities. Out plan for the future is to continue this provision into our Year 2 areas.
We have noticed that all children appear to enjoy these activities and are keen to take part in these different emergent writing areas, linked to topics.
Without doubt, many children have achieved very well in their writing development. The PIPs end of year baseline results have provided the evidence and the value added for writing has shown a significant increase to previous years. Most importantly, the children are enjoying these experiences and having fun at the same time.
... through the Creation of a Foundation Stage Unit (Good Practice Award)
St. Wulstan and St. Edmund Catholic Primary School
All aspects of provision for children in the Foundation Stage were scrutinised.
The Nursery building refurbishment began in February 2005 and allowed the classroom and recreational space to be completely redesigned.
Regular planning and curriculum meetings were held between Year R and Year N with Nursery Nurses and the Foundation Stage Manager involved. Sharing of plans and ideas flourished.
As a result of these and other actions, the quality of pupils learning has increased significantly over the last eighteen months. Both the nursery and year R classes now 'provide highly practical, engaging, fun activities for all its pupils. Children within the unit have considerably increased their speaking and listening ability.
... phase one of Letters and Sounds
Rosegrove Nursery School
The project of developing ICT resources to improve speaking and listening skills has been hugely successful and satisfying.
Development of independent provision in the Foundation Stage|
Posted: 17th Aug 2006
Fulwood St. Peters C.E. Primary School (Innovative Practice Award)
The development of independent provision for children in reception class had clear initial success criteria. These included good quality learning, independent activities to enhance learning, a quiet, calm, purposeful atmosphere, children who enjoy attempting different activities and an organised workspace where children were responsible for resources.
This was developed through enhancements to the building, the creation of an agreed statement on good practice, adequate resources, practical experimentation with different teaching approaches and more creative and imaginative use of space and team teaching.
Amongst other outcomes, the quality of writing has improved; each child now has a writing folder of assessment pieces. Children are able to work independently. The teacher input with a focus group is much better with minimum interruptions and there is a calm, purposeful atmosphere.
Walton le Dale Primary School
The principles of the Foundation Stage learning environment to impact positively on children's learning.
Poulton St, Chad's C.E. Primary School
As a school we had no secure outdoor area for the children in Foundation Stage to use, and therefore we were not able to offer the outdoor experiences that the children were entitled to. We bid for, and were successful in gaining, a £20,000 grant from Sure Start to enable us to build an outdoor learning environment for the children.
Wade Hall Childrens Centre (Innovative Practice Award)
The Group aims to create a welcoming, supportive, stimulating environment, where parents can meet in a relaxed setting. It is an outstanding example of partnership working between Sure Start, Home-Start staff and volunteers, Spurgeons staff and Lancashire College. A variety of Family Learning/Early Learning activities are provided based on the Birth to Three Matters Framework, enabling children and their carers to learn together through range of play based and creative activities.
..... to raise standards in reading
Brockholes Wood Primary School - Good Practice Award
The project was designed to develop a whole school approach to teaching phonics. The intention was to improve teaching and develop a consistent, rigorous approach that would impact on learning for a sustained period of time. The aim was to raise standards and improve reading throughout EYFS and KS1.
We devised and implemented an action plan that ensured the involvement of all EY and KS1 staff. Children were streamed into phonics phases and taught in small groups. This was assessed and monitored closely to target individual children, groups and classes. Boys' attainment and FSM children were particular focus.
Staff took part in training sessions and lesson observations to identify areas for improvement and to access relevant CPD opportunities. Parents were involved to support the phonics program and reading strategies being implemented in school.
Pendle Foundation stage action group - Innovative Practice Award
During the academic year 2011-12, our network of schools decided to focus upon improving levels of attainment for our children in the area of knowledge and understanding of the world, particularly concentrating upon improving the level of questioning deployed by staff and the children to promote their own learning.
The biggest impact was that after much hard work the children began to use these areas in much more constructive way and began to use the language of questioning independently. This led in turn to greater interaction with their peers and staff. Within all areas the children began to gain confidence in experimenting with a wider range of materials in more depth and questioning is now becoming the norm. Slowly attainment is rising for our children. Impact on staff in questioning was also hugely increased, ensuring that children had access to high level support in all areas of the classroom.