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Believe, Aspire, Achieve

Foundation Stage/ Reception

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Early Years Foundation Stage


At Willow Primary School, we understand that children develop rapidly during the early years – physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially and we therefore plan a provision that extends their knowledge, skills, understanding and confidence.


We plan a relevant curriculum that ensures that the early years’ experience builds on what children already know and can do which encourages a positive attitude and disposition to learning.


Within the school day there are opportunities for children to engage in activities planned by adults and also those that they plan or initiate themselves. There are times throughout the week where the children learn in a large group, small group or individually depending on the needs of the children.


Children do not make a distinction between ‘play’  and ‘work’ and neither do our practitioners ensuring that children have time to become engrossed, work in depth and complete activities. The children are exposed to rich and stimulating experiences inside and outside within which children can explore experiment, plan and make decisions for themselves enabling them to learn and develop. 


Teachers and Teaching assistants constantly assess where the children are and plan the next steps for each individual child to ensure that the child develops and progresses across all areas of the Early Years.

In Reception we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum to provide an important and engaging start to your child’s education and prepare them to succeed as their learning continues.


The EYFS Curriculum is divided into 7 areas of Learning. These areas are used to plan for learning throughout the year to ensure in-depth coverage whilst responding to the needs and interests of the individual pupil. Learning is personalised so that each child is engaged and can reach their full potential.

How we learn

Practical activities and learning through exploration and play is central to our approach and we provide opportunities for children to develop their learning through the provision we provide both in the classrooms and outdoors.


Staff introduce and model learning and activities which the children then have lots of opportunity to access and develop both individually and collaboratively following their own interests and fascinations. Staff will then observe, assess and extend learning opportunities. Children are encouraged to plan, evaluate and celebrate their learning.

British Values Read, Write Inc. Maths Physical Education


We love Reading!

In Reception at Willow, like the rest of the school,  Reading is at the heart of our teaching and we encourage a love of reading and books from the moment your child enters our school. This includes talking about books, exploring print in the environment and sharing books and reading. Each topic investigates an author and includes key texts. Children will also take part in many reading events during their time at Willow. These will include mixed year group peer reading and reading opportunities in the community as well as opportunities to celebrate and encourage reading at home.


Phonics is taught each day in a discreet session. In Reception at Willow, we teach children to read using the Ruth Miskin literacy programme, Read Write Inc. (RWI). Children are initially taught Set 1 sounds, how to orally blend these sounds and how to read words containing these simple sounds. Once children can read words containing in taught sounds, they start to read RWI Storybooks which match their phonic knowledge.


RWI supports children in developing both their reading and writing and these skills are developed further during Literacy sessions which usually draw from topic, children’s interests and current events.

Learning Together

We value the role parents play in children’s learning and encourage parents to be involved throughout the year. Current learning experiences are communicated through Tapestry. We also welcome your observations and contributions of home learning, achievements and interests which are an important part of your child’s progress as well as helping us to know and understand your child and their interests.

These can be shared with us through Tapestry, at parent’s evenings and informal chats throughout the year.


End of Year Report

At the end of Reception, parents will receive a written report for their child which includes information on their child’s progress towards Early Learning Goals (ELGs) in each of the areas of learning. Children are recorded as emerging (working towards ELG), expected (they have met ELG) or exceeding (they have exceeded ELG). It also contains a description of their Characteristics of Effective Learning.


Characteristics of Effective Learning

Playing and Exploring


Finding out and exploring, playing with what they know, being willing to have a go.

Active Learning


Being involved and concentrating, keeping on trying, enjoying achieving what they set out to do.

Creating and Thinking Critically


Having their own ideas, making links, choosing ways to do things.


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