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Believe, Aspire, Achieve

Foundation Stage/ Reception


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.


Our class mascots are William and Spike and they help to introduce us to life at Willow Primary. Over the course of the year parents and carers will get to meet our mascots when each child has a turn to take care of their class mascot for the weekend.


During their time in Reception it is very important to us that children develop positive behaviours for learning which they will use throughout their education, and their lives. We encourage this by building ‘Learning Superpowers’ following the example of Willow Primary’s Learning Superheroes.


In Reception we use our doll versions of the superheroes to support the understanding of the Learning Superpowers and have introduced first names for the characters so that they are accessible and appealing to our children:  Ivan Investigator, Cora Collaboration, Eva Evaluation and Ricky Resilient.

The Foundation Stage Curriculum

In Foundation Stage 2 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.


3 Prime Areas

Personal, Social and Emotional Development:

Making Relationships

Children play co-operatively, taking turns with others.  They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity.  They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.


Self-confidence and self-awareness

Children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others.  They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities.  They say when they do or don’t need help.


Managing feelings and behaviour

Children talk about how they and others show their feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is acceptable.  They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow rules.  They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routines in their stride.


Physical Development:

•Moving and handling

Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movement.  They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space.  They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing. 


•Health and self-care

Children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe.  They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.

Communication and language:

•Listening and attention

Children listen attentively in a range of situations.  They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions.  They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.



Children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.  They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.



Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs.  They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future.  They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events. 


& 4 Specific Areas



Children read and understand simple sentences.  They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately.  They also read some common irregular words.  They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.



Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds.  They also write some irregular common words.  They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others.  Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible. 



Children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which is one more or one less than a given number.  Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract 2 single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer.  They solve problems, including doubling, halving or sharing. 


•Shape, Space and Measure

Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems.  They recognise, create and describe patterns.  They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.

Understanding The World:

•People and communities

Children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members.  They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this.  They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.


•The World

Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things.  They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another.  They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes. 



Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools.  They select and use technology for particular purposes. 

Expressive Art and Design

•Exploring and using media and materials

Children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them.  They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experiment with colour, design, texture, form and function. 


•Being imaginative

Children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes.  They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role play and stories.    

Our School Day

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.


Our School Day is outlined in the timetable below.




11.30-12 noon







Read Write Inc. Phonics and Reading

Writing input with small focus group teaching

Children access learning through play

Story Time



Maths  input with small focus group teaching

Children access learning through play

Story time





Read Write Inc. Phonics and Reading

Writing input with small focus group teaching

Children access learning through play

Story Time



Maths  input with small focus group teaching

Children access learning through play

Story time





Read Write Inc. Phonics and Reading

Writing input with small focus group teaching

Children access learning through play

Story Time



Maths  input with small focus group teaching

Children access learning through play

Story time





Read Write Inc. Phonics and Reading

Writing input with small focus group teaching

Children access learning through play

Story Time






Story time Alternate weeks – ASPIRE assembly




Read Write Inc. Phonics and Reading

Writing input with small focus group teaching

Children access learning through play

Story Time



Maths  input with small focus group teaching

Children access learning through play

Story time



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.



Children in Reception are taught maths in a discreet session on a daily basis as well as maths in the Early Years been incorporated into every aspect of the daily routine. This includes identifying the day of the week, self-registration on a ten frame bus, and counting the number of children in the line for lunch.  Many opportunities are provided within the provision for children to explore number, developing their fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills. 

Maths in the Early Years encompasses six main themes, Cardinality, Composition, Comparison, Shape and Space, Pattern and Measures.  

Cardinality – Children are taught to accurately count, find how many objects are in a set, to count something that cannot be moved, such as claps, blinks and beeps as well as counting from a large group of objects and be able to stop at a given number.

Composition is taught through the use of a range of manipulatives to explore how numbers are made.

Comparison – In Reception children are encouraged to develop mathematical language and thinking and by the end of year will confidently use the language of fewer, less than, more than, double and half. 

Shape, Space and Measure Many opportunities are given in Reception for children to develop a thorough understanding of 2D and 3D shapes.  Children are encouraged to explore shape in the environment, spot patterns and explain their mathematical thinking. 

Ten Town is a new maths programme that has recently been introduced at Willow and is thoroughly enjoyed by all Reception children.  Characters representing the numbers 0 to 20 are introduced through catchy songs and engaging stories that aids number recognition while, through a range of activities, support children in their learning across the six aforementioned themes.   



Children are given access to physical activity as an integral part of each school day. The Foundation team work closely with the school sports coach to ensure that during their weekly PE sessions the children explore this area of learning and gain an understanding and enjoyment of the importance of physical activity and healthy lifestyle.


RE/ PSHCE/ British Values

Our timetable includes a weekly session to support coverage of areas of learning: Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Understanding the World. Please see the whole school curriculum overview for more details about RE.


Learning Journeys

During their time in Reception children’s learning is recorded in a folder called a Learning Journey. Pupils and staff are proud of the Learning Journeys and they are frequently available for parents and carers to view. We value the role parents play in children’s learning and encourage parents to be involved throughout the year. 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.




Thank you for visiting our website. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance via the school office.

The Reception Team.




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