The EYFS curriculum meets the requirements set out in the revised National Curriculum at Foundation Stage.

The curriculum focusses on Early Learning Goals (ELG) and Ages and Stages. During the first term the teacher will make a baseline assessment, to record the skills of each child on entry to school. After this the teacher will use individual and group assessments, in order to develop and implement necessary provisions. This in turn, enables all children to succeed.

Pedagogy and Environment

Children at Willows Academy are able to learn through both adult directed and child-initiated learning. Through observing the children and communicating with parents, we are able to plan enhancements in the provision that support the children’s next steps but also engage them and follows their interests. Throughout all aspects of the school day, children are enhancing their communication and language development. Practitioners sensitively intervene in a child’s play to develop this play in line with the ELG.

Our environment is child centred, and children are able to access resources to support their play and learning. The children are able to develop skills from PSE to maths in every area of the environment and staff are skilled in using effective questioning to further develop this. Our outdoor environment is an extension of the classroom and children are able to develop their learning further, for example when learning about 3d shapes, children are able to explore which shapes roll by using the hill outside.


RWI is our chosen phonics scheme. Those children that join our Nursery are able to begin those first steps in phonics and this is further developed as they move into Reception. Children meet Fred the frog who helps them with their phonics and a daily phonics session helps them to learn a new sound and read simple words. Alongside the daily phonics lessons, children area able to experience the joy of books and language whilst rapidly acquiring the skills they need to become fluent independent readers and writers

How do we teach phonics?

  • We use a simple, consistent approach to teaching phonics.
  • Your child will experience the same classroom routines within each lesson which reduces cognitive load and maximises the chances of success.
  • All children are supported within the lesson to use their new phonic knowledge independently.
  • In every single RWI lesson, your child will make the direct application to reading.
  • Daily Phonics sessions- these start from the beginning of Reception
  • Phonics throughout the day to review new sounds & graphemes taught
  • Lots of opportunities for oral blending- c/oa/t
  • Opportunities for writing- new grapheme, words and sentences.


Tapestry is an online, learning journal where practitioners and parents can work collaboratively to highlight the progress, development and personal milestones achieved by children. Practitioners will upload observations of the children at school based on the learning taking place. The observations are then linked to the statements and ages expectations, there are then celebrated with parents too. Parents have the ability to log on to tapestry, view these observations and have a dialogue with practitioners. We feel this important, as it strengthens the communication between school and home. We also encourage parents to upload their own milestones of their children, which can be celebrated in school.

Knowledge Organisers

Each half-term the children focus on a topic in class.  

To help you support your child’s learning at home we will share a knowledge organiser with you detailing all the ‘sticky knowledge’ the children will take away at the end of the half-term. There are key questions we will answer through adult directed learning and the children’s independent learning, new vocabulary they will be encouraged to use, and key texts which will support their learning. We encourage you to ask your children about the things they are learning!

EYFS library

Books are a driver behind most of our learning within the Early Years; we have a weekly book supporting our learning, themed books placed around our classroom, and time for reading for pleasure.

To continue developing the children’s love of reading for pleasure we have set up a classroom library in the cloakroom. There are picture books to encourage your children to talk about what they see and tell their own story, and there are story books which you can read to your child.

We encourage you to look through the books on the shelves and in the baskets and borrow any books that interest you or your child. If you would like to borrow a book from our library, please fill in our library form on the top of the bookshelf and borrow to your hearts content!