EYFS at Willow Green Academy

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.

Pedagogy and Environment

At Willow Green Academy, we follow an ethos which focuses on the development of learning through inspirational teaching and learning. All practitioners teach skills through offering children the opportunity to play. Practitioners follow the interests of the children and enhance learning provisions in line with this. This provides children with the opportunity, not only acquire enthusiasm for learning, but to enhance their communication and language development. Practitioners intervene and develop the children’s play in line with the ELG.

We have recently undergone a transformation in the Foundation Unit. The unit now offers the children a range of discreet spaces: a woodwork room, a kitchen area and an outdoor nature area. This enhanced provision further extends the opportunities for the children’s extended play. The children develop all their skills from PSE, the Understanding the World and maths in these areas, through their play. The environment is enhanced based on the needs of the children daily and predominantly with natural resources. Our outdoor provision area is an extension of our indoor classroom and is an integral element to our Early Years provision. This is important to us, as we offer children the same opportunities to develop their learning both indoors and out. Children are actively encouraged to access the outdoor areas throughout the school day all year round.


What is Makaton?

Makaton is a unique communication tool that uses symbols, signs and speech to enable people to communicate. It supports the development of essential communication skills such as attention and listening, comprehension, memory, recall and organisation of language and expression.

Why do we use Makaton?

At Willow Green we use Makaton signs, with speech, in spoken word order. This helps provide our children extra clues about what someone is saying and when learning new vocabulary. Using signs can help people who have no speech or whose speech is unclear. At Willow Green, we believe in learning skills that can enable our active participation in the world we live, to become compassionate, understanding global citizens.

How do we use Makaton?

Makaton is used daily through our timetables, labels in provision, displays and Literacy. Our children learn stories through Makaton symbols and signs which enables them to fluently retell stories. We celebrate the success of our Makaton each week with a signer of the week. We spread our enthusiasm for Makaton by sharing a sign of the week with our parents through Class Dojo.

Phonics – RWI

What is Read Write Inc (RWI)?

Read Write Inc (WRI) is our chosen phonics programme. It teaches children to read by identifying the phonemes (smallest unit of sound) and graphemes (written version of the sound) within words and using these to read words. Children 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 structures routines within each session which reduces cognitive load and maximises the chances of success.

• All children are supported within the lessons to use, practice and apply 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.

Class Dojo

Class dojo is utilised and used as 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 used to inform teacher assessment and next steps and are then celebrated with parents too. Parents have the ability to log on to Class Dojo, 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.

EYFS planning and curricular goals

EYFS Key documents

Transition Information