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Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The Ethos of the EYFS

At The Willows Primary School, the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) adopts a holistic approach to learning and considers creativity to be a key component of all children’s development. Children follow their own interests and are regarded as competent learners able to take an active role in their education. We provide a playful, yet meaningful, learning environment which generates enthusiasm for learning and allows opportunities for exploration and investigation.

We provide a balanced curriculum with both child initiated and adult focused activities, planned so that children can reach their full academic potential. In the EYFS we use the Read Write Inc programme which enables children to become confident readers and writers. We use ‘Talk for Writing’ to enable children to remember and retell stories orally, whilst using high level vocabulary. Mathematics in the EYFS focuses on concept building with children engaging in active learning experiences which lay down the foundation for abstract thinking.

Our Learning

We love learning in the Foundation Stage. Sometimes we learn with our teachers in our own classrooms and for some of the time we can mix & learn together, inside & outside too.

The 7 Areas of Learning

What’s different about the foundation stage is that we have 7 main areas of learning that we think are important; 3 of them are especially important for igniting children’s curiosity & enthusiasm for learning & for setting them up to be able to make friendships & learn more. These are called the 3 Prime areas & include:

  • Communication & language
  • Physical development and
  • Personal, social & emotional development

The other 4 areas are called the Specific areas through which the Prime areas are strengthened & applied. They are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World and
  • Expressive Arts & Design

We learn in all of the 7 areas every day, often all at the same time! Below is a short explanation of what each area means:

The 3 Prime Areas

Communication & Language

We know how important it is to be able to communicate with each other and share our ideas. We love listening to stories and rhymes together and retelling stories we know. There’s language everywhere you look & all sorts of activities & role play to develop our speaking & listening skills.

Physical Development

We love being active. All our snacks are healthy and we enjoy finding out what happens to us when we exercise with each other. We learn to use our big muscles in order to use our small muscles. Playing football, using the climbing frame and riding scooters will help us to develop our fine motor skills. This is essential for us, as we need to be able to hold pencils and pens firmly in order to begin writing and drawing.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

Our Foundation Stage is a very exciting, happy and safe place to be. We love sharing and celebrating our learning together and we can all help each other to explore and grow. We can decide what we want to learn about, select our own tools and talk about what we are learning to do. We know how to care for ourselves and others, including eating healthy foods and making safe choices. We feel confident to try new things and we make lots of friends. We learn to take turns, think about others needs and talk about how we feel. We know that we are special and loved.

The 4 Specific Areas


There are lots of mark-making and writing opportunities in all the activities we explore. We have lots of books and labels that we can choose to read, both indoors and outside. We love to share books and to make our own. Every day, we practise our letters and sounds so that we can become even better readers and writers. We enjoy our Read Write Inc learning with ‘Fred’.


There are so many different ways we love to learn about numbers, shape, size and counting. We explore and talk about our ideas all the time, both outdoors and indoors. We enjoy finding patterns, sorting and matching using lots of different large and small objects. We love singing number songs together and counting with each other. We like to recognise lots of different numbers around us and we can challenge each other with fun problem-solving games, like smarties investigations.

Understanding the World

We are encouraged to ask lots of questions and we get excited finding out about new things or exploring areas we find fascinating. We love everything to do with computers, including taking digital photos, loading our favourite games and tools, recording our voices and playing with our remote control toys. Our mud kitchen area and minibeast hotel are very popular and we often find small animals to draw and identify. We learn all about ourselves and our families, and what other people think about too. We like to build large structures using lots of different materials and talk about our ideas together.

Creative Development

There are so many ways to explore our creative skills and use our imaginations. We love to paint, collage, make junk models, build sculptures, sew and design structures. We dance and sing for each other on our performance stage and during whole school events. During cooking activities, we follow recipes and make delicious food to share with our friends. We love our ‘dance day’.