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When children first arrive at Whiteshill Primary School, they enter Willow Class for the duration of their first year in school. In Willow Class, they are taught according to the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum for their Reception year

In Willow Class there are a maximum of 15 reception children for this first year with a teacher and full-time teaching assistant in class. This means that in their first year at Whiteshill we get to the know the children very well. They can learn at their own pace and we can follow their interests to ensure they are enjoying and engaging with their learning all the time! We find out where extra support is needed and challenge all the children to really fulfill their potential. Last year, 92% of children in Willow class achieved a Good Level of Development in line with statutory expectations by the end of the year.

The main areas of learning in Willow class, in line with the EYFS curriculum, are:

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, learning opportunities strike a balance between more structured teacher-led activities, as well as allowing the children to explore their own interests both inside the classroom and in our large, covered outdoor learning area where the children can act out stories on the stage, build dens, explore water and sand and get dirty in our mud kitchen – all while applying their learning through play, supported by the teacher and TA.

The children are assessed, through teacher observation, against the early learning goals. More information on these can be found at: EYFS Framework

Phonics is taught from day one in Willow class so that the children learn to read and write immediately. We use the Phonics Play website to support our Phonics teaching – you can access this as parents to support your child at home at: www.phonicsplay.co.uk.  Our EYFS curriculum is also enhanced by key texts so the children are introduced to a range of fantastic stories which they share and enjoy together across the year.

It is very important to us at Whiteshill that you are involved in your child’s learning during their time in Willow class, as they settle in to their first year at school. We encourage this partnership in a number of ways across the year:
  • An online platform ‘Target Tracker’ which allows the teacher to share photographs and observations of your children’s learning in school with you.
  • Two parents evenings and one written report about your child’s progress across the year.
  • Wow vouchers which you can fill in to share your child’s achievements and learning at home, to demonstrate learning outside of the classroom.
  • Stay and play sessions once every half term where you can come in to the classroom to see your child’s learning first hand.