Willowpark Primary Academy

Early Years

At Willowpark Primary Academy, we provide Early Years provision for students aged 2-5 years old.

Our Early Years Foundation Stage consists of three key phases which include Pre- School, Nursery and Reception Class.

We recognise that every child is unique. We understand that children have different personalities, develop in individual ways and at varying rates.  We want all our children to be independent, self-motivated, critical thinkers and risk takers.

Apply for a place in Pre-school or Nursery

Early Years Policy 2022



At Willowpark we plan and deliver our curriculum following the 'Early Years Foundation Stage Framework' which is broken down into seven key areas.

*In September 2020, we became an early adopter school and are following an updated version of the EYFS Curriculum.

Our EYFS practitioners plan a curriculum through adult-directed activities and purposeful play.  Their aim is to develop children's knowledge , vocabulary  and key skills through interesting and engaging activities.

Development Matters - EYFS

This ensures the delivery of a holistic, child-centred curriculum which allows children to grow and develop links between learning experiences.



Early Years



Prime areas of Learning

The Prime areas of Learning provide a firm foundation for pupils future learning and are focused upon during the initial stages of child development.  These include:

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Specific areas of Learning

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



Early Learning Goals 

Characteristics of Effective Learning

The Characteristics of Effective Learning are an essential element of the Early Years Foundation Stage and focus on developing children as learners.  They focus on how children learn rather than the learning outcome.

The three Characteristics of Effective Learning are:

Playing and Exploring

  • Finding out and exploring
  • Using what they know in play
  • Willing to have a go

Active learning 

  • Being involved and concentrating 
  • Keep on trying
  • Enjoying and achieving what they set out to do.

Creating and Thinking Critically

  • Having their own ideas
  • Using what they know to learn new things
  • Choosing ways to do things.


There are 6 topics that we cover throughout the year across our EYFS classes from pre-school through nursery and into Reception class. 


In Autumn term, our topics are Me, Myself and I  where we will learn about our school/nursery, all about ourselves and our families including our home, our bodies and our senses.  We will also have a topic called The Greatest Show! and in this topic we will learn about birthdays, festivals including Diwali and Christmas and we will learn about Bonfire Night.

In Spring term, our topics are In a world of pure Imagination, where will will learn about fairy tales and traditional tales such as Goldilocks and the three bears . Our next topic will be All Creatures Great and Small where we will find out all about animals, including domestic, farm and wild animals as well as underwater animals and dinosaurs.

In Summer term, our topics will be How does your garden grow? where we will learn about growing, lifecycles and healthy, active lifestyles and Ready, Set...Go! where we will find out about transport and modes of transport including those by land, sea and air. We will also learn about Space!




Our Learning Journey

At Willowpark, we use Seesaw as our learning journal tool to help staff and families in EYFS celebrate children's learning and development.


  • Builds a special record of children's experiences and development
  • Enables parents to view progress and see how much fun their child is having at school.
  • Supports the communication between staff and parents helping to build a shared understanding of how every child can reach their full potential.