The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at Buildwas is a mixed age unit with children from age 3-5. We have developed our own curriculum based on the Development Matters 2023 document, incorporating the Early Learning Goals and additional skills we hope that children at Buildwas can achieve.

Intent: why do we teach what we teach?

Throughout their time in Willow Class our children partake in an ambitious broad and balanced curriculum. The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is a plan of everything young children need to learn and we design our curriculum in a sequential way using Development Matters to ensure progress towards the end of reception Early Learning Goals (ELG).

All seven areas of learning and development are important and interconnected as is the role of executive function. Recognition is given to language development being vital and embedded throughout all areas of learning.

Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive, both in the EYFS and into Key Stage 1. These three areas are the prime areas:

•Communication and Language

Physical Development

•Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

Children are also supported through the four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied:



•Understanding the World

•Expressive Arts and Design

Implementation: how do we teach what we teach?

Our implementation is our Long Term planning, our weekly planning, continuous provision and the delivery in the classroom including meaningful interactions between adults and children. Our curriculum incorporates learning through play, learning by adults modelling, by observing each other and through guided learning and direct teaching which is increased as children become older and progress. It is also important to highlight that our plans are flexible to allow us to respond quickly to children’s new interests and/or needs.

Our pedagogy and curriculum support the develop of a child’s ability to hold information in mind, focus their attention, regulate their behaviour and plan what to do next thus developing executive function.

Weaving throughout the EYFS curriculum at Buildwas Academy are three Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning.

•playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’

•active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements.

•creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things

These elements underpin how we reflect on each child’s development and adjust our practice accordingly. Supporting children in their individual learning behaviour and observing the context of children’s play is essential. Children are provided with a well-planned learning environment both indoors and outdoors in which a range of rich, meaningful first-hand experiences are provided. These facilitate children to explore, think creatively and be active. We aim to develop and foster positive attitudes towards learning, confidence, communication, and physical development.

‘What children learn is important, but how children learn is even more important if they are to become learners in today’s society.’ Helen Moylett How Children Learn, Nancy Stewart (2011)

Our planning is continually evaluated by all staff to ensure that children’s individual ‘Next Steps in Learning’ and personalised learning needs are met.


Impact: how do we know what children have learnt and how well they have learnt it?

We can see the impact that our implementation has had through lesson observations, assessments, learning walks, observations of children, insight tracking, tapestry, reflection meetings – both staff and children – and children and parents’ feedback.

Observations of children’s achievements are collated in their own personal, online ‘Tapestry’ Learning Journal. Parents/carers are actively encouraged to add their own comments and also to upload their own observations to show us what their children are able to do at home.

These ongoing observations are used to inform the EYFS Profile. The children’s progress is reviewed continually. Throughout their time in EYFS, parents/carers are welcomed in to share their children’s learning; both informally through our ‘open door’ policy and more formally during parent/teacher consultations.

At the end of the year the EYFS profile provides a summary of every Reception child’s development and learning achievements. Children are assessed against the Early Learning Goals (ELG) by the class teacher – who uses their knowledge of the children to make a ‘best fit’ judgement.

The children are assessed against each area of the EYFS curriculum achieving:

•        Expected ELG – meeting the expected level

•        Emerging ELG – not yet meeting the expected level

This profile data is the statutory data that is sent to the Local Authority and used to help school benchmark and identify improvements.

At the end of Reception the child’s ability to self-regulate should allow them to focus their thinking, monitor what they are doing and adapt, regulate strong feelings, be patient for what they want and bounce back when things get difficult therefore supporting a smooth transition into Year 1.

Topics for the year

Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2


Marvellous Me

Let’s Celebrate

Once upon a time

People who help us

Wonderful World

Wild Things!

Key Texts and Books

We follow the Pathways scheme for Literacy and the main key texts that we follow throughout the year are:

Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

Pathways text

The Gingerbread Man by Mara Alperin and Miriam Latimer

I’m Going To Eat This Ant by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros

Naughty Bus by Jan and Jerry Oke

Something Else by Kathryn Cave

Clem and Crab by Fiona Lumbers

Supertato by Sue Hendra

Other linked texts will be explored alongside these.

Please see our Long-Term Plan for an overview of the Nursery and Reception Year.

Long-Term Plan 2023-2024 EYFS


Useful Links

The Development Matters Curriculum:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1007446/6.7534_DfE_Development_Matters_Report_and_illustrations_web__2_.pdf(opens in new tab)

NUMBERBLOCKS EPISODES https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/b08bzfnh/numberblocks

PHONICS https://www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk/resources/for-parents/

Please see the phonics section of our website for more in depth information on how children learn to read at Buildwas Academy.

CBEEBIES GAMES AND ACTIVITIES https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies

COSMIC KIDS YOGA https://www.youtube.com/user/CosmicKidsYoga

SPEECH AND LANGUAGE SUPPORT https://speechandlanguage.org.uk/talking-point/parents/resources/

BEEU MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING SUPPORT https://camhs.mpft.nhs.uk/beeu/parents-carers

FOREST SCHOOL INFO https://wrekinforestschool.co.uk/about-us/what-is-forest-school