Part of the Glyn Academies Trust

EYFS - Nursery and Reception

At Hillcroft, we recognise that the Early Years Foundation Stage is the bedrock of our children’s education and an integral part of their journey forwards, through the school.  We have developed a curriculum for our children in Nursery and Reception that meets the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework, drawing upon Development Matters 2021. 

The Early Years curriculum is based on seven areas of learning;

The Prime Areas: Personal, social and emotional development; Physical development; Communication and language

The Specific Areas: Mathematics; Literacy; Understanding the world; Expressive arts and design.

Our exciting play-based curriculum challenges children, encouraging them to develop into independent, motivated learners who are curious about the world around them. Our children are nurtured within a secure environment, whilst being allowed to explore, enquire and take risks -  both inside and outside of the classroom through an imaginatively resourced free-flow environment.  They are encouraged to make connections in their learning through a creative thematic approach based upon a central question, enabling exploratory and child-initiated play both indoors and outdoors.    

In Early Years, to ensure foundation stones are laid for the children’s progression through the school, the Read, Write, Inc., approach to the teaching of Phonics is used.  Implementing and securing the alphabetic code as early as Nursery, means that children quickly learn to read and write simple words and sentences. Following this, RWInc., lessons are implemented; centred around the systematic teaching of sounds of the letters (phonics), before blending them together to read words. The children will learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts; learn to read words by blending the sounds together; read lively stories featuring words they have learnt to sound out; show that they understand the stories by answering 'find it' and 'prove it' discussion questions.

Nursery also sees the start of teaching children Writing through The Write Stuff approach, which continues throughout the school.  Centred heavily around talk and discussion, the children have the opportunity to discuss and share vocabulary and observe the process of writing through high-quality teacher modelling. In Reception, their writing journey continues and children will begin writing their own sentences.  The focus for the Early Years - taken from Development Matters - is transcription (spelling and letter formation) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).

The children’s maths learning is centred on the same pedagogical approach of Teaching for Mastery, as the rest of the school.  Children will learn through the explicit teaching of small steps, operating under one learning objective. Within this, mathematical, conceptual knowledge is deepened through effective questioning. The children are exposed to a range of resources to support their learning, including practical activities, pictorial and abstract problems to develop a secure understanding of mathematical procedures as well as engaging resources such as BBCs Numberblocks.  

For some children in our EYFS setting, this will be their first experience of separating from their main caregiver. Our main aim is for your child to be happy and confident in the time they spend apart from you, providing them with good foundations for starting school.  It is essential, therefore, that the transition into Nursery or Reception is a smooth and successful one and so we offer Stay and Play sessions in the second half of the Summer Term as well as a Zoom / phone call with parents / carers in September, before they start school.   This allows the child to become increasingly familiar with the school, the environment and the Early Years staff team before starting in September.

We always encourage parental involvement in the children’s learning and welcome knowing what the children achieve at home. As a way of sharing this from home to school, we use Tapestry as our main means of communication. Tapestry enables each child to have a personal journal, or diary, which builds over time.  As a parent and caregiver Tapestry also allows you to contribute to this growing journal by commenting on the journal entries, or even adding your own.  For more information on Tapestry please follow this link: and see the link ‘Tapestry Guide for Parents / Carers’ below.


Our Nursery team are:

Class Teacher                            Class Name                       

Mrs Dunn 



Fir Bus stop_2

The Nursery Assistants Mrs Cooper-Beirne and Mrs Mitchell.


Our Reception team are:

Class  Teacher                           Class Name                                     


Mrs Scott and Mrs Glenin


Elm Elm Bus stop
Miss Langworthy Ash Ash Bus stop

The Learning Assistants in Reception are:  Miss Matthews and Mrs Chaudhuri.

For the current topics please see the Whole School Curriculum page.

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