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Early Years

How we learning in Reception

A Message from the Reception Team

At The Hayes, in the Early Years, we ensure our children develop a broad range of skills and knowledge which provide the right foundation for outstanding future progress throughout school and life. Our children are at the centre of all of our teaching and learning approaches. As a result of this, our provision is set up to ensure it matches the needs of all of our children whilst encouraging independence and positive relationships through deepening the child’s thinking and providing daily challenge. We provide a safe, stimulating and happy environment for the children to build resilience, develop in confidence and where they are able to feel valued as individuals.

We seek to provide: 

  • Quality and consistency, with high expectations so that every child makes good progress.

  • A secure foundationthrough learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each child and are assessed and reviewed regularly. 

  • Partnership workingbetween practitioners and parents and carers. 

  • Equality of opportunityensuring that every child is included and supported. 

We believe thatall children bring with them deep curiosity and potential, are competent, capable thinkers and learners as well as creative communicators and conversationalists. In the Early Years at The Hayes, we aim to create a learning environment that is exciting, engaging and a happy place to learn and grow. 


Teaching Team 

Mrs Farr (Safari Class Teacher and EYFS Phase Leader) 

Mrs Staines (Safari Class Teaching Assistant)

Mrs Duckett (Rainforest Class Teacher) 

Mrs Noel (Rainforest Class Teaching Assistant)

The Learning Environment

Our Reception classrooms are organised to allow children to explore and learn securely and safely. There are specific areas where the children can be active, be quiet, and creative amongst many other things. Through our enriched learning environment, we aim to promote learning across all 7 areas of the EYFS framework. Children are able to be active learners, to create and think critically.

All of our staff are passionate about promoting learning across the curriculum, and children have access to both the inside and outside areas across the school day alongside taking part in swimming tuition in our pool every other week (from November). Being outdoors offers opportunities for doing things in different ways and on different scales than when indoors. The children can explore, use their senses and be physically active and exuberant. Links are made between both learning environments to ensure that all children receive a rich and varied curriculum that supports their learning and development.


What Learning Looks Like

Play and exploration is fundamental within our Early Years classes. This means children are able to choose activities where they can engage with other children or adults or, sometimes, play alone. During these activities, the children will learn by first-hand experiences; by actively ‘doing’ as well as through scaffolding and modelling by adults.

At The Hayes we plan learning experiences considering both the children's individual needs and achievements as well as a range of learning experiences that will assist them to make progress. Children deepen their understanding by playing, talking, observing, planning, questioning, experimenting, testing, repeating, reflecting and responding to adults and to each other.

As the children progress through Reception, the academic learning activities increase. Each child continues to be supported and challenged through a lively and motivating curriculum, which caters for each child’s individual needs and abilities.



By the end of their Foundation year in school, it is expected that each child reaches the ‘Early Learning Goals’ (see Statutory Framework link). Children are tracked through the year using what they write down and record, through careful observation of what they can do, how they interact with others and how they explain what they know.
Each child has folder containing work from their learning journey and a writing folder which show examples of ways they have been working and what they have achieved. Parents and carers are invited to contribute to their child’s learning journey through ‘Wow Moments’. At The Hayes we truly value the relationship with parents and we encourage parents and carers to share ‘Wow Moments’ with us. These may include: how confident your child is in writing their name, reading and talking about a favourite book, riding a bike or their understanding of numbers.

At the end of the EYFS year, the EYFS Profile Assessment completes the picture of everything the children have learnt, and are able to do. This is reported to parents and carers in July, so parents know if their child is at the age-related expectation.

Progression of Skills and Knowledge

Characteristics of Effective Learning is a key element of the Early years foundation stage development. It covers the ways in which children should learn from their environment, their experiences and their activities and how this is to be reflected in teaching lessons.

The 3 characteristics are:

  • Playing and exploring - e.g: showing curiosity about objects, events and people
  • Active learning - e.g. showing a ‘can do’ attitude
  • Creating and thinking critically - e.g. observing and solving a problem.                                                                                                                       


Each week, our children are given the following weekly challenges: