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Early Years

Early Years Foundation Stage at Hillmorton Primary School



Here at Hillmorton, we recognise the fundamental role a child’s Early Years experiences plays in shaping the person and learner they become. As a cohesive team, we share the core belief that creating life-long learners who are curious, creative, confident and display characteristics of effective learning begin in the Early Years. Our EYFS curriculum is designed to lay strong foundations so that the children develop the characteristics of an effective learner as well as having the knowledge and skills to be ready for the key stage 1 curriculum and beyond. We provide pupils with a safe and stimulating environment that will allow them to thrive. We aim to develop curiosity and nurture children into becoming independent and resilient learners. Here at Hillmorton Primary School we have carefully designed our exciting and creative topic-based curriculum in both Pre-School and Reception to equip our children with the knowledge and skills to prepare our children for KS1 and beyond.

As part of a rich and broad curriculum, the children receive high quality directed learning in the form of Maths Mastery and Power of Reading sessions three times a week and daily Little Wandle Phonics sessions with consequent guided reading sessions three times a week. These initiatives have been carefully selected by Hillmorton Primary as their values of promoting a deep understanding of concepts, placing a high emphasis on language and communication, whilst promoting curiosity and engagement within these areas of learning align with our own.

By investing in these initiatives as a school, this ensures our children are following a carefully scaffolded curriculum in mathematics, phonics and reading informed by current educational research which builds upon prior learning carefully as our children progress into KS1 and into KS2.

Our school’s secrets of success are regularly referred to during the school day in order for the children to recognise achievements and next steps which inform valuable discussions around their personal social and emotional development and to support us feeling a sense of school community.  





We recognise as part of the DFE’s Statutory guidance, play is an integral component of the Early Years provision in order for children to consolidate key learning, for them to follow their own interests and collaborate positively with their peers and adults and consequently to build positive relationships.

There are opportunities throughout the day for children to engage in high quality play indoors and outdoors. We have worked closely with Early Excellence to create impressive indoor environments and an ample sized shared outdoor environment between Pre-school and Reception which effectively provides a range of opportunities for children to consolidate and apply learning and to follow their interests. As staff we also recognise the importance of the role of the adult to facilitate play effectively following the children’s direction. Within Early Years we strongly believe the environment, the adults and children work as a triad in order to facilitate high quality and purposeful learning.

We believe the effective characteristics of learning in the Early Years support children in becoming life-long learners and we regularly review the opportunities indoors and outdoors we provide our children to develop these characteristics:











Please refer to our Long term and half termly planning documents below which give an insight into how we meet the EYFS curriculum expectations across the wider curriculum across the academic year.


Our EYFS Reading Spine:


Each half term we focus on one Power of Reading text which includes sessions planned by literary specialists that compliment different areas of the EYFS curriculum, as skilled practitioners we adapt sessions to meet the needs and interests of the children in our provision. In Reception we evidence the children’s engagement with these texts in our class floor books and adult led group tasks in our individual workbooks.


In addition to our focus Power of Reading text, we recognise the importance of sharing high quality texts in our provision  (recommended by Power of Reading and/or Early Excellence) so we carefully consider the texts we have accessible in our different areas, including our book corner and the texts we read aloud for pleasure and enjoyment each day. We endeavour to give our children a broad and rich reading diet of different genres including fiction, non-fiction and poetry.



We love to provide children with opportunities that lots of them have not experienced before or that enhance their learning in school. We go on visits to support this for example a trip to Woburn Safari Park, pond dipping in the local area or arranging for a local agencies to come into school to talk to children about their jobs (doctors, dentists etc.) We ensure that all of our visits are learning related and will provide the spark for further immersion in a theme or project.


By the end of the year we provide opportunities for children to increase their independence in recording their work as appropriate to ensure they are well prepared for the move to Year 1. We also ensure that the pedagogy in Year 1 reflects the independent learning skills children have gained in Year R working together as teams to develop expertise and confidence in all teaching staff. We do this through transition and Achievement Team Meetings where reflections on practice are made, evaluated and decisions about the best way to move forward to enhance children’s learning.


The EYFS team work diligently to ensure that children are surrounded by a kind, caring and happy environment which helps them develop the same skills in their journey through school. It is a positive place to be where resilience, perseverance and successes are celebrated and every child feels valued and respected.




The impact of the EYFS curriculum is reflected in having well rounded, happy and confident children transitioning into Year 1. Our children are often amazing role models for others in school.

We measure progress and children’s learning across the year through formative and summative assessment which are based on the teacher’s knowledge of the child, their learning journeys, floor books to capture class discussions around our Power of Reading texts in Reception. We utilise non-statutory guidance including: Development Matters, Every Child matters and the statutory end of EYFS Early Learning Goals to inform our teacher judgements and recognising the next steps for individuals in their learning journeys. We aim to exceed the National and Local Authority data for children achieving Good Level of Development. Almost all of our children make more than the expected steps progress from their starting points.

The judgements of our school are moderated with other schools. This means judgements are secure and consistent with government guidelines. The EYFS Lead also takes part in Local Authority moderating events which the school also attends.


The teaching and pedagogy are reviewed and evaluated regularly through weekly team meetings. These have an agenda and actions which are then reviewed in the following meeting.  To support the wider EYFS team we hold regular CPD opportunities to inform our practice. We ensure that the areas we discuss and develop are reflected in changes and developments in our classroom practice.


The Early Years provision features in the School Development Plan and has a rigorous plan for development each year. This is monitored and evaluated by the EYFS Lead, the Head teacher, other Senior Leadership Team members and School Governors


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