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There are 7 areas of learning identified by the EYFS divided into 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas. The prime areas are crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and passion for learning, and for building an inquisitive mind, forming positive relationships and most all, thriving in education.

These 3 areas, the prime areas, are:

• communication and language

• physical development

• personal, social and emotional development

The 4 specific areas, through which the 3 prime areas are strengthened and applied are:

• literacy

• mathematics

• understanding the world

• expressive arts and design.

The children in Reception have a daily phonics lesson. In Willington Pre Prep we use the Monster Phonics Scheme to help consolidate phonics and sounds already learnt in Nursery, who use Jolly Phonics. Monster Phonics is a systematic multi-sensory way to teach phonics allowing children to advance more quickly.

Our Reception Curriculum builds upon what the children have learnt in our Nursery. The transition is very smooth and the majority of our children enter Reception working beyond national expectations. Throughout the Nursery year, children will have spent some time in the Reception classrooms and outside areas. The children have regular contact with the Reception staff so are familiar with their surroundings.

In Reception, the class teachers will carry out whole class teaching to introduce and consolidate learning across the curriculum. The class teacher is supported by a qualified teaching assistant who works together with the class teacher to oversee group work with focus on specific learning areas. This allows all children’s progress to be monitored closely. Alongside the adult guided activities, the children will have access to independent learning activities and resources. The guided and independent activities will be engaging, practical and fun. During the school day the children will also have opportunities to choose their own learning from a wide range of resources, such as junk modelling, writing, maths, construction and small world or the Interactive Smartboard.

The children have daily access to the Outside Learning area. Resources are continually changed and linked to our topic or theme, to ensure the children are motivated and inspired to learn. The Outside Learning area is used all year round no matter what the weather!

The class teachers and teaching assistants continually track and monitor the children’s understanding via observations. They ask quality, deeper questions to help gauge children’s understanding and encourage children to have inquisitive minds.

Letter formation and handwriting is introduced to the children in Reception and practised regularly. The children will use a range of tactile tools to do this, such as paint, sand, marker pens, ribbons, whiteboard pens and of course pencils!

In the Spring Term, children in EYFS take part in Forest School. This takes place off site in the local common area and is a brilliant opportunity for children to discover and experience learning whilst in the natural environment.

Reception children attend weekly Pre Prep assemblies where the Head of Pre Prep enhances the children’s understanding of the school values, topical issues or PSHEE themes. During the Congratulations part of the assemblies, certain children are recognised for demonstrating the Willington Values and receive a Willington Pre Prep Values Certificate. Achievements outside of school are also celebrated in this time.

Throughout the week, children are motivated by and rewarded electronic Class Dojo points for displaying positive behaviour and attitudes towards their work and school. The highest Dojo point achiever receives a badge in assembly.

Children take part in termly school trips to consolidate the learning and knowledge of the topic covered that term. Children visit the local area and community as well as travelling further a field.

The wider school community is important in Pre Prep as it is here that children are inspired, enthused and curiosities are stirred. Events such as the Christmas play, World Book Day and Mother’s Day, concerts and other calendar events form large steps in the children’s development. 

Specialist Teaching & Co-Curricular 

Children in Reception receive specialist teaching in Music and Movement, Art, ICT, French and PE. The lessons take place in subject specific classrooms and use of a wide range of resources. Greater depth and breadth of these subject areas is delivered by passionate and knowledgeable staff. Children also have weekly visits to the local school fields, Drax to take part in a games morning with the PE staff.   

Co-Curricular clubs make up a significant part of children’s holistic development. New skill sets are taught by both external and internal staff. Clubs on offer to children are Ezee Sport, cooking, construction, mindful drawing, eco-club and dance. 

Tracking Progress 

Children’s progress is tracked and recorded via an electronic programme called Tapestry. Evidence of children’s development is recorded by photos or videos, along with a commentary from the observer and shared with parents via the app. Parents are actively encouraged to record observations of their child at home and share this with the school.  There is regular feedback to parents about their child’s academic performance including Autumn and Spring parents evenings, as well as a termly summary report. In the Summer term, a full school report is written by the class teacher.


Both girls and boys are welcomed into our warm, successful school. We provide a high standard of education via high quality teaching in a caring and nurturing family environment. The love and passion for learning is ignited in our stimulating and resourceful classrooms and subject specialist teaching. Natural curiosity and inquisitive thinking is encouraged through a well-rounded education. Opportunities for challenging and inspiring are plentiful. Individuality is encouraged here at Willington Prep, however common traits have been recognised in both the girls and the boys, such as passionate, fun-loving, curious, resilient and well-rounded. 

Joining Willington Reception 

Click here for admissions information on joining at 4+ and details of how to register your child.