As a school we are delighted to be recognised by Early Excellence as a Partner School for 2023/25, to host events and share good practice in our area.

Early Excellence are a highly regarded organisation that promote inspirational learning, offering School Improvement & Bespoke Consultancy as well as educational resource solutions focused on early primary EYFS & KS1.  

At Woodside we believe that every child deserves the right to have the best possible start in life so that they can achieve their true potential.

Within the Early Years at Woodside, we aim to:

  • give each child a happy, positive and start to their school life within a safe and secure environment.
  • establish solid foundations and foster a deep love of learning.
  • Enable each child, through encouragement and high expectations, to develop socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually to thrive in a diverse and ever-changing world.
  • Offer a structure for learning that has a range of starting points and unlimited opportunity for development.
  • Offer a broad and rich curriculum.
  • Encourage children to develop independence within a nurturing and supportive atmosphere.
  • Support children to build relationships through the development of social skills such as co-operation and sharing.
  • Help each child to recognise their own strengths and achievement by experiencing success and developing confidence to work toward personal goals.


The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the reception year. We follow the curriculum as outlined in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. This framework defines what we teach, and we use the Birth to 5 Matters guidance to support our curriculum. The EYFS framework includes seven areas of learning and development, all of which are seen as important and interconnected.

Three of the areas are referred to as the Prime areas. These are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving (Early Years Framework 2021)

The prime areas are:

  • Communication and language

Listening, Attention and Understanding


  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development


Managing Self

Building Relationships

  • Physical Development

Gross Motor

Fine Motor


The Prime areas are strengthened and applied through the further four areas which are referred to as the Specific areas.

  • Literacy

Word Reading

  • Mathematics

Numerical patterns

  • Understanding the World

Past and present
People, culture and communities

The Natural World

  • Expressive Arts and Design

Creating with materials

Being imaginative and expressive


Throughout all these areas of learning and at the heart of the EYFS curriculum are the “Characteristics of Effective Learning. We strive to develop these key characteristics of

  • Playing and Exploring- children investigate and experience things and ‘have a go’.
  • Active Learning- children concentrate and keep trying if they encounter difficulties, they enjoy achievements.
  • Creating and Thinking Critically- children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.


Learning through play underpins our approach to teaching and learning in EYFS. We embrace the fact that young children learn best from activities and experiences that interest and inspire them to learn.

Our Reception classroom and outdoor area is set up with areas of learning, offering resources that build upon and deepen experiences and learning from Nursery/Pre School settings the children have previously been at.

Our provision provides children with stimulating, active play to encourage creative and critical thinking alongside other children, as well as on their own. Children can practice skills, build upon and revisit prior learning and experiences at their own level and pace. Play gives our children the opportunity to pursue their own interests, stimulate new interests, inspire those around them and consolidate their understanding and skills. The children learn to adapt, negotiate, communicate, discuss, investigate, and ask questions.

Our adults take an active role in child-initiated play through observing, modelling, and questioning. They teach and extend play whilst developing skills and language.

We understand that outdoor play is of equal importance as indoor play and that the outdoor classroom offers children ‘bigger’, ‘louder’ and ‘messier’ experiences. We therefore aim to offer access to our outdoor learning areas throughout the school day as well as providing opportunities once a week to explore the beautiful woodlands on our doorstep.


The journey continues…. our transition from Reception to Year 1 at Woodside.

At Woodside we believe that the children should continue to experience an environment that promotes independence, curiosity awe and wonder when they leave EYFS and transition to Key Stage 1.  We want our Year 1 children to continue to have a happy, positive start to Key Stage 1 and to continue to foster a deep love of learning.

Our Year 1 curriculum learning environments continue to put play and active learning at its core to ensure that our pupils well-being and engagement in learning remains high. A careful balance of direct teaching, adult guided tasks and child-initiated activities ensures that this happens. Children continue to take ownership of their learning through play guided by highly skilled staff who guide, extend or support learning through high-quality interactions.

During Year 1, we carefully monitor and assess how the children adapt to their new environment. Gradually over time and when the children are ready we begin to introduce the children to routines where they work more independently of an adult. By the end of Year 1, we aim for the majority of children to be working in a formal way in preparation for their move into Year 2.