The Early Years Foundation Stage at Wilbury
At Wilbury, we offer high quality early education from two year old provision to Reception and we are committed to giving children the best possible start to their education. We are recognised as a centre of excellence and share our practice widely, across Enfield, London and beyond. We were graded ‘Outstanding’ for early years provision in our Ofsted inspection, April 2023.
We have a balanced approach – we combine motivating adult led activities, core experiences (for example, gardening and cooking), and targeted phonics sessions with early years best practice – learning through play, enabling environments, outdoor learning, following children’s interests and teaching though adult-child interactions. The balance shifts as children move through the year groups. Our provision is developmentally appropriate, and children are taught the skills they need throughout. Expectations are stepped up at each stage, and we build on previous learning, ensuring progress.
Cooking in Threes Core experiences – growing vegetables in Nursery
Our curriculum is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework educational programmes and ‘Development Matters’ guidance, along with children’s interests and developmental needs, and the context of our school. Our curriculum is designed to give children the foundational knowledge and understanding needed to prepare them for year 1 and beyond. This is taught mainly through our focus texts and continuous provision. Our whole school curriculum is concept driven and we have developed early years progression documents for key subject areas which clearly link our provision to the concepts and knowledge in the national curriculum taught in key stages 1 and 2.
Select a curriculum subject to see our progression documents:
A key feature throughout our provision is developing children’s language and vocabulary. We do this through the stories we read, our interactions with children, and our language and communication rich environments (things to talk about and adults ready to talk). We provide lots of opportunities to develop children’s familiarity with stories, songs and rhymes throughout early years, from TWOs to Reception. Everything we do is designed to promote language development – our learning environments, the structure of our day, the way focus activities and interventions are organised, and the high quality training we provide for all our staff.
Reading and writing
Reading is central to our curriculum. Understanding and enjoyment of books is supported through daily storytime and sharing books in all year groups. We use ‘core books’ in Nursery and the CLPE ‘Power of Reading’ programme in Reception. This programme immerses children in high quality books, involves lots of talk and role play, and has been highly successful in raising engagement and attainment in reading and writing. We develop children’s writing through spoken language and comprehension of stories.
Enjoying books and stories in TWOs Retelling familiar stories in Nursery ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’
Reception writing Reception writing
Phonics teaching starts with ‘letters and sounds phase 1′ in TWOs and nursery, with listening and sound discrimination experiences and activities, as well as lots of songs and rhymes. We introduce Read Write Inc routines in Nursery, with letter sounds introduced in the Summer Term. Formal ‘Read Write Inc’ phonics lessons start at the beginning of Reception. This is taught systematically with daily sessions, in groups, so that teaching can be targeted to children’s levels. Children who need extra help are given individual tuition.
RWI phonics in Reception One to one phonics tuition in Reception
Maths is taught through concrete, meaningful experiences aimed at developing children’s conceptual understanding. We use the ‘White Rose Maths Hub’ scheme to inform our planning in Reception, and this carries on through the school, supplemented by activities and experiences planned to support the specific learning needs of our children, for example our emphasis on mathematical language, explanation and concrete experiences . Along with the rest of the school, we follow the ‘concrete, pictorial, abstract’ approach.
Meaningful maths – shopping in Reception Reception Maths outside
Early Years principles
Running all the way through our early years is the principle of learning through play, the best and most meaningful way for young children to learn. We offer lots of open ended exploratory experiences, and the structure of our day includes periods of uninterrupted play, so that children can get deeply involved in their learning. We provide rich, enabling learning environments, inside and outdoors, which promote exploration and discovery. The classrooms and outdoor areas in all year groups are organised so that opportunities in all areas of learning are offered. Children can access resources by themselves, make choices, follow their own interests and extend their own learning independently. This all leads to greater involvement and deeper learning.
We place a strong emphasis on the importance of outdoor learning throughout our provision. This has many benefits, including contributing to health and wellbeing, and in developing the ‘whole child’. Children are often more confident outside, and outdoor play offers great opportunities for experiencing the natural world, and active learning and exploration, as well as elements of risk and challenge. We have exceptional outdoor learning environments and a system of ‘free-flow’ whereby children can choose to play and learn inside or outside for a large part of the session.
Early Years Classes enjoy weekly sessions exploring and learning in our ‘forest’ area. The forest offers opportunities for outdoor learning in a natural environment. Children learn about team work, collaboration, problem solving and lots more, through a range of practical activities such as building shelters and dens, hunting for bugs and creating natural art work.
Interactions and the characteristics of effective learning
Much of our teaching is through interactions. Adults observe the children closely, and join in (‘intervene’) sensitively with their play, to extend their language and thinking, and develop their knowledge and skills. We support the ‘Characteristics of effective learning’ (‘playing and exploring’, ‘active learning’ and ‘creating and thinking critically’) developing confident, resilient, independent learners throughout the early years. We encourage good attitudes to learning, like curiosity, concentration and willingness to ‘have a go’, in everything we do.
All these aspects run through the early years at Wilbury, so that children become familiar and confident with this way of learning, and move seamlessly from one year group to the next. They are ready for the next stage, settle in quickly and ‘hit the ground running’.
Our aim is for children to leave the EYFS as confident, happy, independent, resilient learners, emotionally and academically ready for Year one.
If you would like to find out more, please contact the school to arrange a visit (email email@example.com or call 020 8807 5335), have a look at our ‘virtual Tour' or come to one of our Open Days (Covid restrictions permitting)
Our Early Years Department currently offers:
Wilbury TWOs – Two classes for 2 year olds (morning or afternoon) – part of Enfield’s ‘Terrific Twos’ programme. To apply:
- Check eligibility with ‘Terrific Twos’ – text ‘Terrific’ to 81025, or apply online here
- Register at the school office (show confirmation text as proof of eligibility)
A Three year old class (limited places, afternoon only) – children are eligible to start the term after they turn three, in January or April, provided they have applied for our main Nursery. To apply:
- Apply for a Nursery place here
- Let the school office know you are interested in a Three Year Old place – email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8807 5335
Three Nursery classes (morning or afternoon). Children start Nursery the September after they turn three.
- Apply online here
We have a limited number of full time (30 hours) Nursery places for working parents – check eligibility with Enfield Informed Families and register wth the school office
Four Reception classes (full time). Children start in Reception the September after they turn four
- Apply online here