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Foundation Stage/ Year 1 2021-2022

Welcome to Early Years Foundation Stage and Year 1

Mrs Kyte- Caterpillar class teacher and Unit Lead

Ms Ferris - Tadpole class teacher



Spring Term information letter

Characteristics of Effective Learning

At Willowbank, we believe that children should be given the opportunity to develop an awareness of how they learn as well as developing an understanding of how they can build on their learning characteristics. We capture your child’s ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ in our EYFS classes through different animals. These characters enable children to develop a greater awareness of their own characteristics whilst they are at school and we want to get you as parents fully involved in the process too!

Within the Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, three “Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning” are identified;

1. Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things and “have a go”.

2. Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy their achievements.

3. Creativity and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas and make links between ideas. They develop strategies for doing things

In school:

When planning, it is important to consider the different ways children learn and reflect this in how we teach and organise our learning environment as well as supporting individual children and groups of children. Over the coming weeks we will be introducing the characteristic characters and these will be used on a daily basis to help children develop an awareness of how they learn when they are at school. We will inform you via email of which Characteristics of Effective Learning we are introducing and we will be giving children a sticker to wear that shares and celebrates their achievements in connection to these.


At home:

Please talk about these characters at home together. If you notice your child showing a particular characteristic we would really like you to share it with us via Tapestry. Alternatively, you can use the attached sheet to record what your child says and does at home, cut out your observation and give it to your child’s teacher. If you need more sheets then please ask a member of staff who will be more than happy to give you another one. You can also find these on our school website.


Why we are doing this?

Observations from home and school will be put onto our characteristics and Wow Wall display to celebrate and motivate children to be active learners. We will use them to help us to plan for your child’s next steps

Characteristics of Effective Learning letter to parents

Characteristic of Learning: Playing and Exploring

Cockington Woods

Caterpillar class had an amazing visit to Cockington Woods. We splashed, ran, climbed under and over as well as getting rather muddy. The perfect adventure for our Early Years children!

Book of Choice Books

The ‘book of choice’ that your child takes home is been chosen by them and is not determined by their phonic knowledge. This might mean that the text is beyond their phonic reach and they will find it difficult to read or their ‘book of choice’ might be a familiar story that they can recall from memory. The purpose of the’ book of choice’ is to develop a pleasure in sharing and talking about books as well as developing vocabulary and an excitement in exploring new words. The ‘book of choice’ is to be shared with an adult. Talking and listening to your child about their chosen book develops their social and literacy skills and reading aloud is a good way of encouraging two-way communication.



As well as sharing information on our class webpage, we enjoy celebrating what our children have been creating, learning and exploring. Once all the photograph permission forms have been processed, we will be able to post class photographs on this page


Continuous Provision