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Foundation Stage/ Year 1

September 2023

Please see below some information for your child in EYFS and Year 1. Our school Facebook page is updated regularly with photos of the fantastic learning and experiences that take place in this unit, so please make sure you visit the page and share updates with your child regularly: Facebook (or search Willowbank Primary School on Facebook)

Meet the Team


Across Early Years Foundation Stage (Reception), Year 1 and Year 2, we use an ‘online learning journal’ called Tapestry. Using Tapestry will enable staff to take photographs of your child participating in various activities, some examples of tasks that they have completed in school, and written observations including your child’s own words. Each ‘Learning Journey’ will be unique to your child and will enable school and home to celebrate together their learning and development. The manner in which Tapestry will be used across each year group will differ to match our approach to how sessions are taught and recorded. Whilst we are eager to share all aspects of your child’s learning with you, we also value the impact we have as teachers when working alongside children, questioning and continually developing and enhancing your child’s skills and knowledge. Therefore, this means that the frequency of the observations that are shared on Tapestry will also vary, dependent on when key learning moments occur.


The Tapestry platform enables the information gathered to be kept as an ongoing electronic record. All information held in the platform is stored securely. As well as being able to view your child’s progress and see they have been learning at school, you can also add photographs or comments.  Tapestry allows for communication between staff and parents and helps to build a shared understanding of how each individual can reach their full potential; and as parents, you have the ability to inform staff of activities which your child really enjoyed in school, as well as any further learning that takes place at home. The Tapestry platform should only be used to share and celebrate your child’s learning and if you have any other questions or queries, these should be raised through our existing methods of communication. Likewise, information from school will continue to be emailed through the school office and on the MyEd app and not through Tapestry.

Story Shed

Encouraging a love of reading

At Willowbank we aim for all our children to become fluent, confident readers who are passionate about reading. Children who read regularly or are read to regularly have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds! More importantly, reading will give your child the tools to become independent life-long learners. We can achieve this together through:


  • Read Write Inc, a program to help to your child read at school
  • Encouraging children to develop a love of books by reading to them daily, at home and at school

Ruth Miskin Training

10 tips on how to share stories with children (

  • Giving children access to a wide range of books at school and at home


To support you in encouraging your child’s love of books, we will be opening a ‘Story Shed’ from 8.20am to 8.40am (when the school gates open to when they are closed each morning). Our ‘Story Shed’ will contain a variety of books that you and your child can look through and choose to take home. Each week, your child will be able to choose one ‘book of choice’ to take home. This is a book that your child will take home and explore with an adult – it is not a book your child will read for themselves.

Developing Reading Skills

New starter pupil premium

The pupil premium is additional funding given to state-funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and close the gap between them and their peers.


There are 4 elements to pupil premium:

Free school meal eligibility

service children

adopted from care, special guardianship order and residence order

children in care


Any qualifying family that registers their eligibility (based on the free school meal criteria) will help raise pupil premium money for the school. For 2022/23, the additional funding will be £1,385 for a primary school, for each registered child.


Do I need to apply for pupil premium? (based on free school meal criteria)

You only need to apply if you have a child in reception, year 1 or year 2 and both of the following apply:

you do not have an existing free school meal claim

you are in receipt of any of the qualifying benefits (see School meals for a list of the qualifying benefits).


How to apply

Through the Citizen Portal which is the quickest and easiest way to apply and will result in you getting an instant decision.

Parents and carers can also ring the Education Helpline on 0345 155 1019.

Learning Landscape

Within our learning environment, we have opportunities for children to explore 'loose parts'.


When children interact with loose parts, they enter a world of “what if” that promotes the type of  thinking that leads to problem solving and theoretical reasoning.  Loose parts enhance children’s ability to think imaginatively and see solutions, and they bring a sense of adventure and excitement to children’s play”.

(Dale and Beloglovsky)


A ‘loose parts’ toy, is open-ended; children may use it in many ways and combine with other loose-parts through imagination and creativity. Nature, which excites all the senses, remains the richest source of loose parts.”
(Richard Louv, Author)