At Hayward’s Primary School, we are extremely proud of our Early Years unit, which builds on children’s pre-school and home experiences during their Reception year of school. The unit accommodates up to 60 children within a stimulating, free-flow environment where a balance of adult-led and child-initiated play experiences are the foundation to everyday learning and development. We recognise the vital importance of high quality early experiences and learning, and continually see our Early Years Team develop and adapt their high quality practice and provision to suit children’s interests and needs, ensuring that all children develop into confident and creative independent learners, who can challenge and extend their own learning.


Hayward’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum Intent

Within the EYFS at Hayward’s Primary School, we realise that you as Parents have already begun your child’s unique educational journey which we will continue to build on and extend in order to nurture their life-long love of learning. We have a crucial role in providing the firm foundations in order to give your child the best start in life and for them to become a successful learner. Our strong and effective partnership with you as Parents starts even before your child begins Reception and is something that we pride ourselves on here at Hayward’s.

We recognise that the EYFS is a significant phase in children’s education where we encourage and promote children’s social and emotional development hand in hand with their learning. Through our carefully crafted curriculum, we aim to inspire, enthuse and motivate all young children in all they explore, do and discover. For us, play is at the heart of our curriculum and is fundamental to young children’s learning and development. Creating wonder and memorable experiences is a key feature for us, hooking children in with excitement and providing real life opportunities for them to rehearse, revisit and revise their skills and knowledge in a variety of situations in order to deepen their learning and understanding.

We understand that all children develop individually and at different times and therefore, flexibility within our curriculum enables us to follow children’s own interests and fascinations as well as being responsive and adaptive to children’s ever-changing needs and development. We call these Magic Moments, most of which are unplanned and happen ‘in the moment’ in order to make the most of the learning opportunity that has presented itself or been created. We are passionate about allowing all children to achieve their full potential and as an EYFS team, make getting to know each and every child well in the first few weeks they start at Hayward’s a priority, including the opportunity for a home visit to gain vital up to date information from you just before your child starts school. Through our stimulating environments, an abundance of adult led and child initiated activities and experiences, and the skilful EYFS team, children are challenged and supported appropriately in their leaning every step of the way.  

We want our children at Hayward’s to be confident, resilient and independent members of the community. We want them to have an ‘I can’ attitude to all they do and to interact positively with others. We ensure that children are safe, secure and ready to learn each day and establish consistent routines quickly which children soon become familiar with. Safeguarding is therefore rigorous within the EYFS unit.

A focus on Communication and Language from the outset is also crucial to young children’s learning and development. It is therefore interwoven into everything we do in the EYFS unit. The EYFS team are mindful in creating opportunities for children to interact easily and will positively role model effective communication and use of language through the high quality interactions they have with children. We also make building a rich and varied vocabulary of high importance throughout the year and ensure that all children deepen their understanding of new vocabulary through playful experiences and in a variety of situations, allowing them to enjoy, understand and use vocabulary well.

The New EYFS Framework 2021

There are seven areas of learning and development within the EYFS framework. All areas are important and inter-connected. Our children’s learning experiences enable them to develop skills and competency in all areas, not just academically but also socially, emotionally and physically.

The seven areas are split into Prime and Specific areas. The three Prime areas which are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and have the language for learning are:

  • Communication and Language
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development

There are also four Specific areas, through which the three prime areas are further strengthened and applied:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Then, the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning weave through all seven areas of learning. Children in the early years are becoming more powerful learners and thinkers and the characteristics develop as they learn to do new things, acquire new skills, develop socially and emotionally, and become better communicators. Children deepen their understanding by playing, talking, observing, planning, questioning, experimenting, testing, repeating, reflecting and responding to adults and to each other. Our unit offers four spaces, three indoor and one outdoor, where learning takes place. Children access these throughout the day sometimes on both a free flow and timetabled basis. We also ensure that all children in EYFS have access to our wonderful Forest School provision from October half term through to the Summer Term. The use of the online learning journal, Tapestry, enables us to easily share children’s learning with Parents and for Parents to share their children’s learning with us, further building the partnership with parents.


At Hayward's, we have set out what we want all reception children to achieve by the end of the EYFS. We have presented them in the graphic below to show how all seven areas of learning all link together. Communication and Language is in the middle because it is at the heart of everything that we do. 


  • Have the confidence to initiate and hold a conversation with their friends and about their interests and ideas.
  • Begin to build a rich range of vocabulary which they can use and understand.
  • Be read to every day in order to nurture a life-long love of reading.


  • Develop a love of reading, mark making and writing, where their efforts are valued and celebrated
  • Read words, simple sentences and books using the sounds they have learnt
  • Understand and comment on books we explore together
  • Learn by heart and express through their play, a range of rhymes, songs and poems


  • Be enthusiastic about exploring numbers, recognising patterns and making links while developing a deep understanding of numbers 1 to 10, including number bonds.
  • Repeat, rehearse and apply their skills through rich and purposeful experiences.


  • Build successful friendships with children and form nurturing relationships with adults.
  • Feel happy, confident and proud to be themselves, recognising and celebrating uniqueness in others.
  • Begin to recognise, understand and manage their feelings and worries appropriately.
  • Begin to understand and demonstrate what is right and wrong.
  • Develop a ‘have a go’ attitude to life and learning by demonstrating the skills of perseverance and resilience. 


  • Develop a love of being active through daily physical activity, a range of games and playful activities.
  • Understand the importance of healthy choices and the positive effects it has on their bodies and wellbeing.
  • Hold a pencil effectively by gaining control over their fine motor skills through a rich range of sensory explorations and activities.


  • Make sense of their physical world through exploration, observation, discussion, investigation and personal experiences.
  • Know who is in their family and why they are important to them.
  • Appreciate and learn about people and places in their local community


  • Be encouraged to be imaginative and creative through opportunities to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials.
  • Have the confidence to share and develop their own ideas and perform a story, song, poem or rhyme to an audience.
  • Become artistic and begin to develop cultural awareness.


We have carefully crafted a curriculum for reception children which ensures that they have a broad and balanced range of learning opportunities and experiences which are rooted in exciting and engaging topics. There will also be room to follow children's interests and allow for learning,  as and when it happens. 

Please click on the link below for details of our EYFS curriculum: 

Hayward's Curriculum Plan


Tapestry is the online software we use to record the learning journey of your child.

Click on the link below to access your child’s Tapestry account. Please see the Using Tapestry section of the EYFS page for more information.