Welcome to the Early Years!

We hope that you will find the information on this page useful. If you have any other questions, as always, do not hesitate to ask one of us.

Who’s who in the Early Years?

Teaching Staff






Mrs Sarah Riley  – EYFS Lead and Reception teacher


Miss Caroline Whale (Nursery teacher)                                                                               

Mrs Helen Archer (Reception teacher)






Mrs Kirsty Paterson (Reception teacher)


Mrs Helen Browne







Miss Megan Harper


EYFS Teaching Support Assistants 


Mrs Emma Ingham (TA)       Mrs Lisa Hevingham (TA)


Mrs Amrita Padhi  (TA)      Miss Charlotte Browne (EYs Apprentice)







Miss Rebecca Gilsenan (EYs Apprentice)       Miss Jess Higgins (Ancillary Assistant)

Mrs Emma Gough (TA), Miss Lauran Carter (TA)


Lunchtime Supervisors

Mrs Ellie Shaw







Miss Jessika Higgins  Mrs Jade Hendon




If you have any concerns about a child, please contact one of the safeguarding leads in school as soon as possible. As shown above your Designated Safeguarding Leads at Woodlands are Mrs Crilly, Mrs Duncombe, Miss Smallwood , Mrs Fisher, Mrs Murray, Mrs Craven and Mr Jackson.

  • If you are not satisfied with the response from any of the above, we ask that you call Family Connect with your concerns on the following number – 01952 385385.

For more information about looking after our children, visit our safeguarding page: https://woodlands-sch.org.uk/home/parents-area/office/parent-guides/internet-safety/

Project Learning in the EYFS 

What is project work?

At Woodlands we take inspiration from colleagues working in pre-school settings in Reggio Emilia in Italy. We aim to bring this inspiration to our curriculum and everyday practice. The city of Reggio Emilia is recognised worldwide for its innovative approach to education which many pre-school programmes around the world have tried to emulate.

Our daily project work provides a rich context for children working within mixed learning groups to communicate and share what they discover and know. Working in this way allows children to work collaboratively and develop the idea that together, they can achieve more than if we work on our own.

We have a range of project work areas the children can access everyday…

Snake Garden

The children learning in Snake Garden have been investigating ‘What is in Snake Garden? They have used natural resources to develop role play together.

Children have welcomed the chickens in to their new ‘chicken coop’ and have spent time getting to know them and taking care of them. Educators have been learning about the life cycles of animals and plants.

Creatures have been further investigated as the children wonder ‘What’s underneath?’ the soil or the logs.


Children are being supported in the outside area to share their ideas and listen to others as they develop their collaborative learning skills.

A wider range of resources have been introduced to the outside area as the weather has improved this term (paints, chalks, plants, gardening, water, seeds, quiet story areas). The children, through collaborative reflection, have expressed interest in developing planting spaces and areas to attract small creatures such as butterflies. The educators and the children have been working together to develop and improve the ‘garden’.

Alongside this learning children are enjoying building and much of this learning has supported children’s geographical land scientific knowledge. Recently the children have been asked by the educators ‘I wonder what you know about holidays’.

Children have reflected on their own experiences of holidays and begun to develop their shared ideas as they build caravans, trains, aeroplanes, holiday houses etc.

“I want to go on holiday in a submarine and visit the Eiffel Tower!”

“We are going on holiday in a caravan…we need lots of toys in the back of our caravan!”


The children have been incorporating their ideas and experiences of the animals in EYFS into their story telling and writing. The educators have supported this through the use of the text ‘Chicken Licken’ and then asked the children the question.. ‘What happens next?’

“They went to Taco Bell for dinner!”

“The chicken goes in the castle and he gets a sword and then the chicken is the queen!”

Children have developed their ideas using drawing, writing, role play and discussion. They plan to write story endings in booklet/story form next.


To develop the children’s knowledge about the United Kingdom the children have been learning about the country ‘Wales’. Children brought lots of experiences about Wales to their own and the groups learning through family trips and holidays.

“I went to Barmouth beach and had fish and chips and hot donuts. They speak English but it is a different country.”

The educators uses videos, google maps and texts to support children’s ideas and thinking. They investigate castles and the history relating to the castles using a range of resources (paint, pen, clay, and blocks).

“The castle has got turrets the knights used to hide behind them.”

Welsh farms are then investigated and Welsh Rarebit is made….

“The cheese is in Wales and then it comes to the shops in England.”

Block Area

Recently in block area the children have been investigating ‘transport’.

The educator and the children have worked together to develop their knowledge and understanding about steam trains and how they work.

They made a trip together to the library for information books about transport, this has helped inform the children’s designs and writing.

The children have been working both individually and collaboratively to develop their ideas and build their designs.

We do hope that you enjoy reading about the project your child is involved in. Please take some time to look at the Project Journals within the unit.

Previous National and International Project work

We Think Everywhere – Digital Landscapes of Possibility and New Creative Pedagogies

In previous academic years we have been lucky to receive funding from Erasmus+ (European Union Funding) to be part of a three-year project researching the use of digital media and the creative opportunities it offers to young children.  We have worked with a network of schools in the UK and in Sweden to share our ideas and to discuss, as critical friends, the best ways to support our children to learn.

The We Think Everywhere network consists of…

Miss Smallwood and Mrs Archer’s latest reflective accounts…

We Think Everywhere Miss Smallwood Jan2017

We think everywhere Mrs Archer Jan2017

Find out more about this research project via our We Think Everywhere website by clicking on the link below…

We Think Everywhere

Click on the links below to read some of our summative documentation from previous projects.

Mum! Can you clean my branches

Pitter Patter Raindrops

Mathematics in Nursery 

Short, medium and long term planning for mathematics in Nursery is based on the new EYFS curriculum guidance, Development Matters and to fit with the intent of the curriculum for our school. It is also underpinned by guidance from NCETM, NRICH and White Rose Maths. There are many opportunities for the children to apply and develop their numeracy skills throughout the sessions. Many of these give the children the opportunity to solve number problems in everyday situations. Children also develop knowledge and understanding of instructional language to support this learning.

  1. During snack time children are supported to experience a weekly mathematics focus which is rotated on a half termly basis. This is to ensure children experience full coverage as part of a spiral curriculum. Educators offer a range of learning activities to cover each curriculum area. They cover;
  • Cardinality and counting
  • Comparison
  • Composition
  • Measure
  • Pattern
  • Shape
  1. During the daily register time children collaborate to count each other and this gives opportunity for children to discuss and develop their ideas related to numbers and the relationships between them. Children represent number in many different ways and this gives the opportunity for the teacher to support learning relating to counting, cardinality and number composition.
  2. Singing Assemblies – It is vitally important that children experience nursery rhymes regularly, particularly rhymes related to number. This reinforces children’s knowledge of number, changes to number and the patterns and relationships between and within numbers.

There are extensive opportunities for children to embed and develop their mathematics knowledge further during project learning sessions.

As always we welcome every opportunity to share children’s learning within school with parents and carers at home and also learning at home with the educators in the setting. We regularly send home children’s ‘Learning Journeys’ over the weekend to keep up a shared dialogue between Nursery and home regarding children’s learning experiences and also offer offer ‘Weekend WOW’ slips for parents/carers to share home experiences with us. In order to further develop the relationship between Nursery and home we offer regular ‘Stay and Learn’ sessions where we welcome parents/carers into setting to share learning experiences with the children. One of the most recent of these sessions had a mathematics focus.

EYFS NURSERY CURRICULUM OVERVIEW 2022.docx – Images below show part of the EYFS overview