Willow Class



You can read our Ofsted report here

Welcome to Willow Class!

Welcome to Willow Class! We are a kind, caring and happy class who love to explore our indoor and outdoor areas – there is always something exciting to do!

Willow class is a mixed age class with Reception and Year 1 children.

Our EYFS curriculum offers children a wide range of opportunities and first hand experiences to help them to be independent thinkers and encourage them to try new things and enjoy a new challenge. Our learning is child centered and follows the interests of the children alongside a carefully planned progression of skills. We embed the ‘Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning’ – playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically across both our indoor and outdoor areas.

Our Year 1 curriculum is based on units of learning, where chidlren absorb themselves in knowledge and skills of different subjects. We like to learn in fun, practical and exciting ways. We then apply what we have learnt to our writing.

In Willow Class we like to use our Gem Powers to help us learn. We use:

  • Ruby Power - to be kind and listen to others
  • Diamond Power - to  solve problems
  • Sapphire Power - to  stay focused
  • Emerald Power - to  be brave and have a go
  • Topaz power - to speak in full sentences to clearly share our ideas



Reception Maths:

In Reception we use the Mastering Number programme which has been designed to help children in Reception to develop fluency with, and understanding of, number that is crucial to future success in Maths. They will develop and demonstrate good number sense and will develop a secure understanding of how to build firm mathematical foundations. They will be support in this by the use of appropriate manipulatives to learn mathematical structures.

Year 1 Maths:

In Year 1 we use White Rose Maths to create maths lessons that meet all national curriculum guidelines in a fun, inclusive and age-appropriate way. This is designed to support primary children as they have fun with maths, exploring everything from times tables and number bonds to money and multiplication. We use a Mastery approach to maths teaching. This puts numbers first and also puts depth before breadth where we reinforce knowledge again and again. It encourages collaboration with children supporting each other as they learn. It also focuses on fluency, reasoning and problem solving which gives children the skills they need to become competent mathematicians.

Some useful websites and games to support learning:







Reading & Writing

Unlocking letters and sounds:

In both EYFS and Year 1 we use 'Unlocking Letters and Sounds' to teach our chidlren phonics. 

EYFS - We begin teaching phonics in the first few weeks of  Reception and children make rapid progress in their reading journey. Children begin to learn the main sounds heard in the English Language and how they can be represented, as well as learning ‘Common Exception’ words. They use these sounds to read and write simple words, captions and sentences. Children leave Reception being able to apply the phonemes taught within Phase 2 (single graphemes), Phase 3 (digraphs and trigraphs) and Phase 4 (applying these in more complex words - e.g. tent, train). 

Year 1 - Children learn alternative spellings and pronunciations for the graphemes they know and additional Common Exception Words. By the end of Year 1 children will have mastered using phonics to decode and blend when reading and segment when spelling. In Year 1 all children are screened using the national Phonics Screening Check. 

Children are regularly assessed and supported to keep up their progress in phonics through bespoke 1-1 interventions. These include GPC recognition and blending and segmenting interventions.

Reading at home:

  • Establish a regular time and place for daily reading, such as before bed or first thing in a morning.
  • Keep a variety of reading materials available (picture books, fiction, non-fiction, atlases, dictionaries, magazines, newspapers, join the library and visit regularly).
  • Share your own experiences of books (eg. talking about favourite book) and read yourself – children will want to follow your example!
  • Lots of talk! Ask questions encouraging children to think and make predictions about what they are reading.
  • Involve children in reading for specific uses as well as pleasure (eg. shopping list).

Home reading books:

  • Look at the front cover, back cover and pictures to engage children.
  • Encourage children to point to the words as they read.
  • Give children time and encouragement to have a go at reading independently.
  • If they are stuck on a word support them with blending, rather than telling them.
  • Make the experience interactive by asking questions about the story, the pictures and what they think of the characters – focus on understanding as well as word decoding.
  • Encourage children to spot any spellings they are learning (esp. tricky words which they cannot sound out e.g. the, you, was).

Useful questions to support your child’s reading:

  • What kind of book is it? (fiction/ non-fiction/ poetry etc)
  • Can you tell anything about the book before you start reading? How do you know?
  • What has happened so far?
  • What do you think might happen next? Why?
  • How would you like the story to end?
  • Where is the story set?
  • Who are the characters? Who do you like? Dislike? Why?
  • What is your favourite part of the story?
  • Can you retell this part of the story?
  • Can you think of words that start with the same sound / rhyme?

Something new to read...

Want some new books to read with your child? Follow this link to the Book Trust website and explore...


Other Activities to Support Your Child

Home learning:

Each week we ask that you hear your child read daily. We will then set one of the following home learning tasks:

  • English – e.g. handwriting, spelling, vocabulary, written task
  • Maths – e.g. practise fluency, core skills
  • Unit – an activity linked to our unit of learning

Home learning will be sent home on a Thursday and should be returned to school by the following Tuesday. It will then be kept in school.

Useful downloads

Contact Us

Happy to answer any questions


  • 40 Chestnut Road Sutton Benger Wiltshire SN15 4RP

Telephone Number