Owls Class (EYFS) is taught by Mrs Vikki Rowley with assistance from Mrs Angie Heffernan.

The foundation stage

There are 7 areas of learning in this stage and there is a strong emphasis on learning through play. The partnership between teacher and teaching assistant is important who work together to create an atmosphere where each child learns and develops at their own pace.

Assessment of children’s progress is an ongoing process. Evidence such as samples of work, observation, photographs and children’s comments are collected throughout the year and their achievements are recorded in individual learning journeys. These are shared with parents and regular intervals each term.

Communicating and working with parents is vital to each child’s progress and we aim to create an open class atmosphere where parents feel welcome to ask questions and add information, learning and life experiences to their children’s learning journey and we endeavour to send home information about what the children are exploring at school so that parents can talk with their children about school and share in their learning.

 The foundation stage is broken down into seven areas of learning:

  •          Communication & Language
  •          Physical Development
  •          Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  •          Literacy
  •          Mathematical Development
  •          Understanding of the World
  •          Expressive Arts and Design    

 Communication and Language:

Children are encouraged to listen attentively and to talk about their experiences. Skills are developed through storytelling, following instructions, conveying messages, sharing stories, songs and poems and by taking part in role play and puppet play in a variety of settings.

 Physical development:

Physical development aims to improve children’s skills of co-ordination, control, manipulation and movement. Through gym, indoor and outdoor activities, children are encouraged to use a range of small and large equipment, whilst gaining an awareness of space. They will be encouraged to handle simple tools, objects, construction kits and malleable materials safely.

 Personal, Social and Emotional Development:

Children are encouraged to gain confidence and self-respect and to establish relationships with other children and adults. Through a variety of practical activities, they begin to work as part of a group and independently. Children are encouraged to be sensitive to the needs of others and to show respect for different cultures’ and beliefs. Taking turns and sharing are developed, as is appropriate behaviour, including the care and concern for living things, property and the environment. Children are encouraged to communicate meaning through pictures, symbols, familiar letters and words. They are given opportunities to write independently for a variety of purposes.


Through sharing books, children begin to handle them carefully, understand how they are organised and recognise that print carries meaning. They are encouraged to draw on a range of strategies such as content, repetition, phonics and the recognition of familiar words. We work hard to make sure that we provide for these different strategies of reading writing by putting posters, word and sound mats and key vocabulary for the topic into the classroom environment and we also ensure that there are opportunities inside and outside the classroom for the children to write for a range of different purposes.

 Mathematical Development:

Mathematical development is split into two areas, Number and Shape, Space and measures. Children are encouraged to use number in their play, counting with 1:1 correspondence and practically finding totals and how much is left over when objects are taken away. The children explore shapes and measure using non-standard and standard units of measurement. We encourage children to sort and create patterns during independent learning and find solution to problems. When appropriate, children are encouraged to record their ideas using marks they can talk about and understand.

 Understanding of the World:

Children are encouraged to talk about their observations and sometimes record them, they begin to ask questions to gain information about why things happen and how they work. They explore the features of living things, objects and events in the natural and man-made environment, looking closely at similarities and differences, patterns and changes. Pupils are encouraged to talk about where they live, their families, and past and present events in their own lives. This is supported by stories, artefacts, pictures and photographs. The class will have the opportunity to become familiar with technology by using laptops, online education games on the class Interactive whiteboard and through programming education toys, such as Beebots.

 Expressive Arts and Design:

Through art, music, dance, drama, design and make activities and play activities, children are given the opportunity to use their imagination, to listen and to observe. They use a range of materials, tools and instruments to express their ideas and to communicate their feelings.

 The foundation stage and Phonics

We start teaching phonics in the first week of term and all children take part in a phonics session every day. We monitor their progress and split the children into groups according to where they are in their learning. We hold parent meetings to explain how we teach phonics and we aim to invite parents in once a term to observe phonics in action. To learn more about phonics and how it is taught in school, please download our leaflet. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to speak to your child’s teacher.

 Home-school partnerships:

At Long Wittenham we recognise that you, the parent, are your child’s first educator and that you know your child ‘inside and out’. We actively seek your co-operation to help us build a full and comprehensive picture of your child’s learning. Their learning journey is a working document and we would like you to be involved in shaping it. We have a basket full of ‘wow’ slips which you will be invited to take home to fill in with special experiences, things your child might like to share with us as well as moments of learning. We also send home a maths bag and a pocket-sized class book which can be shared at home. Please do also use their reading log books to share any questions or comments relating to their reading.  

We use the Class Dojo app to regularly communicate with parents. Parents are able to comment and add information about their child's learning via the app.