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The benefits of attending Hallfield School in EYFS

We sat down with Ms Caitlin Williams, Head of EYFS to learn about EYFS at Hallfield and what makes Hallfield’s EYFS provision exceptional.


9 April 2024


#Special Feature


#Nursery #Pre-Prep

The benefits of attending Hallfield School in EYFS


How does the experience of a child transitioning from Hallfield Foundation to Reception compare to a child who hasn’t attended an EYFS setting, such as one who was homeschooled or attended a less developed/funded nursery?

Children who join Hallfield School in Foundation (age 3 – 4) get a solid grounding in the prime areas of learning before progressing to Reception.

What are the 7 Prime Areas of Learning in EYFS?

  1. Speech and Communication
  2. Language
  3. Personal social and emotional development.
  4. Literacy
  5. Mathematics
  6. Understanding the World
  7. Expressive Arts


The prime areas are fundamental to ensure a broad and balanced base of learning for young children. Special attention is given to self-regulation, confidence in communication, and observing and enhancing physical skills where they can develop further. The EYFS states that the primary areas are “crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive”.

Pushing the boundaries of learning

At Hallfield, Ms Caitlin Williams, Head of EYFS has developed a bespoke curriculum that includes specialist teaching in Dance and Music from the age of two. This expands to include French, Music, and PE in Foundation (3 years+). We push the boundaries of the education we offer to ensure competence for every child in the seven areas of learning, and providing opportunities and experiences that instil a love of learning and curiosity from a very young age.

We know all the children individually and can adjust the curriculum based on observations of each child to address any areas that need work. The goal is to ensure that children have the necessary skills by the end of Foundation to flourish in Reception – their final year in EYFS.



Preparing your child for Reception

By the end of their Foundation year, children have cultivated the essential skills and awareness required for a seamless transition into Reception. They have not only become accustomed to the daily routines of starting their day with maths and phonics, but have formed a strong bond with their specialist teachers and familiarised themselves with the school environment. Whether it’s exploring the wonders of Hallfield’s very own woodland during Forest School sessions, or delving into the literary treasures of our Pre-Prep Library housed in the cosy confines of the Creative Cottage, every experience enriches their journey at Hallfield School.

In many countries and cultures, the significance of play in children’s development is not fully understood, with a tendency to prioritise academics. Could you elaborate on how Hallfield EYFS promotes learning through play, emphasising the advantages and why this approach is beneficial for children’s development?



Picture this: a bustling classroom filled with giggles, creativity, and boundless energy. This is Hallfield Early Years Foundation (EYFS), where learning through play isn’t just a side activity—it’s the cornerstone of our educational philosophy.

At Hallfield, we understand the importance of personal-social-emotional development, physical prowess, and effective communication and language skills. These prime areas serve as the bedrock upon which all further learning is built. After all, before a child can grasp complex academic concepts, they must first master the fundamentals.




Think of it this way, before a child can write their first sentence or solve their first numeracy problem, they need the physical dexterity to hold a pencil and the social skills to collaborate with friends. By prioritising these foundational skills in nursery and pre-school, we pave the way for smoother academic progress in Reception and beyond.

Our approach isn’t just about ticking boxes—it’s about fostering a deep, enduring understanding of concepts. We immerse children in rich, meaningful experiences that allow them to explore and discover for themselves. Instead of simply reciting facts, we encourage children to dive into the sandbox, splash in the water, and proudly demonstrate their newfound knowledge in a variety of settings.

What are the top three skills that teachers would like to see in a child by the time they reach Reception, and how do our staff at Hallfield actively contribute to the development of these skills in each child between the ages of 0 – 4?

Imagine a world where every child enters Reception not just ready to learn, but eager to embrace the adventures that lie ahead. At Hallfield, we believe that the journey to readiness begins long before a child sets foot in their first classroom.

From mastering the art of toileting to confidently wielding knives and forks, personal independence is key for our young learners.

Our Foundation unit is a haven for independence, we take a collaborative approach to toilet training, working closely with parents to provide consistent support and encouragement. Furthermore, our curriculum is meticulously crafted with age-appropriate milestones in mind, ensuring that every child progresses at their own pace. Because at Hallfield, we believe that there’s no limit to what a determined 3-year-old can achieve!




Confidence is the key that unlocks countless opportunities, and at Hallfield, we’re passionate about nurturing this essential trait from an early age. Whether it’s interacting with adults or forging friendships with peers, we empower children to navigate the world with resilience. Through our guidance, we help children understand and manage their feelings, laying the groundwork for success in Reception and beyond. We encourage chatter and conversation, fostering a culture where every voice is heard, and every opinion valued. After all, confident communicators make confident learners!


As children prepare to embark on their educational journey, basic skills readiness is paramount. From phonics to early numeracy, our little learners are primed and poised to pick up a pencil and dive into the wonders of mark-making. Our curriculum is a carefully curated roadmap from Nursery to Reception, progressively building literacy and mathematical skills at every stage.

What are the key benefits of continuing with the tailored Hallfield EYFS curriculum up to Reception? And how does it contribute to the overall development and success of the children?

At Hallfield, we believe that every child is unique, with their own set of talents, interests, and aspirations. That’s why our tailored Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum isn’t just a programme—it’s a journey of discovery, exploration, and boundless potential.

Step into our classrooms, and you’ll find a world bursting with excitement and opportunity. We understand that one size does not fit all, so our curriculum is specifically tailored for Hallfield children, considering their unique needs, interests, and learning styles. The curriculum is meticulously designed to maximise every facet of the school environment, from specialist lessons in dance and music, to enchanting library visits and heartwarming interactions with our furry friends, like guinea pigs. With a broad, balanced, and rich curriculum, children embark on a journey of exploration and discovery, uncovering their passions and talents along the way.

So, there you have it—the magic of Hallfield’s EYFS. By continuing this journey up to Reception, we’re not just shaping children’s minds—we’re igniting their passion for learning, empowering them to reach for the stars, and laying the foundation for a lifetime of success!

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