Waterside Academy


Early Years Foundation Stage

Welcome to our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

EYFS Leader  - Mrs A Geaves (Assistant Head) 

Mrs Geaves will be supported this year by Mrs Jones, Mrs Foyle and Mrs Taylor


Welcome to Early Years.

Taken from our recent Ofsted Report:

"In the early years, adults have very high expectations of children. As a result,
children in the Nursery and Reception classes listen attentively to adults and
maintain interest for sustained periods in their learning. Parents are very happy
with how well their children learn during their time in the early years. They say
their children have flourished"

Welcome to Early Years. Please take a look through our slide shows at some of our wonderful activities

Our Nursery children enjoying a Coronation Party
Our Nursery children enjoying a Coronation Party

Spring Term in Early Years

Autumn in Early Years

Early Years at Christmas!

Our Early Years children enjoyed a morning exploring at our school's allotment

Our Early Years Foundation Stage Unit
At Waterside Academy the Nursery and Reception classes work closely and the children are able to access indoor and outdoor learning environments to enjoy playing and learning together.

Our outdoor environment is a very special place where children can get lost in their learning.  There are plenty of opportunities for children to work and play together as well as the time and space for children to challenge themselves.  Our children learn to take risks in a safe and controlled environment.  This has a huge impact on their self esteem and their resilience for learning.

What are the timings of the day?
Nursery:  8:45am - 11:55am

Reception:  8:45am - 3:15pm  


Children in Nursery and Reception enjoy physical activities every day.  In addition they may have PE lessons in the hall or on the field.  For the time being we would like children to only bring in a pair of trainers for PE lessons. Please  do not bring in a full PE kit at this time.

The Children's Centre

We have close links with the WGC Children's Centre Group and Waterside Children's Centre in particular, which is situated on our school site.  We meet regularly to discuss provision and should you have any questions then please do let us know.

Reading and Writing:

Reading and writing are not separate energies - reading is breathing in and writing is breathing out

Teaching children to read and write independently, as quickly as possible, is one of the core purposes of a primary school. These key skills not only hold the keys to the rest of the curriculum but also have a huge impact on children’s self-esteem and future life chances.

Reading and writing are both two part processes: readers decode and comprehend, writers create and encode. In one respect, decoding and encoding are the ‘mechanical’ skills that children need to master in order to be able to comprehend what they read and write creatively. Research has shown that by teaching phonics thoroughly and rigorously to children, we can ensure that they use this knowledge to decode effortlessly and automatically. This means all energy can be focused on understanding and enjoying what is read and on composing and creating fantastic writing. 


The phonics taught at Waterside is delivered using 'Twinkl Phonics' - this is true for phases one through to four. Phase five is supplemented using additional materials from various sources which are carefully selected by experienced teachers.

Children are encouraged to read at school very regularly and the books they read from are always matched to their current phase of phonological learning.

When the children have 'guided' sessions new sounds, words and more challenging texts are used as there are adults leading the sessions who can question and stretch appropriately.  

Children have phonics grid in their home reading records which indicate which sounds they have already learnt and therefore which sounds will need adult prompting. 


Please click on the links below which are transition activities to support the first steps in preparing children who are starting at Waterside.

SECTION 36 I am starting school leaflet(1).pdf

SECTION 41 My First Day of School(1).pdf

SECTION 45 Getting ready for school.pdf

Transition Treasure Hunt activity.docx

We have also created a transition video for all of our new and existing early years children to help them with their return to school in September. Please click on the link below to view the video:


We look forward to seeing you all in September!


Rowans, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, AL7 1NZ
A charitable limited company, registered in England and Wales No 10290954
Registered Office The Orchard Primary School, Gammons Lane, Watford, WD24 5JW

01707 321203