Church Of England Primary School

Willow Class is our Pre-School which opened in September 2016. We offer a fun, nurturing environment focused on play, and follow our children's needs and interests to plan exciting, challenging stimulating activities for all.

Please contact our school bursar, Mrs Seers at if you would like more information about our availability.

Welcome to Willow Class!

Hello! My name is Miss Walmsley and I am the Pre-school teacher. This will be my first year teaching at Clayton-le-Woods. Just like you I am starting a new ‘learning journey’ and am very excited to meet you all and share our classroom space with the lovely Mrs Dwayre and EYFS team!

I graduated in 2018 and have worked in a Maintained Nursery School for the last five years. Before my initial teacher training, I also studied Childcare and have over ten years experience of working with children of mixed ages and abilities. Outside of work I love to socialise with friends and family. My favourite activities include: swimming, reading, going to the theatre and lots of shopping. 

We are going to have an amazing year together, but remember it’s ok to feel a little unsure about what comes next. This is the first chapter of many and by the time you leave us, you will have written a beautiful story! 

Hello! My name is Mrs Dwayre and I am the teaching assistant in Willow class. I have worked at Clayton-le-woods for 5 years and am very excited to welcome you into our school community. Outside of work I enjoy going on bike rides with my husband and three children. I also enjoy completing lots of arts and crafts. 

Follow our Pre-School page on Facebook @claytonlewoodspreschool to see what learning we have been doing, activities we have been engaged with and classroom areas we have loved exploring.

 Class Information

  • Pre-School starts at 8:40am, and the morning session ends at 11:40am. The full-day ends at 3:15pm.
    Pick up and drop off is from the top of the Pre-School steps by our outdoor EYFS area. 
  • We have PE on Wednesday morning - Please come to school dressed in your PE kit. PE is taught by Mr Molloy, our PE coach.
  • We teach Phonics daily, as well as Helicopter Stories or Wonderful Words.
  • We learn about RE once a week (Mondays).
  • Each member of staff in EYFS has their own key person group, getting together daily to build relationships, encourage confidence and independence through a range of activities and/or circle time.
  • You will need to bring in a bag with a spare change of clothing (this can stay in class), water bottle, wellies, and waterproofs (named). We go outside whatever the weather!
  • On Wednesday afternoons, we have 'Welly Wednesdays' were we have lots of fun in our on-site mud-kitchen.
  • Miss Walmsley is out of class for PPA on Wednesday mornings, Mr Molloy and Mrs Dwayre will be in class :)

Our Classroom

Within the EYFS Unit, we have 2 classes Willow Class (Pre-School) and Ash Class (Reception). The children are able to access both classrooms throughout the day, with each classroom offering different areas.

In Willow Class, we have a home corner, cosy corner, workshop (junk modelling) area, funky fingers area, small world area, painting area, and a construction area. We also have an RE reflection area which builds on our RE learning. Our themes for Pre-school are: I am special, Special people, Christmas, Listening to the stories Jesus heard, Easter, Special times and Friendship. 

Each area supports children's learning and development within the 7 EYFS areas, and is enhanced weekly based on the individual needs, interests and skills we are focusing on.

Below are some photos of the areas in Willow Class...

Our Outdoor Space

In Pre-School we are fortunate enough to have two outdoor spaces: The EYFS outdoor area (at the top of our Pre-School steps) and use of the large infant playground.

In our EYFS 'outdoor classroom'  we have a Maths area, Sand and Water area, Climbing wall station, Reading Shed, Writing area, Gardening area, Painting area and a Small World area.

Over on the large infant playground, we have a Large Construction area, Bikes and Trikes, Ball Skills area and a section suitable for obstacle courses. Each half-term, we are focusing on developing different skills - for instance in the ball area we might be encouraging the use of throwing and catching, then later in the year dribbling a football with increased control and precision. 

We have access to the EYFS outdoor area every session, and the large infant playground at least one session a day.
We share both of these outdoor spaces with Ash Class (Reception).

Introducing 'Helicopter Stories'

Helicopter Stories is an Early Years approach to Communication and Literacy skills based on the Storytelling and Story Acting curriculum. In its simplest form, Helicopter Stories lets children dictate their stories which are written down verbatim, exactly as they are told, by an EYFS teacher. The children then gather around a taped out stage and the stories are acted out. Alongside the simplicity of this approach is an ethos that is child-centred, creating a culture of curiosity and wonder at the dexterity of children’s imaginings during both the telling and the acting out of their stories.

This holistic approach uses the power of storytelling to develop key curriculum areas such as creativity, communication and language, personal, social and emotional skills in the Early Years classroom, giving children's stories a voice in a safe space.

The Benefits:

  • An inclusive, whole-class approach which values every child’s contribution;
  • Facilitates high levels of engagement;
  • Creates confidence and self-assurance;
  • Supports the development of speaking skills as children express and share their ideas;
  • Helps to develop accurate, active listening skills and understanding;
  • Supports co-operative and collaborative and creative learning;
  • Develops positive relationships within a shared storytelling experience;
  • Allows children to explore early literacy and the power of words as they see their stories come to life, and develop their ability to use and adapt language to communicate;
  • Offers children a bridge into the world of creative writing as they begin to see the links between the oral stories they compose and the words on a page. 


The EYFS unit (Pre-School and Reception) share topics as all children free-flow and share the two classrooms and outdoor area. 

Our Topics this year are...

  • Autumn 1 - Magical Kingdoms
  • Autumn 2 - Festivals and Food
  • Spring 1 - Under the Sea
  • Spring 2 - Farming and Growing
  • Summer 1 - Superheroes
  • Summer 2 - Twisted Tales

Our current newsletter


Summer 1


If you have any queries or questions about Pre-School please contact me via: 

Willow Class - Pre-School