St Malachy's Catholic Primary, Furness Place, Illingworth, Halifax, HX2 8JY

01422 244628

St Malachy's Catholic Primary School

Ofsted an Parent View

We are proud to work with all the Catholic schools across our two local authority areas, particularly as the Trust grows and benefits from the expertise and knowledge that other schools joining in the future will bring.

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Early Years Foundation Stage

Our Early Years Foundation Stage has a 26 place morning and afternoon Nursery and one Reception class.

At St. Malachy's, our philosophy is to value every child as a unique individual, who enjoys learning and thinking for him or herself. Our aim within the Early Years Foundation Stage is to provide a happy, safe and stimulating environment, which allows all children to feel secure and valued and therefore ready and eager to learn. We provide a supportive and secure environment in which every child can flourish and learn at their own pace and in their own individual way. Our role is to stimulate and encourage their development and enjoyment of learning through a variety of different activities, both adult directed and child initiated in secure indoor and outdoor situations. 

We believe the relationships which the children develop in the Early Years, with each other and with our staff, are central to their happiness and will lay the best possible foundation for them to become independent lifelong learners. The Early Years Team make learning exciting for all children by providing stimulating activities and a safe and warm environment for all children to flourish.


St. Malachy's Nursery is open 9.00am – 3:00pm, Monday – Friday and the aim is to meet every child’s unique potential and develop confident children so they are ready to tackle any challenges when they embark on their school journey. 

In Nursery, the team plan a variety of motivating activities to support all children’s development according to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). They focus on developing a vast amount of skills within 7 different educational programmes according to what a ‘typical’ child of the Nursery age should be doing. However, we take into account that every child is individual and even though we work towards developing the skills outlined in the EYFS Framework our staff ensure personalised next steps and challenges are in place. This is to develop them into confident, resilient and happy children who are ready for the next stage – Reception.

In Nursery we have a great focus on supporting children’s independence, resilience and communication and vocabulary skills as this provides the foundations of learning to be embedded in order for different subject knowledge and skills to be taught further up school in greater depth.

How to join

Our Nursery is open to all children from the School term after they are 3 years until they are of school age. Government funded hours can be used at our Nursery and sessions are flexible. For more information, click here, to be taken to our admissions page.


Reception is the first year of school and follows the same curriculum used in Nursery – the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework – to meet every child’s unique potential and develop confident children so they are ready to tackle any challenges when they embark on the National Curriculum in Year 1-6.

EYFS is the Beginning

Our curriculum is devised to develop all children into confident, resilient and happy individuals who are prepared and ready for the next stage of learning when they reach Year 1. There, they will have their skills built upon and progression made in a variety of new subjects such as Geography and History, these can all be found in our Curriculum tab on our website. Therefore, the role of EYFS is imperative as it underpins all learning and lays the foundations to children’s skills and development in order for them to progress and achieve to their maximum potential.

In Reception we build upon the fantastic work and development which has taken place in Nursery. Using continuous assessment, the Early Years team will highlight any gaps children may have in their learning and put in place support to help children accomplish their next steps. We also support each child in working towards achieving the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) at the end of Reception and help develop their independence, confidence and school readiness for different subjects they will be taught further up school in greater depth.


Teaching and Learning in Reception

The way Reception staff teach this curriculum is through a variety of:

  • adult-led activities
  • small focus group work
  • 'in the moment' teaching, responding to learning opportunities as they arise
  • whole class activities
  • one-to-one support
  • promoting independent play through the use of child-initiated play and challenges set by staff and children (in the moment planning).

All of the activities created in each way of teaching is stimulated by children’s individual next steps, topics we are enjoying, current events in the community or by the children’s interests.

The staff have a great understanding of what skills the children need to have developed by the end of Reception and the EYFS lead regularly meets with subject leaders to ensure the planning in EYFS is supporting the foundations of learning for each subject, giving the children the best start to their education at St Malachy's. 

Useful Links

End of Reception Early Learning Goals