In Reception we use a personalised and tailored curriculum that provides all children with the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to be confident, inquisitive, curious, independent learners and influence their wider thinking across all areas of the curriculum.
We believe that providing an education that does all of this gives children the best chance to become well-rounded, happy individuals, ready to succeed in an ever-changing world.
We will make a positive difference to every child’s life. We recognise the importance of giving our children the best possible start to their education by planning and implementing teaching and learning opportunities that supports them in reaching their full potential and fulfilling their dreams.
Our intent is to give children time to develop their thinking and learning through their interests and respond to provocations. This means that the children are highly motivated to learn. They are supported to develop key aspects such as reasoning, evaluation, creativity, enquiry, problem solving and information processing. This will help both now in their own explorations and application of knowledge but also throughout their education. Our intent is that our teaching is flexible to enable us to meet the children’s changing needs and interests at any point in time.
We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) guidance and support children’s development under the seven areas of learning. These are:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development – fostering children’s confidence, independence and social skills with peers and adults.
- Communication and Language – developing children’s oral language skills, broadening their vocabulary and understanding of the English language.
- Physical Development – providing opportunities in physical education lessons as well as through daily provision for children to develop their gross and fine motor skills, in preparation for developing their reading, numeracy and writing skills.
- Literacy – using a variety of strategies including phonics, story times, story telling techniques, guided reading and play based approaches to support early reading and writing.
- Mathematics – using songs and games to develop early numeracy skills including counting, subitising, number bonds and facts, addition, subtraction, sharing, creating patterns, measuring and manipulating numbers and shapes.
- Expressive Arts and Design – giving children opportunities to develop their skills and imagination in art, dance, music and drama.
- Understanding the World – exploring the natural world, science and our communities in age-appropriate ways such as visits to church, gardening and cooking.
EYFS Prime Areas of Learning
Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
Children’s PSED is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development. Underpinning their personal development are the important attachments that shape their social world. Strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults enable children to learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others. Children should be supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, to persist and wait for what they want and direct attention as necessary. Through adult modelling and guidance, they will learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and manage personal needs independently. Through supported interaction with other children, they learn how to make good friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts peaceably. These attributes will provide a secure platform from which children can achieve at school and in later life.
Communication and Language
The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. The number and quality of the conversations they have with adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment is crucial. By commenting on what children are interested in or doing, and echoing back what they say with new vocabulary added, practitioners will build children's language effectively. The importance of new vocabulary is vital for closing the language gap and providing regular opportunities for the children to access words in tiers 2 and 3 as well as using the tier 1 vocabulary they are confident with will be embedded throughout all adult-led sessions as well as into the CP.
Tier 1 – high frequency in spoken language (table, slowly, write, horrible);
Tier 2 – high frequency in written texts (enormous, gigantic, stomped, whirled);
Tier 3 – subject specific language (chrysalis, hibernation, nocturnal)
Reading frequently to children, and engaging them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, and then providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts, will give children the opportunity to thrive. Through conversation, story-telling and role play, where children share their ideas with support and modelling from their teacher, and sensitive questioning that invites them to elaborate, children become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.
Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. Gross and fine motor experiences develop incrementally throughout early childhood, starting with sensory explorations and the development of a child’s strength, co-ordination and positional awareness through tummy time, crawling and play movement with both objects and adults. By creating games and providing opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, adults can support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility.
Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being.
Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination, which is later linked to early literacy. Repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practice of using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, allow children to develop proficiency, control and confidence.
EYFS Specific Areas of Learning
It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading.
Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading.
Language comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) starts from birth. It only develops when adults talk with children about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together.
Skilled word reading, taught later, involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).
Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding - such as using manipulatives, including small pebbles and tens frames for organising counting - children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built.
In addition, it is important that the curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes.
Understanding the World
Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters.
In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension.
Expressive Arts and Design
The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. It is important that children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials.
The quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts. The frequency, repetition and depth of their experiences are fundamental to their progress in interpreting and appreciating what they hear, respond to and observe.
Characteristics of effective teaching and learning
In planning and guiding what children learn, we will reflect on the different rates at which children are developing and adjust our practice appropriately. We will focus on the three characteristics of effective teaching and learning; playing and exploring; active learning; and creating and thinking critically.
Playing and Exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.
Active Learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements.
Creating and Thinking Critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
Early Learning Goals
At the end of Reception we assess the children's progress from their starting points in September and we also look at whether they have secured the knowledge and skills they need to meet the Early Learning Goals (ELG).
The ELG are a set of statements in each area of learning. If the children are able to show a good skill level in PSED, Communication and Language, Physical Development, Literacy and Maths, then they show a good level of development, known as GLD.
Updated September 2022