The Journey

In Reception the children begin full-time school and the curriculum becomes a little more structured, with regular numeracy and literacy lessons alongside exciting topic work and child-initiated play in their dedicated play areas and playground. Pupils also begin swimming, P.E. and music taught by specialist teachers.

1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development

This area of learning is about emotional well-being, promoting self-esteem. It is also about developing respect for others, social competence and a positive disposition for learning.

2. Communication and Language Development

The development of communication and language is at the heart of young children's learning. It includes giving opportunities for speaking and listening for different purposes; developing children's confidence and skill in expressing themselves.

3. Literacy Development

This involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters, being read a wide variety of books, and beginning to read and write.

Jolly phonics and Big Cat Phonics

Within the Early Years/Foundation Stage, the alphabet is learnt by a combination of methods, Jolly Phonics for the story, action and visual aids and Big Cat Phonics for systematic phonic approach and games that it provides. Phonics are the building bricks of all words and will eventually help your child decipher new vocabulary.

In Jolly Phonics the 42 main sounds of English are taught, not just the alphabet sounds. For each sound there is an action which helps the children remember the sound the letter makes.

In Reception, the children are given a sound book which your child will bring home. The letters are not introduced in alphabetical order. The first group 's, a, t, i, p, n' has been chosen because they make more simple three letter words than any other six letters. Sounds with more than one way of being written are first taught in one form only; for instance, the sound 'ai' (rain) is on the Sound Sheet, the alternatives 'a-e' (cake) and 'ay' (day) will be taught later.

Children are taught to write with a joined script from the start.  We call this our special Reception handwriting and it means that all letters start in the same place and continue with either a curly caterpillar or ladder shape.  This makes it easy for children to put pen to paper and have a go at writing. They are also taught to recognise different printed fonts through big books and text in the environment.

4. Mathematics

Children's mathematical development arises out of daily experiences in a rich and interesting environment. It involves becoming confident and competent in learning key skills in numeracy and simple mathematical problem solving.

5. Understanding of the World

In this area of learning, children are developing the crucial knowledge, skills and understanding that help them make sense of the world.

This forms the foundation stones for later work in science, design and technology, history, geography, information and communication technology.

6. Physical Development

Physical development in the Foundation Stage is about growth of co-ordination, skills, control, manipulation and movement. Two other very important aspects are increasing self-confidence in what can be achieved and learning about the positive benefits of being healthy and active.

7. Expressive Arts and Design

Creativity is fundamental to successful learning.

Being creative enables children to make connections between one area of learning and another, extending their understanding.

This area of learning includes art, music, dance, role play and imaginative play.

In This Section