Reception children enjoy a rich, stimulating and practical curriculum which is predominantly led by the children and based around topics which interest them. We believe that play is educationally powerful, so the staff plan on the basic principles of play, using their knowledge of the curriculum and of the children's developmental stages. We combine adult directed and child initiated activities.

We believe well-planned play both indoors and outdoors, is a key way in which children learn with enjoyment and challenge during the Early Years Foundation Stage.  Through play that is planned in a secure environment and with effective adult support, children can:

  • explore, develop and represent learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world;
  • practise and build up ideas, concepts and skills;
  • learn how to control themselves and understand the need for rules;
  • be alone, be alongside others or co-operate as they talk and express their feelings;
  • take risks and make mistakes;
  • think creatively and imaginatively;
  • communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems;
  • express fears or re-live anxious experiences in controlled and safe situations.


What do I need to know about Red Class?

What do I need to know about Yellow Class?




Throughout the year we cover a range of topics based on our current children’s interests.  The staff regularly plan activities for both taught sessions and independent learning which are based on the children’s interests and support the characteristics of learning. These are then matched to learning objectives. Areas of the learning environment are then enhanced each week to provide new opportunities of exploration. The children are leaders and facilitators in their own learning. Topics may include Pirates and Princesses, the Seasons, Traditional Tales or dinosaurs. Topics and themes last as long as they children are interested and then they are consulted about new directions of learning. Even though the topics and themes are child led we ensure that there is a balance of adult and child initiated learning.

Reception children are able to learn in a stimulating, indoor and outdoor environment.  Each week we have daily phonics and maths sessions, focused learning session in key worker groups and child-initiated learning time.


  • teach Phases 2, 3 and 4 phonics of Letters and Sounds
  • use a Talk for Writing approach to teach writing creatively 
  • use NCETM for supporting the teaching of maths
  • have fortnightly Forest SchoolSessions
  • visit our school library to share books
  • have a session in the music room with our specialist music teacher
  • take part in a Real PE session once a week
  • attend Celebration Assembly with Years 1 and 2 on a Friday afternoon

We complete the Reception Baseline Assessment within the first six weeks that the children are in Reception.



We usually offer one main trip every year: a trip to farm in the Summer Term.  We also go on local walks; visit the nearby woods; go on a shopping trip to Waitrose; and visit the local library.

Twice a year we have art and craft workshops with our Nursery children and enjoy working alongside the Nursery children, staff and our parents.  We enjoy trips from local theatre companies; visits from local emergency services and talks from Reception parents to give insight about the various jobs they do.



Each week we will share on Google Classroom, our online learning platform, the learning that will be taking place in class so you can support your child further.  We will also share weekly home learning, which could include playing a board game together, going on a walk to the woods or looking for writing within your home.  We use Tapestry as an online learning journal to share observations of the children’s learning.

School reading books are sent home twice a week.  Please ensure you read with your child daily to promote a love of reading.

Reception is a very exciting year - children make vast steps in their learning and will be readers and writers by the end of the year!


Curriculum Guidance

Reading & Writing in Reception

Click here to view slides of a presentation about how reading and writing is taught in Reception.


How to use Tapestry

A video explaining how to use Tapestry       


EYFS Policy

Atwood's policy for the Early Years Foundation Stage


Reception Long Term Plan 2021-2022

Click here to view the topics covered by Reception throughout the year


Age Related Expectations and Early Learning Goals

Click here to view the Age Related Expectations and Early Learning Goals for Reception children by the end of the academic year


How you can help at home

Click here for a guide on helpful activities you can do with your child at home