Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

We believe that children learn best through play and by initiating their own activities and they are given every opportunity to do so whilst they are with us. With access to indoor and outdoor facilities children are able to develop their play through fun and challenging experiences. Books and resources are accessible and the children are encouraged to be independent and select their own tools and materials.  The children play a key role in which topics we cover and we engage the children and parents in topics by sending home ‘Parent postcards’.

Our independent learning is interspersed with discrete teaching inputs for either groups or the whole class. We place great importance on the basic skills so phonics and number work are taught every day. Other inputs include reading Big Books together, shared writing on the Smartboard, SEAL circle time, singing and stories. We also place great importance on getting the children ready to write and therefore have a daily ‘dough disco’ and ‘funky fingers’ sessions which include a range of activities aimed at improving fine motor skills.


Throughout Reception, your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning.

Children need to develop the 3 Prime Areas first, which are:

  • Communication and Language (CL)

  • Physical Development (PD) and

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED).


These Prime Areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.

As the children grow, these Prime Areas will help them to develop skills in the 4 specific areas. These are:

  • Literacy

  • Mathematics

  • Understanding the World and

  • Expressive Arts and Design.



In our maths carpet and guided sessions we focus on counting, ordering and recognising numbers. We also learn about 2D and 3D shapes and compare objects by their weight, length and height. The children take part in a range of practical and fun activities which allow them to explore and use maths to solve problems. We teach addition and subtraction to the children through real life situations and encourage them to use mathematical language.


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During Reception the children will be learning to read through phonics and then apply this knowledge to learn how to write – it is a very exciting time! In our Literacy carpet times, we focus on different book types, the structure of stories, characters, setting and events.  We also teach the children actions to remember key texts by, through Talk for Writing.  In addition, we also look at the features of non-fiction books.  



Phonics is the system of ‘blending’ sounds together to read words, and ‘segmenting’ sounds to spell. We teach these skills together in our daily phonics session. We introduce the children to some new vocabulary and hopefully you will be hearing them use these words at home.

Phoneme- the smallest unit of sound in a word. We begin by teaching 1 letter sounds and then move onto 2 letter sounds (digraphs) as in ch, sh, ee etc, and 3 letter sounds (trigraphs) as in igh, ear, ure etc.

Grapheme- the written representation of the sound. Some phonemes only have one grapheme whereas others may have more than one. For example /ai/ can be spelt ‘ai’ in rain, ‘ay’ in day or a-e in bake.

The children have a 20 minute phonic session each day which includes a range of different activities and resources to engage and motivate all the children. We have phonic based guided reading and home reading books and also use ‘Bug club’ as an interactive reading resource.

In Reception the children learn the basic code and learn to apply this to read and write. We also learn some ‘tricky’ words which are not decodable. We will send home tricky word cards when we have learnt a set of them.


Phonics articulation video- a clip to show how to say phonemes.  Type in ‘Letters and sounds articulation of phonemes’ into YouTube.

Good phonics online resources:


Reading books

The skills of reading are taught through shared reading, guided groups and reading individually with the children.  We will be changing reading books every Monday during this first term. The aim of reading the same story more than once is to develop the children’s confidence when reading and to have time to talk about who is in the book, what happens in the story and how the people in the story are feeling.

When your child is ready, we will start to give them books with words.  By reading the book more than once, this also develops the children’s reading of ‘tricky’ words, which can’t be sounded out such as ‘to’ and ‘the’. As the children’s reading get better the books will get longer and during the Spring or Summer term we will change their books twice a week. Please feel free to read books you have at home or to write in their reading diary any reading they have done (reading comics, recipes, road signs etc…).

If you have any questions about your child’s reading then please don’t hesitate to ask. If you missed our phonics workshops, please speak to your class teacher and we will arrange to go through this with you at a suitable time.

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Mark Making and Writing

As we learn our letters and sounds in Phonics, we can begin to apply this knowledge to our mark making.  We begin by writing the initial sounds of words and then learn to write CVC words such as cat or log.  In Reception we also learn the formation of each letter and ‘tell our pencils where to go’ in the air or on the page.  We especially love to mark make in sand, shaving foam and using chalks!






Understanding of The World

We love spending time outside and enjoy finding out about the world around us. We use the school grounds and enjoy exploring.  We also enjoy finding out about different celebrations and cultures.  This half term we went on an Autumn Welly Walk to collect natural objects and observe the changes happening at this time of year.  We then used these objects to create Autumn pictures.


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Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Circle Time sessions focus on turn taking and being aware of our own feelings and the feelings of others.  This is explored through stories and role play.  The children are also encouraged to be independent, by dressing themselves for PE, selecting resources around the classroom by themselves and our independent snack sessions each day.


Physical Development

Reception children take part in weekly PE sessions in the hall and outside towards the Spring and Summer terms.  Key skills that we teach include special awareness, moving in different ways, games, gymnastics and dance.


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Spring Term 2nd Half 2017


This half term in Reception, we have been reading Traditional Tales.  As part of our learning, we have been observing the changes around us and went on a Spring walk to Mincinglake Woods.                      


We created character puppets to take with us and tell stories on the way.  We also enjoyed collecting natural objects such as leaves and matching them to our colour charts. 

We even found a letter from the Troll! Luckily he let us go across his bridge! We stopped for some snack after all of that walking!


As part of our Understanding the World, we learned how to cook porridge, just like The Three Bears!  We tasted different toppings to find out our class favourites.  Yummy!



In Literacy we have been learning about the structure of stories, good and bad characters and settings.  We even had a visit from Little Red Riding Hood!


One morning, we even had to call the police, as Goldilocks had gone missing!  We think she was feeling worried as she had broken one of our chairs.  Luckily our local PCSO Richard Shelton came in and helped us to find her!  We gave him a good description of her and luckily he found her in no time!

We have been applying our phonic knowledge to our writing and have been writing fantastic sentences, letters and even short stories!.



In Expressive Art and Design (EAD), we have been learning how to add texture to clay using tools.



In maths, we have been learning how to measure length and height using cubes and rulers.  We have also been recognising shapes, ordering numbers to 20 and beyond and learning how to solve problems such as sharing, doubling and halving.           




In PE we have been learning to use different apparatus and were lucky enough to work with Mr Upston.          



As part of our Understanding the World (UTW) learning, we  have been learning about how plants grow.  We planted runner beans and sunflowers and  watched them grow.  We have also been observing our frogspawn, which have now hatched as tadpoles!  We have  also been learning about how people celebrate Mothers Day and Easter.  We made Easter nest cakes, Easter cards and had an Easter Egg hunt!  We also carried out a Huff and Puff Experiment!  We tested different materials and predicted if they would be blown by the wind or not. 


Thank you for all of your hard work this half term at home with your child, by reading, completing our weekly Parent Postcard home learning activities and uploading ‘Wow!’ moments onto Tapestry.  We love hearing about what the children have been up to outside of school.

Have a lovely Easter!

Mrs Bruce and Mrs Headon

Reception Teachers