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Early Years Foundation Stage- Reception

Intent – What do we want to achieve?

Our aim in Reception at Easingwold Primary is to build strong foundations in all seven areas of learning and development, so that our pupils can be successful as they move into key stage one and beyond. We want our pupils to go on to be active citizens of society and happy, curious life-long learners. Whilst we place great value on the development of children as unique individuals, we believe in Excellence for All and aim to provide all children with the skills, knowledge and understanding they need for the next stage in their lives, regardless of their background. We are inclusive in our approach and support the needs of all children so that everyone makes excellent progress.

Our goal is to ensure our children:

  • develop a vocabulary to support their emotional literacy and help them to manage their feelings and behaviour.
  • are active, develop physically and know about what keeps them healthy.      
  • develop a wide vocabulary and comprehension, through books and talk. 
  • develop a love of songs, rhymes, books and reading. 
  • have a secure knowledge of phonics and can read. 
  • are confident in using and understanding numbers.                                        

We endeavour to meet our children’s individual needs by forming excellent relationships with their families and we aim to give parents and carers the support they need, to allow them to help their children learn and develop at home, particularly with reading. 

We aim for our children to acquire the positive attitudes and behaviour of an effective learner; to be highly motivated, eager to learn, deeply engaged and for them to sustain high levels of concentration. 

We set high expectations that children in Reception will become: 

-Resilient - they keep on trying, particularly if they encounter difficulties. 

-Respectful- they share and cooperate well, they form good relationships with children and adults. 

-Responsible- children feel safe and happy and can take risks. They develop a sense of right and wrong.    

Ultimately, our main aspiration is to give all Reception children at Easingwold Primary the best start to their learning journey, giving them a secure foundation in all areas of learning and development, pupils at our school will love learning, have a thirst to learn and will demonstrate all the attributes needed to be a successful learner. 

Implementation- How will we achieve this?

Reception teachers have an excellent understanding of Early Years pedagogy, this ensures that the routines and structure to the day including the way children learn is based on the needs of the children and how they will acquire the fundamental knowledge and skills across all areas.  Throughout the day, children learn through child-initiated play, play guided by adults and adult-led sessions, this ensures curriculum coverage, progression and ample opportunity for children to develop the Characteristics of Effective Learning.


Our curriculum is the cultural capital our pupils need, particularly our disadvantaged learners. Our curriculum considers and builds upon what the children already know and can do,  their past experiences and our locality. Working closely with PVI settings and our families we know the children well before they start at our school. We plan a curriculum that meets their needs. It is progressive and considers our whole school curriculum and what comes next, so our children are fully equipped for the next stage in all areas of learning. Our curriculum is ambitious, broad, and balanced and caters for all children. We ensure it meets the needs for children with SEND by being all inclusive in our approach to teaching and learning. We link the learning and development requirements to a range of books that are carefully mapped out, to ensure children build knowledge through books and talk, across the year. Each week, in adult-led curriculum time children learn new skills and knowledge linked to our books and the areas of learning and development that they can then use in their playing and learning time. An example of this would be learning how to weave and sew, how to join boxes together, how to mix colours and paint. 

Our Curriculum offers all of our Reception children indelible, real-life experiences such as trips and visitors that are linked to the areas of learning. We aim to ignite learning, promote awe and wonder and immerse our children in experiences and opportunities that help them to develop holistically, particularly our disadvantaged learners.

Physical Development 

Children can play and learn outside every day, whatever the weather. Children independently dress themselves for the weather. We encourage children to be active and help them to develop physically through the resources we provide. Outside children can run, jump and climb. They can ride bikes and scooters, build obstacle courses by moving big equipment around and they can practise their ball skills with a range of balls and bats. There are stilts to balance on, hurdles to jump over and a digging pit with large spades.  Reception children have weekly P.E lessons where they are taught planned, specific skills in gym and games, preparing them for the next step. Children learn the importance of exercise.                                                     A free flow snack area is available to the children where they learn to make their own toast and share it with a friend, this encourages independence and it gives the opportunities for staff to explain the importance of eating, drinking, and resting.

Social and Emotional Development

Everyday, children are encouraged to show how they feel, they use our Colour Monster display to hang their name on the relevant feeling. Time is taken to explore and discuss feelings based around this book. We spend time throughout the day asking children how they feel and discuss their emotions with them. We understand the importance of Communication and Language in this area so we model how we talk about and share our feelings so children can develop their own emotional literacy.  We model how to be kind and caring to others and how to share during our play. During playing and learning time we teach children how to manage their own feelings and how to self-regulate, this is also planned through our curriculum, linked to the books we chose and the discussion we have around these.  For example, when sharing the book, ‘Sweep’ we discuss different strategies we can use if we need to calm down. Structured intervention, visual timetables, nurture time and social stories are in place for children who find this more difficult and need extra support in this area. We ensure children feel happy, safe and secure by building excellent relationships with them, this is paramount for learning to happen. 

Vocabulary, Reading and Phonics

There is a strong emphasis on Communication, Language and Reading across all areas of learning and development. We aim to immerse children in a language rich environment full of talk, conversation, role play, stories, rhymes, and songs as we know they support the development of early reading, this is a crucial component of our curriculum.

  • Songs and rhymes are carefully and purposefully planned into our curriculum, children learn to recite different rhymes and poems every week.                                                                                                    
  • Adult led ‘We Love to Read’ sessions take place every day. An adult reads the same book with excitement and enthusiasm for a week. Children are encouraged to join in, discuss themes and ideas and make predictions. Books are purposefully and carefully planned across the year to ensure there is exposure to a range of books, genres, experiences and themes, such as diversity and global issues. The books chosen are linked to the learning and development requirements, building the children’s knowledge across all areas of learning.
  • During ‘We Love to Read’ children extend their vocabulary by learning the meaning of new tier two vocabulary from the books we share, which we then apply in our everyday conversation.
  • Phonics is taught daily, following Little Wandle. Staff are experts in teaching systematic synthetic phonics and have high expectations that all children will learn to read words and sentences by the time they leave Reception. We ensure all learners keep up, through short, specific targeted interventions that have been highlighted by formative and summative assessment.  SEND learners are given extra support through specific SEND Little Wandle planning. 
  • We teach children to read in reading practice sessions, these are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups of children, children read books matched to their secure phonic knowledge, these sessions are taught from week 4 in the Autumn term.   
  • ‘Talk partners’ ( and a ‘no hands up rule) are used regularly during carpet sessions to ensure all children have the opportunity to talk. 
  • Books are a big part of our environment, they are carefully selected and rotated to inspire children to share stories for pleasure. Children can listen to stories using I pads and QR codes around the provision. Adults write down children’s stories and we act them out. Reception children can make their own small worlds and retell stories or make up their own stories with puppets and story sacks. There is a large home corner with authentic, real-life resources so children reenact their experiences. 
  • Adults skillful and high quality interactions with children promote extended back and forth conversation. All staff have been trained in the EEF ShREC approach.


Everyday, children take part in a short maths session, led by an adult. This is following the 'Mastering Number' planning devised by NCETM. Maths is emphasised in all aspects of the daily routine e.g. snack-time, where children ‘pay’ for their snack, lining up and tidying up. Maths is taught through real-life and meaningful experiences, using practical, hands-on resources is key. Maths learning takes place across all of the environment, for example, children have opportunities to bake, make playdough, time each other when racing, keep score when playing a ball game, make a pattern on their bracelet, build with construction blocks. Adults skillfully interact with children to develop their mathematical thinking.
The Unique Child and Parent Partnerships 

Our curriculum is underpinned by excellent relationships with children, but also with their parents and carers. We ensure that children have the best possible opportunities to achieve by communicating openly and effectively with parents on a regular basis, through class stories and messages  on Class Dojo, newsletters, formal reports, and parents’ evenings (twice a year) and verbal communication to ensure children receive valuable and targeted support at home. We ensure parents are aware of their child’s progress in line with the EYFS and ensure next steps are in place if children need extra support. Parents are invited to a Phonics Information meeting in school where staff explain how we teach reading and how parents can help their child to learn to read at home. Parents are also welcomed into school to watch teachers teach children how to read.

The Characteristic of Effective Learning,  The Environment, Interactions

In Reception we timetable uninterrupted, prolonged sessions of playing and learning time, led by the children, where we follow their ideas and interests.  Adults are available to help scaffold and move learning on through warm, sensitive, and skilful interactions. Children are given the opportunity to develop the Characteristics of Effective Learning during this time, for example, being encouraged to never give up when learning something new, being given the time to problem solve when building a ball run out of large pipes, working as a team to create a construction out of blocks, listening to everyone's ideas. The Characteristics of Effective learning are discussed and celebrated with the children, so they are aware of what skills and attributes make them a good learner.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               When children lead their own learning, they can choose to learn inside or outside, in all weathers. Resources in the environment are flexible and open ended and promote children’s creativity. The resources are chosen carefully to enhance and extend children’s learning based on their interests and next steps. Adult interactions move children’s learning on, there and then, in the moment. This is based on the adult’s excellent knowledge of the child and child development. Every moment is a teachable moment and adults are well trained in ensuring that their interactions with children improve their learning. Weekly supervision meetings are in place, this allows staff to discuss the children’s development and well being and decide what is needed next to ensure children are always making progress, especially if they are not on track. Intervention and external professionals are involved if required.   These professional dialogues replace staff spending time typing up observational assessment and ensures more time can be spent supporting children. During staff supervision, coaching takes place, providing continuous professional development, so that staff are skilled and well trained in helping children to learn.

Reception Literacy Long Term Plan

Impact- How do we know we have been successful?

  • Children develop detailed knowledge and skills across the seven areas of learning in an age-appropriate way. They have the foundations to learning and are ready for the next stage of education, in Year One.
  • Children manage their own feelings and behaviour, understanding how these have an impact on others. They are developing a sense of right from wrong.
  • Children are active and develop physically, they take risks. 
  • Children enjoy, listen attentively, and respond with comprehension to familiar stories, rhymes and songs that are appropriate to their age and stage of development. 
  • Children develop their vocabulary and use it across the EYFS curriculum. 
  • By the end of Reception, children use their knowledge of phonics to read accurately and with increasing speed and fluency. 
  • Children have a good understanding of early number.
  • Staff form excellent relationships with children and their families. Children feel safe, happy and secure and parents know how to support their children’s learning at home.


Early Years Curriculum (Learning and Development Requirements)

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