Early Years

Early Years/Reception curriculum

The Early Years curriculum is based upon the three characteristics of effective learning:

Playing and Exploring - finding out and exploring; using what they know in play and being willing to have a go

Active Learning - being involved and concentrating

Creating and Thinking Critically - having their own ideas; using what they already know to learn new things and choosing ways to do things and finding new ways.

These are the threads that link all of the seven areas of learning and development set out in the Development Matters guidelines.


Communication and Language

Physical development

Personal Social and Emotional development




Understanding the World

Expressive Arts and Design.

The children are assessed when they enter Reception to give us a baseline. The children are assessed throughout the year against the age related guidance and given a level at the end of Reception of; Emerging, Expected or Exceeding. These levels are moderated with other schools in the Ashford area to ensure consistency in judgements and accuracy across schools. This information is discussed in transition to Year One so that their progress may continue as they move through the School. 

Billy Class daily routine:

  • Each morning the children self-register and then come and sit down for a carpet job to do.
  • They are then split into three groups for a 20 minute phonics session. The Phonics programme that we use for our Literacy work is Letters and Sounds and we aim to cover as far as Phase three by the end of the Reception year.
  • We regroup the class and each child is in a small group of 6 to carry out teacher led focused activities. The class teacher and one of the two teaching assistants will lead a focus group which will last around 15-20 minutes per group and will focus on developing their skills in the specific areas of learning. The other teaching assistant will observe and interact with child initiated learning. The focus groups rotate throughout the day so that the children have a good mix of teacher led time and child initiated play to extend and apply their knowledge and understanding.
  • The indoor and outdoor learning environment is planned for in such a way that it will encourage children to apply their ongoing learning through their own play.
  • Throughout the day the children also have opportunity for whole class interaction, singing, carpet games and Show and Tell time. The children are encouraged to be as independent as possible with regards to selecting their own resources, tidying away, managing their own hygiene and collecting their things for going home.
  • Each day we choose a Super Star of the Day to end.

Our Reception Class always start off the Year with the topic 'Ourselves' to support with settling in and learning about our new friends. Throughout the year, a class newsletter is sent home each term detailing the new topic  and additional information for parents to support their child in their learning. Homework tasks are given out as appropriate with their age and a Home/School diary is kept between parents and staff. Class teachers will write home every week to share with parents what the children will be learning and activity ideas for them to try at home. This is also acknowledged through 'WOW moment' apples that parents are encouraged to bring in and share with staff and these are displayed in the classroom to celebrate home achievements. 

Please click here to have a look at our Early Excellence project which we took part in last year and will be continuing with this year.

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