Learning in Reception

Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

We work hard to develop the whole child in Reception, allowing each individual to make progress across all of their skills. The environment and the learning opportunities that we set up for the children cover this wide range of areas. The EYFS framework covers seven areas of learning:

  • personal, social and emotional development
  • communication and language
  • physical development
  • literacy
  • mathematics
  • understanding the world
  • expressive arts and design

Continuous Provision

Our indoor and outdoor environment is set up to allow the children to lead their own learning and follow their own interests. At set times of the day, the children are free to choose their own learning opportunities from those set up by the adults in the Reception classrooms and outdoor learning environment. This approach also promotes children’s independence and confidence.

Adult-led Learning

At certain times of day, the children are asked to participate in adult-led learning opportunities, including phonics and maths lessons. There are also focus groups led by adults that work on key skills that we want the children to develop.


The expectation for reading at home is that you share your child’s reading book with them at least four or five times a week but preferably every day. When you read with your child, please log this on the reading record so that we know when they have read and how it went. Please also share the animal keywords with them. The selected keywords are important to developing a reading word bank to aid fluency with the reading process. Most children can recognise some of the letters in the words, some children can attempt to say sounds within the words and attempt to blend them, and a few children can blend sounds and read simple words. When your child can sight read and spell the words please make a note in the reading diary and we will send the next set.

Our expectation is that we will hear your child read and practice keywords 1:1 a minimum of once a week, change reading books where necessary and change keywords. They will also have the opportunity to develop their Literacy skills daily during child initiated and adult lead activities.

The reception keywords are made up of some words that can be easily ‘sounded out’ and blended, and some ‘tricky’ words, which apply different rules. The idea of sending keywords home is so that children gain exposure to them and gently learn them over time. Children learn to read in drips and puddles, some sounds and words stick and others take a while and that is very normal. The most important message is that reading should be a fun and enjoyable activity. Always read books for pleasure.

Please ensure your child’s book bag, reading book and reading record is in school every day so we are able to hear your child read at any point.


We have daily Phonics lessons every morning which last for around 20 minutes. Our phonics lesson help us read and write. Southville Primary follows the Letters and Sounds programme. During Reception we cover phases 2-4.
The English language is made up of 42 main sounds. To make sure you are pronouncing the sounds correctly we recommend going onto the Jolly Phonics website where you can listen to the sounds being said.

Tapestry Online Journal

We take regular observations of each child and share these with you on our online learning journal platform Tapestry. Please do ‘like’ or comment on the observations – we love to know that you are reading and enjoying them. Please also add your own observations of anything your child does at home that you think we’d be interested in or we might not see in school. This might include days out, activities that your child does out of school or new skills that they’ve learned whilst at home with you. Observations from parents and carers add to each child’s learning journal and help build a full picture of that child’s development.

The Early Learning Goals

At the end of Reception, we assess the children against the Early Learning Goals. We would not expect a child to meet all of these until much later in the year so don’t worry if your child is taking a bit of time to develop these skills. We know that every child develops at their own pace and in their own way.