Welcome to reception

We welcome children into Reception in September. We know that starting school is a big step for both children and parents, so we work together to help the children settle in quickly and happily, developing a positive attitude to learning and school. We also work closely with the children’s earlier settings to see how we can help support your child to transition into Reception class here at Our Lady’s school as smoothly as possible.  

We work closely together as part of an Early Years team, and we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. Most of the children’s experiences at Our Lady’s school will be based around play. To encourage and support this they are given time to choose their own activities known as Child Initiated Learning with adults interacting and helping to ensure that free play is a positive and focused learning experience. This runs alongside planned focused activities that meet specific aims for the children and extend learning.  

The classroom is laid out to help the children access all areas of the Early Years Framework. Larger spaces are given to role play corners, construction areas and small world areas so the children have plenty of room to play and express themselves. A writing area and a book corner can be found in the classroom with opportunities to engage in open ended literacy activities. Children also have access to puzzles and games, fine motor activities, and maths resources. There are also creative areas, where children can explore and experiment with messy and creative activities and can access playdough, junk modelling and painting. 

The Early Years Garden is open during activity times, regardless of weather conditions (unless outside conditions are unsafe). All the areas of learning offered inside are reflected on a different scale outside. Outside we also have the Literacy shed, which provides the children with the opportunity to explore topics and extend learning. 

We go for regular walks around Our Lady’s school grounds and explore the school gardens during our nature activities. All children visit the small playground, Early Years playground to develop their gross motor skills and apply skills on a larger scale. Reception children also have PE lessons every week.  


Curriculum Plan
Early Years Framework

In Reception we teach the Early Years Framework under the following areas:

Personal, social and emotional development 

Children at Our Lady’s school learn to play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They learn to take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity, show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children. Children are encouraged to become confident in trying new activities, and saying why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help. Children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and learn to take changes of routine in their stride. 

Communication & Language 

In Reception class, the children listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity. The children learn to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events. Children learn to express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They learn to use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. The children develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events. 

Physical Development 

At Our Lady’s School, P.E. plays an important part of the children’s lives. In Reception, we start by the children learning good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They learn to move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. The children also learn to handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.  Children also learn the importance of physical exercise, a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe.  


By the end of Reception, children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. The children will also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read. Phonics plays an important part in the early years at Our Lady’s School. Children will learn to use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They will also write some common irregular words. The children will learn to write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible. 


At Our Lady’s School the children will learn to count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, and beyond, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they will add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They will solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing. Children will use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They will recognise, create and describe patterns. They will explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them. 

Understanding the World 

This area of development covers a range of National Curriculum topics, including History, Geography, RE, Science and Technology.  At Our Lady’s School, the children will be encouraged to talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They will learn that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They will find out about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions. Children will explore the similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They will talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They will learn to make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes. Children will recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools.

They will select and use technology for particular purposes. 

Expressive Arts and Design 

Our Lady’s School offers a wide range of Expressive Arts to all children. In Reception class, the children learn to sing songs, make music and dance and experiment with ways of changing songs. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function. Children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through Design and Technology, Art, Music, Dance and Drama.