Southfield Primary School

Early Years: Reception

Children entering into our Reception classes, Chopin and Handel fall under the auspices of the Early Years (EYFS). We follow the statutory EYFS Framework for teaching and development.  This stage is the core foundation in a child’s life as it helps prepare for school ‘readiness’ as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. 

The EYFS framework explains how and what children will be learning to foster their healthy development and provide the Reception children opportunities to make the most of their abilities and talents as develop in this important foundation of their school life and through primary school.

Children learn skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development, these are split into Prime and Specific areas.

 Children start developing in the 3 prime areas first. These are:

  • Communication and language;
  • Physical development; and
  • Personal, social and emotional development.

 These prime areas are those most essential for a child’s healthy development and future learning, these weave through our Early Years Curriculum. As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas.

 These are:

  • Literacy;
  • Mathematics;
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design.

 All 7 areas of learning are used to plan children’s learning and activities. We ensure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs and in line with our ambitious Story Based Knowledge Curriculum.

A Day in the Life of a Reception Southfielder

A hugely warm welcome to Reception at Southfield Primary School where the foundations are laid for a truly first class and inspiring educational experience for your children and a dynamic and supportive community for parents. We feel honoured that you have placed your trust in us as a school to educate your child and we take this responsibility seriously. From the moment you walk through the doors of Southfield we aim to provide a stimulating and exciting curriculum where your child is able to flourish and grow into the best person they can. Surrounded by the love and care of adults in the school, coupled with cutting edge and stimulating teaching, they will develop into inquisitive, thoughtful young Southfielders ready to make a positive difference in the world. I hope you enjoy reading about the exciting year ahead!

Dr Darren Jones, Headteacher


Early Years Principles

In Reception, we follow the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum), where children will be working towards achieving the ELG’s (Early Learning Goals).

Knowledge and Creativity - children develop at an incredible level between birth and five years old and are inquisitive and hungry to understand the world around them through experiential and contextualised learning.

Thematic Learning - Reception classrooms are immersed in the half termly topic themes allowing children to immerse themselves in imagination and role play.

Story - is used through big books, traditional tales and rhymes to make sense of the world around them. Children will be immersed into a world of story, through language rich texts which offer stimulus for discussion.

Phonics and literacy - allow children to access the world through reading and play a vital role in Reception, where children are immersed in print on a daily basis.

Vocabulary - we provide a language rich environment, teaching children a wealth of new vocabulary and modelling and encouraging its use in everyday contexts. ‘From Little Acorns Mighty Oaks Grow‘.


How Learning Will Happen at Southfield


Our dedicated, passionate and highly skilled teachers have a strong understanding of child development and pedagogical expertise of how young children learn. We believe children learn best through a variety of approaches and styles; through narrative, songs and hands on activities to name a few. During the school day there will be a mixture of the following approaches:

Direct teaching and adult led activity - to teach specific skills and knowledge.

Practical, carefully planned tasks - to enable children to practise skills and embed/ extend learning.

Child-led learning - to enable children to develop independence, rehearse and explore learnt skills in their own way and follow their own interests.

Over learning - previous learning is repeatedly referred to and built upon to embed and develop lasting schemas.

Personal Growth - we believe children’s own personalities and experiences bring much to the classroom. Children will be encouraged to explore areas that interest them and to be the best they can be developing into responsible and kind individuals with a difference to make in the world.


Story Based Knowledge Early Years Curriculum

Early Years research tells us that direct teaching really enhances children’s imaginative play and supports their window into interpreting and understanding their world and others around them. Our knowledge-based curriculum oscillates between quenching an inquisitive curiosity replete with opportunities to play and contextualise their learning into a practical context.

Phonics (Read, Write Inc)

Children will begin to enjoy daily phonics lessons to support them in their linguistic development to be able to read almost as soon as they begin. This opens up a very special and magical window into reading. We use a synthetic phonics scheme which supports children in using units of sounds to blend together words to read. Children are taught in whole class and group sessions. They will begin to read small reading books with the sounds they are learning.

Imagination and Book Blethering Time (English Group Time)

Each day children will enjoy an Imagination and Book Blethering session where a high quality picture book will be used as a stimulus for their learning usually linked to their role play topic. During this week there will be 5 hands on English based activities which they will complete with the Classteacher, the Teaching Assistant or independently.

Big Books

Children will be immersed in the world of story through a daily big book session. This allows the teacher to model how to read, turning pages and following words, discussing pictures and learning the rhythmic speech sounds and patterns of language.

Maths Discovery Time

A daily Mathematics session begins with a whole class carpet session. This is an exciting time where a story may be used to look at a particular maths concept, maths songs and rhymes are used along with practical apparatus. We are part of an exciting national ‘Mastering Number Programme’ this involves using exciting apparatus and exciting mathematical teaching methods. Each day one group will complete a focused task with the Classteacher while other groups will be able to select from one of the carefully planned practical activities designed to develop core mathematical skills.

Topic Exploration Time

Each half term we follow a specific topic which aims to excite and enthuse children. Whole class carpet time supports children’s understanding and knowledge followed by a myriad of practical hands-on activities linked to the theme and through which children can explore and create imaginatively.

Outdoor Learning

Over the course of the afternoon children will explore the outdoor area focusing on a range of stimulating activities linked to physical development and motor skills. Children will visit the wildlife area each week exploring the pond, flowers, trees and bug huts. During the year each class will visit our local forest school for a half term.


Children develop their independence during these sessions and are encouraged to plan their activities selecting from resources available in the different areas of the classroom. A few children each day will share their learning with the class. 

Library Sessions and Reading Partners

Reception classes will visit the school library each week and are allowed to borrow a book to read and share at home.

Enrichment and Specialist Teaching

We believe that developing children’s excitement in learning stems from a passion for the subject and therefore prioritise specialist teachers to stimulate curiosity in children’s learning.

Each week children will have a dedicated enrichment session in the following areas: Music, the Performing Arts and PE and Movement.

Our curriculum in Reception is centred on the 7 areas of Early Years Learning as set out in the EYFS framework. The prime areas of learning are: Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

The prime areas are further strengthened and supported on a daily basis through 4 specific areas: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Art and Design.

The four areas are taught explicitly through hands on practical learning experiences and embedded and built upon through child initiated time. Whilst Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Communication and Language are taught explicitly they are also interwoven in activities throughout the day.

The characteristics of effective learning in Reception which allow children to be engaged learners and run through the curriculum are: Imagination, Creativity and Exploration, Contextualising Knowledge and Understanding, Active Learning and Imaginative Thought and Critical Thinking.


Curriculum Coverage

The following thematic topics will stimulate learning each half term. Activities will be centred and stimulated around the topics with classroom role play areas reflecting the topics thus allowing children to immerse themselves in creative endeavours.

The curriculum is carefully sequenced allowing children to grasp conceptual understanding of big ideas in a linear and cumulative fashion building upon knowledge and skills. The curriculum will offer children the foundation to build upon their knowledge and understanding as they move to Year 1 and embark on Key Stage 1 study.


Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

Topic All About Me Transport Past and Present Space Growing and Changing Kings and Queens Stories from the Past


Core Skills Developed in Reception Class

• To read and write set 1 and 2 sound words
• To read and write sentences
• To form letters correctly
• Understanding and knowledge of traditional rhymes
• Recite the alphabet
• To read keywords to set 6
• To understand key themes in stories
• To know facts about a range of subjects and topics
• To recognise and order numbers to 20
• To know number bonds to 10
• To add and subtract small numbers
• To double and halve units
• To name and describe basic 2D and 3D shapes.


A Day in Reception

We have a soft start approach to mornings at Southfield which mean children can arrive from 8.40 until 8.55am and will go straight into class so they can settle in before the day starts. A friendly member of the Reception team will be on hand at the door of the classroom or in the playground to welcome you and your child each day. Parents can approach a member of the team before or after school. In addition to English and Mathematics books, every child will be issued with a Reception Learning Journal at the beginning of the year which will record examples of work, observations by staff and chronical your child’s development at key milestone points throughout the year. This is a special book which parents will keep and treasure at the end of the year.

Register - The register is taken at 8.55am

Phonics - Each morning children will start the day learning their phonetic sounds in a fun and exciting way following our Read Write Inc programme. Our Early Reading and Phonics Coordinator will hold a parent workshop early in the Autumn term so you as parents can understand the process and support at home. Children are taught letter sounds to support and springboard their reading and spelling ability.

Literacy Group Time - Children will engage in fun and exciting Literacy activities stimulated through picture books, songs and rhymes.

Break Time - Both classes will enjoy break time together where they will explore and play on playground equipment or enjoy playground games.

Big Book - A lovely time of the day where the class teacher shares a big book with the class highlighting how to model reading strategies.

Mathematics Discovery Time - Whole class carpet sessions to explore mathematics in a fun and exciting way and then lots of hands on practical activities to consolidate or explore learning further.

Lunchtime - Children will eat together as Reception classes in the Infant canteen. Once they finish lunch they will have playtime in the Reception playground.

Register and Phonics Recap - After the afternoon register a quick fun recap on phonic sounds with games and rhymes.

Topic Time - This is where children will explore their topic as well as the specialist teaching. There will be a range of exciting and stimulating activities set up for children.

Snack Time - This is an opportunity for sharing and reinforcing school values of good manners and being kind to others. Children help to give out milk, water and fruit for their friends to enjoy.

Outdoor Learning - Children explore the outside area which will be set up for exploring topic areas and supporting movement.

Plan-Do-Review - Independence time to plan and select resources to create and share with the class.

Story Time - Each day ends with a lovely story read by the class teacher and a weekly visit to the Old Curiosity Shop - our school library.

Home Time - Parents collect children at 3.15pm.


How Can I Prepare My Child for School?

Share a book about Starting School - discuss with your child how exciting it will be to begin school. Perhaps walk past the school and show them where it is. The Play Day at School session in July will help them orientate themselves with the classroom and teacher ahead of September.

Being Curious and Ready to Learn
• Following instructions
• Sitting and listening quietly to a story
• Confident and willing to try new things
• Asking questions

• Making choices about what they would like to play with
• Tidying up after they have finished with something
• Looking after my belongings e.g. hanging up their coat and putting shoes away
• Asking for help if needed
• Using a knife and fork
• Opening packets and containers (in their packed lunch)

Getting Dressed
• Putting on their coat
• Undoing and fastening buttons
• Attempting to do up a zip
• Changing into PE kits
• Doing up school shoes Self-Hygiene
• Going to the toilet unaided
• Washing own hands

• Interested in interacting with others
• Sharing and taking turns
• Listening to what others say


Assessment at the End of Reception

Assessment plays an important part in helping parents and teachers and other adults to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. Ongoing assessment is an important part of what we do. We continually make observations about each child's learning and development  and use these observations  to identify learning priorities and plan relevant learning experiences for each child.

The EYFS curriculum consists of 17 goals for learning or 'Early Learning Goals', we use these to make final assessments on your child's learning and development at the end of the Reception Year.

 To find out more about the Early Learning Goals click the link below:

 EYFS Framework

 Teachers indicate whether children are meeting expected levels of development:

  • Emerging - not yet reaching expected levels of development for age
  • Expected - reached expected levels of development for age 

These judgements are shared with parents in the annual report and Year 1 teachers during transition meetings between Reception and Year 1 teachers. They are used to assist with the planning of learning at the start of Year 1.


Reception Brochure