Reception is the first year of school and follows the same curriculum used in Playgroup and Nursery – the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework – to meet every child’s unique potential and develop confident children so they are ready to tackle any challenges when they embark on the National Curriculum in Year 1-6. Miss Cheetham, Mrs King and Miss Kenny. make learning exciting for all children by providing stimulating activities and a safe and warm environment for all children to flourish.

In Reception, the team plan a variety of motivating activities to support all children’s development according to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). They focus on developing a vast amount of skills within 7 different educational programmes according to what a ‘typical’ child of the Reception age should be doing. However, we take into account that every child is individual and even though we work towards developing the skills outlined in the EYFS Framework our staff ensure personalised next steps and challenges are in place.

As the EYFS is a separate curriculum to Years 1-6, it has its own School Improvement Plan (please find this in the SIP section of the website).

EYFS is the Beginning

Our curriculum is devised to develop all children into confident, resilient and happy individuals who are prepared and ready for the next stage of learning when they reach Year 1. There, they will have their skills built upon and progression made in a variety of new subjects such as Geography and History, these can all be found in our Curriculum tab on our website. Therefore, the role of EYFS is imperative as it underpins all learning and lays the foundations to children’s skills and development in order for them to progress and achieve to their maximum potential.

In Reception we build upon the fantastic work and development which has taken place in Nursery. We continue to use Target Tracker to highlight any gaps children may have in their learning and put in place support to help children accomplish their next steps. We also support each child in working towards achieving the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) at the end of Reception and help develop their independence, confidence and school readiness for different subjects they will be taught further up school in greater depth.

The EYFS Framework

The EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development from birth to 5 years. The full document can be found at

Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 17 areas of learning and developing which come under the 7 different educational programmes as listed below:

  • Communication and Language:
    • Listening, Attention and Understanding
    • Speaking
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development:
    • Self-Regulation
    • Managing Self
    • Building Relationships
  • Physical Development:
    • Gross Motor Skills
    • Fine Motor Skills
  • Literacy:
    • Comprehension
    • Word Reading
    • Writing
  • Mathematics:
    • Number          
    • Numerical Patterns
  • Understanding the World:
    • Past and Present
    • People, Culture and Communities
    • The Natural World
  • Expressive Arts and Design:
    • Creating with Materials
    • Being Imaginative and Expressive


These 17 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities, which are suited to your child’s unique needs.

Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both inside and outside. These are known as the 3 characteristics of effective learning. When planning and setting up the learning environment these are taken into account to ensure they are embedded for children to develop.

As a school, we contribute to the thematic approach to learning using a whole-school topic overview by selecting topics for each half-term for Nursery and Reception that we feel would encourage and excite children, these are reviewed but also not set in stone – meaning if children’s interests defer then we support this and change plans in order to maximize the most learning potential.

Parent Information on the EYFS Framework:

There is a great guide, called the ‘What to expect, when’, this is aimed at parents in helping you gain an insight into children’s development and what they are working towards by the end of Reception, ready for starting Year 1. Children all develop at different rates and we value and support every individual child’s progress.  The guide can be found below and includes the ongoing updates of the new EYFS framework 2021 here:  alternatively, if you ask a member of the EYFS team they’ll be happy to print it out for you or send you a copy via email or Seesaw.

Parents of both Nursery and Reception are also provided with half-termly parent information which are similar to the school’s ‘Must Knows’ for their topics. Here, outlines what we will focus on developing in regards to the EYFS curriculum in that half-term.

Assessment in Reception

On entry to Reception, all children undergo a baseline assessment, provided by the government. Further information can be found here:

Throughout the rest of the year the way we assess children’s learning in Reception is through observations of their play and work they may produce in activity time, in their Read, Write, Inc. books or in their assessment folders. Observations are recorded online on our Seesaw app and you can view them with your login details that you already have. You can also comment on these from home and upload observations/celebrations of learning and play that your child does to share with us as we appreciate your voice to gain a greater understanding of your child and their development.

When your child has been observed, the staff will link it to the statements found in the EYFS Framework. This helps to highlight what your child has already achieved and what their next steps are. At each half-term the EYFS staff will use your child’s learning journey and work done in books in school to assess where the child is working at against the EYFS framework to support them in the next half-term with their learning. This data is stored on Target Tracker, the rest of the school also use this to track the children’s development which means as your child moves through the Dean Field, their current teacher always has an up-to-date record of what your child’s progression in all subjects, what their strengths are and what support they need in order to progress.

You can also contribute to your child’s learning and development by informing us what they’ve been doing at home too! Often, children are most confident in their home environment and it’s important for us to know and understand them holistically. If you have photos, videos or messages about your child’s achievements (however small) please share them on your child’s Seesaw page so we can celebrate this in class and contribute it to their assessment record – this way we can ensure their next steps are even more explicit, providing the best start to education for your child.

Data is collected from the observations, books and assessment wallets and entered onto Target Tracker when necessary, however with an expectation of updating the progress made each half-term. From this, a Gap Strength Analysis is created to highlight the gaps in individual, group and the class as a whole learning. This is then fed into the planning for the next half-term for activities, continuous provision, intervention and children’s individual next steps. This is also fed into children’s EHCP/IEP’s and communicated with key persons, staff, SENDCO, parents and if appropriate, the children themselves.

Teaching and Learning in Reception

The way Dean Field Reception staff teach this curriculum is through a variety of:

  • adult-led activities
  • small focus group work
  • whole class activities
  • one-to-one support
  • whole-school projects e.g. D&T week, ‘Bake-Off’ competition
  • promoting independent play through the use of child-initiated play and challenges set by staff and children (in the moment planning).

All of the activities created in each way of teaching is stimulated by children’s individual next steps, topics we are enjoying, current events in the community or by the children’s interests.

The staff have a great understanding of what skills the children need to have developed by the end of Reception and the EYFS lead regularly meets with subject leaders to ensure the planning in EYFS is supporting the foundations of learning for each subject, giving the children the best start to their education at Dean Field.

At Dean Field we strive to achieve more for every child and provide a wide variety of support for all children. Every day includes:

  • Read, Write, Inc. (RWI) phonic group session.
  • Your child will be in a phonics group according to their ability to ensure they get the most beneficial support for their early reading skills. This daily phonics group teaches them a new sound, recaps all previous sounds and contains reading and writing activities through adult-led, pair work and independent work.
  • Your child will receive a phonetically appropriate home reading book (colour coded with a support bookmark to prompt questions for comprehension and explain which sounds they will be confident with and what their next steps are), books are changed twice a week. They will also receive a RWI story book which they will be reading in class too during our phonics/literacy time (this is changed weekly). Please visit our Early Reading/Phonics page found under the Curriculum tab on our website for further information.
  • We also have our special ‘borrow a bedtime book’ box in our cloakroom for you use to share reading and storytelling at home, with a great emphasis on reading for pleasure. These books can be changed as regular as needed.
  • As some words cannot be read phonetically we have devised those words into categories for children to practice reading by sight. You’ll hear the children refer to these as Red Words’. This is a fun way of teaching the words – they can be identified in RWI books as the ‘red words’. This scheme continues into Year 1 to help the children read and write the ‘common exception words’. When your child can read and write them, we will celebrate this in class.
  • Your child will also be read with 1-1 by an adult every week and this recorded in their reading record with next steps. Please also contribute to this at home too.
  • Toothbrushing session – the children have their own toothbrush provided in Reception and they will participate in this scheme daily.
  • Bagel and a Book – the children take part in this whole-school scheme every morning, more information can be found on our website.
  • TenTown Maths – we teach ‘Mastery Maths’ with a focus on one number for every two weeks. This is to ensure the children are delving deeper into the number system and are being regularly exposed to a variety of maths skills including simple multiplication and division so when they progress further up school they have the foundations in place in order to progress further. Every child is also given a home login to use the resource at home too. Logging in can be accessed via the website:  Please look at our maths section on the website to find further information and support on how we teach maths and TenTown in Reception.
  • Story time – we share stories through role-play, videos, imagination and adult’s reading our favourite books out loud. Adults often choose the stories to ensure the children are being exposed to a variety of different text types and genres, however, we also choose stories based on the children’s interests.
  • Fruit and milk – here we encourage the children to be independent and confident in trying different healthy foods. We regularly purchase new and interesting fruits for children to try.
  • Outdoor activities – this is a great area for children to develop a range of gross motor skills (large movements), independence and confidence. Somewhere they are safe to shout and move as greatly and creatively as they need to! We also ensure this area is mirrored to indoors in regards to catering for all 7 educational programmes from the EYFS framework.
  • Indoor activities – Each area is zoned into the EYFS areas of learning so children have daily opportunities to access a variety of activities to support all areas of their development.

Transition and Links with Y1-Y6

To further prepare the children in EYFS to start the National Curriculum Framework in Years 1-6 the staff share the EYFS children’s Target Tracker information with subject leaders and the Year 1 teacher. The EYFS children also take part in whole-school activities such as D&T week and contributing to the RE floor books.

In the Summer term the Reception children join KS1 during outside lunch play and they take part in lots of fun transition activities so they feel confident, secure, safe and happy to start in Year 1.