Early Years Foundation Stage

Reception Class


Together we will nurture, stimulate and challenge our children in order to lay strong foundations on which to build their future learning.  

In Reception classes at Hunningley we intend to ensure all children’s interests and needs are met. We endeavour to do this when planning learning opportunities by considering children’s individual interests and prior learning. We celebrate uniqueness and individuals' different learning styles, skills and abilities. We understand we can all learn from one another. We want children to develop self-confidence: to be proud of who they are and what they achieve. We work closely with parents to help children reach their potential throughout the year, teaching them skills, concepts and values which will serve them well in future life. Whenever possible we provide first-hand experiences which make our curriculum purposeful and relevant. Children will be encouraged to form positive relationships with others and to work cooperatively in groups, developing their social skills. Alongside this, independence will also be developed by allowing children to make choices and drive much of their own learning in a stimulating and nurturing environment where it is ok to make mistakes along a learning journey. We want our children to feel part of our school community and our wider community and to begin to understand their role in contributing to this. We use a Conscious Discipline approach to promote positive attitudes to learning which reflect the values and skills needed to promote responsibility for learning and future lifelong success.


In Reception we support children to learn and develop by teaching, encouraging and promoting all aspects of development across the seven areas of learning, which are: Communication; Language and Literacy; Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Physical Development; Mathematical Development; Expressive Arts and Design; and Understanding of the World. We follow The Early Years Foundation Stage which states that the characteristics of effective learning are: playing and exploring, active learning, and creativity and critical thinking. 

Playing and exploring 

We provide daily opportunities for children to learn through play and adults support children by holding high quality discussions around children’s thinking. When learning through play children are given opportunities to explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. They learn how to control themselves and understand the need for rules. They can think creatively alongside other children as well as on their own, communicate with others as they investigate, solve problems and learn. 

Active Learning 

We have a balance of adult-initiated and child-initiated activities. Phonics, maths, reading and literacy lessons are adult-led, and opportunities are followed up with a rich provision of activities and resources for children to consolidate and extend their learning through play. This encourages independence, control over their learning and, most importantly, enjoyment: developing a love of learning. We provide children with challenges to advance their learning and encourage them to use the new skills and knowledge they have been taught. 

Creativity and Critical Thinking 

When children have opportunities to play with ideas in different situations, and with a variety of resources, they discover connections and come to better understandings and develop new ways of doing things. Adults support this process and enhance their ability to think critically and ask questions. Children are given time to test out their ideas and discuss their discoveries with others, sharing their understanding and knowledge. Children are observed carefully by adults: learning and progress is tracked and next steps are identified for all children. We plan a broad and balanced curriculum which covers all 7 areas of learning, and have an enriching and diverse learning environment including our indoor classroom, outdoor provision and woodland area. We visit our woodland area regularly throughout the year which allows children to learn about the world through first-hand experiences beyond a classroom environment.  

This year every child will:

  • experience the natural environment and seasonal changes firsthand by regularly taking part in our Outdoor Woodland Learning Sessions.
  • experience building and cooking on a campfire.
  • take part in a performance.  
  • bake buns 
  • try a range of different foods. 
  • plant and grow a plant 


The impact of our curriculum is measured by assessment procedures which allow us to measure outcomes against all schools nationally. We measure the percentage of pupils achieving a ‘Good level of development’ (GLD) by the end of the Reception year. The impact of our curriculum will also be measured by how effectively it helps our pupils develop into well-rounded individuals who uphold strong positive values and carry the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them lifelong learners and valuable future citizens. We strive for pupils to have all six of our school’s core values embedded by the time they leave Reception. These are: Respect, Ambition, Creativity, Determination, Confidence and Enthusiasm. When children leave Reception, not only are they ready for Year One, but they are well-rounded individuals with positive attitudes towards learning and future life. 

Useful Links 

Here is the  Guidance Material from the British Association for Early Childhood Education which we use in developing our curriculum and here are some other useful websites which can support children’s learning in EYFS: 

Phonics Play – phase 2

Topmarks Maths

Starfall ABC

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