StarTing school in Reception
Congratulations – your child has now started Primary school! The Reception class is about much more than colours and shapes, numbers and letters. This is the year that your child becomes ‘school-ready’; developing their independence, confidence, resilience and curiosity. It’s an exciting time, for children and parents, as their Primary school career begins.
As parents, we can feel anxious as our child begins ‘big school’ – how will they cope in a big classroom and in a large playground? Will they make friends easily? But very soon most children adjust to their exciting new environment. At the bottom of this page we have put together very clear concise information. We hope that you find the information useful.
What will my child do in Reception?
This year your child will continue to learn by doing things for themselves, by exploring and investigating, watching and listening, talking and discussing, creating and communicating — in other words — playing. Play is children’s work and playing hard is very tiring! Your child may be really exhausted and perhaps a bit grumpy when they come home! If they don’t want to talk about their day straight away, don’t worry, they will gradually let you into their new world as time goes by. Play can also be very messy as your child will be learning both inside the classroom with sand, water, paint, but also in the outdoors with mud, leaves etc. so you can expect some mucky clothes at the end of the day!
All children in Reception follow a curriculum called the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and this is broken down into 3 prime aspects and 4 specific areas of learning.
Personal, social and emotional development
One of the prime aspects of your child’s first year at school will be a focus on their personal, social and emotional development, and their teacher will be aiming to give them a good start to their school experience by helping them form positive relationships, build confidence and self-awareness, as well as manage their feelings and behaviour.
Physical development is important too: you will hopefully notice that they are starting to move more confidently and to understand how to look after themselves and be healthy.
The final prime area this year is communication. Children learn through speaking and listening first and foremost, and this year you may notice your child communicating in a variety of ways at school — for example, through stories, in conversations with adults and their friends, or through facial expression, movement or dance.
For the specific areas of learning, your child will learn the basics of literacy — reading, writing and phonics. Many parents are daunted by phonics, but there’s no need to be! We use a specific phonics scheme called Read, Write Inc. We will teach and your children will learn the 44 phonics sounds and 18 diagraphs (two letters making one sound — sh, ch, th, qu, ng, ai, ee, ie, oa, oo/oo, or, er, ow, oi) to read and spell words. Don’t worry — the schemes progress gradually, and you will be given lots of helpful advice along the way! In maths, Reception classes will cover numbers, simple sums, shapes, spaces and simple measuring.
Find out what children learn in maths at school with our Maths in Reception document on the Bears class page
Children learn about the world, too, exploring different people and communities, and how we can use different forms of technology in our learning. Finally, imagination and creativity are championed in the area of expressive arts. Your child will explore different media and materials and be encouraged to use their imagination in a range of different experiences.
The key thing to remember here is that your child learns holistically. In other words, most of the time they will be learning all seven areas of learning together, in a fairly jumbled way. So if your child spends most of his time in the sand area there’s no need for concern! They may well be covering all kinds of important learning; working with different materials shapes, quantity and volume, creating imaginative worlds, feeling different textures, and even developing motor skills and strength for writing!