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Early Years Foundation Stage

We pride ourselves on giving every child every opportunity to learn, grow, be creative and happy through an inspiring and enjoyable curriculum.

In Reception, we follow the curriculum set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage, which covers all areas of children’s learning and development from birth to five years old across 7 areas.

Each of the 7 areas of learning leads into a goal which summarise the knowledge, skills and understanding that children should gain by the end of Reception.

Communication and Language

ELG: Listening, Attention and Understanding

Children at the expected level of development will:

– Listen attentively and respond to what they hear with relevant questions, comments and actions when being read to and during whole class discussions and small group interactions;

– Make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding;

– Hold conversation when engaged in back-and-forth exchanges with their teacher and peers.

ELG: Speaking

Children at the expected level of development will:

– Participate in small group, class and one-to-one discussions, offering their own ideas, using recently introduced vocabulary;

– Offer explanations for why things might happen, making use of recently introduced vocabulary from stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems when appropriate;

– Express their ideas and feelings about their experiences using full sentences, including use of past, present and future tenses and making use of conjunctions, with modelling and support from their teacher.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

ELG: Self-Regulation

 Children at the expected level of development will:

– Show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others, and begin to regulate their behaviour accordingly;

– Set and work towards simple goals, being able to wait for what they want and control their immediate impulses when appropriate;

– Give focused attention to what the teacher says, responding appropriately even when engaged in activity, and show an ability to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.

ELG: Managing Self

Children at the expected level of development will:

– Be confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge;

– Explain the reasons for rules, know right from wrong and try to behave accordingly;

– Manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet and understanding the importance of healthy food choices.

ELG: Building Relationships

Children at the expected level of development will:

– Work and play cooperatively and take turns with others;

– Form positive attachments to adults and friendships with peers;

– Show sensitivity to their own and to others’ needs.

Physical Development

ELG: Gross Motor Skills

Children at the expected level of development will:

– Negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for themselves and others;

– Demonstrate strength, balance and coordination when playing;

– Move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing.

ELG: Fine Motor Skills

Children at the expected level of development will:

– Hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing – using the tripod grip in almost all cases;

– Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery;

– Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing.


ELG: Comprehension

Children at the expected level of development will:

– Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary;

– Anticipate – where appropriate – key events in stories;

– Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role-play.

ELG: Word Reading

Children at the expected level of development will:

– Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs;

– Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending;

– Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words.

ELG: Writing

Children at the expected level of development will:

– Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed;

– Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters;

– Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.

Mathematics ELG: Number

Children at the expected level of development will:

– Have a deep understanding of number to 10, including the composition of each number;

– Subitise (recognise quantities without counting) up to 5;

– Automatically recall (without reference to rhymes, counting or other aids) number bonds up to 5 (including subtraction facts) and some number bonds to 10, including double facts.

ELG: Numerical Patterns

Children at the expected level of development will:

– Verbally count beyond 20, recognising the pattern of the counting system;

– Compare quantities up to 10 in different contexts, recognising when one quantity is greater than, less than or the same as the other quantity;

– Explore and represent patterns within numbers up to 10, including evens and odds, double facts and how quantities can be distributed equally.

Understanding the World

ELG: Past and Present

Children at the expected level of development will:

– Talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society;

– Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;

– Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling.

ELG: People, Culture and Communities

Children at the expected level of development will:

– Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps;

– Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;

– Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps.

ELG: The Natural World

Children at the expected level of development will:

– Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants;

– Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;

– Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.

Expressive Arts and Design

ELG: Creating with Materials

Children at the expected level of development will:

– Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function;

– Share their creations, explaining the process they have used;

– Make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives and stories.

ELG: Being Imaginative and Expressive

Children at the expected level of development will:

– Invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with peers and their teacher;

– Sing a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs; Perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others, and – when appropriate – try to move in time with music.


In addition, we look at the Characteristics of Effective Learning when making judgements as to the progress children are making.

  • playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
  • active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
  • creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

Topics throughout the year

We plan around a number of topics throughout the year. These provide an overarching theme which becomes enhanced and detailed through planning ideas the children give us.

Autumn: Marvellous Me

                 Celebrations (We hope to be able to produce a Nativity play)

Spring: The World and Space


Summer: Sunflowers and Sunshine

                 Bright Lights, Big City

As we work throughout this year as partners, please let us know if you have any specific interest or knowledge in any of our topics. This would be really helpful as we plan. We are always grateful to receive any resources which will help us in our topic work.

How we learn


In Reception, the children are given opportunities to explore mathematics both inside and outside the classroom. The children make progress in mathematics through exploring practical activities.  Mathematics is taught through a mix of media. Children will use practical mathematical equipment as they learn. We also use ICT to enhance learning; the children make use of the interactive whiteboard and relevant programmes.

Children will develop an understanding of number to 10, including the composition of each number. They will learn subitise, recognising quantities without counting. They will learn number bonds up to 5 and some up to 10. Children explore patterns in mathematics, learning to share and distribute equally.


For Literacy, Reception use a range of resources to mark-make both indoors and outdoors. Children learn to read and write. We follow Letters and Sounds to teach phonics enhanced by Jolly Phonics. Children learn to write developing fine and gross motor skills. They explore a range of textures, including whiteboards, chalk and sand. Our reading scheme is linked to Letters and Sounds and individually tailored to each child’s needs. The class are able to access a range of books in the book corner and can independently spend time looking at books with their peers or with an adult. They are also able to visit the library once a week to choose a book to read for pleasure.  Pupils are supported with their reading and writing with daily phonics sessions.  Children develop an understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories in their role play.

Understanding the world

Children learn about people around them and society. They explore past and present through experiences, books and recounts.  Children explore their world through observation and discussion. They look at non-fiction books and maps. We look at similarities and differences in religion and cultural communities.  Children explore the natural world around them making observations, looking at books and pictures, and expressing themselves through drawings and paintings.  Children investigate processes and changes in the natural world around them, having fun in play and experimenting.

Physical development

Children learn to negotiate space and obstacles safely. They demonstrate strength, balance and coordination when playing. They use climbing equipment, ride scooters, trikes and bikes and use small and large equipment in games and PE.  Children learn to hold a pencil effectively. They use a range of small tools including scissors, paintbrushes and cutlery.

Expressive arts and design

Children are given the opportunity to explore a wide range of media and materials. In Reception, pupils have access to building materials to construct with a purpose and use tools appropriately.  Pupils develop their imagination taking on different roles in their play. They learn to engage in the same theme as their peers and negotiate and take turns.

Personal, social and emotional development

Through play opportunities, pupils learn to develop empathy and understanding of others needs and how their actions can have an impact on individuals.  Pupils learn to negotiate, share and take turns with their peers. They develop the skill to deal with disagreements using words.  Pupils develop secure friendships and develop the ability to work together with their peers.  Children are confident to try new activities, demonstrating independence, resilience and perseverance.

Communication and language

Pupils are given ample opportunity to develop their listening and attention skills through small group and whole class activities. Pupils learn to listen and consider what the other person is saying through play opportunities. Pupils are encouraged to use talk in their play and learning to develop a wide breadth of vocabulary and have the ability to share their experiences and understanding.  Children offer explanations for why things happen using subject appropriate vocabulary. Children learn to express their ideas and feelings using past, present and future tenses in speech.

Assessing our children and partnership with parents

At Northchapel, we value our partnership with parents. We involve parents and children with our planning, inviting parents to share their observations of their child’s development. We plan and assess following the EYFS curriculum in preparation for moving the children up to Year 1.  Differentiated activities allow children to achieve their full potential in Reception.  In reading and phonics, we share a weekly dialogue with parents through our reading records, enabling us to assess holistically. 

In the final term of the Reception year, we will complete the Early Years Foundation Profile. This profile reflects practitioner’s knowledge and professional judgement. It is shared with parents and carers who have provided a useful contribution throughout the year. This profile helps us to effectively plan the next steps in a child’s learning.

How you can help us

Please support us by reading regularly with your child.  They will bring 'sound snails' and high frequency 'word cards' home to learn to read by sight and they will be tested on these weekly and given new ones to learn when secure.  Should you have any concerns about your child’s progress at all, please contact us and arrange a meeting.  Thank you for your support.