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At St Marys C of E Primary School, we want children to enjoy their first years at school. In Reception we provide a safe, caring, inclusive environment where children can learn and grow in all areas of their development. Communication is important to us and we value the relationship that we develop with parents throughout this vital year of the children’s learning journey.

In Reception class we use the new Statutory Early Years Framework as the basis of our curriculum. We plan for children to develop skills in the ‘Prime & Specific Areas’ of learning. The Characteristics of Learning: Playing and exploring, Active learning, Creating and thinking critically are also at the core of our curriculum. This provides us with an insight into the different ways in which children learn thus enabling us to provide an environment which ensures these varied types of learning occur. When the characteristics of learning are present solid learning takes place. The skills and knowledge the children develop through the curriculum helps them to make progress towards achieving ‘The Early Learning Goals’ and gaining a ‘Good Level of Development’ at the end of Reception which will give them a solid foundation as they enter Key Stage 1. Have a look at the Early Years documentation below:

The Early Learning Goals – on one page

When planning the curriculum, the children’s needs are paramount. We plan activities and lessons to ensure all children are able to make progress towards the Early Learning Goals. In addition to this, we evaluate previous learning in order to identify next steps in learning.

In Reception we recognise the importance of both the indoor and outdoor environment. The children have free access to a wide range of resources in our continuous provision areas which are equipped to promote all aspects of the children’s development. We offer ‘Free-Flow’ in our Reception classroom where children can choose to learn independently either in our indoor or outdoor classroom. We are so lucky in our school to have an amazing outdoor space that backs onto Reddish Vale Country Park and because of this we have a wonderful Forest School area that is located at the bottom of our huge school field. Each week the Reception children spend a full morning in our Forest School area where they learn skills such as den building, climbing trees, tying knots and crafting with natural materials.

At St Mary’s we provide our children with opportunities to develop their gross & fine motor skills, to deepen their imaginations and also their sense of curiosity. We want children to feel safe and ensure that our safeguarding procedures are rigorous and kept up to date.

Our aim is that our children leave the Reception class with a love of learning, growing independence and are prepared to start the National Curriculum in Year 1.


Your child will be assessed in September using the ‘Reception Baseline Assessment’ from the Department for Education.

We use the Development Matters & EYFS Curriculum Goals to track children throughout their time in Reception so we know where each child is on their individual learning journey and plan for the next steps in their learning. Report_and_illustrations_web2.pdf

In Reception class we use a range of strategies to gather information about the children’s learning and development. We use observation as our main form of assessment and ‘wow’ moments are recorded. The children’s learning is monitored and sometimes observed through photographs, notes and videos. Some Literacy and Maths work may be recorded in files or on display in the classroom. The teaching staff in Reception constantly use their professional judgement to decide what a child is achieving and what they need to do next. Staff watch the children interacting through their play and learning, we model and guide to support the children and assess the children using the non-statutory framework ‘Development Matters 2021’.