Children in Reception learn through the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, which has seven areas of learning:

  • · Physical Development
  • · Communication and Language
  • · Literacy
  • · Mathematics
  • · Expressive Art and Design
  • · Understanding the World
  • · Personal, Social and Emotional Development

We also support children to develop characteristics of learning in:

  • Playing and exploring
  • Active learning
  • Creating and thinking critically

During the school day, the majority of the children's learning takes place through their own, child led play. Additional resources are used to enhance the children's learning. 

To help develop the child as a learner we give the children opportunities to develop the skills of:

  • being willing to have a go
  • being involved and concentrating
  • having their own ideas;
  • choosing ways to do things;
  • finding new ways;
  • enjoying achieving what they set out to do.

Children are given rich opportunities to initiate ideas and activities and are encouraged to become independent learners.

What to expect, when? Guidance to your child’s learning and development in the early years foundation stage

Phonics and Early Reading

At Sutton CP School, children in the Reception class take part in high quality phonics sessions every day. These are fun sessions involving lots of speaking, listening, songs and games, where the emphasis is on children’s active participation. They learn to use their phonic knowledge for reading and writing activities and in their independent play. In the early  days  of YR we hold a parents meetings to explain phonics and reading. 

We follow the Letters and Sounds document as a basis of our Phonics teaching, enhanced by the kinaesthetic and auditory learning principles of Jolly Phonics. The children learn fun actions and songs to help them to learn the sounds that the letters can make.

We ensure the children feel secure with the foundations of Phase One of the Letters and Sounds document (listening for sounds, speaking and discriminating sounds in words) before we move on to the next phases, learning various letters and sounds, blending to read and segmenting to write.


Each day we practise our counting and play fun maths games. We learn to read, write and order numbers to 20 and begin to add and subtract single digit numbers. During the maths sessions we learn about 2D and 3D shapes and solve problems using different measures such as height, length, capacity and time.

The children also get lots of chance to practise maths skills during their independent learning. They have access to many maths resources in the classroom and in the outdoor area. Later in the year they are given opportunities to complete maths challenges to extend and consolidate their learning. We take part in the Natwest Money sense programme which helps children understand how money works in the real world and where money comes from. 

You may like to look through this document called 'What to expect and When', which helps you as a parent/carer to find out more about how your child is learning and developing during their first five years, in relation to the EYFS. Children develop more rapidly during the first five years of their lives than at any other time. This booklet has been written to help you as a parent know what to expect during these vitally important years by focusing on the seven areas of learning and development which are covered in the EYFS.