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Kettlefields Primary School

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Introduction to Reception

Kettlefields Primary School - Early Years Foundation Stage


Reception Class: Information for Parents and Carers


From September 2008 the Early Years Foundation Stage became statutory for all early years child care and education providers – e.g. Nurseries, playgroups, Pre schools, childminders and Reception classes.


The EYFS is a framework for children’s development from birth to the end of the Reception year of Primary School. There are four themes of the EYFS;

  • A unique child - every child is a competent learner from birth and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

  • Positive Relationships - children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and carers.

  • Enabling environments - the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.

  • Learning and Developing - children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of learning and development are equally important.


    These themes are used to underpin the learning and development that your child will take part in during their time in the EYFS. Children learn in a variety of ways: watching others, talking, asking questions, listening, exploring and investigating. Planned, purposeful play is the foundation of development and learning for young children and your child will continue to take part in many indoor and outdoor play experiences that will help them to learn and have fun!


    The EYFS curriculum is organised into seven areas of learning and development;


    3 Prime Areas:

  • Personal, social and emotional development

  • Communication, and language

  • Physical development


    4 specific areas:

  • Mathematics

  • Literacy

  • Understanding the world

  • Expressive arts and design


This does not mean that all of the children’s learning is divided up into areas. In one activity they can be developing knowledge, understanding and new skills across several areas of learning at once. For example, in making and playing with playdough they may go to the shop to buy ingredients (understanding the world), look at a recipe and talk about the instructions (communication, language and literacy), count out spoonfuls of flour (problem solving, reasoning and numeracy), mix and roll out dough (physical), and then use their imagination to make snakes, animals, cakes etc. (creative).



Personal, social and emotional development

This area of learning helps children to feel good about themselves and others so they are able to develop positive relationships. It supports them to become independent, excited and motivated learners.


You can help by encouraging your child to use the toilet independently, wash their hands, put on and fasten their coats. Playing games which encourage sharing and turn taking will help your child to build their social skills.


Communication and Language

Listening: Children are encouraged to listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.


Understanding: children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer how and why questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.


Speaking: children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.


Physical Development

Making progress in physical development gives children confidence and enables them to feel the benefits of being healthy and active. Your child will participate in structured PE and dance sessions, improving their skills of co-ordination, control and movement. There will be many opportunities for your child to develop fine motor skills - e.g. through using scissors, glue, paintbrushes and pencils. Parents and carers can help by giving children time to run, jump, climb and play outdoors and also by encouraging children in activities such as building, drawing, threading beads, or filling and emptying containers in the bath - all of which develop manipulative skills.



To support children in their early reading and writing they are encouraged to mark make, enjoy stories, books and rhymes and link sounds and letters (phonics).

You can help by reading stories, encouraging your child to join in and talk about books, singing songs, games and rhymes, taking time to listen to them talking about things they’ve done and answering their questions.



This area of learning includes developing mathematical understanding through stories, songs, games, everyday activities and imaginative play so that children enjoy experimenting and become confident and curious about numbers, shapes, patterns and measures. Parents and carers can help by talking about the shapes around in the environment, comparing things which are heavy and light or long and short, pointing out numbers at home and in the environment, singing counting songs and rhymes, counting any-thing and everything - socks, cars, shopping!


These ideas can also support your child learning about numbers, shape, space, sorting and matching

  • Introduce counting when climbing the stairs, hopping and skipping at the park,

  • Go on a number hunt around the home or when you are out and about i.e. spotting numbers on the bus, in a cafe

  • Match the sets of knifes and forks, plates and cups when setting the table

  • At bath time talk about the shapes of bath toys and match together


    Understanding the world

    In this area of learning, children develop knowledge, skills and understanding that help them to make sense of the world. This is the foundation for later work in history, geography, science, design technology and ICT.


    You can help by talking to your child about the places they go and things they see in the world around them or on television, answering and asking questions - what if…? why do you think…? how did you…?, letting children join in with everyday activities - washing up, cooking, shopping, helping in the garden.


    Expressive Arts and Design

    This area of learning includes art, music, dance, drama and imaginative play opportunities for children to try new experiences and express themselves in a variety of ways. Creativity is an important part of successful learning; it enables children to make connections between experiences, solve problems and be inventive.


    You can help by talking to your child about their imaginative play and joining in if possible, encouraging them to be flexible in their thinking and use of materials and praising them for their efforts or ideas as well as the end product.


    A happy start to working in school


    You can help your child in many ways:-

  • Talk to them and answer their many questions!

  • Enjoy sharing a variety of books together

  • Encourage your child to talk about the pictures and tell you the stories in their books

  • Let them see you enjoying reading - sit and read a book, magazine or newspaper in their company

  • Sing songs and nursery rhymes

  • Encourage your child to draw and write with a variety of materials

  • Let your child use catalogues, cards or leaflets to cut out, paste, colour and paint