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EYFS - Reception

At Richmond Avenue Primary and Nursery School we recognise that the ways in which the child engages with other people and their environment is through playing and exploring, active learning, and creating and thinking critically. These all underpin learning and development across all areas of the curriculum and support the individual child to remain an effective and motivated learner.

In September 2021, the new Early Years Foundation stage curriculum was introduced and as a school we have taken the decision to combine the Development Matters curriculum statements as well as the Birth to five matters curriculum as we felt that this better suited the needs of our children. The areas within the curriculum are as follows,

The three prime areas are:

  • Personal Social and Emotional Development- Building relationships, managing self and self-regulation
  • Communication and Language- Listening, attention and understanding and speaking.
  • Physical Development- Gross motor skills, fine motor skills.


The four specific areas are:

  • Literacy- Reading comprehension, reading (words) and writing.
  • Mathematics- Number and numerical Patterns.
  • Understanding the world- People, culture and communities, natural world and past and present.
  • Expressive arts and design- Creating with materials and being imaginative and expressive.


In Reception, we have a focus topic and key text each half term: 


Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2


All about me


Traditional Tales

Julia Donaldson



The colour monster goes to school


Let’s celebrate 5 days of Diwali

Christmas stories

Three Little Pigs

Jack and the Beanstalk

Gingerbread Man

Three Billy Goats Gruff

Hansel and Gretel

The Gruffalo

Monkey Puzzle

Room on the Broom

Snail and the Whale

Commotion in the Ocean

The great kapok tree

Rumble in the jungle

Who’s hiding in the woods

Meet the planets

Look the inside space

Here come the aliens

The way back home

Learning in EYFS: 


The Early Years Foundation Stage is based around four Key Themes

The themes are:

  • A Unique Child - Every child is a competent learner from birth who 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/or a key person.

  • Enabling Environments - The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children's development and learning.

  • Learning and Development - Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of Learning and Development are equally important and inter-connected.

Role Play 

The children in reception have been having lots of fun playing in our new role play area. The children have been making lots of food for dinner and the babies have been looked after so well. They've had their outfits changed, been feed and put down to bed.



Literacy in Reception

Children learn through self-directed opportunities to read and write that are then enhanced by experienced adult support to move their learning on.

Speaking and Listening is taught through role modelling of meaningful sentences, widening vocabulary, active listening and turn taking in conversation.

Carefully selected stories and non-fiction texts, linked to topics, are used to engage children in developing their reading and writing across the curriculum.


Phonics is taught through our Richmond Phonics program. Please see the links at the bottom of the page if you would like to work with your child on learning their phonic sounds at home.

At Richmond we teach systematic synthetic phonics from Nursery to Lower Key Stage two, or for as long as it is necessary. We follow a systematic teaching programme for delivery to ensure pupils learn how to effectively decode print to enable them to read. Through daily teaching of phonics and the skills of grapheme-phoneme correspondence, pupils are taught phonics, progressing through individual sounds and blends through five steps (see below). The sets for teaching ensure that pupils have the skills to read many common words early in their phonics learning through segmenting and blending of taught sounds. To enhance the delivery and recall of individual letter sounds and letter formations, we utilise the Read Write Inc formation cards.

Through our kinaesthetic, interactive approach to teaching phonics we aim to develop the children’s phonological awareness, ability to segment and blend words and read tricky words by sight, to become fluent readers and have good foundations in spelling.

Within each phonics sessions, children experience a range of visual and practical activities that allows then to practice and apply their phonetic knowledge. This includes through dictation of sounds, words and sentences as well as through practical games, the use of word and sound flash cards and opportunities to read and write at the appropriate level.

Key phonics vocabulary: 

Decodable words- Words they can sound out  

Tricky words- Words that cannot be sounded out.  

Phoneme- Is the sound. 

Grapheme- A letter or group of letters representing a sound. 

Segment- Breaking down a word into the individual sounds. 

Blend- Bringing the individual sounds together to say or read a word. 

Digraph- ‘Two letters that make 1 sound.’ Eg ‘sh’ in ‘shout’ 

Tri-graph- ‘Three letters that make 1 sound.’ Eg ‘igh’ in ‘fight’ 

Maths in Reception

Children learn through experiencing number, shape and space in a practical way in the real world, before moving on to making mathematical representations and models with specially chosen equipment, before finally recording their endeavours on paper.  Maths Sessions are more focussed sessions with small groups of children which begin as the children progress through reception. 

More details about the organisation and delivery of the curriculum  of EYFS can be read in the EYFS Policy. 

Parental Support

We encourage parents and carers to also share learning at home with the school. 

The Tapestry app that the school uses as an ongoing Learning Journey for the children can also be accessed and added to by parents / carers at home. 

Please talk to the class teachers if you need any further details of how to access this