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Reception Curriculum Information


Life in Early Years at HLC is fun and filled with exciting and enjoyable learning opportunities. Our school mottos: “belong, respect, inspire, succeed and enjoy” lie at the very heart of our Early Years curriculum offer. We are a large learning community in Reception, but every child is known as an individual, instilling a sense of real belonging. We work closely with our parents and carers to make sure that each child is happy, safe and learning as much as they can.

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage: ‘Development Matters’ which looks at child development from birth to 5 years of age, focussing on the seven areas of learning which are separated into two groups, Prime and Specific.

Prime areas of learning

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

Specific areas of learning

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design.

We use these areas of learning to underpin our broad and balanced curriculum offer and to ensure that all children are provided with opportunities to find their talent and learn to respect the differences of others.

We follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme for Phonics at HLC. Children in Reception have a daily phonics session of 20 minutes. This is a systematic teaching programme in which children are taught knowledge and skills to become independent readers and writers. Children are taught as a whole class, with further interventions taking place to target all children’s needs. Reception children will be taught Phases 2, 3, and 4 phonics by the end of the academic year some children will begin Phase 5 phonics where appropriate. We encourage our children to apply their phonics learning through their play and promote mark making, the use of print within the environment and story scribing.

Throughout Reception our children will progress through a range of phonetically decodable scheme books. Reading is taught through 1:1 sessions and all reading books used in these sessions are linked directly to the phonic phases that children are currently focusing upon. Our children are taught in an environment that is rich in reading opportunities and reading is rigorously promoted and planned across the Early Years. We provide an inclusive and enabling environment for reading which empowers and encourages children to read a range of genres both in and out of doors. Every day, the whole class shares texts, which are beyond their independent reading ability. Story time is a special time where staff bring the books to life, thus providing a context for teacher modelling, teaching and applying reading skills. Children are encouraged to take home any of these books to share with an adult for pleasure, practise re-telling stories and to gain confidence in reading.

In our Early Years we aim to equip children with a sense of mathematics as part of their world, by providing them with opportunities for practical application of their understanding. In Reception Early Mathematics is taught through daily Maths Magic focussing on both Number and Shape, Space and Measure. These sessions are used to introduce new vocabulary, ways of applying mathematical thinking or effective ways of using resources. We then encourage the children to continue to apply maths within their exploratory play and use this as a tool for mathematics as a whole. Our staff have given extensive consideration to how each area of our continuous provision is engendering mathematical understanding or rehearsal of skills taught in our focussed Maths Magic sessions. We want our children to bring their mathematical understanding into their experiences since this makes maths more real and more purposeful.

We aim to create irresistible indoor and outdoor learning environments, thoughtfully enhanced with authentic objects for children to explore, including items from the natural world. These resources spark curiosity, imagination and bring a unique quality to their learning and play. We hope to inspire our little thinkers and develop their curiosity to know more and learn more. We value the importance of play and how crucial it is to all areas of a child’s development. We give our children time to become deeply involved in their play and ensure that every detail of their school day is committed to knowledge and skills growth, with children applying their skills to situations and experiences, and opening up opportunities to develop new ones alongside them.

We believe that children have a natural desire to learn, explore, discover and succeed. Our caring teachers and support staff plan a wide range of learning opportunities and use exciting provocations within the environment to ensure that children are motivated and deeply engaged in their learning. Our dedicated team listen to and observe our children closely to identify and follow each child’s interests. By doing this, we recognise and take the opportunity to extend our children’s interests and learning further, by facilitating key teaching opportunities and planning for our children’s next steps.