In Reception, attributes of independence and resilience are strengthened, with children being encouraged to develop skills of learning as well as developing their knowledge of the world around them. Curiosity and inquiry-based learning are at the core of our teaching and principles. Throughout this year, our pupils progress from a predominantly play-based curriculum to more formal learning experiences in preparation for their transition to Lower Preparatory (Year 1).

Reception marks the first step in each child’s school journey. This is the year in which children learn how to ‘be’ in school; understanding structure and routines associated with a school day and adopting key skills in a nurturing environment. The balance of excitement and engagement is what we strive to achieve through our teaching and provision for Reception children. The learning in our Reception year is designed to build a secure foundation for development that is suited to the individual child, whilst working within our setting.


Our curriculum is based upon the principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage and is reflective of an inquiry-based philosophy of learning. Our learning is predominantly delivered through practical activities and a play-based approach. As the year progresses we support children in maintaining focus for sustained periods of time whether working as a whole class or small group. Children increasingly develop skills to work in a more independent fashion, adopting strategies and utilising tools in the environment around them.

Reception marks the start of our formal reading programme for students; firm aural foundations in Phonics enable children to begin to make links between print and sound. Essential skills in Phonics are developed to enable them to become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. This is closely supported by Parents’ Workshops introducing Literacy teaching and learning to our families.

Our Maths curriculum focuses on core skills in using and applying, number sense, as well as problem-solving. Shape and measure form some of our earliest interactions with Maths in Reception. Much of our work is embedded in practical tasks and activities to understand Mathematical concepts and associated vocabulary. We also begin to explore methods of recording and modifying our mathematical working e.g. recording number sentences.

Reception children enjoy specialist teaching in Music, PE (including Swimming), Drama and Ballet teaching. They are also introduced to our Modern Foreign Languages curriculum.

The curriculum is further enriched by performance opportunities through our form assemblies and a traditional Nativity. Exploring our local area and engaging with families and people in our community enhances learning. Theatre trip experiences and day excursions also enrich our knowledge and have included visits to a local organic farm, the Newbury Locks and visits to The Look Out Discovery Centre.


Teaching and learning take place through our teacher, student and parent partnership.

Staff inspire and guide the natural curiosity and enthusiasm of our students. Each student’s learning and development is documented through their individual Learning Journey which is available to students and their families in the form of a physical ring binder as well as our online platform Tapestry. Learning is also extensively documented in our Floorbooks which reflect their curiosity and lines of inquiry that develop through experiences and learning within the classroom and as the children begin to connect these to the world around them.

Regular communication with parents and families through formal reporting, parents’ meetings and a child’s Learning Journey form part of our connection between home and school, as well as daily communications through our reading diaries.


Our on-site food team, Holroyd Howe, offer a healthy and balanced menu for our students, catering to a wide variety of dietary requirements. Main meals are served to the children at their table, and in Reception, the children begin to take responsibility for clearing their place setting and collecting their dessert. Children will enjoy a cooked lunch daily, as well as a morning and afternoon snack. Children are given a choice of water or milk to drink. Our menu is published to families via My School Portal.