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At St Mary's our Reception children enjoy a strong play based curriculum in an exciting indoor/outdoor environment as we believe children learn best through leading their own play as well as being guided by adults. Teaching and learning follows the statutory guidance of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. (see link below) Each half term we plan activities and experiences for the children which address the seven areas of learning.

The three prime areas -

• communication and language;
• physical development; and
• personal, social and emotional development.

and the four specific areas -

• literacy;

• mathematics;

• understanding the world; and
• expressive arts and design.


Each area of learning and development is planned through a mix of child initiated and adult led activities and experiences. These may change depending on individual needs and interests and the rate of progress children make.

The following characteristics of learning are actively promoted in all our areas of learning and these are considered in the observation, assessment and planning cycle.

Playing and exploring – engagement

  • Finding out and exploring
  • Playing with what they know
  • Being willing to ‘have a go’

Active learning – motivation

  • Being involved and concentrating
  • Keeping trying
  • Enjoying achieving what they set out to do

Creating and thinking critically – thinking

  • Having their own ideas
  • Making links
  • Choosing ways to do things