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School Name

Richmond Hill School

‘If you believe, you will achieve’



Welcome to the Early Years!


Reception class 

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Early Years Vision

What skills and attributes do you want your child to acquire by the end of Reception? 

We believe your child should be




Happy and


The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) covers all children and their development from birth up to 5 years old. Here in Reception we have well resourced areas which are supported by highly qualified and experienced staff. We offer free flow outside play meaning our children get all the benefits the outdoors has to offer at all times of the day, come rain or shine!

With the Early Years framework as guidance we offer a broad, balanced and exciting curriculum based around the prime and specific areas of learning. This, combined with a combination of adult led and child led activities allows your children to develop as independent learners.

Early Years Foundation Stage Profile

There are seven areas of learning and development and these are a fundamental part of all the planning and teaching that occurs.


They are split into Prime and Specific Areas:

Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first.

These are:

  • Communication and language;
  • Physical development;  
  • Personal, social and emotional development.

These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.


As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas.

These are:

  • Literacy;
  • Mathematics;
  • Understanding the world;  
  • Expressive arts and design.


Alongside these areas we try to help the children develop skills that will enable them to become successful learners as they continue their time in the school.

These skills are called the Characteristics of Effective Learning:

Characteristics of Effective Learning

Playing and exploring

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

Active learning

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

Creating and thinking critically

Having their own ideas
Making links
Choosing ways to do things

In the Moment Planning 

Most of the teaching is applied through the child's own play. This allows each child to have targeted, individual teaching, enabling them to progress in a way that suits them best in an activity that they have chosen themselves. As they progress into reception more formal teaching is applied in the way of Phonics and Mathematics but embedded through their own self initiated play. We believe this has the greater impact and meaning for the children and also allows them to become independent and self driven learners.

Allowing the children and their interests to lead the planning means we have no set termly planning or 'topics'. We do however look at some topics through the year including Christmas, Chinese New Year and Easter.  If you would like to find out more about this way of learning please do not hesitate to speak to any member of the Reception/Early Years Team.

Adult directed teaching is when the teacher gets all the children or a small group together in order to teach them as a whole.  Phonics is taught as outlined in the governments document Letters and Sounds and  combined this with the  Read Write Inc Programme.   

What to Expect, When?

This document explains the Early Years Curriculum objectives and gives parents an idea of the stages of development a 'typical' children may display through play based learning. 

British Values
Personal Social Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Physical Development

Funky Fingers


Many children nowadays come to school struggling to hold a pencil and cannot recognise (and write) their name. As these children are not developmentally ready to write, they need Dough Gym/funky fingers activities (fine motor skills) to help strengthen the important core and hand muscles. It is a daily physical intervention that combines the use of large pieces of dough with a series of hand and finger exercises or activities where the children need to manipulate objects.  These strengthen and develop children’s fine and gross motor dexterity, hand-eye  co-ordination, proprioception, balance, low load control, grip and most importantly, their self-esteem! It is fast-pace, good fun and done in time to music.

Exploring the language- over, under and through in PE

'Eating a healthy range of Food'

Smile4Life project

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Smile4Life project 2
Literacy (Reading and Writing)


Reception's visit to Aspatria Library 

The children  visited the Library where they enjoyed sharing  books with the adult helpers and received their BookStart packs. Each child also received a library card.  We look forward to our next visit to use our cards again to borrow some more lovely books, or they could visit again with their family.

The Reception children love taking on the role of 'Storyteller' at home time

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What the Ladybird heard


The book we have been exploring this term is 'What the Ladybird heard' by Julia Donaldson.  The children have delved in to the book, sequencing the story, analysing the characters and the setting

As the story is set on a farm we talked about the role of farmers and how they help provide us with different foods, by farming the land growing vegetables and rearing animals for meat, eggs and milk. 

This also lead us to discover the importance of looking after pur bodies through healthy eating and teeth hygiene. 

We wrote our own riddles and even got them published in a book 




Exploring the properties of shapes - how many sides?

Numbers to 20 - counting and recording

Understanding of the World (People and Communities, The World, and Technology)

Please download the leaflet which explains our curriculum




Our early years children have been able to access forest schools again this year. The children get wrapped up warm and go out into the big, exciting forest and have the opportunity to experience the great outdoors and take part in lots of different activities. The children also have a delicious hot chocolate and a biscuit!

Forest schools is something we are really proud of at Richmond Hill and we will hopefully be rolling this out to other classes next year.




Reception's trip to StocksWood Outdoor Centre


'Whoops-a-Daisy Angel Nativity

'Whoops-a-Daisy Angel Nativity  1 An amazing performance by Reception, Well Done

Over the week leading to Christmas, the children will be exploring the weather and the impact this has on animals.


We will be reading books that touch on the theme of Hibination such as 'The Bear in the Cave' and 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt', both by Micheal Rosen. We will also be out on the field continuing our Welly Wednesday work in Forest Schools. 



Exploring the different settings in 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt' 

Through outdoor learning, we explored the different language used and discussed why the author had chosen  the words. We decided we had to change one of the  words, as it was not a "beautiful" day, it was in fact a rainy day! 

We also discussed what the word "through" meant as the children got excited exploring the settings, we were not all taking turns. 

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The Reception class started the year with an outdoor adventure...

Help Reception find their ‘Rock characters’
In class we have been looking at the story “Stick and Stone” 
In the story, Stick and Stone are on their own, until a chance encounter with a boorish bully (Pine Cone), inspires Stick to stick up for stone. The new pals head off on an adventure and discover that friendship really rocks.
We created our own Rock friend and hid them around Aspatria so if you find one, return him to school (and claim a small prize) don’t forget to post a photo. 
Thank you

September-October 2018 (Topic work and Community project)

Caterpillar to Butterfly


In the Early Years we often have class pets in the forma of many different kinds of mini-beasts to look after. Over the Year we have been watching the changes as our class caterpillars turn into Butterflies and as our Stick Insect mature into adults.

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Expressive Arts and Design
Learning at Home