Curriculum Outlines



Curriculum Policy

Parents may visit our 'School Policies' webpage to download a copy of the Reception Curriculum Policy.


In Reception at Donhead we follow the guidelines set out by the government, and teach according to the seven areas of learning:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding of the World
  • Physical Development
  • Expressive Arts and Design

It should be noted, however, that more emphasis is placed on the Year 1 Curriculum during the Foundation Stage. Obviously we are aware that pupils enter the Foundation Stage at various stages of maturity and academic development. We cater for children’s individual needs within each area of the curriculum, building on and from their existing understanding and experiences. In our experience, however, the majority of children in the Reception Class benefit from exposure to the Year 1 curriculum through the year.

Personal Social & Emotional Development

We value each and every child as an individual, and provide a supportive environment where they learn to trust others, co-operate and develop self-confidence. Independence and responsibility for their own belongings are encouraged. Children learn appropriate behaviour, how to share and to respect and appreciate other people.

Communication, Language and Literacy

Literacy in the Early Years is approached through practical, inspiring activities and children are encouraged to talk and communicate their ideas.

Your child will enjoy a variety of stories and rhymes, and be introduced to the language of books and how to handle them. This is an important stage of learning to read.

In Reception the children will develop their reading skills. During the first term, the class teacher will send home high frequency words, which Reception children should be familiar with by the end of the year. In addition, the children will choose books for themselves from the class. These are to be read and shared to enable the use of reading cues while reading.

Children will develop their phonic skills to encourage early writing and develop fine motor control through a number of hands-on activities.

Mathematical Development

In Mathematics children will have lots of experiences, which will teach them to count, sort objects, make and copy patterns, write numbers and recognise shapes. Every opportunity is taken to use mathematical language in other activities. During the Reception year, the children will be introduced to basic calculations and problem-solving, as well as exploring different ways of recording their mathematical ideas. There is also a focus upon developing the children’s mental calculation skills.

Knowledge and Understanding

This includes RE, ICT, Design Technology, History, Geography and Science. These are taught through class topics. Basic computer skills are taught through a variety of programmes.

Creative Development

Your child will have the opportunity to explore a variety of media and materials. Painting, modelling, collage, drawing and printing are just some of the activities. Please make sure that you have plenty of wall space ready! There are weekly music lessons where the children experiment with their voices and instruments, and learn many different songs.

Physical Development

Your child will have the opportunity to play safely, both indoors and outdoors. Activities include PE, music and movement, using small and large apparatus and games where children learn how to throw and catch and work as part of a group. The children also have the opportunity to develop physically and confidently using bikes, trikes and specific climbing equipment.


In Reception we abide by a summative assessment system (Foundation Stage Profile-statutory assessment) and a formative assessment system. Both forms of assessment are equally important and keep us informed on learning and allow us to plan for further action.

  • In Reception, we employ a Foundation Stage Profile observation sheet that covers all six areas of learning. This observation sheet highlights each child’s skills, knowledge and understanding in all six areas of learning and enables us to see the progress he makes throughout the year. Each term, the Reception teacher and her teaching assistants will observe children and write down these observations to include them in the profile. At the end of the year, the scale points that each child has achieved will be counted and collated to inform the borough of their progress.
  • We collect evidence of learning from observations, notes from parents, samples, such as drawing, writing, photographs and planned focused observation. All these methods feed into the Foundation Stage Profile, alongside the teacher’s knowledge of the child.
  • We report to parents about their child’s progress twice a year and we have a student-led conference in June so that each child can evaluate their performance and accept responsibility for their learning.

Curriculum Outlines

Parents are issued with details of the Curriculum to be covered in Reception shortly after the beginning of each term. (Once available, the current term's Curriculum outline may be downloaded from the box on the left.)


Reading: Learning to identify and read all 45 high frequency words by the end of Reception.

Sound Work: Identify letter names and sounds by the end of Reception.

Maths: From Spring Term, one piece of maths homework on a Friday.

Homework is given on a regular basis and includes activities to enable the children to identify and read all 45 high frequency words; to identify letter names and sounds and to develop their mathematical skills. The homework regime for the year is distributed at the start of the academic year. In addition, parents are requested to hear their children read each night.

Nursery Education Grant

Donhead is included in the Local Authority Directory of non-maintained providers eligible to claim funding for the provision of free nursery education places. We are, therefore, eligible to receive the Nursery Education Grant. As part of the application process our Reception Class provision will be regularly inspected by OFSTED. These inspections will ensure that we are abiding by the Code of Practice requirements for Early Years Education and these reports will be distributed.

Eligibility applies to all 4 years olds and the grant is paid for the three terms following his 4th birthday. Parents pay the full Donhead fee and then the grant is refunded to them.