Northern Federation

Starting in Reception

Starting in Reception is an exciting step in your child's education. For some it can feel a little daunting whilst others take it in their stride. We recognise that every child is an individual and tailor their transition to support them. We have an incredible team of experienced practitioners in our Year R space, who bring learning to life through play based challenges. We have an amazing outdoor learning space and vast school grounds to enrich our learning journey. Take a look at our virtual tour to see it for yourself! 

Our curriculum focusses on supporting children to enjoy exploring the world, developing independence and learning important social skills. Our key school rule is that we show respect, to ourselves, each other and the environment. We therefore support the children to reflect on events and experiences, using them as learning opportunities to become well rounded learners. 


What does learning look like in Reception?

We have a careful balance of short teacher inputs for new knowledge, such as phonics and maths but the rest looks like play! We guarantee after a busy day at school and you ask your child what they have been up to they will tell you ‘nothing, I just played!’ And that’s just perfect. When we are interested in something, we pick it up very easily. When we are motivated out of necessity, we learn things. The same is true for children. When your child loses an art project because their name wasn't on it, they will pick up a crayon and write their name on the next one. If their tower topples over because the base wasn't large enough, they will learn through trial and error how to make it tall and sturdy. Your child is learning new skills all day. A long list of social, physical, communication, emotional, problem solving, expressive, creative skills! And they don't need a teacher sitting in front of them all the time in order for learning to happen. We are your child's guide. We ask open ended questions to get the brain thinking. We offer suggestions in subtle ways to make connections to what your child already knows. We set the stage for learning through a carefully planned out environment filled with open ended materials and cleverly set activities to engage and intrigue children. When your child is interested in something, we notice and plan accordingly to stretch their skills to the next level.


Growing bodies need risk!

By giving children the opportunity to take risks, we are giving them time to practice trying out consequences before they get older and are faced with larger risks. As much as we want to be, you won't be there to hold their hand forever. When teachers/caregivers/parents support risk taking in early childhood, we are giving the children the tools needed to grow up in the world safely. Through risk, we are giving children confidence and teaching them to trust their bodies.

Children need risk for the benefits to their growth and development. They gain strength, dexterity, executive function, balance, and body awareness through risk taking. Taking risks is how children learn new things! They need experience moving their bodies and trying out their bodies as they grow and gain strength in order to find out what more they can do with it! Our outdoor learning environment gives children opportunities to stretch, pull, balance, scramble, race, climb and more! All very important big movements for strong core muscles, which lead to good gross and fine motor skills which ultimately help with pencil grip and writing.


A great reference tool called 'My First Five Years' has been launched by education consultant Alistair Bryce-Clegg. It includes some handy tips for health milestone development through the 6 steams of learning. Take a look at their website here: My First Five Years

They have also produced some helpful guides to early reading 

Becoming A Reader - My First Five Years

Becoming A Writer - My First Five Years

Getting ready to start school - Oxford Owl