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The curriculum

In Reception, your child will follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum. This sets the standards for the learning, development and care of your child. The things your child will learn in Reception have been organised into three prime areas of learning:

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal and Social Development

and four specific areas of learning

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design
Top tip

Use our Jargon Buster to keep up to speed with common teaching terms and phrases used in schools today.

In the EYFS, play is a very important part of your child’s development and most learning will be introduced through a mixture of carefully planned opportunities for play and some adult-led focused activities. There will also be opportunities for your child to choose activities that appeal to them, following their own particular interests. Don’t be too concerned if your child says that they have been playing all day – it just means that they have been lucky enough to have experienced staff who have made their learning fun and enjoyable!

As the Reception year progresses, the learning may start to become more formal, ready for Year 1 and the National Curriculum.

Assessment

Throughout your child’s time at school, they will be assessed regularly. This is to check their progress and identify the next steps in their learning. The school may carry out a baseline assessment when your child starts to find out what they can do already. This is nothing to worry about – it isn’t a test and it’s unlikely your child will even know it’s happening.

At the end of Reception, your child’s teacher will assess again and it is likely they will complete an EYFS Profile. This assessment is carried out by the Reception teacher and is based on what they, and other staff caring for your child, have observed over a period of time. All of the information collected is then used to assess where your child is currently in the seven areas of learning. The school will give you a report of your child’s progress, including information from their EYFS Profile.

Note

Each country within the UK has its own curriculum. In this guide, we’ve focused on the curriculum in England, but you can find out about your specific curriculum on the following websites:

Next: Reading in school

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