Early years learning in Reception concentrates on 7 areas split between prime and specific areas of learning.

The prime areas of learning are:

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

The specific areas of learning are:

  • literacy
  • mathematics
  • understanding the world
  • expressive arts and design

In Reception children’s progress is assessed through 17 Early Learning Goals. Most children should be able to reach these by the end of the year and this will prepare them for work at Key Stage 1

The goals set out what most children are expected to know, understand and be able to do by the end of Reception.

The goals cover the six main areas of young children’s development and learning:

Personal, social and emotional development

Developing confidence and independence while learning to concentrate and to enjoy sharing as part of a group.

Communication, language and literacy

Communicating with one another and developing skills in talking, listening, writing and reading.

Mathematical development

Using ideas about number, quantity, measurement, shape and space.

Knowledge and understanding of the world

Investigating and beginning to understand the things, places and people around them.

Physical development

Improving control and co-ordination of their bodies while learning to move and to handle equipment.

Creative development

Finding ways to communicate by using colour, shape, sound, texture, movement and stories
We hope most children will have achieved or exceeded all the early learning goals by the end of Reception.

Where children who are able and go beyond them in some areas the teachers will provide new challenges.

They will also provide extra help for children who, for a range of reasons, may require extra support.

The Department for Education (DfE) and Ofsted recognise that the Montessori method of teaching and learning supports children very well in achieving and exceeding the Early Learning Goals.

An overview of the Early Learning Goals

The curriculum plan for Reception