Age 4-5 Yrs

In Reception our aim is to provide the highest standard of care and education in a happy, safe and secure environment which embraces and nurtures Christian family values. During the Reception year our main focus is placed on reading, writing and mathematical development. We still know how important learning through play is and during the afternoon sessions the Reception and the Pre-Prep boys can choose to play in either of the Reception/Pre-prep classroom or outdoors!

St Ambrose is exempt from teaching the Early Years National Foundation Curriculum. This enables the teachers in this setting to introduce more formal and advanced work on writing, reading and numbers earlier in the boys’ education. Although play still has an important role in the Early Years, this more formal approach ensures the boys make accelerated progress. By the end of Year 1, when formal testing is introduced, the vast majority of pupils will be above age related expectations in both Literacy and Numeracy.

This is achieved by providing outstanding learning opportunities, enabling the boys to flourish wherever their talents lie.

Religious Education

We follow ‘The Way the Truth, the Life’ program for our RE lessons which are twice weekly. We listen to stories about Jesus’ life and relate these to our own lives through discussions and role-play activities. This also links with the PSHEE scheme of work we follow where we think about right and wrong, how we are all special but different and the world around us.

Parents are warmly invited to our Reception assembly which is usually held in the Spring term. Our assembly is usually to do with what we have been learning about and relates to RE and PSHEE.

Reading and writing

From the beginning of the Reception year the children are introduced to letters and sounds and very quickly begin to learn these. Each day the children take part in various writing activities which include either copy writing, word building, phonics sessions and ‘have a go’ writing. As their confidence grows the children begin to write their own stories, independently.

Various strategies are undertaken to help the children begin to read. They are heard reading on a daily basis with reading books sent home every day to consolidate words learnt and to reinforce sounding out of new words.

Mathematical development

The children are taught to understand the number system through various games, fun activities and play. They are taught to form numerals correctly to twenty and beyond, number bonds to ten and learn simple addition and subtraction sums. During their Reception year the children also learn the concepts of capacity, time, patterns, shape and money. At least once a week we access Mathletics either at school or at home to consolidate our Maths learning for that week.


Reports to parents

Reports are sent to parents in the Spring and Summer Terms. The report gives details of work covered, achievements and offers advice for improvement/continued progress. When reporting to parents, we aim to be factual, specific and refer to past learning. We try to be positive about achievement and may indicate future learning objectives. We reflect the importance of the child in the process so the report can be understood by the pupil at an appropriate stage.


Parent Consultations take place twice during the school year. The meetings are an opportunity to discuss general progress and agreed targets or areas for development. Teachers are also available for informal consultation throughout the year. At the parents evening all books are available for parents. Other information is also given to parents including teacher assessments, test results, comments on classwork and homework. Advice for improvement/continued progress is given when appropriate.


Beginning of Year/ Ongoing.

The children in the Reception class are formally assessed every half term in their learning of R.E., English and Maths skills. This is to ensure progression is taking place and individual needs can be catered for so that further progression takes place. In these and all other subjects assessment is also on-going.

NFER baseline assessment. Results will highlight appropriate work to develop.

High frequency word list/letter sounds/hearing and writing sounds in words/writing name/capital letters/draw a picture of themselves.

Numbers up to 20 (and beyond if a child knows up to 20)/writing numerals/counting one to one correspondence/recognition of 2D shapes.

End of Year

Letter sounds/writing c.v.c, c.c.v.c, and c.v.c.c and high frequency words (dictated sentences)/capital letters/letter names.

Record numbers to 20 and beyond/addition and subtraction (mental and written)/ writing numerals to 20 and beyond.



Understanding the World

During the afternoon sessions we undertake many fun activities and cover various topics throughout the year, including the seasons, ourselves, mini-beasts, Arctic animals, and China. We look at artists work including Mondrian and try to paint in this style. During these topics we taste foods, bake various cakes and biscuits, take part in lots of creative activities, including painting and decorating, we make our own and class books and use non-fiction books and the internet to research our topics.  We learn different ways of lifestyles and cultures and go on walks around the grounds of the school looking for, for example, signs of Autumn.

We have access to the school hall and we use this to participate in music and movement sessions and fun team building sessions including using the parachute.

We use ICT to support our learning and visit the ICT suite at least once a week. We have access to remote control cars, a metal detector, digital cameras and programmable toys. We also have an interactive whiteboard in the classroom so we can have fun playing educational games, such as Phonics play, Espresso and also have fun accessing Ceebeebies!

Outdoor Play

We are very lucky to have a great outdoor play area where we can gain gross motor skills by climbing and swinging on the Trim trail, riding on the bikes, trikes and scooters, a football net, bats and balls and we have fun running around with our friends. We have a variety of resources to support our learning in our covered area including a mud kitchen, an outdoor sand pit, water play, small world and imaginative play and we enjoy the outdoors.

P.E. and Music

On two occasions per week we enjoy our singing lessons with the specialist music teacher, Mrs. Harrop. We perform in the Infant and Early Years’ Nativity play at Christmas and in the Infant concert in the summer. Twice weekly we have P.E. with our specialist P.E. teacher, Mr. Conroy and take part in the Infant Sports Day in the summer term.

A Gallery of Reception Work and Activities