Reception 2021 - 2022

Mrs Bagshaw

Mrs Bagshaw

Senior Leader and Teacher

Mrs Forshaw

Mrs Forshaw

Mrs Jackson

Mrs Jackson

Teaching Assistant

Mrs Dodd

Our Reception class is a happy, safe and stimulating environment where children are cared for, nurtured and encouraged to learn and reach their full potential. We work in partnership with parents to enable our children to learn in a fun and exciting way through their play.

Members of staff in Reception.

  • Mrs Sue Bagshaw - Early Years, KS1, Engish Leader and Class Teacher
  • Mrs Helen Dodd - Class Teacher
  • Mrs Emma Jackson - Learning Assistant
  • Mrs Karen Forshaw - Learning Assistant
  • Mrs Hannah Livesley - Learning Assistant

The  environment indoors and outdoors is designed to enable children to develop the independence and confidence they need to become really engaged in their learning. Resources are clearly labelled and stored to enable children to get them out and put them away themselves. In this way, they can make choices about what to use and when to use it, whilst developing a sense of responsibility and care towards their classroom.

Early Years Foundation Stage

At Garswood Primary School, we believe that parents are a child’s first educators and we recognise how important parent influence is throughout a child’s time in the Early Years. We aim to work closely with parents and carers, to ensure that every child has the best possible start in school and in life!


Our Reception class follow an Early Years curriculum that meets the requirements of the Early Learning Goals. The curriculum is divided into seven areas of learning: Personal Social Emotional Development, Communication and Language, Physical Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. This curriculum is the foundation of the later National Curriculum subjects taught from Year 1 onwards. 


Garswood Primary School was an early adopter of the new Early Learning Goals. These have now become statutory in all state-maintained schools in September 2021. Please see the link below for the new statutory EYFS Framework, Non statutory Development Matters Document and Birth to 5 Matters and Statutory Early Learning Goals.


The key focus during EYFS is on teaching children routine and easing them into the idea of learning in a structured environment. This gets kids ready for beginning more formal teaching in KS1.

The four main EYFS principles that schools and practitioners work to adhere to are:

    • A Unique Child: Every child is unique, and each one responds to different learning methods in different ways. Importantly, every child is capable of being a strong, resilient and capable learner with the right guidance.
    • Enabling Environments: The environment in which a child learns should prompt and encourage good learning techniques. An enabling environment is one which caters to each individual child's needs and gives them the freedom to expand their knowledge and development.
    • Positive Relationships: Children should be encouraged to be strong and independent when required, forming the basis for positive relationships that they will go on to have. They should also be given the safety and security to bolster the relationships they have with those closest to them.
    • Learning and Development: By following the EYFS Seven Areas of Learning, both Prime and Specific, each child will be taught a wide range of skills to aid their physical and mental development.

Each of the EYFS Seven Areas of Learning and Development, and the areas within each one are:

1) Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED) focusses on children's mental and physical wellbeing. Children work on long-term skills and awarenesses to build a healthy foundation they can take forward. It's divided into these topics:

  • Self-Regulation
  • Managing Self
  • Building Relationships

Personal, social and emotional development (PSED) provides children with lots of social opportunities. Children can learn to form healthy bonds and make stable, lasting friendships. For example, they’ll learn what the right and wrong things to do are, alongside respect, compassion, morals, and lots more socio-emotional skills.

The subject also opens children up to discuss their thoughts and feelings. This can help them to form a level of ownership, independence, and self-esteem.

2) Communication and Language (C+L) encourages conversations and spoken language skills. Underpinning all skills, it's foundational for children to be able to interact with their peers and their learning environment. It's split into the following distinct areas:

  • Listening and Attention
  • Understanding
  • Speaking

There’s a lot more to language development and communication than simply ‘talking’. It refers to the variety of ways that children take in information, and communicate information - only a part of this is used with spoken words.

Words and image association is one of the best forms of initiating language and communication development. This is why reading books to young children is a great way of bringing this out, since they’ll be able to make a connection with the pictures in the book, and the text you’re reading out.

It’s important for practitioners to upkeep the support in early years provisions surrounding C+L, as a part of the EYFS seven areas of learning. Lots of children are increasingly beginning school with underdeveloped communication and speech skills.

3) Physical Development (PD) is vital for healthy lives, as well as affecting other areas of learning. Both gross and fine motor skills are developed over Early Years in activities like writing and cutting. Practitioners plan by looking at these specific areas:

  • Moving and Handling
  • Health and Self-Care

As children move around, they’re exploring the world around them through handling objects.

If children are exposed to healthy eating and leading an active lifestyle, they’re likely to continue those positive habits as time goes on.

By children having regular physical activity in their lives, it’ll promote healthy development, growth, composition, and cardiovascular fitness. Physical development activities help children to control and manage their body movements and control. It also improves brain development, too, such as critical thinking skills and concentration, since physical fitness ensures heightened brain function.

4) Literacy (L) skills will form a strong foundation for children's school careers, and are split simply into:

  • Comprehension
  • Reading
  • Writing

With literacy, as a part of the EYFS seven areas of learning, children begin to build connections between spoken sounds and the letters in writing.

In order to achieve this, they’ll need to start forming levels of experience with letters and words, pictures and objects, and sounds.

Communicating through written language is an essential part for many areas of daily living.

5) Mathematics (M) area of learning focusses on simple concepts that are foundational to higher maths topics in KS1 and up. In EYFS children focus on the maths areas of:

  • Number
  • Numerical Patterns

Learning maths can help with life skills such as spatial awareness, shapes and measurement, and problem-solving.

Maths also serves for other uses like handling and managing money, telling the time, so they’re not late for any commitments they have in place, or working out distance and time together, so that they can travel.

6) Understanding the World (UTW) supports children's learning about the surrounding environment. In this area of learning, children can explore new cultures and better understand basics that we often take for granted.

  • Past and Present
  • People, Culture, and Communities
  • The Natural World

Children will discover similarities and differences, what world and what doesn’t, what they can and cannot change, and why certain things happen within the world around them. There are lots of opportunities to experiment and investigate. From this subject out of the EYFS seven areas of learning, children can make observations and form their own opinions and theories.

As well as learning about societies and communities, cultures, people, and places, there are elements of science within this type of learning, too. For example, children will learn about the environment, such as weather conditions, plants, and wildlife.

7) Expressive Arts and Design (EAD) supports children's creative development and expression. It helps children create their own art works and encourages them to value their own thoughts, opinions and skills. The two areas in this area of learning are:

  • Creating with Materials
  • Being Imaginative and Expressive

Expressive arts is one of the EYFS seven areas of learning, which provides emotive sharing. They’ll be using a range of materials and activities in order to express themselves through imaginative play. This is as well as to communicate, since verbal communication can be limited at such a young age. These activities include design and technology, dance, movement, music, art, and role-play.

Early Learning Goals:

At the end of the reception year, children are assessed against an Early Learning Goal in each area. These goals may inform observations at earlier ages, and can offer a good insight or structure when reading or writing a child's learning journey.

They are considered ‘emerging’ or ‘expected’within each area. Schools report their data to their Local Authority, who are looking for the number of children that achieve a ‘good level of development’, also known as GLD. These assessments are a good tool for helping the child's new teacher to baseline their current development and plan initial activities to support their learning.

Having an in-depth knowledge of the EYFS ensures that these final assessments are accurate and can be used to gage children's final attainment with regard to the EYFS. Completing these Foundation Stage profiles is crucial in enabling children's transition to the National Curriculum.


Characteristics of Effective Learning at EYFS:

A common misconception that occurs within EYFS is that children ‘just play’. However, practitioners understand that play can lead to valuable learning.

The EYFS has Characteristics of Effective Learning, which are key characteristics that children develop within their play. These characteristics of effective learning ensures that children gain the skills which underpin their learning and development across all the prime and specific areas of learning.

Having these required characteristics of learning in mind helps to support practitioners' abilities to support ongoing development and underpin their holistic knowledge of the EYFS.

      • Playing and exploring shows how the child is engaging as they investigate and experience things first hand.
      • Active learning, which shows how a child is motivated to keep on trying when they encounter difficulties or how they enjoy achievements.
      • Creating and thinking critically shows the process of thought behind learning, developing their own ideas and creating strategies for carrying these out.



Outdoor Play

The outdoor area is seen as an integral part of the early years provision and it has been planned to enable children to learn outside for some or most of the time to engage in the same quality of learning as they would indoors. By deviating between indoor and outdoor play, it can help children with their learning outcomes on Understanding the World, as well as giving them opportunities to explore new ideas and engage problem-solving skills. Please ensure your child has a pair of wellies that they can keep in school.

Physical Education

Every Wednesday morning Reception will have a PE lesson with Mrs Dodd. Please ensure that all PE kit is in school. We will send home the PE kits at the end of the half term.

Forest Schools

Children will have a forest shool sessions in Half Term 2 and 5, on Tuesday afternoons, with Mrs Bagshaw. We will provide the forest school waterproofs. Please ensure your child has suitable additional clothing E.g. thermal layers, hats, gloves in winter and sun hats and sun cream in summer.


Homework for Reception will be sent home on a Thursday through Microsoft Teams and is due to be returned to school by the following Wednesday. Each week they will be given a variety of activities including a short literacy and mathematics activity alongside reading. House points are awarded for effort each week too.

Reading books

We will be sending a picture book for you to read with your child every Thursday. They will also be asked to read the phonics books online. We will share this book title on go read and Teams. Please record all reading on the 'Go Read' parent app.

Hamilton Bear

Hamilton Bear, our class mascot, loves to come and stay at everyones house. He loves to go on adventures and we enjoy hearing all about it when he returns to school.

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A fresh new start!, by Mrs Potter

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