Reception Provision

Welcome to Reception at Speenhamland School

We believe in an individualised approach to visiting our school and are offering prospective parents the opportunity to book a personalised tour of our exciting learning environment with a member of the Senior Leadership Team. Contact the school office today to book this. A copy of our prospectus can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

An Overview

We strongly believe that every child is a unique individual and all children learn in a variety of ways and at different stages. As a result of this, we follow a learning through play approach in our environment that is suitable for each individual child.

Throughout the school day, pupils have the opportunity to access the full setting across two large indoor spaces and an outside area, which are carefully set out to ensure they are engaging for all children. This supports and motivates their learning through providing spaces that are authentic, cosy and welcoming. Learning experiences are planned for and extended through play, based on the children’s interests and ideas to allow them to develop their skills and understanding, and to develop their curiosity in the world around them and build relationships.

Our environment and learning experiences allow children to develop their Characteristics of Effective Learning, providing them with life-long skills. These skills include using their own ideas, collaboration, problem-solving, resilience, adaptability and making connections.

The Reception year group is split into two classes: Wisteria Class and Willow Class. The children have access to the full setting with the full cohort and at key times of the day, the children get together with their own class for group times.

What does School Readiness look like at Speenhamland?

To be ready for school we expect children…

  • To be able to recognise their own name
  • To be able to take off their coat and put on shoes
  • To talk in sentences
  • To speak to an adult to ask for their needs to be met
  • To be aware of other children
  • To be toilet trained and able to go to the toilet independently
  • To understand the behavioural expectations of the setting
  • To sit and listen for a short period of time
  • To understand the word stop and that such a phrase might be used to prevent danger

Get Ready for School

What really helps us most is if your child is ready for learning.  The most important thing you can teach your child is independence. The social skills your child needs to start school are more important than whether they can write their name.





We follow the Rising Stars Rocket Phonics scheme at Speenhamland School, with Reception beginning their Phonics journey. During the first half term, we develop our listening skills, learning how to tune into sounds through fun, interactive games that support our personal, social and emotional development as well as the initial skills needed to hear sounds. Throughout the school year, pupils are taught two new sounds a week with a particular focus on blending skills for reading and segmenting skills for spelling and writing. The pupils also learn common exception words that cannot be sounded out and instead learnt by sight. Our phonics programme is taught through a carousel of activities that involves sound tiles to segment words, pupil booklets and partner reading, leading onto letter formation.


At the beginning of the school year, the pupils will take home books without any words - this allows the pupils to develop: their comprehensive understanding of what is happening in a story based on what they see in pictures; their ability to predict what may come next as well as develop their communication skills by discussing how characters are feeling and why things may be happening. Throughout the school year, the pupils will take home books with increased vocabulary in line with what is being taught in our phonics sessions. Parents are asked to read with their child daily and record this on our reading record platform – Go Read. In school, pupils are read to daily alongside reading within our phonics lessons.


On starting at Speenhamland, the pupils undertake “Write Dance” literacy sessions where we work on our gross motor skills through fun interactive lessons centred around a short story and a song. Activities to support these sessions include whole class “scrimbling” sessions, tearing paper with a variety of thickness and acting out different movements. The children then progress on to our Fantastic Foundations lessons in autumn term 2. In these sessions, they start with verbalising a sentence using the new language we have learnt, to writing simple words and phrases. Finally, being able to independently write a sentence.


In Reception we follow the NCETM programme to teaching Maths. Throughout the school year, the children learn about subitising, about composition, counting and ordering numbers. They also learn about shape, measurements and positional language.


Throughout the school year, pupils have the opportunity to undertake a variety of local trips, helping them to develop an understanding of their immediate environment.  They create maps, discuss journeys and what they have seen. In addition, they learn about the world around them and compare a variety of environments.


Pupils will be taught about a variety of key events throughout the year, compare items from the past and look at how they have changed from when they were a baby. They will begin to understand the concept of past and start to track events on a timeline.


In Reception, pupils will be encouraged to: show curiosity about objects, events and people; take risks; engage in new experiences and learn through trial and error. They also learn to find ways to solve a problem; find new ways to do things; test their ideas; use their senses to explore the world; make observations of animals and plants; explain why some things occur, and talk about changes. Science is explored through interactive, practical experiences which encourage all children to participate and engage.


Through continuous provision and our immersive PSHE sessions, following the Jigsaw scheme, pupils are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas in a calm, safe environment. Pupils are taught to understand the difference between right and wrong, how to manage conflict and who to go to for support.


Pupils have the opportunity to explore a variety of cultures and celebrations and explore what makes them unique, as well as gain a respect and understanding of other people’s beliefs. Our Discovery RE sessions support this learning.


Throughout the school year, pupils are exposed to a variety of creative opportunities from painting, junk modelling, sculpting, digital art and collaging. Carefully planned sessions and a workshop-style art area, allow children to develop and show a progression in skills, leading up to a final art piece based on what the pupils have learnt.


At the beginning of the school year, pupils will explore parts of a computer and learn about online safety. In autumn term 2, pupils have the opportunity to visit our computer suite on a weekly basis, learning how to log on to a computer, gain access to Purple Mash - our ICT platform - and understand how to stay safe online. Towards the end of the year, pupils will begin to follow tasks and instructions set on Purple Mash.

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