Reception curriculum Overview – Spring 1

Happy New Year and welcome to the new term. We are really looking forward to lots of exciting learning experiences with the children, as well as building on their learning from last term.  Our topic this half-term will be ‘Winter’ Learning is based around the children’s interests and next steps and is delivered through focus books – more details in weekly letters.  Detailed below is an overview of our learning intentions and some suggestions of how you could support your child’s learning at home.


Learning intentions

How you can help


Describe different elements in stories e.g. settings, events & principle characters


Suggest how stories might end


Use phonics to decode & apply increasing range of ‘tricky words’ 


Enjoy an increasing range of books, especially non-fiction 


Use & apply recently introduced vocabulary 




Read with your child every day & sign their reading journals 


Talk about the setting, events & characters in the books they take home from school as well as their own books


Complete the reading challenge sheet in the back of your child’s reading journal – please remember that you can include  books which you have read with your child, not just books they have read independently 


Help your child to learn to spell the HFW (high frequency words) we will send home 


Display the visuals we will send home around your home 

Links to useful websites:              

Links to previous learning:  

Phase 2 Letters & Sounds  

Set 1: s, a, t, p
Set 2: i, n, m, d
Set 3: g, o, c, k
Set 4: ck, e, u, r
Set 5: h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss

Tricky words: I, no, go, to, the, into 


Say which sets have ‘more’ and ‘fewer’ objects 


Estimate & check by counting 


Find totals by combining sets


Say the number that is ‘one more’ 


Find ‘one more or one less from groups of objects 


3D shape & tessellation


Order & compare items by  height, length, weight & capacity 



Encourage sorting activities using everyday objects such as cutlery, toys or clothes and pose questions e.g. how many forks? How many forks and knives altogether? What would happen if another guest came for dinner?


Help your child to identify and describe common 3D (solid) shapes in everyday objects around the home and in the environment 


Encourage  ‘Doodle Maths’ – little and often is best

Links to useful websites:


Links to previous learning:

Counting objects reliably using 1:1 correspondence

2D shape  - flat 

Separating groups of objects in different ways

Using 10 frames 

Understanding the World

Online  Safety 


Use ICT hardware to interact with age appropriate computer software 


Talk about similarities/differences in relation to places, objects, materials & living things 


Computing – create shapes & text on a screen, use technology to show learning 


Develop ‘enquiry based’ approach to science e.g. how do wild animals survive in winter? 


Develop skills & vocabulary’ in geography & history (KUW) 


Recall some important narratives, characters and figures from the past encountered in books read in class  


Come into Reception class and talk about your job – the children absolutely love it when a parent comes into the school to talk to all their friends! 


Show your child how to feed the wild birds in your garden if you have one


Talk about features of  different  localities e.g. church, flat, house, farm, castle, forest, mountain, iceberg etc

Link to useful website:

Try to read non-fiction books or factual fiction books as well as fiction books with your child – why not help your child to choose a great factual fiction book as part of their focus child week (book focus) Take our class bear Giovanni to an unusual location when it is your child’s turn to take him home 

Links to previous learning: 

Map skills – trip to Christ Church & surrounding area

Detective walks around school 7 grounds – orientation

Planting spring bulbs

The story of Rama & Sita (Diwali) Guy Fawkes & firework night


LDBS unit ‘Salvation’ Big Question – How did Jesus rescue People? 

School Value Focus: THANKFULNESS 

Read bible stories about the miracles of Jesus 

Possible bible references: John 6:16-21, Luke 19:1-10, Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 17:11-19, John 9:1-12, John 21:1-14 


Links to previous Learning:

This unit follows Incarnation ‘Why do Christians believe Jesus is special?’ and links with Salvation ‘Easter Story’

Reception’s Nativity Tableau in church 

The Christmas Experience in Christ Church

Expressive Arts & Design

Responds to music – to express feelings/create movement


Exploring sounds of different instruments & ways of changing them 


Constructing with purpose & variety of materials


Learn new songs & make up own songs

Invent, adapt & recount narratives & stories with peers




Talk to your child about the music they hear in their favourite Disney movies – what instruments can they hear? Why is it quiet in some scenes and loud in others?


Teach your child a song or rhyme from your own child hood so they can share it with the class


Encourage model making for a purpose e.g. a gift for a relative, pencil holder for their stationery etc. How can they change/improve their original design?


Help your child to act out and then change/adapt the ending of a familiar story at home, or one of the focus books we have read in class 

Link to useful website:

Links to previous learning: 

Poppy art collage

Making African Necklaces 

Snow White music production at Chickenshed 

Personal, Social & Emotional Development

Confident to talk to other children when playing


Communicate freely about own home & community


Initiates conversations, attends to & takes account of what others say


Be confident to try new activities & show independence and resilience in the face of challenge


Begin to self-regulate, be able to explain the reason for rules, know right from wrong and try to behave accordingly 


Encourage your child to take responsibility for small tasks such as organising the contents of their book bags or filling their water bottle and making sure the lid is firmly closed


Please label all items of clothing including scarves, gloves and hats to avoid confusion at school 


Please let us know if you change your contact details                (especially mobile phone numbers) in case we have to contact you in an emergency


Model vocabulary/strategies to help your child begin to resolve minor disagreements e.g. ‘Stop I don’t like it!’ ‘I like you but I don’t want to play that game’ ‘Can we play that game tomorrow?’ ‘Let’s share!’


Read short stories where characters have worked together to  overcome difficulties


Links to previous learning: 

Writing Class rules, PSHE activities as part of Family Circles


Communication & Language

Use talk to connect ideas, explain what is happening & anticipate what might happen next


Develop vocabulary related to our ‘winter’ topic  


Recall & relive past experiences


Question why things happen & give explanations


Can listen & then complete an activity 


Introduce storyline/narrative to play 


Use open questions which encourage children to give more detailed answers e.g. who, what, when & how


Encourage your child to retell past events, correctly sequencing events 


Play games which require listening & actions e.g. ‘Simon Says’


Encourage your child to act out familiar stories using everyday props e.g. bowls & wooden spoons for Goldilocks & the three Bears

Link to useful website:

Links to previous learning: 

Vocabulary related to autumn e.g. conker, acorn, leaf, pine cone


Physical Development

Catching/throwing/kicking skills 


Experiment with different ways of moving


Negotiate space when playing racing & chasing games – adjust speed/direction to avoid obstacles 


Letter formation – hold pencil in preparation for fluent writing 


Begin to show accuracy & care when drawing 


Play catch with different size balls , bean bags and hoops – encourage your child to practise throwing & catching safely over different distances


Provide lots of opportunities for large arm movements e.g. big chalks, scrambling, sweeping the floor etc.


Keep letter formation sessions brief – the children do not have to complete the homework sheets all in one go, they can take their time over the course of the week and will achieve better results if they take their time. Show them how they can sharpen their own pencils!                                                                                      

Links to previous learning: 

NSA PE lessons – spatial awareness, working as a team to follow instructions, team games

Phase 2 Letters & Sounds – letter formation 

Observational drawings of the poppy plant 



Class Information 

Guided Reading 

Our new reading books have arrived – more information to follow in my weekly letter. Please make sure your child brings in their book, reading journal and guided reading book every day. Please return any Trent school books which you may have discovered at home during the Christmas break – many thanks


P,E. day is Wednesday – please make sure your child is suitably dressed for P.E, during the winter weather months. We suggest a thin thermal under layer under their P.E. kit. Children should wear trainers to school on P.E. days (Velcro fastening preferred – much safer!

Thank you for your continued support and if you have questions please do not hesitate to contact us. 

With best wishes from

 Mrs. Margaret Breheny and Mrs Martine Cagnetta 


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