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A member of Gatehouse Green Learning Trust

Welcome to Penguin Class!

Miss Matthews is the Reception class teacher. Miss Marshall provides learning support.

'Each child is unique… The complex differences for each child mean the pathways toward maturity should be seen more as dancing around a ballroom than climbing a ladder… Experiences during the early years strongly influence a child’s future development.’

-Birth to 5 Matters 2021

The following four guiding principles underpin our practice within reception, in accordance with the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework. 

  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
  • Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers;
  • There is an importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates. 

Our Curriculum Goals

We aim to achieve the following curriculum goals in each area of learning whilst carefully considering the four guiding principles.

Communication and Language

To become a Confident Communicator who can listen carefully in different situations, hold a conversation with friends and adults, ask relevant questions and use new vocabulary to explain ideas and feelings.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

To become an Independent Individual who can follow the Golden Rules, set simple goals and persevere to achieve them, select resources, manage their own personal needs and know how to stay fit and healthy.

To become a Fantastic Friend who can be kind, caring and helpful, show empathy and respect to others, work and play cooperatively whilst considering others’ ideas and feelings.

Physical Development

To become an Amazing Athlete who can show strength, balance and coordination when playing, move confidently and safely in a variety of different ways, use a range of equipment.

To become a Talented Tool User who can hold a pencil effectively, use a range of tools (for example scissors, cutlery, paintbrushes, tweezers) safely and with confidence.


To become a Brilliant Bookworm who can show a love of reading, use new vocabulary to talk about what they have read or has been read to them, read words and simple sentences (using single sounds and digraphs they have learnt).

To become a Wow Writer who can write letters that are formed correctly, write words and simple sentences (using single sounds and digraphs they have learnt) that can be read by others.


To become a Master of Maths who can show a deep understanding of numbers to 10, recognise patterns within the number system, subitise, compare quantities and recall number bonds to 5.

Understanding the World

To become an Exceptional Explorer who can show curiosity about the world around them, understand how to read and draw a simple map, understand some differences between times and places.

To become a Compassionate Citizen who can help to look after their community and care for the environment, know some reasons why Bristol is special, have an awareness of other people’s cultures and beliefs.

Expressive Arts and Design

To become a Proud Performer who can perform a song, poem or dance to an audience, retell stories with expression and confidence, play a range of percussion instruments correctly and with good rhythm.

To become a Dynamic Designer who can choose and safely use the resources they need to make their creations, talk about what they have made and how they have made it.

A Typical Day in Reception


Children enter class; they self-register and make their lunch choices.


The register is taken and the class comes together for a whole class teacher-led session. This session will be a discrete phonics lesson from our systematic, synthetic phonics programme.


Children complete the ‘Daily Mile’.


Children will then have a period of self-initiated learning, accessing either the indoor and outdoor learning environment. Adults will work with children supporting child-led play and sometimes work with small focus groups or 1:1 during this time.


Children enjoy the playground with the rest of the KS1 children.


Children will then have a period of self-initiated learning, accessing either the indoor and outdoor learning environment. Adults will work with children supporting child-led play and work with small focus groups or 1:1 during this time.


Children enjoy song time and then have lunch.


After lunch, children will have a second whole class teacher-led session. This session will have a maths focus, and will follow the ‘White Rose Maths’ program used in the school. 


Children will then have another period of self-initiated learning, much like the morning session. The adults in the setting will continue to support children in their learning.


Children will have their third whole- class teacher led session. The focus will vary each day, but will be linked to an aspect of the EYFS curriculum.

We will then share a story, reflect on their learning and say goodbye.


School finishes at 3:15.

Snack- During the school day (once children are settled into school) the class does not stop for a timetabled break. Instead, children are free to access the snack bar in the classroom when their learning comes to a natural break. 

Throughout the term children also have discrete PE, PSHE and outdoor learning days.

Overview for Term 1

Crunchy Leaves

This term our theme is ‘Crunchy Leaves’ and we will be focusing on changes that are happening in the natural world as the season changes as well as the changes that are happening in the children’s lives as they start their journey at a new school. We will have a strong focus on welcoming children into their new school, routines, caring for others’ feelings and working together. 

Communication and Language (including phonics and reading)

We will be focusing on three core texts each term to develop our communication, language and literacy skills. These are really rich texts that we are sure children will love! Each text has been carefully selected considering links with outdoor learning/ forest school, CLPE ‘power of reading’ recommendations, annual celebrations and planned experiences throughout the year. A selection of fiction, non-fiction and poetry has also been considered. We will answer questions about these books learn new vocabulary, and make marks inspired by what we have read. We will learn about initial sounds, oral blending of CVC words, reciting known stories, and listening to stories with attention and recall.

Take a look at our core books for this term below.

 The Booktime Book of Fantastic First Poems: Amazon.co.uk: June Crebbin:  9780141325538: BooksWe're Going on a Bear Hunt: 1 (CBH Children / Picture Books) : Rosen,  Michael, Oxenbury, Helen: Amazon.co.uk: BooksWe're Going on a Leaf Hunt : Metzger, Steve, Sakamoto, Miki: Amazon.co.uk:  Books

We will be developing our speaking and listening skills this term and have already begun our phonics sessions! First, we will focus on phase 1 (letters and sounds) and then in term 2, we will move onto learning phase 2 sounds. This term we will look at: 

Week 1 (part time) - Phase 1 sound discrimination

Week 2 (part time) - Phase 1 sound discrimination

Week 3 (part time) - Phase 1 sound discrimination

Week 4 - Phase 1 rhythm and rhyme

Week 5 - Phase 1 alliteration

Week 6 - Phase 1 voice sounds

Week 7 - Phase 1 oral blending and segmenting

Please read with your child every day. You can share a favourite bedtime story and encourage your child to join in with bits they know, talk about the pictures or copy your words. You can look for print in the environment, such as road signs, shopping lists and shop names - ask your child if they recognise any symbols, letters or words. Your child will receive a school reading book and reading record later this term. We will be in touch with more information about this nearer the time.


This term we will begin our maths learning with a focus on matching and sorting, exploring patterns and comparing amounts, size, mass and capacity. We will follow the White Rose Maths program, using the NCETM Numberblocks resources to support our learning.  

Numberblocks - Number Block Family | Learn to Count - YouTube 

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

In school we use the Jigsaw scheme of learning to support our PSHE work. This term our theme is ‘Being Me in My World’. Each week we will explore a different aspect of this theme. We will look at these theme titles ‘Who...Me?’, ‘How Am I Feeling Today?’, ‘Being at School’, ‘Gentle Hands’ and ‘Our Rights and Responsibilities’.

Primary and Secondary PSHE lessons fulfilling RSE | Jigsaw PSHE Ltd

Physical Development

We will be developing our fine and gross motor skills through play inside and outside, as well as during our ‘Dough Disco’! Once the children are in school full time, we will begin our Real PE lessons- focusing on coordination (footwork) and static balancing (on one leg). We will also be focusing on health and self-care, learning about the importance of washing our hands, how to use the school toilets independently, and using a knife and fork to eat our school lunches. 

 Real PE – St. Matthew's Primary School, Luton