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A Day in the Life of a Reception Child at EHPS

In Reception, no two days are ever the same! After the children say goodbye at our little gate in’ the morning, they come into the classroom independently. They wish their friends and teachers good morning, put their belongings away and begin the day with a morning activity which gradually progresses and changes throughout the year.  

After registration, we start our day with our rhyme of the week and a song or two. This is then followed by a fun handwriting and phonics session – these are important lessons where we start to teach the children how to read and write.  

At East Hunsbury, we use the handwriting programme ‘Kinetic Letters’. It focuses on making our bodies stronger, holding the pencil correctly, learning the letter formation and improving our flow and fluency.

https://kineticletters.co.uk

We teach reading and spelling using ‘Sounds~Write’, a structured synthetic phonics programme based on the science of reading.

https://sounds-write.co.uk

After this, the children are ready for some: ‘Discovery Time.’  Discovery time makes up a large part of the timetable in reception and we make sure our environment is as rich as possible for children to play and learn in. During this time, children can choose their activities depending on their own interests and enthusiasms.  

Due to our brilliantly big learning space, there are always lots of choices for the children during their Discovery Time. There are: stories to read, a stage to perform on, construction to build, sand and water play, gross and fine motor activities, small world toys and lots of role play resources plus arts, crafts, mud kitchens, bikes and trikes, music and so much more – there really is something for everyone! Using the knowledge and interests of the children, the adults guide the children to try new things or develop their passions.  

Before morning play, the children all come back together again for a story. We know that books and rhymes are so valuable to support language and communication skills as well as igniting creativity and sparking imagination in young children.  

After play, it’s time for English. It’s not unusual to find us on a boat trip to the island where the wild things are or discovering video evidence of the gingerbread’s man's whereabouts in our provision! We love to excite the children’s imaginations as we find this really helps them with their writing. 

We use the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach to teach children to become independent, confident and creative writers. A key feature of Talk for Writing is that children internalise the language structures needed to write through ‘talking the text’.

https://www.talk4writing.com

Following our English, it’s time for some more Discovery Time and then lunch. During lunch they get the opportunity to play with some of the children from the other year groups. It’s a lovely chance for the children to see siblings and try out our new equipment. 

After lunch, it’s maths and then even more Discovery Time

In Maths, we use a Maths Mastery approach from the start. This research- based approach ensures the children acquire a deep, long term secure and adaptable understanding of mathematics.

 https://www.ncetm.org.uk/teaching-for-mastery/

Finally, it’s tidy up time and an important opportunity to come together as a class once again. This final part of our day often includes learning around our ‘Understanding the World’ or PSHE topics as well as weekend news, celebrating birthdays and singing and signing with Blue Class (our link class from our Specialist Unit.) You will often find us singing just one more song or reading a final story.  

And that’s not just it - there is even more! Every week, we also:  

  • take part in Forest School - Who doesn’t love toasting marshmallows around a campfire or jumping in muddy puddles?
  • Have our music and PE taught by specialists
  • Attend assemblies, events and play with Blue class (our link class from our Specialist Unit).

As the children grow and their capacity to concentrate and complete certain activities develops, their timetable changes.  For example, more formal periods of learning are added, and longer tasks are expected to be completed.   

To conclude, a day in reception is never the same but we do ensure that the children’s experience is always a brilliant one filled with laughter, love and smiles. The early years is an exciting time in which the foundations of knowledge and positive learning attitudes are built – as a teacher, it really is a privilege to be part of this. 

Our pledge to you and your child: 

‘We promise you every day your child will learn something. Some days they will bring it home in their hands. Some days they will bring it home in their heads and some days they will bring it home in their hearts.’