Skip to content Skip to main menu Skip to utility menu

Spring Curriculum Overview- Reception

Subject Spring Term

Personal, Social and Emotional DevelopmentSelf-Regulation

Children understand their own feelings and feelings of others and can regulate their behaviour accordingly. Children can set a goal and work towards it, they are able to wait for what they want and control immediate impulses. Give focused attention to others and respond appropriately even whilst engaged in an activity. Children can follow instructions containing 2 or 3 actions or ideas.
Learning opportunities:
• Setting a goal and working towards it
• Evaluate their ability to complete a task
• Work towards a self-determined goal, to persist, and to recognise when they have reached their goal
• Talk about feelings and the affect they have on them through work with puppets, stories, imaginative play
• Use a range of feeling vocabulary to describe how they feel.
• Revisit uncomfortable feelings and explore how these affect people

Managing Self

Children have confidence to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge. Children understand the reasons for rules, know right from wrong and try to behave accordingly. Children can manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet and understanding the importance of healthy food choices.
Learning opportunities:
• Talk about what they are going to do and make predictions
• Know and discuss what they like doing/learning and what they are good at/ find difficult (their abilities
• Evaluate their learning characteristics (engagement, motivation and thinking skills)
• Understand when they feel proud and what makes them feel proud/ when they have felt proud
• Understanding that perseverance can help tackle challenges
• Develop feelings of self-worth and competence, decision-making, self motivation, independence, prediction, and thinking logically and analytically.
• Be aware of themselves and their needs
• Talk about and sort {in a group} those things that you can eat, those that you can’t, and those which you are unsure about.
• Name foods that are good and identify those things in their diet through exploring a wide range of foods which reflect the cultures and beliefs of the children in the class.
• Compare different smells, tastes, textures, sights, sounds
• Understand the importance of keeping healthy through a range of active experiences which reflect the abilities and interests of the children, discuss keeping healthy, and begin to acknowledge that there are many things that they do not control.
• Discuss safety in the wider environment both indoors and out using a range of stimulus e.g. be aware of places in the environment that may be safe / unsafe, they would / would not like to go – what can they do about it ?
• Understand the need to take exercise and have a rich variety of opportunities to do so, observing and discussing body changes.
• Understand how to transport and store equipment safely

Building Relationships

Children can work and play cooperatively and take turns with others. Children can form positive attachments to adults and friendships with peers. Children can show sensitivity to their own and to others’ needs.
Learning opportunities:
• Appreciate and celebrate visual, personal, cultural and religious differences
• Talk about the issues of cooperating with other children, and working in a group
• Know how to use kind words to encourage others.
• Learn that bullying can happen when one person is unceasingly unkind to another, and when someone has more power.
• Recognise common forms of unkindness and bullying, such as name-calling, leaving people out, and intimidation and understand why this is wrong
• Explore and discuss social situations that are fair/ unfair.
• Explore ways of dealing with unkind behaviour and bullying.
• Know what words to use to stand up for themselves when someone says or does something unkind.

Physical DevelopmentGross Motor Skills

Children will have opportunities to explore movement, speed, distance, direction and height in different ways:
Learning opportunities:
• Develop, control and co-ordinate movement
• Roll from different starting points and different positions-such as tuck to log roll, standing to tuck roll etc
• Jump across, over, onto, off-a range of apparatus
• Travel around, under, over and through balancing and climbing equipment
• Travel confidently in a range of ways alongside a partner or along a straight/ curved/ round pathway etc. in response to a stimuli
• Use a range of vocabulary linked to movement – roll, strike, bounce, catch, jump, climb, leap, slide, walk, crawl, gallop, slither, dodge, side, gallop etc.
• Develop hand-eye / foot-eye co- ordination in a range of activities-dribble a ball, travel and send/receive a ball in different ways
• Balance along a narrow pathway /with a bean bag on their head/ shoulder
• Co-ordinate and control body movements successfully - twist, pause, dodge, negotiate obstacles
• Lift , carry and placing small apparatus
• Experience movements relating to space reach high, balance, stretch out wide
• Respond through movement to range of stimuli linked to moods and feelings
• Observe and discuss movements and describe what they see.
• Use space safely –taking account of others adjusting speed or changing direction to avoid obstacles.
• Work in a variety of different groupings ; individually, in pairs, small group, to plan a series of movements
• Develop improved reaction time (stop when I clap)
• Make dens with a range of resources
• Movement relating to space (reach high, balance, stretch out wide)
• Move about a larger and use the space safely and adjust and control speed and change direction to avoid obstacles

Fine Motor Skills

• Children can dress and control fastenings independently – zip, beginning to do up or undo buttons,
• Children will have opportunities to handle tools and manipulate objects and materials.
• Learning opportunities:
• Roll, push, pat, throw, catch, aim, hit, control, kick, pass - small equipment with increasing skill and control.
• Join a range of more intricate construction equipment.
• Skywrite with both hands.
• Model the movement with her/his back to the rest of the children.
• Use pencils, crayons, felt-tips to make a letter shape in the damp sand tray.
• Perform precise actions such as hand opposing movements (buttoning clothes)
• Use a range of media and techniques to create –malleable, rigid, flexible materials, tools to draw a line, shade, smudge, sprinkle, blow, sculpt, bend, print, punch shapes, staple, weave, puppets (hand and finger) etc
• Show motor control and the movement of letter shapes through large and small scale movement activities.
• Use a comfortable pencil grip.
• Know how to handle tools, objects, construction and malleable materials safely with increasing control
Communication and Language Listening, Attention and Understanding

Children will observe and use listening, attention, understanding and speaking (expressive and receptive language) skills

Learning opportunities:
• Predict possible endings to stories and events
• Regular short periods when individuals listen to others, such as singing a short song, sharing an experience or describing something they have seen or done
• Make up alternative endings and encourage children to supply the last word of the second line, e.g. Hickory Dickory boot, the mouse ran down the….
• Talk about and listen to the similarities in the rhyming words
• Link statements and stick to a main theme or intention
• Respond to and recall significant information from small group conversations
• Talk confidently to convey thinking in response to a range of fiction, non-fiction, expressing thoughts, feelings, mood, ideas:
- Recalling and sequencing
- Traditional stories, with rhymes, poems, repeated words and phrases or patterns of language in spoken and written forms
- Identifying alliteration beginning to understand humour in jokes, riddles and nonsense rhymes
- Beginning to structure ideas through logical sequencing (e.g. beginning to use story language, i.e. story starts, middles and ends) explore and analyse different versions of stories
• Provide opportunities to listen to a range of music, songs, rhymes, nonsense rhymes, poems, chants, non-fiction, responding by:
• Responding to traditional stories by joining in repeated phrases, words and language pattern
• Listening to and recalling/ retelling simple stories
• Listening and giving an opinion/making choices
• Assimilating information, recalling 3-4 facts related to the learning theme
• Use freeze frame techniques to explore parts of a story
• Listen with increased attention and response in groups
• Become increasingly reflective, able to listen and respond by transferring knowledge of the immediate and beyond to activities/experiences
• Take turns in group discussions, games, listening to peers/adults
• Listening with increased attention and concentration
• Listening and taking turns in group discussions, games, musical activities etc
• Respond with increased confidence when addressed directly in groups
• Listen TO, follow and carry out instructions accurately
• Letters and Sounds – Phase 1 and Phase 3


Learning opportunities:
• Experiment with words and sounds, e.g. in nonsense rhymes.
• Language play, e.g. through stories such as ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ and action songs that require intonation.
• Talk confidently to people other than those who are well known to them
• Opportunities to talk, take turns, develop social talk strategies with a talk partner/ small group
• Think about and express thoughts, feelings, mood and ideas in relation to self, environment and others through talk:
• Personal requirements
• Social talk
• Daily routine
• Experiences: recount/ describe/ predict/ explain/ discuss/ talk about play/reason
• Activities
• Book talk
• Writer talk
• Story-telling and story-making: imitate, innovate, invent
• Word and language games
• Role-play and drama
• Circle time
• Discussions
• Provide experiences that encourage talk for a growing range of purposes in order to:
• Ask and answer questions
• Appropriately give 1 or 2 part instructions
• Talk appropriately in large/small groups when working
• Take part in interactive discussions with peers, adults and visitors
• Retell events, sequencing as appropriate
• Report on information
• Explain
• Predict
• Anticipate
• Reason with growing confidence
• Clarify
• Evaluate
• Plan
• Analyse
• Convey more complex messages
• Practice and perform – ICT, rehearsing to record
• Hot seat – ask questions and respond in character

Literacy Children will have opportunities to...


• Recall meanings communicated by reading a range of print
• Read a variety of texts demonstrating reading strategies such as phonics, graphic, contextual, syntactic, and picture cues in texts chosen to match their reading ability
• Predict and anticipate what they think the story, rhyme or poem is about
• Use cues such as awareness of the grammar of a sentence to predict words during shared reading and when re-reading familiar stories
• Re-read frequently a variety of familiar texts, e.g. big books, story books, taped stories with texts, poems, information books, wall stories, captions, own and other children’s writing
• Develop interests and share preferences in books and promote these with others –widening their field of experience and reading diet
• Talk confidently about what they have read, characters in stories, sequencing events logically using story starts, middles and ends, developing this to talk about story openings, actions and endings
• Link information and stories to their own knowledge and experiences
• Understand elements of stories, such as main character, sequence of events, and openings, and how information can be found in non-fiction texts to answer questions about where, who, why and how
• Understand how story book language works and to use some formal elements when re-telling stories e.g. “Once there was…”, “she lived in a little…” “he replied…
• Use knowledge of familiar texts to re-enact or retell to others, recounting the main points in correct sequence
• Adapt stories and rhymes by changing the setting, character(s), events, sequence of events showing recall and ability to invent…
• Use non-fiction texts to explore, develop and consolidate thinking and organise ideas in relation to the learning theme
• Show an awareness of the glossary and its purpose
• Know, understand and use book language e.g. author, illustrator, dedication, blurb etc
• Understand and use correctly terms about books and print: book cover, beginning, end, page, line, word, letter, title

Word Reading

• Identify and read simple words, sentences and repetitive phrase
• Recognise printed and handwritten words in a variety of settings, e.g. stories, notes, registers, labels, signs, notices, letters, forms, lists, directions, advertisements, newspapers
• Read some high frequency and common exception words
• Read simple sentences across a variety of genre
• Locate and read significant parts of the text e.g. picture captions, names of key characters, rhymes and chants e.g. “I’m a troll”, “You can’t catch me I’m the Gingerbread Man…”, speech bubbles, italicised, enlarged words
• Track the text in the right order, page by page, left to right, top to bottom, pointing while reading/telling a story, and making one-to-one correspondences between written and spoken words
• Sound and name each letter of the alphabet in lower and upper case
• Recognise letter shapes (grapheme) and say the sound for each
• Read simple words by sounding out and blending the phonemes all through the word from left to right
• Continue to blend phonemes to read CVC words, including grapheme correspondences for common long vowel sounds and common consonant digraphs
• Read simple words with known graphemes more confidently using phonics automatically to blend
• Apply knowledge of blending to read simple words
• Read and use recently introduced vocabulary in relation to the learning theme, reading scheme and high frequency tricky words, using developing phonic knowledge (NB Letters and Sounds- Phase 3)

• Writing to communicate thinking in relation to thoughts, ideas, experiences, explanations, descriptions, questioning, predictions and anticipations
• Use talk to explore, sequence and clarify their thinking in relation to formulating ideas through writing/pictorial/graphic representation in PSE, U the World, PD, MD, EA and Design.
• Structure ideas through logical sequencing (e.g. beginning to use story language such as story starts, middles and ends) [use talk ahead of writing]
• Dictate a sentence or story/ poem/ rhymes/ joke/ set of instructions, and orally rehearse for partners/ talking postcards [ICT] ahead of writing etc
• Role play and visits/visitors to stimulate different writing types and talk for writing
• Know and use letters to represent the main sounds in words, hearing, saying and recognising sounds in the order in which they occur.
• Hear, say and recognise predominant sounds in words, beginning to segment these when spelling

Mathematics Number

Children have a deep understanding of number to 10, including the composition of each number. Children can subitise (recognise quantities without counting) up to 5. Children can automatically recall number bonds up to 5 (including subtraction facts) and some number bonds to 10, including double facts.
Learning opportunities:
• Count in 10s and 2s
• Recognise small numbers without counting
• Know size of a set of objects is given by the last number in the count – things that can be seen and those that cant
• Use tens frames - Instantly recognise, without counting, familiar patterns of up to six objects - Sometimes check counting to ensure they have not mis-counted
• Recognise and use correct number symbols to 10 and beyond
• Record numbers through simple tally and written numerals
• Estimate the size of a set of objects
• Estimate a number in a range that can be counted reliably and check by counting
• Use 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, £1,00 coins in role play
• Begin to use language of transaction in role play
• Solve simple problems and puzzles in everyday activities, with numbers to 10
• Match and compare the number of objects in two sets Be confident in combining two groups of objects and recognise it relates to addition (which is “adding on”) and subtraction (which is “taking away”)
• Recognise that the number of objects in a set does not change if they are moved around
• To explore the story of (value of/quantity) up to 10 (link with money) using Number Blocks U
• Understand addition through combining two groups of objects and counting all objects
• Find the total number of objects in two groups by counting all of them
• Understand addition as counting on and combining groups of objects into one group [incl zero]
• Understand subtraction as taking away objects, counting those remaining and counting back [incl. zero]
• Remove objects from a small group and count how many are left

Number Patterns

Children can verbally count beyond 20, recognising the pattern of the counting system. Children can compare quantities up to 10 in different contexts, recognising when one quantity is greater than, less than or the same as the other quantity. Children can explore and represent patterns within numbers up to 10, including evens and odds, double facts and how quantities can be distributed equally.
Learning opportunities:
• Join in and respond to number rhymes, stories, songs and games, saying and using number names up to 15 and beyond, (including use of 0).
• Say and use number names in order in familiar contexts
• Recite numbers to 15 and beyond –start in different places
• Recite numbers in order starting from 2,3,4,5 then to 15 and beyond
• Recite numbers in order counting back from 15 or less- start in different places
• Compare 2 numbers on a number line and talk about them in relation to amounts – such as compare 2 and 3, 2 and 5, or 2 and 9.
• Confidently overcomes difficulties and corrects recitation errors
• Count in a range of situations up to 10
• Count reliably in all play and focused activities (up to 20 and beyond) –things that can be moved and those that can't
• Count reliably any arrangement of up to ten objects.
• Order numbers across the 10 boundary (e.g. 8 to 11)
• Order a given set of selected numbers, e.g. 2,5,8,1,4
• Model the use of ordinal numbers in different contexts
• Begin to use the ordinal language of ‘first’, ‘second’, and ‘third’ in practical contexts.
• Begin to estimate how many objects can be seen and check by counting (up to 10)
• Order a given selection of coins (e.g.10p, 5p, 2p, 1p)
• Describe solutions to practical problems, drawing on experience, talking about their own ideas, methods and choices (U&A) -
• Identify a number one more or one less [orally, using numbers lines, number squares, clocks, etc] from a given number to 10 and beyond…understand the sequential nature of numbers as one more or one fewer.
• Compare two numbers, up to 10 and beyond and say which is more/less/ greater/smaller and say a number which lies between 2 given numbers
• Compare sets of objects up to 15 and beyond, identifying more/less
• Partition and recombine small groups of up to ten objects
• Begin to relate addition to combining two groups of objects, and subtraction to “taking away”
• Use the vocabulary of addition and subtraction such as equal to, more than, less than, fewer, most and least, etc.
• Explore ways to partition a whole number (K&U) physically separating a group, or constructing a group from two kinds of things.
• Share objects into equal groups and count how many in each group. (division) (C )
• Compare groups or quantities using 1-1 correspondence to find the difference
Understanding the WorldPast and Present

Children will be able to comment on images of familiar situations in the past, compare, and contrast characters from stories, including figures from the past.
Learning opportunities:
• Know, understand and use key vocabulary in relation to time, e.g. old, new, past, present, future, etc.
• Share stories/feelings, role play and talk about the passage of time in relation to events in children’s lives, the live of other people familiar to them and introduce interesting people from beyond their immediate experience.
• Know the routines in the reception class in relation to their own personal timeline and discuss how to organise snack time, or other activities.
• Talk about own personal time line in relation to events in their own lives and the lives of other familiar people/ story characters e.g. moving house, holidays, carnival, cinema visit, news item, etc.
• Sequence and order events in their own lives and that of others in relation to the passing of time - diary, photographs, pictures, reference books - discussing their work and using appropriate vocabulary.
• Explore autumn, winter, spring and summer and know, discuss and record key features, comparing past present and future.
• Understand the sequence of the months of the year, January, February, March, April… and link to own experiences, linking key events to significant months e.g. We started school in September, Father Christmas came in December etc.
• Know about the roles of other people in their community.

People Culture and Communities

Children will talk about members of their immediate family and community and will be name and describe people who are familiar to them. Children will understand that some places are special to members of their community and will recognise that people have different beliefs and celebrate special times in different ways.
Learning opportunities:
• Talk to invited visitors and make visits to local places of interest –use texts to find out more
• Awareness of the cultures and beliefs of others by exploring a range of cultural activities and festivals e.g. Epiphany, Chinese New Year, Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, St David’s Day, Lent, St Patrick’s Day, Easter, Bollywood cinema and community activities
• Find the ways in which their cultures and beliefs are similar, sharing and discussing practices, resources, celebrations and experiences.
• Know about special people in history – linked to festivals and people we know e.g. David Attenborough

The Natural World

Children will be able to draw information from a simple map. Children will recognise some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries. Children will explore the natural world around them and describe what they see, hear and feel whilst outside.
Learning opportunities:
• Understand seasonal weather change and it’s impact (winter/spring)
• Observe, describe and draw simple features of plant growth and name the parts of the plants.
• Observe identify and classify similarities and differences between plants – is a tomato a fruit? How will we find out? (Sc WS)
• Describe, discuss and record sequences of the growth of a variety of plants.
• Examine change over time, for example, growing plants, and change that may be reversed, e.g. melting ice.
• Design practical, attractive environments, for example, taking care of the flowerbeds or organising equipment outdoors.
• Grow vegetables and plants from seed. – record changes and share experiences from home Materials in the environment
• Understand and describe features of the local and built environment through walks, books, photographs, discussion, video, newspapers, ICT, expressing likes and dislikes and areas for development.
• Model and use appropriate geographical and scientific vocabulary, e.g. busy, noisy, and ugly, litter, pollution, attractive, design, architecture, pillars, and footings.
• Recognise, name and describe similarities and differences between materials used in building processes.
• Talk about, explore and predict changes in everyday materials and their uses in buildings e.g. hard, soft, pliable waterproof, etc.
• Classify materials by their functions; e.g. materials used are fit for purpose - waterproof roofs.
• Investigate and test materials for their functions. (3 little pigs houses) try to predict what might happen, describe, discuss and communicate their findings using appropriate vocabulary
• Notice and discuss patterns around them, e.g. rubbings from grates, covers, or bricks.
• Develop children’s understanding of conservation of resources e.g. water, electricity, heat. Environment
• Discuss natural and built environments and give opportunities for them to hear different points of view on the quality of the environment.
• Create simple maps and plans, paintings, drawings and models of observations of known and imaginary landscapes raising questions around effectiveness and functionality
• Understand the role of key adults in the local environment
• Investigate how we can make the world a better place for ourselves and others after us.

Expressive Arts and DesignCreating with Materials

Children will explore, use and refine a variety of artistic effects to express their ideas and feelings. Children will build on their previous learning, refining ideas and developing their ability to represent them and create collaboratively sharing ideas, resources and skills.
Learning opportunities:
• Apply knowledge of what they can do with different media, and what happens when they put different things together, when design and making.
• Using a variety of media, draw visual elements, line, shape, tone and space.
• Draw from memory and imagination.
• Use a wide range of colours, mixing colours and shades.
• Use artwork with a strong sense of shape or colour as inspiration.
• Talk about their plan or intentions when they explore, mix, and use colour.
• Select the most appropriate surface to use for the art creation that they are going to explore.
• Use designs of real e.g. castles, flats, vehicles etc to support their thinking about their own and to adapt as necessary.
• Think about what they want to make, the processes that may be involved and the materials and resources that they might need, including making of resources that may not be available, e.g. colours or textures of paint or dough.
• Experiment with different ways of joining materials through use of a range of resources.
• Select and use tools safely and purposefully across the provision, and where a range of tools may be needed in order to complete a single task.
• The purpose of the ‘make’ and possible solutions before construction.
• Practitioners suggest and ask children questions about what is possible, e.g. ‘I wonder what would happen if…Can you think of another way of doing it…Would you show me how it works?’
• Review and adapt the ‘make’ ongoing in order to fulfil the purpose.
• Record constructions with photographs or drawings as a record and stimulus for other children, as well as to support children to reflect on and modify their designs in the future.
• Using clay to make pots, pinch, coil or slab built pots.

Being Imaginative and Expressive

Children can invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with peers and their teacher. Children can sing a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs. Children can perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others, and (when appropriate) try to move in time with music.
Learning opportunities:
• Build on and extend language that enables children to talk about their experiences in greater depth and detail, provide appropriate materials to support children’s ideas, model techniques and teach skill in order to develop a story line or narrative in their play
• Use role play/dance/drama to encourage children to choose/make appropriate props for role-play
• Empathizing with the characters in stories using appropriate language style and intonation gesture
• Use the sound effects or music in role play area
• Use fabrics, open-ended resources, dressing-up materials and instruments close by to encourage imaginative play
• Play with adults and play as part of a group to act out a narrative with increased confidence, discussing and sharing their ideas. Invent and adapt stories in their play and talking to others.
• Plan and make up their own stories.
• Write down plans and stories.
• Use ICT and music to develop a growing repertoire of movement (In relation to different types of dance and simple movements)
• Move rhythmically e.g. marching, skipping, twisting, swirling, etc.
• Explore mark-making to sounds.
• Draw to the sound of an instrument, introduce another sound for them to draw. Copy children’s representations, create a visual pattern and invite children to play the visual pattern.
• Record work and play the pieces back.
• Explore ring games, songs and rhymes to enable children to build a repertoire with which they can experiment.
• Create story/rhyme/journey maps adding sounds to illustrate the narrative.
• Use music as part of the role play or to create moods e.g. chalking on the path to Reggae or using a punch balloon to accompany Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.