Welcome to the Reception Class Page

Reception class Chesterton

Children start in Reception at aged four and are baseline assessed at the start of the year. Early learning is centred around the theme ‘All about me!’ and getting to know the child’s likes and dislikes, to learn about their interests and to involve their families in these activities.

Children start in Reception at aged four and are baseline assessed at the start of the year. Early learning is centred around the theme ‘All about me!’ and getting to know the child’s likes and dislikes, to learn about their interests and to involve their families in these activities.

Children are supported in settling in, learning routines and the reception class expectations. They learn the importance of sharing, turn taking and caring for other people, making new friends and sharing photographs of their families and friends. Some families provide photographs of their child’s familiar adults, relations and friends. These are used to produce a class display known as ‘Our Family and Belonging Tree’. As part of the theme of ‘All About Me’ and families we will also look at our wider community and the people who help us.

At the relevant time of year, children learn about the different seasons and looking at changes around them. For example, as part of Autumn, children will go on a ‘Leaf Hunt’ to collect different coloured Autumn leaves to use as part of their learning in the classroom. We use the school field and woodland area for this. The children thoroughly enjoy the freedom of the outdoors and being active in their learning. A key link to this is the celebration of Harvest time and the job of the farmer.

Parents and children respond well to the use of Class Dojo - using it to share positive comments and key information. Parents also support us with providing wellies and slippers for our outdoor and indoor classroom environments.

Phonics and Reading in Reception

In reception we place a huge focus on early reading and phonics. To support our learners, we use the Jolly Phonics Framework, using their interactive and engaging resources. The Jolly Phonics early reading books are decodable readers which support individuals with a book that matches their phonic sound knowledge. Children are issued with reading books based on their level of understanding, use of language and awareness of letters and sounds.

We also encourage each child to take home a bedtime story book and are encouraged to change these daily with their parents help. Parents are given information about the importance of reading aloud to their child. Emphasis is placed on how it will stimulate imagination; develop an understanding of the world; help each child to develop language and listening skills; familiarise their child to print, and story language.

The Jolly Phonics framework consists of action songs and rhymes. Parents are given key information about this alongside resources such as sound flashcards, links to the Jolly Phonics website and free Jolly Phonics app at the ‘Parents Open Evening’.

What is Jolly Phonics


Jolly Phonics is a world-leading English literacy method that teaches children how to read and write using phonics. 

Phonics is the teaching of the sounds that letters make, rather than the names of letters that are taught in the alphabet, because it is the sounds that are useful for reading and writing, not the names. These sounds are taught in a systematic way, alongside all of the skills needed for being a fluent reader and writer. Jolly Phonics also teaches all of this in a fun and engaging way, through characters, stories, actions, songs and games!

The 5 Skills Taught Through Jolly Phonics



Blending - putting the sounds together to read: c - u - p = ‘cup’ 

Segementing - breaking a word up to spell

Tricky words - (irregular words) – words that cannot be sounded out phonetically e.g.  she, he, no, go, the, me, by, my 

Early Learning Goal Reading

Children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about they have read.

How we teach reading

  • Model segmenting and blending words
  • Use of sound buttons to read words
  • Signs around the classroom that the children can read. 
  • Reading sentences with sounds that the children know. 
  • Teach tricky words (words that can not be sounded out).

Individual Reading

  • We read once a week with every child.
  • We ask them questions about what they have read.
  • We use their sound and word box to check their understanding and use of letters and sounds, high frequency word and tricky words.
  • We use the Jolly Phonics Reading Books.

How you can help

  • Help your child learn the tricky words
  • Read everyday with your child including practicing their letters and sounds, high frequency words and tricky words in their word and sound box.
  • Please remember to comment and sign their reading diary
  • You can read to your child
  • Ask questions about the story. What is the story about? What is your favourite part? Why?
  • Point to a tricky word and ask them what it is
  • Visit the local library

Information to Remember


We do a lot of learning in our outdoor area and this can get very muddy during the winter months. To prevent your child’s shoes from getting muddy we really would appreciate it if you could provide them with a pair of named wellingtons to keep at school.


We promote the wearing of slippers in the indoor environment enabling us to offer a comfortable homely and more hygienic place for the children to play and learn.

Labelling all items

If you could please label any items such as cardigans, coats, bags, bottles, slippers and wellingtons to prevent items being misplaced.

Sharing a book with your child.

In the classroom you will find a variety of story books for you and your child to share at bedtime. These can be changed as often as you like with your child. An ideal opportunity is when you and your child come to school in the morning.

Reading aloud to a child will stimulate imagination and develop an understanding of the world. It also helps each child to develop language and listening skills. This will familiarise your child to print, and story language.

Book bags

Please bring your child’s book bag to school daily so that we can communicate effectively with you about your child’s learning. Any important newsletters, bump notes or information regarding changes in school will be placed in the book bags as well as any relevant and appropriate homework e.g. letters and sounds or word cards.