What do Children Learn in Reception?

What do Children Learn in Reception?

We thought it would be helpful to create a short guide & introduction to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), to help you understand what children get up to when they start school.

The EYFS is a play-based curriculum so the areas of learning will mostly be accessed through independent play with some tasks completed with teachers and teaching assistants.

Before we begin, we believe it is very important to highlight that the most important thing for any chid starting in Reception is to focus on them being happy to come to school. Whatever stage your child is at when they start is perfect and teachers will work through the play-based curriculum to their individual needs & strengths.


The curriculum used in Reception is called the Early Years Foundation Stage, which is often referred to as the EYFS. The EYFS is divided into seven areas of learning and development, this includes three prime areas & four specific areas.


The three prime areas are:

Communication & Language (CL): in this area the focus is on learning new vocabulary, engaging with stories, non-fiction, rhymes & poems and taking part in conversations with adults and peer as well as story-telling and role play.

 Physical Development (PD): The focus here is on developing gross & fine motor skills, as well as developing strength, coordination, and positional awareness. Children will develop these skills whilst playing indoors with puzzle, small world toys, arts & crafts, cutting & sticking etc. As well as outdoors playing games, using equipment, obstacle courses, bikes & scooters etc.

Personal, Social & Emotional Development (PSED): This is the area which focuses on helping children develop positive relationships with their teachers and peers. In which they will learn to develop vocabulary and confidence to understand, discuss and manage their feelings and emotions and develop a positive sense of self.

 These three areas are the most essential as they run through everything in the EYFS & they help to develop the four specific areas. Without fully developing these three areas then the four specific areas are harder to engage with.


The four specific areas are:

 Literacy (L): Children will begin to develop a life-long habit and love of reading. They will develop their phonics skills, including sounding out unfamiliar words and quickly recognising familiar ones. They will practice spelling and handwriting as well as learning to articulate ideas and structuring them in speech before writing.

 Mathematics (M): Children will learn to count confidently and develop a secure knowledge of the number to 10 & beyond. They will learn to look for patterns and relationships as well as developing their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space & measure.

 Understanding the World (UW): This area is included to help children make sense of their physical and their community. They will explore, observe and find out about peope, places, technology and the environment.

 Expressive Arts & Design (EAD): In Reception children will get to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. They will share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, design and technology.

 We hope you found that helpful, if you have any comments then please feel free to share them below and if you do have a child starting school in Reception then be sure to check out our award winning books;  The Tale of Starting School and The Tale of My School Adventures!

Natalie Talisman
Left Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart