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A Day in Reception

Arriving in the morning

The school gates will open at 8:30am each morning and your parents/carers will wait on the playground with you until the classroom door is opened at 8:45am. We ask that your parents/carers drop you off at the classroom door so that you (and the other children!) settle quickly and are ready to start the school day. If your parents/carers need to speak to the teacher then they just need to let us know at the door and this can be arranged. We also ask that we are informed if someone different will be picking you up in the afternoon.

8:45 – 9:00 – Register and story

Each morning the teachers will call the register to check if all of the children are in school. You will be asked if you are having a school dinner or a packed lunch. We will then listen to a story.

9:15 – 9:40 – Fine motor skills

We spend some time each day learning how to use our hands and fingers! Sometimes we thread tiny beads on to string or create patterns on peg boards, and other times we learn how to use scissors and the correct way to hold a pencil.

9:40 – 11:00 – Child-initiated play

During this time the children are encourage to be as independent as possible, choosing activities and learning through play. Adults help to support and scaffold the children’s learning through questioning and discussion. We use this time to ensure that the children experience a broad curriculum.

There will also be lots of activities for you to do, such as:

• Playing in the sand and water

• Creating recipes in the ‘mud kitchen’

• Den building

• Playing with our ‘water wall’

• Learning on the tablets

• Sticking and gluing

• Playing outside in our castle!

• Bug-hunting

• Playing on the computer

• Playing with playdough

• Singing and dancing

• Playing on the trikes, bikes and scooters

• Playing with the puppets


During the morning the school will provide you with a snack and a drink. We encourage the children to be as independent as possible, even when peeling fruit and pouring drinks! The children may choose to have their snack at any point throughout the morning. Snack normally consists of a piece of fruit and a carton of milk.

11:00 – 11:30 – Maths

At school we will do lots of mathematical activities. You will do lots of exciting things, such as counting, sorting, measuring, weighing, looking at shapes, making models, following directions and using the computer. There are lots of things that you can do at home to help you with your maths, such as:

• Sorting blocks by colour and size

• Fit jigsaw pieces together

• Learning nursery rhymes and numbers songs

• Play lots of games where you throw dice and move along a board

• Talking about whether things are ‘heavier’ or ‘lighter’ and ‘bigger’ or ‘smaller’

• Talking about time using words such as morning, afternoon, today, tomorrow, next, last, after, front, back etc

• Talking and recognising numbers wherever possible!

11:30 – 11:45 – Singing!

Before our lunch we do lots of singing! Sometimes our songs involve counting, and sometimes we learn exciting actions to go with the words.

We like to give the children the opportunity to share songs and sing in front of an audience too!

11:45 – 1:00 – Lunchtime

We will all have our lunch in the main school hall. We will walk over to the hall together and then we will sit at tables and eat our lunch with our friends. All of the reception children are entitled to a free school dinner. It is really important that you are able to eat your dinner with a knife and fork so make sure you practice over the summer holidays!

After we have eaten lunch, the children play on the playground. Although closely monitored, the children are given the opportunity to take part in unstructured play which encourages them to develop their own games and rules.

1:00 – 1:30 – Phonics

We spend some time each day helping you to learn your letter sounds and names. You will work in small groups with an adult and you may even take some work home to share with your families! It’s very important that you try your best to practice the letters and sounds and remember them as best as you can!

When you come to school you will begin to learn to read. You will read big books with your teachers and after a while you will take reading books home to share with your family. At first you will remember stories just by looking at the pictures and then, with lots of practice, you will begin to use your phonics to help you sound out and blends the sounds in words.

You will also get to do lots of writing at school! You will learn how to form your letters correctly and also how to write short sentences. It would be great if you could write your own name when you start school, remembering to use a capital letter at the start!

1:30 – 2:45 – Child-initiated play

2:45 – 3:05 – Review of the day

At the end of each day it is really important to talk about all the different things that we have been doing and also all of the things that you have learnt. Sometimes you may be given a sticker which says ‘Ask me about’ at the top. This is so that we can write a reminder of something interesting or exciting that has happened to you that day and your parents/carers can then ask you about it!

3:05 – 3:15 – Time to go home!

After a busy day, it’s time for you to go home! We will all sit on the carpet together and your parents/carers will wait outside the classroom door to pick you up. Once one of the adults sees your parent/carer you will be called to go home. Unfortunately, we can’t let you go home with a different adult unless we have been told that you are being picked up by someone different.

Hopefully this will give you an idea of what a day in Reception might look like! A typical week would also include:

  • A P.E session in the hall

  • A music session with Mrs Ribbons

  • Visitors to the class i.e. police officer, road-safety officer etc

  • Targeted intervention groups i.e. Speech and language

  • Celebration days i.e. Halloween, Fireworks night



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