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Nursery and Reception

Children in Nursery and Reception will learn skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development. 

There are three prime areas which are important for children to develop well in before anything else. Without a sound foundation in these three areas it will be very hard for children access other areas of learning. 

The three prime areas of learning are: 

  • Communication and language 

  • Physical development

  • Personal, social and emotional development 

As children develop in the prime areas they will begin to  engage in learning linked to the four specific areas. 

The four specific areas of learning are:

  • Literacy 

  • Mathematics 

  • Understanding the world

  • Expressive arts and design

The teachers will use the children's interests to plan engaging learning  opportunities and activities around all of the areas of development, ensuring that the activities provided are suited to each child's unique needs. All learning takes place through play and exploration both within the classroom and the outdoor area.


We use these documents at Holy Cross to plan for children in the Early Years

Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage

Development Matters  


Assessment at the end of Reception
Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. Ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development process. It involves practitioners observing children to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles, and to then shape learning experiences for each child reflecting those observations. In their interactions with children, practitioners should respond to their own day-to-day observations about children’s progress, and observations that parents and carers share. To this end we make systematic observations and assessments of each child's achievements, interests and learning styles. We then use these observations and assessments to identify learning priorities and plan relevant and motivating learning experiences for each child.

Early Learning Goals

Each child’s level of development is assessed against the early learning goals (above). Practitioners will indicate whether children are meeting expected levels of development:
• Emerging, not yet reaching expected levels of development for age
• Expected

Year 1 teachers will have access to the Profile report together with a short commentary on each child’s skills and abilities in relation to the three key characteristics of effective learning. These will inform transition meetings between Reception and Year 1 teachers about each child’s stage of development and learning needs and assist with the planning of activities at the start of Year 1.