Inspired by a balance of play and more formal, adult-led learning in Reception, children’s reading, writing and mathematical understanding takes off and soars. Children are encouraged to be active learners who do not give up when faced with challenge and are willing to have a go at new activities or experiences.

Small Class Size

We are a one class in-take of 22 children in Reception. Children can transition from The Acorn Centre (Pre-Reception) or join our Reception Class from another setting, subject to an entrance assessment and places being available.

Our aim for all our pupils is to foster in them a love of learning which will remain with them throughout their lives. We encourage learning through play and practical activities, inviting the children to develop a lasting curiosity about why and how things work, both inside and outdoors. In the Early Years Foundation Stage, we see both our inside and outside environment as one learning space.

Great facilities and specialist staff

Our Reception Class shares the assembly hall, sports courts and field with Years 1 to 6. They benefit from their own, designated garden and in addition, enjoy using the College Music Centre. Specialist staff provide Music, French, Drama and PE and the children make weekly trips to the Prep library. Reception pupils learn to swim in our own swimming pool. As they move up the school, they can look forward to shared use of further facilities including the science laboratories, technology rooms, ICT suites and playing fields.


Our Reception pupils follow the Statutory EYFS Curriculum, working towards the Early Learning Goals and building on their learning from their time in The Acorn Centre. Teachers plan creatively to ensure a broad curriculum in which children are inspired to learn from a range of rich experiences. Each child is known as an individual, their interests and personalised needs being at the heart of learning.


In Literacy, the areas taught are Phonics, Reading and Writing. Phonics teaching varies from whole class to small group work, tailored to the children’s different needs.  

Children move through the Individual Reading Scheme at their own rate. Reading with understanding is as important as accurate decoding. Sometimes, children take a break from books and instead take home word cards. No child’s reading scheme looks the same, it is called ‘Individual’ for a reason: their journey is their own.


Writing usually takes off in Reception. The children love to look through their Literacy books and can see the progress from emergent letters to words and phrases. Handwriting is taught and practised, prioritsing effective writing posture, pencil grip and correct formation. ‘Have-a-go’ spelling is encouraged. By the end of Reception, the expectation is that children will write simple sentences that can be read by themselves and others.


In Mathematics the two areas of focus are Number and Numerical Patterns to develop a deep understanding of numbers to 10. This will include learning number bonds, doubles facts and the composition of numbers. Rather than work with larger numbers, mathematical challenge is based around depth and mastery. Shape, Space and Measure is taught but not assessed as part of the ELGs. Many of our children work above national expectations and our Curriculum meets, but goes beyond, the Statutory Framework. 

Co-Curricular Activities and Trips

Our Reception Class participates in a wide variety of fun, curriculum-enhancing co-curricular activities, visits and trips including Oxford Natural History Museum, Little Street Role Play and Cogges Farm. Pupils also celebrate ‘theme’ days such as World Book Day.

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