"All pupils have an excellent understanding of how to improve their own learning."

ISI Inspection Report, 2019


There are three key areas of learning in Reception Class: Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

We work with the children as individuals, acknowledging that in Reception children progress at different rates as their knowledge, understanding and fine motor skills are developing. The eleven month age gap between a child born in September and a child born in August can make a huge difference at this age and so we work with the child’s individual needs as he/she matures and develops.

We believe passionately in the importance of reading as a key foundation for learning and so each child reads with an adult daily and keeps a Reading Diary.


Communication and Language


Each child reads to an adult every day and keeps a reading log. They are encouraged to read again to an adult in the evening as ‘homework’. This consistency helps children to develop their reading skills and to become confident readers at an early age. They enjoy the special one-to-one time with teachers and parents, and reading soon becomes an enjoyable part of daily life.

As a class, the children also enjoy big book reading sessions and interactive whiteboard stories.

In small groups, the children focus on keyword activities and start looking at story structures, identifying the beginning, middle and end of a story. They also focus on phonic work, learning how to recognise and sound out each letter of the alphabet in upper and lower case, and how to identify and sound out graphemes and consonant blends.


The children develop their fine motor skills through a variety of fun activities. This helps with the coordination and strength required to grip a pencil correctly and to form letters. We use the ‘Nelson’ scheme to practise letter formation, using the correct sequence of movements and appropriate flicks.

The children use and apply their knowledge of phonics to write simple words, explore patterns and identify rhyming sounds. They are encouraged to write independently for a variety of different purposes, for example: lists, letters, stories and poems.

Reception pupils are made aware of the need for finger spacing and basic punctuation to help their writing to make sense to another person.


The children in Reception focus on two areas of learning in Mathematics: 1) NUMBERS and 2) SHAPES, SPACE and MEASURES. They enjoy practical hands-on experiences when focusing on these areas and they take their knowledge of number, shape, space and measurement into their own play and chat.

The pace of work is always determined by individual ability. Reinforcement and extension activities are provided for individuals as and when they are required.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Reception children explore, manage and discuss their feelings through role-play, team work, speaking and listening and circle time. They are encouraged to become more independent, dressing themselves and managing their own personal hygiene. They also become increasingly aware of the need to be active and to eat healthily.

"Children display excellent personal and emotional development for their age; they are confident, happy and secure whilst in the setting."

Compliance Inspection, 2016


Reception children enjoy PE and games lessons focusing on physical development in the Autumn term, gymnastics in the Spring and athletics in the Summer. They also visit the Performing Arts Studio for action songs and rhymes. They are encouraged to play outside in all weather (appropriately attired). Reception children can choose ballet lessons as an extra-curricular activity.

The latest from Highfield Priory

Our Reception class celebrated the end of term in style last week, with their Easter Bonnet Parade!

They didn't let the rain stop them as they showed off their brilliant bonnets around the school before heading to Highfield Haven in search of the Easter Bunny! 😀🐰
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2 weeks ago

Our Reception class celebrated the end of term in style last week, with their Easter Bonnet Parade!

They didnt let the rain stop them as they showed off their brilliant bonnets around the school before heading to Highfield Haven in search of the Easter Bunny! 😀🐰Image attachment

We marked the end of another busy term here at Highfield with a special musical assembly!

Using the wonders of modern technology, our ten performers joined together virtually, with some performing live in the hall and others via video from home.

The pupils have been practising hard for weeks and were really excited to perform for the whole school via Teams. Each performer played excellently and they were all rewarded with enthusiastic applause from their audience.

This was our first musical assembly for a year and it was such a good feeling to bring this tradition back and see the pleasure it brought to our school community. A massive congratulations to all the children who took part - we are already looking forward to developing this event later in the year!
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3 weeks ago

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