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Reception Class

5 year oldsAge: Usually between 4 and 5 years old. Find out more about applying for a place.

Stage of learning journey:  First year at primary school, after nursery and before Year 1. 

Curriculum:  Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 

The EYFS sets standards for the learning, development and care of your child from birth to 5 years old.  It recognises your child’s early years as a specific stage of learning and lays the foundations to help them begin more formal education with the primary school curriculum in Year 1.

What will they learn?

Within the EYFS there are different areas of learning:

  • communication and language  
  • physical development
  • personal, social and emotional development
  • literacy
  • mathematics
  • understanding the world
  • expressive arts and design

Each of the areas has a number of early learning goals (ELGs) which most children will achieve by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Your child should feel that they are playing and enjoying themselves, often choosing their own activities. Sometimes they will be encouraged to join in with activities to help them develop a skill, such as listening, using scissors or building a model.


Towards the end of your child’s reception year their class teacher will assess them; this assessment is called the early years foundation stage profile.  It measures their level of development against the 17 early learning goals and the ways in which they learn. 

Don’t worry the assessment is based on classroom observation - your child won’t be tested.

The assessment will highlight the things that your child is good at and any areas that might need more support when they move into Year 1.

A written report based on the assessment will be shared with you.  The report will tell you whether your child’s learning and development is:

  • expected – meeting the level of development expected at the end of the EYFS
  • emerging - not yet reaching the level of development expected at the end of the EYFS
  • exceeding - beyond the level of development expected at the end of the EYFS

It should also tell you about the opportunities you have to discuss the report with your child's class teacher.

How you can help 

There are lots of resources which can help you understand how your child will learn at school and what you can do to help them at home.  We've listed some of them below:

Useful links/documents

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