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Year R Learner

What will my child learn in Year R? 

Your child will be learning the EYFS curriculum. If they have transitioned from a nursery or pre-school provision, this will be a continuation of what they have already been doing. As part of your child's transition, there will have been conversations about how your child is doing and what are their next steps.


At the end of Year R, your child will be assessed against the Early Learning Goals. This will inform whether they are ready to transition into the National Curriculum as they enter Year 1.


1. Phonics and early reading

Reading underpins our Year R curriculum. Your child will hopefully already have a love of books when they join us. Reading a story, re-telling stories, learning rhymes and sharing books are all daily occurrences in Year R. No doubt your child will come home reciting some of the stories off by heart. We place an emphasis on traditional tales and plan our provision around these stories and characters.


Phonics is a big part of Year R. Your child will develop their knowledge of phonics and will probably surprise you with just how quickly they develop their reading skills. They will take part in phonics learning each day. These are fun, pacy sessions which involve games and tasks. They will learn how to:

  • link letters and sounds
  • blend sounds to make words
  • learn non-phonetic tricky words, which we call red words.  

2. Early writing

Your child will learn traditional tales off by heart, as part of our Talk for Writing approach. They will use a story map to help them learn the words and patterns of the tale. Much of this will be repetitive (They walked and they walked and they walked.) or learnt phrases (Once upon a time...). They will learn to write letters in pre-cursive handwriting and over time their mark making will transform into simple words and sentences. Teachers will support them to re-read their work, adding in their own ideas as they re-tell the stories.

3. Maths

Like all learning in Year R, maths lessons tend to be short chunks and are very interactive, with plenty of hands-on activities. Your child will lean to count and work in groups to explore shapes and pattern. All learning will be reinforced through child-initiated play, when there will be lots of opportunities to develop maths skills through sand play, art and physical activity.


They will do maths inside and outdoors, and will talk about maths all the time, such as pouring water in containers, counting steps and sharing out fruit. Language development will be extremely important, in order to develop your child's early reasoning and explanation skills.

How can I help my child in Year R?

There are lots of ways you can help your child with reading in Reception. Here are our top ideas.


1. Play rhyming games

Say ‘into the pot goes’ while pretending to place objects that rhyme into a pot (for example, a bat, a hat, a cat, a mat). Do this with your child and then see if they can do it independently. You can turn this into a game by throwing in words that don’t rhyme, and asking your child to catch these ones out. For example, a cat, a hat, a bird – this last word shouldn’t go in the pot!


2. Play phonics word games

Play simple phonics word games based on the sounds your child is learning and has learned at school. Start off using just the speech sounds and then immediately say the word. For example, you could say, ‘At the shop I will buy a /m/ /a/ /p/ – map, a /b/ /e/ /d/ – bed, a /d/ /u/ /ck/ – duck.’ Then, trying just saying the sounds and asking your child to work out and say the whole word.


3. Say the sounds right

In all games and activities, make sure you pronounce speech sounds clearly. Try to make them as short as possible – for example, the letter m has a short /m/ sound, not a continuous /mmmmmmm/ sound. Try not to add an extra sound onto the speech sound either (for example, the sound is /m/ and not /m-uh/).


4. Listen to your child read

In Reception, your child will probably start bringing home books to read. Try to find time to hear them read every day. It could be snuggled up on the sofa, at bedtime or before school. Be sure to be patient and don’t forget to be impressed!


If your child gets stuck on a word, remind them to say the letter sounds individually and then blend them together quickly to hear the word. If your child still can’t work out the word, then tell them what it is and move on.


5. Read to your child

Learning to read can be hard work for many children, so it’s important to keep enjoying books together. Your child will also benefit from listening to books and stories that they can’t read themselves yet. This might include non-fiction books about things they are interested in or longer stories with more adventurous vocabulary.