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st thomas catholic Voluntary Academy

We serve god, when we work and play together

Foundation Stage

Thank you for visiting the Reception page.

In Reception, there are 7 areas of learning. 

The prime areas of learning are:

  • communication and language
  • physical development
  • personal, social and emotional development

The specific areas of learning are:

  • literacy
  • mathematics
  • understanding the world
  • expressive arts and design 


These are used to plan our curriculum.  Topics are usually short - and will, where possible, follow the interest of the children and are often based around a storybook.  Topics have included space, chickens (the class had eggs that hatched into chicks) and pirates.

At the end of Reception (the Foundation Stage), each child will be assessed against 17 key areas called the Early Learning Goals (ELG's). This is known as the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Profile. For each early learning goal,teachers must judge whether a child is meeting the level of development expected at the end of the Reception year (‘expected’), exceeding this level (‘exceeding’), or not yet reaching this level (‘emerging’).

The completed EYFS Profile also includes a short commentary on each child’s skills and abilities in relation to the three key characteristics of effective learning. This will support future curriculum planning and will provide the Year 1 teacher with important information about each child’s approach to learning.



There are assessments at the beginning and at the end of the academic year when they turn 5. These are not tests for the child - the assessments are based on  observations.

Information from these assessments is used for parents, practitioners and teachers to support children’s learning and development.

Early years learning concentrates on 7 areas split between prime and specific areas of learning, however they are not be used as checklists as each child develops at their own rate and in their own way, similarly children do not need to have achieved every part of each ELG to be deemed as at the expected level of development. Teaching is often done through play, where the child learns about subjects and other people through games.


This gives an idea of what a child is expected to be able to achieve by the end of their reception year.