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St Mary's Catholic
Primary School

Learning and loving on our journey with Jesus


Reception class trip to The Look Out. The children enjoyed exploring the hands-on science activities offered.

Reception Curriculum Overview 2023-24

At St Mary's Catholic Primary School, children join our school in their Reception year which is known as second year of their Foundation Stage. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of Foundation Stage 2.


We value and recognise that the experiences a child has whilst in their early years lays the foundations that can have an impact on their development throughout the rest of their school life and beyond. The EYFS team work hard to ensure that the children experience a rich and broad Reception year. We strive to work in partnership with parents and carers to enable the children to begin the process of becoming active learners for life.


There are seven areas of learning and development that are included in the EYFS. They are divided into the three prime areas and four specific areas. The prime areas are important for stimulating children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and for children to thrive.


The prime areas are:

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development


The specific areas are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design


Each of these areas of learning are taught daily through carefully planned activities and experiences for our children both indoors and outdoors.


Children develop in individual ways and at varying rates. Every area of development – physical, cognitive, linguistic, spiritual, religious, social and emotional – is equally important. We embrace the characteristics of effective learning – playing and exploring, active learning, being creative, and thinking critically. These underpin learning and development across all areas of the Early Years curriculum and enable all children to become effective and motivated learners. We value all areas of learning and development equally and understand that they are often linked.


Our Learning Environment

Our children have access to our outdoor area throughout the day. Both our indoor and outdoor learning spaces promote each of the seven areas of learning. The children access the continuous provision and the adult led activities that are planned. Our teachers work with the children to enhance learning through play, identifying next steps and moving the children on in their learning.


What is taught in the EYFS?

The statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage details the curriculum that is covered in the Early Years. It explains the characteristics of effective learning and how teachers should consider these when planning activities to deliver the curriculum. At the end of the Foundation Stage (end of Reception) we assess each child against the profile and assess whether they have achieved a Good Level of Development. We assess the children against 17 Early Learning Goals.


Development Matters is a non-statutory guide detailing how children develop and learn.  It is designed to support Early Years Practitioners in providing quality education for each child and provides a thorough explanation of a child’s development from birth to five years. 

Useful links to educational resources

St Mary's Catholic
Primary School

Contact Us

Cookham Road, Maidenhead
Berkshire, SL6 7EG

01628 622570