Early Years Foundation Stage

Welcome to Reception

Having the opportunity to help give children the best possible start to their education journey is a privilege. Here at St. Martin’s, we teach in a creative, engaging and practical way which enables the children to become more confident, independent learners. Each child is unique and we aim to nurture them through a positive and supportive environment where they can flourish and achieve their full potential.IMG_7409.JPG

Class Sizes

Working in smaller classes means we can really focus on each child and can adapt and personalise their learning when they find something difficult, need more challenge or if something sparks their interest. We are passionate about using our outdoor space as much as possible to enhance the children’s learning as well as going on trips to bring their learning alive too. The highlights of the year are a trip to Marwell Zoo in the spring and a trip to the Oceanarium and beach in the summer.

Our Community

The homely and welcoming environment of our school helps children to feel relaxed. The children have a wide range of opportunities to encourage an enquiring mind, foster a love of learning and use the world around them to inspire and enhance their education. Each day fills us with excitement at the thought of how we can bring lessons alive without the restrictions of mainstream, whilst still maintaining a challenging and balanced EYFS curriculum.

When walking around St. Martins, you really get a sense of it having a wonderful family feel. The Reception children regularly build relationships with other children throughout the school, during whole school activity days, on trips and at lunchtimes. They love being in the company of the older children. The care and support shown to them really helps them to settle and feel a valued member of our school community, as well as helping to ensure smoother transitions as they move up the school.

Emotional Wellbeing

image00051.jpegWhilst we have high expectations, we recognise that a child’s emotional well-being is paramount in enabling them to be successful learners which also underpins the EYFS framework. Understanding each child’s needs, their interests, what makes them tick, what makes them happy and helping support them when they are sad or find things difficult is fundamental in helping them feel confident with their learning. Helping children develop their confidence through things like baking, growing vegetables, role play, craft and nature has a huge impact on them then being able to focus on the academic side of their school life.

To help support this further, each week we have a class “Well-being Wednesday” assembly focussing on the children’s social and emotional development through role play, stories and games. Spending time focussing on building the children’s self-esteem, helping them to believe in themselves and develop an “I can” attitude has a huge impact on their academic development and it is a joy watching the children thrive as they become independent readers, writers and mathematicians.

Parent Links

Building good relationships with parents is also crucial in helping each child to thrive. Children are at the centre of their parents’ lives and so it’s really important to involve them in their child’s learning, offer guidance and support as to how they can help their child at home and not only work together to support the children through any difficulties, but celebrate in their successes too. Using Tapestry - an online platform showing photos of the children’s daily learning - is a great way for parents to share in these successes and gives parents a real sense of involvement in their child’s Reception journey.

We also have a “Wow Wall” in our classroom. We get as excited as parents do, watching the children grow and learn new things. We are aware that children also achieve lots outside of school and love to hear from parents when they see their children doing something that makes them proud. Everything parents share with us is important!

A Typical Day in Reception

· Children take part in a variety of teacher led and child-initiated sessions

· Daily phonics

· Daily maths

· Outdoor Learning

· Gym, Music, P.E. and Topic afternoons


Our Curriculum

Teaching topics really helps to bring children’s learning alive, embed what they do and enable lots of cross-curricular links too. Our main aim is to foster a love of learning as well as being flexible to allow for lots of child-initiated learning too!!




· Autumn 1 – Marvellous Me!

· Autumn 2 – Terrific Tales!

· Spring 1 – Ticket to Ride!

· Spring 2 – Amazing Animals!

· Summer 1 – Come Outside!

· Summer 2 – Fun at the Seaside!



Their reading and writing is really helped by the use of “Jolly Phonics” taught in the Letters and Sounds order. By learning the sounds alongside actions and songs, this kinaesthetic approach means that all children can access our phonics curriculum and it helps greatly with their confidence as independent writers too.

Our maths curriculum is very hands on and practical, giving children a range of strategies for solving problems and visualising the different areas of Maths. They are then able to apply their practical knowledge to written calculations and we find that they are often working with numbers well above those required in the early learning goals.

We are very lucky to have close links with Stokewood Leisure Centre (where we do our gym lessons), BU Sports (where the children have the opportunity to take part in a forest school setting), as well as our own in-house Drama and Music specialists Mrs Butcher and Mrs Lee.image00022.jpeg

Visit us

Teaching Reception is an absolute joy. It is so lovely to be able to create opportunities of awe and wonder and to see the delight on the children’s faces as they learn and grow. We’d love to have your child join our school and our doors are always open for prospective new parents to book a tour at a time convenient to them.

Please contact Miss Astrup to arrange a visit – [email protected] or 01202 292011