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Reception Curriculum

Autumn 1

Memorable Experience

Children to go for a walk around the school, so the children can meet people who are there to help them. The children will Take photos of the people they meet and write about how they help and what they do to help the children.


Weekly Focus


Communication and Language

Lost and found activity-  Children to read the story Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers. Children to talk about why friends are important and how they can be good friends to each other developing their listening and attention skills by asking questions 'Have you ever felt lonely? How did it make you feel? Who helped you feel better?

Together the children will make their own 'Good Friend checklist'.


People who help us- Children will watch a video 'People who help us' to gain a better understanding and recall some information on emergency services. The children will be encouraged to share any experiences they might have had with the emergency services encouraging  any questions they might have to gain a better understanding  of 'Why' and 'how' questions.


Physical Development

Parachute Play- The children will be introduced to a large parachute exploring the different movements such as making the parachute ripple or lifting it high into the air. The children will be introduced to a variety of games to enable them to negotiate space and adjusting speed.


Circles and spirals-  Children will prepare a large sheet of paper with pre-drawn circles and spirals in a range of different sizes. They will use pencils, chalk and marker pens for the children to draw over the pre-drawn circles and spirals. Demonstrating how to use a tripod grip to help the children make their marks more accurate and follow the lines with control. They will work together to draw over all the lines and display their works of art around the setting.


Enemy Pie-  Chilren will read the story Enemy Pie by Derek Munson. Ask the children if they have ever had an enemy and how it felt. What happened? How did it make them feel? Ask them to think of reasons why people fall out with each other and what can be done to make an enemy a friend. Provide a selection of flat white pebbles (available from DIY stores) and write friendship and enemy words on them. Ask the children to decide if the pebbles go in the ‘Friendship pie’ or ‘Enemy pie’?

Team Work- Children will play a variety of team-building games to encourage positive relationships. Organise the children into one big circle, all holding hands. On your signal, the children pass a hoop around the circle without breaking hands. Note the time it takes for the hoop to return to its starting position. Repeat, trying to beat the time. For a more challenging team game, put children into groups of four or five and ask each group to stand around a small hoop. Explain to the children that when you signal, they need to huddle together and place one foot in the hoop, lifting up the foot that is outside of the hoop. The winner is the team who can keep their feet up the longest without falling over!


Memorable Experience

Arrange for the children to watch a pantomime based on a familiar fairy tale such as Jack and the Beanstalk. Before the visit, read the story and encourage the children to learn the names of the different characters. If possible, organise time after the show for the children to meet some of the characters in person!

Things the children could do
  • Sit for a sustained period and listen to others.
  • Join in with repeated refrains such as ‘He’s behind you!’ and ‘Oh no, it isn’t!’
  • Be confident to call out, sing or perform any actions needed to help tell the story.
  • Ask questions.
  • Cheer the goodies and boo the baddies!



Weekly Focus



Again, Again-  Choose stories with repeated refrains to read aloud to the children. Ask children to vote each day for a different one. The Enormous Turnip (the wife pulled the man, the man pulled the turnip), The Gingerbread Man (run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man), or The Three Little Pigs (I’ll huff, I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house down) are all good examples.

Practitioner note

You could extend this activity by looking at other more contemporary stories with repetitive and predictable phrases. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson or Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton are two good examples.


Story maps-Set out a long roll of paper with pots of brightly-coloured pens, pencils and felt tips. Draw a path down the middle of the piece of paper. Write ‘Once upon a time’ and ‘The End’ on separate cards, then sticky tack to opposite ends of the paper roll. Work with the children to retell a familiar fairy tale using drawings, speech bubbles, simple sentences, labels and captions. Check the story is told in the correct sequence, asking the children to walk along the roll of paper whilst you read it. They can add more detail after checking the accuracy of their work.

Practitioner note

Why not start by walking down the path with the children and retelling the story orally? Leave your story map out for several days so the children can add more to it. You can put out a copy of the fairy tale for children to refer back to.


Understanding of the world

Giant turnips- Read the fairy tale The Enormous Turnip then sow turnip seeds in pots. Provide a range of tools for the children to use, including trowels, pots, spoons and watering cans. Children should care for their turnip seedlings as they grow by watering them regularly. Encourage children to observe and record changes over time by taking photos or making labelled sketches. When ready for harvest, children can pull them up and identify the different parts of the plant.


Peas- Read the story of The Princess and the Pea to the children. Explain that they are going to find out which materials are best for making a comfortable bed for the princess. Allow the children to handle a range of materials, including cotton wool, felt, hessian, bubble wrap, wadding and foam. Encourage them to use descriptive vocabulary to describe how each material feels. Then, give each child a dried pea or small wooden bead to put under the materials, showing them how to press down with their hand to test. Ask ‘What can you feel?’ As the children test the materials, ask them to sort them into two groups ‘Can feel the pea’ or ‘Can’t feel the pea’.

Practitioner note

Help the children to decide how they will record their findings and to draw a conclusion about which material would make the best bed for the princess. Do any of the children suggest layering multiple materials?



Little pig Little pig- Provide a good range of building materials, including twigs, sticks, straw, mud, wooden blocks, plastic sheeting, hessian and bricks. Challenge the children to work on a small scale and build homes for small world pigs. Allow them to work individually or in teams, emphasising the need for them to co-operate. Take photos of the children as they work and their finished houses.

Practitioner note

Children could take on an extra challenge to make their homes waterproof. They could test this by using watering cans. Alternatively, you could ask the children to create Rapunzel’s tower by stacking blocks and boxes. They could use different materials to join the components together and think about how they could make the structure secure and strong.


Royal Workshop-Work with small groups of children to make swords, shields, crowns, plates, goblets and jewellery that are fit for a fairy tale prince or princess. Provide a good range of materials for the children to choose from, including thick and thin card, silver foil, glass beads, ribbon, glitter, paint, sequins, craft gems and buttons. Talk to the children individually about what they want to make and how they will do it.

Practitioner note

Encourage children to help each other and make suggestions for improvements.