In Reception we make learning ‘irresistible’ in everything we do; from our lessons to our classroom environment; from visits to learning topics. Engaged and excited learners is what Shiplake are about! There are 4 members of staff supporting Reception at Shiplake and we are all enormously proud to be a part of the Early Years team.

The broad, balanced, and challenging curriculum follows the 7 areas of learning outlined in the Revised Early Years Framework (Sept 2021).

These include:

  • Literacy
  • Maths
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design.

A carefully planned curriculum ensures that all 7 areas are met in an exciting and engaging way, where each half term has a different Topic focus.

Our topics this academic year are as follows:

  • Term 1: All about me
  • Term 2: Let’s celebrate!
  • Term 3: Tell me a story
  • Term 4: My Community
  • Term 5: Superheroes!
  • Term 6: The World is Growing


Children learn in many ways in Reception, from exploratory play, guided activities, more formal carpet times sessions and group/independent working. Children in Reception feel valued and safe in school and staff pride themselves on building strong relationships both with parents/carers and children. Every child is an individual and we are committed to the development of the ‘whole child’. We work closely with Year 1 to ensure the children’s transition is as smooth as possible and the children move up as happy, self-assured, independent learners with a thirst to learn.

We love being outside in Reception as we know we learn so much from nature and it helps make us better learners too. Reception has a free-flow classroom where carefully planned activities mean we learn inside and outside all day long! We plan half termly trips where we enjoy learning from, and about, the world around us. We have been to The River and Rowing Museum, on the public bus to the library and we can’t wait to go to Bucklebury farm in the Summer.

Every week, Reception go on a walk into and around our local community as a part of their learning. Walks provide opportunity to broaden and extend all areas of the children’s learning, and no two weeks are the same! From meeting the cows down at the local farm, to map reading into the centre of the village, Reception always have an adventure!


In the Early years we share, celebrate and track learning through the online platform Tapestry. We sign post children’s achievements and progresses against the Development Matters (Sept 2021) guidelines as well as continuous teacher assessment. By the end of Reception we aim for all children to be independent and confident learners, ready to start KS1.

Sarah Thomas
Reception Class Teacher (0.8fte)
Jessica Assem
Reception Class Teacher (0.2fte)

Reception Events

The Nativity Story performed by Reception!

We loved performing ‘The Nativity’ on our outside stage to our Mums and Dads! Don’t we look great in our outfits!

Sprinkle Magic Project : Reception parents and teachers give up their time in half term