A day in the life of a reception class

11 August, 2018 : 12:25
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To help you prepare for your child's first day at primary school, we asked teachers Amy and Debs to tell us about a typical day in
reception class.

What will they learn?

School is a big step for a lot of children. It's really important we make sure their confidence is high, so we focus on the personal, social and emotional aspects of school, and spending time getting them comfortable with the classroom.

We have a lot of learning through play - child-led activities that cover the Early Learning Goals. We also do a lot of gross motor and fine motor activities - very important for the children to develop muscle tone for activities such as writing further down the line.

Start of the day

They come in, put their things in the right places, we take the register and they choose their lunch with the support of an adult.

We do a dance activity every morning, to help gross motor skills, followed by phonics.


They'll have a snack of fruit and a drink - we encourage them to pour their own drinks and select their fruit, then they might sit down in a circle to eat it.

Then we have learning through play - about 3/4 of the time is spent playing. They might do some junk modelling in the role play area, make Lego, ride trikes or build dens outside - they always have the option of going outdoors.


Lunch is in the hall. At my school the teachers and teaching assistants will eat lunch with the children for the first few weeks, because they do need that help.

Early afternoon

After lunch we do fine motor activities like threading cheerios onto spaghetti, or spinning tops.

We do a little bit of maths. It's very short, game-based maths - shapes, recognising numbers and counting. Then there's another opportunity for play.

End of the day

We calm them down and have a little recap of what we've done that day. A last story and everybody's happy to go home and tell their parents what they've done that day.

We asked: What's the one thing you'd like parents to do to get their child ready for school?

"It's got to be independently doing things like getting shoes and coats on and off, doing their own zips! But if parents are engaged and support children's interests, they'll be happy and confident and you can't ask for much more" Amy

"The one thing I'd say to parents is - don't say to your child, 'be brave'. Because that tells them there's something to fear, and there isn't." Debs

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Our blog is a place for a range of opinions and debate on parents and their role in their schools and their children’s education. Whilst we think this debate is really important, we don’t always agree with the views being expressed.

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