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Otters & Robins (Reception)

Reception – Summer Curriculum Overview 

Our topics this term will be ‘Marvellous Mini-Beasts’ and ‘Up, Up and Away!’

In the first half of the term, the children will be learning about insects and mini-beasts and will spend time exploring their environments. We will learn about stick insects, worms and snails, and the children will spend time outside investigating the changes spring has brought. Our Drawing Club texts this half-term will include Snail Trail by Ruth Brown, and Yucky Worms by Vivian French.  

In Summer 2, we will begin a new topic called ‘On the Move!’ In this unit, we will be learning about different modes of transport, exploring transport around the world and how it has changed over time. In the last few weeks of the term, we will begin preparing the children for their own move up to Year 1. The children will spend time exploring their new classrooms, meeting staff, reminiscing on their time in reception and looking forward to their exciting new experiences ahead. Some texts we will be using in Drawing Club include: Around the World in 80 Ways and Billy and the Pirates.  

Alongside adult-led teaching and small group tasks, the children will continue to have two sessions during the day when they can choose the areas they want to explore. They will have access to a variety of provision and resources, which will change regularly to reflect our learning and the children’s interests. There are multiple areas including arts and craft, writing, a home corner, maths and puzzles, sand and water, sensory play and construction. Adults are present to support the children in their play and learning.  




Teaching and Learning 

Parental Involvement 

Physical Development 

  • To continue to develop the foundations of a strong handwriting style 

  • To use tools safely, effectively and competently  

  • To refine and further develop a range of ball skills 

  • To understand and follow instructions, and play by rules 

  • To learn about water safety and develop confidence moving in the water 

Continue to provide opportunities for children to strengthen their hand muscles at home: 

threading, cutting, weaving, playdough, kneading bread, rolling biscuit dough etc. 


Where, possible give children opportunities to move their bodies in different ways such as: dancing together, balancing and jumping at the park, and playing ball games. 

Communication and Language 

  • To develop more sustained focus when listening to stories.  

  • To make up their own stories which include a beginning, middle and end and consider the characters, settings and a problem that arises.  

  • To take part in extended, turn-taking conversations.  

  • Moving on to Y1- to talk about their Reception experience and their wishes/worries about moving on.   

Continue to model questions and have conversations about their experiences at school. Begin to think back on their time in reception and how they have changed.  


Continue to read stories together at home and act them out. Bring the stories to life and encourage the children to talk as though they are living the story.  


Read at least 3 times a week at home to help children practice their segmenting and blending skills. Model how to use prosody (expression) when reading and get them to try.  

Personal, Social and Emotional Development 

We follow the Jigsaw PSHE scheme and will be teaching the following units: 


Children are introduced to the key relationships in their lives. They learn about families and the different roles people can have in a family. They explore the friendships they have and what makes a good friend. They are introduced to simple strategies they can use to mend friendships.   

  • To form positive relationships and think of the needs of others as well as their own 

Changing me   

Children are encouraged to think about how they have changed from being a baby and what may change for them in the future. They consolidate the names and functions of some of the main parts of the body and discuss how these have changed. They learn that our bodies change in lots of different ways as we get older. Children understand that change can bring about positive and negative feelings, and that sharing these can help. They also consider the role that memories can have in managing change.   

  • To develop confidence, perseverance and resilience in the face of change and challenge 

  • To prepare for changes as they head towards Year 1, recognising and verbalising their feelings around these changes 

  • To be proud of their achievements and progress whilst in Reception, and share happy memories 

Talk to your child about their friendships and relationships with family members. Model thinking about others needs before your own and praise your child when they show recognition of how someone else is feeling and why that is important.  


Talk about how your child has changed over the past year/s. Go through old photographs with them, their paintings and drawings or writing and talk about the progress they have made and what they have learnt this year.   


  • To develop their counting skills, counting larger sets as well as counting actions and sounds.  

  • To explore a range of representations of numbers, including the 10-frame, and seeing how doubles can be arranged in a 10-frame.  

  • To compare quantities and numbers, including sets of objects which have different attributes.  

  • To continue to develop a sense of magnitude, e.g., knowing that 8 is quite a lot more than 2, but 4 is only a little bit more than 2  

  • To begin to generalise about ‘one more than’ and ‘one less than’ numbers within 10.  

  • To continue to identify when sets can be subitised and when counting is necessary.  

  • To develop conceptual subitising skills including when using a rekenrek.  

  • To continue and create more complex patterns e.g., ABB, ABC, AAB patterns  

  • To recognise the difference between 2D and 3D shapes, and name and describe 3D shapes 

  • To write numbers 0-10.  

Play board games with your child, such as snakes and ladders. Children will recognise the number of dots on the dice and be able to practice 1:1 counting as they move their counters.  

When sharing toys or sweets, talk about being fair or equal when you have the same number. Use the language of more than, less than and fewer than.  

Talk about who has more or fewer in real life situations. 

Notice numbers when you are out and about: door numbers, bus numbers, prices. 

Use the names of 3D shapes when talking about everyday objects.  

Literacy including phonics 


  • To read phonetically matched books with increased fluency and with an awareness of prosody and punctuation.  

  • To begin to read words on sight.  

  • To read words ending in suffixes: –ing, –ed /t/, –ed /id/ /ed/, –ed /d/ –er, –est.   


  • To use a range of small tools competently and confidently, including a strong tripod grip  

  • To develop the foundations of a handwriting style which is fast, accurate and efficient  

  • To form lower case and some capital letters correctly, using Little Wandle mantras.  

Sentence construction and grammatical accuracy  

  • To sequence and predict events in stories. 

  • To write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others, using taught graphemes. 

  • To continue to develop confidence in segmenting and writing phonetically plausible attempts at words.   

  • To begin to use finger spaces, capital letters and full stops. 

  • To write for different purposes, including captions, lists, speech bubbles and information. 

  • To write Phase 2 and 3 tricky words, and some phase 4: said, so, have, like, some, come, love, do, were, here, little, says, there, when, what, one, out, today.   


  • To retell a story with actions and / or picture prompts 

  • To explain the main events of a story.   

  • To listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events & responding to what they hear with relevant comments, questions and reactions.   

  • To make predictions.  


  • Please listen to your child read at least 3 times per week. Children who read regularly at home make the most progress, not just in reading, but right across the curriculum. Please ask if us if you need any support, we are happy to help. Don’t forget that the classroom is open at home time on Mondays and Thursday for you to read with your child. This will count towards your weekly reading total. 

  • Use the Little Wandle website to access resources and videos to help you pronounce the phonemes (sounds) we are learning: 

Little Wandle Parent Resources  

  • Provide your children with pens, chalk, pencils to encourage mark making and writing. 

  • Help children to practice writing letters with the correct formation. Please refer to the letter formation videos on our website. 

  • Writing ideas – shopping lists, birthday lists, labelling things around the house, writing about their day/weekend/and event, writing about their own drawings. 


Understanding the World 

Our environment and the natural world 

  • To explore, observe and identify UK minibeasts and learn about their habitats.  

  • To look after our local environment – building minibeast houses.   

  • To learn about the lifecycle of a minibeast. 

  • To explore the natural world around them.  

  • To understand why minibeasts are important for our environment.  

  • To search for, observe and identify UK minibeasts.   

  • To understand the need to respect and care for our environment and living things.   

Seasonal Changes – Summer:  

  • To explore schools’ grounds and observing seasonal changes in the summer Observing seasonal weather changes in the summer.  

  • To learn how to keep safe in the sun.  

Changes in state  

  • To learn how objects change whether they are in shade or light.  

  • To observe and create shadows  

International Day:  

  • To recognise similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries.  

  • To recognise some environments which are different to the one in which we live.  

Maps and Routes  

  • To experiment drawing simple maps.  

  • To finding different countries on maps.  


  • Look at maps of the world or Google Earth. Talk about where the UK is, where the cold areas are and the warmer areas nearer the equator. If you have family living abroad or are going on holiday, show them where it is on a map. Begin to think about how the two places are similar or different. 

  • CBeebies have a fantastic selection of clips about nature and the world around us called ‘Our Planet’ which would be great to watch together BBC Our Planet 

  • Notice seasonal changes outside i.e., lighter in the evenings, we are wearing lighter clothes now, the flowers are blooming and trees are growing their leaves.  

  • Talk about time using terms such as ‘in the past’, ‘yesterday’, ‘in the future’, ‘next month’ etc. 


Expressive Arts and Design 

  • To develop, practise and apply threading and weaving skills to make bookmarks  

  • Junk modelling, build models of rockets. using construction equipment  

  • To understand what waterproof means and test materials  

  • To test materials and make predictions about sinking and floating  

  • To investigate how the shape and structure of boats affect how they move  




Where possible, provide opportunities for children to create at home. Provide old newspapers and magazines for children to tear up or cut and stick into collages.  

Use old boxes and recycling to make models together.  

Involve children in making food together. Allow them to help prepare food before cooking or make fruit salads and baked goods together.  






  • Please send a named water bottle in every day.  

  • PE is on Thursdays. Children will change at school. PE kits can remain in school until half term. Please make sure all the children’s uniform is named as they can get a bit muddled when the children are changing! 

  • In Early Years, children will be spending lots of time outdoors in all weathers. Please provide children with a pair of named wellies to keep in school and send them in with a waterproof jacket. They will need wellies to access our mud kitchen and water area outside too. 

  • Library books will be changed every Friday.  

  • Reading books and reading records need to be in school every day. Reading books will be collected in on Wednesdays to be changed and re-issued to you on Thursday. 

  • The classroom is open from 3.10 on Mondays and Thursdays for you to come and read to your child. This will count towards your weekly reading total and staff are on hand to answer any questions. 

  • Any questions – please, please ask!