psychologyThis Ofsted Report on Reception classes was published on 30th November 2017: 

Bold Beginnings: The reception curriculum in a sample of good and outstanding primary schools

In January 2017, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI) commissioned an Ofsted-wide review of the curriculum. Its aim was to provide fresh insight into leaders’ curriculum intentions, how these are implemented and the impact on outcomes for pupils. This report shines a spotlight on the Reception Year and the extent to which a school’s curriculum for four- and five-year-olds prepares them for the rest of their education and beyond.

Key recommendations include that all primary schools should:

  • Make sure that the teaching of reading, including systematic synthetic phonics, is the core purpose of the Reception Year
  • Attach greater importance to the teaching of numbers in building children’s fluency in counting, recognising small numbers of items, comparing numbers and solving problems
  • Ensure that when children are learning to write, resources are suitable for their stage of development and that they are taught correct pencil grip and how to sit correctly at a table
  • Devote sufficient time each day to the direct teaching of reading, writing and mathematics, including frequent opportunities for children to practise and consolidate their skills
  • Use the EYFSP as a guide to end-of-Reception expectations rather than to define what should be taught.

The report recommends that initial teacher education providers should:

  • Make sure that all primary trainees have sufficient knowledge of Reception, so that they understand progression from the early years foundation stage onwards
  • Devote a greater proportion of their training programme to the teaching of reading, including systematic synthetic phonics as the route to decoding words, and the composition of numbers, so that all newly qualified teachers are competent and confident to teach early literacy and mathematics.