Expectation on entry to Reception

All of the staff are looking forward to welcoming your child into our school.  We recognise that all children are unique.  We respect cultural diversity and understand that families have different traditions.  We hope that the following information is helpful in giving you some understanding of our expectations of what most children can do upon entry into Reception.

This will give you an idea about the things you can work on with your child prior to joining us.  We acknowledge that children starting in Reception can be at different stages of their development and may need help with some of the statements listed below; however, with practice and encouragement, many will be achieved


Self Care

How do children cope with simple everyday routines?. Child can already or are working towards:

  • Feed self, using a spoon and fork
  • Use the toilet
  • Manage own clothing such as tracksuit trousers
  • Use a tissue to wipe/blow nose
  • Wash and dry own hands
  • Manage own clothing such as coat
  • Recognise own possessions such as snack box
  • Undress/dress themselves, especially shoes and buttons
  • Put on and do up coat
  • Go to the toilet independently (including  wiping their bottom)
  • Use a knife and fork and sit still whilst eating

Social Skills

In this area we are looking at the way children interact with others and manage their own behaviour. Child can already or are working towards:

  • Has experienced being away from parent/main carer for short periods
  • Understands and follows simple directions, such as ‘Please get your hat’
  • Can play for short periods of time alongside other children
  • Will put away toys and equipment when asked
  • Will listen and respond to adults
  • Generally behaves well
  • Is willing to try new activities
  • Is beginning to share
  • Asks for adult help when they have a problem rather than reacting in a tactile manner
  • Can sit for short periods in a small group (for example, will listen to a short story such as 'The

    Very Hungry Caterpillar')
  • Is willing to try new activities
  • Use the words ‘please’ and ‘thank you’
  • Is beginning to take turns with others
  • Can play with other children for a short period of time.


Children will be at different stages of communicating with others.  If you speak another language at home, it is helpful if you let us know. Child can already or are working towards:

  • Communicate their own needs
  • Know and respond to their first name
  • Know their first and family name
  • Talk about family/special people
  • Remember and recount a significant event (such as a birthday or holiday)
  • Follow a simple instruction.
  • Communicate their own needs appropriately.
  • Talk using simple sentences.
  • Talk about things that interest them.
  • Talk about a favourite story or song.
  • To say when they need help.

Early Learning

Children learn through play and we can tell a lot about their learning through observing what and how they play. Child can already or are working towards:

  • Show an interest in books and stories
  • Listen to/joins in with nursery rhymes
  • Talk about activities/events
  • Enjoy making marks with crayons and pencils
  • Snip with scissors
  • Use some number names when playing
  • Enjoy dressing up
  • Know and recite some favourite nursery rhymes
  • Talk about what they are drawing
  • Notice similarities (for example, ‘These are all red’)
  • Pretend to write
  • Cut with scissors
  • Recite some numbers in order
  • Have favourite stories
  • Use their imagination when playing ‘pretend’ games such as fixing the car, making dinner or

    ‘working’ in the office
  • Can write own name
  • Count and recognise numbers 1 - 10
  • Can carry on a rhyming string (cat, mat, bat)
  • Beginning to form recognisable letters.
  • To paint, draw or make models of familiar things.


A happy, healthy and rested child is more receptive to learning. 


  • Has had all required immunisations
  • Is used to regular mealtimes
  • Has a regular bedtime and routine
  • Understands the importance of washing hands after using the toilet
  • Covers mouth when coughing
  • Blows own nose