There is no more important year in a child’s school life than Reception, for it is here that the foundations of all learning are built. It is not just the introduction to reading, writing and maths that makes it such an important year group but Reception is where a love of learning begins, where children understand how to make friends and collaborate with others, where the importance of kindness and respect are embedded into their interactions, and where confidence and resilience become an integral part of the everyday experience. We recognise the essential importance of Reception to all year groups that follows and are committed to providing our youngest children, and their families, with an exceptional experience as a result.

Joining LJS in Reception

Children join us in Reception with a wide variety of pre-school experience; indeed, we are non-selective in Reception and welcome all children into our school. Some may have been in full-time nursery, some in play groups and some at home; these different experiences may have given children an understanding of phonics and number but, equally, they may have had little or no exposure to formal learning. Either way, and whatever the children’s prior experiences, we know that a great deal of valuable learning will have taken place in all of those settings that will provide the bespoke starting point for each individual child when they begin their time at LJS.

Importance of Play

Play continues to be the key to children developing a disposition for learning at this stage. It is through play and a gentle, gradual approach to focussed and targeted activities that children develop independent thought, decision-making and the skills they need for future learning. Right from age four, our curriculum is flexible and builds upon each individual child’s interests, prior learning and experiences. We provide an engaging and stimulating environment where learning is meaningful, challenging and fun. Our high expectations, coupled with our learning through play approach, enables children to make exceptional progress in all areas of their development.


Reception is all about self-discovery, with children encouraged to use their imagination and curiosity to explore and question new concepts. Building skills and knowledge is rather like building a wall; our children need strong foundations to support the structure effectively.

Through our nurturing and challenging approach, our children learn to work both independently and collaboratively, all the while developing strong relationships with their peers and their teachers.

"From the earliest of their time with us, we empower our children as learners with a can do attitude; learners who know that mistakes help them learn and that success can take all sorts of forms."
Mrs Waterhouse, Assistant Head Admissions

Partnership with Parents

We build excellent and effective relationships with parents, inviting families to be part of our approach and their children’s learning. We hold phonics lessons and learning workshops for parents to support their understanding of how, and what, their child is doing at school, as well as joint parent and child learning experiences that bring families into our classrooms and engage them in share opportunities for making, building, playing, designing and having fun.

Opportunities Beyond the Classroom

Our Reception classrooms are wonderful havens of play and learning, but it is also important that our youngest pupils are able to explore the wider environment of LJS.

Our Reception classrooms are wonderful havens of play and learning, but it is also important that our youngest children are able to explore the wider environment of LJS.

Our woodland area is a magical place for outdoor learning and they have regular sessions with our fully qualified Forest School Leaders. They enjoy regular visits to our school library, as well as our computing suite and use a range of technologies, including touch screens, computers, iPads and programmable robots. Each week they have swimming lessons in the Oundle School pool as well as regular PE lessons both in our sports hall and outdoor sport areas.

Specialist teachers support the delivery of an exciting and enriching curriculum in Modern Foreign Languages, Music, Computing, PE, Swimming and Outdoor Learning.

The children enjoy a range of trips and visitors over the course of the year. Trips are varied and numerous, from visiting Barnwell Park to shorter walks into Oundle town. We also welcome many visitors into Reception, who help bring our topics to life; these include nurses, police, the fire service and vets.

"We are proud of how our children leave Reception as independent and happy learners ready to face new challenges with enthusiasm and confidence."
Mrs Waterhouse, Assistant Head Admissions

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