Reception Teaching and Learning

Our Reception class is a happy, stimulating and safe environment in which children can develop and thrive.  Our small class-size of 15 per class allows us to give each child a great deal of attention and attend to their individual development needs. We also use the online Tapestry programme to keep you informed about the Early Years Learning process.

Culford Reception Class: The Early Years Foundation Stage

Culford Reception Class follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This statutory learning programme for children under 5 is divided into the following 7 areas:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED) is a crucial part of the EYFS as it forms the basis for your child’s success in all other areas of learning.  At Culford Reception we provide your child with a range of opportunities to develop their independence through self-selection, changing and managing their own hygiene.  We also provide support and offer experiences which enable your child to interact well with others and develop a positive sense of self.

Communication and Language

Communication and Language focuses on developing your child’s speaking and listening skills. Through this programme children learn to answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences. Our communication and language activities include activities such as identifying which musical instrument is being played, by using ICT equipment and philosophy for children. 


Mathematics is a key life skill and we introduce the study of mathematics through counting, sorting, matching, seeking patterns and working with numbers, shapes and measures. There is an emphasis on developing problem solving and thinking skills, and we use practical maths at snack time by nominating a helper daily.

Understanding the World

With us your child will develop the skills, knowledge and understanding to help them make sense of the world. We encourage children to explore their environment, both in our play area and beautiful grounds, and to talk about past and present events in their lives and those of their family. Through these interactions they begin to understand that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and learn to appreciate differences between communities and traditions. Children in Reception have opportunities to use the classroom computer, interactive white board, laptps and bee bots to gain confidence and familiarity with technology.

Physical Development

We are extremely fortunate at Culford to have both our own our all-weather outdoor play area and access to Culford Park. A range of toys and apparatus are provided and children can practice balancing and climbing, play on ride-on toys, ball games and even a parachute!  In addition to this we will enhance your child’s fine motor skills by using small tools such as pegs and pens and craft sessions of cutting and threading. They also take part in the Busy Bodies and Funky Fingers programmes. PE is taught by specialist staff and includes outdoor games, tennis, gymnastics, ballet and swimming. 

Expressive Art and Design

Expressive Art and Design covers art, music, dance, role play and imaginative play.  We encourage children to make 2D and 3D constructions using a variety of materials and they will have opportunities to paint, collage and use the ever-popular Play-Doh. Puppets are also used for storytelling and to help develop the children’s imagination whilst role playing.


In teaching literacy at Culford Nursery we concentrate on children’s phonic knowledge, allowing them to learn letters of the alphabet and the sounds that they make. They will learn to write their names and use their phonic knowledge to write familiar words. Through this children develop the tools necessary to learn to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. The children visit the library regularly in order to share and enjoy a wide range of rhymes, poetry, stories and non-fiction books during their library time and also learn some early library skills.


In addition to the Early Years Foundation Stage modules, the children have a weekly French lesson taught by a specialist teacher.  They learn to count and converse through songs and games.

Find Out More About Culford Pre-Prep & Nursery

If you’d like to know more about Culford Pre-Prep & Nursery then please contact our Admissions Team on Bury St Edmunds (01284) 385308 or email them by clicking here. They will be able to give you all the information you need and will be happy to arrange a visit for you.