Subject/other activity (e.g. enrichment)Hours per week for each subject/activity
Early Years (Reception, Ages 4-5)
Phonics Daily sessionsApprox. 5
Learn and play (see below)Approx. 20

The youngest students at the Livingstone Academy Bournemouth are Reception age. The Reception year is vitally important as it prepares children for formal education. At the Academy we will strive to ensure that all children are healthy, safe and resilient, and that they develop the ability and curiosity to learn. Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that we provide helps them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s first experience of school has a major impact on their future. In Reception at the Livingstone Academy Bournemouth we will aspire to provide:

  • Quality and consistency of teaching and learning experiences so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind.
  • A secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly.
  • Partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers.
  • Equality of opportunity for each and every child.
  • Four principles shape the practice in our Reception setting:
    • Every child is unique, constantly learning and we will help each one to become resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
    • Children will learn to be strong and independent through the positive relationships we will foster.
    • Children learn and thrive in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
    • Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.


In Reception, the Academy will provide opportunities to:
  • Play and explore – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.
  • Actively learn – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements.
  • Be creative and think critically – children develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
  • Use phonics daily and parents are taught too!
  • Ensure children are challenged at their level.
  • Focus on learning and developing ALL the time.


Our Expectations of Reception Year:
  • Literacy is used as the key to being a successful learner.
  • Children will complete activities at the Academy that develop their literacy skills – such as guided reading sessions, story time and writing.
  • All children are expected to complete fun activities at home that contribute to their early literacy learning.
  • All children will be able to use their phonic knowledge to read and write simple sentences by the end of reception.
  • Children are encouraged and supported to develop their independence and become ‘ready for school.’
  • There is a smooth transition between the Early Years and Year 1 in order for children to continue their learning journey.
  • By the time they start year 1 they are ready for a more formal approach to learning.
  • By the end of the Reception Year the literacy ability of each child will have been fully assessed enabling us to provide the necessary challenge and support to ensure their positive academic development.

The curriculum in the Early Years will fully comply with the EYFS requirements for Reception. The classrooms in Reception will be set out according to the 7 different areas of learning: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Communication and Language, Literacy (Reading and Writing), Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. We will take a topic based learning approach to enable students to find relevance in their learning; making it meaningful and purposeful. Students will be given the opportunity to choose the topics they would like to learn about linked to their current interests.


Phonics and Reading:

Phonics will be taught using Letters and Sounds and Jolly Phonics. Pupils are taught Phase 1, 2 and 3 phonemes and digraphs in the Early Years. They learn phase 4,5,and 6 (alternative versions of the long vowels) during Key Stage 1. The children will learn high frequency words at each phonics stage.

We believe in providing all students with authentic reading experiences at LAB. In EYFS, we intend to honour this by developing students’ reading skills through using texts from a variety of reading schemes. We will combine the Oxford Project X and Collins Big Cat reading schemes to allow us to consistently provide students with the optimal blend of challenge and engagement. Our reading schemes are levelled and support early phonics development to fluency, providing students with fully decodable books to foster a love of reading at all levels of progression. 

The general approach to learning to be introduced in Reception will be through ‘Learn and Play’. It is centred on the Child Initiated Activities (CIA) approach that encourages pupils to make the decisions about the learning they will cover. This encourages creativity, decision–making and problem-solving as well as the softer skills such as team work. The teachers model the learning of phonics, numeracy, routines, etc, around this approach.

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