Reception- the best start to school for your child!

It is an exciting time to start school and Discover Your World. Every morning the children skip into school and are quickly chatting to their friends or teachers about something they are looking forward to doing at school that day.

We believe that the following principles set the standard for learning, care and development at Ardingly:

  • Every child is unique and should be treated as an individual.
  • Children learn to be strong and independent in an environment which values relationships.
  • The environment in which the children develop and learn is rich and stimulating.
  • Children learn in different ways and at different rates, and all areas of their learning and development are equally important.

In Reception we take the children from Nursery and we bring them into school and they are excited; we keep this excitement and joy of learning and we nurture this. A big focus in Reception is learning to read and foster a lifelong love of books. We also develop a love of writing through role play and now the children are enjoying writing little sentences.

The Characteristics of Effective Learning and the prime and specific Areas of Learning and Development are all inter-connected.

The Characteristics of Effective Learning

The ways in which the child engages with other people and their environment – playing and exploring, active learning, and creating and thinking critically – underpin learning and development across all areas and support the child to remain an effective and motivated learner.

  • Playing and Exploring
  • children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
  • Active Learning – motivation
  • children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
  • Creating and Thinking Critically – thinking
  • children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things

The Areas of Learning and Development


The prime areas begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, and run through and support learning in all other areas.  The prime areas are fundamental through the Early Years Foundation Stage:

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge.  They grow out of the prime areas, and provide important contexts for learning:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

We have an exciting and child-centred curriculum in the Early Years. Our teaching and learning is designed to support children’s natural curiosity and stimulate their creativity. We use both the inside and outside learning spaces at our disposal to provide environments that are exciting, stimulating and safe in order to promote a child’s natural curiosity to explore and learn. We find this gives the children ownership of their learning which inspires them to achieve their best.

The learning environments are organised to provide opportunities for children to work both on independent and adult-directed activities.  Play is considered an essential vehicle for delivering the curriculum to enable children to practise ideas, skills and concepts, explore and make sense of the world, work with other children, negotiate, take turns, try-out and make mistakes without fear of failure.

Other weekly events include (subject to change):

Monday:                  Show and Tell.

Tuesday:                   Forest School

Wednesday:              Swimming

Thursday:                 Games

Friday:                       PE. Special Assembly at 2.30 p.m., to which parents are invited.

Being part of the wider College means we benefit from additional teaching and unique opportunities such as special STEM days with the Head of Science in the Senior School, visits from the catering team who have run special cooking workshops and specialist teaching from Sports coaches, musicians and artists.

The children are very active they swim every week, they enjoy forest school with our dedicated Forest School Leader and have recently been gifted a living willow-twig wam by some parents to enjoy. Sport and Dance are an important part of Pre-Prep life and the children all enjoy several sessions of sport each week. We have two Forest School sites and are also lucky enough to explore Nine Acre on a regular basis.

We strongly believe that we must enable our youngest pupils at Ardingly College to Discover Their World and that this curiosity is what will make children successful in life coupled a thirst for Adventure, praise for the children’s IngenioUS ideas and encouragement to be GeneroUS through all aspects of life. Children are naturally inquisitive and they want to explore. Our extensive grounds, ponds and woods encourage the children to learn new skills takes them outside, builds their confidence and develops their self-esteem.

We encourage all children to be GeneroUS, AdventuroUS, IngenioUS and CurioUS. You will notice all those words, those skills, behaviours and characteristics, end in US. There’s a reason for that: we believe we should work in partnership with you, the parents, to support, nurture and develop your child in their journey.



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If you are interested in Reception places for September 2022 please email