Reception Curriculum

The Foundations to Learn

Our curriculum is carefully structured to ensure that children lay down the foundations proven to be so vital for learning. There are 7 interconnected areas of learning and development.
The 3 prime areas are:

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

The 4 additional areas through which the three primary areas are supported are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive Arts & Design

Click here to see out Reception timetable

Getting the best from your child

Getting the best from your child and making sure they love their time in Reception informs how the children’s day is structured. We want to spark a love of learning by channelling your child’s natural independence, creativity and curiosity

Understanding your child’s ability

Although the children are still “learning through play” the days are more structured and learning becomes more formalised. The children are grouped according to ability for literacy and numeracy, allowing them to develop at their own pace. Learning in groups like this allows the teachers to stretch the more able and implement supporting strategies where necessary.

Engaging your child

A topic is chosen termly, specifically to enhance learning. The children’s absorption in a topic is immediately evident on setting foot in their classrooms! Learning by topic fully engages the children, links the different areas of learning together and makes learning fun!

The Space to Grow

Terra Nova School enjoys a uniquely stunning setting. Once Jodrell Hall, the school now occupies the main hall, farm buildings and stables with up to 35 acres of playing fields, woods, a walled garden, a meadow and an enormous sand pit! The perfect environment for learning, discovery and adventure! The Reception classrooms’ building was renovated in 2015 to create a space within the school specifically for the Reception children.

The children benefit from a growing familiarity with the school campus but still enjoy having their own ‘domain’. Reception children leave their classroom for lessons in Music, French, the Forest School, the school’s auditorium and to eat their lunch in the school’s dining room and of course for break times.

How the Reception prepares your child for Terra Nova

Specialist subject teaching is just one of the hallmarks of a Terra Nova education and the children in Reception enjoy specialist weekly teaching in Music, French, Swimming and in the Forest School. Also, by the end of Reception, the children know the Year 1 teachers, having spent time in Year 1 classrooms. The children therefore benefit not only academically but also become used to being taught by different teachers and will be familiar with the whole school campus. All of which is an excellent preparation for a seamless transition into Year 1 and the stimulating challenges of The National Curriculum Key Stage 1.

The Terra Nova Baccalaureate

From Year 1 onwards, each child at Terra Nova benefits from The Terra Nova Baccalaureate. This is the framework used to underpin our school’s curriculum. Each pupil works with a personalised portfolio, an assessment grid, which tracks the progress of their school achievement in eight key areas of learning against core skills. link to TN Bacc bit in Year 1-4 Curriculum

Which house will your child be in?

The house system is a big part of life at Terra Nova. As your child joins Year 1, they will become part of either: Tatton, Dunham, Capesthorne or Gawsworth. See The house system for more information.

Small Class

Individual attention and personalised learning tailored to each and every pupil, leading to inspirational outcomes.


A proud heritage steeped in traditional values with a thoroughly modern approach and delivery.

Age range
2½ to 13 years

Seamless transition, specialist teaching, leadership opportunities, all-round nurture and outstanding pastoral care.


Makerspace, The Hub, 32 Acres, Shooting Range, Swimming Pool. Stunning facilities in a beautiful environment.


French, Spanish, German and Latin, taught by experts in the knowledge and understanding of second language learning.

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