Skip to main content

Reception articles

Child giving teacher gift
Thank a Teacher Day: Head's most memorable gifts
In this week's School Savvy blog, headteacher Matt Revill reveals the most memorable and bizarre presents he and his colleagues have received on Thank a Teacher Day, with some tips on how to show your appreciation this year.
Teacher reading book
Election 2024 buzz: changes for primary schools
A General Election has just been announced for July 2024, and it will have a ripple effect on all aspects of society. But what do parents need to know about the impact on their child's education? Matt Revill, primary school head, offers his insights and opinions, breaking down the possible changes heading our way.
Dad reading with children
Story time with Dad: Best books for Father's Day
Father's Day can end up feeling a bit repetitive, and your loved one (whoever you'd like to honour on this day) may not be into football, beer and sleeping – like the media often suggests! Perhaps they'd prefer a good read and a sweet moment with their child, sharing some wonderful stories. Here's our top picks for Father's Day 2024.
Teacher in primary class
New school rules on teaching sex education & gender identity
A new policy will soon be published that will strictly regulate what younger children learn in regards to sex education and the concept of gender identity. Primary school headteacher Matt Revill provides an in-depth look at this controversial change and shares his views as an educator.
Teaching assistant helping child
Concerning trend: schools cutting teaching assistants
Teaching assistants play a crucial role in primary schools, providing essential support to both students and teachers. However, recent cuts in TA numbers threaten the quality of education. Matt Revill, primary school teacher, explains in this week's blog why TAs are indispensable and what we can do to ensure they remain a vital part of our classrooms.

Child holding parent's hand
Primary school appeals: insights from a head teacher
If your child hasn't secured a spot at their desired school, it's natural to feel concerned and have questions about the school admissions process. In this week's School Savvy blog, we put these questions to our experienced primary school headteacher, Matt Revill, who gives us his expert insight into the appeals process.
Child alone outside school
Is pupil behaviour getting worse in UK primary schools?
Teachers in England say the behaviour of pupils in their classroom is getting worse. First News, the UK’s leading source of news for children, digs deeper to uncover this story in detail.
Man taking photo
Class photos excluding SEND children
School picture day – it used to be about crisp uniforms, forced grins and quick comb-throughs. But a recent news story has highlighted a rarely addressed issue: the importance of inclusion for children with complex needs. Primary school head teacher, Matt Revill, delves into this timely topic in our School Savvy blog.
Mother helping child get ready
Teacher concerns: nearly half of school starters not ready
Matt Revill, experienced educator and primary-school headteacher, unravels recent findings about school starters and how new pupils struggle with basic skills to help them function in the classroom. In this week’s blog, he attempts to bridge the gap between what parents think and what teachers experience.
parent dropping kids off
School parking rows: could you be fined?
Parking chaos during the daily school drop-off at primary schools has become increasingly problematic. Some schools are resorting to issuing fines and warnings, while nearby residents are voicing their grievances to the media. Matt Revill, experienced educator and headteacher, covers the issue in this week's School Savvy blog.
Child reading with father
Parents' guide to Phase 6 phonics
Different primary schools use different ways to teach children about sounds and letters, called phonics. But most kids in early years and Key Stage 1 follow a set of steps, or phases, to learn phonics. In Phase 6, they deepen their phonics knowledge and use their skills to help them read and spell. Here, we'll explain what Phase 6 is all about and how you can help your child with it at home.
Mobile phone ban in primary schools
Should schools ban mobile phones?
New guidance for banning or limiting mobile phones in schools has caused a stir in the education world. But this idea isn't new, as suggestions for bans have popped up before. Matt Revill, a seasoned headteacher and educator in primary schools, offers his thoughts on the latest mobile phone guidance.
School teacher in class
Ofsted halted: what parents must know
You might have seen a lot about Ofsted in the news lately. The school inspectorate is under the spotlight and it looks like changes could be on the horizon. In this week’s School Savvy blog, headteacher Matt Revill takes a look at what’s happening and explains what parents need to know.
Children in a circle smiling
Developing social-emotional skills for a happier, healthier child
Developing social-emotional skills is key to your child’s long-term mental health and social capabilities, but it’s sometimes treated as a less important area of education. We asked young persons’ counsellor and children’s book author, Hannah Peckham, to share her advice on how to support this key area of development at home.
Happy child learning
Parents' guide to Phase 5 phonics
Various primary schools adopt different phonics schemes, which may have slightly different methods for teaching phonics. However, it's typical for children to follow a sequence of phonics phases during the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. Here, we explain what is taught during Phase 5 phonics and how you can support your child's learning at home.
Family reading together
Parents' guide to Phase 4 phonics
Phonics is a teaching method used across many UK primary schools. Phonics programmes are often broken down into phases, and this can get a little confusing for parents. We explain what Phase 4 phonics involves and how you can help at home.
Child reading book
Parents' guide to Phase 3 phonics
Phonics is a common method used in primary schools to teach children how to read. It involves linking sounds to the letters or groups of letters that represent them. There are different phonics phases that gradually build a child’s knowledge and recognition of sounds so that they can read and write. Here, we explain what Phase 3 phonics are and how they are taught.
child reading book
Parents' guide to Phase 2 phonics
Phonics is likely to play a significant role in your child's primary school journey. It helps many children develop the ability to read and spell accurately, often achieved by the end of their second year. Here, we explain what is covered in Phase 2 phonics.
child reading with father
Parents' guide to Phase 1 phonics
Phonics is a teaching method used across many UK primary schools. Phonics programmes are often broken down into phases, and this can get a little confusing for parents. We explain what Phase 1 phonics involves and how you can help at home.
Two children laughing and writing
5 tips on inspiring your funny child to write jokes
Comedy is often an underrated learning tool. It can encourage your child to be creative, express their individuality and help them engage in reading, writing and performance. Encourage your child’s inner comedian with these tips from stand-up comedian, children’s author and comedy writer Steven Vinacour.
Kids in costume at Halloween party
Classic costumes for a cheap & cheerful Halloween
Halloween is an exciting holiday for many children, but for parents and carers it can be a smidge stressful. Try keeping it simple this year with our editor's pick of Halloween costumes that are timeless (which means they could also be reused). Sometimes, going back to the basics can save you time, money and stress!
Two girls gardening with tools
Grow a love of gardening with these tools for kids
Gardening isn't just for the grandparents; it's a hugely popular pastime for people of all ages! Gardening (and being outdoors) has so many benefits in terms of physical and emotional development, and learning about the world around us. You can use the tools below to get started and encourage a love of growing. Who knows? Maybe this will be a new family hobby!
Girls blowing bubbles in garden
24 fun toys for summer outdoor learning
It's well established that outdoor play is important for young learners and provides opportunities to develop physical, social, fine and gross motor skills. Our editor, Kate Morgan, has put together her top picks of outdoor toys. So get the kids outside, having fun and learning this summer. Let the games begin!
Mother and child practising maths skills
Tips and tricks for adding and subtracting numbers
Adding and subtracting numbers are the foundations of many mathematical operations and the ones that children will encounter first on their mathematical journey. Developing strong skills in these areas is crucial for primary-school children as it lays the groundwork for more complex maths concepts. In this article, we will explore a range of tips and tricks to help children excel in adding and subtracting numbers, broken down by year groups. Let's dive in!
What are fractions?
Fractions are a fundamental concept in primary maths, and they're all about sharing and dividing. Whether it's dividing a pizza into equal slices or sharing a bag of sweets between friends, fractions are a part of everyday life.
ordinary numbers
What are ordinary numbers?
Ordinary numbers, also known as counting numbers or natural numbers, are the foundation of mathematics. They're the numbers we use every day to count objects, tell the time, measure distances and much more.
function machine
What is a function machine?
Function machines are versatile tools in the teaching of mathematics, helping children understand and explore a wide range of mathematical concepts in a fun and engaging way. From basic operations in Key Stage 1 to more complex functions in Upper Key Stage 2, function machines can help play a crucial role in developing children's mathematical understanding and skills.

Daily email programme
How the daily learning programme works
Whether you're taking your child out of school for a period, setting out on your home education journey or simply looking for extra activities to boost your child's learning, here's why the daily learning programme could be the right fit for you...
Mother picking up toys in empty house
5 ways to overcome empty nest syndrome
Empty nest syndrome is normally associated with teenagers leaving for university but what about when your young one starts full-time at primary school? Lauren Crosby Medlicott's youngest child is about to do just that, leaving her with an empty house six hours a day. She shares her plan for coping with this big change.
Best rhyming books for children
Best rhyming books for children
Listening to repeated sounds, rhythms and rhymes offers children clear educational benefits and helps to make them into readers. Best of all, rhyming books are a pleasure to read out loud! Our pick of the best rhyming stories offers a brilliant selection of family favourites that you'll be reciting for years.
Best biographies and autobiographies for children
Best biographies and autobiographies for children
Biographies and autobiographies bring the lives of influential people to life for young children, highlighting the role exceptional individuals have played in our shared history. Introduce your child to the world's greatest artists, activists, scientists, inventors and humanitarians with books aimed at every age group. Each biography and autobiography is bursting with anecdotes, imagery and information, sure to inspire young people to follow their own dreams and aspirations.
Reception Baseline Assessment explained for parents
7 things you need to know about the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA)
In the first half-term of their Reception year, children take part in classroom-based assessment. We take a look at what’s involved.
Forest school activity ideas
Forest school fun for kids
Learn to read clouds and enjoy some splashy water games in the great outdoors with an extract from Forest School Wild Play by Jane Worroll and Peter Houghton.
The parents’ guide to primary school reports
The parents’ guide to primary school reports
The time has come to open that all-important envelope, but what can you expect the report inside to say?
Green cooking for kids
Green cooking for kids: healthy food that's good for the planet
Is your child a future eco-foodie? Learn to cook healthy sweet or savoury crêpes, veg-peel crisps and apple and ginger flapjacks with an extract from Green Kids Cook, a sustainable cooking and living guide for kids from cookery writer and teacher Jenny Chandler.
Time for School by Daisy Upton
6 literacy and numeracy early learning games
Looking for some quick and easy learning activities to do with your child? In our extract from Five Minute Mum: Time For School, parent and best-selling author Daisy Upton (AKA Five Minute Mum) introduces you to simple, fun five-minute games to support Reception and Key Stage 1 children through their first years at school.
Transforming family walks
12 ways to make walking fun for kids
Take the whinging out of walking with these great ideas for helping your child enjoy getting out and about.
Best online drawing tutorials for children
Best online drawing tutorials for children
Does your child love to draw, doodle, paint and sketch? Help them learn new techniques and perfect their own versions of their favourite characters with a host of free draw-along videos from children's book illustrators and animation artists.
Why jigsaw puzzles are great for kids
Why jigsaw puzzles are great for kids
Jigsaws can help your child develop many physical and mental skills, so why not get one out this weekend?
No-budget STEM crafting
No-budget STEM fun at home
At-home science doesn't have to involve expensive special equipment! Primary school teacher and author of the 15-Minute STEM series, Emily Hunt, suggests some brilliant STEM uses for everyday items you'll find in your recycling bin, along with three quick, creative STEM activities your family can try with each of them. Will you make a water xylophone, a ping pong ball run or a hurricane house?