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Reception Curriculum

The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (Reception Year) and the National Curriculum (Years 1 and 2) are taught within purposeful, exciting Learning Journeys, which follow the children’s interests and teach the key skills in all areas of learning. Each Learning Journey covers different areas of the curriculum, always incorporating English and Maths.  The Learning Journeys start with engaging ‘hooks’, for example, a letter, a visitor, a phone call and then follow through to a purposeful and engaging outcome. The children are often set a challenge which leads to a purposeful outcome. Each Learning Journey incorporates one of the children’s rights from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), as we equip our children with the knowledge, skills and understanding to function as local, global and national citizens.


Examples of some of the children’s work can be seen on our Class Pages on our website.





Rights Respecting School Award

We are very proud to have achieved UNICEF’s ‘Rights Respecting Schools Level 2 Award’ (RRSA). This is a national award that promotes the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), a convention recognised by all but two countries in the world.  There are a large number of schools across the country working towards this award.


The Rights Respecting Schools programme teaches children about ‘The Rights of the Child’, which were originally laid down by the United Nations.  It encourages children to understand that all over the world children have the same rights. 


At The Gattons children learn that they have a responsibility to respect and uphold their rights and those of other children.  They also learn how wants differ from needs.  Most importantly, they learn that it is their needs that correspond to their rights; not their wants.


As a school we have created a School Charter, which the children have played an integral part in establishing.  This is called ‘Our Rights Respecting Rainbow’ (see overleaf).  It focuses on the rights of the child and the responsibilities associated with those rights.  The rights on our rainbow are taken from some of the articles in the UNCRC. We have chosen a rainbow as our rights respecting symbol so that each right and responsibility can be associated with one colour from the rainbow. 


‘Our Rights Respecting Rainbow’ forms an integral part of our school reward system throughout the school.  Every Friday we hold a Celebration Assembly when children who have been chosen for behaving in a responsible way by respecting their own rights or the rights of others are awarded a special ‘leaf’ to hang on our ‘Thank you tree’.  If your child is chosen you will be invited to attend this special assembly.


Artsmark - Bringing learning to life through arts and culture

Following an in-depth assessment process in 2018, we are delighted to have achieved the ‘Artsmark Silver Award’. Artsmark is a creative quality standard for schools, accredited by Arts Council England that enables schools to develop, celebrate and strengthen our commitment to arts and cultural education.

Every child in our school is encouraged to enjoy and achieve in the arts through Art and Design, Dance, Drama, Music and Creative Writing within our creative curriculum. Staff and children are given the opportunity to work with professional artists and arts organisations. Through the Arts, pupils gain in confidence and self esteem and learn to work both as team members and independently.



Travel Award
We are all very proud to have received Travel Mark Award Scheme Level 3 in 2012.  This is West Sussex County Council's highest 'Travelwise' standard and is only given to schools that are committed to ongoing excellence in safe and sustainable travel.  The Gattons is the first school in Burgess Hill to receive this award. 





Healthy School Award

We have retained our Healthy School Award, which recognises our work to promote a healthy lifestyle for all children.




Eco-school Award

We are proud to hold a silver level Eco-school Award, which reflects our young children’s works to ensure that we look after our environment.


Fair Active School Award

We have achieved Fair Active School status which demonstrates our commitment to Fair Trade in our school community.



Quality Start Award

We have achieved the silver quality start award which recognises and rewards schools for their commitment to PE, School Sport and Healthy and Active Lifestyles. 


The Early Years Foundation Stage

When the children start in our Reception classes, they will be in the Early Years Foundation Stage of learning, which began in their pre-school stage of education and covers all ages up to five years.  The curriculum for the Foundation Stage builds on a child’s previous learning, and underpins all future learning by fostering and developing the seven areas of learning:-

There are three prime areas:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development


and four specific areas through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.  The specific areas are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design




Our curriculum is planned to provide the children with a rich mix of experiences, both indoors and outdoors. The pictures on these pages give a brief example of some of the exciting activities undertaken by the Reception children.