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New report highlights inconsistencies in reception education standards

01/12/2017 Joanna

Analysis from schools regulator Ofsted has shed light on inconsistencies in the quality of reception-level education that need to be addressed.

As part of a wider review of the curriculum in England, the regulator found that around one-third of all five-year-olds are not receiving the standard of reception education they require, while nearly half of disadvantaged children are failing to meet expected levels of development at this important early stage.

The report indicated that the best reception schools encourage children to learn to read quickly and easily, to enjoy listening to stories, to learn poems and rhymes by heart and gain an understanding of numbers through practical activities, as well as developing their personal, social and emotional skills through play.

Headteachers surveyed as part of the report indicated that newly-qualified teachers are often not well prepared to teach reading, writing or basic maths in reception, while issues were also raised about the benefits of the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.

To address these issues, Ofsted is recommending that more needs to be done to put reading at the heart of the reception curriculum, with a focus on developing children's spoken language and phonics, as well as making sure that children sit at tables when they learn to write.

It was also proposed that the profile of early mathematics teaching needs to be raised, with the Department for Education called upon to make a similar investment in this area as that seen in the teaching of phonics.

Chief inspector Amanda Spielman said: "The best schools know how to design their curriculum so that children's learning and development sets them up well for the rest of their schooling.

"Reception should not just be a repeat of what children learned in their nursery or pre-school, or with their childminder. They deserve better than facing years of catching up."

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