Speaking and Listening

  • Speaking clearly and grammatically
  • Listening carefully
  • Acting out stories
  • Singing songs with actions and intonation
  • Taking part in ‘show and tell’ sessions; for example, your child may make a model at home, and tell the class about it
  • Making up stories, rhymes and poems


  • Naming and sounding the letters of the alphabet
  • Linking sounds to letters (phonics)
  • Recognising groups of letters, for example, ‘oo’ and ‘ee’
  • Hearing and saying sounds in words
  • Recognising familiar and common words
  • Understanding a story has a beginning, middle and end


  • Using a pencil and holding it correctly
  • Writing recognisable letters, mostly formed correctly and facing the right way
  • Writing their name
  • Writing labels, captions and mini books
  • Using phonics to write simple consonant-vowel-consonant words, and having a go at more complicated words
  • Beginning to form simple sentences
  • Using basic punctuation
  • Beginning to learn to spell


Speaking and Listening

  • Sing songs together.
  • In the car, listen to story CDs.
  • When you read a new story, ask your child to predict the ending.
  • Look at a picture book together and play a spotting game.


  • Read with your child every day – little and often is the best way to learn.
  • Make it enjoyable – if your child isn’t in the mood, try again later.
  • Rhyming books are great fun and your child can join in.
  • Be a role model – it’s important to let your child see you reading.
  • Play with letters: make them out of dough, bricks, or buy some magnetic letters and stick them on the fridge.
  • Play I-spy when you go out – use the sound the letter makes, rather than its name.


  • Develop fine motor skills: try modelling with clay or threading beads. Anything fiddly is good for the hands.
  • Practise forming letters – it’s often easier to make them big at first.
  • If your child doesn’t want to pick up a pencil, try finger paints, or drawing in sand.



Numbers as Labels and for Counting

  • Counting up to ten and beyond, using cardinal numbers
  • Recognising the numbers 1 to 9
  • Counting aloud in ones, twos, fives, tens
  • Estimating a number of objects and checking by counting
  • Matching and comparing the number of objects in two groups
  • Counting out a number of objects from a larger group
  • Positioning items according to their place in a group using ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc.)


  • Using a number line to count on and back
  • Finding one more or one less than a number from 1 to ten
  • Sharing objects into equal groups and counting how many are in each group
  • Understanding that ‘addition’ means combining and ‘subtraction’ means taking away
  • Finding the total number of items in two groups by counting them all
  • Comparing numbers and recognising which is ‘more’ or ‘less’

Shapes, Space and Measurement

  • Comparing quantities and using words such as ‘greater’, ‘smaller’, ‘heavier’ or ‘lighter’
  • Recognising and creating their own simple patterns
  • Naming and describing the shape and size of solid (3D) and flat (2D) shapes
  • Using everyday words to describe the position of objects
  • Sorting familiar objects and describing their differences and similarities
  • Making patterns and building models
  • Putting two or three items in order, according to their length or weight
  • Matching shapes and patterns
  • Building on a basic understanding of time: putting familiar events in sequence; measuring time, using a sand-timer


  • Practise counting – you can do this anywhere: count toys, books, how many buses you see when you go out.
  • Play hide and seek – again, good practice for counting.
  • Save your cereal boxes and cardboard tubes for making models.
    Your child will think they’re making a castle; you’ll know they’re learning about shapes!
  • Do a jigsaw together – a fun way to develop spatial awareness and matching skills.
  • Play card games – even a simple game of snap helps to develop number recognition.
  • Have a teddy bears’ picnic: count out toys, place settings, and share out the cakes.
  • Put up a height chart and mark each member of the family’s height.
  • At bathtime, play with different-sized containers.



  • Minibeasts (insects)
  • Animals
  • Plants
  • People who help us
  • Festivals and celebrations
  • Ourselves
  • Where we live
  • Water
  • Seasons and weather
  • Communities and cultures
  • Time

Investigation and Exploration

  • How to use their senses to investigate objects and materials
  • Looking at objects and observing similarities, differences, patterns and changes
  • Finding out and identifying features of living things, objects and events

Design and Construction

  • Using a wide range of materials to build
  • Choosing the right tools to make, measure, cut and join
  • Making an object with a purpose and being able to describe it


  • How we use ICT in everyday situations
  • Programmable toys
  • How to complete a simple program on a computer
  • Using a mouse and keyboard and being able to click on an icon


  • Go for a walk and make up a nature box with leaves, twigs, fir cones or anything else you find.
  • Experiment with water – put objects in the bath and get your child to guess which will float, and which will sink.
  • Blow bubbles – then see which way the wind blows them.
  • Visit a museum and look for the oldest things your child can find.
  • Take a magnifying glass into the garden and go on a bug hunt. Draw pictures of the insects you see with your child.
  • Think about your route to school and make a map, including any important buildings.