5 differences between Year One and Reception half a term in

So here we are. Our first half term of Year One and boy is he ready for the break. Where most of the Country broke up last week, we are only just getting a week off and he has been absolutely exhausted. The last week has been him getting home and struggling to stay awake on the sofa until bedtime. And when his head hits that pillow at night, he is out like a light. The previous tossing and turning and taking fifteen minutes or so to fall asleep, has been replaced by snoring withing minutes – absolutely exhausted! Along with this extra tiredness, a lot has changed in the last almost eight weeks. Some real noticeable changes between how he was in reception and how he is now, along with the noticeable differences between Year One and Reception.

Differences Between Year One and Reception


Rapid reading improvement

This is probably the biggest shift that I have noticed in the last couple of weeks – my boy can read! I mean, he obviously started to learn his phonics and how to blend sounds together to read words in Reception, but it felt like the actual reading thing was taking forever. Getting him to try and read the book he brought home from school each week was an absolute nightmare, he just wasn’t interested. Fast forward to now and not only does he regularly sit down and read the books from school without any fight, but he also grabs books at home too and tries to read them. My most favourite thing is when he sits down and tries to read to Oscar, because I can see in the future that this is going to be a regular thing.


A discovery of maths

Something that was only really noticeable towards the end of Reception but that is now coming out in full force. “Mum, four plus five is nine” has been the equation of the week. There is a lot of focus on Maths in Year One. He is now obsessed with numbers, and apparently that seems to show in school too as at parents evening on Thursday, his teacher informed me that he is very good at maths and is picking it up super quick πŸ™‚


Differences Between Year One and Reception


After school clubs

A big difference between Year One and Reception, is the introduction of after school clubs – something that was never a part of Reception because they were too little and too tired to do anything other than go home, eat all the food and wait it out until bedtime. But as soon as Year One started, so did the possible after school clubs. When I got the letters home to say that there was a multi-skills PE session on a Monday and football club on a Thursday, I was at the school office the very next morning handing the signed forms back (alongside a million other parents who were equally as organised), and he was accepted onto both clubs. I have learnt since then that he really isn’t interested in further football clubs, but does love the multi-skills one. I am of the opinion that it’s worth giving them all a go once.


More homework

It’s ramping up. Well, I say that – it was only last week that we had the first piece of homework home because they have been sorting out a new and improved way of setting it. But from what I was told at parents evening, each week we will be getting one sheet of maths homework, one piece to do with whatever they have been learning that week, and one sheet of words from the reading book to focus on and choose whatever we wish to do with them – whether it be getting him to read them, spell them, or put them into his own sentences. In reception, homework was one simple sheet of paper – mostly with writing practice – so three bits each week is a big change. We also have two reading books that come home each week for him to read, so I am very pleased that he suddenly likes reading them and that he seems to be much better sitting down and doing his homework!


Less attitude?

I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not, but I feel like as part of his moving into Year One, and as part of his growing up in recent weeks – his rubbish attitude is far less obvious to us. Both myself and the other half have mentioned it but it feels like I am not being that shouty Mum as much as I have previously been. And I quite like it.


Differences Between Year One and Reception


These are the five major differences between Year One and Reception that I have noticed over the past few weeks. I am sure there is so much more to come. What major changes did you notice when your little one moved up to Year One?


  1. October 28, 2018 / 8:50 am

    The change, year on year is quite amazing. As a teacher in the early years, I see the difference in the same children from nursery to reception, which is huge, because expectations change.
    Then you’re right, from reception to year one, it’s another huge leap, in the way they learn and how they seem to handle it. They still seem so little, yet they are writing sentences and reading, and maths means something, other that counting to 20!
    Enjoy it, and embrace a the changes. They keep coming… I’m dealing with first year GSCE child and year six SATs kid at the moment!!

  2. October 28, 2018 / 9:23 am

    Oh he’s doing so well. We’ve just started reception and gained all the attitude! It’s crazy to how much he’s learnt already and to even think about yr 1 has me in loops!

    • November 8, 2018 / 9:44 pm

      haha – yep it all gets a bit serious in year one but it’s nothing to worry about at all πŸ™‚

  3. October 29, 2018 / 7:37 am

    Ah it sounds like he’s had a great first half term back at school! I think they do mature quite a bit on year 1. Reception is still a lot of play and finding their feed whereas year 1 is more knuckling down! And less attitude is always a good thing!!

    • November 8, 2018 / 9:43 pm

      Definitely – I was super worried about the transition into year one as he told me he was worried about the lesser play aspect, but he is doing just fab and I had nothing to worry about πŸ™‚

  4. October 30, 2018 / 7:06 am

    This is so interesting to read. My little boy has gone from 2 days at a childminders to 3 at preschool and we’ve really seen the difference too

    • November 8, 2018 / 9:43 pm

      Oh yes. I remember both when Zach upped his days at nursery, but also every time he moved into the next room up. He suddenly learn more and more stuff every time. So much fun to watch them learning πŸ™‚

  5. October 30, 2018 / 8:14 am

    The Change is a big step. I’ve done it twice now and won’t be long before Ill be doing it with Nila πŸ™‚

    • November 8, 2018 / 9:42 pm

      Aww I’m so glad I get to go through all this again. Watching them learn is just amazing πŸ™‚

  6. October 30, 2018 / 10:30 am

    It’s funny how different schools are. Our school let’s reception do after school clubs after the first half term settling in period. The homework in reception and year one is just a project. Now in year 2 we are getting some spellings on top of the projects plus we had some phonics over half term. Sometimes I wish it was just a worksheet we could work through as I think M would prefer that.
    It’s great when the reading suddenly clicks. M became a “free reader” in Year 1 and she’s now allowed to read anything. I was so glad to say goodbye to Biff and Chip!

    • November 8, 2018 / 9:41 pm

      Haha yes, old Biff and Chip – so annoying! It sure is funny how different the schools work.

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