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St Barnabas

& St Paul's Church of England Primary School

Understanding the World

Reception Curriculum Progression and Expectations

Understanding the World

It is expected children will be secure at 40 - 60 months by the end of the Autumn term, begin working on the early learning goals in Spring term and securing these by the end of summer term.


  • Children have opportunity to talk about their own family and community. With an awareness of roles and occupations of others. 
  • Children observe and talk about similarities, differences, patterns and change in the environment. 
  • Children can use ICT with awareness of safety and begin to understand its purpose both at school and home.  


Summer Term



They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others (including families, communities and traditions). 


Throughout the school year children are involved in learning about and celebrating events from around the world. They learn how each event differs from another (what makes us ‘unique’). Through discussion at circle time children learn how to identify similarities and differences between them and their friends. 

  Children know about similarities and differences in      relation to places, objects and materials. 

Children are taught about different places of worship (e.g. Church, Mosque) and about different countries and cultures around the world. The classroom investigation provides opportunities for children to explore a wide range of similarities, differences and changes.

 Children know about similarities and differences in   relation to living things (animals and plants). 


  Building on the work completed on seasonal changes,    and the learning children completed in Spring term        on plants and animals, adults check children’s                  understanding through discussion and questioning.        Children will have experiences of sorting, categorising    and identifying similarities and differences. 



  • By sharing experiences about own immediate family and community, children get a sense of belonging. They begin to observe similarities and differences between families, customs and traditions whilst also understanding the importance of respect and tolerance. Differences between us are celebrated and accepted. 
  • Children begin to make connections be recognising similarities and differences. They can identify patterns and transfer this skill across the curriculum, making connections and links within their learning. 
  • Children begin to understand the purpose of ICT and know when ICT would be useful for specific purposes or to support learning. This knowledge can support children’s uses of ICT at home and school and they are taught how to use ICT safely.