Coppice Primary

Planting the seeds of
growth and




Hello and welcome to our special page for Reception Class, known as the 'Squirrels' class! The place where children have lots of fun learning through play!

In Reception, Miss Bestwick is the class teacher and Mrs Tomlinson, Mrs Rowley  and Miss Renshaw are the Early Years Practitioners who will be working with the children throughout the week. Miss Harrison is the Early Years Co-Ordinator who will be popping in lots to check we are having lots of fun whilst we learn.

We want your child to be happy and to enjoy learning so if you have any questions or concerns please come and see us!

As we were unable to have our usual transition programme we will be having our visits and meeting with parents during the first two and a half week back in September - everyone has had a letter with this information on it as you have your own time slots!  We want to make this a positive experience for you and your child as we know if we build up good relationships from the beginning it really helps your child to become a confident, curious and happy learner! 

During the six weeks holidays we will be in touch via emails. We will also have information on this page and the 'Starting School - Reception 2020' page Please don't hesitate to get in touch with any question no matter how big or small. You can contact me by email at I know next year will be another amazing year in our Squirrels class with lots of learning and laughter happening! I really can't wait to meet you all!

Important Information for September 2020



 Meet the Squirrels Class Team


Miss Bestwick Class Teacher


Mrs Tomlinson Early Years Practitioner

Mrs Rowley Early Years Practitioner

 Miss RenshawEarly Years Practitioner

Our topic this term is

Stomp, Chomp, Big Roars – Here come the Dinosaurs!  

Here are some ideas to start with and we will continue to add to them as we go through the half term. We base our learning on a book/theme each week linked to our topic. Within this we also follow the principles of 'planning in the moment' which means that the children guide our learning following their interests so every day is full of surprises!

Please click here to open our Stomp, Chomp, BIG roars, here come the dinosaurs! topic web.

This term's topic challenges are...

Challenges for your child to work on with you during the topic. The children will receive stickers for their hand print by completing the different challenges:

1 point – bring in your favourite dinosaur story to share with the class
2 points – create a family portrait and share it with the class
3 points – practise writing your name
4 points – make a show box habitat for your favourite animal

Autumn term 1 - Week 1

Week beginning 7th September

Harry and the Dinosaurs go to School

What has Harry got in his bucket? How many dinosaurs can we count? What can we collect in our bucket? What could Harry do with his dinosaurs? What could Harry teach the dinosaurs at school?

Our new Reception children are joining Squirrel Class this week. They have been split into groups A and B and are visiting for two mornings each. This week we are starting our new topic, which is called 'Stomp, Chomp, Big Roars! Here come the dinosaurs!

We will begin the week finding out what we have all been up to during lock down and getting to know our class mates. This week’s learning will be based around the story ‘Harry and the Dinosaurs go to school’. We will think about the feelings he is feeling about starting school and compare this to our own. As part of our learning we will learn the school rules, classroom rules and good hygiene rules. We need to make sure we are washing our hands for at least 20 seconds each time we do this and making sure we catch any sneezes or coughs and bin them! In the classroom we will have hand sanitiser in different areas which the children will be using to keep their hands as clean as possible! 

There are so many activities we will complete which link to this week’s story. We will practise counting the dinosaurs and see if we can count to 10 and beyond! We will look at how they are similar as well as being different in some ways. Together we will make some big dinosaurs using our printing, painting and collage skills to start the topic display! We cannot wait to see what dinosaurs you create! We will practise filling the bucket in different ways and explore the language of capacity and volume. And just like Harry, this week we will also be practising our name writing and finding our name card to help us so we can write our name on all of our amazing paintings and mark making!

What a busy week it will be! I am sure there will be plenty of smiles, fun and laughter!

Autumn term 1 - Week 2

Week beginning 14th September

If I had a dinosaur

Which animal is the best? Can all animals be pets? How are animals the same? How are animals different? If you had a pet dinosaur how would you care for it? If you had a pet dinosaur what would you do with it? What are our classroom rules? How can we move up the behaviour ladder and what do the different pictures mean? 

This week all of our Reception children are in squirrel class for the mornings sessions and lunch time. The children will have ample opportunities to play with their new friends.

This week our class book is ‘If I had a dinosaur’. This book will allow children to explore their imagination. We will learn about lots of different animals and about what pets your child has / wants. We will also learn about different types of dinosaurs and what made each species unique. We will look closely at similarities and differences between animals.

There are so many activities we can completed linked to this book and our whole class discussions. These might include junk modelling our favourite pet, thinking carefully about the medium and colours we use. We might use simple sorting plates and venn diagrams to sort a selection of animals by their features e.g. meat eater / not and big / small.

In maths, we will continue to practise counting to 10 and beyond. We might try some tricky problems in our play for example, I have a hamster and a T-rex, how many legs? Who has more legs? How many more?

The possibilities are endless!

Autumn term 1 - Week 3

Week beginning 21st September

Dinosaurs Love Underpants

Why do dinosaurs love underpants? How do dinosaurs move? What colour/pattern are on the pants? What happened to the cave men in the story? What is a skeleton? 

This week is when the children start full time! It will also be the first week that Miss Harrison takes them to Forest School! How exciting!

During the week we will explore lots of concepts linked to the book ‘Dinosaurs love Underpants’. One of our activities will be about moving like a dinosaur - we will do this in our outside area as I am sure there will be lots of big movements and big roars! In the malleable area we will explore dinosaur bones and become fossil hunters as we brush the bones from little trays of sand. I wonder what we will find! We will sort the bones in order of size from the smallest to the largest as well as grouping the bones by size! The book will introduce us to rhyming words and we will play lots of circle time games linked to this – I wonder how many silly (fake) rhyming words we will be able to think of!

Of course we cannot read the story of 'Dinosaurs Love Underpants' without exploring pants! We will look at the different colours and patterns on the pants to help us sort them. We will go on a pant hunt and use the ones we find to make repeating patterns and to order them by size. We will open a dinosaur shop and we will design and make pants to sell. For this we will practise our knowledge of mixing primary colours and repeating patterns – I am sure they’ll be able to get the orders just right! To help us with our fine motor skills we will peg the pants on the washing line to dry! On the creative table we will print patterns on different shaped and sized pants using a range of printing tools! Outside we might even investigate which pants would make the best trampoline by exploring which pair has the stretchiest elastic!

Autumn term 1 - Week 4

Week beginning 28th September 

Would you like to own a dinosaur? How could we get our own real-life dinosaur? What are seeds? What are eggs? What is the lifecycle of a dinosaur?

How to grow a dinosaur

Of course after all these weeks of learning about dinosaurs and reading dinosaur books, the children are going to want their own pet dinosaur!

The book tells children to grow a dinosaur by planting seeds. This week we will spend lots of time in our gardening area and plant lots of seeds and bulbs. We will discuss what plants need (sun and water) and will think of ways to treat them like a VIP (sing to them, read them stories). Unfortunately, I don’t think the seeds and bulbs are a fast way to grow a dinosaur so we might get a special delivery from Mrs Seaton because we will have been so good all half term!

At the end of the week we will try and grow a dinosaur from Mrs Seaton’s eggs. To make them hatch we will need to care for them by hugging them, singing to them, dancing with them, reading to them, making them a home, keeping them warm and much more! We will use role play and cameras to make a how to care for my animal book. We will teach our pets about the behaviour ladder and the classroom rules. We might train our dinosaurs e.g. teach them how to make a sandwich, make an obstacle course and teach them how to go around it. We will also have lots of fun with them and might even get to take them home to teach them as many new skills as you can!

Autumn term 1 - Week 5

Week beginning 5th October

Another week, another great book! Julia Donaldson is well known for her books and this book is no different!

During this week we will again explore rhyming words. We will invent our own dinosaurs using our imagination and say how they are different to other dinosaurs. We will think about what makes a good friend and what to do if you feel sad and upset.

Autumn term 1 - Week 6

Week beginning 12th October

Little Red Hen

Who is the Little Red Hen? What did she do? Who are the other farm animals in the story?  What did the animals do wrong? What was the Little Red Hen making?  What ingredients do we need to make bread? How do we make bread?  What happens at Harvest time? What do farmers do?

This week we are going to learn about Harvest! We will read the story of 'The Little Red Hen'. We will read the story and then make a giant story map which we will use to retell the story. During this week we will begin to learn our talk for writing actions with 'once upon a time' and 'first'. Ask your child to show you these actions! The children will also get creative and think of their own actions for the animals in the story! We cannot wait to see the children retell this well known story! During the week the children will make their own picture story book of this story to bring home so they can retell you the story!

We will explore farm animals during the week and practise moving like these animals and making their animal sounds! In the small world area we will have the farm set out ready for the children to use to make their own stories! We will explore what farmers grow for people to eat! We will start by looking at wheat as that is what Little Red needs to make the flour to help her make bread! We will explore the amazing work that farmers do to ensure we have enough food to eat! 

As the Little Red Hen made bread in the story we think we should do the same using a simple recipe to follow! We will look at the different ingredients that we need to make bread and discuss how the ingredients change as we mix them together and leave the dough to prove! We will make our own bread roll which we will cook and then send home to taste! We will make a little loaf so we have some to taste altogether in special snack time! We cannot wait to smell the bread cooking! It will be amazing! 


Autumn term 1 - Week 7

Week beginning 19th October

What happens at Autumn time? What will we see in our outside area at Autumn on our walk? What colours are the leaves? What sounds can we make with the leaves?

Wow, by this week we will have completed our first half term in Reception! Where did that time go? This week we are going to explore the season of Autumn! In the investigation area we will have lots of different signs of Autumn which we have collected at the weekend. Using the magnifying glasses we will explore the texture, shape and colour of the leaves, pine cones and acorns which have been found! 

We will go on a walk around the school grounds looking for more signs of Autumn and we will scrunch in the leaves on the ground! When we get back to Squirrel class we will recount what we did and look at how we used our different senses to see items, hear sounds, feel signs of autumn and the smells which we experienced! 

During the week we will think about some of the animals which use Autumn time to prepare for hibernation over winter. We will make some of these animals in the creative area using our paint and collage skills.

Throughout the term, we will follow you child's interests and each day will be different to the next. Therefore, it is hard to provide a definite timetable. However, our weeks might look something like this:

Throughout the year we have lots of exciting topics planned. Click here to see an outline of our year.

Reception Important Diary Dates

Here are the dates we have so far for this half term. We will continue to add to them as the half term progresses. Also remember to check your weekly newsletter! 

Wednesday 2nd September 2020 - INSET DAY - School closed to the children.

Thursday 3rd September 2020 - School reopens  for Key Stage One and Key Stage Two classes.

Thursday 3rd September 2020 and Friday 4th September 2020 - Reception visit Squirrel class to explore their classroom. Please see your transition letter to see your appointment time. We can only have one family at a time in Reception

Monday 7th September 2020 - Reception visit Squirrel class to explore their classroom. Please see your transition letter to see your appointment time. We can only have one family at a time in Reception

Tuesday 8th September 2020 - Wednesday 9th September -  Squirrel class group A to visit for the mornings.

Thursday 10th September - Friday 11th September -  Squirrel class group B to visit for the mornings.

Monday 14th September 2020 - Friday 18th September 2020 - All reception children to visit for the mornings including lunch time.

From Monday 21st September - All reception children in for the full school day.

 Friday 23rd October - Last day of term

Monday 2nd November - INSET DAY - School closed to the children.

Tuesday 3rd November - Nursery and School reopens 


The Early Years Foundation Stage

 In Squirrels class we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage which is organised into seven areas of learning. These seven areas are as follows:
PSED - Personal, social, emotional development (developing self confidence and self awareness, making relationships as well as managing behaviour and feelings).
CL - Communication and Language (speaking, listening and understanding)
PD - Physical development (moving and handling as well as health and self care)
LIT - Literacy (reading and writing)
MATHS - Mathematics (numbers, shape, space and measures)
UW - Understanding the World (people and communities, the world and technology)
EAD - Expressive Arts and Design (exploring and using media and materials as well as being imaginative!)



In school we have a set of non-negotiables for Literacy and Mathematics for the children to aspire to by the end of each year group. Click below to see what is expected by the end of their time in Squirrels class (end of EYFS).

Writing non-negotiables for Squirrels class

Mathematics non-negotiables for Squirrels class

We work towards the Early Learning Goals (ELG's) in Squirrels class. Click on the document to see what the Early Years curriculum is all about and what the children should be able to do by the end of their time in Squirrels class.

EYFS curriculum explained for Parents/carers


Squirrels Stars of the Week

At our school we have a special 'star of the week' from each class! In Squirrels class we have Sammy Squirrel who goes home with the star of the week for a whole week and he has a special diary for the star of the week to fill in ready to be shared with the class the following week. Sammy can't wait to meet you!

Ambassador Awards 2019- 2020

This year we have incorporated the Learning Passport within a document that recognises children’s achievements in school and the wider community. What is expected in order for children to achieve their ’Ambassador Award’ comes under 4 headings:

  • Citizenship
  • Relationships
  • Learning
  • Behaviour and conduct

Each section has elements that underpin the values that as a school we hold dear. We believe that learning is something that continues every minute of the waking day and it is important to recognise children’s achievements not only in lessons but beyond. Adults in school will discuss each section with the children and how they can meet the criteria identified; we are hoping that the children will be able to take some ownership of the passport themselves!

Have a look at the Ambassador leaflet to find out more and look through 'Steps to Success' passport the Reception children will be working through this year to help them achieve their Ambassador Awards!

Ambassador leaflet - September 2018

Squirrels class - Steps to Success passport for the Ambassador Award letter - September 2018


Learning Journeys

During the last few years we have developed a way that we collect observations about what your child can do during their time in Squirrels class. We use an app called 'Early Excellence'. We will take photographs of your child completing different activities and make notes about what they are doing. One of the best features of this is that we can email you all the evidence we collect! Please make sure we have your email address and we will send you all of our observations! Don't forget to reply and let us know of any 'wow' moments you witness at home. Please see Miss Harrison for an email request form if you have not completed this in your new starters pack or you can download one by clicking on the link below.

Early Excellence consent form - September 2018

Proud cloud letters - September 2018

Proud cloud template - September 2018

Parent Workshops

During the year we hold  workshops to support parents and carers in helping their child at home. At the moment, due to Covid 19, we have not planned these. However, we hope to run these once it is safe to do so.

 Helpful Handouts for Parents

The EYFS curriculum for parents/carers handout
Dough disco information leaflet
Letters and Sounds Phase 1 booklet

Letters and Sounds Phase 2 booklet

Letters and Sounds Phase 3 booklet
Coppice Primary School and Nursery - Early language development booklet for parents

Speech sounds

Small Talk booklet - age related expectations related to communication

Communication friendly environments
Finger Rhymes

Developing core stability 

Developing early writing

Stay and Play sessions

Each term we have a stay and play session so parents, carers and other family member can join us in Squirrels class to see what we do. The children love showing everyone their classroom and the type of activities we do every day in Squirrels class. We always end with an activity for both children and adults. This could be a story, a squiggle, a dough disco or a dance! Who knows!! We like to keep it a surprise!!

The children love showing their grown ups the Squirrels classroom and EYFS outside area. We cannot wait to welcome you to our stay and play sessions this year! We are not sure when our next play and stay session will be due to Covid 19 but we already busy planning exciting things to do.

Have a question or concern?

We understand that there are times when you might have a question or concern! You have an open door policy in our school and you are always welcome and to come and speak to any member of staff. You can email me at or our EYFS co-ordinator, Miss Harrison, at Alternatively you can ring school on 01773 712840 and we will do all we can to help.

Helping at home

There are lots of things you can do to help your child. We don't have formal homework in Squirrels class but below are some ideas of what you can do which are quick and easy and will help your child consolidate skills we have taught in school. Look on each topic web for some challenges we have set the children to help them gain extra points for their reward chart in school! If you would like any help or support please ask any member of EYFS staff. We would be more than happy to help with ideas!


Your child has a reading folder which includes flashcards, a homework book and reading book. Please practise these for 5 - 10 minutes every night if possible. We will hear your child read every week in school and will practise letter sounds and high frequency words in our Letters and Sounds activities. 


Encourage your child to write their names on invitations and cards reminding them to have a capital letter at the beginning! As they learn their letter sounds help them practise writing them using the correct letter formation.

Letter formation sheet


Play board games such as 'snakes and ladders'  to encourage your child to count spaces to move their counters forwards or backward. When you are walking as the children to count how many foot steps from one place to another and ask the children to identify different numbers they see on doors or buses. Practise counting in order to at least twenty and backwards to zero.

Life skills

Encourage your child to put on and fasten their own coat, to put on their own shoes and to get dressed and undress by themselves. Remind them to wash their hands after going to the toilet and before eating a meal. When eating encourage your child to use a knife and fork correctly.