Coppice Primary

Planting the seeds of
growth and





Hello and welcome to our special page for Reception! We are really lucky to have a big and bright room with lots of different areas to explore! We have a beautiful cosy book corner, a special writing place (though we love to write wherever we can!) and a brilliantly resourced maths area as well as lots of other inviting areas for us to learn in!  Reception also have a lovely outside area which we share with Nursery so we can learn outside as well as inside! The children  have lots of fun learning through play!

In Reception, Mrs Gent is the class teacher. Miss Owen, Miss Panayiota and Miss Renshaw are our Early Years Practitioners at different times during the week. Miss Harrison teaches the class on a Wednesday morning when Mrs Gent has her PPA time. We really love working in Reception and want your child to be happy. If you have any questions or concerns please come and see us!     


 Mrs Gent

Reception class teacher

 Miss Harrison

PPA teacher/

EYFS co-ordinator



Miss Owen

Early Years


Miss Panayiota

Early Years


 Miss Renshaw


Early Years Practitioner


  Busy busy Reception children

We are so lucky to work in the best class in the school (ok we are bias!) We get to work with a class of children who are so curious and enthusiastic learners!! They always have lots of fantastic ideas which we include in our daily activities and they explain what they are doing and why!

Look at the gallery below to see what we did in Reception last year! We cannot believe how much fun we had and the year whizzed by!




This term our topic is

'Special times'

Welcome back everyone. How time flies when you're  having fun!
We are excited to be starting our new Autumn Two Topic 'Special times'. The children have contributed their ideas and shared their opinions. This Term we will be looking at: Diwali, Bonfire, Birthdays, weddings, our world, babies, friendships and communities, Hanukkah and Christmas. 



 Autumn 2 Week 1


What do we want to find out?

Where do we come from? Why do we look different? Where have we been? Why do we have different religions? Why do we celebrate different things? What do we celebrate in our families and cultures? Why? Why do we have birthdays? Why do we get married? What does a wedding look like? 

This week we will be focussing our learning around the festival of Diwali. Reading the story of “My Granny went to market on a flying carpet”  

In maths, we will be looking at counting, ordering, matching corresponding amounts and grouping. In Literacy, we will be learning about alliteration and rhyme. Continuing a rhyming string and matching rhyming pairs. We will link this activity to communication and language. Talking about our holiday experiences and where in the world we would like to travel. Our personal, social and emotional development focus this week will be based around respecting that we are all different and we are all entitled to our own opinions and ideas. In our physical, Art and design sessions, we will be using clay and play-dough to make our very own Diva lamps, as well as using strips of paper for weaving flying carpets. We will use the “secret door App” to travel magically around the world, stopping at India to watch an interactive Diwali celebration, as well as tasting traditional foods from a Diwali street party.




Autumn 2 Week 2

Bonfire night

What do we want to find out?

The night sky – Why is the sky black at night and blue in the day? Why do we have bonfire night? Why does bonfire night have a fire and fireworks? Who invented it? Does everyone in the world have a bonfire night? How can I stay safe? What are fireworks made from? What happens to fireworks after they go into the sky? 

This week we will be focussing our learning around the celebration of Bonfire night. Reading the story of “How to catch a star”

In Literacy and communication & Language, we will be talking about how we can get up to the sky and catch a star, sharing our own opinions and listening the opinions of others. We will use our “Big talk” to help us write instructions on how to catch a star. In maths, we will be counting back from 10, learning 3d shape names and describing them using their basic properties (solid and flat). In Physical development, we will be using box modelling to design and create our own “Star catcher inventions”. In art, we will be looking at the work of “Van Gough” making observations of his “Starry night” painting and recreating our own. In knowledge and understanding of the world, we will be learning about night and day, as well as revisiting the story of Guy Fawkes and his plot!

In personal, social and emotional development we will be focussing our learning around safety and how to stay safe on bonfire night.



Autumn 2 Week 3


What do we want to find out?

What is a birthday? Why do we celebrate them? Why do some people not celebrate birthdays? When were you born? When is your birthday? How old are you? Who is older? What are months of the year? Why do we have birthday cakes? 

This week we will be focussing our learning around the celebration of Birthdays. Reading the story of “Billy’s Bucket”.

All Billy wants for his a birthday is a bucket! 

In Big talk, this week we will be sharing our experiences of birthdays and what they mean to us, talking about the things, we did and the gifts we received. In literacy, this week we will be using our imagination to help us write a list of things we have found in our class birthday bucket. Why they are in there and where did they come from? In maths, we will be ordering the days of the month and learning about capacity. In expressive arts, we will be learning how to make a cake, measuring out ingredients and following instructions. In physical development, we will be using our fine motor skills to design and create birthday cards, invitations and hats.



Autumn 2 Week 4


What do we want to find out?

What is a wedding? Why do people get married? Does everyone get married? Why? Who started it? Do people have to wear white? Can they wear pink? Why do people get married in a church? What is a church? Have you been to a wedding before?

This week we will be focussing our learning around the celebration of weddings. Reading the story of “Alligators wedding” and using the Interactive White Board to look at Mrs Gent’s electronic wedding photographs.

In literacy, this week we will be writing a recount of our wedding experience at the church.

In maths, we will be using the calendar to look at ordinal numbers, as well combine groups of wedding guests and families to find a total amount.

In expressive arts, we will be using different tools, media and transparent materials to create stain glass windows.

In physical development, we will be using the different patterned hole punches and tissue paper to create our very own confetti.

In knowledge and understanding of the world we will be looking at different religious houses (Church, temple, mosque) and comparing how these are used for different wedding celebrations.



Autumn 2 Week 5

Lost and found

What do we want to find out?

Do we all celebrate the same things? Why are we different? What is the world? What is it made of? Is it one big land? How can we find out? Why are we not all from the same place? How can we support our friends and community who have different faiths and beliefs? What do we value as Coppice citizens?

This week we will be focussing our learning around the celebration of overseas friendship and being different. Reading the story of “lost and found”. 

This is a beautiful book about celebrating being different, helping each other in times of need and blossoming friendship.

In literacy, we will be making found posters to help the penguin find his way back home. In maths we will be using time vocabulary to talk about the seasons, as well as night and day. In our personal, social and emotional aspects of learning we will be using “hot seating” role- play to talk about what we would do if we were lost. In knowledge and understanding of the world we will be using Google earth to learn about continents, in particular the Arctic and Penguins. In Physical development, we will be making mosaic penguins and in expressive art’s we will be using pitch and tempo to create our very own Penguin song and dance.



Autumn 2 Week 6


What do we want to find out?

What is Hanukkah? Who celebrates it? Why don’t we? When is it celebrated? Where in the world is it celebrated? what makes it different to other celebrations? What do families do at Hanukkah?  

This week we will be focussing our learning around the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. Reading the story of “Shmelf the Elf”.

In Literacy, we will be using our literacy skills to design and write menorah cards. In Maths, we will use our number knowledge to help us count the dreidels and introduce money.

In Art, we will be decorating Hanukkah sugar cookies

In Physical development, we will be using lolly pop sticks and pipe cleaners to make stars.

In knowledge and understanding of the world, we will be reading factual books about Judaism and using BBC bite

size to watch a traditional Hanukkah celebration. We will also set up the role- play area for the children to act out a Hanukkah celebration, with menorah’s and dreidels for them to use.



Autumn 2 Week 7

The Bear who had never seen Christmas

What do we want to find out?

What does Christmas mean to you? Do all of your family and friends celebrate Christmas? Why? What do you do at Christmas? Where do you go? Who do you spend time with? Why? What happens to your pets? The animals that live outside? Why? 

This week we will be focussing our learning around, the celebration of Christmas and what it means to us. Reading the story of “The Bear who at never seen Christmas”.


In Literacy, we will be writing Christmas wishes (Christmas is special to me because….I wish that…..).

We will be using communication and language to discuss what Christmas means to us and our families and why we don’t all celebrate it. In maths we will revisit pattern and time more in depth, using an analogical clock to tell the time in hours and paper chain repeating patterns. In Knowledge and understanding of the world, we will continue our winter theme, learning about animals and hibernation. We will also use the fact files to help us answer questions about animals who hibernate and animals who do not.

In Physical development, we will be making clocks out of paper plates, card and split pins. In Expressive arts, we will be making paper chains and tree decorations. In our personal, social and emotional aspects of learning we will be talking about special people in our lives and who we would like to spend our Christmas with and why



Autumn 2 Week 8

The Nativity story

What do we want to find out?

Who invented Christmas? Where did it come from? Why do we celebrate it? Why is Santa involved? How did he become a part of Christmas? Where does Santa come from?

This week we will be focussing our learning around the Christmas Nativity and the birth of Jesus Christ.  

In literacy, we will use word cards to help us label the characters from the Nativity story. We will also be using picture cards to help us sequence and re-tell the story of the Nativity.

In maths, we will revisit number and corresponding amounts. Using the 12 days of Christmas song to support our learning.

In physical development, we will be writing letters to Santa In expressive arts and design we will be designing and creating Christmas cards for people who are special to us. In knowledge and understanding of the world, we will use Google earth to visit Bethlehem and watch a Middle Eastern nativity. We will also use Google to find out more about Santa. His full name, Where he came from and how he became an integral part of Christmas.

Dates for your diary October to December

Monday 30th October - Inset day

Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th November - Parents evening

Thursday 9th November - Individual school photographs

        Thursday 16th November - EYFS phonics workshop                          Reception open evening for 2018-2019 cohort

Friday 17th November - Children in need

Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th December - Reception/year 1 Nativity performance 2pm

Monday 18th December - Pantomime 

Thursday 21st December is Our “Santa’s workshop” Stay and play 2pm-3pm. Your child is welcome to dress up as an Elf for the day.

Friday 22nd December - Party day

Friday 22nd December - break up for the Christmas holidays! 



This term our topic is

'I am Special!'

Welcome to our class page and very first topic together. Our Topic this term is “I am Special”. It is every teacher’s favourite theme, as it allows for us all to get to know each other a little better and for us to share our likes, dislikes, interests and fascinations!

Here are some ideas to start with and we will continue to add to them as we go through the term! We also follow principles of 'planning in the moment' which means that the children guide our learning following their interests and every day is full of surprises!! 


Autumn 1 - Week 1

Mr This and Miss That

What do we want to find out?

Who are we? What are we like? Why do we have Classroom rules? Who are our class teachers? What do we look like? Why are we all different shapes and sizes?


This week we will be reading a variety of Mr Men and Little Miss books. I remember reading these as a child and can’t believe that they are still a popular choice 40 years later!


In maths we will be looking at common 2D shape names and their properties, as well as counting on to 10. In Literacy we will be using our flash cards to find our own names and practise writing them. We will link this activity to communication and language. Encouraging the children to choose the Mr Man/Little Miss character that most resembles them and why. Our PSED focus this week will be based around friendships, behaviours and expectations. We will introduce our behaviour chart, using Mr Grumpy, Mr Messy and Little Miss Chatterbox.


We look forward to seeing you all in class, so please remember to pop in and say hello. A polite reminder that Reception children are only in school for a half day this week and should be collected at 1pm from the classroom.


Autumn 1 - Week 2

Scaredy Squirrel

What do we want to find out?

What is a Squirrel? Why is he scared? What are we scared of? How are we feeling this week? How will we know what to do every day? Who can help us at school? What is a timetable and why did Squirrel need it?


We are officially known as “The Squirrel class” this year. So it seemed only fitting to get excited and buy this book!

The children are in school full time as of this week, so please remember to send in named PE kits and bags.

In Literacy this week the children will be using their mark making skills to write a list of supplies for their emergency safety kits (Just like Scaredy Squirrel). We will be linking maths and PSED together this week. Focussing on our feelings and our worries. We will then use a simple pictogram to collect our data. We will revisit our pictogram at the end of the term, to compare how our feelings have changed. Children love technology so we will be using it to look at real life squirrels and their natural habitats. The children will then use the box modelling materials to create their very own squirrel house and later talk about how animal houses are different to ours.

A polite reminder that Wednesday 13th September is Roald Dahl day. The whole school are invited to dress up as Roald Dahl characters for the day…I can’t wait!



Autumn 1 - Week 3

The best part of me

What do we want to find out?

Who are you? How do you know? Are we all the same or different? In what way? Why? What do you like/dislike? Why? What are you good at? What would you like to get better at?


This is an absolutely beautiful book, about children and their perceptions of themselves. We will use it as our “talk tool” in discussions about what we like and dislike; what we are good at and what we want to get better at. We will then use knowledge to set our own targets and create our very own class book.

In maths this week we will be using our fingers and toes to count on and back to 10. We will also use prepositional language to describe where squirrel is. In Understanding the World the children will be learning how to look closely at similarities and differences, ready for our Autumn 2 Topic. So we will be giving them a “Cheeky Challenge” this week. “Who am eye” and “I nose you”. We will have a selection of eyes and nose pictures around the classroom and the children have to work together to figure out who they belong to. Please feel free to come in at the end of the day and have a go too!


Autumn 1 - Week 4

Only One You

What do we want to find out?

What makes you different and unique? What do choices and consequences mean? What job would you like to do when you grow up? Who are your friends? How can you be a good friend?

This week the children will be using their PSED skills to focus on what makes them special and unique. Each child will have the opportunity to decorate their very own stone fish. Choosing colours and materials to create effect. In literacy children will be beginning to independently apply their phonic knowledge to their writing. We will complete speech bubbles “I am special and unique because…” In maths we will be looking at patterns and shape; using practical materials to re-create and create our own. In Expressive Arts and Design we will use music and movement to represent the sounds and moves of the ocean. During circle time we will discuss making our own choices and how to feel confident enough to do so.



Autumn 1 - Week 5

The Helpful Hedgehog

What do we want to find out?

Where do we live? Who/What else lives here? How can we help to look after our environment and community? Why is the weather changing? What happens in the Autumn? What is harvest?


This week we will be using our communication and language and understanding the world knowledge to talk about family - where we come from, where we live and who else lives here. As well as learn more about our local environment and how we can look after it. This week’s story will take us on an outside adventure (depending on the weather, wellies may be needed). We will look at the changes we are starting to notice in our environment. We will talk about animals and their families getting ready for Winter and how they have to work together to help each other. We will look at different Autumnal fruits and even have a go at tasting them. The children will be learning about harvest and helping those who need it; just like our Hedgehog. In maths we will be collecting natural resources from outside, sorting them and then counting them to see which has the most/fewest. We will also work together as a team to create an “Andy Goldsworthy” inspired floor collage! In literacy we will be labelling the parts of a Hedgehog. We will also work together in teams to create our very own Hedgehog poem ready for Harvest Festival.


A polite reminder that Our Harvest Festival assembly is on the 5th October.



Autumn 1 - Week 6

The Beautiful Oops

What do we want to find out?

What happens if I make a mistake? How can I get better at something I find challenging? Who can help me? Why is it important tell the truth?


This week we aim to focus on making mistakes and learning from them. This book is absolutely fabulous at showing children how to turn an Oops into something beautiful. We will be focusing on PSED and communication and language this week, to help develop mindfulness, self-confidence and self-awareness. In literacy we will be creating our own mindfulness posters. Children will draw a picture of a mistake and using their mark making skills, write about how they could turn it into something beautiful. In maths we will be comparing height, using the children. We will estimate, measure and compare our findings together. Estimating and comparing allows children to see that it is ok if you don’t guess accurately and get it right the first time. As long as we keep trying! Our art area this week will be full of scrap materials and a selection of tools; for the children to create their very own “beautiful something”. 




Autumn 1 - Week 7

Super Kid!

What do we want to find out?


What does super mean? Can anyone be super? How? How can be a super hero? Do you know any super heroes? What do they do?


It is finally here…Super hero week! This week we will be reading the Story “Super kid” learning all about his super skills at defeating bullies, tidying bedrooms and tackling Aunties dreaded broccoli! In literacy the children will be making plans, designing their own super hero costume and making lists of the materials they will need. They will then use their plans to create their very own super hero capes in the art area. In maths this week we will be measuring the different lengths of spider man’s web, using cubes. We will then order them by longest to shortest and discuss how we know. We will be using tweezers in the physical development area this week, to pick out the spiders from the web, sorting them into biggest and smallest. Parents/carers please be warned, the fake spiders look very real!

A polite reminder that this Friday, the 20th October, is Super hero day. Reception children are invited to come in dressed as a super hero for the day (Pound land and more in Ilkeston have a cape and mask for a pound!). Parents/carers are also invited to come and join us in the afternoon for our first stay and play session to participate in a super hero obstacle course!




The Early Years Foundation Stage


In Reception 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 Reception.

Writing non-negotiables for Reception

Mathematics non-negotiables for Reception 

We work towards the Early Learning Goals (ELG's) in Reception. 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 Reception.

EYFS curriculum explained for Parents/carers

Talk for Writing

This year we have introduced 'Talk for writing' at our school. Reception will be learning these actions and many more! Ask your child to teach you!


          Once upon a time                       First



                  Next                          Finally


Ask your child to retell one of our stories using these action!! They will impress you!!


Reception Stars of the Week


At our school we have a special 'star of the week' from each class! In Reception we have Hugo Husky 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. Hugo can't wait to meet you!


Reception newsletters


We have a weekly newsletter which will keep everyone informed about what we are doing and what we will be learning about in the future. The newsletter will come home every Friday but we will also put a copy here on our web page.




We believe in having a good partnership with parents and carers. Together we can help your child to become a happy and successful learner!

 Welcome to Reception

 If you have any questions please don't hesitate to come and see any of the Reception staff. There is also lots of information in our Welcome to Reception Booklet 2016. You can download another copy by clicking on the link below.

Welcome to Reception Booklet September 2017

Topic overview

We believe that parents and carers should be fully informed about what their child is learning in school. At the start of each topic we send home a topic overview so you can see what activities the children.

'I am Special' topic overview 2017 

Topic challenge

We have set the children the holiday challenge of creating a 'chatterbox' which they can share with their new classmates in the first week of term. Click on the link below to find out more information!

 Chatterbox holiday challenge - August 2017

Ambassador Awards 2017-2018

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 2017

Reception - Steps to Success passport for the Ambassador Award.


Learning journeys

During the last few years we have developed the way that we collect observations about what your child can do during their time in Reception. From September we are going to use an app called 'Early Excellence' on our ipads. 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 or Mrs Gent 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 2017


Parent workshops

During the year we hold  workshops to support parents and carers in helping their child at home.


The EYFS curriculum for parents/carers handout

Our dough disco workshop was very well attended last year  and gave the children to opportunity to show what dough disco is all about!! If you want to know more about dough disco have a look at our dough disco booklet to learn those different dance moves so you too can have super strong fingers ready for writing!

Dough disco information leaflet

We have held a workshop about letters and sounds  to share useful tips about how we teach the children to use phonics to help them learn to read and write. We have made booklets to explain what we cover in each phase group. These have been sent home and you can find copies of them here! If you have any questions please don't hesitate to come and see me.

Letters and Sounds Phase 1 booklet

Letters and Sounds Phase 2 booklet

Letters and Sounds Phase 3 booklet

At the begining of the Spring term we held a parents workshop to share what we do in school to develop communication and language skills and what you can do at home. Here are some of the handouts which were given out. If you would like a pack please come and see me.

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

Here are some of the handouts about how to support physical development for your EYFS child. If you would like a pack with all this information please come and see me.

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 Reception to see what we do. The children love showing everyone their classroom and the type of activities we do every day in Reception. 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 Reception classroom and EYFS outside area. Last year we finished one of the sessions with everyone retelling the story of 'Supertato' using our talk for writing strategies!!  Look at the photographs to see what fun we had!! We cannot wait to welcome you to our stay and play sessions this year!




Our next stay and play session will be on Friday 20th October at 2pm. We hope you can join us! 


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. Alternatively you can ring school on 01773 712840 or email me at or our EYFS co-ordinator, Miss Harrison on and we will do all we can to help.


Reception Dates

We will put all the important dates for Reception here on our webpage as well as on our weekly newsletter! More dates will be added as soon as we have them!


Monday 4th September – INSET day. School closed to the children.

Tuesday 5th September – First day of the school term!

Wednesday 13th September – Roald Dahl dress up day!!

Friday 22nd September – Dress up as a superhero day in support of Childhood Cancer Day!

Thursday 5th October – EYFS Harvest Festival in the school hall at 9.15am. Everyone welcome!!

Thursday 19th October (provisional date) – Years 1 – 6 Harvest Festival in the school hall at 9.15am. Everyone welcome!!

Friday 20th October – Reception dress up as a superhero day to celebrate the end of our first term at school!

 Friday 20th October – Reception stay and play session for family and friends at 2pm

Friday 20th October – Last day of term

Monday 30th October – INSET day. School closed to the children.

Tuesday 31st October – First day of the school term!


Helping at home!


There are lots of things you can do to help your child. We don't have formal homework in Reception 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. Also remember you can log on to Bug Club! Follow this link The school code is 7lwj. The password for all Reception children is hen. Please see Miss Harrison for your child's username!


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.