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! Don't hesitate to get in touch with any question no matter how big or small. Email me at

I know next year will be another amazing year in our Squirrel class with lots of learning and laughter happening! 

 Meet the Squirrels Class Team


Miss Bestwick Class Teacher


Mrs Tomlinson Early Years Practitioner

Mrs Rowley Early Years Practitioner

 Miss Renshaw

Early Years Practitioner

Our topic this term is

‘People who help us...’

Below you will find a brief overview of this term’s topic. Under each week, we have listed some ideas to start with and we will continue to add to them as we go through the half term. We base our learning around a 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 and so every day is full of surprises!

For this half term PE lessons are on a Tuesday morning. This half term our PE lessons will take place inside and outside depending on the weather. This half term’s unit will be taught by our professional sports coach, Mr Singh. Please ensure your child has the appropriate clothing / uniform for each day. Please make sure that they do not wear jewellery including earrings on this day. Thank you.

This half term we will not be having forest school sessions.

Please click here to open this term’s ‘People Who Help Us' topic web.

This term's topic challenges are...

1 point – create a piece of art linked to a person who helps you.

2 points – learn a song / nursery rhyme linked to a person who helps you.

3 points –  draw your favourite person who helps you and label their body / uniform.

4 points –  make a person who helps you fact file. Teach the class about their job role.

These are challenges for your child to work on with you at home throughout this half term’s topic.

The children will receive a sticker for their hand print for completing each of the different challenges.

The children’s sticker total is counted up every half term. Different totals equate to different prizes!

For completing these challenges, the children also get points on their ambassador passports. Let’s keep working towards our bronze, silver and gold badges!

Summer Term 1 – Week 1

Week Commencing Monday 25th April 2022

People who help us in school and The Police

Who helps us at Coppice? Where do people work in the school? Who are the Police? What do they wear? Where are they based? What do they travel in or on? How do I contact them? What do they do to help me? What do I want to know from the Police?

Wow – what a way to start our summer term!  This week we are going to start a new topic which is called 'People who help us!!  We will be starting by learning about the Police as well as thinking about who helps us in school.

During the week, we will be going on a walk around the school and meeting lots of people who help us. This will help the children become more familiar with the school layout and other staff members ready for their transition to Year One. As part of our topic work in the afternoons, we will be trying to find our way around the school and be learning to follow and make maps.

In Literacy, we will be reading the story ‘Burglar Bill’ to help us with our learning about the Police and their roles. As usual, we will complete a range of adult led writing activities and be encouraged to challenge ourselves to complete the independent writing activities that Sammy Squirrel has set! We will be making lists about what he stole, writing character descriptions on a wanted poster, making story maps and writing apology letters.

This half term our writing targets will be focused on the children becoming independent writers! Can they think of their own sentence? Can they remember it? Can they count the words in a sentence? Can they sound out each word and record it using their phase 3 graphemes? Can they spell the phase 2 and 3 tricky words correctly? Can they use fingers spaces and full stops?

In numeracy, we are going to consolidate all the skills we have learnt throughout the year and ensure we have mastered our Early Learning Goals so that we are ready for year one! This week we are going to focus on recalling our number bonds to 5 and 10!

In the afternoons, we will also be having weekly handwriting sessions so that our writing can be the best it can be in preparation for year one! We really do want to make Mrs Heywood proud!

In afternoon topic lessons and in the continuous provision we will continue to explore the Police and their job. Rianne Holland from the local Police force will hopefully be attending school and will be answering all the questions children have! You never know, she might also bring a police car for us to sit in!

Our outside role play area will become a Police station and the children will be able to roleplay being super heroes and helping those in need. In adventure island we will have small world people, police characters and burglar for children to make their own Burglar Bill stories. In the creative station we will be creating lots of different pieces of art to add to our display including collage police vehicles and junk modelled walkie talkies.

WOW moment: meeting Police Officers

Summer Term 1 – Week 2 

Week Commencing Tuesday 3rd May 2022


Who are the Fire service?  What do they wear?  Where are they based?  What do they travel in? How do I contact them? What do they do to help me? What do I want to know from the Fire fighters? What equipment do they use? Why are they superheroes? Why do we need them?

This is one of Miss Bestwick’s favourite weeks! This week we are going to visit the firefighters at Heanor Fire Station as part of our learning to see what a working fire station looks like and see what equipment is carried on the fire engine. We will also explore what fire fighters wear to protect themselves when they go out on different jobs. During our visit, we will again have lots of questions to ask the firefighters.

This week, in Literacy, we will be reading the story ‘Fireman Fergus’. Again, as usual, we will be completing a range of adult led and independent child-initiated writing experiences. Some of them being: labelling a firefighter and their equipment, labelling a fire engine and the equipment, writing captions and sentences about our trip, writing questions for the firefighters, writing thank you letters and writing stop, drop, roll instructions.

In numeracy, we will continue to focus on our number bonds to 5 and 10 however, this week we will be using them to work out our subtraction facts. E.g. we know 4 and 6 make 10 (4+6=10) so we also know 10-4=6 10-6=4. Practise makes perfect and by the end of the year children should be able to recall these without reference to rhymes, counting aids or using their fingers. Wouldn’t that be impressive!

In our afternoon topic lessons, we will explore loud and quiet sounds and high and low pitch sounds in music. We will listen to a fire alarm and think about why that sound has been chosen. We again, we explore maps linked to our journey to the Fire Station.

In adventure island we will have all the props from this week’s story for the children to use to retell the story. In the land of far away we will have phones to call 999 and danger labels to identify things that might be a fire risk and need adult supervision. In the big build area, we will be making our own fire engine using mechano and making different sized buildings and fire stations using the bamboo shapes.

WOW moment: Visiting the Fire Station

Summer Term 1 - Week 3

Week Commencing Monday 9th May 2022

Medical Professionals

Who can help us when we are poorly? When we have a cold do we need to do to the hospital? When might we need the hospital? When might we need to go to the doctors? What is the difference between hospitals and doctors surgeries? Who would we find in the medical places such as a doctors surgery, a hospital or at the dentists? What do medical people wear? What do they travel in? How do I contact them? What do they do to help me? What do I want to know from the doctors/nurses? What equipment do they use?

 This is going to be a busy week as we are looking at lots of different medical professionals and explore what they do to help us! We will be exploring doctors and nurses and be finding out what equipment they use to help them do their jobs. This will include a stethoscope, bandages and a torch to see in our throats.

In literacy, we will be looking at two books throughout the week ‘going to the dentist’ and ‘going to the doctors’. Our adult led tasks this week will include writing instructions how to brush your teeth and making a booklet explaining how doctors can help us and when to call them.

In numeracy, we will be focussing this week on counting accurately using 1:1 correspondence. We will be counting verbally beyond 20 and practising writing numerals to 10 and beyond. We will be comparing quantities to 10 in different contexts and recognising when one quantity is greater than, lesser than or the same / equal to the other quantity.

In topic, we will be learning about the importance of looking after our mental health as well as our physical health. We will be taking time to practice mindfulness, do some yoga and spend some time outside. This week we are going to explore our sensory herb garden and plant some new plants. We are also going to start to encourage wildlife especially bees to visit our gardening area by making some sweet treats that they will love!

We will be creating our own hospital in the role play area where the children will be able to recreate the roles of doctors, nurses and patients. We will use our mark making skills to make patient notes, appointments and write prescriptions. We will also be labelling parts of the body and of course we will be singing lots of songs including heads, shoulders, knees and toes and Doctor Foster!

As part of our learning about doctors and nurses we will look at paramedics and how these are important people who come to our rescue if we need medical help before we get to the hospital. We will make our own ambulance using a range of our large construction materials. I wonder what features we will be able to make and include in our design!

Finally, we will learn about dentists and how these amazing people look after our teeth. We will remind ourselves about how we brush our teeth and why we need to do this twice daily as part of our learning about oral health which is embedded in our curriculum. We will revisit our tooth brushing song and of course practise brushing our teeth again to keep those fillings at bay!

WOW moment: Hopefully, some of our parents who work for our amazing NHS will be visiting us to answer our questions! Gardening!

Summer Term 1 - Week 4

Week Commencing Monday 16th May 2022

PDSA / Vets

Do people who help us (our superheroes) only help people? Which pets do we have? How do we look after pets? Who are the PDSA? What do the PDSA do? What do vets do? Who do vets look after? Where could we find a vet in Heanor? What equipment do they use?

This week in Literacy we will be reading ‘Mog and the Vee Ee Tee’. How do we know what animals need? How do we need to treat animals? How do we know when they are poorly?  Every day this week, we will be learning about different pets and how to look after them. This will include cats, dogs, fish, hamster, snake and spiders. Do they all need the same thing? Do they all like to live in the same environment? As part of our adult led activities we will be labelling the parts of the pets and writing care guide books to share with other children at Coppice.

In numeracy, we will be exploring representing patterns within numbers to 10, including odd and even numbers, double facts and how quantities can be distributed equally. Do we have an odd or even amount of hamsters at the pet shop? Can we share the food out between them?

Our outside roleplay area will be transformed in to a pet shop / vets. Which things do you need to buy for which animal? In our creative station we will be exploring different techniques to show different animal skills such as printing for snake skin! At the tinker table we will be using pipettes and tweezers. We will put drops in to eyes and get flees off of fur.

WOW moment: Online workshop from PDSA

Summer Term 1 - Week 5

Week Commencing Monday 28th March 2022

Who else helps us?

Who else helps us? What can we do at Heanor Library? What do post people do? Where will the post people collect our letters from? Who keeps us safe at the swimming pool? How should we stay safe when crossing the road?

This week each day will have a different theme. We will have visitors or online talks to help us learn about each one and we may even have a visit or two!

Our themes may include:

Hairdressers – why do we have our hair cut? How does it make us feel? Can anyone do it? What are the tools called that they use? Who should use scissors on hair?

Life guards – where can we go swimming? When is it safe to swim? What can we do / wear to keep us safe in water? Who are lifeguards and how do they help us? Hopefully, our wonderful year 6 teacher, Mrs Jarvis, will visit us and teach us about her water safety role outside of school!

Crossing Patrols – how can we keep safe when crossing roads? Who helps us on the way to school? What should we do if there are no crossings? How do we use a crossing safety? Hopefully, we will explore our local area and practise using zebra crossings, pelican crossings etc. Mrs Hallam, one of our dinner ladies, will hopefully be able to visit us and show us her crossing patrol uniform and teach us how she helps people get to school safely.

Library – how does the library help people? How do the people in the library help us? Hopefully, we will be able to visit the library to change our books again. We loved it last time!

Postmen – what are they? How do they help us? What uniform do they wear? How do we get our mail? Hopefully we can send our grown-ups letters in the post telling them about our learning, post them at the post box and time how long it takes to get to our houses!

Chefs – who are chefs? What do they do? Where do they work? Do we have chefs in school? What tools do they use? How do they keep us safe? What rules do they follow?

This week is also the Queen’s Jubilee. As a school we are hoping to celebrate this together in some way. As soon as our plans are confirmed, you will be the first to know!

WOW moment - to be confirmed from the above options


Weekly Class Newsletters

10.9.21 Squirrel Class Newsletter

17.9.21 Squirrel Class Newsletter

1.10.21 Squirrel Class Newsletter

8.10.21 Squirrel Class Newsletter

15.10.21 Squirrel Class Newsletter

22.10.21 Squirrel Class Newsletter

Mrs Seaton's Autumn 1 Whole School Newsletter

5.11.21 Squirrel Class Newsletter

12.11.21 Squirrel Class Newsletter

19.11.21 Squirrel Class Newsletter

26.11.21 Squirrel Class Newsletter

3.12.21 Squirrel Class Newsletter

10.12.21 Squirrel Class Newsletter

Mrs Seaton's Autumn 2 Whole School Newsletter

14.1.22 Squirrel Class Newsletter

21.1.22 Squirrel Class Newsletter

29.1.22 Squirrel Class Newsletter

4.2.22 Squirrel Class Newsletter

11.2.22 Squirrel Class Newsletter

Mrs Seaton's Spring 1 Whole School Newsletter

4.3.22 Squirrel Class Newsletter

11.3.22 Squirrel Class Newsletter

18.3.22 Squirrel Class Newsletter

25.3.22 Squirrel Class Newsletter

1.4.22 Squirrel Class Newsletter

Mrs Seaton's Spring 2 Whole School Newsletter


2021-2022 Long Term Planning

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


2021 - 2022 Past Topic Webs

Summer 1 - Please click here to open our ‘People Who Help Us' topic web.

Spring 2 - Please click here to open our 'Once Upon a Time...' topic web.

Spring 1 - Please click here to open our 'Winter Wonderland' topic web.

Autumn 2 - Please click here to open our 'Special Times!' topic web.

Autumn 1 - Please click here to open our 'Marvellous Me!' topic web.


2020 - 2021 Past Topic Webs

Autumn 1  - Please click here to open our Stomp, Chomp, BIG roars, here come the dinosaurs! topic web.

Autumn 2 - Please click here to open our 'Let's Celebrate' topic web.

Spring 1 - Please click here to open our 'Magical Monsters' topic web.

Spring 2 - Please  click here to open our 'Twinkle, Twinkle' topic web.

Summer 1 - Please click here to open our ‘Down at the Bottom of the Garden’ topic web.


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 for the most up to date information.


Monday 25th April  2022 - School/Nursery opens for all children

Monday 2nd May 2022 - Bank Holiday Monday - School/Nursery closed to everyone

Week beginning Monday 16th May 2022 - Travel Smart week - more information to follow

Friday 18th May 2022 - Stay and play session for Fox Cubs class  at 11.00am

Friday 27th May 2022 - Queens Jubilee Celebrations in school/Nursery - more information to follow.

Friday 28th May 2022 - Last day of term

Monday 6th June 2022 - Additional Bank Holiday for the Queen’s Jubilee - School/Nursery closed for all children

Tuesday 7th June 2022 - School/Nursery opens for all children

School Starters Information



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 2021- 2022

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!

Reception Ambassador Passport 2021

Ambassador leaflet

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

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

Proud cloud letters

Proud cloud template

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. 


Every week your child will have a phonics activity to complete at home. As we move through phase 2 and phase 3 phonics they will also be bringing flashcards home to practise. If your child needs any help to record the sounds we have learnt this is a brilliant link to use at home 


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.