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, Mrs Anderton 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. She will also be taking Squirrel class for our weekly forest schools session.

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 us at 

 Meet the Squirrels Class Team

Mrs Anderton

Class Teacher 

Currently on maternity leave

 Miss Early

Class Teacher 


Mrs Tomlinson Early Years Practitioner 

Mrs Rowley Early Years Practitioner 

 Miss Renshaw

Early Years Practitioner


Our topic this term is

Magical Monsters!


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 and so every day is full of surprises!! 

Spring 1 - Week 1 

Stick Man!

What did we do at Christmas time? What happened to Stickman? Where did Stickman go? Where did Stickman come from? What can we use sticks for? Which season are we in? Outside what signs of winter can we find? How can we keep healthy?

We are starting one of our favourite topics of the year this week, 'Magical Monsters!' All of our stories are written by the fabulous author Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

We will begin by exploring the story ‘Stickman’. We will explore the different places that Stickman visited and discuss what we would see and find at these places. We will also explore how the places are similar or different.  We will create our own maps using some of these places and then programme the Bee Bots to travel around them.

In literacy we will consolidate some skills we learnt last half term. We will write labels and simple descriptions using our Level 2 phonics knowledge. In the continuous provision there will be ample opportunities for Squirrels to showcase their writing skills including: writing cards, writing stories, labelling pictures and writing lists.

In numeracy we will be revisiting measuring length and comparing length. How long is each stick? What can we measure in? Which is the longest? Which is the shortest? If we add two lengths together how long are they? There will also be ample opportunities for Squirrels to apply their maths skills in the continuous provision including: counting snowballs, ordering snowflakes, making patterns on the snowman’s scarf and much more!

In topic we will be preparing our class ‘Magical Monsters’ display. We will be using a range of techniques including: collage, junk modelling, painting and sketching to create some giant Julia Donaldson characters to place on our display. We will then showcase our fabulous learning here and on our Sammy Squirrel challenge pegs!

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that we might even get some real snow to explore!


Spring 1 - Week 2 

The Gruffalo

What is a Gruffalo?  Would you be scared of a Gruffalo?  What scares us? Where does a Gruffalo live?  What does a Gruffalo look like?  What do you like about the Gruffalo crumble?  Who are the characters in the story and what do they do? What would you find in a woodland?

Another week and another fabulous Julia Donaldson story! This week we will explore the truly magical story of the Gruffalo! This book is a well-known classic which I am sure all the children will love exploring!  We will read the book and watch the film of this story. We will then use our talk for writing actions to act it out. After we will make a story map of The Gruffalo and even make our own Gruffalo story books to bring home! We love telling stories – I bet we can show you our actions at home! 

During the week we will have the opportunity to explore lots of Gruffalo activities. There will be a selection of planned adult lead activities and also a range of child initiated continuous provision activities.

We will be exploring the different animals in the story and practising moving in different ways like the animals – we might even have sound effects! We will also practise mark making the different animal names using a range of media. We will even add speech bubbles and then of words and simple sentences the animals might say to the Gruffalo! At the creative station we will make different animals like the Gruffalo - the snake using our cutting skills and the owl using our printing skills! 

During our maths lessons we will be focussing on naming and describing 2D shapes. We will also use our knowledge of 2D shapes when creating repeating patterns. We will look at what the Gruffalo saw on his journey and describe each thing using everyday language to describe shapes. We might set the Gruffalo a hunt around our school using shape clues so that he can learn about some new things. In the continuous provision we will practise our counting skills by counting the purple spikes on the Gruffalo's back and we will then explore adding one more or taking one away! 

Last half term the children showed their love of baking!  Therefore, in topic this week, we will be baking a Gruffalo crumble – we will eat for our snack time treat this week! We cannot wait to make it by measuring the ingredients, mixing the ingredients and then cooking the crumble! Yummy! Of course, we will also look at the importance of washing our hands and safety rules when using equipment such as the oven.


Spring 1 - Week 3


Chinese New Year/Zog

What happens at Chinese New Year?  Which animals had a race?  What other festivals and celebrations do we know about? What vegetables can we use in a stir fry?  What did Zog do?  What accidents did Zog have?  How could we help Zog?  What would Zog enjoy if he came to our school?  What would you like your dragon to look like?

This week we will  be exploring the Julia Donaldson story of Zog alongside learning about the festival of Chinese New Year through the story The Great Race! We will read the story of the race that the twelve animals had which decided the order of the animals for each year of the Chinese New Year. This year it is the year of the Rabbit! We will recreate the race that the animals had by making our own obstacle course in the EYFS outside area! On your marks....get set... go! I wonder who will win?

Inside our classroom we will make our role play area into a Chinese Restaurant and explore different Chinese food. We will then make a real Chinese stir fry where we will cut up a range of vegetables using our scissor and knife skills. Once it is cooked we will use our senses to describe what it looks like, smells like and tastes like as we eat the stir fry as our special snack for the week.

After reading Zog we will discuss how Zog always tries his best at Dragon School but finds it hard to get a gold star. We will discuss what Zog would like if he came to Coppice school and what we think he would be good at. We will discuss how you don't need to be good at everything and if you always try hard that is a brilliant quality to have. 😊


Spring 1 - Week 4

The Gruffalo's Child

Which characters are we meeting again?  What is the Gruffalo’s child like? What could we have for our midnight feast?  Why should we follow rules?  How can we make shadows?  How can we be a good friend to people of all ages?  Who is Axel Scheffler?  What is an illustrator and what do they do?


We have a feeling that Squirrels will have loved the text ‘The Gruffalo’ a couple of weeks ago so much that we couldn’t stop there! This week we are going to revisit the  characters of 'The Gruffalo's Child'! We will meet characters we have already met such as Stickman, fox, Gruffalo, mouse, snake and owl. We will use these characters to make our own stories in the woodland small world area. We will explore what belongs in a woodland and develop our vocabulary linked to this place. We will use our senses. What would we hear? What would we feel? What would we see? What would we smell? We can not wait to see the children’s individual story maps and stories! I am sure they will be better than anything we could have thought of. Their imagination always amazes us!

As usual, all of our adult lead activities and our child initiated continuous provision activities will be based around the Gruffalo’s Child. In the creative station area we will explore using charcoal to make a cave picture for the Gruffalo and the Gruffalo’s Child. 

At the funky fingers area, we will be practising threading. We will be threading different sized tails on to mice. We will then be applying week one’s learning and measuring their tails. We might even order the tails from smallest to longest.

In numeracy, we will be focussing on counting. We will be practising chanting numbers to 20, counting objects from a larger group, writing numerals and recognising numerals. How many creatures can we find in the wood? Are there more mice or owls? In continuous provision the children will have opportunities to explore other concepts such as adding the owls found in the trees, creating a 2D shapes picture and ordering the characters by size!

During topic, we will look at how to make shadows using torches in the dark cave, the light box and the projector. We will make shadows using shadow puppets but also make shadows using our hands and bodies! I wonder what woodland animals we can make! How will they move? What will they do? What will they say?


Spring 1 - Week 5


Room on the Broom

What did the witch lose?  What did the witch see on her journey?  What could we put in a magical potion?  Who is the witch and her friend the dragon?  Who catches a lift on the witch’s broom?  What magical skills would we want?  How can we be a good friend and help each other?  How would you like to travel?


This week we will be learning through the magical story of 'Room on the Broom'!  We love this story in Early Years as we love a little magic! We will be using our cauldrons in the potion making area to measure and pour the ingredients to make new potions for the witch! We will then write the recipe for the potions that we have made using our phonic skills and explain what our magical potions do!

We will make a story map to show the journey of the witch and who she picks up on her broom. We will also record what she lost as she whizzed through the sky! After making our story map we will then innovate this by adding in different characters or different items that the witch might drop on a different journey!

We will design a new broom for the witch thinking about what would make it a comfy and practical design!  We will then create a new wand for the witch using a range of materials at the creation station! 

In the story the characters all worked together to save the witch. We will think about how we need to be kind and a good friend to each other and decide what we could do in school to help us and each other!!


Spring 1 - Week 6


The Smartest Giant in Town

What would it be like if we were a giant?   Why was George sad? How could we make him happy?  What clothes do you like to wear?  What clothes would we wear in the winter?  What would we wear in the summer time?  How can we be kind and help other people? 

This week our Julia Donaldson text is 'The Smartest Giant in Town'. We will be exploring different vocabulary linked to size to explore what is giant sized like George and what is small! We will have a range of clothes which we will sort into 'big' and 'small'. We will also use the clothes to sort them for George the Giant so he knows what he needs in winter and what he needs in summer time! We will use the clothes to make a clothes shop so we can practise buying items using money. In our clothes shop we will practise counting to 10, adding up the value of two items.

In the mark making area we will write a thank you letter to George to thank him for helping the different characters with his clothes. We will also write labels for our clothes shop and even make adverts to display to people visit the shop to buy the items!

In the outside area we will use a range of materials to make a giant house which is big enough for George the Giant to live in. We will also use our giant strides to measure different objects in the outside area. I wonder what the biggest object will be and what will be the smallest object?

During the week we will look closely at emotions and look at when George experienced different emotions and suggest why he felt like he did. We will then choose some of the emotions to think about when we have felt these emotions too in our life.

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 9th January -School/Nursery opens to all children at 8.35am

Week beginning 6th February Children's Mental Health week

Tuesday 7th February - Internet Safety Day

Tuesday 14th February - Stay and play session for Squirrels class  at 2.15pm

Thursday 16th February – Last day of term

Friday 17th February – INSET Day – School closed

Monday 27th February – School opens for the start of the new term.

Weekly Class Newsletters

Autumn 2 Week 7 16.12.22 Newsletter

Parent phonics information

Parents information Powerpoint : Meet the Level 2 Twinkl Phonics Family

Level 3 week 1 parents information to support weeks 1 and 2 of term

j parent information sheet

v parent information sheet

w parent information sheet

x parent information sheet

qu parent information sheet

y parent information sheet

z parent information sheet

ch parent information sheet


2021-2022 Long Term Planning

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

 2022 - 2023 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 ‘Special Times!' topic web.

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



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!


Our School Values

We are very excited to be starting work on our new values system when we come back in school in January.  Each week we have a new value – 12 in total.  Our first value will be Respect.  The children will have an assembly Monday morning about how to show and give respect to others both in school and at home!  We will be expecting this to be demonstrated to all members of our Coppice community,  it is important that even when we move onto a new value, the old one isn’t lost.


Our new core values will now form the basis of our ambassador passports (these have now been renamed – core value passports and the children can achieve their bronze, silver and gold awards throughout the year for each core value. We will of course keep you informed about how your child is getting on with this throughout the year.


Each week Mrs Seaton will sent out a Newsletter that will reflect the value we are working on so that it can also be supported at home.  We look forward to seeing our children bright and early ready to embrace the new weekly challenges!


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 Nursery. Your child will have a gorgeous book called 'My Little Book of Adventures' where we put in evidence of what your child has been learning! As part of this we will be using an app called 'Tapestry' on our iPads to 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!  You can also let us know of any 'wow' moments you witness at home. We will be sending home an information letter and permission form for this during the beginning of September! 

We also love to hear what your child has achieved at home and so we ask you fill in proud clouds and share them with us! 

Proud cloud letter - September 2022

Proud cloud template - September 2022

Information 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 Twinkl Phonic activities. 


Every week your child will have a phonics activity to complete at home. As we move through Level 2 and Level 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.