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 Early is the class teacher and Mrs Tomlinson, Mrs Rowley  and Miss Kean 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     

 Miss Early

Class Teacher 


Mrs Tomlinson

Early Years Practitioner 

Mrs Rowley

Early Years Practitioner 

Miss Kean

Early Years Practitioner


Our topic this term is

'People Who Help Us!'

This term, we are looking at people who help us! We will have the opportunity to find out about the people who help us in school, as well as people who help us outside of school. We are fortunate to have several visits/visitors during this topic, which will be great experiences for the children.

Week 1 - People Who Help us at School

What does the topic ‘people who help us’ mean?  What do I already know about Coppice Primary School and Nursery? Who helps us in Squirrel Class?  Who helps everyone at Coppice?  What different areas will we find in the school when we go on our walk?  Where do people work in the school? What is a map?  How do you make a map?

We are beginning out topic at school. We will be finding out about the different adults in school and the different ways they help us. How does Miss Early help us? How does Mrs Faghy help us? How does Mrs Seaton help us? We will have the opportunity to meet some of the people that help us around school and say thank you to them! We will also have a go at creating our own map of the school, using photographs of the school and labelling the different places.

We will also be thinking about the different jobs we would like to do when we are older. Maybe you would like to be a police officer or a vet or a teacher! We will share the different jobs during a circle time and then have a go at producing some writing based on this.

On Friday, we have a very special treat! We will be visiting a fire station. We will find out about the role of a firefighter and how they keep us safe. This visit will support us with our learning next week!


Week 2 - Firefighters

Who are the fire service?  What do they wear?  Where are they based in our home town of Heanor?  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?

Following on from out visit to the fire station, we will be learning all about firefighters this week. Can you remember what a firefighter does? How do they keep us safe? What did you see at the fire station?

We will have a go at writing a recap about our visit to the fire station, using photographs from our visit to help us. We will also find out about what a firefighter needs to wear to keep themselves safe and have a go at labelling the different items.

We will have a go at creating our own fire engines out of junk modelling materials and we will be getting the red paint out to paint pictures of firefighters, fire engines and fire stations.


Week 3 - The Police

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 equipment do the Police use? What do I want to know from the Police?

This week, we will be finding out about the Police. We will again get a special visit from the Police where we will be able to ask questions and find out what they do, first hand.

We will be becoming police officers, creating our own police hats, badges and then making wanted posters for criminals we want to catch!

In PSHE, we will be looking at how we change. I will be sending an email out to parents to ask children to bring in a baby picture of themselves and as a class we will have a go at playing guess the baby. How much have you changed since you were a baby? What is the same? What is different?


Week 4 - Medical Professionals

Who would we find in the medical places such as a doctor’s surgery, a hospital or at the dentist?  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?  Who knows a nurse? Who has been to see a doctor before?

This week we will be looking at the people who make us feel better – the medical professionals. We will be sharing what we already know about doctors and nurses, how they might make us feel better and drawing upon our own experiences.

We will be turning our roleplay area into a doctor’s surgery. Can you look after a poorly friend? Can you use the stethoscope to check their heart? Can you give them a bandage to make them feel better?

We will be re-visiting what we know about body. We looked at our bodies at the start of the Autumn Term – what can you remember about our bodies? How do we keep our bodies healthy? In PSHE, we will also be looking at how we can stay safe in different situations such as at the seaside and near a road.


Week 5 - Vets

What pets do we have?  How do we look after pets?  Who are the PDSA? What do the PDSA do?  What does a vet do?  Who do vets look after?  Where could we find a vet in Heanor?  What equipment do they use?  What do vets wear?

We have looked at the people who help us stay healthy and well, now we are going to have a look at the people who keep our animals healthy. Who has taken their pet to the vets before?

Our doctor’s surgery will be converting into our own animal hospital as we take care of lots of different animals. We will be acting out the role of a vet, making sure the animals is healthy and giving it medicine to feel better.

We will also be having a vet visit us this week to tell us how she looks after animals and makes them feel better!


Week 6 - 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?  How should I keep safe?

There are so many people in our community who help us and we will be spending our final week finding out all about them. We will have a visit from a lifeguard and we will be finding out what they do to keep us safe and how we can keep ourselves safe whilst at the swimming pool.

We will also be exploring the role of a bin worker and how they help us. We will also have the opportunity to sort out different types of rubbish. Does all rubbish need to go in the bin? Can we recycle things? Can we reuse things?

We will also have a go at creating our own spring/summer themed dream catchers using natural resources.

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 15th April - First day of Summer Term!
  • Friday 19th April - Visit to the fire station
  • Tuesday 30th April - Visit from the Police
  • Monday 6th May - Bank holiday Monday
  • Monday 20th May - Stay and Play at Forest Schools

 Topic Web

To see the full topic web for this half term please click on the link below

Squirrel Class - Summer 1 Topic Web

Parent phonics information

Parents information Powerpoint : Meet the Level 2 Twinkl Phonics Family



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

 Each week we have a new value – 12 in total.  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 send 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!

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. 


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.