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Starting School - Parents Information Page

We warmly welcome visits to our school. 


Please contact school on 01522 520591 or email to arrange a visit or have a chat with us.



Staff are happy to discuss any matters about starting or applying for school 

so please do not hesitate to contact us with any queries or concerns

or to ask us to call you for a chat.

01522 520591

Please visit the pages on our website below to see all fabulous things we do in school. There is also lots more useful information at the bottom of the page below the FAQ section.
We also run in school our very own before school Breakfast Club and our after school Buddies Club every day from 8am until 5.30pm.  Please follow the link below for more details.


Answers to Your Questions


As you can imagine, we get a lot of questions from parents at this time of year as we begin to prepare for a new group of Reception children and we understand that at the moment it is particularly difficult for parents as we are unable to do all of our usual meetings and visits for children.


To help ease your worries and concerns we have tried to provide answers to some of the typical questions we get asked each year.


How can I help my child have the best start to their education?


First of all, you are your child's first teacher and you have already been doing great things together. School is just a new step on your journey. From school's point of view we would love it if every parent did the following:


  • Provide a school routine in the mornings so that children are not late or hungry.
  • Make sure your child knows who is picking them up after school.
  • Read a book to your child every evening.
  • Read your child's reading book with them for about 10 minutes every day.
  • Play any reading games or look at any word cards provided by school as much as possible.
  • Count with your child and talk to them about numbers and play simple counting games with a dice.
  • Keep updated via the school website.
  • Attend events at school like our weekly Relax and Read sessions and our termly Art and Craft sessions.
  • Talk to them as much as you can. If they can't say it then they won't read or write it!
  • Make sure your child gets enough sleep. They will find full-time school very tiring.
  • Be understanding of any difficult behaviour at home. Children can find starting school stressful and challenging and home is often where they choose to show this. Ask for support if you feel you need it.


If you are concerned about your child's progress or anything else then don't leave it for weeks, talk to us about it.


Is Reception just like Nursery?


The Reception Year at school still forms part of the Foundation Stage just like Nursery. However, as the children are older the expectations are slightly different.


To begin with your child might notice little difference except that they may be attending for the whole day for the first time. Lots of the activities we do are similar to the types of activities your child will have done in nursery and of course they still have time to choose. Much of what we do is very practical and play based but we have daily adult led activities for Literacy and Maths as well as more activities that are adult directed.


You can follow your child's learning on Tapestry which is an online learning journal we will set up for you. Information about this can be found below in the Parent's Information Documents.


Where do I drop off and pick up my child each day?


In the mornings, please wait with your child at the school gate on Francis St and a member of staff will meet you there at 8.45pm. All children come into school independently as, from experience, we have found this is the best way to avoid upsets in the morning.


Please pick up your child from the school playground at 3.15 each day. A member of staff will release your child to you (or another adult, must be over 16 years of age, authorised by you to to collect) from their classroom door.


Can I drop my child off earlier?


Yes. School offers a breakfast Club which is run in school, by school staff, from 8am every day. Children can be dropped off anytime between 8am and 8.40am and all places should be booked the week before. Please See our separate page for full details and cost. 


Do you provide after-school childcare?


Yes.  Again this is offered in school and is run by school staff.  Our Buddies After school Club runs until either 4.30pm or 5.30pm and places should be booked and paid for the week before.  Please see the separate page for full details and cost.


What do I need to provide for my child?


School uniform helps us feel that we are part of the school and all children are encouraged

to wear the school colours:


  • Navy blue sweatshirt, sweater or cardigan; (either with or without logo)
  • White polo shirt.
  • Grey skirt, pinafore dress, grey tights
  • Grey trousers or shorts
  • (Nursery children only may wear grey, black or navy jogging style trousers)
  • Blue and white checked dress. Sensible low heeled school shoes in either black ,grey or navy blue.
  • A warm waterproof coat in a dark colour – we go outside everyday unless it is pouring with rain.
  • A water bottle containing ONLY tap or PLAIN bottled water clearly labelled with your child's name
  • A pair of wellies or waterproof boots – we like to play in the water area
  • A change of pants and socks (or several) is useful as most children will have the odd toileting accident at some point. These can be put in a bag to go on your child's peg.


We cannot stress enough that all items of clothing should be clearly marked with your child’s name – sew on or iron on printed labels are best.

We will not have a chance of finding lost jumpers or cardigans that are not clearly labelled.


What will school provide?


  • A book bag
  • A fruit snack and milk (you must order online and pay for this after your child's 5th birthday unless you qualify for free milk)
  • A hot school dinner - please see below for details


You may provide a healthy packed lunch for your child if you prefer, but we would strongly encourage you to take advantage of the FREE lunch provided at school. Our lunches are delicious and hot or cold and meat or vegetarian options are provided. Please see our lunches page for more details. 



What happens if my child has a toilet accident?


Wet ones will be dealt with as soon as we know about it and we will discreetly hand you the wet clothes at the end of the day. We will try our best with dirty ones but we may need you to come and clean your child up if they need more than a few baby wipes!

Please wash and return any spare clothes school provides as soon as possible as we have a limited supply.


Of course, we will not change your child if you have not given consent for us to do this. Consent forms are in the pack which you will be given when your child starts school.


My child is not fully toilet trained yet. What should I do?


First of all, please do not worry. Try your best to get this done before September. However, we do know that some children find this trickier than others so please let us know on the day that your child visits if this is the case. We prefer that children wear pants to school if possible (provide lots of spares and some spare clothing and wipes) or your child can wear pull-ups. If they are in pull-ups then girls should wear trousers or leggings under their skirts so that other children do not become aware of this. On PE days children in pull-ups should wear jogging pants or leggings to school so that they do not need to change (grey or blue please).


Whilst we can provide support with toilet training, this really this is something that parents need to do.


How will I tell you who is picking up my child?


  • There will always be a member of  staff at the gate in the morning, please tell them.
  • Write a note and ask your child to hand it in to their teacher as they come in.
  • Phone the school before 3pm.


What do I do if I am not going to be able to pick my child up at exactly 3.15 each day?


You will need to find an alternative person or arrange After-School Club provision. If it is a one off (ie. you are stuck in unexpected traffic), you must phone the office so that we know who else is picking up or to ask us to keep your child for 10 minutes.


Obviously, this cannot be a regular occurrence.


What happens if my child is crying when I drop them off?


We're used to it! Most children will cry at dropping off time at some point in the year as tiredness gets to them or they realise that they have to come to school everyday!


We will ask you to try and release yourself from them ASAP and we will help you with this by trying to distract them with stickers etc so that you can get away quickly. Please do not hang around, we promise you that they will be ok within minutes. We will call as soon as we can to let you know they have settled. We do understand how upsetting this can be for all concerned but from experience we know that, usually, the best thing to do is to hand your child over to a member of staff, say see you later and go.


My child does not speak much English yet, is this an issue?


We love that many of our children come from a variety of cultures. We are not concerned at all if your child is not speaking much English. However, the following English words and phrases are useful when they start school and it would be a good idea to practise them at home:


  • Hello
  • My name is...
  • Toilet, please
  • Help, please


My child uses a short name. Will they learn to write that or their long name?


That is entirely up to you! We will soon be starting to make labels for cloakroom pegs and other things so please let us know if you prefer them to be called something else. Some parents like their child to be called by their shortened name but learn to write their long name.  That is fine by us, just let us know.


Will my child come home really dirty after a day at school?


We will use paint, chalk, water, sand, mud and the outside area can be dusty, so be prepared! We do provide aprons and water-proofs but children will be children and inevitably there will be some mess. Fortunately, we don't expect a pristine uniform after the first morning so don't put that pressure on yourself! Just know that they were having fun while they were learning. Rest assured that staff often get messy too and find that soaking clothes in cold water and using a stain remover usually gets most things out.


When will I hear about how my child is doing?


We regularly upload photographs and observations to your child's Tapestry Journal for you to see and comment on. There are further details about tapestry below. We will have a parent/teacher consultation evening in October to discuss how your child is settling in. We will always speak to you before then if we need to. 


If you need to speak to us before the consultation evening then you can either speak to us at the end of the school day,  call us on 01522 520591 or email school at 



yes Things to do before your child starts school


  • Watch some of the Bedtime Stories on the Home Learning part of the website or some of Seahorse Class home learning lessons so that your child becomes familiar with some of the staff they will meet in school.
  • Read the additional information below. 
  • Return any forms to school that are in the Forms Pack (children new to Bracebridge only) when you receive this.
  • Practise skills like going to the toilet independently, undressing and getting dressed independently, putting on socks and shoes independently, putting on and fastening coats independently and eating with a knife and fork.

We hope that we have covered most things you need to know but if you have further questions contact us via

the website contacts tab,

email to

or telephone 01522 520591