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Starting School - Parents Information Page

Things are a little different this year given the current Covid-19 situation. 

We will be emailing all parents shortly with full details and should those details change in anyway we will let you know as soon as possible.


If we are unable to invite you and your child to visit us in July

then we will contact you so that Mrs Ashberry

can arrange a Zoom call with you both!

A Message for Parents

In light of the current government advice and guidance for schools due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Mrs Ashberry has some information to share with parents about our plans for our new Reception Class children.


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 my child each day?


When you come for your first visit in September we hope that you will be able to bring your child into the classroom and you can stay for a little while to help them settle in.


On their first proper day at school then please wait on playground with the rest of the other parents. When the bell rings then your child can line up with Mrs Ashberry to come into school on their own. Other staff on the playground will be there to help if necessary.


If any of the above changes we will let you know in advance.


Where do I pick up my child?


At their classroom door in the playground. The teacher will open the door and let each child out in turn to you. Please stand back so we can see you properly and so that we can see each child reaches their grown-up safely.


What time does school start and finish?


The gate will be opened at 8.40am and the school bell rings at 8.50am.

School finishes at 3.15pm.


Can I drop my child off earlier?


Breakfast Club is available from 8am. There is information about Breakfast Club below.


Do you provide after-school childcare?


Our After-School Buddies Club is open until 5.30 each evening. There is information about Buddies below.


What do I need to provide for my child?


  • The correct school uniform (details below) – at the moment due to COVID19 we are not enforcing school uniform. We will let you know as soon as we can if this will continue in September. We would advise you to wait until nearer the time to purchase items of uniform.
  • A PE kit – black/blue shorts or leggings, a white t-shirt, a pair of plimsolls all labelled with your child’s name and in a bag that can be left on their peg for the week.
  • A warm waterproof coat in a dark colour – we go outside everyday unless it is pouring with rain.
  • 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 and kept in your child’s PE kit bag.


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
  • All snacks and drinks
  • A school dinner if ordered by yourself - 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.  Lunches must be ordered online for child and details are given below.



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 very 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).


We can provide support with toilet training, but 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 Seahorse staff on the playground in the morning, please tell them.
  • Write a note and train 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 out of the playground area. 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 email Mrs Ashberry at and she will endeavour to reply as soon as possible.



yes Things to do before your child starts school


  • Watch the video messages from Mrs Wilson and Mrs Ashberry and subscribe to our Starting School You Tube Channel.
  • 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