St stephens 3

Starting in Reception

We are delighted your child is going to be joining our school and cannot wait to share that special journey with you. Our website has a great deal of information about our ethos, our curriculum and the ways in which we will work with you to nurture and challenge your child over the coming weeks, months and years.

However, at this stage the main thing it is important for you to know is that we will care about your child very much. We will reassure them if they are worried, cheer them up if they are sad, help them to find a friend if they are lost and look after them if they are hurt. We will work tirelessly to help them feel known, happy and safe from the second they come through our door and as a result, they will be ready to learn and grow. 

Our aim is to make the transition to school as easy as possible you and for your child and this page is intended to form part of that process.

Information for Carers and Parents

All new Reception parents are invited to an information evening to help get to know more about life at St Stephen's, in particular in Reception.

To get to know your child and help to give them the smoothest possible start to school, we would love it if you could complete this booklet, called 'All About Me' with them and bring it into school on their first day in September. You can access the booklet by clicking here

If you have any questions about this, or about any other aspect of starting school, please contact us at or 01225311665 and we will do our best to help you.

Information for Children

We have made a booklet called 'All About My School' which you can view, download and print by clicking here. It is intended to be something that your child can look at, enjoy and gradually absorb in the days and weeks before they join us.

Getting Ready to Start School...

Parents are often unsure how much they should prepare their child for school, and how to best do so. In terms of reading, writing, maths and other curriculum areas, we will get the children learning from day one and to prepare your child for this, it is really helpful if you spend time helping your child in the following ways.

  • Encourage your child to share and take turns. 
  • Have conversations with your child by listening and encouraging your child to talk with you. 
  • Enjoy books and stories together. 
  • Sing nursery rhymes and songs together. 
  • Encourage your child to paint, glue, draw and build. 
  • Explore the outdoors with your child – look for mini beasts, jump in the puddles etc. 
  • Encourage your child to be active – running, climbing, jumping, hide ‘n’ seek, playing with balls. 
  • Encourage your child to make marks for writing – writing the shopping list with you, writing birthday cards for example.  
  • Encourage your child to count lots of different things. 

Encourage your child to do as much for themselves as they can, for example...

  • Dress and undress on their own, practice putting on and taking off their own coats, tops, trousers, shoes and socks.  
  • Go to the toilet on their own and manage wiping themselves clean and washing their hands. 
  • Practise eating packed lunches and working out how to manage food wrappers and using cutlery. 
  • Recognise their own clothes, lunch box and other belongings.
  • Recognise their own name when they see it. 
  • To make choices about what they want to play with or what they want to eat.

Encourage your child to experience different things and cope with changes, for example... 

  • Eat with people other than their family.  
  • Visit lots of different toilets to try out and talk about the different ways of flushing toilets, turning on taps and drying hands. 
  • Let the boys have a go at using a urinal! 
  • Go to different places – the library, swimming pool or family fun days. 
  • Talk to unfamiliar adults – the dentist, shop assistants or children centre staff. 
  • Play with other children. 
  • Do things without you such as play at a friend’s house.
  • How to help you cope when your child starts school...
  • You may well be feeling anxious yourself about your child starting school. This is perfectly normal, as it is a big change in life for you as well as for your child. 
  • Talk to other parents who are going through the same thing. 
  • Be aware your child may become upset and need you to comfort them. This will pass. 
  • Talk to your child’s teacher about your concerns. 
  • Try hard not to show your child your feelings of anxiety, as they will notice them. 
  • Try to have a short positive goodbye routine so that your child knows you are leaving and then go! Prolonging the goodbye will make it harder for both you and your child. 
  • Most importantly, plan to do something nice with a friend the day your child starts school. 
  • You can speak to your child's teacher, phase leader, Mr Preedy, Ms Flynn or the School Nurse about any issues, concerns or worries you may have.