Reception New Parent FAQs

We understand that as a parent with a child starting school for the very first time you may have a mountain of questions to ask. This is perfectly understandable! We have tried to gather some of the more frequently asked questions and their answers here for you but if there is something else you need to know please do get in touch. No question is a silly question - we are here to help and look forward to starting this journey with you

What is the routine on arrival?

Arrival time is 8:45am. There is a member of staff at the gate waiting to welcome all of the children and parents on entry. Your child hangs his /her coat up in the cloakroom. You are encouraged to stay on a morning to help settle your child and help them to complete their morning tasks such as choosing their lunch. When it is time, the teacher will ask the adults to leave and the children will come and sit on the carpet ready for registration.

What equipment will my child need to bring to school?

  • A book bag (provided free of charge)

  • A water bottle (provided free of charge)

  • A drawstring bag containing their PE kit (school bags available to buy from the office)

  • A pair of named wellington boots in a bag to be kept on your child’s peg is a good idea

  • Hat, gloves and scarf (for the winter months)

  • Sun hat / sunscreen / sunglasses (a form will be sent home for signing re suncream)


Can my child bring toys into school?

We know your child may want to bring a toy in from home however, to prevent things getting lost or broken in school, it is better for these to stay at home where they are safe. If your child wants to bring something in to show the class - a special artifact, photograph, project etc - we are always happy for this to happen but please pass directly to the teacher so that they can be stored safely until the right time.

What should I do if my child is ill?

Please telephone the school office 0121 675 3985 as soon as you can. Our voicemail service runs 24/7 so if you cannot speak to anyone directly then please leave a message. Please note that following a case of diarrhoea or sickness your child is not permitted to return to school until they are clear of symptoms for 48 hours.

What if my child needs medicine during the school day?

We do not accept medicines at the classroom door. You will need to fill in a form which is available at the school office - please walk round and someone will be happy to help. We are only able to administer current medicines prescribed by a doctor and clearly labelled with your child’s name.

If your child needs an inhaler, please provide one that can be kept in school. You will be asked to fill in a form so that your child can be added to our asthma register.

What if I need to collect my child early for an appointment / we are late coming in to school one morning?

Please inform the office if you need to collect your child from school early for an appointment - wherever possible we ask to see an appointment card / letter. On the day of the appointment please go to the office and someone will collect your child for you.

If you are late for school one morning you will need to come to the school office - rather than your usual door - as your child will need to be marked as present on the register. They will then be taken to class by the office staff.

What is ‘choosing’?

Children in the Early Years spend time independently planning their own learning. They ‘choose’ the area in which they would like to explore. The adults then facilitate and/or extend the learning taking place. Sometimes the ‘choosing’ play will be play in which the children are exploring feelings such as empathy; sometimes they may act out scenarios in a safe environment; they may negotiate and form friendships; or develop understanding about how to share and compromise. These are just some examples of how ‘choosing’ develops important skills for lifelong learning.

How is reading/writing/maths taught?

In Reception we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and tailor our teaching to supporting the individual needs of each pupil. Teachers read one-to-one with every child, every week. We also teach phonics daily which is aligned with Letters and Sounds. We offer a reading workshop for parents to attend at the start of each year to enable parents to support their children with reading and writing at home and supplement this with our half-termly workshops. We teach maths in small groups. After all of our short inputs for writing / maths we have lots of activities, both inside and out, for the children to practise their new skills in different contexts and work with the adults in the spaces to extend and embed their learning even further.

Where will my child have dinner (and what will they have)?

Your child will eat their dinner in the main dining hall. The EarlyYears children eat at a slightly earlier time than the older children in school. They will be supported by a member of the Early Years team but will also be encouraged to build their independence. The menu runs on a 4 week cycle and your child's class teacher will happily give you a copy of this so that you can see what your child has had to eat / help them to choose.

Who will be working with my child?

Your child will either Miss Evans or Mrs Gonzales' Classes. However due to the way Early Years works your child will also work with the opposite class teacher and all the support staff that are in the setting. The children have access to both classrooms and the outside space at most points during the day.

Will I ever be able to come into school?

During the first two terms of school you are encouraged to come into school with your child every morning and speak to your child’s class teacher. As we move into the Summer Term we begin to encourage children to come into school more independently and start to prepare for life in Year 1. As well as this, we have half-termly workshops where you can come in and work alongside your child. These workshops cover a range of activities from story-telling to crafts, baking to maths - they also give you a chance to look at your child's learning books.

What sort of things will my child be doing at school?

The school day starts at 8:45 and finishes at 3:15 Monday to Friday. During the school day children will have a phonics lesson with a member of the Early Years team, complete some small group maths/writing activities, have an opportunity to play outside and also be given plenty of time to explore the indoor areas of learning.

Will my child go outside?

We are very lucky with our amazing outside spaces at Lea Forest - our facilities are fantastic and if you haven’t been to see them we encourage you to do so- please call to book an appointment! Your child will be able to go outside whatever the weather. We ask parents to make sure that children are sent with suitable clothing to allow this to happen. As well as playtimes outside children will go outside for small group activities and also for free choosing time.

Will my child go on school trips?

Yes! We love school trips in Early Years. These range from visits to local shops to trips to the farm or we might even go on a Gruffalo hunt! Wherever we go we ensure that your child’s safety is our top priority.

Can my child go to an after school club?

A range of after school clubs are on offer and children will be given an opportunity to choose one at the start of the year. Some of the more popular ones may have a waiting list but we will ensure that all children get to take part at some point during the year.

When are the school holidays?

Please check the relevant section on the school website or speak to your class teacher and they can get you a copy of the calendar.

What is expected of me as a parent?

We encourage parents to take an active role in the child’s school life. This will include; reading at home, attending parent workshops (where possible), attending parents evening, keeping school up to date with any changes in circumstance and most importantly making sure your child is prepared for the school day e.g. having a good sleep, eating a healthy breakfast. If you find you need any help, or even just someone to talk to at any time, please remember to call our Child and Family support worker / Parent Support Advisor. They are always available (dial extension 2) for a chat and can help with all kinds of things (or at least find someone who can help if they can’t!).

Do you have a breakfast club?

We offer a breakfast club for all children in school that starts from 8am each morning. Children will have a chance to have a healthy breakfast and play games with new friends. Please see the page on our school website for more details.

Do the children need to bring a snack to school?

All children will be provided with free daily fruit and milk while in reception. Every child is also given a free water bottle when they start school with us so they have access to water throughout the day. There is no need for them to bring any other snacks into school.


Please feel free to get in touch via contactus@leaforestacademy.org if you have further questions or would like to arrange an appointment with a member of the Early Years team.

Updated June 2021