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Starting School Reception 2024

Welcome to Crowmarsh Gifford School. We are excited that you have accepted a place for your child(dren).

As a school we wish to support both children and families in this milestone transition. If your child is joining our Reception classes in September 2024, it is important that you read through the following information. 

We will update the information regularly, so do come back to this page!

September Start Date: Wednesday 4th September, from 9am (a little later than normal so it's quieter)

We are welcoming children for full days from the outset.

Thursday 5th September & thereafter drop off is between 8:30am - 8:40am

Please send your child with a packed lunch for the first 3 days in September. Thereafter, you will be able to order hot meals.


Times of the Day

Times of the Day

8:30am - Gates open (children arrive)

8:40am - Lessons start (gates close)

12:00 -1:00 - Lunch time

3:00 - Collection

During the day,  Reception children will participate in a number of lessons including, phonics, reading, maths, topic. These will be both adult led and child lead/chosen


Many parents will want to buy uniform ahead of September.

We advise parents each year, that children can grow a lot over the summer before they start, so when thinking of uniform please take this in to consideration.


Home Time

Home Time

Parents should make sure the office has an up-to-date list of who has permission to collect their child. This is initially taken from your school admissions form which will be sent to you as an electronic form.

  • Children must be collected from the teacher by an adult 16+
  • Please don’t be offended if we question a person you have asked to collect your child. Safeguarding is a priority, and we double-check to proudly maintain this high standard.

Families can sometimes be complicated. If there is anything we should know, please speak to a member of staff or email the office. We will handle all matters with discretion.


Hot school lunches are free to all Reception children. The current menus for school lunches can be found on our website and via the link below. New menus will be site for September & further information will be provided  as to how you can order a hot meal for your child.

Alternatively, you can send your child to school with a packed lunch.

'Fussy Eaters'

We follow the school nursing team advice and encourage 'non-eaters' for max 20 min, as we do not want to cause distress. We will monitor and report back to parents any concerns.

Daily Fruit Snack

Daily Fruit Snack

As part of the national scheme, children are entitled to a free piece of fruit or veg each day. The school has no control over what is offered each day, so if your child likes only specific fruit or veg, you are welcome to send a piece to school each day.

Examples of fruit snacks:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Currants
  • Cucumber in a named, reusable pot
  • Strawberries in a named, reusable pot


All children under the age of 5yrs are entitled to free school milk. This is provided by the national 'Cool Milk' scheme. Whilst the milk is delivered to school, it is not the school who orders the milk. Parents must opt in to this scheme by registering through the website Cool Milk for School.

Cool Milk for Schools

What your child will need each day

What will my child need each day?

All items should be named

  • Water Bottle
  • Packed lunch (if preferred)
  • Fruit (if preferred)
  • Reading Book (provided by school)
  • Welly boots (can remain in school)
  • Waterproof Coat (weather dependent)
  • Suncream applied before the school day (if it's sunny!)
  • Sun hat (weather dependent) 


Much of our communication is electronic. 

Once your child has started in September:

  • You will see an EYFS staff member each day.
  • You can call school
  • You can email school
  • You will receive emails and letters.
  • You can view our website information 

Parking & Drop Off

Keeping Children Safe on Old Reading Road - Parking

Our children, their families and the residents of Old Reading Road are entitled to come to and from school safely;

Be courteous        

Be patient   

Drive safely

We are a school community: 'Do to others as you would have them do to you'.

Parking on yellow lines & zigzags, restricts vision for children crossing & blocks the road, hindering the flow of traffic.


Preparing Your Child for School

It’s easy to think that getting your child ready for school is all about ABC’s and 123’s but actually, there are some far more important skills that your child should be learning to be ready for school.

Please use this checklist to encourage your child to be ready for Reception in September:

  • Going to the toilet independently, being able to undo and do up trousers/tights on their own.

  • Know ways to share toys, e.g. getting a sand timer to resolve conflicts.

  • Show that they can take turns independently. 

  • Able to zip up their coat and put on own scarf, hat and gloves.

  • Washing hands with soap.

  • Refill own water bottle independently.

  •  Know at least 3 traditional tales.

  • Mark making with pens.

  •  Recognising name and attempting to write it.

  •  Identifying environmental sounds.

  •  Beginning to use tripod grip when holding a pencil.

  •  Counting to 10.

  • Recognising repeated patterns.

  • Identify some shapes.

Further detail .....

Skill 1 To be able to use the toilet independently. Occasional accidents will still happen because it can take a while before they can get used to the toilet at school and they will be busy doing other things so may forget to go. (They will first also have to tell an adult before they head off, they might need to collect a toilet pass and often the toilets are a short walk from the classroom). Your child must also be able to wash and dry their hands every time to help stop the spread of tummy bugs. (A school nursery can often manage children who aren’t quite toilet trained yet but changing facilities may be minimal so hopefully they are nearly ready to use the toilet on their own. There are some specific medical issues which might affect toilet training, if this is the case seek advice from your health visitor, GP or other specialist and let the school know before your child starts).

Skill 2 To be able to take off and put on their own coats and shoes.  To be able to change for PE, that means changing into a T shirt and shorts and getting dressed again afterwards.

Skill 3 To be able to wipe/blow their own nose. Learning not to cough on others is important as well, coughing into the crook of your arm (inside of the elbow) is much better than covering your mouth with a hand as if you cough on your hand you then transfer any germs on to the next thing you touch.

Skill 4 To be able to manage lunch by themselves- open a lunch box, open any packets or boxes, feed themselves, put straws in drinks and then pack away. If the school has hot lunches then your child needs to be able to use a knife and fork to eat. Lunch time supervisors can’t feed your child or cut up their food, imagine how long that would take when you have a room of 60 or so!

Skill 5 To listen and follow instructions

Skill 6 To sit nicely for group times

Skill 7 To be able to recognise their own belongings- if this is tricky add a label/tag to help items stand out.

Skill 8 To be able to use scissors and draw confidently with a pencil and copy shapes when asked to do so.

Skill 9 To be happy to leave your side, confident to explore, able to speak up and ask for help and to have a curious and questioning outlook.

Skill 10 To be able to take turns (and wait for their turn) and understand that resources need to be shared. To be able to ask nicely if I need something.

The Importance of Reading

The Importance of Reading

Sadly, less than half of reception parents read to their children at bedtime. It is so important to read to or with your child every night up to the age of 11. Benefits of this include:

  • Good bonding time
  • Improve child’s reading skills
  • Sparks imagination
  • Creates conversation
  • Makes a routine for your child’s sleep
  • Expands your child’s vocabulary
  • Improves your child’s emotional intelligence
  • Encourages independent reading
  • Improves mental wellbeing
  • Helps you both relax and unwind

At  CG we would love it if parents could read to all of their children at bedtime.

Please don’t use your child’s reading book for bedtime as the breadth of vocabulary is very narrow and doesn’t elicit as much of an imagination as a picture book! 


Useful Websites

Always review the sites ahead of time so that you are able to help your children find the best resources available within the sites. Some offer a great number of games, songs, stories, videos etc. so it is important to know the site well in order to support and develop your child’s learning
  • Busy ThingsExcellent site built around the 7 areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage. You can access a free 7 day trial but you need to subscribe after this period to access the content – various subscription packages available.

  • Oxford OwlInteractive books and reading activities to share with your child at home.

  • CbeebiesMany games often recognised by children from their favourite programmes.

  • Fun with SpotNew and improved! Try creating your own Spot story.

  • Sebastian SwanBooks for reading together with links to understanding of the world (good for natural science).

  • CrickWebLots of maths and literacy games.

  • BoowaKwalaMany games and songs including those relating to festivals.

  • ICT GamesSome excellent maths and literacy games.

  • ABC KidsVarious educational games, videos and craft ideas.

  • Top MarksGames of varying quality to support different areas of learning.

  • GoNoodleFree to subscribe to a vast amount of fun activities!