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Introduction to Reception

At Dovecote our intention is to provide the best start to the children’s education. They are at the centre of everything we do and we want the best possible outcomes for each individual child so that:

  • The children are safe, happy, feel valued and special. Each child, their individuality and what makes them unique is celebrated by all adults and children to build respect, relationships and understanding.
  • The children develop resilience, confidence, independence, resourcefulness, self-motivation and an ability to problem solve, so that they can interact with the world around them and are prepared for life in modern Britain.
  • The children are excited to come to school, their learning is enjoyable, builds upon curiosity and their interests.
  • Children are confident, have a good sense of self, build strong friendships and are kind.


We strive:
  • To support and challenge the children during their learning, through high quality interactions, questioning, modelling and encouraging the children to produce work they are proud of.
  • To be innovative and teach in ways which stimulate and engage the children through well thought out independent play activities as well as structured, taught sessions.
  • Provide a learning environment that is inviting, well resourced, accessible to all, promotes exploration and independence.
  • To put high value on the Prime areas of learning to equip the children with transferrable life skills and learning strategies to apply into year 1 and beyond.
  • To encourage children to consider their own choices and responsibilities in all that they do, building empathy, self-regulation and forethought into their actions and behaviour.
  • To set aspirational targets for our children to achieve by the end of Reception, building on their nursery experience and promoting a smooth transition into Year 1.

If you have any queries or need to contact the Reception staff for any reason, you can email us at:

Early Years Teachers Early Years Support Staff

Mrs Mullen (Nursery)

Mrs Norris (Reception)

Miss Cokkinos (Miss C, Reception)

Mrs Harris (Assistant Head)

Mrs Stevenson (Reception)

Mrs Wilson

Mrs Sharratt

Miss Watson

Miss Archer

Mrs Commander

Ms Dale

Mrs Kendrick

Miss Morreil

Miss Guy-Clark (Student)

Mr Joe Mullen (Student)

Miss Savage (Student)

Miss Machen (Volunteer)




Tips for supporting learning at home

  • Speaking: Talking to your children at every opportunity is the most important thing you can do. You are their first teacher and so much of their learning happens with you. Speak about the world around them when you are out exploring, model new vocabulary and use it in sentences, have a conversation around the dinner table, taking turns to speak and asking and answering questions.
  • Reading skills: Read together as often as possible. Look for words and logo is the environment, in shops on buses and trams. Read the shopping list, cards and magazines. Always read a bedtime stories and promote a love of books. Talk about the characters, story events, ask questions and make predictions of what might happen next. Learning new vocabulary now will help comprehension as they learn to read longer sentences and books.
  • Numbers and Counting: Practise counting around the home: counting the stairs on the way to bed, counting out the fish fingers onto the baking tray ready to cook, counting out the cups for everyone in the family to have a drink, counting favourite teddies or toy cars, pairing up socks to count in twos and lots more! Spot numbers in books, on buses, doors and devices. Count all the way to one hundred, spotting the pattern that the tens numbers make. See if they can beat the clock when tidying up toys.
  • Managing-Self- Support your child to get dressed and undressed without help, taking own plate to the kitchen after dinner, tidying away own toys. Doing buttons and zips can be tricky so practise really helps! Talk about healthy food choices and be active together.
  • Listening, Attention and Understanding – give your child an instruction with two parts. E.g. put the cars away and then wash your hands ready for your snack. Give them a verbal shopping list of a few items. Can they remember them at the shops? 
  • Imaginative/mark-making: Have a teddy bear's picnic – or an action figure picnic! Write or draw invitations or thank you cards to the toy guests.
  • Mark-making: Use a paintbrush and a pot of water to do some mark-making in your garden. Can you write your name? Practise the sounds we have been learning in phonics. Make patterns like zig-zags and swirls. Pour some salt or flour into a bowl and make letters shapes in it with fingers. Draw pictures and add details, colour staying inside the lines. Later in the year you could practise writing 'red words' E.g.  To, the, I, no, go, you, said etc. 
  • Physical Development: Cut out pictures from old magazines or catalogues, or make some play-dough and strengthen wrist and finger muscles while playing with it. Go to the park, crawl through tunnels, balance, hang from monkey bars. Ride bikes and scooters.
  • Physical Development/creative: Use the boxes, tubes and tubs from your recycling pile and create something new. You could make a shaker using a pot and some rice or pasta; a house for a little character or teddy from boxes; some binoculars with toilet rolls and string, wool or ribbon, a jet pack from boxes and tubes. Use pens to add detail to your models and lids to be wheels, or windows or buttons!
  • Imaginative/physical/creative: Use Lego or Duplo to make your own creations. Maybe you can build a car, or a house, or a garden! Play with the mini figures and characters afterwards having an adventure with your creation. Perhaps you can do some mark-making and draw a picture of your model and maybe even try to label it.
  • Imaginative/creative: Play with your teddies, dolls or action figures. What are they going to do today? Are they going to school? Do the babies need putting to bed, or some milk? Do the teddies or the Superheroes need to save the day? Adventure awaits! Role play and small world play is a valuable play skill that promotes imagination and empathy.
  • Understanding the World- Read books together and compare the stories to your own lives. Talk about the people in your families, look at photos and discuss special times that you have shared together in the past. Recognise similarities and differences between yourself and the characters in stories and on TV. Talk about the world around you while you are out. The location, the buildings, the plants and the animals.