Welcome to Phase 1

A very warm welcome from all of the Nursery and Reception team. Nursery and Reception are important and magical years where we aim to provide the children with the tools that they need to ensure they have a successful learning journey here at Brierley. Our Early Years provision prepares children for future learning and ensures they are prepared to make a smooth transition into Key Stage 1.

Our Early Years Team: Miss Kershaw (EYFS lead & Reception teacher currently on maternity leave) Miss Nash & Miss Heaton (Nursery teachers), Mrs Taylor (TA), Miss Smith (TA) Miss McGinley (Play Support), Miss Potter (Play Support) and Miss Shayne (TA currently on maternity leave).

We would like to say a big warm welcome to all our new children and their families! We are really looking forward to the year ahead. We are sure you are all eager to find out about how your child / children will learn in Nursery and Reception- here is a little insight!

What is the Foundation Stage?

The Foundation Stage is the term used to describe the learning journey your child will experience during their early years (birth to five) Research shows that children learn best through play; therefore play is central to learning within the Early Years Foundation Stage.

What will your child learn in Nursery and Reception?

Your child will learn through a range of well-planned and purposeful activities in both the indoor and outdoor learning environments. Our Reception team will model, support, encourage and challenge your child as they plan their chosen activities. In Early Years you will often find children learning through play and hands on experiences. We visit farms, shops and the Library and share close links with local businesses. To find out more about the Early Years Curriculum click here!

Sharing Achievements

Assessment is an ongoing and important part of the Foundation Stage. All of the Reception team will take part in observing your child during a range of activities within the indoor and outdoor environments. If you would like to share your child’s experiences, achievements and interests out of school please feel free to add pictures, photographs and certificates along with a brief description into an email to your child’s class teacher.

Start and end of the day routine

The gates will be open between 8:30-8:45 for your child to enter Nursery or Reception. It is from here that you will wave your child off to follow their coloured spot to their classroom door from the gate. The gate will close at 8:45 as this is when our first lesson will commence. This is to maximise time given to the children’s learning. Your child’s school day finishes at 3:00. After the gate has been opened, please follow the correct coloured spots to your child’s class. Blue spots are to be followed for Nursery (enter via Mirion street) and the orange spots are to be followed for Reception (enter via Brierley street). Please stand one person per spot and wait for a teacher to dismiss your child from the class door. If another adult other than yourself is collecting your child please inform the class teacher in the morning. Please also note that only one person may enter the gates to collect one child at a time. If your child attends after-school club, they will be taken by a member of staff to the club.


Your child’s PE day is Friday. Your child must attend school on these days in their full PE kit: plain blue shorts or navy joggers with white t-shirt, pumps or trainers, no jewellery, long hair tied back, a Brierley jumper or cardigan and a coat.


For Reception, reading every day is very important but – due to COVID restrictions – we will be unable to check diaries every day. Therefore, we will be collecting reading books and diaries on a Friday and returning them to you on a Monday once they have been checked. We will continue to read with your child regularly in school and will be keeping our own reading logs to track their progress. Please read with your child each day and write comments in their diaries so that we can see how they are getting on at home. Over the weekend, the focus will be on reading for pleasure which means that your child may choose to read books from home rather than their leveled reading book.

We are passionate about reading and we try to instill from a very young age a love of books. Reading is of great importance to us, as it is to parents, carers and children too. We use number leveled books based on the Reading Recovery programme. These are leveled 0-30, according to difficulty. Texts from different published reading schemes and ‘real’ books are included: fiction and non-fiction. Reading a variety of books develops good habits and independence. Initially in reception your child will bring home books with no words, please don’t worry. Reading is about more than words, it is also important to be able to tell a story using just the pictures. This will then help your child to use the pictures for clues once they begin reading books with words.

At Brierley we aim to nurture lifelong readers and hope children will curl up with a book and read their favourite stories over and over again. Just for the love of it. With challenging texts in school and taking home books at a comfort level, children gain fluency and mastery in both decoding and understanding their books.

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

Progress in reading is as important to parents and carers, as it is to us. Children who are comfortable in having a go and making mistakes will become confident, persevering to work it out for themselves. Please avoid comparing your child with classmates or siblings. Children should be interested in what they read, not what ‘level’ it is.


Please provide an adequate warm coat for your child to wear as we will spend a significant amount of time outside during our school day. We love learning outside! Children must wear black shoes with grey, white or black socks/tights as part of the school uniform policy. Blue cardigans/jumpers must have the school logo on them. May we also ask that it is a rainy day that you send your child in with a pair of wellies to continue their outdoor learning experiences.

The reception team are looking forward to a busy school year, and to forming strong partnerships with parents and carers as well as with the children. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Warmest regards
The Early Years Team