Cotmanhay Infant and Nursery School

Celebrate, Inspire, Nurture, Succeed





Starting Reception


Reception classes are led by Miss Foster, (the schools EYFS coordinator) Mrs Holmes and Mrs Meer and the curriculum follows the Early Years foundation.


There are 80 places in each school year and applications are made via Derbyshire LA

School places are usually notified around Easter and each June we invite children in to visit the school and attend a session with their new teacher ready to prepare them for the start of the year.


In September we gently introduce the children to school life, with shorter days for the first two weeks of the Autumn term. After that they follow the normal school timetable and we find the majority of the children settle quickly and happily.





Your child's day in reception:


  • Every morning your child will experience a variety of Mathematical or Literacy based activities on alternate days over the week.
  • All children take part in five differentiated letters and sounds groups across the year band for 20 minutes at 9.55am everyday.
  • Our teaching assistants complete lots of extra targeted work with small groups of children to help ensure all children achieve their full potential.
  • Staff support children’s learning through a balance of adult led and child initiated learning both inside and outside.
  • Observations are made on a continuous basis to ensure all children’s needs are met and all children are challenged to make the best possible progress.
  • Each class does PE twice a week.
  • Children go to an assembly for 15 minutes every day at 10.15am.
  • Hand writing is taught every day, usually just before lunch time.
  • Dinner time is between 12.30pm and 1.30pm.
  • During the afternoon session children experience a variety of activities with a focus on Knowledge and Understanding of the World, Physical Development and Expressive Arts and Design.

Tracking the progress of our children:


  • In nursery and Reception each child completes a comprehensive baseline assessment within the first three weeks.
  • Each child has a ‘Developmental Matters booklet’ that records each pupils attainment and their progress is tracked on an excel document. From this any children who need any extra help are quickly identified and receive support to help ensure all our children make the best possible progress.
  • All the information is passed to the Reception and then to the Year One teachers so they can plan the next step of learning.
  • Every child has a ‘Learning Journey’ that contains observations and photographs which records children’s achievements on a program called ‘early essence’. All parents have access to this program for their child only. The information on the system is very secure therefore we will provide you with a user name and password to access your individual child's information. This user name and password will need to be kept safe and not shared with anyone else, should more than one parent or guardian wish to access their child's information we have a unique user name and password for each parent or guardian.  This will allow parents to contribute and see the progress their child is making. We welcome parents to make comments on the photos of their child and upload any significant pictures or events that happen while your child is at home.
  • It is really important for the staff to have lots of information about every child’s learning and development at home. Parents are encouraged to complete a questionnaire every term about their child’s progress and attend termly parents evenings.


Please tell us about your child's interests, learning and development at home


  • Please attend our ‘open mornings’.
  • Please complete and return the questionnaires we send out every term.
  • Please write in your child’s reading book to tell staff how they are doing.
  • Please tell us what your child enjoys doing at home on the information slips available in your child’s class.
  • Read the weekly information sheet on what your child has learned that week and how you can help them at home.
  • Please help your child practise any spellings sent home weekly.
  • Please log onto the early essence program to see what your child has been doing in school.

How you can help your child at home



Assessment is key in the EYFS to ensure that children are constantly learning, developing, achieving and reaching their full potential. Within reception we find many different forms of assessment useful however our main form of assessing children's development is through observation; watching and listening to the children play to find out how they are learning, what they are learning and what they like doing. We currently use early essence, which is a secure online assessment program, to record and monitor these observations and to generate individual learning journals. Parents are able to access these learning journals online and using the "All About Me" features, can contribute towards their child's development by sharing their child's achievements and experiences from home. Please be assured that only you as the parent/guardian will have access to your child’s profile as it is totally secure and you will be given a unique user name and password.

If you would like access to primary essence please see a member of the reception team and we will provide you with the access codes and passwords needed. Thank you