Starting in Reception Class

Children in the early years get off to a good start and settle quickly into their learning routines. Children are supported by skilled adults to rehearse and remember new vocabulary and knowledge through carefully planned activities. This includes important foundational knowledge for English and mathematics. (Ofsted September 2022)


Presentation for Prospective Parents/Carers 2024


Most of our children join us in the Early Years Foundation Stage (Reception) Class and stay with us for seven years until they start secondary school. We welcome pupils from all of the local pre-schools and some from further afield. We work closely with our local feeder schools to make sure that St Mary's children have a happy and settled start to their school lives.

[In the early years class] Pupils are taught the language they need to explain mathematical ideas and describe patterns. Children have opportunities to apply their knowledge through engaging number and shape activities in the classroom and outdoor area. (Ofsted September 2022)

In the autumn term, the year before the child is due to start school, parents/carers are invited by the Local Authority to make their applications for school places. We hold open sessions during this term so that parents/carers and children are able to visit the school, hear about our approach to learning and ask questions that will help in their decision making. We also welcome private visits to the school during which the Headteacher, Mrs Denham-Hale, enjoys meeting prospective parents personally and welcoming them to St Mary's.






In the summer term our new parents/carers are invited to a welcome meeting, which is followed by a series of taster sessions for the children to attend. This builds their confidence about starting school in September. The Early Years Foundation Stage staff also visit the children in their own pre-schools, as well as making home visits during the summer term, so that all of our children have a great start to school life.

In September, we ensure that the children have a gentle introduction to school over a few days. They will all be attending school full time after four or five days and the children very quickly settle in to the normal pattern of school life.

We are extremely proud of our Early Years and Foundation Stage, which was praised by Ofsted in September 2022. Please contact the school on 01621 782626 or email us at for further information. 

Pupils are listened to, and their well-being is well considered. These factors, alongside high expectations, contribute to the good behaviour of pupils. (Ofsted September 2022)