Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions we are usually asked by parents of new starters at the school. If you have a question that we have not covered, please email your question to


My child is extremely shy. I'm worried that they won't have any friends.

Often very shy children are less confident about starting school but please don't worry. Experience tells us that although it may take some time, all children make friends with another child or children with similar interests. The freedom to play and follow their own interests within the learning environment at Mossgate fosters strong relationships between children and adults.


What if my child needs the toilet?

Children in the Reception class have direct access to toilets which they can use at any time. They do not have to ask for permission to go.


I usually help my child when they go to the toilet. Will school staff do the same?

Children are expected to start in Reception fully toilet trained (unless they have specific medical needs - please discuss with staff prior to September). However, we know that accidents will sometimes occur and staff will sensitively support the child where needed if this was to happen.


My child is a fussy eater. I'm worried my child won't eat anything all day. What can you do to help?

Children are offered a piece of fruit as snack each morning or you can provide a piece of fruit that you know your child will eat. At lunchtime, children have 3 choices & usually there is something that every child likes but if we notice that your child isn't eating very much we will let you know. We can then have a discussion around whether you could provide a packed lunch on the days you think your child won't like anything on the menu (menus are available from the School Office).


What if my child gets thirsty?

We provide water bottles for all children that they can freely access throughout the day.


My child struggles with getting dressed. Will you help him/her to get changed for P.E?

Getting dressed and undressed is a key skill for young children to master. We understand that fastenings like zips, buttons and buckles are tricky so therefore will provide support with these as required. On the other hand, basic skills such as taking clothes off & putting them on are expected to be done independently by the child when starting school. Please practise getting dressed & undressed from uniform to P.E. kit and back. Try to resist the temptation to do it all for them in the mornings and at bedtime - leave enough time to allow them to do it themselves.  On P.E. days please avoid sending girls in tights or dresses as they find these notoriously difficult to manage independently.


What will my child be doing all day? Will they just be playing?

Children in Reception learn best through play, so yes your child will play freely for most of the day & be encouraged to join in with playful learning activities directed by adults too. However, there are aspects of the curriculum we need to teach more directly and so there are set times during the day where we teach phonics, reading, writing and number to the whole class at once. A typical day is structured like this:



What will we be doing?


Doors open. Children make lunch choice.

Learning through play (indoors or outdoors) **


Phonics – whole class together


Break time – on large playground with other classes


Learning through play (indoors or outdoors) **

Follow up phonics activities with an adult 1:1 or in small groups


Number time – whole class together


Lunchtime – eat in the school hall, then play outside on large playground with other classes


Reading/Story/Language Time – whole class together


Learning through play (indoors or outdoors) **


Story – whole class together


Home time

** Whilst children are learning through play, adults are supporting & extending learning through their interactions with children. Sometimes an adult may have a pre-planned learning activity for children to take part in.