School Logo

What Learning Looks Like at Cookley



In our Nursery and Reception class we use topics and themes to make learning come to life and tailor these to meet the children’s needs and interests. Each week we base our learning around a quality text, to develop vocabulary and enrich the children's learning.  We promote the Characteristics of Effective Learning through a mix of child-led and adult guided learning. Throughout the day, good use is made of the outdoor environment for learning as well as indoors. All of the children are taught phonics and maths skills every day, appropriate to their age and stage of development.


Learning opportunities are carefully planned so that each day, children grow and develop in their knowledge, understanding and skill across all areas of the curriculum. Children are also taught and encouraged to demonstrate respect and responsibility for their environment and this involves taking care of equipment and resources both indoors and outdoors.  


Fruit and milk time is a special part of the day for all children, where the children have the opportunity to develop their speaking and listening skills as they 'snack and chat'. All reception class children are entitled to a universal infant free school meal and dine together before enjoying playground activities.


We believe that a close partnership with parents and carers is important for children to achieve well and we like to develop strong links with home. Parents and carers are invited into school each half term to join in with a variety of activities and celebrate their child’s learning and achievements.








Thrive supports children with their emotional health, well being and social skills, all of which are needed to enable learning to take place. Children cannot always put their needs into words, but the way children behave can tell us a lot about how they are feeling. Now embedded as a whole-setting approach, from Reception to Year 6, Thrive not only supports the social and emotional development of all children but also helps to manage distressed behaviour and reduce exclusions. Our talented, Thrive practitioners support the children through carefully planned activities, working with individuals and small groups as appropriate, offering specific support, teaching and opportunities to develop children's social and emotional skills to help children to become emotionally resilient. 



Forest School


Nursery and Reception Class children attend a weekly Forest School session throughout the whole of the academic year whilst children from Years 1 to Years 6 attend a weekly session for the whole of a half term. This enables all of our learners to benefit from the rich experiences Forest School is able to offer.

Forest School promotes all aspects of children's early years development. It endorses children's physical well being by getting them active and enjoying the fresh air. Forest School naturally supports children to become more aware of their physical selves. It allows children to safely explore and test their own boundaries. They face fears, develop skills, test ideas and make discoveries. It enables the children to develop their strength and resilience needed to cope with emotional difficulties and transfer these skills back into their classroom and wider lives. Learning is creative and supports in developing each child's confidence as they problem solve and learn to manage risks. 


Our fully trained Forest School Leaders, plan valuable experiences and opportunities to meet the needs of the children as well as following the interests and ideas provided by the children themselves, whilst they explore and learn in the natural environment. The children enjoy hands-on experiences in the natural environment and benefit from exploring the environment across all of the seasons, meaning no session is ever the same.

Making houses for The Three Little Pigs

Elves and The Shoemaker; hammering skills and barefoot walk

Creating consistency between home and school is so important for young learners and we work hard to support our families to achieve this. Below you can find details about some of the ways in which we teach and learn at Cookley to further support you at home with your children.



Phonetic development is an important part of Early Learning, wherever your child goes to school. At Cookley, we teach Phonics through use of 'Jolly Phonics'. In Nursery, children work on developing their listening skills, sound awareness, rhyme, alliteration, sound-talk and book-talk skills, as well as being introduced to some of the Jolly phonics stories and songs they will encounter through a more rigorous and formal approach to Jolly Phonics sessions in Reception class. Linked below is a video which demonstrates the Jolly Phonics songs we will be using to help children learn and retain their sounds.



Below is a poster showing the way that we form our letters when writing in Reception. It is really important that children are encouraged to form their letters the same way at home as they do in school to help them embed these skills. Starting and ending in the correct place is crucial in preparing children to join their letters when they move into Year One. Before we write our letters, we spend a long time working on pencil grip, mark-making skills and on strengthening to muscles in our arms and hands, ready to write. 



When learning to write in Reception, we will be using aspects of the The Write Stuff approach to writing. This includes us learning about and using a range of symbols to help us structure and improve our writing. In Reception, we make use of the FANTASTICS symbols, shown below. These focus on using our senses to help us express ourselves, alongside our thoughts, feelings, speech and action words. Your child will become familiar with the symbols below as they embark on their writing journey at Cookley.




Below is a pdf of the number formation rhymes that we will be using in Nursery and Reception to help your child learn to write their numbers.