We understand that as a parent/carer with a child starting school for the very first time you may have questions to ask. We have tried to gather some of the more frequently asked questions and their answers here for you, but if there is something else you need to know please don’t hesitate to contact us. No question is a silly question – we are here to help and look forward to starting this journey with you and your family!

Early Years

How is reading/writing/maths taught?
In Reception we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and tailor our teaching to support the individual needs of each pupil. Teachers read one-to-one with every child, every week. We teach phonics, maths and English on a daily basis and we offer workshops for parents/carers to attend at the start of each year, so that you are able to support your children with reading, writing and maths at home.

After these short input sessions we then run lots of activities, both inside and outside, so our children are able to practice their news skills in different contexts. Our teaching staff work with the children to extend and embed their learning. In the afternoons, we explore our ‘big question’ which covers a topic that children will explore for the whole of the half-term.

Can I come into school?
Yes you can come into school on a Monday and Friday morning to complete an Early Morning Activity with your child for 15 minutes. This is also an opportunity to speak with the Early Years team. Throughout the academic year, we hold events such as half-termly monster maths mornings, Grandparents Day, class performances and workshops, as well as parents evening, to ensure that we involve you within your child’s school life. As we move into the Summer Term, we begin to encourage children to come into school more independently and start to prepare for life in Year 1.

What is ‘choosing’?
Children in our Early Years spend time independently planning their own learning. They ‘choose’ the area in which they would like to explore. The adults then facilitate and/or extend the learning taking place. Sometimes the ‘choosing’ play will be play in which the children are exploring feelings such as empathy; sometimes they may act out scenarios in a safe environment; they may negotiate and form friendships; or develop understanding about how to share and compromise. These are just some examples of how ‘choosing’ develops important skills for lifelong learning.

Who will be working with my child?
In our Reception unit we have two teachers, so your child will be allocated to one of these teachers. However, children will still have the opportunity to work with the other teacher, so they are familiar with both members of staff. We also have other support staff working in the Reception unit. Children have access to both classrooms and the outside space at most points throughout the day.

Will my child go outside?
We are very lucky with our outside space as your child will be able to go outside whatever the weather. We ask parents to make sure that children are sent to school with suitable clothing to allow this to happen. As well as playtimes outside, children will go outside for small group activities and also for free choosing time.

Will my child go on school trips?
Yes! We love school trips in Early Years. These include visits to local shops where we buy the ingredients to make gingerbread, or even going to the farm or garden centre. We also welcome visitors into school for workshops and activities.

The School Routine

What is the routine on arrival?
Arrival time is 8:45am and there will always be a member of staff ready to welcome you into the classroom. Your child will then hang his/her coat up on their peg and put their bookbag in their tray. Parents/carers are encouraged to stay on a morning to help children settle in, complete their EMA (early morning activity) and answer the ‘question of the day’. Then, when parents/carers leave school, children will sit on the carpet ready for registration.

What equipment will my child need to bring to school?

  • A bag (school book bag or backpack).
  • A water bottle.
  • A drawstring bag containing their PE kit. This will not be needed until Spring 1.
  • Hat, gloves and scarf for the winter months.
  • Sun hat, sunscreen or sunglasses for the summer months.

We do ask that all children are appropriately equipped to ensure they can access the outdoor provision at all times of the year and that all items have their names on.

What sort of things will my child be doing at school?
During the school day, children will have a ‘check in’ each morning, complete a maths and English session and take part in phonics and big question inputs. These inputs start at around 10 minutes long and will increase as the year goes on. Your child also have the opportunity to play outside and also be given plenty of time to explore the indoor areas of learning. Pupils will also have Coaching sessions three times a week with their vertical Coaching group.

Can my child bring toys into school?
We know your child may want to bring in a toy from home, however, to prevent things getting lost or broken in school, it is better for these to stay at home where they are safe. If your child wants to bring something in to show the class – a special artifact, photograph, project etc. – we are always happy for this to happen but please pass directly to the teacher so that they can be stored safely until the right time.

What if I need to collect my child early for an appointment / we are late coming in to school one morning?
Please inform the school office and the class teacher if you need to collect your child early for an appointment. Wherever possible, we ask to see an appointment card or letter confirming the appointment. On the day of the appointment please wait at the main office and someone will collect your child for you.

If you are late for school one morning you will need to come to the school office as your child will need to be marked as present on the register. They will then be taken to class by the office staff..

What if my child needs medicine during the school day?
We are only able to administer current medicines prescribed by a doctor and clearly labelled with your child’s name. We do not accept medicines at the classroom door, so you will need to fill in a form which is available at the school office.

If your child needs an inhaler, please provide one that can be kept in school. You will be asked to fill in a form so that your child can be added to our asthma register.

Do you run breakfast or after school clubs?
Yes, we offer a breakfast club for all children in school which runs from 7.45am each morning. During this time, children can have a healthy breakfast and play games with their new friends.

We also host an after school club that is ran by ‘Child Seasons’. We ask that you make direct contact with them regarding the after school provision. At the end of the school day, their staff will collect children from the classrooms and take them to the school hall, which is where the club takes place.

What is Independent Learning?
In the Primary Phase, Independent Learning is set for all year groups. It is available every Friday on the school website or the Class Dojo app.

What is Flexible Learning?
In both phases of our school there are a range of Flexible Learning clubs that incorporate enrichment activities, intervention opportunities, sports teams and home learning.

Over 100 sessions are run each week. These range from traditional sports clubs such as athletics and cricket, to climate ambassadors, gospel choir, knitting and cross stitch, dance and creative writing. Our pupils have many chances to pursue what they enjoy, meet new friends and try new things.

Parental Engagement

What is expected of me as a parent/carer?
We encourage parents/carers to take an active role in their child’s school life. This will include; reading at home, attending parent workshops (where possible), attending parents evening, keeping school up to date with any changes in your circumstance and most importantly, making sure your child is prepared for the school day e.g. having a good sleep, eating a healthy breakfast.

If you find you need any help, or even just someone to talk to, please get in touch via our school office and they can put you through to our family support team.

How do you communicate with parents/carers?
In Early Years we use a system called Class Dojo to communicate with parents/carers. On this platform you are able to contact the Early Years team and it is also used to share photographs of your child’s learning both at school and at home.

We also use a system called Target Tracker which is used as an assessment tool to show your child’s progression in Reception. Your child will receive weekly Independent Learning that will also highlight key information that you may need to know.

We hold weekly assemblies that you are welcome to attend where children receive awards.

Our school website will share key information such as calendar dates and learning that has taken place in Reception. We also have a school Facebook and Twitter page which shares weekly updates of what is happening in school.

As a school we aim to share and celebrate as many activities that our children and staff engage in as possible.


What is the school uniform?

  • Polo shirt in House colour (£10.50)
  • Grey CMCS jumper (£11) or grey CMCS cardigan (£12) for Reception – Year 4
  • Black CMCS sweatshirt (£12) or black CMCS cardigan (£12) for Years 5 & 6
  • Grey trousers/dress/shorts/skirt or summer dress in relevant House colour
  • Plain black/white/grey socks
  • Supportive black shoes, appropriate for outdoor use
  • No jewellery, except for one plain stud in each ear

Optional items

  • Book bag (£8.50)
  • Shoe bag (£5)
  • Water bottle (£2.50)
  • Sun hat (£3.50)

School uniform can be purchased throughout the year from our main reception. Prices are included above of the items that are sold exclusively at Carr Manor Community School.

Uniform Exchange
Please take a look at the Carr Manor Community School Uniform Exchange Facebook Page, which has been set up by the PTA of our primary phase, but is open to both primary and secondary families. This group has been set up for buying, selling and giving away Carr Manor Community School uniform.

What is the PE kit?

  • Black CMCS t-shirt (£6)
  • Black shorts, leggings, or tracksuit bottoms
  • Trainers

PE kit can be purchased throughout the year from our main reception. Prices are included above of the items that are sold exclusively at Carr Manor Community School.

Our Coaching and House System

What is the Coaching system?
The unique Coaching programme at Carr Manor is central to knowing our children well, which is one of our four key values. Every member of staff, including non-classroom-based staff, receive continuous training and support to effectively coach around 10 pupils.  

In the Primary Phase, Coaching groups consist of pupils from Reception – Year 5, and in the Secondary Phase from Year 6 – Year 11.  A coach meets with their coaching group three times a week and will ‘walk shoulder to shoulder’ with them through their time in school and a parent/carers first point of contact in school.  Coaching groups come together to collect House points, review targets and discuss any areas of concern and to generally prepare for the week ahead.  

Coaches also provide support on a one-to-one basis to discuss particular areas of concern or achievement. It is our aim to ensure that every pupil has a member of staff working alongside them as a form of support. At Carr Manor, we are eager to develop strong relationships with pupils’ families by meeting with parents/carers three times a year at ‘Meet Your Coach’ days. Parents recognise the benefit of closely knowing a member of staff who can advocate for their child 

How are coaching groups put together?
Before a child starts with us, we receive information from their nursery or primary school, along with our own information from any visits or meetings, that helps us place pupils in the right coaching group for them. We look to create a blend of pupils in each group to help develop children’s ability to empathise and better understand people with different interests and skills. The most important factor for us is what coaching attributes will be best fit for each child’s needs in order to help them flourish. 


Click here for further information about our coaching system.

What is the House system?
All pupils and members of staff are in one of four Houses. The Houses are named after local sporting heroes (Jason) Robinson, (Jane) Tomlinson, (Fred) Trueman and (Billy) Bremner.

Pupils in Robinson wear a purple polo shirt, Tomlinson wear green, Trueman wear yellow and Bremmer wear blue. This means that children can always see what House another child is in.

Throughout the year we run a variety of House activities to encourage healthy competition between pupils. These include charity weeks, where each House raises money for their chosen charity, sports days and end of term competitions such as tug-of-war and ‘old-school’ style sports days.

Pupils can earn points for their House in lessons, coaching and for other activities, such as attending clubs, intervention classes and representing the school. At the end of the school year, the House with the most points is presented with the coveted House trophy.

School meals

How do I apply for free school meals or find out if I am eligible?
You can claim Free School Meals for any child who normally lives with you and who is classed as being under your parental care. To get Free School Meals you must receive one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit (and your net combined household income is less than £7,400 a year after tax).

  • Income Support, Pension Guarantee Credit or Income-based Job Seekers Allowance.
  • Income-related Employment Support Allowance.
  • Child Tax Credit Only (With No Working Tax Credit) and your Annual Taxable Income does not exceed £16,190.

Please visit www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals for more information. Alternatively, please ask at the main office for an application form

Where will my child have dinner and what will they have?
Your child will eat their dinner in the main dining hall. The Early Years children eat at a slightly earlier time than the older children in school. They will be supported by a member of the Early Years team and the lunch time staff but will also be encouraged to build their independence. If they are having a school dinner they will choose from two options, which include; meat option, vegetarian option and jacket potato option. The menu runs on a 3 weekly cycle and your child’s class teacher will happily give you a copy of this so that you can see what your child has had to eat or help them to choose their next meal.

How does my child pay for school meals?
In the Primary Phase, school meals are free for all children from Reception to Year 2. Charges apply from Year 3 and parents/carers can pay for dinner money via ParentPay or at the Primary Phase school office.

Do children need to bring a snack to school?
Reception children will be provided with free fruit and milk each day, in addition to their lunch time meal, so there is no need for them to bring any other snacks into school.