Starting school in Reception
At Hunsley Primary, we recognise how important it is to get to know our pupils and their parents before they arrive in September. We want you and your child to have a smooth and supported positive experience. It is really helpful if our children can get to know us and meet a few friendly faces before their first day. We also feel it is beneficial to know as much about our pupils as individuals before they arrive and plan the following transition journey to ensure we are fully informed about the needs of your child as soon as they start school with us:
- Links with pre-schools and nurseries – Reception staff liaison with pre-school and nursery staff to talk about individual children and their needs. Sharing this wealth of information and understanding is the key to children settling in quickly and happily at Hunsley Primary.
- Meeting the new Reception class – Reception staff will also visit pre-school and nursery settings, as well as carry out home visits, to meet, talk with and observe the children who will be joining us – we talk with key workers, join in with play and read stories to get to know the child as an individual.
- Pre-school children will also be invited up to the school to meet their teacher. We take photographs to capture the transition and look back in September at how far the children have come and is a vital part of mapping out the children’s learning journey. This will also allow you and your child to meet the Head of Hunsley Primary.
- Learning Journey evidence – key workers and reception staff will share evidence of the child’s learning journey so far, to aid the planning of the Reception staff.
- ‘Meet the Teacher’ event – we hold a ‘Meet the Teacher’ event in Summer, to give parents the chance to talk in detail with staff, prepare for the first day of term, ask questions and request a home visit or meeting regarding SEN, if this is desirable.
The pre-school setting also talks to the children about their move to primary school and completes a transfer form to pass on to Hunsley Primary. As parents, you will also be asked to complete a form (All About Me) regarding your child’s own unique strengths, interests and preferences, which is sent to the Reception Team at Hunsley Primary. We believe it is vital that the excellent knowledge and understanding contributed by both pre-school settings and parents can really help us get to know your child so we can build on their skills, knowledge and development and allow us to prepare our provision accordingly.
Preparing for school
Many parents feel unable to help because education is changing so quickly but you can make a major contribution. Indeed, we believe that only if parents, children and teachers work together will a child work effectively. We welcome parental input and value the expertise parents bring. It is also vital that we actively seek your regular feedback and updates regarding your child’s progress at home, so that we have as full a picture as possible of their unique skills, knowledge, understanding and abilities.
- Set aside time to discuss the move from pre-school to Reception with their child. S/he will have mixed feeling about new faces and a new setting.
- Make sure they are properly equipped for each day.
- Check their Journal every night for activities, messages and other information and sign once a week.
- Encourage them by being positive about their achievements and talking about what they have been learning and doing in school.
- Avoid term time holidays.
- Try to attend Parent Teacher Consultations.
- Label every item of clothing with their name and encourage them to take responsibility for key items of clothing such as school sweatshirts. If your child recognises his or her names, this can be very reassuring when they are locating their own things.
- Help your child with their independent toilet routines: reassure them that they will be able to go to the toilet in school whenever they need to, and remind them about flushing and hand washing routines, as we will too.
- If your child is not yet confident with other personal skills, such as wiping their own nose, using a knife and fork or getting shoes and PE clothing on and off independently, aim to reinforce these simple skills at home before September, as well as during the year ahead, to give your child confidence to be independent and reduce any anxiety. Help will always be at hand, however, and Velcro fastenings on shoes can be a good interim measures in the early stages.