Starting "Big" School
A child’s first experiences of school can have a lasting effect upon them and so we aim to make the transition from home to school as enjoyable and as smooth as possible for all our children (and their parents!)
Most children have attended a wide range of pre-schools within our local community. Our first priority is, therefore, building links with the family and helping the children to settle and make friends.
We aim to achieve this by:
- Organising ‘Open Events’ towards the end of the Autumn Term for parents to visit the school and talk with our Headteacher, prior to registering their children at County for starting school in the following September.
- Encouraging parents to bring pre-schoolers to school events – sports day, fairs, productions etc.
- Sending out a letter to parents once their child has been given a place at Canada Hill, requesting various important bits of information. This includes who their friends are so that we can organise all the new children into two Reception Classes with their friends.
- Holding a new parents’ meeting in the summer term before the children start school, to explain about the school in more detail and for parents to meet their child’s new teacher. Parents will be able to see their child’s new classroom and order school uniform. An information booklet and important dates sheet are handed out and discussed.
- Providing two induction visits in their new classroom, so that the children may further familiarise themselves with the school environment and their teacher and peers.
- Home visiting by the child’s teacher in July, during which we exchange important information and discuss issues relating to starting school in a relaxed and informal meeting place. We also give each child a goody bag containing a school teddy, playdough and box of craft resources.
- Over the holidays, staff record stories for children to access online (via Seesaw) and develop an ongoing dialogue, sending and receiving photos and messages.
- Providing part-time schooling for the child’s first few weeks, as a gentle introduction to regular school life.
- Holding another parents’ meeting (towards the end of September) once the children are more settled into their new school life. This explains in greater detail how we teach the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and the areas of learning that the children will be following during their Reception Year, through carefully structured play and adult led activities. We also provide further booklets during this session, about teaching early reading and mathematical skills. These explain fun and practical ways in which you can support your child with developing their reading and numerical skills at home.
- An early assessment of each child helps the teacher to plan for their needs and to discuss with the parents the next steps in their child’s social and educational development.
- Providing an ‘open door policy’ throughout the children’s time at Canada Hill, by encouraging parents to come straight into school to see their child’s class teacher in order to share any concerns or worries that they may have. Alternatively we encourage contact via email or on our online learning platform, Seesaw.
We hope that all this provides a framework which supports children and their families as they start their school life at Canada Hill.