The Foundation Stage
The child’s first experiences of school can have a lasting effect upon him/her and so we aim to make the transition from home to school as enjoyable and smooth as possible for all children (and their parents!) Most children have attended a range of pre-schools within our local community, including Ogwell Pre-school, with which we have close contacts. Our main emphasis is, therefore, upon building links with the family. We aim to achieve this by: ·
- Giving time to parents to visit the school and discuss any issues at point of registration.
- Encouraging parents to bring pre-schoolers to school events - sports day, fairs, Christmas productions etc.
- Organising “Stepping Stones” for weekly sessions, the term prior to starting school. This is held in school for just over an hour, with staff from Ogwell Pre-School supervising the children.
- Holding a new parents meeting one evening in the term before the children start school, to explain about the school in more detail and for the parents to meet their child’s new teacher. An opportunity for ordering school uniform is also made available during this evening and an information booklet about the school is issued.
- Providing two induction visits in their new classroom, so that the children may familiarise themselves with the school environment, their teacher, teaching assistants and peers.
- Home visiting by the child’s teacher, prior to the children starting school, during which we exchange important information and discuss issues relating to starting school in a relaxed and informal meeting place.
- Providing part-time schooling for the child’s first few weeks, as a gentle introduction to regular school life. ·
- Holding another parents meeting 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 six areas of learning that the children will be following during their Reception Year, through carefully structured play. We also provide further booklet during this session. One is called “Teaching children to read at Canada Hill”, which explains fun and practical ways in which parents can support their child with developing their reading skills at home. The other asks parents to complete a commentary booklet linked to their child's development in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage which gives a snapshot of their child's interests, achievements and enthusiasms at home – this provides the teachers with a greater picture of each child.
- 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.
- The curriculum that we provide at Canada Hill provides the children with a strong emphasis on practical and play based activities linked to the stimulating topics that we cover. This allows the children to progress in all areas of their development, in conjunction with the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Together, this provides a positive and structured framework which supports children and their families as they start their school life at Canada Hill.