New to Reception September 2020
Welcome to the New to Reception page. We hope that this page helps you during these uncertain times. We hope that there is lots of information here to help answer the questions that you may have. We are very much looking forward to meeting you all in September.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens on a day to day basis?
Children come into school at 8.55 and leave at 3.30. During that time they engage in a range of activities designed to cover the full Reception curriculum. They have PE lessons, ICT lessons and Music lessons throughout the week. Alongside spending time in their own classroom and ‘base’, they have time to learn outside and in our ‘Hive’ which is a really creative space. For a more detailed timetable, please look at the Daily Routine tab below.
What happens at lunchtime?
All children eat their lunch in the school hall. They have plenty of time to do this. Their class teacher ensures that everyone is helped to choose their lunch and that children with special dietary needs receive the correct meal. Children are given their lunches on a tray and they are encouraged to make their own selections from a salad bar. We start with smaller portions when they first start so that it is not too daunting for them. There are lots of staff in the hall to help with the cutting of food but it is always helpful to teach children how to cut food when they are with you at home. The more independent children can be with this, the happier they are! It also helps to encourage your child to eat a wide range of food. The influence of their friends can have a huge effect at school and you may find that they come home saying that they’ve eaten something that they never had before. We do a lot of cooking activities at school which also helps children to explore a range of food.
Where do I drop my child off and pick them up?
Please watch the video link that we sent you introducing you to the school. This will help you to understand the system! Basically, you will all come in through the Year One gate, walk your child through the playground and into the Reception playground and line up with all of the other parents at your designated place. You repeat the process at the end of the day. Lining up really helps to create a calm start and finish to the school day.
It is also vital that you are on time bringing and collecting your child. No-one likes to walk into a room full of people or be left until last every day. It very much undermines a child’s self-esteem. However, please be patient with the staff in the early days as not only do they have to learn about the children, but they also need to learn about who picks your child up and this may be more than one person throughout the week. If you do need to inform us of any changes, please do so promptly so as to avoid confusion or embarrassment.
How can I communicate with my class teacher?
If you have an urgent message to pass on, please write a note and hand it to the teacher at the beginning of the day. It is important to keep communication with the teachers as brief as possible at this time as their priority will be receiving all of the children as quickly as possible to make it as calm as possible. If you would like a longer conversation with the teacher, please wait until the end of the school day or make an appointment with him or her. The teacher will dismiss the majority of the class before they are able to chat with you so that their concentration is not disturbed whilst sending children to their parents safely.
In addition to this, we have a fabulous app based program called Marvellous Me which we use to send personal messages and awards to you and your child. We also have regular consultation meetings and use a program called 2buildaProfile to email you photographs of your child’s achievements. We also produce a newsletter on a Friday, which is emailed to you. Please use this to check for dates, notices and other vital information. Our website is growing all of the time (just like we are!) and contains a lot of information about the curriculum and the sorts of things that children are doing in each half term. There are helpful things to do at home and we hold workshops to give you more information about how we can all work together to support your child. Please also look out for our Twitter page. We update it with lots of news.
What about toileting?
In Reception children are able to use the toilet whenever they need to. They don’t have to ask, unless it is at lunchtime when they are all outside. We hope that by the time children come to Reception, they can use the toilet independently so it’s a good idea to practice this in the weeks before the new academic year. Children are happier when they rely less on adults.
How can I help my child to settle quickly into their new class?
It is really important that you give off good school ‘vibes’. Children are very quick to pick up on your own anxieties and turn them into theirs. Obviously it is important to talk about their concerns openly, but keep it positive so that children begin to trust the adults in their settings. If you do have any concerns, please talk to the teacher out of the child’s earshot.
But what about the first day when I drop them off?
If you worry that you might get emotional, it is important to hide this from your child. They need to feel safe at school and this is hard if they see you crying, even if it’s tears of pure joy! If they are teary about coming in, please don’t worry, the teachers are all very experienced with this and will look after your child. If they are particularly distressed, please feel free to ring and check on them later. If your child is having real problems settling, we will try to call you. No news is good news! The best thing to do on day one is tell them that you love them and that you can’t wait to hear about the fun that they’ve had. It helps if you have brought your child’s PE kit in on the visit days rather than burden them with it on the first day!
What if I need to tell you something on the first day?
Please ensure that all relevant information such as who is collecting your child on a regular basis, medical issues etc. is written down and passed onto staff beforehand. On the first day, the children need to enter school quickly so as to avoid any distress. Conversations between parents and teachers prolongs this. It’s not that we don’t care, in fact it’s quite the opposite. We want all children to have the very best start.
Will my child have to undergo the Baseline testing?
The Government have postponed the start date for the official Baseline testing process. However, we do need to gather information for our own school records so that we can tailor teaching for each child and track their progress. In order to learn about your child we use play based activities and observations of them. We do not ask them to complete tests and we enjoy the quality time spent with the children.
Why the long start?
Many, many years of experience have taught us that children need time to transition between their prior setting, or home and school. This year, possibly more than ever. The part time start really helps children to get to know each other in smaller groups and their teachers can build relationships with them quickly. A large class of 30 children can be very daunting to begin with and we want all children to be the happiest that they can be. It is also a very tiring time for them. Imagine the first few weeks of starting a new job. Everything from finding out where the toilets are, to finding out what you are expected to do and where you are able to work, is an exhausting period; filled with hundreds of questions. It’s just the same for your child.
What can I do to help at home?
Please read and re-read the Ready Set Go booklet in your induction pack. It is full of tips to help your child become the best that they can be. It’s been created following years of experience. Please ensure that you write your child’s name on a label on all their school clothing or equipment. A permanent marker, fabric pen, woven labels or printed garment labels are all acceptable. Please trust us, it is very stressful for your child if they can’t find an item of their clothing and the adults are unable to help if it hasn’t got their name written in/on it. When your child starts their PE lesson, having a clearly identifiable PE bag with a clear name and items that are clearly named are absolutely essential. It is worth considering buying or making a drawstring bag for this purpose as it makes your child's bag easier for them to find on a table with others. There is no requirement for the bag to have a Churchfields Logo.
In the early weeks you will be given several usernames and passwords. You will receive your Marvellous Me Login details so that you can receive important class messages and your child's fabulous news. You will also receive login details for the websites 'Education City' and 'Bug Club' which are online interactive programs that help your child consolidate key skills. They really are very good.
The most important thing that you can do now, is enjoy the time with your child, look at the school website, show them the pictures of the Reception areas in the Pictures link below and talk positively with them about the start to school. We created our very own YouTube channel during ‘Lockdown’. This is the link to it. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyq4K1DFJd0FZTxvdTcqQnA There are many videos of stories being read by staff from school. It will help your child to familiarise themselves with the staff if you watch some of these lovely clips with them. Maybe you’ll spot their favourite story!
Thank you for taking the time to read this page. We hope you have found it useful, bearing in mind the trickiest of situations that we find ourselves in. We are really looking forward to meeting you and your child. Please feel free to ask questions when you come to visit with them in September.
Enjoy your summer!
Mrs Lannin and the Reception Team