Like most schools around the UK, we would usually invite parents into school for information sessions and arrange for children to visit to get to know their new school environment and meet their teachers.
However we’re now thinking about alternative ways of helping our new starters with the move to big school. This will be both in terms of how we can help the children get a feel for the school, the staff and the way we do things, and also what parents can do with children while they’re at home to get them ready for transition.
We do know that parents will miss out on physically coming in to school before their child starts, but we’re exploring ways to make sure you have all the information you need, which will help everyone when school does begin. We’re already exploring the options of video conferences, recordings shared on our website, and an online platform that parents can log into and ask questions.
Seeing the school building and layout can be really useful and we are developing a virtual tour to add below and we will post lots of pictures.
Initial getting to know you meetings will now be phone calls or video chats, and the extra work we’d do with families of children with additional learning needs will still happen, but in new ways. Ironing out the details will take time, but we do not want any of our families to feel unprepared.
How you can help your child to prepare for starting school
One thing to remember is that pre-schoolers don’t need to do lots of what you might think of as schoolwork at home before they start. Our Reception team will always say that getting dressed and undressed and using the toilet independently are key skills which can be encouraged at home. The simple things can be really helpful, too: getting familiar with numbers, letters and sounds, singing nursery rhymes, and just doing things with your children like baking, getting out in the garden if you have one and simply chatting with them. Parents often underestimate the value of talking with their children, and that’s something that preschool children who are at home might get a lot more of.
Below you will find some links to more information to help you prepare your child for school.
Sharing engaging stories and picture books about starting school is a great way to gently prepare your child for their first day.
Below are some picture books about starting school - we hope they help you and your little one.
How to talk to your child about the change in plans
Things are uncertain at the moment, but this doesn’t need to affect the way you talk about transition with children of this age. We approach a lot of things thinking like an adult, but children tend to be more resilient than adults in many ways. They don’t need to know that things aren’t happening the way they would do normally. They take things at face value and tend to throw themselves into most things - we just sometimes need to shield them from our own worries. The conversation can be as simple as, “We’re waiting for a message to tell us when you’re going to start school, isn’t that really exciting?” And it is really exciting, for them and for their school. We can’t wait to meet them!