Exciting times ahead!
Starting ‘big school’ is a major milestone in a child’s life and for their families too. When your child first starts school, it’s a new and exciting challenge. Starting or changing schools can be one of the biggest transitions in a child's life, and we are here to help. We value the importance of parental involvement as it is a key role in supporting a child’s positive attitude to learning, so we are keen to work with you in helping your child become ready for starting school. This is an exciting time for all of you and we’d like to support you in the best way we can.
Please remember, your child’s Reception year builds on everything that has gone on before...whether they attended pre-school or a different setting, so please try not to worry!
We have compiled the following tips on starting school that you may find helpful, but please do contact us if you need any further guidance.
Supporting Readiness to Start their Primary School Journey
In order to support your child get ready for starting ’big school’, you may find the following suggestions helpful, although they are not intended as a checklist . There may be some elements that they need to work on a little more; some children may take longer to do all of these things.
Let them know that these are things they will enjoy doing by themselves when they start school.
- Communicate their needs with peers and adults.
- Dress/undress themselves.
- Put their own coat and shoes on.
- Toilet themselves and flush afterwards.
- Wash and dry their own hands.
- Use a knife and fork to eat with.
- Move on to new activities easily.
- Show interest in other children.
- Separate well from their carer.
- Telling you, in their own way, when they feel frustrated.
Getting ready: Support for you!
It is not necessary to teach your child all the numbers, letters and sounds; we will help with that, so don’t worry. If you’d like guidance in supporting your child with any of the skills mentioned, we can provide guidance when you visit us.
Try not to make a big build up to the start date; sound excited if they mention it and always talk positively about it. Celebrate this time with your child as another step into their future.
Clearly label everything that your child brings to school, including clothing, (even pants and socks!!), shoes, water bottles, book bag and hats. You’d be amazed how many items end up in the lost property box!
Remember to complete all the forms and give them to the office staff.
Schools meals, fruit and milk are free when they start school, so don’t worry about sending in money or snacks.
Write all the key dates for the term as soon as you can.
Please try to attend the parent induction events as this is a great opportunity for us all to share information with one another. If you are unable to attend, we will ensure you receive any paperwork that is given out.
Please come to the story sessions; dates to follow. This will give you an opportunity to see the classroom and meet the adults at Waltham Primary School who will be working with your child in September.
There will be a New Starters Welcome meeting for you and your child, which will begin at Pre-school and finish in the Reception classroom. We will show you where to drop off and collect your child and inform you of what to expect when they attend their induction sessions. The Pre-school manager, class teacher and the Head of School will be available to answer any questions and give more information about your child's day.
Your child will be invited to attend four taster sessions, where they will spend time with the current Reception children and staff so they get a good idea of how fun ’big school’ is.
What this might look like
- Wednesday 18th May – Story session 2pm-2.30pm Mrs Copeland and Miss Williamson. Parents can stay and play if they would like to.
- Thursday 26th May – Meeting for parents to meet the class teachers and the Head of School at 6pm. This will be at school in the Reception Classroom. This meeting is just for parents. It is for sharing information about starting school, for example, where and how to get uniform, how to order school lunches, curriculum guidance.
- Wednesday 15th June – Children to visit Holly Class from 1.30pm-3pm. Parents can stay and play if they would like to.
- Wednesday 22nd June – Children to visit Holly Class from 1.30pm-3pm. Parents are encouraged to leave the children to develop independence.
Wednesday 29th June – Teddy Bears Picnic, 2pm-3pm. Please bring your favourite teddy. Parents can stay if they wish.
THE AUTUMN TERM BEGINS: Tuesday 30th August 2022
Getting Ready to Start School
Welcome to Waltham School
Stevie shows you his work
Frequently Asked Questions about Waltham School
Does the school use the Key Person System?
Yes, the class teacher is the key person. However, try not to choose the drop off time for talking to the teacher as she needs to be with the class. Book an appointment via the school office or catch her after school.
Do I need send spare clothes?
Spare socks and pants (labelled please) may be useful; kept in their PE bag, please.
Are there separate toilets for boys and girls?
Children in the mobile share toilets.
Do children have to ask to use the toilet
Yes, purely for safety reasons.
Will they start with full days?
Yes, the school day will be from 8.50 –3.15; children should arrive at 8.40.
Can they bring a comfort toy?
This is not something we encourage; please speak to the class teacher if your child has a specific need.
How will I get feedback about my child?
We continue to build on the Tapestry Learning Journey by using the same platform. We also use a different on-line platform called Seesaw which we will introduce you to at the welcome meeting. We hold termly parents evenings and there will be a written report in the summer. We will have drop-in sessions whereby your child can show you their work. Friday Special Assemblies are a good opportunity for you to find out about your child’s learning too.
How are the new starters looked after in the playground? Do they have a separate area?
When children play outside during lesson time they will be in the area directly outside the classroom. During morning and lunchtime break the older children are encouraged to look after them and adults are out on duty to ensure safety and enjoyment.
Do the children sit in class groups for lunch or are they allowed to sit with siblings/friends? Where do they have lunch?
The teacher and support staff will escort them up into the main school and show them where to sit. All children are encouraged to sit where they are comfortable. The children eating sandwiches sit in small groups in the middle classroom and the hot dinners are eaten in the big room.
Do the teachers come to see us in our home before the first day at school?
No, this is not common practice; however, there are many other opportunities for you and your child to meet the staff.
What are the names of the adults who will be working with my child?
You will be given the names and introduced to the adults when you come for the taster sessions and the New Starters Welcome meeting.
How do I buy school uniform and pay for any other items?
The uniform can be purchased from B&H Midlands in Melton Mowbray. A price list and list of required items will be given to you during the welcome meeting., but if you'd like a head start please feel free to print off the list below.
What is the school behaviour policy?
Please refer to the policy in the 'Key Information' section, which was created by staff, parents, governors and pupils working together.
There are lots of ways to encourage and support your child over the summer months, which will have a positive effect on their development and promote school readiness. These include:
- Sharing books and reading with your child.
- Letting them see you read and write; all children like to copy!
- Demonstrating an awareness of literacy and number by, for example, pointing out letters on road signs, labels in shops, newspapers, menus, prices, numbers on clocks, print in the everyday environment, numbers on doors.
- Singing songs, nursery rhymes and rhyming poems with your child.
- Listening to different styles of music; singing in the car!!
- Visit the library; they usually run a great summer scheme for children.
- Do jigsaw puzzles and play simple board games or cards.
- A simple walk around a village or town can be a huge learning experience as well as creating regular opportunities for them to play with their friends and other children.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, HAVE FUN WHILST DOING ALL THESE THINGS AND ENJOY TALKING TO ONE ANOTHER