Dear Parents and Carers,
Firstly, welcome to your child’s first year at school. I hope that you have all had a lovely summer and that you are feeling refreshed and ready for the exciting year ahead. In order to help you and your child settle into school life I have put together some key information for you.
First two weeks of term
Week beginning Monday 5th September-Children in school until 12.45.
Week beginning Monday 12th September- Children in school all day. School will finish at 3.00pm
Mrs England is our class teaching assistant and she works in Foundation Stage full time.
I will have my PPA (planning, preparation and assessment) time every Tuesday afternoon and I will be out of the class. Mrs Hale and Mrs Rama will take the class alongside Mrs England.
Each term you will receive a copy of our plan. This is a brief outline and is subject to change depending upon the children’s particular interests. The plan for this term is with this letter.
Please could each child bring in a photo of them with their family. These will go on display in the classroom and help us all to get to know each other. Photos will then go in the children’s learning journeys.
Please be aware that we have a child in the class with a serious egg allergy. This includes all egg products, salad cream and mayonnaise. Please bear this in mind when sending your child in with a packed lunch or bringing in food to the classroom.
Each child will have their own learning journey, in which their work will be kept. This will then form a record of their achievements and will be sent home with them at the end of the school year. The books will be kept on the windowsill in the classroom; you are very welcome to look at your child’s learning journey at any time, although they will be out during open mornings, when we will encourage you to contribute to them by making written comments to stick in.
Home school news book
Every child has a news book which will be kept in their book bag. The book is for parents to note any day to day information that you think we should be aware of. Please use this book as often as you wish so that you can keep us informed of any issues or events at home. In the past parents have used it to make comments about something that their child has learn to do or to let us know that their child has had a busy weekend and might be tired. It is useful to use the book if your child will be coming to school on the bus or will be attending after school club and we won’t be able to personally communicate information with you. We ask you to hand the book directly to a staff member in the morning whenever you have made an entry and we will try our best to respond to your comments that day. Please check your child’s news book at the end of the day for comments, it will be in their book bag.
In class we have a WOW wall; this stands for ‘what outstanding work’ and is used to celebrate the children’s achievements both at school and at home. It is your chance to share your child’s achievements, such as; learning to ride their bike, writing their name independently, making a new friend, enjoying a day out or it could be something they have done that is linked to our school value of the month. I will be sending out a blank leaf to every parent on Monday and it would be fantastic if you could fill your leaf in with a WOW and return by the end of the month. There will be blank leaves by the WOW wall if you need spares, alternatively there are post-it notes next to the board for you to record your child’s achievement. Please stick your child’s ‘WOW’ on the board to create a tree. All WOW’s will be read out during our special WOW celebrations on the last Friday of each month.
Please wait by our door to be let in. Please note that school gates will not be open until 8.30am. We will then open the door to our classroom at 8.40am. Please come in through the double doors and then leave through the singe door in the toilets, this will then ease the congestion in both the classroom and cloakroom. Between 8.40-8.55am we ask you to help your child hang up their coat, put their book bag in the colour coded boxes and then help them to self-register (from next week onwards). If you are able to stay with your child until we shake the tambourine at 8.55 then please enjoy sharing a book together.
End of the day
School finishes at 3pm and we ask you to wait outside the classroom door until one of us comes to open it. Please be aware that although the children will be getting ready to come home we are encouraging them to be independent and would kindly ask that you do not distract them at the window. In order to ensure that each child goes home safely we ask the children to wait on the carpet until we call their name when we have seen the adult responsible for collecting them. It is important that we have seen you before your child leaves, so please be patient whilst the children get used to this routine. If your child is being collected by someone other than you please could you let us know, you can do this by filling out the home-time arrangements form on the parent notice board.
In Reception we use the whole school responsibility chart to re-enforce behaviour management. Each child starts the day with their name on the sky , if they do something really positive (try really hard with their work, are kind and thoughtful to others etc) then they might be told to place their name on the responsible pupils board. If they then continue to demonstrate that they are responsible they will be told to move their name to the superstar board. At the end of each week we celebrate all our superstars and the chdilren are allowed to choose a reward, this could be 10 minutes of golden time on the apparatus or extra choosing time. However if a child chooses not to follow the rules they will initially be given a verbal warning, then if they continue to break the rules their name will be placed under the cloud and then the thundercloud if negative behaviour continues. Please note that we will always let you know if your child is under the cloud or rainbow and we appreciate that many parents work and are not always able to collect their child, so we will also pop a note in your child’s book bag to let you know.
Please could children have a named water bottle in school, these can be kept in the trays provided by the window.
Please could all P.E kits be in school for the week beginning Monday 12th September. Your child’s P.E kit should include; a t-shirt, shorts, plimsolls or trainers. P.E kits should come into school on a Monday and be in school all week.
Star of the week
Once the children are in school full time we will have a star of the week each Friday. This will be a child who has really shone that week. They will be given a certificate and will take home our class teddy, ‘Little Ted’ for the weekend and then record what they have done with Little Ted and share this with the class the following week.
Each day two special helpers will be chosen, they will be responsible for a series of tasks, such as, returning the register to the office, standing at the front of the line and handing out the fruit.
I will be writing a weekly class newsletter, every Friday (starting next week). It will inform you of our learning that week, keep you up to date on future events and key dates. Parents have found this particularly helpful in the past. In order to save paper I will not be sending home a paper copy of the newsletter but it will be sent home via parent mail. Please could you let me know if you are not able to access parent mail and would like a paper copy.
Parent information board
Please look at the parent information boards on the classroom window (by the single door in the cloakroom area) and whiteboard outside the double doors for key information and dates. It will also be used to remind you of our topics. The parent information board will be updated on a regular basis so do keep an eye out for anything new.
Monday morning news
Every Monday we will be sharing our weekend news with the rest of the class. During the first few weeks of the year it might be useful if you spend some time discussing with your child what they might like to share. In the past parents have also found it beneficial to send their child in with a photo or object that relates to their child’s weekend news, this can help the children when sharing their news with their peers.
Friday 9th September
You are invited to join your child for a school lunch this Friday. You should receive a letter about this from the school office. If you intend to join us please could you let us know so that we can ensure the school cook, Nicky is able to cater for everyone.
In Reception class we have an open door policy, this means that the children can choose whether they want to play inside or outside. This applies in all weather conditions and means that during the colder months your child will need a warm coat, gloves, scarf, hat and possibly wellies. Please could I remind you that all of your child’s clothing needs to be named.
We really appreciate having parent helpers in class and once the children have settled into school we would love to have parents come in to help us. It is fantastic to have parents come in and help with reading, artwork and
playing games with the children. This can be on a regular basis or whenever suits you, if you would like to come and help please let me know. Children also really benefit from learning about the jobs people do and the hobbies they have, so if you notice that we are learning about an area that you work in or are passionate about, please let me know if you would be willing to come and talk to the class about it. In recent years we have had parents come in to talk about their jobs (Doctors, Firefighters, Vets, Builders, Nurses, Mechanics etc) and to demonstrate playing an instrument, as well as help with gardening.
We regularly like to bake in Reception and may ask you for either a monetary contribution towards our baking or a kind donation of food that we can use. This term we will be making our own soup and will send out a letter in due course to let you know
Please don't worry about reading initially. Starting school is a huge step for all children and we focus primarily on ensuring a smooth and calm 'settling in' period so that your child is happy and ready to learn. To do this effectively will be assessing and observing all children in Term 1 in order to establish their best next steps. After initial Baseline Assessments we will begin Phonics at the end of September and then phonics homework will begin to come home. You will be invited to a parent workshop at this time and this will enable you to gain a better understanding of how to support your child with reading and phonics at home.
Those children that are ready for home reading books will also begin to get reading books to read with or to you at home. We share plenty of reading books and stories during the school day with a love of stories at the heart of all our learning .If your child is not yet ready for reading books, that is fine! Our aim is to foster a love of reading and of books, so we take the lead from your child and introduce reading books when they are ready and able to cope with the challenge. The timeframe varies enormously in Reception and is no indication of how well your child will read in the future.
If you have any questions, or concerns, please do not hesitate to come and talk to me. The mornings can be quite busy so please feel free to either talk to or leave a message with Mrs England or in your child’s news book. I am around after school most days apart from Tuesdays, when I have PPA.
Many thanks in advance for your co-operation, understanding and support. We very much look forward to the year ahead.
Rebecca Honey and Marie England