Dear Parents/Carers of our new Reception intake,
In case you were unable to join us on our ‘taster’ afternoon, or you have mislaid the handouts provided, this letter is to let you know the arrangements and routines at school.
Dropping off and picking up your child
The entrance to the classroom is via the main school gate and to the left past the drinks fountain. The door will be opened at 8.40 am. Please hand your child over to the Class Teacher or Teaching Assistant at the classroom door. We would ask that you do not stay in class or in the corridor to chat to friends, as this can delay the start of the school day and can be upsetting for other children.
If your child is upset, the Class Teacher or Teaching Assistant will offer help. If your child is upset about leaving you, it is best to say goodbye and go. If you would like some reassurance later, then please feel free to phone the school office. We will always call you if there is any problem.
If your child is ill please notify the school office so we know not to expect them.
If you have arranged for someone else to pick up your child please let us know. If you are running late, please inform the school so we can reassure your child that you are on your way.
At home time (Part-time 11.50 am, Full-time 3.10 pm) parents wait in the small playground for the teacher to send each child to them. The children will not be allowed home without a designated adult.
The children have a rolling snack bar where they can access a healthy snack and a drink at any time throughout the day. It is a very social time, which the children enjoy, and it supports learning from other areas of our curriculum.
We promote healthy eating and encourage the children to drink milk, however if your child is unable to we provide water. For snack, the children will be given a piece of fruit each day alongside a range of foods, e.g. bagels, muffins, yoghurts, toast. We ask for a contribution of £1 per week, we will let you know the amounts at the beginning of each term. This can be paid in advance per term or half term in a named envelope, which makes it easier for Mrs Shreeve who collects the money.
Please note that as you are paying the school directly for your child’s milk you do not need to pay any money to the ‘Cool Milk’ company – please ignore any letters asking for money for milk.
You can provide your child with a packed lunch in a small lunch box, which are stored just outside the classroom. It is important to give your child sufficient drink as they get thirsty, particularly in hot weather; sweets, chocolate bars and nut products are not allowed. Peanut butter and chocolate spread are not allowed in sandwiches. Your child can alternatively have a freshly prepared school dinner, which is paid daily or in advance. If you are sending in money for school dinners, please ensure it is in an envelope with your child’s name, the date for which you would like the lunch and the amount enclosed, written on the envelope. Please check with the school office or school website for current prices of school dinners.
Daily routines for your child
• Your child will be welcomed at the class room door and encouraged to independently hang their coat up and put their book bag away. They then collect their name from their peg and place it on our ‘self-registration board’ before choosing an activity on one of the tables.
• The register is taken with all the children seated together to start the day.
• The children then have a phonics session, followed by a carpet session where the topic and learning activities for the day are introduced and discussed. Supporting activities then lead on from this, where the children access resources and activities independently or with an adult.
• We have break time at 10.30am, followed by another carpet session and activity time.
• Lunchtime is 12.00 till 1.15pm, where children have a chance to enjoy their lunch and socialise with their friends.
• We start the afternoon with the register.
• The children then have a chance to continue their learning through exploration and independent or adult supported activities.
• We finish the day with some ‘quiet time’ together, usually a story or a chat about the day’s events.
At school we aim to make learning fun and active and this often leads to us getting messy and dirty. Practical clothing is essential! The children should wear school uniform but we recommend short sleeve polo shirts, skirts and trousers with elasticated waistbands and sensible flat shoes with Velcro fastenings as we have found that children can manage their clothing so much easier when getting changed or going to the toilet. As we go out to play in all weathers a suitable coat, warm hat and gloves are essential and wellies are an advantage in rain and snow! Please name all items of clothing.
Your child will need a P.E. kit – which consists of a yellow t-shirt, blue shorts and a pair of plimsolls (we recommend the Velcro plimsolls); it is a good idea to keep a spare pair of pants and socks in their P.E. bag just in case of an accident! Earrings are not allowed to be worn for P.E. for health and safety reasons. (This is Essex County Council Policy) If your child wears earrings please ensure that they are removed on P.E. days, you will be notified which days we have P.E early next term. Children with long hair will need to tie up their hair so please put their hair up on P.E days or place a spare hair band in their P.E bags.
In the hot weather children will require a sun hat and a ‘sports’ type bottle of water with their name on in case they are thirsty during the day. Sun cream should be applied before coming to school.
We are looking forward to getting to know you and your child. We greatly value a working partnership with parents and encourage you to share with us any concerns or queries you may have about your child. They usually can be solved quite easily. There is opportunity for you to arrange an appointment to see the teacher during each term but you can talk to us most days after or before school informally.
Your child will have a home/school diary which we will write in regularly and would be pleased for you to write in and tell us how your child is getting on, how they get on with their phonic or reading activities at home, significant things s/he remembers about his/her day and any other notes you wish to pass on. We check these on a daily basis, therefore it is really important that these are brought to school every day, as they form part of the picture of your child’s development in the Foundation Stage.
Letters and Sounds
We will be using a phonics programme called ‘Letters and Sounds’ throughout the year to develop your child’s reading skills. The children will bring home a small book with the sounds and words they are learning and we ask you to frequently practise these with your child at home. If you are unsure of any of the sounds then please do not hesitate to ask a member of the reception staff or alternatively these can be downloaded on the school website.
After half term we will also send home a weekly ‘letter formation’ sheet. We encourage parents to use these sheets to help the children recognise the letter and to practise forming the letter correctly.
Every Friday the whole school gather for a ‘celebration assembly’, during which we celebrate individual, group and class work. Children are also invited to bring in certificates, badges etc from activities outside of school. Parents are welcome to attend these assemblies which start at 9am in the school hall every Friday.
We hold a breakfast club in the school hall on a Thursday and Friday morning. You can drop your children off between 8.10am and 8.30am, where they can enjoy cereal, toast and a fruit juice for 25pence (this is free for those entitled to free school meals). The children are taken down to their classes by a member of staff ready for the start of the day.
If you have any problems or questions please do not hesitate to contact Miss Presland.
Miss S Presland, Foundation Team Manager
A PDF version of this letter is available to download from the ‘Helping Your Child’ page of the website.