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Upon acceptance of a place at Wood Street Infant School, as a parent you will receive an invitation to visit the school and attend a welcome meeting. This will provide a chance to meet the staff and learn about the journey your child is about to embark upon. Each parent will receive a pack of information providing essential forms, a breakdown of the induction procedure as well as essential information about school policies and procedures.
It is important that your child has the opportunity to visit the school, meet their teachers and explore their new environment. With this in mind we arrange three visits in the summer term prior to your child starting school. The first visit takes place after the school day at 3.15pm for around thirty minutes, this allows parents to join their child to explore the Early Years environment and meet the teaching team. We then arrange two longer visits (one morning and one afternoon) where the children come alone to experience a session with their teacher and get to know the other member of their class. We find this helps the children to become confident in their new environment and allows a smooth transition to starting school in September.
Children’s Welcome Pack
During the initial school visits the teachers put together a pack of fun activities and games linked to their learning for the new term. This is for the children to take away and explore during the summer holidays. It will also include a small task to make a matchbox or small box of things that are special to them. This provides a lovely starting point for the term, allowing the children to share their boxes with the teachers and each other and giving a little insight into their lives and home.
During the welcome meeting an opportunity will be provided to sign up to a home visit. These take place during the first few days of the school term before the children start school. Home visits give the parents the chance to ask questions and discuss anything specific to their child’s transition to starting school. It also allows teachers to meet the children in their home environment and learn about their individual interests.
During the Holidays
The class teacher will send out individual postcards to each child welcoming them to their new school and telling them a little about themselves and what to expect when they start school. The school PTA ‘Friends’ also arrange a play day for all new parents and children of the school. This gives the parents and children a chance to meet before September and often helps to develop friendships prior to starting school.
The first few weeks at school are the most important for the child and we aim to provide a seamless transition to starting school. We strive to provide the best for each child’s needs which is why we plan a steady transition into school life. On the first day of school we invite the parents to come back to school at lunchtime to have lunch with their child before taking them home. We provide a time staggered intake to ensure the children are well settled and comfortable in their new classroom. This will mean that the first few days of school will finish at 1.15pm (just after lunch); with the following week being the usual school finish of 3pm. We find that the children tire very quickly in the afternoon and we aim for each school day to end positively which is why the gradual extension of the school day is essential. Although this is the framework for the first few weeks at school, not all children are the same. If either you or the teacher feels that this does not suit your child or you have concern about staying full time, this can be discussed and altered to fit the needs of your individual child.
Meet teacher evening
Within the first few weeks of school the class teacher will arrange a meet the teacher evening. This will give you a further chance to meet the teaching team, learn about the Early Years Curriculum and how you can support your child at home.
As Part of the Early Years Curriculum the teaching team are required to make regular observations based on the children’s learning. At Wood Street School we do this electronically using Tapestry. This gives us the fantastic opportunity to keep you up to date with what your children have been exploring and learning linked to the curriculum. Each week the class teacher will e-mail each child’s weekly observations to their parent. During the first few visits to school an opportunity will be provided to sign up to this service. We also use classdojo as a means of communicating with our families. This is a safe, secure platform where we can share information, photos and keep you updated on school events.
Teddy bears picnic
The first half term in Willow class is about exploring ourselves and learning about each other. We will also ask at some point for the children to bring in their favourite teddy bear. This is so that we can work up to a wonderful Teddy Bears Picnic. The children will create invitations and food to share with their parents on a special afternoon on the field. It is a wonderful way to signify the first half term of their time at Wood Street School.
Transition to Year 1
The move to a new class is equally as important to the first weeks of starting school. At Wood Street school we aim to provide an enjoyable start to every new year group as well as the final transition to junior school. During the summer term of each year the teachers meet to discuss their class and how the new teacher can best support their move to their new year group. The children will be given the opportunity to visit their new class for two sessions over either mornings or afternoons. This same provision is given to children starting new junior schools, in some cases a representative from the junior schools will also come in to work with the children at Wood Street school. The transition for Reception to Year 1 is also a transition between the Early Years curriculum and the Key Stage One curriculum, with this in mind the Year 1 teacher also visits the class in their current environment in Early Years.