Welcome to the Early Years
The early years are critical in children's development and we are committed to providing the very best start to their school life.
We value your co-operation, support and open communication in order to create a safe, nurturing learning environment for your child.
How We Prepare for Your Child's Start at Our School
We maintain a close link with our local nursery school throughout the year. During the summer term our Reception Teachers visit the children in their preschool setting to meet those children who will be starting school the following September.
We also run a series of afternoons for our prospective pupils in the summer term. This includes a teddy bear's picnic for you and your child in the school paddock. These afternoons are based around sharing stories, playing games, puzzles and lots more exciting things.
We have a Reception intake meeting in the summer term, which provides you with the opportunity to learn about the teaching and learning strategies which take place. There is also an open evening in the summer term; this involves you and your child coming into their new classroom to explore the resources available.
All children will begin to learn their letter sounds during their first term in school through a synthetic phonic program called 'Read, Write, Inc'. By christmas most of our children will know most sounds and will start sounding out simple words.
These are some things that you can do with you child to help them prepare for learning to read.
- Find a quiet moment and read a story together. Talk about the pictures and share the story. Ask questions as you go along about what has happened and what might happen next
- Sing nursery rhymes and songs.
- Tell repetitive stories and traditional tales.
- Point out road signs, shop signs and symbols and read them to your child.
- Visit your local library - let your child become a member and encourage them to choose books to read together.
- Help your child to recognise his/her own name.
Lots of encouragement and praise will mean that reading becomes a positive experience for your child.
Children enter school at different stages of development. Some may be good at colouring and may be able to trace or copy their first name, while others may still be learning how to hold a crayon.
You can help your child to have good pencil control by allowing him/her to:
- Scribble freely with crayons, chalks and paints.
- Trace around shapes and colour in.
- Follow a line with a pencil.
- Cut out pictures from comic books or magazines to improve dexterity using child scissors.
- Use playdough to help develop manipulation and motor skills.
Supporting your child in the development of their social skills is a key area to their development. We continue this in school but your hard work in the pre-school years really helps your child to settle in quickly into school life. Our scheme of work to support the development of your child's social skills is called 'Jigsaw'. Your child will learn to consider other children and their needs; they will learn how to recognise feelings in themselves and others and how to deal with them appropriately.
One of the most useful things you can do is teach your child to get dressed and undressed by themselves. The children take part in PE each week and it is much easier if they are able to dress themselves. Similarly, getting ready for home time is much easier if they are able to put on their own coats and do up zips and buttons.
Please make sure that your child’s name is clearly marked in all items of clothing. Children can get very distressed if they cannot identify their own clothes.
Coming into School
The act of saying goodbye can be a tearful experience – usually 5 minutes after you’ve gone they are happy. If you feel concerned, you are most welcome to give us a nod, go over to the library in the main building, and wait for us to send you a message. If your child remains distraught we will, of course, come and get you. If they settle, we will send a message to say that all is well. If, at any time in their school life, a child is inconsolable, we will always telephone you. You remain the most important people in their lives.