How can I make it easier for my child to start at your school in Reception?
We are delighted your child is coming to our school. Welcome!
Starting school is a major milestone for both your child and for you. As you prepare your child to come to school, be as positive as you can be about all the fun they will have and try not to share your own anxieties with your child. There are lots of stories available about starting school, all of which paint a positive picture of the experience. Try to share these with your child.
We encourage you to bring your child when you first look round the school and then on every occasion you come to the school. The more familiar the school is, the less scary it will be. The school has a number of open days or mornings at the end of the summer term. Come to as many of those as you can so that you can meet the teachers. Even if the teachers have done a home or pre-school visit to the child, it is important to meet them in their classrooms. If you want to take photos of the classroom, please try to avoid having other children in your picture, but photos can be an excellent way of reminding your child of the people and the place ready for September.
My child hates change! How will you help her to move from one class to another and how much notice will you give of who will be their class teacher/TA?
Change is difficult for us all and particularly difficult for children who form a close bond with their class teacher/ TA. However, a child who forms a good relationship with one teacher will soon form a good relationship with the next.
Schools try to give as much notice as possible about class moves, but it is rarely as much as parents want. This is because the school wants to make sure that there will be no changes of teacher/ TA after the announcement, so they don’t say anything until they are sure of which children and which adults will be in the same classroom.
Your child will have an opportunity to spend some time in their new class before the end of the summer term. We try to make this a positive and reassuring time. But whatever you hear in the playground or whatever your child says, please be positive and reassure them about how much fun they will have and how much they will soon learn to like their new class. A positive attitude from you will lead to a more successful start to the year.
My child loves his class teacher and doesn’t want to move to the next class. How can I help him?
It’s good to hear that an important bond has been made because this may be a year that will help your child through his life. You can help by focusing on two things: how your child would like his current teacher to remember him, and how he is going to help his new teacher to like him just as much. A picture or memory about his year with his current teacher will be something that he might enjoy working on and his current teacher will be delighted to receive.
For his new teacher, help your child to think about what he wants to tell his new teacher about himself and how he likes to be taught or helped in the classroom
How will you help my child to move to secondary school? Who can I talk to if I am worried about this?
Discussions about the move to secondary school begin when children are in Year 5. By the spring of Year 6, the primary and secondary school will have exchanged information about children, highlighting those who are most nervous/ vulnerable about the move.
Our local secondary school runs a transition group for some Y6 children to do activities, to introduce the school rules and to enable the children to spend some time in the school and to meet children from other schools.
If you are concerned at how well your child will cope with transition, talk to their Y6 teacher or contact the secondary school and ask to speak to the Head of Year 7 who will be pleased to meet you. Alternatively, the school nursing service may be able to offer you reassurance about supporting your child emotionally.
During Year 6, keep your eyes open for any opportunities to visit the school and take your child with you when you go so they become more familiar with the school building- getting lost is a common fear on transition so the more familiar your child is with the building the less likely that will be a worry. Be as positive as you can be and try not to share your anxieties with your child.
What information about my child is passed on to the next school?
Each Suffolk child has a blue file which contains contact details, copies of school reports and letters together with any other reports the school has. This is handed to the secondary school on transition. If there is a safeguarding file or an SEN file, those are handed up too. There are laws about paperwork that schools must keep and the length of time they have to keep the information.
Will there be a chance to meet the SENCo/staff at my child’s next school?
Yes. There will be several transition events before the beginning of term, but if you particularly want to meet with them, phone the school and ask for an appointment to meet with the SENCO or with the head of Year 7.