Starting School at Echelford
Whether starting in Reception or joining one of the other year groups, we understand that the transition process needs to be as smooth as possible to enable children to make the best start at Echelford.
For children joining us in Reception, we invite children and their parents in for a 30- minute taster session towards the end of June to see the classroom and outdoor area together. These take place in smaller groups allowing parents the opportunity to speak with staff whilst engaging in some play-based activities.
This is then followed by a second, longer visit where we ask parents to drop their children off at their classroom and then remain on site for an information meeting, giving lots of practical information to support the transition into school. During this session you will be able to sign up for individual meetings with the class teacher, which take place in September.
At the start of the Autumn term parents and their children attend their individual meeting. This is an opportunity for us to get to know a little more about your child to enable us to support them in settling in as soon as possible.
We then have a few half-day sessions, and give the opportunity for the children to enjoy a school lunch before going home before they begin full-time.
Following this we plan for all children to attend full-time however this is closely monitored as we are aware that there may be some children who find the full day attendance difficult. If this is the case, we work closely with parents and carers to identify the best way forward.
Some children find the separation from their grown ups in the morning difficult. On most of these instances we ask that you say a clear goodbye and let us manage the upset. Whilst it is hard as a parent to leave your child upset, in our experience they do settle quickly. In these circumstances we will ring you to confirm whether or not your child has settled about half an hour after the beginning of the school day.
When we are made aware of a new child starting in a year group other than Reception, they are invited to the Move Up morning which takes place at the beginning of July where all the children spend the morning in their new class with their new classmates and their new teacher. When a child transfers during the year, we do our best to offer a mutually-convenient time for the child to spend a little while in their new class to alleviate any anxieties that the change may bring.
Teachers are available in the playground at the beginning and end of each school day for brief catch-up chats so those parents wishing to check on how their child is settling are able to do this informally.