For all new pupils and parents joining us in September, we are delighted to welcome you to our school. Welcome!
We understand that you have lots of questions and there is a lot of information to take in when your child first starts school. We usually invite new parents to our welcome briefing meetings but due to the current closure because of Covid-19, we are not able to do that at present. Therefore, we are using this area of our website to share important information about transition for parents new to our school. As your child has not been able to visit us for a session this term, we are also providing resources for parents to help prepare their child for school.
On the 2nd July the government has released guidelines for schools to bring back all pupils in September. These are extensive and each school has to look at how the guidelines might be implemented in their individual school settings. This is something we will be looking at over the coming weeks and we will write to all parents to explain the measures in place to reduce the risks of transmitting the coronavirus before pupils start school in September.
In the meantime we will be writing to parents to confirm their child’s expected start date. The dates are between Monday 7th and Monday 14th September. In previous years, pupils have initially attended for half days and we have carried out home visits. Due to the situation and measures in place, we have changed this process. When the children initially start, they will be at school until 2pm. After the children have been collected from school, the teachers will be contacting parents for a video or telephone call, as part of our transition discussions. Once all the Reception children have been introduced and settled into school, they will stay for the full day from Tuesday 15th September.
Resources to Support Children Starting School
Here is our ‘All About My New School’ video to give your child an insight into what school is like and who they will see there.
Parents can download a printable version of this video/booklet.
Parents can also download a copy of our ‘Starting School’ booklet and the ‘All About Me Tree’. However, we are sending these out in a pack of activities to all new starters. We ask that they are completed and returned in early September before your child starts school.
Information for Parents
Here is our ‘Information for Parents’ briefing presentation to introduce our staff and explain how we all work together to help your child settle in quickly. It explains various things that parents need to know about starting school: for example, the routines, lunch arrangements, school uniform, assessments and what your child will be learning. We also make some suggestions on how you can best prepare your child during the summer.
Parents can download a printable version of the slides in the presentation. We have produced a booklet of key information about our curriculum and the routines for Reception etc. in our ‘Welcome to Our School’ booklet.
The ‘4Children: What to Expect, When‘ booklet explains typical development of a child through the Early Years Foundation Stage. It shows what your child should be able to typically do etc. when they start school then during and by the end of their Reception year.
The ‘Pacey: Preparing Your Child for School’ booklet is full of ideas to prepare your child for school and also about supporting your child in the early days of settling in. The Pacey website is full of ideas for parents and activities you can do with your child to help prepare for school.
We feel it is important to gain information from parents when making assessments of what the Reception children can do or know. When the children start school, we will be using a web based tool called Tapestry which parents will have access to. When we make our baseline assessments, we will include information from our ‘Baseline Assessment‘ form which we ask parents to complete (no earlier than the 31st August) and return to us in September.
Here are some further resources and links that parents might find useful:
- The BBC Bitesize Start Primary School page offers a toolkit of practical advice, support and resources for parents, guardians and children across a wide range of areas including school life, daily routine, sleep and how to support children practically and emotionally.
- A video link to help prepare your child for school, with practical tips on getting into a new routine, and preparing yourself to let go of your little one on that first day.
- School Readiness Poster
- School Trends for school uniform
- Clothing4Schools at The School Shop, Stourbridge also for uniform and book bags.
There are several forms that we need parents to complete and return as soon as possible. Parents should shortly receive an invite to ParentMail which we use for communication and distributing forms. Please accept the invite and set up your account asap. Once this has been set up, parents should then receive pupil information forms where the enter contact details, permissions and medical conditions. Parents will also receive invites to join ClassDojo, Tapestry and SchoolMoney (for ordering school meals).
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Free School Meals
When your child is in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, they will automatically be entitled to free school meals under the government’s ‘Universal Infant Free School Meals’ scheme. However, if you meet any of the criteria listed below, then you could be entitled to free school meals:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
- Working Tax Credit Run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit (provided monthly net earned of less than £616.66, after tax and not including any benefits)
If you are entitled to Free School Meals it is important to register for them as this will guarantee extra funding (via the Pupil Premium Grant) to provide addtional support for your child’s education. Additionally, during the Covid-19 lockdown period, pupils entitled to FSM continued to receive meals or food vouchers.
Registering your child doesn’t mean they have to have a school meal if you don’t want them to – they can bring a packed lunch instead.
If you think you are eligible, you can submit a claim online at https://customer.dudley.gov.uk/free-school-meals/create/
Alternatively, you can apply via paper, by printing and completing the application form and returning to the address at the top of the form. If you aren’t able to apply online or print the application, please call the school office on 01384 818585 and we can help.