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 have recently held our parent information meetings – in case you missed them, you can access the slides here. We are also using this area of our website to share important information about transition for parents new to our school and we are providing resources for parents to help prepare their child for school.
The children are also invited into school for one of our transition mornings on the 5th and 6th July. Please contact the school office to confirm the date your child can attend.
In July, we will confirm the children’s expected start date. There will be staggered start dates between Monday 6th and Friday 10th September, allowing smaller groups of pupils to settle into school. These are as follows:
- Wednesday 7th September 2022 – children with birthdays between September and February inclusive.
- Friday 9th September 2022 – children with birthdays between March and May inclusive.
- Monday 12th September 2022 – children with birthdays between June and August inclusive.
When the children initially start, they will be at school until 2pm and they will attend school everyday. After the children have been collected from school during the first week, 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 Wednesday 14th September 2022.
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
On the 21st and 24th June, we held our ‘Information for Parents’ briefing to introduce our staff and explain how we all work together to help your child settle in quickly. We explained 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 made some suggestions on how you can best prepare your child during the summer.
Parents can download a printable version of the presentation slides. We have also produced a booklet of key information about our curriculum and the routines for Reception etc. in our ‘Welcome to Our School’ booklet.
The DfE have published booklet, ‘What to Expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage: A Guide for Parents’, which explains typical development of a child through the 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 – see from page 70.
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.
- A brilliant guide about what to expect when in terms of your child’s development.
- School Readiness Poster
- School Trends for school uniform
- Clothing4Schools at The School Shop, Stourbridge also for uniform and book bags.
Wraparound Care – Good Morning, Good Afternoon Club (GMGAC)
Lots of parents have asked about our wraparound care provision. Our Good Morning club is available from 7:30am and our Good Afternoon club is available until 5:30pm. This should be booked in advance to ensure a place. Please contact the school if you think you will need this provision and we can provide further details and a booking form.
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, booking school means and wrap around care, as well as paying for school trips. 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 and Tapestry.
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 additional support for your child’s education. Additionally, during the pandemic, pupils entitled to FSM have received food vouchers during the lockdowns and the school holidays.
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.
For your information, please see the above information provided to parents of our current Reception cohort.