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we are planning to do home visits to the children before they join the reception class. i have not done them before and am a littlle wary. a standard questionnaire could be useful what do others think?

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Hi Jeanny


When planning your home visits group those who live near each other together. It will save you having to break any speed limits to get to your next appointment!! Make sure you give yourself plenty of time between appointments, don't give a specific time, give a half an hour slot to each family to cover any unforseen delays, such as a child wanting to keep you all morning to play!! If you're a coffee drinker kindly decline all offers - you don't want to be crawling the walls at 2am from caffine overdose!! Try not to overrun as that messes up the rest of the timetable and the further down the list you go the worse the lateness gets. Try to limit your home visits to mornings only or afternoons, as all day home visits can be really tiring!


The questions I asked were as follows:

Name (obvious one! but sometimes school admin have an incorrect spelling)

Date of birth


Home language

Is he/she looking forward to starting school?

How long has he/she attended pre-school/nursery?

How well did they settle?

What does he/she enjoy doing at home? -drawing - looking at books/ listening to stories - building etc?

Does he/she play happily at home?

Do they know any of the other new children?

How do you know if he/she is worried or upset?

Do you have any concerns about hearing/speech/sight?

Does he/she have any mediacal/physcial difficulties we need to know about?

Does he/she have any allergies?

Does he/she require regular medication?

Will this need to be administered in school?


This list helped me with my new summer intake but it's not a definitive list. I'm sure other people have better suggestions but I hope it may help you get started.


All the best


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Hi Jeanney. we also do home visits before children start nursery and reception, Id agree with lots mousebat said.

Our visits are very informal so we dont take forms to fill in and ask loads of questions like its an interview- most of our parents dont speak english and this would put them off.

we take with us our parents booklet and go through that and explain our induction process and rules, things like time keeping, unifrom, absences, things we do during the day etc. we check on any special needs or medical issues. we allow lots of time, beacuse it is quite common for our families to put on a big spread when they know you are coming, even inviting relatives around to meet the 'new teacher'.

we take photos of the classroom for the children to see along with crayonns and paper so we can draw with the children. we take their drawings to school and display them ready for ther first day. Always have 2 people. usually one of us talks to the parents whilst the other engages the child. Dont worry about the child who hides in the kitchen; climbs up parents legs or tells you to 'go away'. You will look back and laugh later on in the year.


we love the visists and so do the childern- they will remember years later that you 'came to my house'


we keep a note of who visisted and when, and who we met with.


It is scary the first time you do it, but Its great fun, and a great way to start the year.


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