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Reception Induction


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Yes, it's that time of year again!!

 

Can anyone tell me a little about their induction arrangements for children coming into Reception in September.

 

Does anyone do home visits? Induction afternoons?

 

Thanks in advance

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If you do home visits are they at the end of this term or in September? What sort of things do you do/discuss on home visits?

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Hi there Wendi.

Know the feeling, we have our first visists from our new children next week (nursery) and at the same time are writing reports for our exisitng ones. Difficult to juggle.

 

There are so many ways to do this with reception, are you new to reception or your school?

 

We visist all children at home when they start with us, which for most of our children is in the nursery year. In reception, we only visit those that did not come to our nursery. The reason for this is simply one of time/staffing. In other schools I have worked in we have visited both years and we have had sufficient time and staff to do that.

 

I dont want to witter on if you have done home visists before. But in a nutshell, we visist in the September. We felt that it was more meaningful to the children to visit them just befoe they start, usually the week before, so we are still fresh in their memories. We take photyographs of the setting, some pencils and paper, our home-school info booklet and thats pretty much it. We dont do lots of form filling. WE consider the visist to be largely social, to meet the children and their families. We go through our information booklet and get parents to sign it. We always take at least 2 people, one to talk to the parenst, one to play with the child. If the child does a picture of some sort we bring it back to nursery to display ready for when they start. Sometimes, children hide, and we dont actually get to spend time with them. We dont insist, and they stil rememeber that we visited months later when they have got to know us. Most of our children do not speak Engklish, so we take the appropriate translator as well, and the book is translated into 5 languages.

 

This term, all we do is invite the children and paernst in for a morning with te exisiting children, to meet their new teacher and see the classroom. We talk to the parenst briefly, and explain about the home visists. We dont have formal talks, although I have done them in the past. We found that the parenst take in that much more if addressing them personally rather than in a big group, especiallly with such diversity in language. We akwasy make sure that we have an up to date phone number as its amazing how many parents you suddenly cant get hold of In september.

 

Sorry, not much of a nutshell.

 

Hope that helps . You will find that lots of other memebsr wil have different ways of doing it. You may want to experiement to see what works fro your setting. :D

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We are doing our Home Visits at the moment. We only take in 15 children and we share them amongst us (not just YR R teacher). Iam visiting 6 on Monday. We have an informal chat with parents and fill in simple questionnaire about likes, dislikes, health etc. For the child we take some books to look at, a picture to colour, and a simple counting sheet. From these we can get a picture of knowledge of letters, numbers, book skills, colours etc.

 

We are then having the children in two groups in the week beginning 5 July. They all get 2 mornings and 2 afternoons. Our Parents Association also organise a Coffee Afternoon that week for the parents to get to know each other.

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I've managed to get my Head to agree to haivng home visits this year. he was very concerned that I haven't been trained in self defence(against agrresive parents!!!). What i do is establsieh contact, let office have the list of peopela nd tel nos and take a mobile phone with me. I go with my TA so I'm not alone.

 

I think it is a really good idea to do the home visit just before chidlren begin nursery -rahter than doing it in june for a Sept start. But it've had to fight hard just for the home visits so i'll leave the timing for later.

Like Mundia, we make a social visit of it and I always tell parents - that home visits are good bec if little Jonny dosen't want to talk to us he can go away and ignore us in his own house- something that parents are immediately at ease with.

I've jsut fixed the dates for my visits so it's going to be a busy few weeks.

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What a shame Leo that you have had to fight for the opportunity to do home visists. They are for us the most important time of the year, and the children remember even years later. We were doing visists at our last OFSTED, so our inspector came with us-it was a real eye opener for her!!

 

Perhaps you should try and get your Head to accompany you on one so that he can see the benefit. :o

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We have never done home visits, time and staff I think, but this year we are having a four week "On Track" programme in conjunction with the LEA. It will be an interactive set of meetings in school for all the NUrsery parents old and new alike who have children going to reception. It looks good too, so I;ll report back on any interesting info

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yes Mundia- I did suggest that he come along as my body guard as I have not had my self defence training!! but our school has a philosophy of keeping parents at the school gates- only the 'approved ones' get past the reception. So you can see why going home and meeting parents was a bit of a culture shock!!!!!! :o

But anyway things are improving- most things do when the dreaded O (fsted)is mentioned. I have mamanged to change routines and expectations by saying "well this is what ofsted will expect to see/ not see" We are expecting an ofsted visit soon so everyone is panicking and in agreement with wahatever needs to do done xD

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We don't have any history of home visits so far. We do a visit to the children's nursery over the next couple of weeks, then at the end of term a meeting for new parents and two afternoon visits for the new children. I have been wondering about home visits and discussed it with my colleague, she felt that it might be quite threatening for parents. I know how I feel when unannounced guests turn up at my place and it's in a tip...I also know if the teacher was making a planned visit I should feel obliged to hoover the ceiling as well as do all the other tidying tasks in order to create a good impression. What a sad person! What's the view on this from the coal face? Do the mother's look fraught, the child scrubbed and the home immaculate?

 

What do you feel you gain from the visit? All the positive feedback so far and that I've had from talking to others who use home visits make me feel we should consider them seriously. Someone I talked to said they had the first week back at school in Sept to get their visits done. How do you all organise it? How long does your visit take?

 

Angela

 

Angela

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Angela I can understand your concern, but because our visits are socail rather than formal, our parents love it. Ive only ever had one that wasnt keen on the idea. I have had many a preant thank me for visiting them as the thought of them having to come to school fills them with dread, especially those that have had negative experiences of school themselves. It does great things for our relationships with the children and the parents, as we learn so much about where and how they live, and they will often raise concerns that they would not be willing to in school. the children dont see us as strangers when they start because 'you came to my house'.

 

We even have parenst complain if they get missed out for any reason. I think it depends on the family and the area you live in, what you see when you get there. Ours range from whole families there to welcome us, with a huge spread and photographs taken......to the mum on her own in a tiny room where we have had to sit on the floor as there are no chairs, and cockroaches keep popping out from a corner now and then. You know the area you work in, and if you are in any doubt, ask the parents what they think. If they seem positive about the idea, then go for it.

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I agree with you completely.

 

I have one child in nursery who did not talk at all when she started nursery but this did not cause any concern because I had observed her at home and knew that she could communicate very well. If i had not had this prior information i would have been very concerned about her lkack of communication and understanding. After 12 weeksin she has now started responding to other chidlren.

 

Also we have chidlren who live on farms miles away form other chidlren or families. I find that i am able to understand aspects of theri behavior having seen home situation or condition. Gives me more of an insight.

You will have children who may not respond to you or communicate well- or talk loudly- understandable when you observe that the TV is on loud (even during your visit) and natural voice levels are much louder in the household- well louder than the sound of the TV.:o

 

When the weather is good we tend to sit out in the garden rather than going into the house- cleaning not needed then. But i can see your point that it can be seen as intrusive. I always give parents 2 weeks notice and the home visits are not compulsary and they have the choice to refuse. There have been a few parents- who 'forget' the home visit and you find you spend 10 mins ringing the bell. But on the whole I think it builds good relations with the child and family. I use my digital camera to take a photo of the child which goes up on our welcome display They are thrrilled to see it when they come for ther initial viists.

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HI Wendi

I'm not going to attempt to rationalise because Mundia and Leo have already done that but home visits are a very valuable prt of our "induction" programme. And although I tremble at the knees as I knock on the door, especally if outside of house looks dubious I would recommend the experience as a building bridge to the parents and the child as has already been said.

You should never go alone though and we do not accept refreshments although sometines they are forced upon us! In the Asian community in which I worked its actually quite important to the parents to offer.

Because of the staffing issues we use the first week of term to visit and the parents are informed in July when the visit will be. We spend alot of time working out who we will visit when so trravelling is kept to a minimum, ie children living in same street get visits on the same day!

We have found impossible to cope with more than 6 visits in any session and ideally 4, it can be very tiring and sometimes distreesing when you see how some people live.

I have never been refused entry but obviously that is a parents prerogative. I have turned up at the wrong address because parents have not told us they have moved. So do check your admission details have not changed.

We send our letters home with the children, taking them to the feeder nursery, so its not always apparent. Last year we checked addresses before places were offered out and found quite a few of our in catchment children were no longer and that was important for us too!

 

Last year I made a questionaire (using suggested info from profile handbook) which I used to guide a discussion at the haome visit. Parents actually responded better to this than the more informal visits we ahd been undertaking and were far more willing to talk about their concerns. It can be a yes game, otherwise! I also reiterate info they want re school uniform, school times etc as required.

I also take a selection of pictures which I ask the child to choose from, to colour and bring back to school to go on the wall.

We thought about taking photos of the child but at the time did not have access to enough digital cameras. (We do that in school within first few days!).

 

Before the home visits children have 2 visits to school. On the first visit they come to the classroom with their parents and on the second they are encouraged to stay alone while the headteacher talks to the parents about starting school. Recently since we have been admitting 90 children in September we have asked children to come in the session that they attend nursery. We also start the children part time for a few days in this way. Sometimes we have offered lunch within these few days but not always easy to do that.

In the time between the 2 visits the teacher also visits the feeder nursery to see the children there. This is as valuble as the home visit. At this time it is also possible to get a verbal repot from the nursery staff. Like the home visit some children interact more confidently than others.

 

I have always enjoyed visiting the children in their nursery but as Mundia says itis difficult in the last weeks of the summer term when you are also tying up ends with the current class!

 

Whatever you do have fun.

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We don't currently do home visits at all - just an open day and parents evening meeting on 30th June, and visits to most of the pre-schools that the children will come from. I'm thinking that this really isn't enough is it? (I'm in a Reception, but with no attached Nursery)

 

Dianne xxx

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Hi Dianne with the emphasis on parents as partners and the requirement to show that you are consulting parents for profile moderation, I think you have a valid reason to ask for home visiting to be introduced.

 

I also think you will find that it will make a tremendous difference to the relationship you can build with the parents and ease the children into school.

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Susan,

any chance of having a look at your question format- used when you visit parents. I suppose this gives you a structure t work from especially if you want to keep to your time limit in each house. I would be interested in seeing your format-please :D:D

Not just Asian parents, I find english ones just as hospitable- but i usually accept 1 cup of coffee through the whole afternoon. Don't want to inspect too many toilets :o

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when we do home visits in september we take a welcome card for the child .On the front the picture is the same as their coat peg and tray. Not much form filling but lots of chat between child, parent and ourselves. the children need to see you as their mam's friend! We also run a small library which runs itself and the child selects a book at home and choses a different one any time he wishes when they start nursery. We don't do home visits in reception most of our children have been in our nursery but i believe it would have lots of advantages. The main one being able to understand a child's background their home can say so much.Hpoe this helps it certainley helps us.

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