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Staggered Start Times


Guest Cathryn1974
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Guest Cathryn1974

Hi

 

We are just starting to think about how we stagger the start days for chn in Sept coming into N and Reception. Any ideas would be greatl appreciated (as always) XXXXXXX

 

Cathryn XXXXXX :o

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I work in nursery and it depends on how large an intake as to how we have them start!

 

In previous years with large groups we have had the new children in on alternate days for the first two weeks (startimg with an hour and gradually building the time up)

During this time any "old" returning children have come in every day.

 

It worked really well!

 

When the starting group is small we have them in together but half an hour after the returning children.

 

Reception do not stagger entry at all..... there have been many threads about this previously if you want to do a search.

 

I don't believe there is a need for staggered entry into reception when most of the children have probably already been attending nursery daily (and some full time)

Also if the links between nursery and reception are good and strong the transition should be easy for the majority...... those who it isn't easy for would be the ones I would go gently with!

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And just from a parents' perspective, it's much easier if they go straight into full time in Reception. I know it's not about what's best for the parents but they do this at my son's school and it works great. The children are settled really quickly and it makes life much easier for parents who have younger siblings who need to be taken to preschool.

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Oh I'm with Suzie. My oldest had a staggered start, first week mornings only then full day but with lunch at home and boy did I have trouble getting him back for the afternoons, I used to drag him from under the kitchen table, drag him to the front door and drag him every darn step. The youngest started full time straight away and never had a problem.

If staggered starts are to help children settle, it didnt work for mine

Edited by Rea
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Oh I'm with Suzie. My oldest had a staggered start, first week mornings only then full day but with lunch at home and boy did I have trouble getting him back for the afternoons, I used to drag him from under the kitchen table, drag him to the front door and drag him every darn step. The youngest started full time straight away and never had a problem.

If staggered starts are to help children settle, it didnt work for mine

 

 

I have never heard of this in all my dealings with schools! Fancy making you take him home for lunch and then bring him back afterwards. That just suggests to me that they didn't actually have the staff to deal with reception at lunchtime at first, or possibly someone in management there had absolutely no idea how to deal with young children. I can't imagine many reception children responding well to such a broken up day.

Edited by Guest
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As a reception teacher I have done both staggered intakes and had years where we start all the children at once. There are pros and cons to both but have to say that if you have a nursery on site as we do then if transition is well managed throughout the year then it shouldnt be too hard to have reception in all at once - as long as you have the staff ratios to manage this of course!

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We did half days for 2weeks - half a class doing am the other - pm. Worked great for settling the children into daily routine and assessing their 'baseline'. It was lots of work though to set up morning activities and then with a minimum break time to reset it ready to go it again in the afternoons.

Edited by Freefaller
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Our new children to Foundation Stage 2 have a few visits either morning or afternoons before September. 50 children out of 60 are in our preschool that's attached to the school so they come up for singing on a Wednesday now to start the transition. So with our Home Visit is well all children starting at once works well for us.

Brownie x

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we do a a few in alternate mornigns up to 12 first week, then all in to stay for lunch 12.30 and then full time third week. We are very lucky for those paretns who work that our pre school will have them in the afternoon x

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Guest Cathryn1974
Nursery start for 1hour on Tuesday extra half hour Wednesday 2 hours Thursday and full time Friday (3 hour sessions)

 

Reception start full time from first day

Thanks everyone. Some really great ideas. Will speak to my Head and see what she says XXXXXX :o

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  • 2 weeks later...
And just from a parents' perspective, it's much easier if they go straight into full time in Reception. I know it's not about what's best for the parents but they do this at my son's school and it works great. The children are settled really quickly and it makes life much easier for parents who have younger siblings who need to be taken to preschool.

 

My children's school is on a large site which effectively splits the area in two. I never minded taking my eldest home at lunchtime for the first fortnight, but by the time the youngest was starting they had a new policy of not unlocking all the gates to enable part time reception children to be picked up...and it was much too far for my newly four-year old's legs at the end of a tiring session from the unlocked front gate. talk about putting her off! I also saw lots of other mums carrying their exhausted little ones as I was driving past (it's a 5 minute walk to the back gate with a four year old - 25, up and downhill to the front). Please think about access when you decide!

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With the new nursery children we stagger their entry over 2 weeks. We start 3 or 4 every other day, building up to all 26 at the end of the 2 weeks.

 

Last year we introduced a bit of a stagger with the reception children. As the term started with just a Thursday and a Friday, we had 15 children in all day on the Thursday, then the other 15 in all day on the Friday. Then all 30 came all day from the Monday. It did help the class teacher meet and chat with the parents with the smaller number of children, which was one of the main reasons we did it. I think it also made the children's first lunchtime a lot less stressful!

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We have 15 for mornings plus lunch, other 15 pm, swap over week 2, all till 2pm week 3 when I do individual parents interviews from 2pm each day - good but exhausting! We find we get to know the children better this way, and lunchtimes pleasanter for children. Some parents have complained at first but later agreed it was a good plan as they hadn't anticpated how big a transition it would be - mainly due to new adults, new routine, new peer group, new environment - in spite of staff meeting children in nursery, nursery children having movement sessions in school hall and several visits to Reception class.

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