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Preschool To Reception Transitions - Why Do They Vary?


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Hello Everybody

I'm new to this forum so be gentle with me please. I'm researching the preschool to reception transition for my Foundation Degree and have a few questions if anyone can help me with or point me in the right direction. Is it within a local authority or school policy about how they graduate new children into reception? The majority of our preschoolers have just started in their school of choice and I am receiving feedback from parents about how the school filters the children in, initially half days in small groups. They will then begin full days towards the middle of October. There does not seem to be a system. Age and abilities of the children are not considered and unfortunately some children will begin full days two days before the commencement of half term in October. How unsettling is that for the children and their parents? Parents are complaining and there seems to be a competitive underlying tone happening e.g "My child is starting full days before yours"

 

I have a friend who is a teaching assistant in Wales and she has informed me that the children at her particular school begin full days immediately, but they do filter them in within small groups of six.

 

Therefore is this a local authority decision or an individual school policy? Any feedback would be appreciated.

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Its usually a school decision although there may be LEA implications. The settling period will not have been made without for thought for the children and the staff as to its managability and a long slow start can be vastly preferable to a qucik all in together start.

I doubt the children have been randomly allocated either, although obvioulsy I can have no knowledge of what the considerations have been. The parents need to seek this information from the HT.

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All our reception children start together full time on the first day (there is some flexibility for individual needs) but we are a FSU so most will have attended the unit for a minimum of 3 terms part time first.

Across the county schools adopt different patterns to suit their unique circumstances.

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We feed into a variety of schools, some with nurseries & some without, and see huge variation in our small area!

 

The nearest school (which I'm most familiar with as elder son went there) has a nursery class, and the children in the nursery class get to meet the reception teacher naturally over their time in nursery; have a school dinner with a parent/carer & spend an afternoon or morning in the reception class near the end of the term before starting reception , at which point they start full time reception on the first day of school. Those who don't attend the nursery class for whatever reason, get to go straight into reception on the first day of term... (They start reception the term of their 5th birthday.)

 

My younger son's school doesn't have a nursery, currently the children all start reception on the first day of term in September, but don't do full days till the term they are 5 - but the Autumn term born start fulltime that day. There is a lot of induction both from the adjacent preschool and freely offered to parents/carers to help the children get used to the school before starting.

 

My next-door neighbour's school does a gradual induction to nursery and reception, with the new children starting nursery for 1 hour a day for a few days, then doing the full session, then doing the full session with the old children too. They start reception the term of their 5th birthday, and start by doing half days for a week, then do full days. It's a big infants school, so each term have their own class in reception of children starting that term.

 

 

Another nearby school, which takes all children into reception in September does like your school and has a graduated start. The Autumn birthdays do full time in the Autumn term, Spring & Summer born do part time till December, then come back to full time in January. They start gradually, a few Autumn born start the first week of term, a few more the next week, then as they do full days, the later born start. I think it does take till half term for them all to be in. The school doesn't have a nursery or catchment as it's a church school, so some of the children may live a fair distance from the school.

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At our school we have a 39 full time place nursery so all these children start full time on the first day in reception in september any new reception children and all new nursery children do the following

1st day 1 hour with an adult

2nd day 1 hour without an adult

3rd day morning or afternoon

4th day all day

The above is the norm but some children especially the nursery children take longer to settle

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I'm new to this forum so be gentle with me please.

We are always gentle, Nicky365! :o I can't help with your query but I wanted to welcome you to the Forum. Good luck with your research project - sounds very interesting!

 

Maz

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Welcome from me too Nicky 365. It's a very interesting query you have raised and as Susan and Marion say it is very much an individual school decision based on unique needs and manageability for staff. My LEA has no criteria that states how children should be 'filtered' into school. Thank goodness for that!

Currently all children in my Reception class begin school togther in either September or January. If the LEA decide to change this to a one entry in September I may well be reflecting on what happens at the present time given the number in the cohort and the staff to meet needs. Good luck with your degree. luluj

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If the LEA decide to change this to a one entry in September I may well be reflecting on what happens at the present time given the number in the cohort and the staff to meet needs. luluj

 

Hi luluj.

Just in case you aren't aware of this, (and assuming new govt keeps the new admissions code), parent will have the right to start their children at school in the September so your LA doesn't actually have any choice about that change, in 2011. Regarding how chidlren settle in, that is still to a large degree up to the schools settling/induction policy.

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Wow. Thanks everyone for your input. Its a very mixed bag of policies and procedures. The reason I have decided to research this 'can of worms' is because we have had to accommodate a member of staff by releasing her early to collect her child at 12 o'clock. Its not a problem as we have a great team but this particular member of staff is responsible for the children's snack time, therefore we have made changes to our session and on reflection it works better. All I've got to do now is put this into an assignment of 3000 words! Wish me luck.

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