Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Home Visits


Guest
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi

I have been advised by our new headteacher to carry out home visits as part of our induction process in the summer term for the new children starting in September.

I have never done a home visit before and was just wondering if anyone had any advice about what to do, what questions to ask, what to take etc, just need some general advice and tips!!!

Also the headteacher has suggested we carry out a risk assessment to present to governors in advance. I was wondering if anyone had completed one before that I could have a look at.

Thank you in advance for all our advice :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just been talking about home visits and how I wish I'd taken a camera with me to take a photo of their child to pop in the Learning journey.

 

I usually ask if there are;

- safeguarding concerns

- Senco concerns

- favourite toys and activities

- whether mum/dad want to join the committee (and explain the role of committee).

 

I invite them to the open day we have and ensure I communicate directly with the child too.

 

Hope that helps,

 

Spiral

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest LornaW

Spiral the camera is a great idea! Get a picture of the chil;d and the family including pets!

 

Always go iin twos one person plays with the child and one chats with parents in out case the Key person would play with the child and the other adult chatted with parents. Take a game, book paper and drawing pencils or felts etc but usually the child want s to tell you all about their house their bedroom and their favourite games and this is all very useful as we get an idea of how to resource the classroom at the ebeginning of term.

 

Also good to know what kind of birth the mum had and believe me 99.9% of mums are more than happy to tell you this. We know that children who had a traumatic birth and were low birth weight may take a little longer to get into things so this is useful information.

 

Have they been to nursery, pre school etc and if so what did they like doing best.

 

The picture and the drawing the child may have done can then be on the wall on the first day of them starting school and is a good reminder for them of home.

 

It is a really good way to begin a relationship with a family as you are on their territory and they feel much more comfortable. Allow about 40min per child to really make it worthwhile.

 

Lorna

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You do need to go with someone else.. for your own protection as you do not know what you could be walking into..

 

Not all families may want this or feel comfortable with it.. be ready to accept a no from a family , it is their choice to refuse it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are lots of different ideas about home visiting that have been discussed before, try a search!

 

I would however, prefer to visit in September just before the children start when you are fresh from the holiday rather than later this term when you are still involved with your current class. It is a very worthwhile exercise but do not underestimate how tiring it can be.

 

We had a policy that we did not partake of refreshment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Im a big fan of home visits, and when I think back I have done them in every setting I have ever worked in, and that goes back 25 years, so its not an 'new' thing.

 

We did ours in September but followed the same format as LornaW. We felt September was closer to the actual time of starting and so fresher in their mind. We would go through our induction booklet and parents would be asked to sign it. We had it available in 5 different languages, which covered the vast majority of our families. We took photos from the classroom/nursery (which they would visit in the summer, so we had photos to show them to remind them).

 

Parents were more than happy to chat this way, and in many years I only ever had one family refuse. Children remember your visit year later.

 

It is a good idea to think about a home visit policy, and think about emergency situations, what to do if the family have pets (I'm allergic to dogs and cats so an important question for me); ensure you have a phone and school knows where you are.

 

Good luck with it, it is quite tiring but very very enjoyable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for all your great advice. I love the idea about taking a photo and asking the children to draw a picture to display in the classroom for when they start. It has also made me wonder whether to complete the visits in September - food for thought.

Thanks again everyone :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Home visits - I am doing them for this terms intake (nursery) It is a good time to get to know the parent and child - it is part of the transition process - and part of the settling in too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest LornaW
Thank you for all your great advice. I love the idea about taking a photo and asking the children to draw a picture to display in the classroom for when they start. It has also made me wonder whether to complete the visits in September - food for thought.

Thanks again everyone :o

 

I would definately do the visits in September. Legally children do not need to start school until the term after their 5th birthday so unless you have any children starting in September who are 5 before the beginning of term you can use the first week to do home visits. If parents know this iin advance they are usually ok about this!

 

We used to get 6 in visits a day so with a class of 30 they were all done in a week and the second week we would bring a few children in each day and by the end of the thhird week they were all in full time ( not our choice but at the insistance of the LA!)

 

We hold a meeting in July for families giving them a chance to see the environment and get an idea of the daily routine, uniform etc and then we talk about home visits and ask them to sign up. I have only ever had one person say they did not want a visit - it is the way you 'sell' it that counts!

 

Lorna

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

We do our home visits in September in the afternoons whilst our children are only in part time (for the first couple of weeks). We find it very useful to do them then as we are able to give parents feedback on how their child has settled and they have often got lots of questions to ask to (which they usually don't have in the July). We have induction afternoons in July and spend time at the nurseries we also have activity afternoon once a week for new parents so we feel we get lots of opps to get to know the parents and children before Sept. My son's school did them in July and as a parent I would've rathered the opportunity to find out how he had settled in in the September etc. I really like the photo idea.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is a legal requirement to go in pairs as far as I am aware. I certainly wouldn't consider going on my own. I have never had a bad experience but its best to be on the safe side. Another thing I have done is to take a book of photos of the classroom to share with the children - its a good starting point if children/parents are why. You can take a picture of their peg and tell them this is where they will hang their coat etc, this the trolley for pack lunches. I also do mine in September during the first week and children start the week after. This is the best part of transition in my opinion and totally worth doing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It isn't a legal requirement to go in pairs, (that Ive ever heard anyway)but your LA may have specific guidance as this would come under 'lone working'. You would need to risk assess the visits and all of this would be covered by your home visiting policy (and your lone working policy if you have one).

 

However, personally, given that many families may be new to the school, and therefore an unknown quantity, I would always insist that our policy indicating that we would visit in pairs.

 

I only ever had one problem in 25 years+ of doing home visits. And I was glad that we we paired. Having said that, when I first did them we didnt even think about health and safety, we just did it, and I never had a problem then either. (and we didn't have mobile phones then!).

 

I cant find my last policy so I hope someone else can help with that part.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not all families may want this or feel comfortable with it.. be ready to accept a no from a family , it is their choice to refuse it.

I would have been one of those parents!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maz your comment made me smile , we were discussing home visits at Uni the other week and out of the group of 12 there were 7 who stated exactly the same as you ! Could it be that as childcare professionals we know or feel that there may be a hidden agenda - or that others may expect us to be perfect parents and we fear not matching up maybe? Would be interested to see what others feel :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

one of the reasons I said it.. I too would not want a home visit... and that was even when I was not working in the sector..

 

and when we tried them had few wanting us to visit at home...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could it be that as childcare professionals we know or feel that there may be a hidden agenda

Not in my case, redjayne because I only got involved in pre-school once my children had joined the nursery. However I would have felt my parenting skills were under scrutiny and since felt they were severely lacking, I would have hated to have been under the microscope in that way. Also I would have had to tidy my house and that is always a challenge for me! :o

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

At my previous school and nursery we used to send out invites with a balloon attached to them for the child to put on their front door on the day you were coming. This worked in two ways, the first being the child would get excited about putting up their special balloon for their new teacher and for you it makes the house much easier to find!!! I'll be using this idea when I do my home visits in September. I'm doing these on my own as the majority of families are known to the school as it's a small village school.

I really think they are so important as it can give you a good insight into thier home lives and that information can prove to be so valuable!

 

Hope your visits go well.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My Son's nursery teacher turned up unannonced--at least I never received a letter. As the nursery where I had been a teacher had hand delivered letters offering places, a token home visit, I wasnt worried by this but I did think she was lucky to find me at home!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My school has always done home visits and as the reception teacher I will be doing them this year. I am new to reception from Y2 so it is all new to me. Staff, parents and children alike are very positive about them and there has only ever been 1 refusal as far as anyone can recollect. It has been seen as essential with our children to see them in context. Our school has a mixed intake and about half of our children come from deprived backgrounds. Through home visits, fantastic relationships have been built with parents who are often negative about school and support for those parents has been put into place through our family support team before the child has even started school and that can't be a bad thing.

Deb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My school has always done home visits and as the reception teacher I will be doing them this year. I am new to reception from Y2 so it is all new to me. Staff, parents and children alike are very positive about them and there has only ever been 1 refusal as far as anyone can recollect. It has been seen as essential with our children to see them in context. Our school has a mixed intake and about half of our children come from deprived backgrounds. Through home visits, fantastic relationships have been built with parents who are often negative about school and support for those parents has been put into place through our family support team before the child has even started school and that can't be a bad thing.

Deb

 

That sums up the value for me quite well.

I was always quite nervous beforehand and sometines distressed by what I saw but it always was useful to see the children in their home and understand a little of what they might be bringing with them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...
  • 1 month later...

As a reception teacher I have carried out home visits for a number of years and find them invaluable, I always stress to parents that it is a time for us to get to know the child and make the links with home - especially for those times when the children are feeling insecure and we can talk about their home. It is an important time to get to know the family, I always take a questionnaire and ask about any medical/ toileting/ eating concerns etc but also ask what there child likes/enjoys. I always go with my TA - she often ends up playing in the bedroom or garden and I have a chance to chat with mum/dad. As a small school it is not always easy to balance the cost of home visits so I often have a final practice student in the summer term which frees me up and we only have to cover the TA. We often do home visits before and during our Induction process in June/ July which is 4 sessions and allows us to begin to form the relationship with parents. I often ask the child what they would like to play with and try and put that out during the induction days. I also take a pack for the child with a reading book, information book and activity( cut up jigsaws, weather chart etc) - these are voluntary but often the children like to bring the activity in show when they come in. I have often found that it is those few parents that I don't visit - for a variety of reasons,that I often wish I had! I also take a large puppet to break the ice - amazing how quiet the children are on a home visit! Also take pictures of the classroom, school and lots of things we have done. Love the idea of taking a photo during the home visit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest LornaW

Just wondered how you are able to do visits for the first week of September, the office have got a bit uptight when i suggested this and said I cant because of the attendance figures, how do you get around this?

 

If the children do not start school nti after the home visit there is no reason to be concerned about attendance. So if the start of the school year is Sept 1st and you do your home visits for the first week or week and say 1 or 2 days then the children will get a start date of 10th Sept onwards. I always staggered entry on the second week so that a few children arrived each session then by the thrid week all children were in school. I never caused a preoblem with attendance.

Also if the children do not start school until after all the home visits have been made you do not need to find cover for anyone.

I can understand some people not wanting a home visit but we always made it very clear this was for the children and in many many years of making home visits I had only one person say no. It is for me about beginning a partnership and recognising that parents play a large part and also starting on their ground. It is so helpful then if you have a childn upset or distressed at leaving their parent / carer that you can talk about home, toys, pets etc.

 

Lorna

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Maz your comment made me smile , we were discussing home visits at Uni the other week and out of the group of 12 there were 7 who stated exactly the same as you ! Could it be that as childcare professionals we know or feel that there may be a hidden agenda - or that others may expect us to be perfect parents and we fear not matching up maybe? Would be interested to see what others feel :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't forget to add pictures of yourselves, especially the key person. An all about me is also good ie favourite food, pets, hobbies etc this helps the child see you as a real person :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)