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Supportng the Transition to Reception Class


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I am new to FSF and am just finishing my NQT year as a reception teacher. I was really excited this year about visiting the pre-schools/nurseries of my new cohort of children and am mortified that I have been told by my Headteacher that I am not allowed to visit any, nor am I allowed to attend SEP meetings. He has, however, freed up one of my teaching assistants to make contact with all the early years providers to find out if there are any children who it is considered would benefit from a visit and, if so, the Teaching Assistant will be visiting.

 

What are your views on this? My personal belief is that I will learn so much about the children by seeing them in their settings and I do not think that my TA will be abe to convey back to me everything that she sees.


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Have you thought about contacting the nurseries to see if they'd like to bring their children to you? Many settings do this, and it works very well. You may not be able to cover all the children who will be with you next year, but at least you'll meet some of them. :1b And welcome to the forum! :D

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Hi from me too :) :)

Its very hit and miss if our teachers visit us but we take the children to them a few times in the last half term. It seems to work well and helps the children more than if the teacher comes to us. We used to have photos of the school we could talk to the children about but for the last few years we've had use of a spare room in the school one day a week for those starting school. They know where the playground, hall and toilets are at least. Our staff chat with the teachers in a very informal way about the children moving up too, I think that helps more than anything, just a few honest little pointers of who leads, follows and needs encouragement.

Edited by Rea
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In our area we have a transition meeting.

This is where pre-schools, nurseries and feeder schools all meet to discuss intake of children for the year.

Then individual teachers will make a date to come and visit the children in our setting.

I consider this to be a very useful experience for all the children.

I suppose it comes down to whether you can be released from your school to do this.:)

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Hi Newfysue and a very warm welcome to the forum! :1b

 

Your HT has just made me sigh - it was a deep, long sigh :( ...........

 

All children would benefit from a visit........

 

We are extremely lucky - our reception teacher comes to visit our setting (she will come on various days - fitting in with children's patterns of attendance) - whilst in the setting she will (individually) look through each child's Learning Journey folder with them - she will show great interest in what she sees, gently encouraging children to describe what they were doing (in the photos) and asking questions with regard to their 'level of enjoyment'.......

She will also spend time with me (manager) having an informal 'chat' about the children - this is, of course, in addition to the 'transition documents' that we forward to the school.

In addition to this we will visit the school a few times throughout Term 6 and will use the reception class outdoor area (it is wonderful and this is such a positive experience for our 'leavers')

Children also have 3 afternoon 'taster' sessions at school.

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How very sad that she doesn't support transitions. Our early years teacher comes a couple of times to visit the children where they are relaxed and happy in an educational setting (so different from doing a home visit) and she can see the friendships and dynamics of the group overall. She spends time with them as individuals, looking at their Tapestry files. The children and parents go into school for a coffee morning and they can order the uniforms and find the toilets and whatever. Then the following week they can attend for a full morning one day, with parent if they want to, then the following week they have a full day with lunch provided, without parent. We also have transition meetings to discuss progress, sen, whatever and one year this is in school and the next year it's in preschool, after hours.

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It is sad the Head doesn't value and recognise the importance of the children making attachments with all of the staff who will be working with them and this process is so beneficial both for the child and the staff members - and also the parents, There is some excellent literature out there about transitions and attachment, also is there anything in your SEAL/SEAD documentation that maybe you could share with them about the emotional benefits? In my LA we work hard on making the transitions as smooth as possible, with Transition meetings, teachers visiting Nursery and us taking the children to local schools for visits as well as the parents, and generally our children enjoy the experience, all of our schools ( and my Nursery) also do Home Visits which are also so beneficial - I assume these will be a no-no for you as well ?

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I'm in exactly the same boat - and this is my 4th and last year in Rec :(((((((( and I've been slowly trying to change practice. I have gone from one day visit in school to one afternoon, one full day, and a special invite day for an event e.g. picnic.

This year I've negotiated a visit to one of the feeders because the SENCo invited me to have a chat and as the teacher and school SENCo I feel it is very necessary to meet 2 of the children (it just so happens that 5 others also attend on the same day too)

We are fed by 8 different nurseries and my head explains to parents that I can't be released to visit all of these.

I ask all our feeder nurseries to bring their children if they can, or to pop by when they come for their first formal visit.

I also speak to each key worker on the phone and ask for learning journeys. Sometimes the keyworkers meet with me after school to go through the learning journeys. I always discuss with the keyworkers whether they feel the children could do with additional visits - especially where children have special needs.

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Oh, this makes me feel we are soooo lucky. Our two main feeder schools always come to visit, spending a couple of hours in the room with the children and having an informal chat with us. Also we only need to say that we are planning a 'Team Around the Child' meeting and they attend - after all it benefits not just the child but the school if they are fully aware of the children who will need that bit of extra support.

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Hello and welcome to the forum. I am a reception teacher and I visit all children coming to us in their settings and do a handover with their key worker and support is found for my class to enable these visits. They also come to us on 4 occasions prior to the end of this academic year and I do home visits for all 30 in September. I think it is essential for you to see the children before the end of the year and for them to be familiar to you. I wonder what his reasoning is for not allowing this -have you asked? Is it financial?

 

Debx

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Just had a thought - do your year 6 have a transition day when they visit their secondary school? In the past, when the sixes visit, our school have taken to opportunity to move everybody up a class so everyone gets a feel for transition, and the preschool visited on that day.

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I will go to the settings I can in my PPA time. We have a class swap morning which is the same as when the Y6 go to their secondary school and I read and absorb any transition documents I get. My children can come from nearly as many settings as there are children some years. It's not ideal but it's better than nothing. I think the financial implications of lots of release time for us would be huge and I know my HT supports transition - he comes with me when he can for one thing!

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Hello newfysue and welcome!!...i responded to your other post so have copied it onto here. (always best to just post in one area ....most of us trawl the new posts so respond in whichever section you message)

 

If your head feels he cant release you then i guess this has to be his decision <_<

I would however encourage your TA to go to as many as possible (lets face it all the children will benefit and it is in the requirements that we all coordinate on transitions)

Perhaps dicuss with her a list of questions you want to know about the children and the settings with things that she thinks the children will find easy and those which they might find more of a challenge. I have spent the last year 'warning' my feeder schools that i have a very young cohort with lots of summer born children so they need to adjust their teaching to fit!

 

What about transition visits to your setting...can some of the pre-school/nursery staff come to you?

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A few parents have asked for compensation for school visits, i.e. to swap days. They can't have extra days for absence such as illness or holidays. Which is your policy on this?

 

Thanks!

 

(I hope I didn't jump into the wrong thread!)

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More of a 'written procedure' than a policy perhaps? If he has a CC paid session in the morning and a parent paid session in the afternoon, and he is at another setting for both sessions, then I would suggest that he doesn't pay for the afternoon session as he's elsewhere, but you've had the funding for him anyway, for the morning and he's not been there. Unless your finances are really tight. what is your procedure if children are absent because they are poorly? do you still charge? do you charge for when they take a holiday in term time?

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No refund for illnesses and holidays because the place can not be taken by another child

and I got fixed costs to pay. I wouldn't refund for school visits, but felt under pressure to

accept the parent's expectation to have a replacement day (in fact three) because I didn't

know what is the correct thing to do. I now see that I should calculate how much time she

has paid for and only let the child attend that amount of time.

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Thank you everybody for your relplies/suggestions. I have more information now in that there will be two afternoon sessions when all 30 children will be invited to visit the classroom. It will be hard for me to spend much time with each child and parent but I guess it is better than nothing. I will suggest to my Head that I could visit the settings during my NQT time as I believe it is for financial reasons that he has said no as there are 11 feeder settings. We have two reception classes and apparently 46 of the 61 children will be from our on-site nursery so I will definitely make several visits in there during my PPA/NQT time. For those of you working in nurseries. what would the 'ideal' visit from a teacher look like? What would you like to see them do? I really want to make the transition as smooth as I can for the children/parents and staff.

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I can answer the 'ideal teacher visit' :1b as that's what we are lucky enough to have! :1b

 

Our reception teacher spends some lovely quiet time with each child sharing their Learning Journey folders with them - she gently encourages them to talk about what they are doing in the photos etc. - she makes a few notes when the child has 'moved away' - she also spends time talking to me (manager) - all very helpful in my humble, both for the children and the teacher :1b

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Ours is like that, Sunnyday. Also teacher comes after hours to talk to manager, or she goes to school, and they share those bits of info you might not necessarily want to put in writing, if you know what I mean. (xxx's Mum can be a bit hard work. YYY needs extra help but Dad won't hear of it)

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