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As an NQT beginning a career in September teaching Reception, I am filled with excitment and the human condition of doubts and questions raised from being 'green'! xD

 

I am visiting all the preschool settings in the next couple of weeks to meet the children coming into my year. This is followed by a parents evening (with children) to register and meet me, allowing for opportunities for parents to raise any concerns or questions. I'm really excited about meeting the children and terrified bout having the sufficient knowledge and experience to answer questions confidently! The school and area is new to me. :(

 

There are also 2 review meetings for children with SEN that have not been specified due to the age, but suspitious of being on the autistic spectrum scale. One of these pupils parents have not requested a home visit (commencing in sept) and the meeting is taking place at the school. So I have arranged to meet the children & nursery staff prior to the review meetings. :D

 

My questions are!

1. What would you expect to gain from visiting a pre -school setting in regards to valuable imformation about the children?

2. How would you organise yourself? Would you have a list of questions - or just 'go with the flow' of the visit?

3. What research would you prepare for the review meetings?

4. Does anyone have any good resourses or links for tranition & home visits?

 

All suggestions and contributions are gratefully recieved! :)

p.s. This is my first post as a new member... so please be forgiving if it is in the wrong topic area! :o

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Guest tinkerbell

Welcome Skylight

Congratulations on your new job starting in September.You will find heaps of advice on this site from some great people.

I too teach reception (and some yr1) and i will be popping off to the preschool and nurseries to meet the children before their transition afternoon in school.

Myself and my TA literally'pop' into the feeder places and have a quick chat to the staff and say hello to the children.....anything the staff feel I need to know will be said there and then.The staff will also tell me what records they will be passing on.

last year I had 2 SEN children and i arranged to be present at their IEPs at their settings and put in some aims eg to settle into school...I also set up sessions for them to come into school in this last half term to get to know the classroom and staff and some children (the year1s who will be staying with me)...I also made a book of photographs of school,classroom me and TA (not too much) for them to take home for the holidays and use to talk to mum and dad about.

The parents evening is quite revealling..I do ask that parents find me and chat about any concerns they may have....they do and its stuff like toilet accidents.....bullying was a new one this yearthe child who was coming was one and this was confirmed when i went to his nurseryand the staff talked to me.....

I don't do home visits, I couldn't possibly have the time to go to the 15 homes and don't think it would be fair to go to a few.

Hope this has helped a little

Tinkerbellx

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Hello and Welcome!

 

I'm sure you will find this site a great place to reassure yourself and answer your questions! If the visits are 1:1 I use a pro forma with questions just so you are sure about covering what you need to. For the nervous parents (and teachers!) it is something to base your chat around and as you get more confident you will find you don't need to follow the q's in order but will cover them all in your chat. It can also help to keep you to time as some parents wiould love to chat for a whole session!

 

I teach nursery so some of our questions may be a little different but generally relate to pre school experience, siblings, favourite activities, genuine fears (e.g Father Christmas...its always good to know before he walks in to the christmas party!) and worries (from parent or child) Allergies, previous or current medical problems e.g. nut allergy/speech therapy.

 

It sounds a bit daunting but you will find it very useful to build relationships/trust with your new parents.

 

The visits to pre schools are also very useful as you can see the children in a familiar environment away from their parents. The pre schools value the chance to chat about your new children and it certainly helps the transition. They should let you know of any concerns to monitor, children who took time to settle etc and to pass on any achievement records etc. So that you know where your class are currently working.

 

Hopefully if the meeting is being held in the school a member of the SMT will be there to support you, or a year group colleague? If in doubt you can always say you will get back to a parent about school procedures on x, y and z after the meeting rather than just saying "I don't know I'm new!"

 

Have fun and good luck... Once you have done the first few you'll be fine!

 

p.s. At the first school I worked in a dad came in after school having collected his son on the first day and when everyone had gone, put his head round the door, looked in and said "hmm you are as young as his mum said then. Hope you know what you are doing!!" 12 years later I can laugh about it! :)

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Hello and Welcome!

 

I'm sure you will find this site a great place to reassure yourself and answer your questions! If the visits are 1:1 I use a pro forma with questions just so you are sure about covering what you need to.  For the nervous parents (and teachers!) it is something to base your chat around and as you get more confident you will find you don't need to follow the q's in order but will cover them all in your chat.  It can also help to keep you to time as some parents wiould love to chat for a whole session!

 

I teach nursery so some of our questions may be a little different but generally relate to pre school experience, siblings, favourite activities, genuine fears (e.g Father Christmas...its always good to know before he walks in to the christmas party!)  and worries (from parent or child)  Allergies, previous or current medical problems e.g. nut allergy/speech therapy.

 

It sounds a bit daunting but you will find it very useful to build relationships/trust with your new parents.

 

The visits to pre schools are also very useful as you can see the children in a familiar environment away from their parents.  The pre schools value the chance to chat about your new children and it certainly helps the transition.  They should let you know of any concerns to monitor, children who took time to settle etc and to pass on any achievement records etc.  So that you know where your class are currently working.

 

Hopefully if the meeting is being held in the school a member of the SMT will be there to support you, or a year group colleague?  If in doubt you can always say you will get back to a parent about school procedures on  x, y and z after the meeting rather than just saying "I don't know I'm new!"

 

Have fun and good luck... Once you have done the first few you'll be fine!

 

p.s. At the first school I worked in a dad came in after school having collected his son on the first day and when everyone had gone, put his head round the door, looked  in and said "hmm you are as young as his mum said then. Hope you know what you are doing!!"  12 years later I can laugh about it!  :)

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Thanks Tinkerbell & Han

All you have said is reassurring and confirms I'm on the right path (phew xD !

I think one area of underconfidence has evolved through the SENCO who is retiring this year and the TA in Reception. Both strike me as very capable and experienced practitioners and the TA I am looking forward to establishing a good working relationship.

The SENCO is organising the meeting (and the TA is coming to a few nurseries where clusters of children are). It was asked which one of us wanted to attend the review meeting. The TA felt she should be present at the meeting, having the experience and relevant questions to ask & knowing what strtagies might work or not etc.

I was advised to go as I am the 'teacher'! At the end of the day it is my responsibility and I am the person who is going to have to plan for their learning. It's just left me feeling nervous I guess. :o

After contemplating and try to look at it from a parental point of view - I think I would want the teacher there. I do believe the TA was acting within good interests, but has made me realise I am going to have to be more assertive & confident at times I may not necessarily be feeling it!

I think there are many ways in which transition can be aided for the comfort of child and parent (in addition to the rewards of nurseries saying goodbye to their little companions). With modern tech the web could play a huge part, displaying photos & having updates of news etc. Curriculum planning could be merged with familiar resources to the children upon leaving and entering settings. All ideas at the moment, I'll wait and see how this year goes and hopefully explore once establishing contacts, connections and confidence! :(

Anyway thanks once angain ... and if anyone has any other ideas or sites to look at ... please still feel free to post! :D

Skylight

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Guest tinkerbell

You do sound to be getting your head around it Skylight good for you.I agree with you that you should be at the meeting, start as you mean to go on as you pointed out ,you are the teacher.

I'm not too sure of your photos on the web idea, you must be very careful..we dont show childrens faces on our website and have had to have parents permission to take photos of children.

We do a Big book of photos each half term that the children take home to share with their parents it goes home on a rota basis every night .The parents love it and write lovely comments in a book and the children can talk about what they have been doing in school to mum and dad.Tinkerbellx

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This site is great! Thanks for the imput, I really like the idea of a big book.

Would be extremely careful of any photos used on a web site, but you could use to help imform parents of the foundation curriculum and publish ideas for intergrated activities at home etc. Children's work could be celebrated and shared. I do think there could be a consortium of nursery meeting schools in a child friendly, resourceful & creative fashion.

I'm getting carried away here, but there could be a link for parents and children to contribute stuff towards also. Guess it all boils down to time and I should learn to walk before running!!

Skylight

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hi Skylight and welcome!

 

You talk of having no confidence but you have lots of lovely ideas! No wonder you were appointed!! DO make sure though that you dont undertake too much all at once, it can be very tiring teaching reception and you will have alot of things to do.

 

Have a look at the profile handbook, there are suggestions there of things you might need to know from parents and perhaps from pre schools.

I always found it helpful to visit the preschools after the children had visited me in school' although I also visited them before class allocation (we were large, 3 classes per year group!) to discuss needs and friendships etc.

 

Good luck!

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I hadn't considered a different format to preschool visits (obvious as it sounds). I would imagine that brings a completely different experience to the children. I will remember the suggestion/comment! As a NQT I am willing to follow the format to date and confident enough to ask 'why' when things don't feel quite appropriate. I need to experience a year before making judgements on such matters .... but you are right about one thing .... I do have a lot of ideas and these are mainly manifested and imformed through the children I have taught or liased with to date!

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I forgot to mention - thankyou! It's so good to feel a little support and backup from all who has replied to my posting. Will let you know my reflections in due course.

Skylight

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Hi skylight

from the pre-school side, our teachers come and see us one to see the children in a relaxed environment that they are very used to. also our teachers know that we have more family background than any one on our families. ususally we have got to know th parents very well and can advise on how to "handle" different parents. which ones are easy to talk to which ones will need more "attention", and which ones you will never know. our teachers come also to find out the background on how the children are once they are relaxed and settled. They usually come with just a list of children, and we go through as much as we can on each one, family and child. I'm sure most pre-schools will be able to give you as much detail as you want!!!!!!.

I would suggest that you take some notes on each child and family for future reference, but don't overload, we can have so much information sometimes that you as teachers will probably not need to know as you will not have the same relationship as we do with our parents, (sometimes that can be a god send I promise you, there are times when I really do feel that I don't need to know half of what I'm told!!!! but we are usually good listeners)

So get to know your pre-schools we can be a good source of information. Good luck and try to enjoy the children through all the other things (rubbish) that comes with them :D:oxD

P.S. enjoy the Forum we all do

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Thanks Seph,

Some good insights there. I made a very simple sheet with 3 pointers to take with me today. Interest, dislikes, social & communication skills & any other imfo.

Felt a bit 'silly' but knew that children (although i hate to admit it) would merge into a sea by the end of the week and I'd get confused who like what etc.

I spoke and made good contacts with practitioners, discussing each child whilst observing their surroundings and inter-action. I then tried to establish dialogue and inter-action with the children - without 'invading their space' and just participating or doing something with equipment that encouraged them to come to me. I really do believe that children are incrediably perceptive and aware when they are being observed, and prefered to keep a neutrual and comfortable distance. This is not underconfidence talking - just that when introducing yourself for the first time - you don't want to invade or stop play etc. either become a part of or observer of.

I genuinely learnt a lot about the children and had the good fortune of having the TA attending also (who I respect the insight of and picks up on things that rely on previous experience of what to look out for)

I know what you mean about over-loading with imfo. and can see that relationships will be different. I (maybe wrongly) like to listen to what poeple say and then form my own judgement. But it does provide a good foundation and understanding of children's previous education at large, alongside establishing links with nieghbouring nurseries.

One nice surprise came from a practitioner who wanted to take the nursery on an outing to the school to learn about 'going to school' intergrating the transition process. This inter-linked with the travel paper and the merging of birth -3 & foundation is a fantastic idea, alongside the rewards of sharing practice and consistancy. She also wants to come to the parents evening for registration! I asked if she would miss the children (obvious reply) and hoping to see her visiting in new term. Ditto for support and help of another individual in the afternoon.

Of course, logistically this makes it possible because there are enough children in one nursery, whereas children that are indepantly based on their 'own' in a setting probrably not. But it was nice to swing the footing around all the same and I think this is a move forwards.

I have to add ... I am in a luxurious moment as I am not in full time teaching at the moment and taking advantage of being able to visit all settings. Next yaer may not be the same - only targeting the ones where clusters of children are. This said makes all the reason for spending my time wisely establishing those links now. Pre-schools are an excellant place to start (and I ended up being quite honest explaining I was an NQT also). I have a lot of confidence and a lot to learn. Don't feel that declaring that is a problem for me personally... but wasn't sure if it was how I should 'put myself across'? What the heck ... can only be me and we all have to start somewhere eh?!

A good day all in all, with lots to think about and look forward to.

All the best

Skylight

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  • 2 months later...

One point I'd make is to listen and respect what your preschool groups are telling you about the children! I have had various experiences with teachers over the years, some good and others definately not so good! Things such as childrens likes/dislikes are, of course, important, but what about things such as discipline issues??I vividly remember one little boy who used to have terrible behaviour issues, such as hitting, snatching,foul language, you name it, well he had it in bucketloads! I had seen a programme about time out techniques and took on board some of the points, and tried one method with this little boy............a simple egg timer, which we turned over and expected him to stay at the quiet, drawing table until the sand had run through.it took a little while for him to catch on,BUT once he had, it was BRILLIANT!! He would actually go and get the eggtimer for himself when he felt a "bad mood" coming on and even when he had been unkind.Sometimes he'd even turn it over again and tell us it was because he still felt cross.I thought this showed an astonishing level of maturity for one so young.SO, when his new teacher came to see us, we went though all the children, their worries/likes etc and I explained to her about this child's time out system.She actually laughed at me and said "Oh yes, we'll see"........and promptly ignored what we'd suggested.The point is, it was tried and tested, it worked for him ,it worked for us...........and she ignored it.The result???Havoc at school, he had no system in place for time out, he was simply shouted at and told to behave .It caused no end of disruption and trouble and yet this was so simple and it WORKED.i just wish she had listened, his time at school would have been so much easier.

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Hi Narnia

It sounds to me as if the experience you describe is really unfortunate, especially for the child concerned. The teacher was obviously very silly not to listen to your advice.

Where I can I would like to incorporate any strategies or advice given, especially as the people who have provided it have both more experience of working with children than myself and at that point in time more knowledgable about the children in their care!

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