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Transition From Nursery To Reception


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I am in my second year of teaching in reception, and have just found out that I will be here again next year. This and all the transition between y1 and reception stuff that my school is finally now beginning to do has made me very aware that we do very little to ease transition into our reception classes (from either our own nursery that feeds about half our places, or any other nurserys). We do have a parents meeting in July and individual meetings with parent and child in September before they start.

 

I was wondering what everyone else does?

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We feed from a Nursery school and a few children come from other nurseries.

I send a ltter out to parents explaining the transition routine and explaining what will be happening.

 

The nursery visit for an hour once a week in the 3 weeks leading up to the end of term, they bring over the children that will be starting with us (we are lucky we are only 200 yards away) and they stay for a small group session, a story and a bit of CIP with the existing Reception class or in December with their new classmates. That way they are in their new setting but they also have an existing member of their staff with them. Children who come from other settings are brought in by their parents. The nursery have one member of staff that is a link with each school.

 

The parents are invited to a new parents evening meeting, without children if possible, where the head and I meet them and do a little presentation (got it off pat now!) about the way the school works, what to expect, curriculum, uniform, routines etc. We answer any questions then about anything they want to ask. My TA and cover assistant is coming this year, as is the new deputy so that he knows what to do when he eventually becomes a head!

 

The parents and children are then invited to visit together for an afternoon. The children by now are used to the setting and are keen to show their parents around and the parents have a chance to ask any questions that have occurred to them since the evening visit! This is usually chaos but a good afternoon and I try to pass my existing class onto year 1 for the afternoon so that the room isn't too busy. In fact the school usually has this as our hand over practice day, meet your new teacher sort of thing!

 

The children all go home with a goodie bag which contains a personalised welcome booklet with school info in it, a pack of cards, dominoes, two dice, key words, a nunmber line, a hundred square and a name laminated board and white board pen. All of which are used throughout the year for 'homework' tasks and for home fun.

 

When the children start they stay till 12 for the first 2 weeks, till after lunch for the next week and then full time from week 4 - we find this eases them in nicely and it is not too much of a shock.

 

Hope this is the sort of info you wanted! Blimey I have gone on a bit - sorry!

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As a pre-school which feeds to several schools each one is different but we do find that most (except 1) the reception teacher visits us to see the children in our setting usually talks to all the children they will be recieving and spends time with them, then they give us the routine of parents and child visits over this summer term. By visiting us we find if we have a concern with a child who may find transition difficult we can raise the issue and make the school aware of any concerns we have.

 

One school has given us a paper carrier bag to decorate with the child, she will take this home at end of the year and over the summer parents have to help her decide one item to put into it for the first day of term, she then tkes this bag to school and is able to show and tell about the item.

 

This year children with special needs are being given 3 introductory visits with a member of staff to the new school and the teacher has 2 visits to us to see the child in our setting. This is a more formal programme than usual and we and the school get funding to do this.

 

the one thing our parents all hate is the graduated start of sometime morning then aftenoons then a bit of both etc etc etc. Many complain the children get confused not having a set routine and not knowing if they are at school or not, this is particularly difficult for some children who need the set routine. Also when siblings are at school so 'why cannot I go as well' Parents who work find it impossible to contantly find care or juggle hours around schools, we have had some pay to stay for the other half day with us , not the best situation but the only one they could find. These comments are all from parents who find it confusing, never mind the children.

 

Inge

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Liz, that sounds like a lovely experience for the children. Am going to take your ideas to my reception colleagues, if that's alright with you. May not be much help for this year but could work on next year.

Posy.

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I have been working on developing links to help smooth transition into Reception over the past 3 terms. Our children this year are all from our local Playgroup so that has made things easier.My TA and I have been to visit in their setting each term taking a little activity that links with their topic.

In addition they have come into school,with Playgroup staff, for Theme afternoons. Very productive to meet both children parents in their 'own territory.'

The new children for September will have 3 visits by themselves next term. The first visit is a play focused 1 hour visit. In this time,the Head and I speak with parents about routines,uniforms etc and are invited to look around school. The second and third visits extend to include a lunchtime experience. This new development has had good feedback from parents in the community and I feel that the forthcoming visits won't be as much as a shock for both children and parents having had this experience.(I hold an additional FS and Ready to Read meeting in Term 1)

The Playgroup chairperson and leader met with the Head and myself to discuss initial ideas and action plan. We have reviewed development once and will do so again before end of term. Feel there is probably much more to be done but made a start.We were able to get a grant (£350) from local school enterprise initiatives. Some of the money has funded supply time to enable Playgroup leader and I to plan for Theme afternoons:some will be used for final Theme PM when we hope to have a Storyteller/Dance artiste.Hope this is of some help with ideas. It has taken some time but seeing some rewards.

luluj

What a wonderful idea with the paper carrier bag. Many thanks for sharing Inge.

Edited by luluj
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Ours mostly come from the pre-school on site (although its not the school nursery) so they come in small groups of about 5 with an adult to just have a little look around and talk about the reception classes (this is v.informal and only started recently, we thought it was daft to be separated by a door that is never used and the pre-school never see beyond it into the main school!), this starts at Easter and the aim is that each child will have at least one visit like this.

We then have story sessions open to all children who are starting with us - 4 available sessions, chn can come to all if they want to for stories and songs, lasts about half hour.

Then all children in each age come for a visit eg. all autumn borns come together etc for a bit longer - about an hour, then 1 session with all in (this only works when we are able to pass current class up to year 1 for a visit...).

We also have a new parents evening in July explaining the curriculum, how the school works etc. September we have individual parents sessions when children can come with their parents too...

Then children start sch and come in their age groups for a while so that they aren't in a big group straight away and gradually all stay longer until they are staying for whole morning (or day) with the whole class.

Bit of a nightmare sorting all this out and making it all fit with rest of school (always need to shuffle some of current class out due to space!) but we have found that it seems to work and children settle well, can be tricky for parents but most see that the shorter, smaller sessions are useful.

Will stop waffling, hope this helps!

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Our Nursery is within the school so they are used to the layout as we use the main schools library, hall and gym and we attend assembly on occasions. As for going up a letter is sent home to the parents detailing the visits which start after half term, a couple of times a week, for varying time lengths,sometimes for a story, sometimes for an activity, to start with we do a complete swop ( if we send 10 children we get 10 reception children) so the class is not too big. They also stay to lunch one day and they go out for a playtime. They also have fun bags to take home every week with activities in do to with their significant other.

 

Hope that makes sense

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We are a pre-school on the site of a school. We have had 3 visits recently with all children. One where the reception children were our guides which was great, had a look round the whole school and chidlren were able to ask important questions ie what is that? (a water fountain). They also had the opportunity to play in the playground without the whole school, just reception which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

 

The following week the reception teacher read a story and the following week we watched their class assembly.

 

Throughout the year we use the school hall for PE for the older ones, ie getting changed into their pe kit.

 

We also took our caterpillars over to show the reception class and we all joined together to release them, later on.

 

Personally I think what works best is little and often, and low key. Obviously, we are very lucky being on the school site so we can do this.

 

The teacher will spend a lunchtime with us going through the transition sheets at the end of term, which enables us to pass on all their little likes and dislikes.

 

The children then have at least 2 afternoons in school, arranged by the school, along with a parents meeting.

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  • 5 years later...

I am currently a nursery teacher and in previous years I worked in Primary schools, when workig in Primary we had a good relationship with our feeder pre-schools and as teachers we would visit the preschools throughout the year (in our own time or PPA time usually) during the summer term, after getting our list of children, we would visit the pre-schools and disucss the specific chidlren with the staff. When it came to transition day (when the chidlren visited for the morning) they were happy to come to us and they had met us several times.

 

The Nursery school I currently work at does not seem to have the same relationships with its feeder schools, so far I have not seen or had contact with anyone from the schools, despite trying to organise a cluster group. If you work in Primary would you appreciate the nuseries approaching you to organise visits etc? Or would you rather do this yourselves? I feel that transistion is so important to get it right but don't want to step on any toes.

 

I hope this makes sense.

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the one thing our parents all hate is the graduated start of sometime morning then aftenoons then a bit of both etc etc etc. Many complain the children get confused not having a set routine and not knowing if they are at school or not, this is particularly difficult for some children who need the set routine. Also when siblings are at school so 'why cannot I go as well' Parents who work find it impossible to contantly find care or juggle hours around schools, we have had some pay to stay for the other half day with us , not the best situation but the only one they could find. These comments are all from parents who find it confusing, never mind the children.

 

 

I agree we should consider the needs of the adults, and I agree they would want a clear and sensible pattern to the build up to a full school day. However I did always emphasise that primarily it is the children who are experiencing the major change. It can be quite exhausting starting school and even if they have been full time in a setting before, having to mentally deal with a lot of new experiences can be exhausting. I compare this to how tired we might feel after the first day in a new job. Ask any reception teacher and they will tell you of the children who are literally falling asleep at the end of their first full days.

In my experience a measured start can save a lot of problems later. This is particularly important for children getting used to the very different ratios of adults to engage with them, and the expectations on the child that this brings. They will be in school for a very long time, and parents having to manage a staggered start (albeit sensibly organised) can be a small price to pay for long term settled and happy learners. For me managing expectations of the families is important in managing transition into any new learning space.

 

Cx

Edited by catma
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