Starting School

Starting School at Raglan – A guide for new parents

Hello and welcome to Raglan Primary School! One of the biggest steps your child will take is starting school. Although most children will have attended a playgroup or a nursery and will have been away from you for a few hours a day it is still quite a change for them, and of course you, when the great day arrives!

You will receive a more formal brochure with information about Raglan but may welcome this earlier information to help your child prepare for school.

About our Early Years Team

We are all dedicated to providing a happy, supportive and stimulating environment where your child can experience a broad and balanced education. Raglan is a very friendly environment and we are always willing to chat to you about your child.

Preparing for school

Here are some practical ideas to help your child prepare for school.

Speaking and listening

Talking together helps children to develop confidence and build up their vocabulary. Encourage your child to talk as they play with their toys, about the pictures in a book or what they can see as you are out shopping or in the park. Sing songs and nursery rhymes together. It is important that your child is also able to listen at school. In a world of television and computer games children quickly learn to “switch off” to noises around them. A good game to play is where you sit quietly for a few minutes and see what you can hear, e.g. a clock ticking, birds singing. This will help your child acquire a valuable skill.

Reading

Sharing books and reading together is a valuable learning resource which children enjoy. Children begin to realise that the pictures and words carry meaning. Point to the words as you read and let your child turn the pages.

In the first few weeks, of school we hold a Reading at Raglan meeting to explain how we teach children to read.

Writing

Before learning to write children need to develop their fine motor control. Cutting with scissors, rolling and pinching play dough, finger painting, tracing, colouring and drawing will help with this. Children’s free drawings should be encouraged and highly praised.
Let your child decide which hand they prefer to use and show them how to hold a pencil correctly.
When writing their name we teach the small (lower case) letters first with a capital letter for the initial letter of their name.

Mathematics

Many of the everyday things you do involve early mathematics:

Counting
  • as you walk up the stairs,
  • cars you pass on the street
  • how many toys in the bed
Sorting
  • The shopping (milk in the fridge, fruit in the fruit bowl)
  • Socks into matching pairs
Sequencing
  • Clothes as you put them on
  • When you make a glass of squash
Comparing
  • Colour, size, shape of toys

Playing simple board games, doing jigsaw puzzles and playing with construction toys such as Lego can encourage the use of mathematical language.

Dressing and undressing

From Foundation Stage all children at Raglan wear our school uniform, have a school bookbag and a full PE kit (details available in the school brochure). Children should learn to dress and undress themselves. Velcro fastenings on shoes can be helpful and short sleeves shirts avoid the need for rolling up sleeves when doing creative activities or playing in the water. We will obviously help children who are struggling with stiff buttons or tricky tights but the more independent the children become the longer time can be spent doing the practical activities.

In the Summer the children will need hats and sun cream. Please apply sun cream to your child before school. If it is really sunny they can bring it to school but they must be able to apply it themselves as staff cannot help the children with this.

Personal hygiene

We expect children to be independent in their use of the toilet and in washing their hands afterwards and enforce good standards of health and hygiene in school. However, if your child is prone to “wetting” themselves or occasionally has an accident, it may be useful to provide spare underwear.

We provide aprons for artwork and encourage children to keep relatively clean! Most things wash out fairly easily. (White PVA glue is best soaked in cold water before being machine-washed). We encourage children having school dinners to eat with a knife and fork so please reinforce this at home.

Golden Rules

When your child first comes to school they will meet with a set of rules for the classroom, playground and school in general. These are necessary for the safety of the children and to create a positive and social atmosphere. We insist upon these rules in a firm but kind way and are consistent in enforcing them.

Routine of the school day

The children start school at 8.55am and finish school at 3.15pm. The school gates will be open for you from 8.30am where you and your child can socialise with other children and parents. Two members of staff will be on duty from 8.40am each morning. The bell will ring at 8.55am, at this time the children will line up with the rest of their class. It is really important that once you have said goodbye to your child you stand back away from the line so the teacher can see all the children and make sure they get into school safely. Please do not walk with your child in the line, if your child is upset a member of staff will comfort them and we will ring you later on in the day if needed.

The school day is as follows:
  • 8.55am – Start of school day
  • 10.30am – Assembly
  • 10.45am – Playtime
  • 11am – End of play
  • 12pm – Lunch for Reception children
  • 1.15pm – End of lunch time play
  • 3.15pm – Home time

Each child will need to bring in their book bag every day and it will be sent home every night.

First school morning

On your child’s first day of school they will be feeling very excited and maybe a little anxious, as will you! The children will start school at the same time, 8.55am. The Reception staff will come in to the playground a littler earlier than normal to help get the children into the correct lines. The bell will go and the children will line up by their teacher. As stated above it makes it much easier if you say goodbye to your child before they get in the line and move back so we can see all the children and make sure they are following us into school. If your child is upset please be assured that a member of staff will support them and bring them in to school.

The children will be picked up from the playground; the children’s class teacher will dismiss the children one by one from the blue reception area gates. It is really helpful if, when your child is at the front of the line, you wave to us and then we will let your child go. Please be patient with us as we want to ensure we are sending the children home safely.

Wet mornings

If it is raining in the morning the staff will decide whether to bring the children straight in to school rather than waiting on the playground. If this happens one member of staff will stand by the Link Corridor door and welcome the children. The children will then go to the Lower Hall where another member of staff will be waiting. We ask that you please say goodbye at the door and move back to let other children through.

Parent Forum

Each class has two parent representatives. The parent reps are set up to help and support the class teacher to communicate with the parents. More information on this and how you can apply to be a parent rep will follow.

If you need to speak to us about a specific query then the end of the school day is usually best for us. Otherwise send a note in with your child or call the school office to make an appointment. We look forward to meeting you and your child and making their start to school an enjoyable and fulfilling one.

See you soon!