“Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential.”
(Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2012)
At Immanuel College Preparatory School we recognise that the settling-in process for a child is eased when there is a strong relationship between staff and parents and the child knows that their parents trust us and are happy for us to care for them during the day. We aim to follow the same procedures for all children joining our school, regardless of their age, making adjustments if the transfer is mid-year or the child is joining us from abroad.
During the Shavuot Term prior to starting at Immanuel College Preparatory School
- All families are sent a welcome pack, with information about day-to-day school life, uniform, relations and permission forms. Reception children and parents are invited to a tea party in the Reception classroom. Children joining other classes are invited to spend the day with the children. If all permission slips have been received then a contact list is given out at this point, so that families can make contact in advance to arrange play-dates and rotas.
- Pre- School settings are approached to share the EYFS summary for the children for the Academic Year prior to joining Reception and for children transferring from other schools a confidential reference is requested. Parents are given the opportunity to share information about their child as well. We recognise that the more we know about a child prior to them joining us the smoother their transition/ settling –in. If a child has any specialist care, such as an Occupational Therapist or Educational Psychologist, we approach them at this point as well so that we can build consistency of approach, for example using key vocabulary.
- On the first morning of term only the Reception children attend school. They stay for half a day, ending at 12noon. Children joining other classes begin on the first full day of term.
- Parents are encouraged to stay for a while whilst their child settles and then to say goodbye before leaving.
- One member of staff greets the children at the door and others are on hand to help the children choose an activity to start the day and to take them from their parent. Parents are welcome to stay whilst children are settling in the morning, but it is recognised that sometimes a child will cry when their parent leaves, however long they stay and therefore parents are encouraged not to stay for a long period. A member of staff is always on hand to take a child from a parent as they prepare to leave and to stay with that child as they settle into the day.
- A member of staff phones the parent to let them know that their child has settled on the first morning and this continues whilst the child is settling. This provides us with an opportunity to re-assure the parents that their child is now engaged in an activity and to talk about how we can work together to make the drop- off for the next day as smooth as possible.
- If a parent has left their child in an unsettled state, they are encouraged to phone the School Office and ask for an update on their child rather than to wait outside the classroom, as children sometimes see the waiting parents and this unsettles them once again. We offer parents the opportunity to wait in the foyer.
- Staff are always available to talk to parents about any concerns they have about their child.
- Home- School communication is a vital element of the settling-in process, as well as the ongoing positive dynamic between parents and staff. Staff are available at the beginning and end of each day to talk to parents, although depending on the nature of the conversation it may be more appropriate to speak on the phone, be in contact via email or in person. Parents can also call the School Office or email the class teachers directly.
- Parents Evening is held during the term, to give the parents the opportunity to discuss in more detail the progress that their child is making. The children’s work is available for parents to look at.
- A “Meet the Teacher Evening” is held within the first week of the children starting Reception to which all parents are invited. Parents are given a directory of who to contact in different situations, such as class teacher emails and booking for after school care. Parents receive year specific information, which is followed with weekly newsletters from the class teachers as well as a whole school newsletter.
- A second Parents Evening is held during the term.
- Parents are always welcome to make an appointment with the class teacher to discuss their child’s progress.
- Parents receive a written report of their child’s progress over the course of the year, reporting on the EYFSP, Characteristics of Effective Learning and general progress in all curriculum areas.
- Children visit their next class to familiarise themselves with their surroundings for the coming year.
- Teachers from each year group meet with the class teachers for the next year so thoroughly hand-over about each child.