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New Starters

Early Years (Nursery and Reception) Starters September 2020

Welcome to Highwood Primary School!

We are delighted that you and your child will be joining Highwood Primary School this coming September. On behalf of the Staff, Governors, children and parents, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you and your family to our school community.

We are so sorry that, due to the current lockdown restrictions, we are unable to welcome you physically in to our building and grounds but we will be providing as much as we can online and once you have accepted a place at Highwood we will be providing you with a link to our Early Years Starters Google Classroom.

We hope that the information on this page will begin to answer many of the questions that you have about your child starting school with us in September and assure you that we will update this page as new information is available about your child’s induction.

We will be talking to pre-school and nursery settings, as we always do, to find out where your child is in their learning. We will also be talking to you directly to find out about your child’s preferences; things they particularly enjoy, find difficult etc. These conversations usually take place within the context of stay and play visits to school and a home visit in the Autumn term, however if this is not possible, due to the current situation, we will think creatively to ensure that we receive all of the information that we need about your child.

Mrs Cathy Cox

Head Teacher

 

Frequently Asked Questions

We will be updating this page periodically but, for now, here are some Frequently Asked Questions that may help:

Q: Can I come and visit the school? Not at the moment, but as soon as we are fully open, you may arrange a visit by contacting the school office by email on admin@highwood.herts.sch.uk or by phone on 01923 256210.

Q. What class will my child be in? Our two Reception classes are called Oak and Ash, so each child will be registered in one of these. We try our best to allocate the children so that there is an even mix of boys and girls/ Summer and Autumn born children in each class. There is just one class in Nursery – Acorns. The Early Years provision works as one area so children mix between the classes most of the time. Nursery also join them during morning Child Initiated Learning. The children soon become familiar with all three classrooms, the shared outside area and all of the Early Years Staff Team.

Q. Can my child be with their friend from Nursery? We cannot promise this. We have an intake from several Early Years settings and we try and speak to every one of these individually to get to know your children and their abilities/needs/friendships and so on. As well as trying to balance the classes as explained above, this forms part of our thinking about which class they will be in. You can also let us know if you think they would benefit being with their friends from nursery, or indeed apart from their friends from nursery! As explained above our Reception classes mix together throughout the day and continue to mix with Nursery during morning Child Initiated Learning.

Q. My child knows no-one starting in September. Will they be OK? Yes, they will be fine. Every year, we have children who know no-one else, and special care is taken of them by our very experienced staff who will help them to settle and make friends. You will be hearing about a whole new set of friends in no time!

Q. Who will my child’s teacher be? At the moment, we have not set the staffing structure for September. We will let you know who all of the team will be at the beginning of June.

Q. What do I do if I don’t think my child will like school or will get upset at the thought of starting school? This is a very common occurrence. It is a massive change for your child…and indeed for you. Take a walk/drive past the school if you can and begin to explain the concept, especially if they are your eldest child. Talk with excitement about the things they may be doing or learning. When you go to buy their uniform/shoes/lunchbox, make this an exciting trip with a treat afterwards! Find one of the many, many storybooks about starting school and include this in your reading with them. Most importantly of all, if you are anxious or nervous, DO NOT SHOW THIS to your child.

Q. Will I have to fill in any paperwork for the school? Yes. This will be coming to you at various points over the next little while, and will include the answers to lots of other questions you may have. Please post it back to us as soon as possible so we can start processing your information ready for when the new children start.

Q. What if I have another question? Contact the school office by email on admin@highwood.herts.sch.uk or by phone on 01923 256210.

Details about EYFS and the curriculum

The Early Years is all about your child learning through play. Your child will spend most of their day in school accessing the continuous provision and following their own interests both indoors and outdoors. The areas within the classroom will be set up by adults who have taken into account your child’s interests and next steps. The children will access these areas with support and guidance from teaching staff.

During the day, your child will take part in some short adult led activities focused around Communication and Language, Phonics and Maths. Although adult led, these will be fun and engaging sessions, planned with the children’s interests and needs in mind. There are ample opportunities throughout the year for outdoor play, as we believe this is vital for children’s development.

Once the children are settled in school we hope to be able to provide opportunities for you to join us in the classroom to experience our learning environment. As soon as we can we will also provide parental workshops to inform you of our teaching approaches, allowing for greater collaboration to support your child’s progress.

In the meantime, you may find links below a helpful introduction to the Early Years Curriculum:

https://www.foundationyears.org.uk/files/2015/01/EYFS_Parents_Guide-amended1.pdf

https://www.foundationyears.org.uk/files/2015/03/4Children_ParentsGuide_2015_WEB.pdf