Year R Frequently Asked Questions
A Guide To Reception Now They Have Begun!
Having a child start Reception Class and attend ‘Big School’ can be quite stressful for the parents too! So here are the answers to some common questions we have tackled.
What happens if my child cries?
This is very common as it is such a big step towards independence, everything is new and there has inevitably been a big build up over the summer months to the momentous first days and weeks in Reception. The children themselves have a lot of new information to absorb which does make them exhausted over the first term especially, so tears are not unusual even if there have not been any during their time at Pre-School. We deal with each child individually and make sure communication with parents is good as there may be specific reasons for the tears. Usually a quick hand-over at the entrance door is well-advised as we can distract them with activities easily. Try not to make the moment of saying goodbye prolonged as this can pull on the heart strings of the child. Attempt to focus the talk and emotions on the positive aspects of the day with maybe something to look forward to after school as long as they are grown-up walking into school. If there are tears during the day we will kindly and gently talk to the child to find out the reason for their tears, give a comforting cuddly toy (which always works!) and lots of fun distracting activities.
What can I do if I have left my child crying at the door?
Please ring the school office to find out how your child is. The office staff will gladly come down to see us in the classroom and therefore will be able to give you immediate feedback.
If my child is hurt will I know about it?
The policy is that any injuries are reported to the registered first aider in the medical room who will give the child a notification sticker. If there has been a head injury then a RED form will be in their book bag. All accidents are recorded in an accident file kept in school. A phone call will be made if your child has received a severe bang to the head or an unusual injury, for your information. Obviously if any injury requires further treatment or investigation you will be contacted immediately and the required medical procedures such as ringing 999 would swing into action.
My child says they are alone and have no friends, what do you do to help them?
Part of our role in school is to develop every child’s personal and social skills, which includes how to make friends. No child would be left wandering alone. All the adults who take care of your child does so with compassion, so specific games are set up for children to join in with; friendships are established within the class to encourage a sense of belonging; and an awareness of how to spot and help a lonesome child to join in is taught overtly during class sessions.
My child is unhappy about another one at school- how is that dealt with?
Please make sure school knows about this situation first of all as your child may not have alerted the staff, but only told you. The sooner we know of the problem the sooner we can deal with the issue.
Bad behaviour is not tolerated at school. We have a discipline system in place that all members of staff follow. Every child is learning how to behave and how to follow rules, so when a child struggles with behaviour a combination of punishment and sessions to improve social understanding takes place. It is vital that every child feels safe in school. Friendship is one of our 5 school values which is discussed and learnt about during Collective Worship time as well as during our Positive Action sessions and at story-times. When a clash of personalities occur there is every effort made for the children to find a common ground to develop a relationship that is calm and stress-free, although not necessarily by being best buddies. We are a school family after all and we need to work and play together in harmony.
Will my child be in trouble if they have not completed the homework?
Homework is given so you as parents know what we are learning in school and enables you to talk to your child about their learning. Whilst this is beneficial, if it becomes a battle all the benefits disappear. Rewards and positive praise helps for homework to be completed as well as them working alongside you so they can have some 1-1 attention whilst they learn. Try your best to pick a time when they are not tired and grumpy as it will turn into a negative experience. The idea is the child can be proud of what they are achieving. We certainly do not punish Reception children for not completing their homework as we understand this first year is very tiring for them, however those who do manage it receive a ‘happy hand’ as a reward.
What will happen if my child falls ill during the day?
Any sickness or diarrhoea illness you will be asked to take your child home to recover for 48 hours after the last bout of illness. If you are unavailable to pick up your child immediately the emergency contact list will be worked through until someone is found who can take care of your child. If the child is soiled then obviously they will be cleaned up and given fresh clothes either from their PE bags or emergency school clothes. There is a medical room for ill or injured children that is staffed through the day by Mrs. Bagnall and other first aiders. If the illness is minor then we will try to keep them going for the rest of the school day unless the child’s condition starts to worsen. Sometimes a headache can be lessened with a time in a quiet space and the child drinking more water, as headaches are often due to them being dehydrated. If there is any other medical issue that school should know about please contact the school so a care plan can be put in place straight away so your child can be cared for appropriately. We can administer Calpol if there is written parental permission in school.
What do I do if there is a reason why the person who regularly picks up my child cannot be there at the end of the day?
Contact the school office as soon as you know so a message can be sent directly to the Class Teacher.
How will I know how my child is coping at school?
There are a combination of formal and informal opportunities to discuss progress, settling in and friendships. There are Parents Evenings arranged for you to book online. Reports are given out regularly and can be discussed afterwards in person as well. There is an open door policy so Teachers are available to talk to after school if they are free to meet in person or for a phone conversation to take place. The Teachers are contactable by their school email address given out during the home-visit to discuss any issues. This is a two way process as Teachers may wish to contact you to discuss an issue, if there is a need.
If my child struggles to change into their PE kit will they be helped?
As staff working in a school, we are ‘in loco parentis’ which means we must act like and are as responsible for your child as if we were the parent, whilst you are not with them. We are caring people who take our role of looking after and developing your child very seriously, so if anyone needs help we will give it. Striving for independence is a key feature of the Reception year, so we would encourage all children to dress themselves as much as they are capable of handling. We give support and help as needed for the child to reach a high level of independence, however under no circumstance will any child be left is a state of distress. We will always be there to give a helping hand.
My child won’t go to the toilet unless told to, will they be told?
During the Reception day there are set toilet times such as before leaving the classroom to visit another part of the school (eg for Collective Worship), before snack time, before lunch and before leaving for home-time. Toilets are available at any time of the day and if we are aware of a child with a specific toilet need we will make sure they go according to their needs.
My child needs to be told to take off their jumper as they don’t realise when they are too hot - will you notice?
We are there to look after every one of the 30 class members as best as we can. If we see a child is over-heating we will encourage them to take off their jumper or cardigan, have a drink of water, to sit in the shade or to play a less active game. In the classroom we have air-conditioning which could be switched on if the room has become over-heated.
My child doesn’t drink enough, will they be told to have a drink?
Every morning we have snack-time when the children are offered a fruit snack and (when they are under 5) a carton of milk. If they prefer water they will have a drink from their water bottle as provided by you. If they have drunk the water supplied from home then we will fill up their bottles from the fresh cold water dispensers supplied in every corridor. This may be refilled as much as necessary.
My child is a fussy-eater; will I know if they are not eating the hot dinner provided by school?
It helps if you can discuss the dinner options with your child the night before so they can make a dinner choice before going into the school dinner hall the next day as it takes the stress out of having to make a quick choice at the counter. If your child is not eating their meal the Teacher will be told and you will be informed by them. When a child rejects the meals offered over a few days it will be suggested that you provide a packed lunch instead. The hot dinners can be combined with packed lunches over a week. For instance roast dinner day on Wednesdays and chip day on Fridays are often popular, with packed lunches given by you for the other three days. Keep looking at the menu supplied and talk to your child every night so they are prepared. Thank you!
I am worried my child will be knocked over or feel intimidated by the older bigger children in the play-ground, can you reassure me this won’t happen?
We have outdoor activities in our own Reception area with the other Reception class sharing it. At lunch-time play your child will join Year1 children in the playground where you bring them in and collect them at the end of the day. Whilst we cannot guarantee your child will never be injured as accidents do happen, they are with children of a similar age so this is less likely to happen than if they were playing with the older age range. The lunch play is supervised by Lunchtime Supervisors who are clear about our 5 Christian school values considering how we are learning to treat each other with compassion, build friendships, trust each other and being polite. So any behaviour that does not show these values will be dealt with according to the rewards and punishment system.
I have heard the school runs a ‘buddy system’. What does this mean?
Every child in Reception is paired up with a Year 6 pupil from the start of the year. The idea is that it gives the sense of a school family as the younger ones are immediately linked with the older children and it gives the Year 6 children a sense of responsibility. Over the year we organise various activities such as games and puzzles sessions, reading opportunities and events for them to participate in together.
If you have any other issues that we need to address please let us know and we can add more questions to this page so the solutions are helpful to other parents as well. As a school we are very lucky to have Mrs Hayley Jones (FLO) in school every day who can help deal with any questions or issues you may have. Please remember that no question is too silly and no issue is too small!