I am delighted that your child has been allocated a Foundation Stage place with us for September 2020. Due to the current situation with COVID-19, our usual induction process is understandably in limbo. We are trying to find ways to ensure that your child has as smooth and positive a transition as possible despite the current restrictions. As we are unable to know how long these restrictions will remain in place for, we will be unable to give definite timescales or dates for the time being. However, our transition process is in the following four parts.
- A meeting for parents. This usually happens in June. Under current guidelines, this would not be able to go ahead. If this is still the case – we will look to still have this but in a virtual way. This may be a pre-recorded video for you to watch or an interactive meeting using a platform such as ‘Zoom’. A decision about this will follow nearer the time.
- Stay and play sessions. Parents and pupils are usually invited to come into the reception classrooms in groups and spend some time playing in the space and getting to know the adults. These sessions usually happen in late June or early July. There is every chance that schools will be open by this time and, if that is the case, we will go ahead with these sessions. Parents will be given dates and times as soon as we know that we are open. As a precaution in case these are not possible, and also to give your child chance to meet staff, our EYFS leader, Mrs Tracy Gill, will film a message to you all and to your children which will include a tour of the classroom areas. More information about this will follow.
- Starting school. In September, we have a two- week transition period where children attend school for morning and lunchtime sessions, building up to full time by the end of the second week. For most children, this will work well. However, we are aware, with most children having missed a large amount of time from their pre-school education, that some children may need a longer transition period. We are happy to work with families and will be as flexible as families need to ensure that this transition into school is as smooth as possible. I am of course making the assumption here that we will be back in school by September. We will of course keep in regular contact and will advise you should this change for any reason.
- Information evenings for parents. Once the children are in and settled, we run a series of informal evenings for parents where we address issues such as phonics etc. These happen from the end of September onward and are usually held early evening to allow as many parents to attend as possible. Again, should it not be possible by then for us to meet in person, we will hold virtual meetings and record things so that you are still informed.
At school we promote independence and it is a great help, particularly to the children's confidence if, by the time they start school, they are able to:
- Be responsible for their own belongings. You can support this by naming all items of clothing and possessions which come to school, enabling the children to identify their own things.
- Dress and undress themselves keeping their clothes together.
- Go to the toilet without assistance, washing their hands with soap.
- Eating healthy foods. We have 1 snack time during a school day for children in the EYFS, in addition to their lunch.
- Recognising and writing their own name.
Mrs Tracy Gill
Here are some useful websites to support you and your child.
Early phonics teaching in pre-school, nursery and at the start of Reception focuses on developing children’s listening skills. Early years environments do a lot of aural work, training children in awareness of sounds,’
In Phase 1 phonics, children are taught about:
- Environmental sounds
- Instrumental sounds
- Body percussion (e.g. clapping and stamping)
- Rhythm and rhyme
- Voice sounds
- Oral blending and segmenting (e.g. hearing that d-o-g makes ‘dog’)
Typical activities for teaching Phase 1 phonics include 'listening' walks, playing and identifying instruments, action songs, learning rhymes and playing games like I Spy.
This phase is intended to develop children’s listening, vocabulary and speaking skills.
This phase is really important and vital to your child's reading journey.
Children generally develop most of these skills naturally through their interactions with parents and caregivers both at home and in play-based nursery school programmes. Their reception year teacher will help them to continue developing these skills through age-appropriate play-based learning before introducing them to a formal reading programme.
Before beginning a formal synthetic phonics programme, the teacher will show children how to break words down into their individual sounds (segmenting) and how individual sounds are put together to form a word (blending).
Segmenting is taught by showing the pupils an object, saying its name, and then asking the pupils what sounds they hear in the name of the object. E.g. ‘This is a cat. What sound can you hear at the beginning of cat?’
Blending is taught by showing an object, saying the sounds in its name and then asking the pupils what the object is. E.g. ‘c-a-t says …...? What is it?’
Learning to read needs to be based on a solid foundation of general language skills. These develop when a child has plenty of opportunities for speaking and for hearing stories, songs and rhymes. It is also important for children to have fun so that they will develop a positive attitude towards learning.
The following few documents are included to support you and your child with their learning. In particular, I have tried to include activities to support;
- Oral Blending and segmenting – this is a vital skill. Please don’t move too quickly into recognising the letters/phonemes rather than being able to hear the sounds and blend them together. Children need to be able to hear that c-a-t (said by a grown up) makes cat before recognising the letters.