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Muscliff Primary School

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Questions and Answers

We have compiled some typical questions we get asked and have answered them in as much detail as we can. 


  • What do you do on that very first morning/afternoon session in September?


Literally the very first thing we do is get them inside the classroom as soon as possible where there is an range of inviting of things to play with and explore. An adult will be in every classroom helping any child that may need some encouragement to find something they love or who just wants to talk or to watch others until they are ready. There will also be an adult at the door of course with a big welcoming smile ready to help them get into the classroom.

We let the children play and explore the setting whilst we talk to them and help them to feel happy and settled. We will practise tidying up and sitting on the carpet for some short teacher led sessions, which will consist of some maths or phonics games or singing. After that we take a trip to the toilet and then go and explore our outside areas.  We wash our hands/ go to the toilet again and then have our fruit snack; we sit in a circle, chat and eat together... and then we have more 'Let's Explore' time in our classroom. By that time it is almost home time so we sit down for a story, a song and a chat about what we've loved the most about our very first morning/afternoon. We get ready for home time, collecting our water bottles, snack pots, book bag, coat, jumpers and our many stickers and we line up ready to be called to go to our grown up. We will know your child's name and a fair bit about them by the time you pick them up that first time although forgive us if we don't yet instantly match you to your child for a bit!

The next few days continue in a similar way with a few more 'learning moments' along the way such as Wonderful Walking, Super Sitting, what does 'safe' look like in school, what is 'star of the day' etc until we have a start of a routine that makes the children feel secure and happy.


  • What do I (and you) do if my child is crying when I drop them off?


We're used to it! Many children will cry at dropping off time at some point in the year as tiredness gets to them or they realise they have to keep coming to this school thing every day!  

We will ask you to try to release yourself from them asap and we will help you with this by trying to distract your child with stickers etc in the classroom so you can get out of view quickly. We promise you they will be settled within minutes.  We will call as soon as we can to let you know. We do understand how upsetting this can be for all concerned (we deal with it confidently and compassionately but we are not 'hardened' to it and cannot see a time when we will ever be).


Interestingly, we have found it much more settling for children now they leave you at the gate instead of the classroom door. Maybe because they are used to this from pre-school experiences or maybe because this is the routine from day 1? 


  • How much contact will my child in the Rainbows have with other year groups?


We have our own playground area that no other year groups go into; our own classroom base 'wing' that no other year group passes through and our own entry/exit gate. We work up to venturing outside the base for PE in the hall during our part time week and we walk past two of the Year 1 classrooms and cloakroom.  We believe in small steps make for great self-confidence in their immediate world.

Later in the year, your child will have a Year 5 'buddy'. We set up a range of fun activities to do with their buddies throughout the year.  We will also start going to the hall for celebration assemblies in the summer term.


  • How can I be a part of my child's education as much as possible? School is so important!


Indeed it is! From a teacher's point of view we would love it if every parent did the following:

Provide school routine in a morning so children are not late or hungry.

Make sure your child knows who is picking them up on that particular day.

Read to your child every evening. Never stop! (well maybe in their teens if you have to.)

Read with your child for about 10mins every day.

Show interest in their sounds of the week and tricky words.

Count on and  back from 30 when you're in the car, in the bath, walking home, eating peas...

Keep updated with the web page for information and attend any curriculum workshops if you can.

Read and write in the new Reading Record each week (at least 5 times per week to work towards a reading star).

Talk to them as much as you can. If they can't say it, they won't read, write, explain for themselves.

Make friends within the year group community.


  • Is the reception year all about painting and playing?


No ...This year is called the Foundation Stage and with your support will set your child up for the rest of their school life. We will teach them how to behave at school, how to learn at school, how to speak to others at school, how to become independent learners and thinkers at school, how to read, how to write, how to count, add up, take away, learn number facts, understand what a number means, how to hold a pencil with pinch n prop, how to write using cursive handwriting, how to segment words to spell them, how to use scissors, how to get changed independently and manage their toilet needs independently, how to walk through school, how to ask for help, how to ask for a playmate, how to not play with someone they don't want to, how to deal with boisterous games, how to climb, how to catch a ball, how to throw a ball, how to make gymnastic shapes and travel and roll, how to use gardening equipment, how to create an obstacle course, how to use a fireman's pole, how to use our playground equipment, how to get their wellies on and off and not get trousers wet, how to use a whiteboard pen on a whiteboard not their jumper/carpet/friend, how to ask questions, how to answer questions, how to show curiosity about the world we live in, how to talk in front of the whole class, how to listen when someone else is talking, how to share, how to talk when they feel worried/hurt/cross/shy/misunderstood/over-excited..., how to be resilient when things/people don't go their way, how to look after school property, how to look after themselves... 

Of course we do play and we paint because small children who are 4-5 years old need to learn through a balance of play and teacher led activities in a carefully set up learning environment which enables them to develop the skills they need. Alongside this we have amazingly talented staff to support the children on their learning journey and move their learning forwards.  

As soon as you have got your Tapestry account up and running, you will see the dozens and dozens of amazing learning opportunities we provide for your child.



  • What time does school start and finish when they are full time?


    Thursday 12th September: Gates will be opened 8.30 am and closed at 8.45 am.

             School finishes at 3.10 pm Gates will be open at 3.00 pm.


  • Can I drop my child off earlier than 8.30am?

    Breakfast club is available. Ask in the Office for details of costs and times.


  • What does my child need to bring to school every day?


      Named snack pot (containing raw veg/fruit only)

      Named water bottle (water only, no juice/squash)

      Named book bag and Reading Record (we will put one in the book bags each week.)

     Named coat, jumper or cardigan



  • What happens if they have a toilet accident?


Wet ones will be dealt with as soon as we know about it and we will discreetly hand you the wet clothes at the end of the day. 

Dirty ones may need you to come and clean your child up (for safeguarding and staffing reasons).

We then ask you to wash and return the spare clothes as soon as possible as we have a limited supply of spare pants/trousers/socks etc.


  • What PE kit will my child need?


We have PE kit available to order, go to the office for information. Our PE t-shirts are coloured according to their 'house'. Your school pack (when you get it) will give details of the colour. 

In the summer term, trainers will be needed for outside PE.

The PE kit will be sent home every half term for a wash.


  • Wellies?


Yes please. We will use them regularly so that the children can make the most of our outdoor area whatever the weather. That means that they will ALWAYS need a waterproof coat bringing in as well. Named please!


  • How will I tell you who is picking up my child?


1. There will always be a member of Rainbow staff on our gate in the morning, please tell them.

2. Write a note and train your child to hand it to their teacher/TA as they come in. 


  • What do I do if I am not going to be able to pick my child up by exactly 3.10pm each day?


You will need to find an alternative person or arrange After School Club provision.

If it is a one-off (e.g. stuck in unexpected traffic), please phone the office so that we know who else is picking up or to ask us to keep your child for 10minutes. Obviously this cannot be a regular occurrence.


  • Is the uniform blue/black/grey?


Definitely not black or grey

Navy shorts, skirt, pinafore, trousers, joggers.

White polo shirt (not blouses or shirts in Reception)

Muscliff jumper/ cardigan.


  • My child usually uses a short name. Will they learn to write that or their long name?


That depends on you! We will soon be starting to make labels for cloakroom pegs etc so please let us know if you prefer them to be called something else. Some parents like their child to be called something else but learn to write the long name. Again, that's fine by us as long as we know.


  • Do I need to send slippers in?


No thank you. They will wear their school shoes (black) during the day.


  • How many jumpers should I buy?


That's a hard one! 2?

Pop by and see the ridiculous lost property we have to know that if you don't keep on top of the naming of uniform bits, you may not get it back. Every time you wash something, check the name is still clearly visible. 

There will, inevitably, be times when another child goes home with the wrong jumper/ trousers/ shoes .... you name it! But as soon as we/ the parent knows because it is named, we generally get everything back.


  • Will my child come home really dirty after a day at school?


We will use paints, chalk, water, have a mud kitchen, be using the gardening area and the outside areas can be muddy/dusty so be prepared.  Fortunately we don't expect a pristine uniform after that first morning so don't put that pressure on yourself! Just know that they are having fun whilst learning.


  • Why is my child so tired? They are used to full time nursery!


Getting used to new routines and people (big and little ones) is tiring. Also school is different to pre-school/nursery as much as we try to replicate it for this transition, we do not have the same numbers of adults or the same free flow. 


  • What are the houses?


We have 5 houses that represent some of our values through school. Across the school each house has the same number of children and staff. The children can earn 'VIP's for demonstrating consistently good behaviour that is represented by each house (so someone from Kindness house can earn their house a VIP for showing aspirational learning or a curious mind). As a Rainbow we need to teach them our values, the behaviour expectations of being Ready, Respectful, Safe.


The houses are:

Aspiration- red

Kindness - green

Resilience- blue

Curiosity - orange

Responsibility - yellow

I think Mr Andrews explains it all brilliantly in the 'Vision and Value' section in About Us if you'd like more information.

In the meantime, get a coloured round neck t-shirt for PE and get ready to cheer on your house!


  • When will my child be star of the day?


Oh isn't it hard to wait!! By the end of the half-term, hopefully everyone will have taken the toy home. We keep records of who has been the star and when so there is a sense of fairness as well as an earned reward for following the school rules.  


  • When will I hear about how my child is doing?


This is a big difference between nursery/school- we are unable to get round to all of you to give you the kind of 1:1 daily report you may be used to. Take it as 'no news is good news' at the moment! Most days at pick up time, we will try to give a brief shout out of anything of interest in the day and if you would like to have a more personal chat, we are around until 3.30pm most days before our teacher meetings.