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Transition into school - questions and answers


  • When is PE?

Usually Monday/Friday mornings - with some flexibility the first term, depending on their level of independent dressing. 


  • What time is drop off and pick up?

Gates open 8.30. All children in by 8.45.  Gates open about 3.10pm.


  • What do they need to bring each day?

Named coat, snack pot, water bottle, jumper/cardi, red file in book bag.


  • What do I do with the red file?

Look at it daily as we will put the new sound homework in there. Add your reading in the Monday-weekend part. We will check each file every week. We will also write in the school reading section when we read with your child in a Guided Reading group.


  • What happens if I can't come to the Parent craft session in October?

Don't worry, you won't be the only one! We make sure that any children without a family member goes with a staff member and do the activity as a group. It really is a small opportunity for you to see your child inside school and we try to hold one every half term on different days. Grandparents/much older siblings are able to come if that helps. We also understand (as working mothers ourselves!) how difficult it is to juggle school/work life so no pressure to attend. Instead use your time for Nativity and sports day.


  • What happens at lunchtime?

We train the children to go to the toilet and wash their hands before going to lunch, then we give them a coloured band. This tells us and the Midday Supervisors which meal they have chosen. We all walk down to the hall together (in silence, walking, opening the door for the person behind them - oh yes who knew that walking down a corridor could need so much practice to be safe and respectful!!).  They are directed to the appropriate colour band table and are allowed to eat straightaway.

There is not a whole lot of time or food for this process- between 20-30 minutes to eat up- so get practising!! The Midday Supervisors will have 'their' table to look after so they can keep an eye on those that need help cutting up their food or need a bit of encouragement to stop chatting and eat!

They will then be walked down the corridor to their specific playground for more fun for about 30minutes.


  • What if my child doesn't eat much?

Hopefully you have discussed the menu with them so they will like the food on their plate. If they still don't eat much then the supervisors will tell us so we can pass that on to you. We find that even a fishfinger and a bite of bread gets them through until 3.15 quite easily. We also timetable our afternoon snack in for about 1.20 so if they didn't eat much they can have some natural sugar soon after lunchtime to keep them going.

Teachers will go in and help the Midday Supervisors for the first couple of weeks as well so we can encourage and help with the new routine. (Honestly it is more us who suffer from not eating lunch more than them!!)

Although it is impossible to give you individual feedback about how much your child ate, we will try to talk to you about any concerns.


  • Can I change to a lunchbox even though I have filled in the menu?

Yes but let us know in advance.


  • Can I change from a lunchbox to a hot school dinner?

Only at the end of a term. We will send out menus and that will be the time to consider a change to hot dinners.


  • 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.

Do their word box every day (more about this in our curriculum meeting).

Show interest in their sounds of the week.

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.

Join our MPA, even if you can't make the meetings.

Read and write in the new Reading Record each week.

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, particularly if this is Muscliff child 2 or 3 or...


  • Is the reception year all about painting and playing?

No otherwise we'd be called a playgroup or some other such valuable resource. 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 be determined to be a better reader/writer/mathematician/friend, how to look after school property, how to look after themselves, how to draw more creatively, how to colour in, how to do a puzzle and a board game, how to win gallantly but considerately, how to lose with courage... And yes we play and we paint because small children who are 4-5years old need to learn through some play that they chose for themselves and we can facilitate the learning and through some play that we chose they do to promote learning.

As soon as you have got your Tapestry account up and running, you will see the dozens and dozens of assessment judgements the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile requires. Painting is not specifically on there!



  • Where do I drop off my child each day?

    For the first few weeks, at the classroom door; by October at the large gate in our own reception playground. 


  • Where do I pick up my child ?

     At their specific classroom door in their playground.


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

     The gate will be opened at 8.30 am closed at 8.45 am.

     School finishes at 3.15pm.


  • 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


  • Will you toilet train my child?

    Unfortunately no as we would need the 2 members of classroom staff and with 30 lovely little ones, you can imagine the scenes in and out of the toilet area! 


  • 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 (again, 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. This year, our PE t-shirts will be coloured according to their 'house'. Look at your pack for the colour. 

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

We will mostly have PE on Monday and Friday mornings.

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!


  • 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. (Maybe they could practise by handing notes to an adult when visiting family/friends.)


  • What do I do if I am not going to be able to pick my child up at exactly 3.15 each day?

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

If it is a one-off (i.e. stuck in unexpected traffic), you must 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.


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

We're used to it! Most 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 the Reception playground area as soon as possible. We promise you they will be ok 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 never be crying) .


  • Is the uniform blue/black/grey?

Definitely not black or grey

Navy shorts, skirt, pinafore, trousers, joggers.

White polo shirt (not blouses or shirts)

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 have already starting labelling 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?

Not this year thanks.


  • 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.

There were 14 bags of unclaimed lots property in school on the last day of term (and that was after only one school term).


  • 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.Take a look at the new display in the corridor in September which will illustrate exactly what dirty can look like in a day in the life of..!


  • 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. 


  • 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 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 3.30 most days before our teacher meetings. 

The part time weeks allow us to really get to know your child well and be able to motivate them to learn everything they need to start their school life and get the most out of it.