Starting School at Riverbridge
Whether starting in Reception or joining one of the other year groups, we understand that the transition process needs to be as smooth as possible to enable children to make the best start at Riverbridge.
For children joining us in Reception, we hold an Induction evening for parents and carers only around the end of May-beginning of June. During this event we give lots of practical information to support the transition into school. For those children who have not attended our Nursery, we also invite parents to sign up for their Home Visit which takes place either at the end of the summer term or the beginning of the Autumn term prior to your child’s start date. Home Visits are an opportunity for the teacher and teaching assistant to meet with you and your child at home for approx 20-30 mins and discuss anything that needs to be discussed to support your child’s start to school.
Your child will be invited to come and visit their new classroom and new teacher in a 40 minute taster session as part of a small group. This takes place in the summer term, usually mid-end of June. At the beginning of July we invite all of the children into school to spend two hours one morning in their new classroom with their new teacher and teaching assistant and it is a chance for them also to meet their classmates as a whole group.
In September the children have a staggered start for approx two weeks, beginning with half days for about a week, followed by a couple of days of longer mornings when they stay for lunch. At the end of this period we plan for all children to be full-time however this is closely-monitored as we are aware that there may be some children who find the full day attendance difficult. If this is the case, we work closely with the parents and identify the best way forward.
Some children find the separation from Mum or Dad in the morning difficult. On most of these instances, we ask that you say a clear goodbye and let us manage the upset. Whilst it is hard as a parent to leave your child upset, in our experience 99 times out of 100 the tears stop flowing as soon as Mum or Dad has left! We will always ring to confirm whether or not your child has settled about half an hour after the beginning of the school day.
When we are made aware of a new child starting in a year group other than Reception, they are invited to the Move Up morning which takes place at the beginning of July where all the children spend the morning in their new class with their new classmates and their new teacher. When a child transfers during the year, we do our best to offer a mutually-convenient time for the child to spend a little while in their new class to alleviate any anxieties that the change may bring.
Teachers are available in the playground or at their classroom door at the beginning and end of each school day for brief catch-up chats so those parents wishing to check on how their child is settling are able to do this informally.
For information about starting at our Nursery, please see the separate section 'Our Nursery' on the website.