A big welcome to our new Reception families! My name is Mrs Peacock, I am Assistant Head and Early Years Lead here at Mortimer Primary. As well as being part of the teaching team, my role is to oversee the whole of the year group and to support all of our children and families throughout their Reception year as well as Year 1 and Year 2. I look forward to getting to know you all.
A huge part of my role is the transition from Nursery to Reception, and I wanted to write to you to let you know how we will approach this in the current climate. Please be assured that despite these current circumstances, I do understand the importance of this transition for you and your child/children, and we will do everything to support and guide you through the next few months.
Alongside this letter, there are a number of forms included for you to fill in and return to your child’s class teacher during your 1:1 meeting (please see the date and time on the back of your Reception welcome booklet). These forms are regarding things like your home/school agreement, photograph permissions, Tapestry Learning Journal and a trips letter. There is also some information about our school uniform suppliers, Initial Images. In late August/September you will also be receiving your ParentPay activation letter as we run a cashless dinner system and all school dinners have to be pre booked via this system.
The majority of children joining us in September will have missed a lot of their pre-school due to Covid-19 and you may be concerned that they are “falling behind” and that they will struggle when they start school. Let me reassure you that we will take all of this into account when we plan our first term for September. We will very much mirror the nursery environment they have missed, making sure children have lots of time to play, explore and get to know their new friends and setting. The most important thing will be to make sure your child/children are safe, happy and feel secure. Then we will build upon their knowledge and skills from there.
We are currently preparing a new tab, ‘New Reception Starters 2020’ to our website. This section of the website is dedicated to your children and you with lots of helpful information. The teachers are busy making a ‘Day in Reception’ video which you can share with your child to help them become more familiar with our school (and hopefully get them feeling excited about coming!). You will also find copies of all letters and guidance we have sent out in the post in case you need them to refer to in the future.
Over the past few weeks, we have been busy contacting nurseries and started to build up a picture of each and every child, including what they will need from us in September. We will hopefully be able to talk to you all on a 1:1 basis about your child in September and answer any of your questions and discuss any concerns you might have.
In Reception, we have 3 classes of around 27 children. Due to our unique set up, the children spend a lot of their time mixing with children in other classes in our practical area and the garden on a daily basis. In your pack you should have received a personal letter from your child’s teacher and they will also be on the video too. We are hoping this helps them to become more familiar with their teacher, ready for September.
I have also included some guidance on things you can be supporting your child with over the coming months to help them prepare for starting school. These are mainly based around everyday independent skills your child can be working on to help them with daily life in school. However, I would like to reassure you that this is by no means a check list for things they must achieve by September– all children learn and develop at different rates, and if your child will need further support with these in September, we will of course be happy to help them.
Our normal transition in June and July would include organising visits to nurseries and school for your child, and welcome meetings for you as parents. Unfortunately, we do not feel that we will be able to facilitate this safely under current Government Guidance and allowing additional children and adults into our school building is simply not in line with new guidelines at present. So for now, we will have to assume that the first time we meet the children will be in September. This is of course not ideal for anybody, but our priority has to be keeping children, families and staff safe. We will be in touch if we feel later in July, that we could possibly offer some visits.
At this point, it seems to be assumed that school will be open as ‘normal’ in September for the start of the new school year. If this is the case, we will look forward to meeting you all at your parent interviews and then seeing the children part time on Thursday and Friday 10th and 11th September 2020. The details of this have not yet been finalised, as they will depend heavily on what happens over the next two months as schools begin to open their doors to more children. Until we see how this works, and have more guidance from the Government on how to keep safe, we will not be finalising any details. We appreciate this is difficult, but we kindly ask for your patience in this uncertain time. We will let you know the agreed details as soon as we can.
I hope that although this letter cannot answer all of your questions about the exact details of your child’s entry to school, it lets you know exactly what you can expect from us over the next few months. Please know that you can contact us at any time and we will be happy to discuss any concerns or queries with you. Please refer to the information on the website – it has a lot of details and helpful information which may answer a lot of your questions and I hope it is helpful to you and your child as we begin your journey of transition into our Mortimer family.
I very much look forward to meeting you all and getting to know you all a little better. Until then, take care and stay safe.
Assistant Head / EYFS Lead
Wrap around care
We understand that a lot of our parents are working parents and that drop offs and collections around the school day can be tricky. We have developed excellent links with Bright Kids based at Mortimer Community Centre. They are Ofsted registered and can provide a reliable solution for working families both during and out of term time.
One of the services they provide is a drop off and collection via an on-site gate which connects Mortimer Community College and Mortimer Primary School. Children can be dropped off from 7:30am, They can collect your child after their nursery session and can provide a late collection time of up to 6:00pm each day. Here is a link to their prices and services provided.