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Dear Parent/ Carer,
A very warm welcome to Reception and the start of your child’s journey into full-time education at Askam Village School.
Your child’s class teachers this year will be Mrs Kewley, Mrs Shannon and Mrs McCormick. Mrs Kewley will be teaching every morning and Tuesday/ Wednesday afternoons with Mrs Shannon teaching Monday, Thursday and Friday afternoons. Mrs McCormick is due to return from her Maternity leave in November and will then share the teaching role with Mrs Kewley. All teachers work closely together to ensure good communication and good practice between them to develop the best level of progression and continuity in your child’s learning.
Upon joining us in Reception we aim to establish rules and routines which help your child settle into ‘big school’ life and separate from their main carer. We will support your child in developing independence, building relationships and encourage them to become involved in new experiences and activities. We aim to ensure your child has an enjoyable, enriching and stimulating learning experience while in our care.
To aid your child’s Learning Journey we will work within the guidelines of The Early Years Foundation Stage document ‘Development Matters’. Each half term we will select a theme and the areas of learning will be taught through this theme. The areas of learning we will focus on are: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Literacy (reading and writing), Communication and Language, Number (including problem solving and reasoning), The World (including people and communities, technology), Expressive Arts and Design and Physical Development. This half term our first theme is ‘This is me!’. The children will be learning about and reflecting upon their families, homes, bodies, their senses, health and exercise. Following this, the children will learn all about ‘People who help us’, focusing on the roles of people in our local and wider community who help keep us safe and healthy.
Please note that our PE days are Tuesday afternoon and Friday morning. These are our agreed times to have access to the school hall. The children will need shorts, t-shirt and plimsolls (no laces) to change into. Earrings or other jewellery must be removed for health and safety guidelines. Also in order to develop independence we will be encouraging children to dress/ undress by themselves. This is something I would appreciate your support with at home. Can you also make sure all items of clothing are clearly labelled (including shoes) to aid smoother changing and to avoid items becoming mixed up or lost. Please also make sure your child brings a coat and hat as appropriate. In addition, the children can also bring a water bottle to school each day which will also need taking home and refilling daily. Please ensure this is also labelled to avoid fuss and upset between the children.
Throughout the Early Years Department at Askam Village School, we use an Online App called ‘Tapestry’. This is used to support observations of children’s learning through using our class IPad to take pictures. This has been an excellent tool in capturing and assessing children as they learn new skills, develop understanding and share experiences with their peers. All parents have had the initial letter to ‘sign up’ to this software, but if for any reason you may need support re-joining or setting up a new password then please pop to the school office and this can be sorted. Please be assured this is a very secure way of recording your child’s progress and your personal details are kept private. Only the parent assigned to each individual child can see the photographs taken and information shared about their child. Please come and see me if you would like to discuss this further.
As your child progresses with their knowledge of sounds and words they will bring home a reading book and reading record. This may be a picture book initially to develop confidence and skill in discussing stories, characters and ideas, moving onto a book with simple words to develop early skills of segmenting and blending. Further information with be available regarding ‘home reading strategies’ at our Reception Reading Meeting in the next few weeks. In addition, the children will also bring home a pack of words to learn. These are flashcards to be learnt on sight and will support your child’s level of reading and word recognition in school. Your child will also bring home a piece of homework every Friday. This will generally be a phonics or maths worksheet to reinforce any learning from their week in school. Please complete with your child over the weekend and return on a Monday. We would appreciate in order to keep all your child’s reading and homework resources neat and clean that they are brought in a clearly labelled bookbag and kept on your child peg.
Obviously a big change (which already seems to be a very exciting one!) is the children now have lunch in the school hall. As you will appreciate this is a busy time for the whole of the school and therefore needs to be organised and efficient. Please support us by showing your child how to use their knife and fork correctly at home, and encourage them to try new foods. They have all done brilliantly already and we are sure they will be familiar with the new routine very soon. Also remember all school meals now need to be ordered online via the school LunchShop website. If you do require any assistance with this please contact Mrs James in the school office. Three weeks of dinner menus can be viewed and ordered in advance.
In order to keep you updated about regularly events and important dates, we have a Parent’s Information board in our cloakroom area. Please check this regularly for notices and updated information throughout the year; such as parent/teacher meetings and themed days.
We are aware that your child may experience some worry about starting school (as may you!) so if you do have any concerns or queries do not hesitate to pop in and see us. We look forward to sharing your child learning experience with you over this academic year.
Mrs Kewley Mrs Shannon Mrs McCormick
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Headteacher: Mrs F. Newton Chair of Governors : Dr John Thompson
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Mr. S Metcalfe or Mrs F James, office staff, will deal intially with any enquiries and ensure they get to the most appropriate person.
Address: Askam Village School
Telephone: 01229 462814