Whether your child is joining us or moving on to Junior School, we aim to make these moves as seamless and stress-free as possible. We have a programme of events for new starters in the summer term and work closely with our neighbours at Hartford Junior School to ensure our pupils feel happy and comfortable as they start Key Stage Two.
Pre School to Reception
Hartford infant School would always encourage parents to visit the school in the first instance during the working day so that they can immerse themselves in the ethos of the school. Visits are warmly welcomed and are led by the Headteacher during the Autumn term, but subsequent visits are offered throughout the year. All parents receive a prospectus and a 1:1 meeting to discuss any concerns.
Parents must apply to attend the infant school via the Cambridgeshire Schools Admission Service (https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/children-and-families/schools-&-learning/apply-for-a-school-place/primary-reception-junior-or-middle-school/). The deadline for the applications is in January and parents/carers will be notified in April on the success of their application.
Children will come to Hartford Infant School from a variety of pre-school providers (including for some their homes). Each child is unique, and we believe that our universal transition programme can be adjusted to suit the needs of all children within the school day. Each year, we evaluate our practice and then adjust accordingly.
Throughout the year, there is a monthly Stay and Play session in the school hall. All pre-school children and their adults are invited to attend the hour session. During this time the children immerse themselves in play, speak to a variety of adults and have refreshments. Parents and staff, while we play with the children, partake in a wide variety of activities and ask and answer any questions about school.
In April all parents are notified by the Local Authority Admissions department if their child has been allocated a place at Hartford Infant School. Parents are requested to contact the school to accept the place and check that we have the correct contact details.
In June, we organise a new to Reception Parent Evening, all parents of children attending the school in the oncoming September are invited (please note this is not a child friendly event). At this meeting, which takes place on June 16, 2019 (6.00-7.00pm) we will introduce pertinent staff, share our ethos, talk through key information and show you the learning environments. This is also an opportunity to talk to the School SENDCo, taste our delicious school meals and find out which class your child is in for September. We also invite you to sign up to a wealth of informative workshops, home visits and school events that are organised in the summer term. Each parent will leave with a folder with prospectuses and vital information for their child’s start to school.
Meanwhile, Reception staff will visit your child in their pre-school setting in the summer term. This will enable them to talk to your child’s key worker and to see them in their present learning environment.
You will have the opportunity to inform us in writing of any information we would need to know prior to your child starting. This will help us to ensure they are settled for their new class. Please see your induction letter.
The Workshops enable you to know more about the Reception school day and will also share key information to develop the partnership between home and school.
Story times and Lunches take place in July and all children are invited to come into school to have a meal (either a pack lunch from home or a school dinner provided by school) with one grown up from home. This is a vital experience as children may not be used to eating in a large school hall with older children. There are lots of routines to learn and it will enable you to empathise and talk about the experience before they start school.
We also offer home visits as a part of developing a solid relationship with you and your child. Home visits enable the staff to see your child in their most familiar environment. The 20-minute meeting will allow you to share vital information with the staff and for your child start to build up a relationship with the support staff in school.
In September your child will initially start school on a half-day basis. Although many of the children may be used to a longer day from their pre-school experiences, this half day session will ease them into the expectations of school life with 180 other children. It will enable the staff to get to know your child quickly, talk to them at length on an individual basis and show them how school works so that it is a positive experience all round.
By the middle of September your child should be attending school every day on a full-time basis unless otherwise agreed by the school.
Reception to Year 1 and Year 1 to Year 2
Before our annual Change Over Day in early July we ensure all children have met the Year One/Two adults through visiting their classrooms and working with them for a short time e.g. reading a story at the end of the day. Furthermore, all children can visit their new classrooms when participating in Golden Play activities. Then on Change Over Day itself the children spend the whole morning with their new teacher(s) and teaching assistant(s), getting them feeling comfortable with coming to their new year. This will include investigating the toilets and their new cloakrooms. Each child will complete a piece of work for the new classroom to see in September and have their photograph taken.
There is an annual new to Year 1 meeting in July, whereby parents/carers attend an after-school meeting to look around the classrooms, hear detailed information regarding changes to the curriculum their children will be taught in Key Stage 1, the daily timetable in September and the expectations of the staff, parents and children. Staff are on hand to answer any questions from parents and there is advice available from the SENDCo and support staff.
Our Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) classrooms are set up in a very similar way, with different areas of learning including a bespoke reading corner, ever-changing role play areas, small world and construction areas are nearby as well as a writing, phonic and maths zones. All resources that children can use are consistent so that as a child moves from each classroom/year group they can locate word mats and equipment that they are familiar with easily and continue their journey as an independent learner.
There is extensive liaison between staff via termly moderation meetings, so everyone knows and agrees whether children are working at age related expectations for their year group or need support/challenge to ensure they reach or exceed their full potential from original starting points. We therefore can cater for individual needs and ensure all children are suitably challenged and make progress.
At the start of the academic year Parents/Carers of children joining/working in Key Stage 1 are invited to meet the teacher to discuss the parents’ views on their children’s strength and barriers to learning. A questionnaire is sent home before the meeting to ensure that vital information is shared from home to support the child’s continued progress in school.
Year 2 to Year 3 (Key Stage 2)
Parents must apply to attend the junior school via the Cambridgeshire Schools Admission Service -https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/children-and-families/schools-&-learning/apply-for-a-school-place/primary-reception-junior-or-middle-school/. The deadline for the applications is in January and parents/carers will be notified in April on the success of their application.
The infant and junior school work well together to guarantee that the transition between the two schools is seamless. This involves meetings between the staff over the school year, including teaching and pastoral staff to support the individual needs of all children.
The staff from the two schools meet during the Summer Term to share current information on children’s leaning, progress and attainment in Key Stage 1 and their original starting points from EYFS. The junior school staff are invited to attend Summer moderation meetings to ensure they can see how the infant school assess the children’s writing. Together, judgements and next steps are created to ensure that the children reach their targets by the end of the summer term.
Each year a bespoke package is created between the staff at both schools, including visits, correspondence and projects to suit the needs of the cohort. This always includes a morning visit on the July Change Over Day. The children are also invited to watch various plays performed by the children in Key Stage 2. Other activities have included a science project that began in the infant school and was concluded in the junior school. The children have emailed each other with questions and on occasion the Key Stage 2 children have popped across to speak to the Year 2 children. Visits for individual children are arranged on a needs basis so that, despite the six-week break, the children are familiar with the environment of the junior school.
Parents are encouraged to attend a new to Year 3 Meeting at the junior school in early July and receive a package of information.
Bringing out the Best in Everyone