Children will frequently be reminded to wash their hands throughout the school day to support hygiene.
Children suffering from sickness and/or diarrhoea should be kept at home for at least 48 hours after the symptoms have cleared. Absence from school should be reported to the school office.
If your child has a minor injury at school, the staff will attend to the injury and record it in the Accident Book. Parents are informed via a text from the school office.
Taking Photos of your Child at School
In Early Years we like to value your child’s achievements, therefore we regularly take photos that feed into your child’s Tapestry Journal and are often displayed around the unit. There are also times when we may use your child’s photo for the school website, Twitter, and Facebook pages.
* Photo permission and Tapestry letters are sent before your child starts school with a signed permission slip that will need to be returned to the school office in order to set up a Tapestry account
Please make sure that your child always has wellies and a waterproof coat available in school. We will be using the gardens all year round and, in all weathers, so please ensure that your child has suitable clothing. We have often found that all-in-one waterproofs are particularly useful. Please make sure all clothing is named. School uniform is available to purchase from the school office each morning. You may also wish to purchase a book bag. Please also provide your child with a change of clothing in case of accidents. If your child is not toilet-trained, then please talk to your child’s class teacher to make arrangements. There is a self-care policy available through the office which offers more information on intimate care.
We know how much the children adore their own toys and like to share them with us, but we ask for all toys to remain at home. So that we can still continue to hear all about the children’s amazing toy adventures, please use Tapestry to upload a weekly show and tell from home. We will always comment and ask questions on the post to make sure the children have our full attention!
It is important to Southwold School that all children in the school are safe. We aim to educate children on boundaries, rules, and limits and to help them understand why they exist. We provide children with choices to help them develop important life skills. Children should be allowed to take risks but need to be taught how to recognise and avoid hazards. We aim to protect the physical and psychological well-being of all children (Please see Safeguarding Policy on the school website).
Starting In Early Years – Advice For Parents And Carers
To help your child develop independence, get them used to doing the following at home:
- Getting dressed independently every day – practise closing buttons, putting on socks and shoes on the right feet, putting coat on and zipping up.
- Going to the toilet and wiping their bottom on their own – simple clothing like elasticated waistbands are easier to get on and off.
- Using a song to help your child learn to wash their hands for 20 seconds- Baby Shark is a great one!
- Cutting food using a ‘real’ knife and fork and pouring a drink from a plastic jug.
- Tidying up their toys– giving them little responsibilities will help them to become more independent.
- Helping them to recognise their name in writing and to consistently respond to it verbally. Create a coat and shoe peg at home with their name on it to help get them used to having something similar at school – it seems like a simple thing, but it’ll help when we ask your child to go and fetch their coat!
You can practise some of the skills your child will develop in early years in your home. This will help your child feel more ready when reception starts:
- Talk to your child taking turns to talk and listen as much as you can. Many children do not spend enough time talking to their parents, often because we all use screens much more. Having good communication skills is one of the key things that will children feel happy and learn more easily at school.
- Talk to your child in your home language. Don’t worry about talking in English if this is not what you do normally- If your child can talk well in your home language, they will pick up English more quickly at school.
- If we are using screens more often to stay in touch with family and friends, include children in video calls and activities. Getting them to have conversations with relatives and friends is a good way to combine screen time while helping children to improve their speech.
- Do turn-taking activities such as playing with a toy – this helps them to get used to taking turns and to understand the concept of sharing.
- Get your child used to eating with others even if it’s just a snack.
- Get your child to listen by sitting still and looking at you while you give some simple instructions or tell a story.
- Lots of the learning in nursery happens through play. Get down onto the carpet so you’re at their level and enjoy some play with your child. Follow their lead with what they’re doing or how they’re playing. Then, try to get them to follow your lead and create games together. This will help them to get used to playing and engaging with other children.
- Do some drawing, painting or mark making together- have fun making marks with everything from mud to gravy!
Get children interested in stories, sounds, and numbers:
- Read to your child every day- we get most of our new words from what we read. Research shows that reading stories is one of the best things parents can do to help children do well at school. A bedtime story helps bedtime routines and gives a great opportunity to snuggle together and feel connected. It’s great to get to know some stories well so don’t worry if your child asks for one book over and over again- this will help them later in school when they start to learn to write.
- Encourage your child to become a storyteller using puppets, toys, different materials, and objects. Do they have a character, setting, problem, and solution in their story? Can they use different voices and create songs and actions?
- Explore rhyming words and sing songs together- action songs are fun.
- Count items out together and talk about numbers they can see in their environment.
- Play dice games- can your child recognise the dice pattern without counting it?
Routine and consistency help children to adapt, and this will help ease the transition into Early Years. About 4 weeks before the start, try to set a morning routine with your child. You can start with small steps and gradually add to the routine:
- Get up at the same time every day and have breakfast, if possible, try to have a bedtime.
- Get dressed up in the school uniform and put on ‘school’ shoes.
- Prepare a ‘school lunch box’ – you can choose one together if you don’t have one yet.
- Try to get a bedtime routine- the first few months of school are really exhausting for children and good sleep habits will keep them healthy and benefit their learning in the long term. The NHS website offers good ideas for helping your child with sleep -https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/healthy-sleep-tips-for-children/
Help your child get to know the school and staff faces:
- Many children like to be able to know what their school and teacher look like before they start. Use the Meet the Team booklet to help with this.
- We will offer you the opportunity to join Tapestry and start to upload your child’s learning through play at home. Our staff love to comment and share in the children’s achievements and it’s another great way to get to know each other.
- Look up the route to Southwold and if it's within walking distance try it out as your daily walk– point to the school and tell your child they’ll be going there soon.
- Show your child that you are excited about school and talk to them positively about starting at Southwold. Children look to parents for reassurance, try not to worry out loud to your child about starting school and please give us a ring to talk about any concerns you have- you will not be the first parent to have concerns and questions and our team really like to help!