Starting in Reception Class
Children in the early years are happy and positive about learning. They make good progress and are prepared well for Year 1. (Ofsted June 2016)
Most of our children join us in the Early Years Foundation Stage (Reception) Class and stay with us for seven years until they start secondary school. We welcome pupils from all of the local pre-schools and some from further afield. We work closely with our local feeder schools to make sure that St Mary's children have a happy and settled start to their school lives.
The behaviour of the children in the Reception class is good. Children are happy, safe and settle quickly. (Ofsted June 2016)
In the autumn term, the year before the child is due to start school, parents/carers are invited by the Local Authority to make their applications for school places. We hold open sessions during this term so that parents/carers and children are able to visit the school, hear about our approach to learning and ask questions that will help in their decision making. We also welcome private visits to the school during which the Headteacher, Mrs Denham-Hale, enjoys meeting prospective parents personally and welcoming them to St Mary's.
In the summer term our new parents/carers are invited to a welcome meeting, which is followed by a series of taster sessions for the children to attend. This builds their confidence about starting school in September. The Early Years Foundation Stage staff also visit the children in their own pre-schools, as well as making home visits during the summer term, so that all of our children have a great start to school life.
In September, we divide the class into half, so that the children are able to have a gentle introduction to school in slightly smaller groups over a few days. They will all be attending school full time after three or four days and parents/carers are invited to come in and try a school lunch with their child in the first few days, so that the children are very quickly able to settle in to the normal pattern of school life.
We are extremely proud of our Early Years and Foundation Stage, which was graded as good by Ofsted in 2016. Please contact the school on 01621 782626 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Parents are unanimous in their agreement that children are happy and safe in the setting. As one parent said, "It is absolutely brilliant. They come home happy and learn well." (Ofsted June 2016)