What should I be doing with my child before they start school?
We have included a separate page full of tips for making sure your child is school ready. Please read that for ideas about what to do.
Will you be visiting my child's preschool setting?
In our normal transition period we do try to visit every child in their preschool setting. However in the current situation this is not
possible. We will therefore do our best to speak to all of the preschools over the phone to ensure that we gain a full picture of your child before they start school.
Will my child get a home visit from their teacher?
The simple answer to this question right now is that we don't know. We would hope that in the weeks immediately prior to starting school, you and your child will receive a home visit from your child's class teacher. We find these visits to be one of the most valuable parts of our school transition as it allows your child to get to know their teacher in an environment that is safe and familiar to them. The visit will last about 20 minutes and will be a chance for you to ask any questions or share information with the teacher. However, if we are unable to do home visits, we will be holding individual zoom meetings with you and your child instead.
At a later point we will provide you with a way to indicate a preference for the time of you visit or zoom meeting and we will do our best to accommodate this.
When will I find out who my child's teacher will be?
Traditionally at Great Binfields we like to get to know the children and see how they interact with each other before assigning classes. This helps us to see if any natural friendships are forming and assists us in ensuring that there is a nice mixture of personalities in each class. We also take guidance from pre school settings regarding the placement of children. The children would then normally find out who their class teacher is on their last induction visit, where they spend the day with all the children who will be in their class.
Currently we are still working on our transition process so once we have finalised the plans we will be able to let you know when you will find out who your child's teacher is. However we do work as a unit and regardless of your child's class, they will spend time working with all adults in the unit and have opportunity to mix with all 60 children for the majority of the day.
Will the children need to wear school uniform for their transition visits?
No, these visits are very fun and informal so we do not expect children to wear school uniform.
How many children will be in my child's class?
We usually have 30 children per class.
What will my child need on their first day of school?
The only two things that your child needs to bring to school each day is a water bottle and their book bag. You will be given information about how to purchase a Great Binfields blue book bag at a later point. As part of our home visit experience we will be providing your child with their first water bottle, so you do not need to worry about sourcing one of these. Your child receives their first water bottle for free, however any replacements need to be purchased.
All other resources are provided in school so your child does not need their own pencil case or stationery.
Please do not send your child with additional backpacks. They do not need them and we don't have room to store them in school.
What if I forget to bring something, can I drop it off later?
Firstly, we understand that we are all humans and it is only natural that on occasion you might forget something. If this happens, mention it to your class teacher. A lot of the times we are able to manage for the day without whatever it may be. However if it is something that is definitely needed, then you can drop it off at our school reception and it will be delivered to your child's class.
What school uniform do I need?
At Great Binfields our school uniform is as follows:
Other than the sweatshirts or cardigans which need the school logo, you do not have to buy the uniform from any set shop. It is perfectly fine to buy polo shirts, trousers, dresses and skirts from the supermarkets etc.
We do have some high quality second hand uniform available. Once we know how we can make this available we will let you know.
Will my child need a P.E. Kit?
We do P.E twice a week in Early Years so yes your child will need an indoor and outdoor P.E. kit. They will need:
They need to keep their P.E. kit in a named drawstring bag. We have school drawstring bags available for purchase, although you do not have to use these.
Does my child need wellies?
Yes please. At Great Binfields we play outside in all weathers and use our woodlands a lot. We therefore ask that every child has a pair of wellies that can stay at school. You do not need to provide waterproof clothing, other than when we are doing Forest Schools (you will find out about that later in the year).
Do I have to pay for school dinners?
Currently all infant aged children (4-7 year olds) are entitled to a universal free school meal every day. Our school caterers H3cS provide a choice of healthy meals usually including a meat choice, a vegetarian choice and a jacket potato choice. Please follow this link for further details: https://www.greatbinfields.co.uk/school-dinner-menus/
Children are also able to bring in their own packed lunch from home if they wish. Further details about packed lunch expectations can be found in our Information Booklet.
Do I need to provide my child with a snack?
The school is currently supplied with a range of fruit and vegetable snacks every day. The children are able to access this snack at any point throughout the day. If you know your child only likes specific fruit or vegetables, then you are welcome to send your own snack into school each day, however this must be only fruit or vegetables.
My child has allergies, what should I do?
We have several children at Great Binfields who have range of allergies so please do not worry. When you receive your welcome pack there will be a medical form to complete where you can put all the information about your child's allergy. We have specialist school menus, so your child will still be able to have school dinners. Once your child has started school we ensure that all staff are aware of them, and in the dinner hall they will be given a special dinner tray. In the majority of circumstances children with allergies still sit with all their classmates at lunchtime and just take part in daily routines the same as everyone else. We are also a nut free school, so no nut product are used at lunch time or in class cooking lessons.
If you child has an epi pen or inhaler, we do ask for one to be kept at school in case of emergencies. During your home visit your class teacher will chat to you about any concerns you have regarding your child's allergies.
My child needs medication or cream, do I have to come to school to apply it?
If your child needs medication at any point when they are at school, you will be asked to complete a medical form. Once this is completed and signed, staff at school will then be able to give your child the required medication or support them with cream for things such as bad eczema.
When will I know which class my child is in?
We take a lot of time over setting the classes and like to gather information from as many sources as possible, such as preschools and the transition visits. In our normal transition period, the children find out which class they are in on their final transition visit. As yet we are unsure what transition will look like, so we will update you on this at a later point.
My child doesn't know anyone else, will they be ok?
We are aware that starting school can be a little daunting if you don't know anyone else but please do not worry. We have children join us from about 20 different preschool settings, so many children join us not knowing anyone else. At Great Binfields we ensure that all staff are aware of children who have joined us on their own, so that we can give them a little bit of extra support when settling in and making new friends.
My child isn't in the same class as their friend, can this be changed?
Once the classes have been set, we cannot change them due to the knock on implications this would have to the other children. When deciding the classes we take many factors into consideration, including advice from the preschool settings. Sometimes this does result in children not being in the same class as their closest friend. As we work in a unit and spend very little time in the two separate classes, please do not worry if you feel this has happened to your child. All sixty children have opportunities throughout the majority of the day to play together so all children with have interactions with everyone else.
Are there any extra curricular clubs my child can join?
At the start of the year we do not open up any of our extra curricular clubs to the children in Early Years. This is because we usually find that they are so tired for the first few terms, that the school day is long enough for them. At the end of the Autumn Term you will receive a clubs letter detailing clubs that will be available to your child in the Spring Term.
My child will be attending breakfast or after school club, how do they transfer from club to class?
Currently, we do not have a breakfast or after school club due to the current pandemic.
Normally SCL run one for us. https://www.greatbinfields.co.uk/breakfast-club-and-after-school-care-club/
If all is well and it is up and running again....
Your child attending SCL Breakfast Club will go straight to our main hall first thing in the morning.
At 8.40 a.m. when the classroom doors are opened, a SCL Breakfast Club member will walk your child to class and ask the class teacher to sign them in, acknowledging that they have seen your child.
If your child is attending SCL After School Club, a school staff member will take your child to club and ensure that they are signed in. Currently the after school sessions are held in our small hall which doubles as our music and drama room immediately opposite the Early Years classrooms, so it is an environment that your child will be very familiar with.
Do the Year R children get to join in with forest school?
Yes, the Year R children love forest school. We try to take the children into the woods as much as possible to support all learning areas. They also receive official forest school sessions for one half term a year which is led by our qualified forest school teachers.