Welcome to Willowcroft Community School…
We are delighted that you have been successful in being allocated a place for your child to join our school family in September 2020. We would like to extend a warm welcome to you and your child from everyone at Willowcroft Community School.
The Reception year is a very special one indeed. It marks the first formal year of education for your child and the Early Years curriculum is specially designed to allow your child to develop a thirst for learning which will serve them for their entire life. Transitioning into this first year at school is important not only for your child, but also for you as parents/carers.
This is one of our favourite times of the year, getting to meet you and your lovely children and starting their school journey with you. As part of our induction we usually have an information evening where you would be able to meet the staff and we would share a presentation with you with useful information about your child starting school. We would also arrange for staff to visit your child in their nursery setting and also hold a transition visit to allow your child to explore their new classroom before they start formally in September. However, this year it will sadly have to be a little different and we may have to wait a little longer to meet face to face.
Please be reassured that we will do everything that we can to ensure that the transition into our school runs as smoothly as possible for everyone. As a starting point, we have set up this new page on our school website, dedicated to sharing information for our families of new starters for 2020. We have also sent out a Welcome pack with some of the information included on this page as well as some forms for you to complete and return before your child starts school with us.
On this page, you will find the information that we would usually share together in our information evening and we have also uploaded some other useful information which will help you to support your child in their transition to starting school and help you to feel prepared for this new adventure in their lives. At the bottom of this page you will find the PowerPoint presentation from the New Starters Zoom meeting, parent letters, the Early Years Handbook and other important information. We will be in touch with nursery settings to request information and we will also be in touch with you to find out more about your child if they are new to Willowcroft this year.
As soon as we have further information about the wider opening of schools and about what will happen next academic year we will be in touch again. As soon as we are in a position to be able to invite you and your child into school we will do so. In the meantime, please share some of the information and activities on this page with your child to help support them with their transition and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Please also browse through the other pages on our school website to find out more about us and our school community.
We look forward to meeting with you all soon. Until then, stay safe and take care.
Mrs Placentino Miss Paynter Mrs Harris Mrs Russell Mrs Peach
Reception Lead & Frog Class Teacher Frog Class Teaching Dragonfly Class Teaching Associate Teacher
Dragonfly Class Teacher Assistant Assistant
The slideshow below will hopefully give you a flavour of what school is like for your child in their first year at Willowcroft Community School. Please share this with your child and talk about the different aspects of school life with them.
Below you will find some useful documents to help you and your child become more familiar with our school. We have shared with you all of the information we think you will need, however, in these uncertain times of the Covid-19 pandemic, we will continue to adhere to government advice and guidance and will of course make you aware of any changes or updates to this information that may need to be made.
Please take a look at our ‘Early Years Foundation Stage Handbook' at the bottom of this page.
For those of you have not yet had the opportunity to look around our school and see the Reception classrooms, here are some images of the learning environment. The children have access to outdoor play direct from their classrooms and also have toilet facilities within the rooms. When the environment is full with children is when it is at its best! We cannot wait for your children to join us and explore the learning environment both indoors and outdoors.
Starting School Stories
Here are some recommended stories that could be shared with your child which are based around starting school. Below are the links to each story on YouTube, if you are unable to find a hard copy of the books. Just click on each image and the link to the story will open in a new window.
The image below gives some ideas of the types of activities and tasks that you could be supporting your child with in their preparation to start school. This is not an exhaustive list and it might be that your child is not able to do some of these things before they start - that is okay. Just let the school know if there is anything your child struggles with and we will continue to support them. Of course, we will continue to build on their learning from their nursery experience.
The Curriculum for Reception is a continuation of The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) as delivered in pre-school settings. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) has 7 areas of learning and development. All areas are important and interconnected, but 3 areas have been identified as crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.
These are the “Prime” areas:
· Communication and language;
· Physical development;
· Personal, social and emotional development
These prime areas are strengthened and applied through the remaining 4 “Specific” areas of:
· understanding the world; and
· expressive arts and design.
• Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
• Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
• Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
• Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
• Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
• Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
• Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design and technology.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
We ensure that our environment and delivery of the curriculum incorporates the three characteristics of effective teaching and learning:
Playing and exploring - children will have opportunities to investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’. ‘Children’s play reflects their wide ranging and varied interests and preoccupations. In their play children learn at their highest level. Play with peers is important for children’s development.’ Through play, our children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. They practice and build up ideas, learn how to control themselves and understand the need for rules. They have the opportunity to think creatively alongside other children as well as on their own. They communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems.
Active learning - children will have time and space to concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy their achievements. ‘Children learn best through physical and mental challenges. Active learning involves other people, objects, ideas and events that engage and involve children for sustained periods.’ Active learning occurs when children are motivated and interested. Children need some independence and control over their learning. As children develop their confidence, they learn to make decisions. It provides children with a sense of satisfaction as they take ownership of their learning.
Creating and thinking critically - we encourage and support children to have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things. ‘When children have opportunities to play with ideas in different situations and with a variety of resources, they discover connections and come to new and better understandings and ways of doing things. Adult support in this process enhances their ability to think critically and ask questions.’ Children should be given the opportunity to be creative through all areas of learning. Adults can support children’s thinking and help them make connections by showing interest, offering encouragement, clarifying ideas and asking open ended questions. Children can access resources and move around the classroom freely and purposefully to extend their learning.
More details of EYFS can be found online on the following websites:
The children are organised into four House Teams (Reds – Den, Yellows- Hive, Greens – Burrow, Blues – Lair). They are usually in the same House Team as their older siblings. House Teams are used at many times throughout the school day – assemblies, lunchtimes etc and for events such as Sports Day. The aim of the process is to allow the older children to be supportive to their younger peers and for the younger children to be able to learn from the older children.
As part of a house, children can achieve house points on a daily basis.
House points are awarded to children for:
Being a positive role model
Being mindful of others
Breakfast Club runs every morning from 8.00am to 8.40am, is open to all pupils, and a healthy breakfast is served. After the children have eaten, they can relax or play games until they go into their classrooms. Further details are available from the reception. To reserve a place for your child in Breakfast Club, please follow the link to our 'Kidsclub HQ booking system'.
After School Club is run by Neighbourhood Kids and runs everyday of term until 6PM. It is open to all pupils and offers arts and crafts, cooking sessions, free play inside and outside and lots more! Please take a look at the 'Neighbourhood Kids After School Club page' for more information.
For more detailed information or to arrange a visit please contact the Childcare Manager, Caron Gray, on 07599 018 627 or email@example.com
Will my child be able to bring a bag into school with a change of clothes?
Yes. Please bring a named bag with a couple of changes of clothes in on the first day of term. It would be useful if you could provide a carrier bag inside the bag too, so if we need to send wet clothes home we can use this. We will aim to keep the bag on the peg throughout the term rather than send it home daily, to minimise risk of passing germs between home and school.
Can I drop off all of my children at the same time or will I need to queue again?
Parents will need to stick to individual children's drop off times and places, so therefore have to queue again to drop off extra siblings. This is to minimise the risk of mixing bubbles and to keep adult:child ratios.
What day do reception do PE?
In reception the children have daily access to the large garden area and have opportunities to run, skip, jump, climb and dance. We have climbing and balancing equipment and balls, bats and targets to practise throwing, catching and aiming skills. So, every day is a PE day! Once the children settle into reception in September we will also have the opportunity to take them up on to the big field to play games and teach specific skills. Our day will be Mondays, so on Mondays the children should come to school wearing their PE kit. If the field is wet I would suggest trainers rather than fabric pumps and as the weather gets colder jogging bottoms would be more suitable than shorts. We will spend the first couple of weeks getting the children settled into their classrooms and our garden area and then will inform parents via ClassDojo when we intend to start using the field on Mondays.
If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to email the school office putting 'FAO EYFS team' as the subject and they will forward it to us.