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Home visits

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by funkymooncow, Aug 19, 2020.

  1. funkymooncow

    funkymooncow New commenter

    I am wondering what other schools are doing about home visits this year? We carry out our visits in September, so I have arranged these and put in place a risk assessment. However I am now wondering if other schools are doing the same?
    I am not concerned about doing home visits in our area as there are extremely low rates of cases and I think there are enough safety measures in place but if everyone else is avoiding them I may cancel.
    I will also add that I spoke to all new parents in July and they were all happy for home visits to take place.
    What are you thoughts?
  2. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Lead commenter

    Home visits are not vital. I have never had a home visit from a school in all my years of parenting. I don't think they happen around here at all, anyway. I guess it depends where you live, it isn't universal.
  3. funkymooncow

    funkymooncow New commenter

    Under normal circumstances I would agree that they are not vital - however due to lockdown we were unable to visit any children in their preschool setting so we haven't met any of them yet. At drop off, parents are not allowed into the classroom to settle them so I am concerned that children will struggle to settle without meeting us first.
    We are considering having them as 1:1 meetings in school as an alternative but I personally feel this is more risky as we will have parents coming and going all day for 5 days and we will only be able to give each child a small selection of toys for their visit in case of cross contamination.
    It's so difficult to know what to do for the best isn't it!
  4. grumbleweed

    grumbleweed Star commenter

    I'm a big fan of home visits and i've always did them when I was teaching, even back in the 1980s when it was less common!
    I'd be doing everything I could to arrange them if I could do so safely.
    Risk assess.. you have done this and you will need to reassure parents, so hand washing, sanitiser, minimise what products you might take with you, social distance etc.
    Offer a garden visit if parents feel more comfortable, weather is often quite good early September.
    If you can't visit or decide not to, can you stagger starting? Some of our schools are doing small groups of stay and play before starting and then starting the second week. So groups of about 8 with a parent, across the day. This does present a challenge for working parents who want their child in full time from day 1.
    Zoom meetings is another option.

    I would not cancel them just because others are, although it can be tricky to swim against the crowd. I would go ahead if:

    You are confident there are good measures to keep you, your staff, and families safe. You will need to write these down.
    Parents are happy to go ahead
    You have capacity and head's agreement.

    Let us know what you decide.
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Then trust yourself and go with what you have planned.
    While I agree a home visit isn't 'vital' it is extremely useful and you can learn so much from that visit.
    If you are happy, your headteacher/H&S person are happy and parents are happy, then definitely go ahead.
    If you literally haven't met children or parents, then a home visit is pretty much vital.
    Expecting a child to happily wander in to a completely unknown place with not a single adult they recognise is asking rather too much. Yes most will eventually settle and cope, but why make it so hard for them if you don't have to.
    I agree this sounds far more risky and I'd not be happy doing this.

    We are doing settling sessions in the last week of the school holiday, some outside with parents and some inside, with parents staying outside. We have also 'met' and chatted to all our new starters multiple times over Teams last half term.
  6. funkymooncow

    funkymooncow New commenter

    Thanks for your reply - I am thinking along the same lines but I seem to be in the minority in my local area unfortunately. It seems like you have a good plan to start the year though and I hope it goes well for you!

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