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Settling in Nursery children in new school year

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by koru, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. We are currently planning how many Nursery children to have starting at a time in September as well as working out how long they will do half days until they are 'settled in' and ready for full days. We only do one intake and have about 36 on role (includes about 6 part time I think).
    We want to have 3 half days to begin where a third of the class comes in with parents (parents have to stay) and they just have fun and explore the Nursery with their parents. The aim is for all to have a morning where they can have fun and explore with parents there and in a small group without too many children at once. After this we'll begin our setting in with children starting in groups and gradually build up to full time over a few weeks.
    We're still negotiating with our head who wants children all in by the beginning of October.
    What are other people's thoughts/experiences etc? We feel good practice is giving children time to gradually build up their confidence as they are ready, until they go full time. Not sure that those 'in charge' think the same...!
    Would love to hear other people's comments...
     
  2. We are currently planning how many Nursery children to have starting at a time in September as well as working out how long they will do half days until they are 'settled in' and ready for full days. We only do one intake and have about 36 on role (includes about 6 part time I think).
    We want to have 3 half days to begin where a third of the class comes in with parents (parents have to stay) and they just have fun and explore the Nursery with their parents. The aim is for all to have a morning where they can have fun and explore with parents there and in a small group without too many children at once. After this we'll begin our setting in with children starting in groups and gradually build up to full time over a few weeks.
    We're still negotiating with our head who wants children all in by the beginning of October.
    What are other people's thoughts/experiences etc? We feel good practice is giving children time to gradually build up their confidence as they are ready, until they go full time. Not sure that those 'in charge' think the same...!
    Would love to hear other people's comments...
     
  3. I think the main thing to remember is that children are individuals and have different needs, so you need to be prepared to be flexible. Some children will be desperate to start, othes need lots more settling. Try not to have hard and fast rules and be very open to parents that this is how you operate. We only start one child at a time and their parent must stay for at least the first session and more if we can get them to. Certainly if we don't feel a child is ready for their parents to go we will only let them go on the second day for a few minutes. I know heads are anxious to get them in because of funding but it is much better for the children to go as slowly as possible. We don't let them stay for lunch until after half term unless we really think they are ready or their is a particular need. It really works and we hardly ever have a child that cries
     
  4. thanks for your reply, it's really interesting to see the different ways people bring children in when they start Nursery. It's so true about the whole 'funding issue', that seems to be a bit of a problem for us also...I agree-you have to go with what suits each child. cheers for your feedback
     
  5. katycustard

    katycustard Occasional commenter

    It isn't about funding, the headcount day is in October and you are funded for children on role then, not in September. It's about children's entitlement and they are entitled to 15 hrs a week from September. October seems a long time to me, we have 64 new children coming in and they will all be in within a fortnight, although some may have parents around more than others.

     
  6. I feel that though we take longer, we are more able to get to know these children and their families. They then settle quicker, feel secure and are only then able to really learn and develop.
     
  7. Definitely agree with you magnamon - taking a little more time to settle everyone in has huge benefits later on. We thought we had a really good system in place but sadly we have just amalgamated with our local junior school and the new head (only ever taught/led in KS2) has insisted that ALL children (39AM and 52PM) all start from day 1 - no staggered intake or building up hours. The reason seems to be the funding issue even tho - as already been pointed out - there is the opportunity to stagger intake before headcount takes place. Sets the tone i think for totally ignoring good practice already in place in FS/KS1! It's going to be fun!!
     
  8. katycustard

    katycustard Occasional commenter

    That seems harsh lexus, we have a few new children in each session over a two week period and it works well. I should imagine having them all in from day 1 will be stressful for children, parents and staff. I wonder if he/she would comprimise if you suggested a two week period?
     
  9. really harsh! last few years we've had successful (or we thought so anyway) 2 week period where children started in small groups. We also held an open day on first day of term for parents/children to come and go/talk to staff/have fun... and home visits. Home visits stopped cos head won't release staff to do them and open day gone cos in the words of head - if you let the parents into the building you'l never get rid of them!! We're all gobsmacked at such major changes without any discussion and really worried that head not interested in any advice, suggestions... from FS/KS1 staff. Staff in fs now being labelled as awkward cos we keep trying to reason with head and explain why its prob not going to work! Think im going to have to practise being bolshy - obviously going to need to be!
     
  10. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Do you mean setting or settling?
     
  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    In nursery we don't have the issue of all children starting together as some of the younger children who are in nursery now will be returning to nursery in September (as the older nursery children).
    Those starting for the first time in September will stay 1 hour on Tuesday (we don't have new children first day as it gives returning children a day to settle back into the routine) if that goes well they stay 2 hours on Wednesday and full time Thursday and Friday ... but it is very much judged on an individual child's needs basis. Some stay for just an hour for a few days gradually building up some stay for shorter times if they really struggle (and mum pops into the office for a cuppa ) and the time is gradually extended. The staff work with the parents to support the child .
     

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