At Nether Alderley Primary School we recognise that starting school can often be an exciting, yet anxious time for families. In order to welcome new families into our school community, we take a number of measures which help us to build positive relationships, even before we welcome children for their first day at school in September. These include:
- Liaising with children’s pre-school provider and visiting new pupils in their pre-school setting. This enables our EYFS team to gain an insight into preferred styles of learning and interests which they can use to inform their early planning.
- Welcome meeting: We welcome new parents and carers to a information evening which provides the opportunity to meet school staff and for our EYFS team to outline some of our routines. We provide a new starter’s pack covering all of the information new parents require.
- Taster days: Towards the end of the summer term, we welcome our new cohort into school for an afternoon which enables them to meet their teachers and begin to form friendships with their future classmates. During this visit, children also meet their new buddies (see below) who take great pride in playing and showing them around the school. Parents are also invited to pop into the canteen at pick up to sample Lisa's fabulous school dinners. For more information on school meals, please visit the school meals section under the 'practical information' heading on the website.
Once the big day arrives, parents are invited to bring children into school to help them get settled. New pupils are encouraged to arrive a little later than usual – approximately 9:15am –to avoid the congestion on the playground. Parents who would like to help settle their children also find parking easier once families of our older pupils have dropped off their children.
For the duration of the first week, whilst pupils are becoming acclimatised to the school setting, they stay for half days. This provides the perfect opportunity for them to become familiar with the school routines without becoming overawed.
We operate a ‘buddy system’ at Nether Alderley, which has proven to be an incredibly successful initiative. ‘Buddies’ are year 6 pupils who are allocated a new reception pupil to mentor, encourage and support during their first year at Nether Alderley. The benefits are twofold: new pupils are made to feel valued and welcomed; they enjoy playing with their buddies at playtime and take pride in sharing their work and achievements with them. For our older pupils, the responsibility and trust invested in them through the buddy system helps them to develop their leadership skills and become positive role models.