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We don't do home visits atm, but incoming HT is keen for them to happen, as am I, having always done them for Rec and Nursery at previous schools. However, said HT was expecting them to be done this term (for Sept intake). When I said I thought Sept would be better and we need not admit any children until all visits are done in first few weeks, as none of the children will be of Statutory School Age by then anyway, she told me categorically that as soon as a child is 5 they are of Stat School Age. This is not what I thought it was, my belief being that they become of Stat School Age at the beginning of the term after their 5th birthday. Can someone tell me who is right please - preferably with the source of that info, so I can make plans?
Also, I would be very grateful for a brief overview of how you organise your home visits for Rec and Nursery, as it's a long time since I did any!
Thanks for reading!
You are right. 1st April, 1st September and 1st January following your 5th birthday.
Thankyou gilldyson - I was right then!
I would still like to hear from anyone about how they organise their home visits - please?
I work in a nursery and we do our home visits in September. They only take a couple of weeks, and then we make a staggered start.
In our Reception unit, all children who have not attended our nursery receive a home visit as well as the children who didn't get a home visit for whatever reason during their time in our nursery.
In Reception, this takes approximately 1 week. Children then start school.
Nursery do a home visit for most children, at request of parents. First week of term is given over to that. Second week staggered intake begins.
In Reception we receive most children from our school Nursery and it's not really necessary. We spend a lot of time getting to know the children while they are in Nursery so that they already feel comfortable with us.
For our children who come from other settings, we go to see them in those settings this term. This has the added advantage of us being able to talk to the staff working with them now, just as we do with our Nursery staff.
We also have sessions in school time in the Summer when these children can come in for a visit to see us in school, see their new classrooms, and parents can talk to us. Then on Secondary transfer day, they spend half a day with us as do the children who come up from our Nursery.
This has worked well and means that in September we can just get on with starting the children in school.
It's not just about when children reach statutory school age, it's about their entitlement to a place and funding issues come into play too. I work in a Nursery school, where all children are below statutory school age. However we get funding, for the number of weeks in a term that children are 'entitled to be in education'. We do home visits for 1 or 2 weeks depending on the number of children entering and the LA are not happy that they are funding us for children who are not yet in because of the home visits and staggered intake.
I think home visits are very important as a way of getting to know parents and beginning to develop a good relationship with them,esp for our pupils who tend to be mostly EAL. We do our HV in Sept following our New to Nursery meeting for parents and children and after that we do a staggered entry. Children come with a parent for an hour on the first day and then are left with us for half an our the next, building up to the full 3hrs as soon as they can cope! None of my children have been anywhere without mum and reactions to being left can be extreme to say the least! We home visit all children new to Reception but that's usually only 6 at the most. Last year we began developing links with feeder settings but I don't know what will happen about that this year but it is beneficial.
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