June, July and September Arrangements for New Year R Children September 2023

Dear Parents,

We’re pleased to share our plan for your child starting at St Mark’s in September!  On the table below we have mapped out some key dates. You will see that there are several dates for some events, and more information will follow about which date is applicable for your child. In the meantime please ‘save the dates’ in preparation.

What do I need to do?

Pre-Summer Arrangements

Summary Calendar of events before the summer break (please read below for full details!)


6th June – Welcome and Transition Meeting

The date for this meeting is Tuesday 6th June, held at St Mark’s school (in person). Within this meeting we will:

  • Meet the Year R Team 
  • Give you a brief recap of a typical day in Year R
  • Explain the process of a Home Visit in September, and how you can sign up for this/when you will find out your date and time for this visit. 
  • Give more information about the ‘Teddy Bear’s Picnic’ event and which date your child will be invited to.
  • Explain how we will be organising the children into classes.
  • Go through the contents of the Summer Activity Pack we are giving to your child. 
  • Generally answer any questions you may have about the induction process.
  • Hear from other organisations including FOSM PTA, SCL and Hatch Warren After School Club.

‘Stay and play’ session

Your child is invited to a ‘Stay and Play’ session where they can become more familiar with our Year R  indoor and outdoor areas. 

If your child’s surname begins with A – L, their session will be on Monday 3rd July. 

If your child’s surname begins with M-Z their session is on Tuesday 4th July. 

Both sessions will run from 3.45-4.45pm for your child and one adult.

Class Teddy Bears Picnic

Your child will then be invited to one picnic event in the following week where they can meet the other children who will be in their class, their class teacher and supporting adults. 

The dates for these picnics are 

  • Monday 10th July 3.45 – 4.45pm – Penguins class
  • Tuesday 11th July 3.45 – 4.45pm – Puffins class
  • Wednesday 12th July 3.45 – 4.45pm – Parrots class

You will find out which date your child will need to attend at your child’s ‘Stay and Play’ session when we send home information about which class they will be in the week before. Again, pencil these dates in your diary as potentials.

Summer Activity Packs

Each child will have a pack made up for them containing various resources you will find useful over the summer holidays, and throughout their time in Year R. We will distribute these at your child’s Teddy bear’s picnic.

September Arrangements

Home Visits

We will visit all children at home before they start school. These visits help us start building a relationship with you as a family, and with your child before they start school. We find that they ensure a smoother transition as the children feel reassured by seeing a familiar face when they start school.

These visits will be 20 minutes in length and we will bring our class cuddly toy and a small bag of toys and games to entice your child to play with us. 

We will visit over the first 3 days of the term in September (Monday 4th, Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th).

Please complete this Google Form to sign up for your preferred day. We will arrange the time for that day and let you know the details via email during the week of the Teddy Bear’s picnics, w/c 10th July.

Stay and play sessions 

All children will attend two ‘Stay and play’ sessions in small groups of 10 where they can visit their class teacher and spend time in their new classroom. We encourage the children to wear their own clothes, not uniform, to enable them to feel more comfortable that this is a ‘visit’ rather than them actually ‘starting school’. These groups are organised by surname and information about the session dates and times are detailed below in the table. These sessions are for the children alone. 

Phased Transition in September – Why?!

We run a two-week phased transition period. This allows children to start school in smaller chunks of time, and also with smaller groups of children. It really makes a positive difference for all children. As the two weeks go on, children are in school for longer periods of time, until all children are in full time at the start of the third week.

Which term?

The tabs show the timetable for children depending on their birth term.

  • AUTUMN BORN – Children born between 1st September 2018 and 31st December 2018
  • SPRING BORN – Children born between 1st January 2019 – 30th April 2019
  • SUMMER BORN – Children born between 1st May 2019 – 31st August 2019

Other Arrangements

What if I have to go to work full time from day one in September?

We do ask that you work with your employer to be flexible with the timetable below. It really does help your child – and the other children – because of the smaller groupings. If it is completely impossible for you, please do get in touch and we can discuss solutions.

Where do I go?

  • You can enter the site at either the KS1 gate which is the Hatch Warren Community Centre side of the school (accessible via Woodbury Road), or the KS2 gate at the other end of the school (accessible via Danebury Road). There is a map of our site here.
  • While your child is part time, we ask that you only enter via the KS1 gate.

School Uniform

Children should wear their school uniform from September. On the days that children have their PE lessons, we ask them to come in wearing their PE kit all day, and not their uniform. School jumpers and cardigans can be bought from SkoolKits in Church Street Basingstoke or ordered online from https://www.skoolkit.co.uk/. A uniform list can be found on our website under the ‘New Year R’ section or here: http://wwwstmarksprimary.net/uniform.


On the days that they stay for lunch, the children can bring in a packed lunch or can order their universal free school meal (all Year R and KS1 children are entitled to this for free) which is a choice of meat or vegetarian options. We use Pabulum as our catering company and their menu is in a 3 weekly cycle. The menu can be found here: https://www.stmarksprimary.net/meals/ 


At present, all children in Years R,1 and 2 received free fruit daily from the government and we hope that this will continue next year. 

Books bags

Children can bring in a drawstring bag. Please note we do not accept backpacks.

You can order a St Marks drawstring bag here. 

Water Bottles

Water is available in each class, and children should bring water bottles to school every day to keep hydrated throughout the day. Year R children will be provided with a free school water bottle by the year R staff at the beginning of the school year. 

Sunscreen and Wellies

On hot days, please apply sunscreen before school, as we will not be able to apply it during the day.  All Year R children will need a pair of wellies which will be kept in school. Please bring these in during your child’s first week of school (named, of course!)

School Office/Reception

We are asking parents to refrain from coming into the office area if possible. Please email the office at adminoffice@st-markscofe.hants.sch.uk or call the office on 01256346111 instead. Thank you.

When your child starts in September, it will be the office you will need to contact to inform the school of any illness, absences or any other administrative queries. 

Breakfast Club

St Mark’s own breakfast club will also be running. There is no need to book in advance. https://www.stmarksprimary.net/breakfast-club/ 

SCL – After School Club

Run at St Mark’s, with a flexible booking system. Runs until 6pm each school day. More details, including booking links, are here: www.stmarksprimary.net/scl

Hatch Warren Community Centre – After School Club

This is run at the local community centre. Children are picked up by HWCCASC staff from St Mark’s and walked to the centre. More details are available here: https://www.hatchwarren.org/after-school-club


Finally, a helpful summary of starting at St Mark’s can be found here.

If you have any questions regarding your child’s transition into Year R, please do contact us at newyearr2023@stmarksce.org.uk. We look forward to meeting your child soon and welcoming them in September!

Best wishes,

Mr Applegate & the St Mark’s Team