June, July and September Arrangements for New Year R Children September 2024

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?

  • Read through the information below
  • Complete the home visits preference questionnaire
  • Make a note of the Welcome Meeting date and time – Tues 4th June 7pm @ St Marks
  • See the school uniform section below, including details of quality second-hand uniform and also a 10% discount at Skoolkit.

June and July Arrangements

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


Welcome and Transition Meeting

The date for this meeting is Tuesday 4th June, held at St Mark’s school (in person). Within this meeting we will:

  • Meet the YR Team.
  • Give you a brief recap of a typical day in Year R.
  • Explain the process of a Home Visit in September, when you will find out your date and time for this visit. 
  • Give more information about the ‘Teddy Bear’s Picnic’ event and when you will find out 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 two ‘Stay and Play’ sessions where they can become more familiar with our Year R  indoor and outdoor areas. The children are not allocated classes at this point so they will visit all three classrooms and meet all the teachers. Spending time with your children during these two visits help us make decisions about class groupings. 

If your child’s surname begins with A – L:

  • Session 1 will be on Monday 24th June 3.45 – 4.45pm
  • Session 2 will be on Monday 1st July 3.45 – 4.45pm

If your child’s surname begins with M – Z:

  • Session 1 will be on Tuesday 25th June 3.45 – 4.45pm
  • Session 2 will be on Tuesday 2nd July 3.45 – 4.45pm

At their first session we invite one parent to stay with each child for at least the first 15 minutes. If your child is settled at this point, you are welcome to leave them with us for the remaining 45 minutes. The second session is for the children alone please.

Class Teddy Bears Picnic

Your child will then be invited to one picnic event 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 15th July 3.45 – 4.45pm – Penguins class
  • Tuesday 16th July 3.45 – 4.45pm – Puffins class
  • Wednesday 17th July 3.45 – 4.45pm – Parrots class

You will find out which date your child will need to attend on Monday 8th July when we send class information out to you via email. Please pencil all three dates in your diary as potentials for now.

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 (Wednesday 4th, Thursday 5th and Friday 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 15th July.

Phased Transition in September – Why?!

After the first week of term when we will be home visiting we run a phased transition week. 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.The children are introduced to new routines in these smaller groups throughout the week until all children are in full time by Friday 13th September.

Which term?

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

  • AUTUMN BORN – Children born between 1st September 2019 and 31st December 2019
  • SPRING BORN – Children born between 1st January 2020 – 30th April 2020
  • SUMMER BORN – Children born between 1st May 2020 – 31st August 2020

Other Arrangements

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

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)
  • the gate beside Dandelions preschool (accessible via the path through the main car park) 
  • the KS2 gate at the other end of the school (accessible via Danebury Road).
  • While your child is part time and your child’s drop off or collection time is anything other than 8.30 – 8.50am or 3.10 – 3.20pm you will only be able to enter via the KS1 gate and the gate beside Dandelions pre-school. The KS2 gate will not be opened during the school day for safeguarding reasons.
  • A map is available here.

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. We will inform you of PE days at your child’s Home Visit. 

School jumpers and cardigans can be bought from SkoolKits in Church Street, Basingstoke or ordered online from https://www.skoolkit.co.uk/. Skoolkits will be holding a 10% discount week for new starters in their Basingstoke store from Monday 8th to Saturday 13th July. They are also offering free delivery on online orders made from Saturday 20th to Saturday 27th July using the code SUMMER2024.

A uniform list can be found on our website under the ‘New Year R’ section or here: https://www.stmarksprimary.net/uniform/Second-hand uniform is also available from this page.


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 / Backpacks

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 ask 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

We have our own breakfast club. There is no need to book in advance. More information can be found here: https://www.stmarksprimary.net/breakfast-club/ 

SCL – After School Club

This club is run at St Mark’s, with a flexible booking system. It 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 newyearr2024@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