We’re pleased to confirm the arrangements for your child starting at St Mark’s in September! We hope that you find this page informing you about what to expect in the lead up to your child starting with us 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 date’ in preparation.
What do I need to do?
- Read through the information below
- Complete the friendship questionnaire
- Make a note of the Welcome Zoom meeting dates and time
Class Teddy Bears Picnic
We are very sorry to say that due to the government’s announcement on Monday, and subsequent guidance released to schools, we are now unable to run the Teddy Bear Picnic. I know you, like us, will be very disappointed, but we do need to follow the guidance and keep everyone safe, including your child’s existing bubble (for example nursery/pre-school setting). The guidance is affecting transition plans for all year groups, not just new Year R children. Just to reassure you – the children who started last year in Year R had a very similar experience. They were unable to visit before September. However, they made an excellent start to Year R (perhaps the best we’ve ever had?!). Whilst our preference is always to allow them to visit before September, children still make a very positive start even if they haven’t had the chance to visit.
Meet The Teacher Zoom
To replace the picnic, we will be running a Meet The Teacher Zoom. This will last around 20-30mins. We understand that the children struggle to concentrate for too long! The details and links have been sent via email.
- Penguins – Monday 12th July, 3:45pm
- Puffins – Tuesday 13th July, 3:45pm
- Parrots – Thrusday 15th July, 3:45pm
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 6th, Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th). You will be able to request a date for this visit after the 18th June.
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.
A 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.
So, what is my child’s timetable in September for the first 2 weeks?
We organise the September timetables according to your child’s birthday. This helps us to make it managable for everyone, especially the children.
Click on the tab above to see the September timetable for your child starting at St Mark’s. Not sure which season they fall into? See below
- AUTUMN BORN (Children born between 1st September 2016 – 31st December 2016)
- SPRING BORN (Children born between 1st January 2017 – 30th April 2017)
- SUMMMER BORN (Children born between 1st May 2017 – 31st August 2017)
On the third week of school, all children are full-time.
Staggered Starts – will we still be doing this in September?
If you have an older child currently at St. Mark’s you will know that we have staggered our start and finish times for the whole school this year due to COVID-19. Decisions will be made about this soon. Please remember that the timetable below also dovetails into the timetables for Spring and Summer born children, so it is quite complicated! Generally, Autumn children become settled first and stay for lunch earlier.
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 to get to Year R?
- 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).
- While your child is part time, we ask that you only enter via the KS1 gate.
- Please note that currently we have different rules in place because of COVID, and there may be updates to this for September.
Children must wear their school uniform. 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://www.stmarksprimary.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) which is a meat or vegetarian option. The menu choices for this current year can be found here: https://www.stmarksprimary.net/meals/ and this menu will continue to be in use until October 2021.It will change at this point but it will offer the same variety of meals.
Snack & Milk
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.
All children under the age of 5 are also entitled to a free bottle of milk daily, after which a very small charge can be paid for this to continue. If you would like your child to receive this free milk you will need to self-register at www.coolmilk.com.
Children can bring in a small book bag. These can also be purchased from Skookit. There are two different sizes available and we ask you to only buy the smaller, folded over type as these are much more suitable for a Year R children, and fit neatly into the cubby holes the children have for their belongings in class.
Soap, Handwashing, Sunscreen and Wellies
The children will be washing their hands a lot!! If you would prefer your child to use specialist soap, please send this in with your child. It can be left at school. It must have their name on it, and be completed nut-free. 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.
We are asking parents to refrain from coming into the office area. Please do email or call instead. Thank you.
St Mark’s own breakfast club will also be running. Pre-booking will be necessary, but this is only to help with the admin side of the club. More information will be given out about this soon.
SCL Wraparound Care – 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 center. 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.
As always, if you have any questions, please do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to meeting your child in September!
Mr Applegate & the St Mark’s Team