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'Education for life in its fullness'

Starting School

The admissions code 2010 gives parents the right to choose from September 2011 whether they wish their child to start full-time or part-time, subject to the caveat that children are receiving full-time education in the term following their fifth birthday.

Parents still have the right to defer entry to later in the academic year, and, in such cases, a place offered in reception must be held open for the child for that intake year. Children are entitled to 38 weeks education and staggered starts are not therefore appropriate other than in exceptional circumstances, when requested by the parents to meet the specific needs of the child.

Since September 1997 children in West Sussex have been able to start school at the beginning of the school year (September) in which they reach their fifth birthday. For some, school will begin on a part-time basis – at Washington School children will come to school in the morning only until the beginning of the term in which they are five (i.e. the term in which they would have started school in the past).

Admissions information on the West Sussex County Council website can be found by clicking here.

Admissions can be contacted by telephone on 0845 075 1007

Children’s 5th birthday Autumn Term Spring Term Summer Term
Between 1st September & 31st December Full-time Full-time Full-time
Between 1st January & 30th April Part-time Full-time Full-time
Between 1st May & 31st August Part-time Full-time Full-time

We aim to make the transition from home to school an easy one and to involve parents from the very start. During the second half of the Summer Term parents will be invited to an informal evening meeting with the Headteacher (Mrs. Houston) and the reception teacher (Mrs. Oakes). This will be followed by a home visit from Mrs. Oakes so that children can first meet their teacher in the security of their own home. There are a range of home/school packs for children to borrow containing enjoyable early learning activities and the children will be invited to spend a number of mornings in their future classroom so that they can become familiar with their teacher and their classmates (Stay and Play sessions).

Whilst the children are engaged in a variety of activities in the classroom, there will be workshops for new parents, where they can meet each other informally, find out more about school policies and schemes, and meet a parent governor and representatives from the support services including the school nurse and the Educational Welfare Officer.

Principles of Early Years Education
The early years of children’s lives are known to be immensely important influences on their later development. Therefore, we believe that the educational provision we make for your children at this time should be of the highest quality. Children learn best in a calm yet stimulating environment supported by professional adults who will provide feelings of security, comfort and appropriate challenge. The intellectual, social emotional and physical aspects of young children’s development are equally important and detailed planning will ensure that all these needs are met. Children develop at different rates and their learning will be matched to their developmental stage.

Activities
Children learn about themselves and the world about them through first hand experiences that include carefully structured play. We will be ensuring that activities are well resourced and that all areas of the curriculum are provided for. Resources will be organised in such a way that children have easy access to them. Full use will be made of the outdoor play area.

Activities available to the children will include:

Role Play – an important area giving the children opportunities for personal and social development.
Small World Play – imaginative play using dolls, cars, models, bricks etc.
Construction – using wooden bricks, Mobilo, PolyM, Lasy etc.
Drawing and Early Writing Activities.
Mathematical experiences where children develop an early understanding of number, shape, pattern, sequence, order and measure.
Sand – both wet and dry sand, together with a range of materials and resources.
Water and appropriate equipment that will allow for the development of understanding about the properties of water and also encourage imaginative play.
Scientific experiences – where children observe and find out about the world around them.
Technological Activities – technological concepts and skills are developed through opportunities which exist in role-play, modeling, art/craft. Fabric work, cooking, construction and science.
Information Technology – the children will have access to computers in the classroom and in the ICT suite.
Art/Craft – children will be involved in a range of activities including painting, printing and collage.
Modeling – opportunities will be available to use a range of materials – e.g. playdough, clay.
Cooking – (and eating the finished product!)
Physical Activity – children will use the hall, main playground and outdoor play area to gain confidence in P.E. and by working alongside others they will develop their social skills.
Music/Sound – there will be a range of musical activities that involve singing, percussion and listening.
Outdoor Provision – the outdoor environment offers children greater opportunity to move freely, and different opportunities and challenges to explore than can be provided indoors. There will be opportunities for large scale imaginative play and children will be able to develop their knowledge of the natural world – both in the immediate and wider environment.

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