Reception Admissions • Sir Jim Rose completed his review of the primary curriculum in April 2009 and recommended that children should ideally start school in the September following their fourth Birthday. (The children who would have started school in January 2012 (Birthdays from 1st March to 31st August) will begin school a term earlier.) • The Secretary of State accepted that recommendation and announced that all parents should be able to choose this option if that is what is best for their child.
In Addition: • Parents will be able to ask for their child to start school on a part-time or full-time basis, but the school does NOT have to offer this. • Parents have the right to defer the place until later in the school year. • Parents can choose a part-time place at Nursery or other early learning setting if they would prefer this. • The statutory school age is still the term after the child’s 5th Birthday.
What could we do at Howe Dell? • We would encourage parents to begin their child in Reception and modify Reception to suit the needs of all children whatever their age (we are great believers at Howe Dell of learning through play both indoors and out) • The previous ‘January Intake’ will be given more time to settle in, ½ days to begin with for as long as necessary. • Parents Meeting arranged to discuss any queries or worries they may have (Jan 2011). Parents have already been made aware of this through the successful Nursery Home Visits (Nov 2011) and some parents have already expressed their concerns which have been addressed.
Nursery Admissions • Hertfordshire County Council Policy for intake in to Nursery remains that we ‘continue the 2 intakes in to Nursery’ • At Howe Dell we also wish to continue with the 2 Nursery intakes.
Issues • Depending on the September intake Nursery numbers we may only need one Nursery session a day in the Autumn term 2011. • If this was to happen then some present Nursery staff would be able to support those younger children in Reception (the mornings would most likely be the time we had all Reception children in, therefore an afternoon only Nursery session could be a possibility in the Autumn term 2011) or even support in the first term of year 1 as part of the transition process from FS to KS1.
Adult:Pupil Ratios • The younger the children we have the greater the number of adults required: • 1:13 in Nursery with a qualified teacher 1:30 in Reception with a qualified teacher • In the EYFS Statutory Framework p.33 it states that ‘reception classes mixed with younger children should use their discretion in establishing ratios for these mixed groups based on the EYFS welfare requirements’ (see above ratios)
Implications • Funding. We would not get the same amount of funding for children if they stayed in Nursery as we would if they were part-time in Reception. • If we had all our children starting Nursery in September 2011 it would impact on our Day Care provision and would mean more staff would be needed in Nursery in that first term 1:8 instead of 1:13
What are our local providers doing? • Birchwood Nursery are taking in ALL Nursery children in Sept 2011(not in 2 intakes) because all of their Nursery children will be moving up to local Reception classes. • Mrs Massey asked for responses from other local Headteachers- Essendon have only one EYFS class so all Reception children will go full time in September; unless reasons otherwise which will be discussed with parents. They find the transition from EYFS to their Y1/2 class a challenge.
Sir Philip Howard have this year had a Nursery class of 45 children and 2 Reception classes since Sept 2010. They are NOT taking Nursery in one intake as this would have a serious impact on their independent pre-school which is on site. They are finding the challenge of funding a Nursery without enough children for a full-time teacher a challenge. St. Marys do not have a Nursery. They NOW have 2 Reception classes since Sept 2010 with the youngest children remaining part time until January. However as numbers are low this year and the younger group mature they offered full- time after ½ term.
Conclusion • As an EYFS Team we have spent a great deal of time thinking about and discussing this issue. • Because of the new Government guidelines, at Howe Dell we would like to have all children beginning Reception in September 2011, with a greater flexible start for those children who would have started school in January 2012. • We would also like to continue with our 2 intakes in to Nursery.