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To be a bit ticked off about a "home visit" from DS's pre-school?

(60 Posts)
wasabipeanut Fri 10-Jun-11 20:51:11

DS is due to start at a pre-school attached to a church school in September. He has been offered a place at the pre-school based on catchment. We will have to reapply to the school for a place the following year – there is no priority given based on attendance at the pre school. Today I got a phone call following a letter that was sent a couple of days ago to arrange a “home visit.” When I asked why this was necessary I was told that DS’s teacher wished to meet him prior to starting school. The only date available was a day that DS goes to a local nursery anyway (he will move from this to the pre-school in September) so I said I was happy to bring him in another time to meet the teacher.

I got a very firm “no” in response. I was then told “this is what we do.” In the end I agreed that I would keep DS at home that morning in order that this visit can go ahead. The subtext of the conversation seemed to be “if you want your child to attend this massively oversubscribed pre-school then you will do as we tell you.”

AIBU to be a bit ticked off or are home visits the norm now? What exactly are they looking for? Will we fail if we aren’t godly enough??? We are not regular church goers and have never pretended to be. We applied for the pre-school based on catchment which is their main admissions criteria. Tbh I just like the idea of being able to walk DS to school.

I am genuinely not sure of IABU to be a bit miffed about them feeling the need to visit us at home. It just feels like they want an excuse to be nosey.

troisgarcons Fri 10-Jun-11 20:53:45

Schools here do that too - I personally find it very OTT.

They also do 'parent interviews' after a child has been allocated a secondary place - mind you parents can be quite garrelous in a 1-2-1 situation and many worms come crawling out of the wood work.

allthefires Fri 10-Jun-11 20:54:00

I had a nearly identical word for word conversation with a friend today about this. Pre school is not a church school however

flowery Fri 10-Jun-11 20:54:30

We had a home visit before DS1 started, they did them for all the children. I think they basically did want to be nosey but in the best possible way, wanting to see the children in their home environment to get a sense of what the deal is at home, what kind of support they have and to start some interaction with the children in a familiar, safe environment.

mummynoseynora Fri 10-Jun-11 20:55:30

I thought it was the norm for school induction type stuff - more to get to know your DS in his comfort zone rather than a test for you smile

nancy75 Fri 10-Jun-11 20:55:47

they want to check he lives there, we had this with DD's school, only we didn't get a warning phone call they just turned up on the doorstep!
I take it the pre school feeds in to a popular primary school? Yanbu to be annoyed but unfortunately people do lie for good school places.

HerHissyness Fri 10-Jun-11 20:56:55

Does seem odd that a pre-school would do home visits, but Infant schools do them, but they are not normally that sniffy and inflexible.

Sadly though, being talked down to, treated like a cash machine with no thought to actually asking if you want your DC to go on a sodding trip, but expecting you to provide a 'contribution', (with a reminder should you forget angry) is kind of what school seems to be.

I loathe and detest most of the interaction I have with school, from the sheer pea-brained idiocy displayed in the car park*, to the condescending notes home, lack of notice, and lack of information.

*I don't normally drive, I have tonsillitis and am running a temperature, I literally can't wait to be well enough to walk the school run!

simpson Fri 10-Jun-11 20:57:27

we have also got a home visit booked for DD in early July as she is also starting the nursery attached to our local church school.

I am a bit hmm about it, but will just get it over with iyswim grin

BluddyMoFo Fri 10-Jun-11 20:57:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BluddyMoFo Fri 10-Jun-11 20:58:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

shuckleberryfinn Fri 10-Jun-11 20:58:38

My sons CofE school did that, it was actually quite nice, both his nursery teachers came out and met him and us, had a lovely chat. Seems they do it to sort of get a feel for the child and the family. An insight into home life can't be a bad thing can it? He's still at the school and I love their approach to education ( if not the church services we keep being invited to). They've never mentioned or asked about our religion, nor do the seem to care.

flowery Fri 10-Jun-11 20:58:44

Didn't occur to me to be hmm about it tbh. Not a problem.

wasabipeanut Fri 10-Jun-11 20:59:29

Actually Nancy it isn't a feeder school. It used to be apparently (according to a neighbour) but the rules changed as people were using it to jump the queue ahead of in catchment children. Catchment is key here.

If it is the norm I am surprised. Must be a bit of a drain on resource visiting 30 kids from the pre school then another 60 from the main school.

slartybartfast Fri 10-Jun-11 20:59:53

i had it too,
ds was on his best behaviour, not,
but he was only 3 so i was let off grin

i know they noticed the picture books <<preen>>

it wasnt a problem, it is nice for the children to meet their prospective nursery teachers in their own home.

Blu Fri 10-Jun-11 20:59:54

When DS was starting Reception and they called to arrange this I was rally impressed. The teachger and a TA came and spent time getting to know DS in his own home, gave me time to talk about anything I was worried about, or that i wanted them to know, and when DS arrived f the first day, he had already had one to one time with his teacher in his own home and was v confident. DS would have been fine without it, but it wa a completely constructive and well-meant offer, not the sinister intrusion many people seem to view it as.

Sometimes schools work hard to help children settle in, make a relationship with parents...but it seems they can't do right for doing wrong, the response they get.

If it was checking up on admissions, it wouldn't be the teachers doing it.

ihatecbeebies Fri 10-Jun-11 21:00:31

I've never heard of it before and don't think you are being unreasonable at all at being ticked off, all I had to do was bring DS's birth certificate with me for him starting pre school then the same plus 2 letters with our address on it when enrolling him in the local school, that sounds quite over the top to me.

fuzzpigFriday Fri 10-Jun-11 21:00:34

I think home visits are a brilliant idea. It isn't about spying, it's about getting to know the child a little before they all come in at once. I'm really looking forward to DD having hers for reception - except for the fact we will need to do some serious tidying blush

However the staff sound very rude and stuffy... are you sure their ethos will match yours? Are you happy with them looking after him?

allthefires Fri 10-Jun-11 21:01:27

Pain for working parents though. Annual leave for an one hour pre school check- er no thanks.

slartybartfast Fri 10-Jun-11 21:01:42

mine was 13 years ago btw

wasabipeanut Fri 10-Jun-11 21:03:15

Maybe I overreacted a bit, hence my post. I didn't know if IWBU to be a bit hmm about it. The way I was spoken to really didn't help.

MrsDaffodill Fri 10-Jun-11 21:04:15

YABU, I think. They are not really there to nose about. Yes, they do sort of want to gauge the home environment. But also it is about your child and you being at ease. Research shows families are often more likely to share relevant information at home. Children remember very much that the teachers came to their home and enjoy meeting them on home territory. Children also feel secure when they feel like the adults in their life are working together/ on the same page and home visits help this.

At our setting, teachers and TAs go together. The teacher will talk to the parents while the TA shares books or games with the child. The children love this, and when they get to school it means they feel they know the TA personally. The TA also leaves behind paper which he asks them to draw on and bring on their first day of school - again, the children like this.

The TAs make good and subtle notes. e.g. if a child is hugely interested in fairies/trains, on the first days in the school they will make sure those activities are available. They will occasionally and subtly mention that "I have been to your house" when it counts.

Doesn't mean I haven't run round like a mad thing cleaning for both the ones I have had! And making sure the TV was off and the most wholesome toys out!!

flowery Fri 10-Jun-11 21:04:25

What Blu said. Exactly. It was a good opportunity to talk to the teacher about DS1, who had never been left anywhere before and who is also a bit clingy and shy. Both of which he isn't nearly so much anymore now he's been to pre-school for almost a year grin

But I was very glad of the opportunity to discuss properly.

meditrina Fri 10-Jun-11 21:09:01

There is no need to worry about the visit. It's routine for many schools.

The school is however BVU in only being able to offer one slot. As a working parent, I would have been unable to move days round and they would have had to lump it. I do not think they are allowed to withdraw an offer of a place because you can't drop everything to suit them before you've even joined.

Yes, I know they'll only have a certain number of slots and they'll be working their way down a list and someone has to be last to be asked. But if it's not possible, they also need to accept an alternate, even if sub-optimal.

MrsDaffodill Fri 10-Jun-11 21:09:07

Allthefires - the whole school induction process is hard for working parents. Schools do have to try and plan it for the good of the child though. Children only start school once in their lives and it is a big transition worth managing well.

Our school do try and give the first slots of the day to those parents who both work, and on a day that suits, so that way they get to work late rather than not at all or hopefully on a day off.

wotnochocs Fri 10-Jun-11 21:12:25

Just say no, what are they going to do about it?
Schools round here visit kids in their pre-school.No home visits for nursery children

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