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entry to reception - home visits?

(44 Posts)
ristretto Tue 05-Jul-11 13:51:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hiccymapops Tue 05-Jul-11 13:57:00

At our school the teachers told me it was just to help ds feel more comfortable with them when he started nursery. He had feet group before the summer holidays, and they said that as there was such a long holiday before he started school, it helps sometimes if they get a visit in their own environment, then when they start school, they will remember mrs x visiting them at home. ( that was the exact reason I got if I remember rightly smile )

MMQC Tue 05-Jul-11 14:17:00

It's not about meeting you in your home, it's about meeting the child in a familiar environment. They don't do home visits at our school unless the children don't go to nursery or pre-school. Normally the visits are carried out there, where the children tend to be more relaxed and 'normal' than they might be if brought into school.

SybilBeddows Tue 05-Jul-11 14:22:02

the official line is that it is just about meeting the child in a more relaxed environment but I am sure one of the reasons they find it useful is that it gives the teachers more clues about where the child is coming from.

IslaValargeone Tue 05-Jul-11 14:30:07

Relaxed environment my arse, it's a covert snoop session.

ilovedjasondonovan Tue 05-Jul-11 14:30:34

I'm with Sybil. Our school do it when you start nursery and then when you start reception year as well. The majority of the children who go to DDs school are on the poverty line, so if it helps the teachers understand some of the problems the children have at home and how to help them when they come to school then I'm all for nosing around peoples houses.

I don't really mind, just had DD2s for starting nursery and she loved having the teachers coming to play with her.

BeerTricksPotter Tue 05-Jul-11 14:31:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

teacherwith2kids Tue 05-Jul-11 18:31:20

Didn't have it for DS - his first school was a village one adjacent to the pre-school where he had been for 2 years, transition involved a lot of visits into school etc (and it was the kind of place where everyone knew every else's business so DS's home background was well known).

Did have it for DD, and we were very glad of it as we only moved into the area at the end of the previous summer term (and DD only got her place in the last week of term) so DD missed out on all the normal transition stuff and otherwise her first day in school would have been the first time she had met the teacher.

As a pp said, the visitors came 'bearing gifts' - DD's name written in the school early cursive handwriting style (they write 'joined up' from the start at the school, so it was useful to see her name written as she would see it in school, and she LOVED having her name and a whole pile of sheets of tracing paper to have a go at writing it herself), a school water bottle. And, interestingly - it's a mixed area - a basic 'starter homework pack' for any homework that might be set in Reception - a couple of hand-hugger pencils, a pack of colouring pencils, a stack of paper and some handwriting paper.

aries12 Tue 05-Jul-11 19:00:18

Never knew such a thing existed! What a waste of time, children are very outgoing nowadays they will chat to everybody. They are all confident going to school. Why on earth would you need a home visit...unless it was for a teacher to have an insight into a child's home and environment.

Can the children not pay a few short visits to the school themelves to meet the teacher and have a look around the classroom...far more productive in my opinion.

tallulah Tue 05-Jul-11 19:09:45

We had our home visit this morning. DD really played to the gallery- they must be wondering what on earth they've let themselves in for.

piprabbit Tue 05-Jul-11 19:15:50

Our home visit was great.
Teachers and DD got to meet while DD was relaxed and chatty.
I got to talk to the teachers on my own, and in the comfort of my own home (baby DS was able to sleep through in his moses basket).
All the children had their photos taken at home - and on their first day at school all their photos were on display in the classroom, very welcoming.

I can't think of a single bad thing about the experience.

Pekkala Tue 05-Jul-11 19:18:09

aries "...children are very outgoing nowadays they will chat to everybody. They are all confident going to school."

erm, bit of a generalisation there - not all children are outgoing or are confident going to school. You really do see a different side to the children's school 'persona' on home visits. I find them very useful to help me get to know the 'whole' child - which is surely a good thing?

ristretto Tue 05-Jul-11 19:33:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lara2 Tue 05-Jul-11 19:35:38

Often parents will tell me things that they feel is important but were uncomfortable speaking about it at school. Many of our parents find just coming into a school intimidating (often because they had bad experiences themselves, have learning difficulties, have personal problems - lots of reasons) even though we are a very open and welcoming school that works very hard to engage parents on all levels. The home visit is meeting parents on their terms, their turf and they're in control. The children adore us visiting and we take something from us that they keep - Treasure Chests from a book charity with fab things inside. Our Year 6's often remember their own home visits when they talk about their memories at leavers assembly.

morechocolate Tue 05-Jul-11 19:36:10

In my opinion a visit has to influence the teachers perception of the family and their expectations of the child. I have certainly seen evidence of this with HV.

My son was referred to SALT at his 2 year check despite not being very bad and has received ongoing therapy since then. The expectation was that his speech should be much better based on a visit to our million pound house filled with books.

My cleaners daughter who is just a few weeks older but an August birthday so starts school a year before has far worse speech and was not referred but lives in a council flat without books.

I did not ask for help or raise the speech as a concern it was their perception.

We all make these judgements whether we admit to it or not.

LeoTheLateBloomer Tue 05-Jul-11 19:40:08

As a teacher I've been on home visits. As far as I was concerned I wasn't checking up on anyone but I found it really useful to see the children in their own homes. I certainly didn't do any judging.

One of the benefits was that I was able to talk about certain things to children who were feeling uneasy once they'd got to school, such as pets or favourite toys that I'd seen on the visits.

I also think that many parents find it less intimidating to talk to teachers at home. There are lots of questions that people like to ask and some of them felt that they might be silly questions that they wouldn't have asked in front of other parents.

morechocolate Tue 05-Jul-11 20:04:01

Leo - I agree that you would feel like you knew the child far better and that the parents can ask their questions but everyone makes judgements.
It is great if you still have the same expectations for everyone to achieve unlike my HV but we cannot help but make judgements on everything and homes and parenting in particular.

I am not suggesting the visits are done to check up I believe the intention is as you state but the result is that mental judgements are made and you would have to report any major concerns regarding neglect, abuse or child protection.

LeoTheLateBloomer Tue 05-Jul-11 20:09:19

You probably have a point morechocolate. I suppose I just didn't go to any homes that raised any concerns so there was nothing to be judgy about.

I can imagine it happening though.

Mischif Tue 05-Jul-11 20:14:40

I just felt it was really unnecessary and judgemental. in our case the teacher from the other class (because our teacher was off sick) came round. my dd had no idea who she was and why she had come, and hid behind the sofa. I really don't know why it was necessary. Especially as her teacher only spoke to her twice in the first six weeks of reception. Why don't they spend time getting to know the DC instead of judging their parents?

hugeleyoutnumbered Tue 05-Jul-11 20:14:56

referred but lives in a council flat?

and mumsnetters pride themselves on being non judgemental

I grew up in a very nice council flat, and have managed just nicely thankyou, I can even read and write

ebbandflow Tue 05-Jul-11 20:18:01

I was uneasy about the purpose of it when the reception teacher visited. I can't see any benefits to the children myself, it is not as if it makes it easier for them to settle into school. I'm sure the teacher can't help making judgements, we all do.

My DD's teacher only stayed for 5 mins. The funny thing was that another mother was really upset when the teacher didn't visit her and her child.

Elibean Tue 05-Jul-11 20:28:25

I don't agree - dd1 was very nervous about going into Reception, she knew no one at the school at all, and the homevisit helped enormously. At that age, the adults in charge are more important than peers for many children - so meeting the teachers in their own environment makes them far 'safer' when re-met at school.

dd2 is at the pre-school attached to her primary, and knows Reception like the back of her hand - she doesn't get a home visit (she had one for the pre-school, which she also loved and found comforting) and is quite cross about it: the idea of teachers 'coming for tea at my house' and being shown 'my room/toys/fish' etc was extremely attractive!

Elibean Tue 05-Jul-11 20:29:11

Well said, hugely - shock

morechocolate Tue 05-Jul-11 20:29:32

Hugelyoutnumbered - I am very confused my intention was not to insult anyone living in a council flat. My cleaner is great and her flat lovely. What I was trying to say is that her child may be missing her potential by more than my child and even if not she was more in need of help as she was starting school a year earlier but the help was offered to my child not hers.

This was the perception of the HV based on her home visits and not my perception. I am the one saying that it is very wrong to judge people on their home and for this reason am anti home visits by school.

Does that make sense or do you think I am saying that I think HV should have prioritised my son over someone in a council flat?

morechocolate Tue 05-Jul-11 20:35:03

Think I cant be explaining correctly.

Surely you would not want a professional to have lower expectations for your child based on the type of house they live in. I really thought others would agree that a HV should not expect someone to start school unable to be speak clearly because she perceived that they came from a less wealthy background. I think it is outrageous.

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