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Primary Induction - does this sound OTT?

(34 Posts)
GiraffesEatStingingNettles Tue 13-May-14 20:07:38

I received a letter today detailing the induction process for my DS at the Primary where his sister already attends.

DD's induction was pretty painless, as she attended the attached nursery and it was all (bar one hour long meeting for the parents) dealt with by the nursery during her normal nursery hours.

For various reasons DS is at a seperate nursery, so the process is a bit different. We have a parents' induction evening at 6pm on Monday 9th June (unspecified length), five induction sessions for the children - every Thursday 1:30-2:30 beginiing 12th June and running until 10th July, and then an induction morning on Monday 14th July 9:15-10:30.

Am I being a bit crappy to think this is a lot? I know I should be grateful that they take it seriously and want to put in the time to settle the children, but I am really going to struggle with it. I work, and DS is at nursery on the Thursdays. Because the sessions are in the middle of the day, it is going to be alomst impossible to get him there without writing off a day's pay and losing a day at nursery, even though they are only for an hour.

I want the best for him, and I don't want to be in the situation where he is the only one who hasn't had this introduction to the class, but I have to be realistic - surely anyone who works is going to find this hard?

What are other people's experiences? Is this a typical approach by schools, or is it a bit OTT?

I think I may be able to get him to the last two of the Thursday sessions, and will definitey try and get a babysitter so that I can make the evening session. I will also approach the school and see if there is any flexibility in the programme at all.

Any thoughts very welcome smile

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 13-May-14 20:13:32

That would not have been possible for us

Children new to my ds's school ( he attended nursery) were invited to one New Parents Evening (as we're we) wherever were given info in uniform, which class they would be in, lunch arrangements etc

Then they were invited to spend the day(or was it afternoon) in their new class on 'Moving Up Day'. Parents invited in for a chat/meet the teacher session at the end of the day.

Because ds was in nursery there he got to go to story time with the recepti

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 13-May-14 20:14:51

Story time once a week on a a friday afternoon plus they went into lunch in the main school One day a week during the summer term

Then straight into full time in September (optional half days for the first week)

Smartiepants79 Tue 13-May-14 20:21:47

It is a lot.
We have story time once a week that children can come to if they choose and then 1 afternoon in school with their teacher and no parents.
Not sure what DD will get for her induction at her new school yet.
Just do your bets to get him to as much as possible.
I doubt there will flexibility in when they can go. They'll either have to go at the same time as all the others or not at all.
They can't insist he goes but he will be missing out a bit.

GiraffesEatStingingNettles Tue 13-May-14 20:25:00

see, that is more what I expected - one or two sessions (either a morning or an afternoon) plus the parents' induction thing.

They do also say that on the Thursdays we can come early and have lunch at the school (£2 for DS, plus £3 for me as I would have to come with him to supervise as staff ratios won't cover extras).

I think what they have done this year is combine the storytime on a Thursday with the (attached) nursery children being brought through for the hour, and anyone not at the school nursery is sort of expected to turn up and join them. Fine if your DC is at the nursery - not so easy if they are at a nursery 4 miles down the road and you are at work confused

It is only an 'invitation', but the sort of invitation that makes you look bad if you don't RSVP positively, IYSWIM.

GiraffesEatStingingNettles Tue 13-May-14 20:27:28

Smartie - it is the missing out that I worry about. It is so important to feel a part of things at that age.

Schools seem to disadvantage working parents (and their children) more than is necessary - despite most of the staff having children themselves. sad

redskyatnight Tue 13-May-14 20:37:09

Maybe they are trying to include the children not at the attached nursery more?

I also had one child going to school from attached nursery and one not - it always seemed to me deeply unfair that the attached nursery child got so much more settling in and the other child was expected to just get on with it.

I can see how it is a nightmare for working parents though. Remember you don't have to go to all the sessions if it's a big problem!

pyrrah Tue 13-May-14 20:39:30

Blimey... that's a heck of a lot and very unfair on children of working parents. I wonder what teachers in the school think they would be able to manage with their own child if they were given a similar schedule.

We had a 30 minute meeting with the class teacher and while I was talking to her, DD spent 20 minutes in the current Reception class.

She started on the first day of term with no problems. Three weeks later she started at a new primary (waiting list place came up) and I had to drop her at Breakfast Club and pick her up from After-school club - no problems whatsoever.

Fortunately neither school had any of the half-days for x number of weeks nonsense (I would have exercised my DD's right to full days from the start if they had) so she integrated very fast at both schools.

I would do what you are able to do and not worry too much.

Galena Tue 13-May-14 20:39:57

This is pretty similar to the induction at DDs school except the parent meeting was in the afternoon (on the first day of their OFSTED!). There were some (like DD) who were able to attend all the sessions, and others who got to one or two. I wouldn't worry too much if you can't get to all.

DefiniteMaybe Tue 13-May-14 20:42:21

It seems excessive to me. Dd will go to the attached nursery at her primary school full time in September. She will have only just turned 3. They have one parents evening and a stay and play type session in July then they will start settling in September with the intention of being full time the week before half term.

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 13-May-14 20:44:55

we had 2x1hr sessions in July, then started in september on half days for a week and a half then they could go full time (advised) or part time until half term.

the second of the 1hr sessions the parents had a meeting about it all. at the first one it was just a PTA coffee session for the parents.

YoHoHoandabottleofWine Tue 13-May-14 20:45:17

We've had an invite to 4 separate sessions, I was surprised. Had been saving up extra holiday for the half days I expect in first few weeks, but essentially 4 half days I will have to take now.

hixchix Tue 13-May-14 20:52:16

Before september DD will have been 9 times, i work nights but i dont find this excessive. The transition period is so important to get right imo, but each to their own smile

PatriciaHolm Tue 13-May-14 21:04:23

That does seem like an awful lot. Ours get 2 induction sessions, one a bit longer than the other, and that seems to work fine. There will always be some that don't attend because parents work and can't get them there, and they will all settle come Sept and I don't think a couple of visits several months before this makes a huge difference really!

in fact our reception parents for the last few years have said that the picnic (organised by PTA) in the first week of Sept just before they start was better at integrating them with their new peers.

GiraffesEatStingingNettles Tue 13-May-14 21:07:17

Hixchix - wow. 9 seems loads. I suppose a lot depends on the school and the cohort, particularly the size of each. The transition is important, I agree. I wish I was in a position to just sign up to all that was offered and not feel like I am shortchanging DS by cutting out some of the opportunities.

On the plus side, his sister is only two years above, and he already knows a fair few of her friends siblings, who will start when he does. He is also pretty easygoing and friendly.

GiraffesEatStingingNettles Tue 13-May-14 21:08:16

Patricia - Picnic sounds lovely smile

hixchix Tue 13-May-14 21:22:21

Our first meet was today, i was so nervous but it was brilliant! I got my second choice of school but Im so pleased! Good luck everyone!grin

PolterGoose Tue 13-May-14 21:39:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mummy1973 Tue 13-May-14 21:47:29

You don't have to go. Just tell the school the ones you can make. Doubt they will see it as a big deal.

GiraffesEatStingingNettles Tue 13-May-14 21:51:12

PolterGoose - I don't think so, but I will double check. I think most of them will be staying on - it is attached to a private prep school which is lovely, though ££££s. Most of the other families are in a rather higher income bracket than us. We have been masquerading as prep school material by making use of the nursery provision the government provide. Seeing how the other half live wink

Come September we are very much back in our place grin

ICantFindAFreeNickName Tue 13-May-14 21:55:46

I'm sure the school will not mind, as long as you tell them which sessions he will be able to attend. I think the first one might be a good one to attend.
It might be worth asking nursery if they can help with transporting your child to some of the sessions. Or could you share the sessions with parents of your DD's friends who have siblings starting.

PolterGoose Tue 13-May-14 22:03:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AmberTheCat Tue 13-May-14 22:08:44

Our school does (or at least did when my two started) four afternoon sessions. They were very much presented as 'come to as many as you like', though, so some kids did all of them, others just some, others none at all.

I think if you're able to get your DS there for one or two of them, that would be fine.

littleducks Tue 13-May-14 22:21:47

Does your ds not drop off/pick up Dd? I would have thought between that and your DD telling him everything about school he would know more about school than most new starters.

Dd started reception late so didn't do induction and was fine. When Ds started he did the induction which was one one session in the classroom with the class and no parents (*we were in the hall) and one meeting with the teacher and TA alone. But he had all the inside info from Dd and had made friends in the playground with other younger siblings.

tiggytape Tue 13-May-14 22:30:38

A parents' meeting late afternoon or early evening in the summer is pretty much the norm everywhere. An induction morning is also pretty usual.

The other sessions are probably because children at the attached nursery have lots of time to settle but others at different nurseries may feel left out. Probably for every parent who says that 5 sessions is too much, there are other parents with children at other nurseries saying it isn't enough and their child won't feel as much a part of the class as the others will.

As you are able to manage 1 or 2 of them though and you know the school already, I should think the school will be fine with this.

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