New year group first letter!(12 Posts)
I'm a teacher and I'm writing my welcome letter for this year to the parents. I wondered, out of interest, what sort of things you would like to know as your child moves from infants to juniors? I include the usual homework info/days, reading etc but also wanted to know from your perspective, anything else you would like to know about the new year etc? I'd like to include some different information this year because I've noticed over the past few years that this transition from infants to juniors can be quite tricky and I want to get the year off to an even better start.
We don't get letters from teachers at the start of school years at out school, but this is the kind of thing I would expect perhaps:
Any differing expectations, e.g.
- no parents inside
- I won't check parent is there before letting them go at end of day
- rules about snacks
- rules about toys from home
As well as what homework days, make sure you include how long they are meant to spend on it, and what level of parental assistance is expected/permitted (and whether you would like parents to indicate how much they have helped)
Structure of day if different from infants
How best to contact you if parents wish to speak to you
We send a letter out to parents each half term setting out
-what we will be covering in each subject during the half term
-which days are PE days and whether it will be indoor or outdoor
-the mental maths focus for the term ( so times tables/number bnds/addition to 100 etc)
-the days homework will be sent out, what it will consist of and when it is expected in
-the spelling pattern for each week
-housekeeping ( ie where lunches will be left, what to do with book bags
-school trips planned for the term and approx cost ( although a specific letter for each trip will be sent out laterin the term)
-any changes in routine/staffing
-expectations ( in terms of behaviour/how to contact me) etc
In addition, this term we also send out year group objectives for english and maths, a reminder of required PEkit/school uniform expectations and anything else I can think of!
I think information about the beginning and end of the day is v useful.
Also, if you could give even vague dates when things will be needed - 4th week we'll talk about families so will ask for photos, 6th week dressing up for CIN etc so people have loads of time to sort out costumes, let you know about any issues and so on.
Spanieleyes: We do that too, but we also send out a welcome style letter at the start of the year as well! Thank you for your comments though there are a few which I could definitely add!
TeenandTween: That's brilliant thank you!
CMOTDibbler: Thank you that's a really good point. I will include those too!
Would it be worth including details of the new Year 3 National Curriculum? From your posts I assume you are a Year 3 teacher and that the children coming into your class will have been taught and assessed using the old National Curriculum.
There has been a lot of press to suggest the new Curriculum is more demanding and that there are a lot of changes (I have a DD going into Year 4 and I know this to be the case from a parent's POV). DD's teacher sent home the end of Year expectations for English, Mathematics and Science and I know a lot of parents found helpful.
Are you in a primary or a separate junior? I used to teach y3 in a junior school, and the step in independence between y2 in the infant school and us was, apparently, huge. I can imagine it's a bit less marked in a primary, but worth pointing out that there will be less spoonfeeding if needs be...
In our school yr3 is first time they need own pencil case. If that is case at yours would be useful to know what they actually need in it.
Put how best to contact you, as well as what they should expect from you in terms of when you will get back to them (realistically!), eg 'So as to give the students my full attention, emails are not checked during the school day. Any emails will be responded to within 2 working days. For any urgent matters, please contact the school office who can pass a message to me.' I sets out the expectations early on, and can avoid some of the people who are so used to instant responses to emails if they know that they will not receive an instant response, and not during the school day.
Bit late now, but maybe for next year... I used to get some of my Year 3s to take the Year 2s on tours of the new parts of the school in the summer term. We also made some big leaflets, detailing the key changes, then delivered them to the Year 2s.
As for changes, I think being more personally responsible is a big one for Year 3 but I'm not sure how you'd word that in a newsletter! Maybe reference PE days and necessary equipment, with a side note about how the TAs won't be the ones sorting this out and the kids will have to do it themselves. Again, worded nicely.
Will the children be in a new playground? Are there any special arrangements for those who become overwhelmed by being with the big children? You could mention the policy on snacks, now they won't be getting the free fruit. And afternoon play, if that's gone too.
Wouldn't all the stuff from the first reply, have been done at the 'transition day' and parents meeting in the Summer Term ?
Anything they need to bring, such as pencil cases, (and anything they should/shouldn't have in their pencil case).
However it's too late now for this information, things will have been bought during the summer holidays, they can't be bought during term time as life is too busy to trail around shops to choose pencils and sharpeners and try on trainers and extra PE kit. You should be giving all this info as they leave year 2.
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