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Information for new parents

Welcome to Highwood

Starting school in Reception - September 2024

A warm welcome to Highwood Primary School. We are delighted that your child will be joining our school in September. 

Starting school is a happy and exciting time for your family. We know that you will have lots of questions to ask us and hope the information here will begin to answer at least some of those questions.

What transition do you provide for new starters? 

We provide a transition programme to help children get to know the staff and their new setting. This includes: a visit to your child’s current setting; stay and play sessions with a parent; a welcome meeting for parents and other transition visits to the school. Within the next few weeks, you will receive a letter from us with further information regarding dates for these visits.

What time does school start and finish? 

8:45am – 3:15pm

Parents can access the school site when gates open at 8:35am in the morning and 3:00pm in the afternoon. Please bring the children into the gates of the Foundation stage playground where you can drop your child at the door. School staff will help them to find their pegs and put their things away. You can collect from here at the end of the day.

If somebody else is collecting your child, please notify us providing their name and contact details.

What uniform and resources will my child need? 

Our school uniform consists of the following and can be ordered here:

Green school jumper or cardigan embroidered with the school logo*

White shirt, polo shirt or blouse

Grey or black school skirt, dress or trousers (leggings are permitted under skirts / dresses and are not a substitute for trousers; no fashion trousers or jeans, please)

Black shoes (no trainers or heels)

Optional Green and white checked dresses for summer

Black or grey smart shorts for summer

PE kit consists of;

Green Highwood T-shirt *

Plain black shorts


Plain Black/Navy tracksuit for colder weather

Highwood PE Bag *

A book bag for taking things home in*

A named water bottle

All items must be named.

No items of jewellery should be worn in school with the exception of small stud earrings and watches. These must be removed for PE.

No make up or nail varnish should be worn in school.

No extreme hairstyles should be worn and long hair must be tied up for PE. Hair accessories are to be minimal. i.e. no large hair bows.  Any accessories should be in school colours of green, black or white.

Hijabs are to be in school colours of green, black or white.

Long hair to be tied back during the school day.

No other resources needed.

What happens at lunch time? 

Children can choose to bring a packed lunch into school (no items containing nuts as we are a nut free school). Alternatively, they are entitled to a free meal and desert until the end of year 2. Vegetarian options are provided. Please inform us of any allergies or food intolerances.

Children in reception are also provided with milk and a piece of fruit at no cost.

How should I prepare my child for school? 

Attendance at the transition sessions will really help them to get to know the setting.

Walk the route to school.

Help them to try on their uniform.

Make contact with parents who will have children in the same year group.

Help them to become as independent as possible when using the toilet and encourage them to eat without support.

We will provide you with a checklist to help guide you towards school readiness.

When will I know who my child’s teacher is? 

The children will be put into classes on the transition morning in July. We will provide them with a transition booklet which identifies their class teacher. There are also photos of other adults in the setting and some of their classroom.

What will the first few weeks be like for my child? 

We understand how daunting it can be for children during their first few weeks. The adults will spend lots of time playing alongside the children getting to know them and building relationships. Transitions in the morning can sometimes be tricky for children, but we will care for them if they are upset. A quick goodbye can often help the child to settle, but if needed, we can discuss further strategies to support them.

When will my child start learning? 

The children learn through play, which is the most valuable approach at this age. We slowly start to introduce some adult led sessions. We start Phonics in week 2, Maths in week 3 and Topic in week 4.  The timetable is designed to include plenty of time for independent activities and those led by an adult.

How will I know what my child does in school? 

We use an app called Seesaw which enables school adults to take a photograph or video of the child engaged in learning. We will provide you with a log in to access this app. We also encourage parents to upload their own wow moments from home.

What homework are children expected to do? 

Our priority is supporting the children’s ability to read. We send home reading books and request that children read the books at least three times a week. We will also send home a phonics sheet each day, which children are welcome to use to practise the daily sound.

Please take some time to explore our website where you can find useful information and policies such as safeguarding and behaviour.

Please see a link to a free course about starting school. 

Click here