For New Reception Pupils
In the autumn term, parents and children are invited to attend an open session in school which is organised by our parent governors. All are welcome to wander around school, spending the morning getting a feel for school life. Time for a chat with other 'new' parents over a cup of coffee (and juice for the children) and a piece of cake, helps put everyone at ease and is the start to the all important networking process.
During the summer term, prior to starting school in September, pupils are invited to spend up to four sessions in school learning what life will be like for them in Holly Class. Current Reception pupils help to look after them and show them where everything is.
There is a whole-school induction afternoon, which includes 'new' pupils, near the end of term, whereby all children join up with the class and teachers they will be with in September.
Over the summer holiday, the children are asked to put together a special booklet, which helps to introduce them to the Year 1's and teachers when they start in September; this includes, for example, photographs, drawings and important dates, like when their birthday is!
Parents of new starters are invited to attend a series of Induction meetings which give an insight in to the learning and teaching here at Waltham:
- Welcome Meeting - this is where you will meet staff and find out what your child can expect when they join us for their Induction visits. The Reception teacher and Pre-school leader have worked together to create a 'School Readiness' booklet which will be discussed at this meeting as well.
- Induction Meeting - at this meeting, parents are given a Welcome Booklet which answers many of the questions about daily routines as well as things needed in preparation for starting school, like a school book-bag, uniform, school meals, etc.
- Reading and Writing Workshop/s - held in the autumn term, when the staff give an overview of how reading and writing are taught in Holly and how the parent-school partnership is critical to the success of their child's development. Illustrations of how we work with children on their reading, for example Guided Reading, and use of the Reading Record Book, are integral to this, as well as finding out about the reasons why we teach cursive handwriting right from the start.
- Numeracy Workshop - held in the autumn term, this gives parents the opportunity to find out how we approach the teaching of mathematics in Holly and builds in time to have a play with some of the equipment their child will be using to help them learn.
Parents and children are invited to attend many of our summer events, eg. Maypole event, sports day, summer show, which we hope helps them to feel welcome and part of our school community.
Pupils are given the opportunity to stay for a school dinner (see the school meals web site for sample menus) or bring in a packed lunch during the second week, in order to help them settle in to the lunchtime routines; the class teachers stay with them during this time to help them feel more at ease. Parents are invited to come along and preview the school meals and ask any questions about the choices and systems in place.
We welcome all suggestions from our 'new' parents to help further improve this very successful induction programme and encourage you to share them with the class teacher or myself at any time. Our priority is that all of our children are happy at school and if there is anything more we could be doing to improve this, we welcome your views so that your child is the happiest they can be.
Applying for a Place at Waltham School
The Local Authority is the admitting authority for all County schools and our policy is based on their policy for admissions ; you may view this on our website. The school catchment area, maximum school size and conditions for admission are set up by Leicestershire Local Authority and DLAT in consultation with the Governors. Our current admission limit is 14, although we are able to take more pupils depending on current class sizes which is at the discretion of the Headteacher.
When your child reaches the age of 4, you will need to make a firm decision about which school you would like your child to attend. To attend Waltham, complete the on-line admissions form (external link) on the Leicester County Council website, ensuring you state that Waltham is your first choice of school.
Places are generally given to all children who live in the catchment area; out of catchment pupils are not necessarily guaranteed a place. To avoid disappointment, it is therefore advisable that you contact the school at the earliest possible opportunity so that procedures can be explained.
For first time admissions, the deadline usually falls in the first two weeks of January. County Hall notifies parents directly regarding the application and also informs school. We then send out information regarding induction visits.
Parents of prospective pupils of all ages are welcome to visit the school and meet the staff by making an appointment. There are also many events during the school year that are open to all members of the community and these provide ideal opportunities for you and your child to meet everyone at Waltham School and find out about some of the things we do here. Older pupils are also invited to spend some time familiarising themselves with our setting before starting full-time by prior arrangement with the Headteacher.
Transition Arrangements for Children Currently at our School
During the summer term, children who will move classes the following academic year will spend a couple of sessions with their new teacher and new class. This helps them to 'picture' what it will be like and elevate any worries about routines that they have.
As we are a small school, there are many opportunities for children to work with different teachers and other children of all ages, so there are very few concerns and the transition is a happy one.
Transition Arrangements for Children Leaving at the End of Year 6
Children who attend Waltham School are currently offered a place at Belvoir High School for their secondary education. There are a number of systems in place to help our pupils move on successfully:
Parents and pupils receive a school prospectus during the autumn and then visit during the school day for a tour of the school (September).
During the spring term, the Year 6 liaison teacher visits to talk to the Year 6 teacher/s and pupils.
A two-day induction takes place prior to the children starting in the autumn, enabling them to experience, for example, catching the school bus, meeting their tutor group, tasting the school meals and working in a new environment! Parents attend an evening session so their child can give them a guided tour.
Many sporting and choral events are held at Belvoir High School during your child's time at Waltham, so they become very familiar with the setting and staff which helps to ease the transition.
Some parents prefer to send their child to a different educational setting, eg. local grammar schools or school's in Melton Mowbray. We always work with each school to support the transition process which includes visits from the secondary staff t meet the children, induction visits for the children to attend during the school day, sending reports and relevant information needed.
We encourage all parents to come and discuss their preferred choice of school for their child so that we can begin to support them all through the process.
In addition to our own Pre-school, our school feeds in from other local Pre-schools and nurseries and in the summer term these are visited by the class teacher. These visits are very important as it enables staff to:
- Talk to Pre-school staff about the activities the children enjoy doing at their Pre-school.
- Find out how independent and confident the children are.
- Speak to the Pre-school staff about any concerns they might have about the children so we can be ready to support them when they start school.
- Observe the children in a familiar setting.