In order for you to get to know the school, we hold a number of school tours from September to January, prior to the application closing date. You are welcome to ask any questions and visit more than once if required. Once offered a place and before a child starts with us, they will have the opportunity to visit their new class and teacher on a number of occasions during June and July, initially with parents but then independently. Every child is also assigned a year 6 Buddy, who they will meet during one of the transition meetings and enjoy a Teddy Bears’ picnic with. An evening meeting is held for parents where expectations will be outlined, and any concerns addressed. Class Teachers also visit every child’s nursery setting to receive valuable information and meet the child in a familiar setting.

During the first week of formal schooling, the timetable is shorter, with children leaving before lunch for a few days. The timetable is then extended to include lunchtimes. After about a week, children are expected to stay for a full day. During this first week, the Class Teacher and Teaching Assistant endeavour to make home visits, a valuable opportunity for discussions to take place and to get to know each child in very familiar surroundings. Throughout their first year, a child’s year 6 Buddy will be an important part of their time at Shipbourne School. Each Buddy will accompany their child in to class for the first few weeks, helping them to register and unpack. They will also stay close by during playtimes, sitting with them to help them with lunch and understanding all the new routines. These friendships are invaluable during the first months a child starts school and close relationships form quickly.

As each academic year passes, children are given the opportunity to work with their next class during transition afternoons. Parents are also invited to a meeting in September at which Class Teachers will outline the plans and expectations for the coming year, addressing any questions or concerns as appropriate.

When a child reaches year 5, opportunities for parents to discuss secondary choices with Class Teachers, and if necessary the Head of School, are given. During Year 6, a number of visits to local schools provide each child with an opportunity to prepare for their move. These include bespoke RSE sessions and workshops about staying safe. We also carry out visits by bus to the local town and develop skills of collaboration and independence through a residential stay and class drama performance. This timetable of events is constantly reviewed and adjusted as required for each cohort, with specific provision for those who need it the most