By Peter Barnett
It is the gentle touch that matters so much as four and five year olds are gradually eased into life at Chilton Primary School in Ramsgate.
Although the usual routine of home visits by staff to make first contact with boys and girls and their families has been suspended this year, every care has been taken to ensure that the large leap to ‘big school’ is made with confidence-boosting and nurturing tiny steps.
After a welcoming teddy bears’ picnic in the school grounds in early September, the new Reception class pupils accompanied by a parent were invited to a special one-to-one ‘getting to know you’ meeting with their teacher.
Next in the transition process pupils took part in half-day sessions with the focus firmly on settling into school life, building friendships and being introduced to the Chilton Way values.
Then all the boys and girls in Reception attended together in the mornings and stayed for school lunch for the first time, finally starting a full day’s schooling on Thursday, September 24.
Their educational adventure at Chilton is now firmly underway and Assistant Head of School Hannah Cheshire, who is also Head of Early Years, said: “They have found their feet, they have explored the school and made friends, and learnt about how we do things at Chilton. We are very proud of how they have embraced their new world.
“Through creative activities and gentle learning the children enjoy a structured learning curve in the first term with lots of support from the Early Years team to ensure everyone is settling in – this is a vital part of a child’s school life and we take great care to get it right.”
Short phonic and maths learning is introduced as well as activities to develop motor skills, together with play activities and storytime, as they prepare for a broader curriculum next term.
Head of School Kate Law said: “These are very little children and they have an awful lot of new information to process about the school and the people they will meet every day.
“We can see their confidence building day by day and they are well on the way to a fulfilling and enjoyable educational journey at Chilton.”
The school is already preparing for the potential Reception class of September 2021, with school tours being held in the coming months. For full details, times and to make a booking, contact 01843 597695, or go online to the school’s website www.chiltonprimary.co.uk