Starting School at Raglan – A Guide for New Parents

Hello and welcome to Raglan Primary School! One of the biggest steps your child will take is starting school. Although most children will have attended a playgroup or a nursery and will have been away from you for a few hours a day it is still quite a change for them, and of course you, when the great day arrives!

The information on this page is a general guide to help your child prepare for school.

Please see the powerpoint here shown at the recent meeting about starting Reception.

About our Early Years Team

We are all dedicated to providing a happy, supportive and stimulating environment where your child can experience a broad and balanced education. Raglan is a very friendly environment and we are always willing to chat to you about your child.

Preparing for School

Here are some practical ideas to help your child prepare for school.

Speaking and Listening

Talking together helps children to develop confidence and build up their vocabulary. Encourage your child to talk as they play with their toys, about the pictures in a book or what they can see as you are out shopping or in the park. Sing songs and nursery rhymes together. It is important that your child is also able to listen at school. In a world of television and computer games children quickly learn to “switch off” to noises around them. A good game to play is where you sit quietly for a few minutes and see what you can hear, e.g. a clock ticking, birds singing. This will help your child acquire a valuable skill.


Sharing books and reading together is a valuable learning resource which children enjoy. Children begin to realise that the pictures and words carry meaning. Point to the words as you read and let your child turn the pages.

In the first few weeks, of school we hold a Reading at Raglan meeting to explain how we teach children to read.


Before learning to write children need to develop their fine motor control. Cutting with scissors, rolling and pinching play dough, finger painting, tracing, colouring and drawing will help with this. Children’s free drawings should be encouraged and highly praised.
Let your child decide which hand they prefer to use and show them how to hold a pencil correctly.
When writing their name we teach the small (lower case) letters first with a capital letter for the initial letter of their name.


Many of the everyday things you do involve early mathematics:


  • as you walk up the stairs,
  • cars you pass on the street
  • how many toys in the bed


  • The shopping (milk in the fridge, fruit in the fruit bowl)
  • Socks into matching pairs


  • Clothes as you put them on
  • When you make a glass of squash


  • Colour, size, shape of toys

Playing simple board games, doing jigsaw puzzles and playing with construction toys such as Lego can encourage the use of mathematical language.

Dressing and Undressing

From Foundation Stage all children at Raglan wear our school uniform, have a school bookbag and a full PE kit (details available in the school prospectus). Children should learn to dress and undress themselves. Velcro fastenings on shoes can be helpful and short sleeves shirts avoid the need for rolling up sleeves when doing creative activities or playing in the water. We will obviously help children who are struggling with stiff buttons or tricky tights but the more independent the children become the longer time can be spent doing the practical activities.

In the Summer the children will need hats and sun cream. Please apply sun cream to your child before school. If it is really sunny they can bring it to school but they must be able to apply it themselves as staff cannot help the children with this.

Personal Hygiene

We expect children to be independent in their use of the toilet and in washing their hands afterwards and enforce good standards of health and hygiene in school. However, if your child is prone to “wetting” themselves or occasionally has an accident, it may be useful to provide spare underwear.

We provide aprons for artwork and encourage children to keep relatively clean! Most things wash out fairly easily. (White PVA glue is best soaked in cold water before being machine-washed). We encourage children having school dinners to eat with a knife and fork so please reinforce this at home.

Routine of the School Day

We have a ‘soft start’ in the morning. This means that children can enter the school 10 minutes before the official start time. Children must be at school each morning by 8.50am for KS1 children and 8.55am for the KS2. Electronic registration takes place in the morning and afternoon. A member of staff is on duty from 8.40am. Children are the responsibility of parents and carers before school and should not be in the playground unsupervised before this time. There are two bicycle sheds to store the vehicles during the school day. These are left at owners’ risk. Children are encouraged to cycle or ride their scooters but must dismount and walk once they are in the playground. Children must attend school for 190 days and staff for 195 days. As a result, there will be closures for training purposes made up staff training days and also twilight sessions afterschool and calendars of term dates available on the school website. The school week consists of 23 hours 5 minutes lesson time; this does not include registration, collective worship or playtimes. Each child will need to bring in their book bag every day and it will be sent home every night.

The school day is as follows:

KS1 – 8.40-8.50am  – 3.20pm

KS2 – 8.45-8.55am –  3.25pm

This amounts to 32 hours 30 minutes in a typical week.

First School Morning

On your child’s first day of school they will be feeling very excited and maybe a little anxious, as will you! The children will start school at the same time, 8.55am, however children can arrive from 8.45 for a soft start. If your child is upset please be assured that a member of staff will support them and bring them in to school.

The children will be picked up from the playground; the children’s class teacher will dismiss the children one by one from the blue reception area gates. It is really helpful if, when your child is at the front of the line, you wave to us and then we will let your child go. Please be patient with us as we want to ensure we are sending the children home safely.

If you need to speak to us about a specific query then the end of the school day is usually best for us. Otherwise send a note in with your child or email the school office and this will be passed onto the teacher. We look forward to meeting you and your child and making their start to school an enjoyable and fulfilling one.