Starting School


Thank you for your interest in or for choosing St Peter’s School. We love welcoming new families to our school and helping them settle in.

We recognise the value of a positive and happy start to school life in helping all our children and families to Love Learn Shine. From initial enquires through to the first day, term and year we work closely with families to help them prepare for and settle into life in our school.

We are pleased to provide the information below that is designed to support families with children starting in Reception in September 2022 and also families who may have children joining other year groups at that time or during a school year. Whenever you and your children join St Peter’s we wish you a very warm welcome.

Joining the St Peter’s Family 

Many children start their school lives when they begin school in Wrens or Kingfishers. Some children also join us part way through primary school. All are equally welcome and we work closely to ensure effective bespoke transition whenever it takes place.

Our Early Years Team

Class Teachers Mrs Renton, Mrs Starkey and Miss Collins ably lead our fantastic Early Years Team. They are all experienced and dedicated teachers.  Children in Early Years are also supported by a number of teaching assistants including Mrs Armstrong and Mrs Aldridge. Their combined years of experience are surpassed only by their enthusiasm for Early Years.

Mrs Renton – EYFS/Year 1 Teacher, Wrens

Miss Ratcliffe – EYFS/Year 1 Teacher, Kingfishers

Mrs Armstrong – EYFS/Year 1 Teaching Assistant

Miss Aldridge – EYFS/Year 1 Teaching Assistant

New Starters – September 2022 Transition Information

We are proud of our transition arrangements that support children well to make an excellent start in September. The summary below gives an overview of our approach. If needed we can personalise further to ensure children have the best possible start.

Week Commencing What to expect
Monday 18th April Monday 17 April 2023  National Offer Day. Parents receive email/letter from their Local Authority stating the school place they have been offered.

Tuesday 17 April 2023 Letters sent to all children allocated a place at St Peter’s. Headteacher available for phone contact with any family requesting this.

At their leisure families can visit our updated school website with its dedicated Starting School page.

During April & May Personalised School Tours with the headteacher. Any family wishing to visit school again or for the first time (if families were unable to visit in the autumn) can do so during these weeks. Visits can be booked via the School office. Please email or call 01423 569684. Tours are individual to each family.
During April and May One of the St Peter’s team will visit the nursery setting of each child to meet with them and their key worker.
Monday 24 April A “Welcome to Early Years Pack” will be sent out to you via email.  This will provide additional information about the EYFS unit and important information such as Collection Forms, School Dinners and Uniform expectations.
 May TBC An invitation to our Parent Information Evening will be sent by email.
May TBC May TBC Information Evening. An opportunity

to meet the St Peter’s and Fun Club teams and other parents whose children will be starting in EYFS in September.

 May TBC A “New Starters Application Pack” will be sent out via email and all online forms will need to be completed and returned by the end of the summer term.

May TBC – Individual in person parent meeting with Mrs Renton in person or via video call. Video calls can take place on other days this week if parents are not available on Friday 20th.

 June TBC Sessions throughout the Week. Morning sessions 10.30-12.00, afternoon sessions 1.00-2.30. Transition visits to Early Years in small groups of 8.

Families will be able to select a session when they attend the parent information session on Wednesday 11th May. Families unable to attend this session can contact school to select their preferred session.

July TBC TBC  A second transition visit for all new EY starters either (10.00-12.00) or (1.00- 3.00).

Families will be able to select a session when they attend the parent information session on Wednesday 11th May. Families unable to attend this session can contact school to select their preferred session

Monday 17 July 2023 A letter before the end of the summer term informing families of class name and class teacher for their child.
August Reminder keeping in touch update letters and access to website information.
Week Beginning 4 September 2023 Monday 4 September 2023 – School INSET training Day. School closed to children. Personalised visits for any children with additional need.

Wednesday 5 September 2023– School opens. All reception children start

What does Early Years provision Look Like?

Children in their first year at school follow the same Early Years Curriculum as they have done at nursery. This familiarity with learning through play and following their interests plays a key role in supporting effective transition. The classroom and outdoor learning set up is likely to be very familiar to them from their nursery experiences.

In Early Years, we have an ever-changing curriculum that is tailored to the children’s interest and needs. As parents, you are your child’s ‘first teacher’ and remain an important and integral part of the education process. Therefore, your input and support are vital to ensure your child can successfully achieve their highest potential.

New Starters Top Tips

  1. Help your child to develop the skills they need to be independent, such as getting used to playing with other children, dressing themselves and looking after their things.
  2. Get storybooks from the library about starting school and read them to your child. In the week before they start school, get your child used to the times they will need to get up in the mornings and go to bed.
  3. Decide who is taking your child to school on their first day so they can know as soon as possible what will happen on the morning.
  4. Share your memories of your first day or funny and light stories about your time at school so they start to get a light-hearted sense of what to expect.
  5. Plan a treat for the end of the school day; it’s likely they will be tired so a simple trip to the local park or their favourite dinner would be more than enough.

Emotional support

  1. Talk positively to your child about starting school, as well as listening to and acknowledging any feelings or fears they may have.
  2. Help your child to build their confidence. For example, make sure they know that it is ok to ask to go to the toilet at school.
  3. If you are feeling worried, make sure you have someone to talk to so that your children don’t pick up on any negative feelings – and remind yourself that it is perfectly normal to have a bit of the jitters yourself.
  4. Encourage them to be thoughtful about other children’s feelings and remember to take turns and share.
  5. If you sense your child will feel clingy and not want to leave you in fear they will miss out, let them know what you have planned for the day – the duller the better!

Talk to Us

  1. Find out from our team how reception children are introduced to the school and what happens on the first day. We will go through this in our parent meeting. Talk this through with your child so that they know what to expect.
  2. Tell us about your child, e.g. any special needs, medical problems, likes or dislikes.
  3. If you feel annoyed by anything we are doing or have done try to keep calm and talk to us. We will work with you to address any concerns or issues. We are human, we don’t get it right all the time but we always do our very best to correct any issues and address any concerns.
  4. Try to attend any meetings before and after your child starts at the school. If you can’t attend, please get in touch.

Practical Bits

  1. Know where you are bringing your child on the first day – your visits will help you check this out.
  2. Label everything please, all clothing including coats, socks, pants and shoes, gloves hats. If it is named we should always be able to find it and return it.
  3. Make sure coats have a hook so they can be easily hung up. Help your child to be able to do this by themselves.
  4. Just ask – if there is anything you are not sure of please just ask one of our team. We will be more than happy to help.
  5. Please read carefully all information sent.


New Starters – Getting Ready

Reading and sharing books is an essential part of curriculum approach. As well as the many known academic benefits from reading widely, books are an invaluable way to help children prepare for new experiences and effectively manage their emotions during periods of change. Below are some recommendations of books that you can share with your child to help them prepare for starting school. Many of these are available in local libraries. We also have limited copies which we can lend if needed.


  1. Starting School
    If you only buy one book on this list, make it this one. It tells the story of not only the first day at school, but the whole first term. It explains so many aspects of school (including the less good bits, like feeling tired or the teacher being unhappy if people are naughty) in easy to understand, children’s language. My children ask to read this night after night. A must buy book about starting school.
  2. Starting School Sticker Book
    A fun way to familiarise young children with all the things they will need to know and be able to do when they start school. Following a typical day at school, children will enjoy using the stickers to help the characters in the book get dressed, pack bags, hang up coats, change for PE, and participate in art class, lunchtime, playtime, story time and home time. With over 100 stickers, this is sure to keep little children occupied for hours.
  3. Lucy and Tom at School
    We haven’t actually seen this book as it’s not out yet, but if previous Shirley Hughes books are anything to go by, this will be perfect for introducing little ones to the school experience, including beautiful illustrations.
  4. Harry and the Dinosaurs Go to School
    Oh we do love Harry and his bucket of dinosaurs! This book is true to form, with the naughty dinosaurs accompanying Harry on his very first day at school. A fun way to introduce children to school from this much loved series of books.
  5. Starting School – Amy and the Feelings Basket
    This book may be a little long for some four year olds, but it does present feelings in a new way, that may help some children to understand them better ready for starting school. If you have a child who is happy to sit and enjoy longer, more involved books, this may be a good choice.
  6. Topsy and Tim: Start School
    A simple story about the basic facts of what happens at school. A good first ‘going to school’ book or for fans of the legendary twins.
  7. Bip, Bop, and Boo Get Ready for School
    A lift the flaps picture book, suitable to children to ‘read’ to themselves. Colourful and bright, with something to discover on every page.
  8. Kissing Hand
    A very different book about starting school, this is brilliant for children feeling anxious about leaving their parent or carer. Chester Raccoon seeks love and reassurance from his mother as he ventures out into the world to attend his very first day of school. She teaches him that her love for him is always with him.
  9. The Starting School Survival Guide: Everything you need to know when your child starts primary school
    One for the parents, this book helps you to navigate the school system. It covers helping with homework, key stage exams and understanding the national curriculum. Along with school etiquette, dealing with gossip, how many holidays can you take and what to do with your child during the summer.
  10. Come to School too, Blue Kangaroo!
    Telling the story of Lily’s first day at school through her relationship with her Blue Kangaroo, this is a great book for little ones who many be a little bit nervous and particularly for those who have a special toy that they can relate this book too.
  11. Starting School (First Experiences with Biff, Chip & Kipper)
    Biff, Chip & Kipper books are used in 80% of primary schools, so this book is a super way to introduce your child to the characters. A simple book, with a good introduction to the school routines.
  12. Starting School (Wipe Clean Learning)
    A wipe clean activity book for children to use (pen included). It introduces school concepts whilst giving little ones a chance to practise some of the skills they will use at school.


New Starters – Further Help

There are more useful ideas and tips available via the links below.

BBC Bitesize has a host of top tips, clips and games to help both children and parents prepare for starting school –


The School Run – lots of tips for parents from parents – many elements are free and there is also a subscription element (although this is not necessary) –

Joining During a Year

For families joining part way through a school year or at the start of a school year in Key Stage One or Key Stage Two we can plan with families a bespoke transition package of visits and contact to help prepare and settle children into life in our schools. Please contact the school office for further information