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Moving soon? Here’s a handy new school checklist

Housekeeping – checklist

Check the term dates

They may differ from your current school. Schools vary with inset days and some now have 2 week breaks for half terms which impacts on the longer holidays. Best to be ahead of the game if you have already booked a holiday. School will be much more understanding if they are given notice.

What are the uniform requirements?

This is probably the first one we check, but still important to list it! Ask about minor things that could save you money and time. Is the school logo essential or can you get away with plain sweatshirts in school colours and just one for trips, performances etc. Is there a rule for boys wearing shorts?

What is required for PE?

Sometimes a basic kit is enough, but other times a school t shirt with logo is needed, you don’t want to end up buying too much!

Is there wrap around care?

Typically this is run by an outside provider so find out the contact details and get on the waiting list if you are going to need this service.

Ask for a timetable

Note PE days, clubs, food technology lessons (you may have to provide ingredients), planned trips and PTA events… try to get organised ahead of time!

If going into upper Key Stage 2 (KS2) when children are between 7 and 11

Find out if a residential trip is planned. Most schools will try to accommodate last minute but it is easily forgotten. Not fun to discover everyone is heading off on an adventure holiday they forgot to tell you about!

Ask about formal, national tests that the year group will be sitting.

This is particularly key when moving counties. Some schools mhold a secondary transfer test during the summer term of Year 5, some enter children into the 11 plus exam while some areas no longer have Grammar schools but selection tests can be entered into. If this is something you are considering find out as early as possible so you can make informed decisions.

Moving between secondary schools?

All of the above applies with regard to testing arrangements, trips and so on. If it’s a larger school, ask for a map so that you can familiarise with the layout beforehand. You should be given a new starters pack . Ask to be given whatever a new Year 7 child would have.

Learning – checklist

Arrange a brief parent / teacher meeting with the current teacher

  • Find out about any concerns, friendships or learning.
  • Find out about current strengths, areas they may want to develop upon moving
  • Ask to have contact details passed on to special friends
  • Before leaving school ask for copies of any reports and assessments
  • Can you take books? If these are given out at the end of the year and you won’t be there, get them early
  • If your posting is short notice, also check classroom displays. Is there anything your child was particularly proud of that they want to take down? Display items are frequently forgotten until the end of term. By then it’s too late!
  • Ask if and when school records are to be sent through. Usually the leaving school has to wait until a child is on roll at the new school before they can be taken off roll. A unique reference number has to exchange hands and this can inevitably cause delays. Anything we as parents can do can only help!

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For more information please visit www.littletroopers.net

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