20th April 2017

Dear parents/carers

I am writing to tell you how pleased we are that your child has been offered a place at Downs View Infant School for September.  I have no doubt that before we know it September will be upon us, and in preparation for this exciting time, we have arranged for you and your child to get to know us first. Our comprehensive ‘starting school’ programme is based on research that we have carried out over several years. Research clearly shows that the more opportunities a child has to visit their new school, the quicker they will settle in and the better they will flourish. For this reason we strongly encourage you to seize every opportunity we offer you to visit us. Details of our starting school programme are explained in this letter.

Welcome Evening for ALL Parents – Thursday 25th May – 6.00pm- 7.30pm

Come and meet the Downs View Community and:

  • find out about our aims and values
  • understand more about our induction programme
  • answer any of your questions
  • tell us more about your child
  • learn about our extended services
  • bring in all documentation enclosed and your child’s birth certificate and proof of your child’s address (child benefit statement is ideal).


NEW THIS YEAR: Puppies sessions are being replaced with

‘WATCH ME GROW!’ sessions which will be Adult and Child sessions:

You (or another carer) and your child can choose which day and time suits you and attend all four weekly sessions.  We are offering the following:

Tuesday 6th June, 13th June, 20th June and 27th June

9.00-11am or 1.00pm-2.55pm

Thursday 8th June, 15th June, 22nd June and 29th June  

9.00-11am or 1.00pm-2.55pm

 Download Watch Me Grow Information

By attending all four sessions you and your child will:

  • Get to know Downs View School and key adults.
  • Get to meet some of their peers/parent/carers before starting school
  • Play, be yourselves and most importantly have fun!


These sessions will be led by teachers from the Early Years team for next year and will be supported by teaching assistants from the same team.  Sarah Collins, Deputy Headteacher, Lisa Somerville, Inclusion Leader and myself will also be popping in regularly to meet your child and have a play!  There will be 20 spaces for each session, 10 for children and 10 for adults.


Please telephone or email office@downs-view.kent.sch.uk  to book your sessions.  

My Grown-up(s) and Me!  – Wednesday 5th July, 3.30pm – 5pm


(This is a drop-in session so feel free to come at any time between these times!)

We will offer:

  • A chance to visit classrooms/hall and meet key adults
  • Messy play
  • Face-painting
  • An opportunity to make a snack
  • Games
  • Fun!


Monday 3rd July or Friday 7th July 2.00pm-2.45pm – 15 children with a parent/carer

You and your child will visit his/her new class together.  You will have the opportunity to meet your child’s teacher and teaching assistant(s) and enjoy playing games and singing songs together.

Monday 10th July or Friday 14th July 2.00pm-2.45pm – 15 children with a parent/carer

You and your child will visit his/her new class together.  You will have the opportunity to meet your child’s teacher and teaching assistant(s) and enjoy playing games and singing songs together.

We will also give you details about your home visit and whether your child has been allocated a morning or afternoon session for their first week in school.

Home Visits – Wednesday 6th, Thursday 7th , Friday 8th September

Your child’s class teacher and teaching assistant would like to visit you and your child in your home. 

Our aims

  • To form the beginnings of a strong and positive relationship between teacher/teaching assistant and your child.
  • To get to know you and in particular your child on ‘home ground’.
  • To give you the opportunity to talk freely with the teachers and teaching assistants about your child and starting school.

The visit will last for approximately half an hour and we ask for to stick to the time we give you due to the large number of children we have to see. 

Starting school

Week 1 -Monday 11th September to Friday 15th September 8.50am-11.20am or 12.30pm-3.00pm

Your child will start school on Monday 12th September either in the morning or afternoon until Friday 16th September.   Our experience is that initially children get very tired during their first few weeks of school, they have so much to learn, new routines, friends and surroundings. They will be with half of their class within their session, giving your child and his/her class teacher and teaching assistant time to get to know each other.

Week 2

Monday 18th September to Thursday 21st September 8.40am – 1.20pm – staying for lunch.

As lunch time provides a new routine for children we have included this as part of the induction process for your child.  This will give opportunities for your child to meet the lunchtime staff team, eat lunch with their teachers and teaching assistants and learn the routine in a calm way.  

 Friday 22nd September – 8.40am – 3.00pm first full day.

As you may be aware all Infant children are entitled to a hot school meal free of charge.  If you would prefer to supply your child with a packed lunch you may do so.  

Week 3 – 8.40 am-3.00pm- full days

We have listened to feedback from last year and altered our transition arrangements again to ease your child into school gently and gradually, whilst also understanding that many parents work and that many children have attended full days at nurseries.  We are sure that these new arrangements will enable the whole experience to be a positive one for you and your child.

If you are likely to change your address before the home visit would you please let the school office know as soon as possible.

There will also be lots more information available for you to pick up during our welcome evening on Thursday 25th May. If you have any questions or issues you would like to discuss before this, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

 I look forward to meeting you very soon.

Yours sincerely,


Tracy Kent



Transition to School

Preparing your child to begin school is crucial and therefore we offer a range of opportunities to make this transition as exciting and as smooth as possible. Please click on the link below which outlines our transtion programme:

Transition into School Programme

Parent, Baby and Toddler Group in Puppies Room 

We hold a parent, baby and toddler group every Monday during term time. It starts at 1.30 pm and finishes at 3pm and costs just £1 per session! This could be another opportunity for you as a family to meet other parents and children before your child starts school. Our Toddler group leader is Sam Ansell. She is very creative and always provides plenty of opportunities for messy play! This allows your child to get messy and have fun, leaving us to do the clearing up! Whether you already have a child at the school or not, you are very welcome to attend our baby and toddler group. There is no need to book, just turn up. You can get in touch with Sam or find out more about the group by phoning the school 01233 632339.