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June 2021 / Education / by Liz Skone James

St Anthony’s School for Boys: Starting Out

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Leaving nursery behind and entering school is a big step in a child’s education – something Rebecca Addison, St. Anthony’s new Head of Reception, and her team know only too well.

When boys join St. Anthony’s in Hampstead at age 4, the school do their very best to ensure that the transition from nursery is as seamless as possible. They believe that the boys should be settled, confident and ready to learn from day one. Getting to know them and their families is a crucial part of this pivotal process.

The transition begins by visiting the children in their nurseries to observe them operating in a setting in which they are familiar and where they feel safe. Meanwhile, parents complete a detailed questionnaire about their child, which provides the school with the information needed to ensure the best possible transition. Perhaps the most important stage in the process is the St Anthony’s Reception Tea Party, though, which happens in the Summer Term, offering an excellent opportunity for the boys to meet their new classmates and teachers, as well as giving them a chance to explore their new environment with their parents.

The induction period, at the beginning of the first term at St. Anthony’s, is carefully planned to ensure that all of the boys remain happy and confident in their new school. By starting with short sessions in groups of no more than 10 boys, the Reception team are able to spend quality time getting to know each child individually, establishing routines and expectations, and generally ensuring a smooth settling in process for the new pupils.

To ensure that parents feel as welcomed and reassured as possible, a curriculum information evening is held at the beginning of the school year. This is an excellent opportunity to communicate useful information, as well as answering any questions or queries. Parents are also encouraged to spend time in the classroom and St. Anthony’s ‘open door policy’ ensures that there is always an excellent line of communication between home and school. Alongside this, the stay and play sessions held each term are an excellent way for the children to show their parents the classroom and for them to spend time together in their school environment. On top of this, a weekly newsletter gives insight into the children’s learning and provides parents with any upcoming important information.

Pastoral care at St. Anthony’s is at the forefront of school life. Ensuring that the transition from nursery to Reception is a positive experience results in happy and engaged students who are able to learn in an enabling environment that meets their needs and interests. For admissions enquiries, call 020 7431 1066 (stanthonysprep.org.uk)