Crabtree Infants' and Junior School

Crabtree Infants' and Junior School

Making A Difference

Transition into Reception at Crabtree

Transition from preschool/Nursery

The process of transition from Nursery/Pre-school to Reception is extremely important. We want to ensure the move is as stress free as possible for all, especially for the children. We aim to visit all feeder Nursery schools where we observe the children, introduce ourselves to them, and have a chance to discuss the individual needs of the children with their key worker. We learn about their friendships and ability to socialise, their attainment and readiness for school so that we can be ready to support any needs they have. We also use the parent information booklets to learn further about each child.

Towards the end of the summer term, children are invited to visit the setting with their parents to explore the Reception area and see Reception in action with the current children. In the summer term we also have a parent welcome meeting, followed by a visit for all the new children on transition day (July). The summer is a long time in a young child’s world so we send home videos of the teaching staff and photographs of the areas in Reception so that Crabtree becomes a familiar place.

At the start of the autumn term, parents are asked to accompany their child for an hours visit on the first day of term. This allows the child to feel more comfortable at school; it reminds them of the activities available and hopefully makes starting school easier.

In September, the children build up the days over one week, staying initially until lunchtime and then after lunch (1.30) and finally until 3.15.

If a child has any additional needs or requires extra support with transition, we will have further discussions and meetings with parents and the child will have more settling opportunities. The SENDCo will also be involved in transition along with any external agencies involved in supporting your child.

In the first term, our focus is very much on ‘social and emotional wellbeing’, and ‘communication, and language’. We start with the topic ‘Marvellous Me’.


What to expect:

At Crabtree, we want to ensure the children feel nurtured and happy. If children are happy and settled, they will learn. The timetable in Reception changes as the children become more independent and able to focus for longer periods. We try to make the routine simple so that it becomes familiar quickly. An hour in the morning and ¾ hour of the afternoon is time spent in continuous provision (we call this ChIL- child initiated learning). The children are encouraged to develop creativity, critical thinking and investigation skills during this time. During ChIL, the children lead their own learning and the adults in the setting help to further this learning, by playing with them, moving their learning on and developing vocabulary within their play. The children can independently access resources in all the areas of the classroom and outdoor area.  During this time, the children also have the chance to consolidate adult directed learning previously taught.


ChIL planning:


Each week we will add enhancements to areas and explain our reasoning (intent) for these enhancements and how they are matched to the curriculum. 

We will also explain the reason for activity. 

  1. Theme (what you are talking about at the moment e.g. autumn, space, celebrations)
  2. Children’s Interests (anything the children are interested in)
  3. Exploring something new  - Skill (a skill you want the children to experience or learn e.g. printing, joining, cutting)
  4. Practising something we have previously learnt - Basic Skills (Area of Learning, Subject including Literacy and Numeracy to develop fluency and automaticity)
  5. Direct/Explicit Challenge (a challenge linked to learning you would like the children to attempt)



Sometimes a challenge will be the reason for the chosen activity.  At other times there may be a different intent (1-4) for the activities but we may still add an additional challenge to the area for the children.  This will be called a ‘Dive Deeper’ question.  Adults facilitating in the area might use the challenge question with the children or the children may read them and respond to them independently. 



We consider what vocabulary we add to all areas. 

This will mostly be tier 1 and 2 vocabulary and in some cases Tier 3.

Tier 1 - Tier one consists of the most basic words.

Tier 2 – Tier two consists of ambitious words that the children could still use

Tier 3 – Tier three words are context specific words – technical vocabulary linked to a subject.

Adults facilitating in the area will use the vocabulary with the children and introduce them to the tier 2 words.  Children may also read and use them independently. 


The timetable:

Once settled the children will come in to Finger strong activities, these are fine motor activities such as scissor skills, writing their name, playdough and threading.


Each day we teach Phonics to the whole class. We have instant ‘keep up’ sessions for those children identified during the lesson who may not have grasped the new phoneme taught. We also have daily keep up for the lowest 20% in the class.


The children have a  guided reading session three times a week. The book they read is matched to their secure phonic knowledge. We follow the phonics scheme ‘Little Wandle which the Collins Big Cat reading books are linked to. We manage our reading sessions by taking groups while the children are completing independent activities which are rotated over the week so that every child completes each activity.


Maths is taught daily, 5 sessions a week. We follow NCETM. We ensure that all children develop firm mathematical foundations in a way that is engaging, and appropriate for their age.


We cover Understanding of the World (including Woodland Learning) and Expressive Art and Design in the afternoons.


Each term we enhance the curriculum with trips, workshops, visitors and special days.