When your child first starts school, it’s an exciting time and we will do all we can at Thistly Meadow to make the transition to school easy and enjoyable for your child. This page aims to provide prospective parents with useful information about Thistly Meadow. If you have any questions that we have been unable to answer here, please do contact the school office by telephone or email.
You can meet our reception team and learn more about our school in our video here.
Your child is able to start school in the autumn term following their 4th birthday. When your child joins Thistly Meadow they will start in our reception class with either Mrs Poyton or Miss Fawdington. Our teachers are supported by Mrs Watts and Miss Webster, early years practitioners and Mrs Jeffs and Miss Callaghan, learning support assistants. This highly skilled and experienced team have been working together and welcoming children into Thistly Meadow for over 10 years.
Our Prospectus provides comprehensive information about our school day, who's who in school, our curriculum, routines and practicalities including dinner money, uniform, trips etc.
The Early Years curriculum
We believe that our early years curriculum is a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving.
At Thistly Meadow we have a child-centred approach and supporting children’s emotional well-being and development, placing the children at the centre of our practice. Our children spend a large amount of time with us, therefore it important that our children feel cared for and accepted during their time here. Our curriculum takes account of children’s interests, and builds on these. At Thistly Meadow we:
- Are sensitive to the needs of children, holding them in mind, listening to them, wanting the best for them
- Offer an environment within which they can thrive
- Are a happy place for children and adults which contributes to the children’s well-being
- Are committed to positively impacting on children’s lives and keeping them at the heart of everything we do
We know that children learn through doing and having adults who understand the child. Our curriculum is focussed on what we know, feel and understand – the importance of head, heart and hands:
Head: We focus on the child and thinking about them - seeing the world through their eyes
Heart: As adults, considering things from a child’s perspective – feeling what it is like for them as children
Hands: Doing and saying things that let the child know that we are trying to understand
At Thistly Meadow, we want children to feel loved and cared for, to be empowered and equipped to learn and understand the world around them.
Our early years’ practitioners journey alongside the children in their learning but are also aware that we are preparing them for the next stage of their learning and the opportunities that lie beyond the EYFS curriculum – helping them to become independent learners.
Have a look at our Parents Guide here Parents Guide to EYFS TH
Our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum
In 2021 a reformed Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage (EYFS) came into force, including changes to the end of stage assessment, and a new Reception baseline assessment (RBA) has been introduced.
The curriculum in the EYFS is different from the National Curriculum. It has areas of learning, rather than subject areas – areas which encompass a wide range of skills, knowledge, attitudes and attributes. The EYFS curriculum is further developed into Key Stage 1 with opportunities to practice skills learned in our Reception classes within National Curriculum subjects for example, our Year 1 teachers build on the independence and self-regulation that are encouraged in EYFS as well as building on the phonics work taught in early years.
The National Curriculum clarifies what a curriculum should look like in each key stage in English schools; it is a subject-based curriculum. The curriculum in our EYFS is very different. As well as learning what we might recognise as literacy and maths, the curriculum also plans for children’s wider care and development. Different subjects do not happen during separate subject lessons throughout the day - all areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.
There are also prime areas within the EYFS which focus on the children’s physical development, their personal, social and emotional development, and communication and language.
We want you to know that your child is important to us and we design all of our activities to develop each child’s confidence, resilience, uniqueness and self-esteem. We believe that all children are unique and special and therefore learn in different ways. We have designed an active curriculum, learning through play and responding to each child’s individual interests and learning needs.
For more detail of our curriculum please click on the links below:
Is your child school ready?
You may have heard pre-school and nursery staff talk about being 'school ready' especially when the time gets closer to your child starting school. Early Years professionals agree that this should mean children:
- have strong social skills
- can cope emotionally with being separated from their parents
- are relatively independent in their own personal care
- have a curiosity about the world and a desire to learn.
Have a look at Ready for School? and talk to your child about going to 'big school'.
Once we know your child is joining Thistly Meadow, we will write to you and let you know of our timetable for getting to know the school and us getting to know your child. This is usually:
- June - parents' meeting introducing the school and a visit to the class with your child for one session.
- July - children will spend half a day in school.
- August - the reception team meet you and your child in school.
- September - Your child starts school, half days for the first week and then full time.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
Please click Letter from SENDCo to read a letter from our SENDCo Mrs Wilson to new parents.
Getting involved in school
There are lots of ways you get involved with school life and being part of a school community can be really beneficial for you and your child. We have an active PTA - the Thistly Meadow School Association, and all parents automatically become members when their child joins us. Helping at PTA events and fundraising is very rewarding and can make a real difference - the PTA helped the school to replace our play equipment in 2018.
How to apply for a place
All applications for admission to our school are made to Leicestershire County Council.
To apply for a place, click here for the Leicestershire County Council school admissions page.
Click here for the Leicestershire County Council School Admissions policy for September 2023 and for the Guide to Primary Education in Leicestershire click here.
The closing date for applications for children starting school in September 2023 is 15th January 2023. Places are announced on 17th April 2023.
Guidance and tips for starting school
BBC Bitesize - Starting Primary School
Oxford Owl - Getting ready to start school