School home visit – what’s it all about?

Badgeres class

A gift from last year’s Badgers given to the girls on our home visit

After our first introduction day at school last week was spent at home whilst we had our home visit, apparently it’s a government decision and although it was lovely to meet the teachers; Mts T (for Teacher) and Miss A (for Assistant) I still feel the time needed to cover a class of home visits could be used differently. I suppose in the ‘old days’ all of the information given out would have been done with an assembly.

My visit kicked off over an hour early which caught me out as I was using my time to get work done on Mari’s World and planned to spend the half hour prior to their arrival, putting away my huge pile of ironing, brushing the girls hair and asking them to help me tidy up all the toys strewn over the floor. I wanted to spend five minutes with the girls reminding them to be on their best behaviour, explaining what I expected of them during this visit and basically laying down the law – my law.

So that went out of the window and the ladies found me unprepared and more to the point, I hadn’t been able to speak to the girls…

Mrs T sat down with me and we went through various letters from the school, all very interesting. In the meantime Miss A spoke with the girls.

  • I have the opportunity to eat a school lunch with them one day but sadly I can’t as I’m at an event that day
  • I have the opportunity to join in three workshops, one on Phonics, one on Reading and the last on maths. Luckily I can make two out of three.
  • I’m invited to a coffee morning to find out more about the school PTA

Mrs T also explained the children will be taught cursive writing from the word go, she left me with two laminated cards with the various letters on them more or less in the order they will be learnt to help with practise at home. We talked about reading, they will be bringing a book home to read so there is no need for me to invest in the Oxford set or any others I may have been contemplating.

cursive alphabet

I was handed the Home School Agreement to sign which is a ‘contract’ saying what you can expect from the school with regards to looking after your children and what we must promise as our side of the bargain

  • Ensure my child attends regularly and on time
  • Encourage them to do their best
  • Inform the school if anything happens at home that might affect them at school
  • Help my child with homework activities
  • Work with the school to support my child if any concerns arise with their learning or behaviour
  • and a couple of others but you get the picture
school information leaflets

There is an attendance leaflet, I was disappointed to see that any day off sick, which let’s face it is bound to happen at some point will mean they won’t get their 100% attendance. Paul and I have already decided to not take them out of school for any holidays, that’s why we have invested in a caravan to make the most of school holidays ;)

Interestingly there is a leaflet on guidance using cameras and videos with some brilliant points made. I am currently making a video using a Panasonic HD camcorder of their journey into Big School so very helpful information.

school leaflets useful info

For some reason the girls went a little mad on me; running up and down the lounge and playing cushion fights, totally unexpected. Where I was trying to listen to Mrs T the situation was getting a bit out of order. I asked them to stop on a few occasions but they weren’t listening and I didn’t want to shout at them as I normally would, so quite frustrating.

Do the teachers want to see me shout at them to stop? Use a naughty step? Are they watching my parenting skills? If so I’m not sure I gave the right impression.

The girls were left with a green paper cutout leaf each, we are to write something on each leaf which each child wants to get better at.The leaves will be placed on a tree in the classroom and will be a point of discussion over the next few weeks and they were given a lovely welcome gift from last year’s badgers, see top photo ;)

In my humble opinion I think the government can do away with home visits and just crack on with settling the children into schooling on a regular basis

Practising holding a pencil exercises

Killing time and waiting for our first day at school

5 Comments

  1. caro_mad
    September 17, 2012 / 2:43 PM

    Teachers might not be the most popular visitors to your house, but I really think it is important that they do home visits to get to know how the children live, how and where they are brought up and how much support they can expect from parents. There are so many households that don’t support their children in their education or children who are brought up in horrific conditions and none of the teachers would ever know, if they wouldn’t come to the children’s home. I find it really, really important as it not only gives teachers the chance to get to know you and you family a bit better, but also because you get the chance to ask questions and get to know the people who will teach your children on a more personal level.

    I could go on and on and on, but I think you know what I mean. Very interesting post :)

    • September 17, 2012 / 2:48 PM

      Thanks so much for your comment and I do see exactly where you are coming from. It doesn’t help that each school can decide what to do and as of the past week my Facebook timeline is filled with little ones up and down the country starting school.

      This past week has dragged and the girls were bored with me just wanting for them to start school.

      I do see your point and of course I did have one on one time with Mrs T who was brilliant. I asked questions and discovered lots about their schooling. I’m as excited as them to start this new journey.
      I’m probably too impatient and just want to get started :)

  2. September 17, 2012 / 3:41 PM

    home visits started a while back only my youngest had a home visit, i really don’t see the point, it could all be done at school anyway,it might be a way to see the child in his/her home a more relaxed surroundings

    • September 17, 2012 / 9:53 PM

      It’s a tricky one, debate seems to suggest that mothers like them, I suppose it takes getting used to and maybe method needs to be looked at ;)

  3. MsXpat
    September 18, 2012 / 9:54 AM

    Thanks for shedding some light on this Marianne! I’ve heard about this from acquaintances with school aged kids but as they had not had their visit yet, they didn’t have much to say on the matter. Sounds a bit intrusive to me, I totally agree with your take on the matter.

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