Our school day

Arrival Teachers are always available on the playground in the morning if you have any questions, comments or special requests before your little one goes into school. Your child will be given a special Home/school Diary in their first week which teachers use to send notes and comments home, and which you can use to send in your own notes and questions. We ask that you provide your child with a book bag for reading books, letters and work to be sent home, and a labelled bottle of drinking water. If your child will be having a packed lunch a trolley will be available in the playground for lunch bags.

Circle time Our day starts with circle time in the playground at 9am. Harlequin gather together in a circle to say good morning and lead off into the classroom. We’ve found that circle time helps children to focus on their friends and teacher, easing the transition from playground to classroom, and makes children more relaxed and comfortable separating from their parent or carer in preparation for the day. All children are different and if your child needs extra time and support then you are welcome to accompany them into the classroom until they are ready to make the transition on their own. Once children are settled into the school routine we then ask that parents encourage their children to come into school by themselves in the morning, to encourage their independence and confidence. Our goal is for your child to be happy, confident and settled.

Stay and play After an initial settling in period, parents and carers are invited to spend time in the classroom on Thursday mornings from 8.45-9.15. These Stay and play sessions give you the opportunity to familiarise yourself with your child's school environment, see some of the work on display in the classroom, and enjoy a range of fun activities together.

Registration In the classroom children learn to place their water bottle on the drinks tray, put their Home/school diary into the diary box, and place their bags into the bag box, before joining Mrs Barclay on the rug for Registration. Every morning 2 children are chosen to be 'The Floppy' and 'The Carpet Star' and awarded a medallion each to wear proudly into assembly. Floppy is an important character from the Oxford Reading Tree series of books, which are a component of our Early Years and Key Stage 1 curriculum.

Assembly Every morning the children gather in the hall for collective worship. On Friday we hold a special awards assembly at which the Harlequin Class star is announced, along with stars from other classes, and School star, Lunchtime star and Best work of the week are also awarded to children who have been nominated by staff. You will receive a text message in the morning letting you know if your child has been selected for an award, and our stars are announced each week on the school website. Each term Harlequin children present an assembly on their Creative curriculum topic for the term, and we invite parents and carers to join us. Look out for the dates of these class led assemblies in Diary dates.

Morning session Our day is organised into alternating sessions of self-chosen learning activities, and teacher-directed learning, and the morning session is carefully structured to provide a balance of:

  • Free play
  • Guided adult-led learning activities
  • Reflection time
  • Focussed phonics, literacy and math sessions

The relative duration of these sessions is tailored according to the age and aptitude of your child, with children grouped into bands: 30-50 months, 40-60 months, and Independent learners. Throughout the day the children are able to explore a range of toys, games and activities which are carefully tailored to support our core curriculum and creative curriculum topics. As they play and learn they are continuously assessed, to determine their current stage and next steps. Every fortnight you will receive a Class overview giving you a detailed insight into the activities and themes your child will experience over the coming weeks.

Snacks We aim to encourage independence, choice and responsibility, so rather than having a set snack time the children have access to healthy snacks and drinks throughout the day at the Snack table, where they can make their own selection. Snacks are provided free of charge for all Harlequin children.

Lunchtime Lunch is 12-1pm. Children will collect their lunch bags, or make their selection from the school dinner menu, before taking a seat at their allocated lunch table in the hall. All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are entitled to free school meals but if you do not wish your child to take advantage of free school meals on some or all days each week, we ask that you let us know each Monday which, if any, days your child will require a school meal. You can let us know your child's lunch arrangements by contacting Mrs Pick in the office or making a note in your child’s Home/school diary each Monday.

Afternoon session During the afternoon children will either continue with lessons and play, or take part in additional curricular activities, such as RE, PE, Cookery and French. On Monday and Friday afternoon children have PE, which takes place in the school hall, or outside on the playground or sports field. We ask that all children have a full PE kit in school at all times in case of additional activities or changes to the timetable. On Wednesday’s Year 1 children take part in French lessons along with Year 2 and 3 children from King Eider.

Hometime School finishes at 3.15pm and you will be able to collect your children from the Harlequin door onto the playground. You child's safety is very important to us, so we will only release them into the care of a recognised family member or carer. If you should need to nominate an alternative adult to collect your child please let the office know in advance. For information on after school care please click here.