Children and young people's occupational therapy service
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Starting School

This is an exciting adventure for a parent/carer and their child, but it can feel daunting and can be hard to know if your child is truly ready for this next step. For most it will be the first really big change they have to face. As a parent it is important that you talk about starting school in positive terms, as something exciting and enjoyable, even if your school days weren't exactly the best of your life. PACEY - Being School Ready have a range of resources, videos and advice for parents. Also see the useful links for tips on how to get ready for starting school during "lockdown" from Schoolguide.co.uk.

There is further information at the end of this page about health services you can access before your child starts school, to ensure they are healthy, developing well and ready to learn.

Buckinghamshire Healthcare's Children and Young People's Service, including the School Readiness team, is able to help prepare your child to start school so that they (and you) can look forward to a healthy, happy school life right from the first day.

Please ensure you are familiar with your child's school's policy for Coronavirus management as the processes may vary in each school. All information and advice within these pages should be interpreted in accordance with HM Government Social Distancing Alert Level

The information in our "Encouraging" sections will hopefully give you some tips and advice from our highly skilled team.

Encouraging:    Independence     Positive Behaviours   

 Positive Communication          Emotional Well-being

School Readiness Team Support

Parents/Carers can access the School Readiness Checklist below, it may help to focus on where you can encourage your child's school readiness. Should you feel you require some further guidance from our School Readiness Team then you or the child's class teacher or other professional can refer your child directly to our School Readiness Team.

School Readiness Checklist 

This will help you focus on issues you may feel require further attention. 

Click to download checklist

 

 

Referrals can be made to the School Readiness Team

 Click to redirect to e-referral page

 

 

 

Is your child ready to start reception class in September?

Follow the check points on our colourful poster below to understand if your child is ready for reception class - click the image to view or download a copy.

 

 Bucks Adult Learning - Family Learning also offer a variety of online courses and resources for parents/carers of children starting School in September 2020. There are further links and downloads on this page.

Health Screening in School

Height and weight measurements

These are carried out as part of the National Childhood Measurement Programme (NCMP). Trained staff will weigh your child and measure their height while they're in their clothes at school. They'll make sure the measurements are done sensitively and in private, the equipment is cleaned throughout throughout the session. None of the details from the NCMP are shared with the school, but the combined data is shared with Buckinghamshire Council to help shape services for children in the future. Prior to the measurements you will receive more detailed information from your child's school's office, this can also be found in the downloads section of this page. Parents will be given at least 10 working days notice of the visit and can withdraw their child from the screening session, prior to the school visit and preferably before the day of the visit. There are instructions of how to do this in the information sheet in the download section, but will also be on the letter from the school. All the combined measurement details will help the School Nurse to develop a health profile for the school and offer support accordingly. 

Public Health England - Pre-measurement leaflet for parents: School height and weight measurements

NHS - National Child Measurement Programme

Vision Screening

A simple vision screening test is carried out in Reception Year. If the child is unable to complete the test then a report is sent back to parents suggesting the child is taken to a High Street Optician. Some children who are unable to see beyond a certain level will be referred to the Paediatric Ophthalmology Department where more specialist assessments can be done. Vision screening is important as it can detect visual problems which can be easily corrected in children under 7 years old.

Public Health England: vision screening parent leaflet

Hearing concerns

Children who are identified by parents or school as having a possible problem with hearing will be able to have a simple hearing test in school by the School Nursing Service. Where there could be a problem detected, then the child will be referred, with parent's consent, for further investigation and tests.

Health Care Before Starting School

Immunisations

It's important that vaccines are given on time for the best protection, but if you or your child missed a vaccine, contact your GP to catch up. Your child should be up-to-date with their childhood immunisations before starting school. If you are unsure about your child's immunisation history or what they are due contact your child's GP Surgery. **CORONAVIRUS UPDATE** Routine vaccinations for pre-school children are continuing as normal. It's important to go to your appointments unless you, your child or someone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus.

NHS - childhood vaccinations and when to have them

Dentist

NHS dental care for children is free. Take your child to the dentist when their first milk teeth appear. This is so they become familiar with the environment and get to know the dentist. The dentist can advise you on how to prevent decay and identify any oral health problems at an early stage. Just opening up the child's mouth for the dentist to take a look at is useful practise for the future. When you visit the dentist, be positive about it and make the trip fun. This will stop your child worrying about future visits. Take your child for regular dental check ups as advised by the dentist. 

NHS - Taking care of children's teeth

Eye Tests

Babies will have had their eyes examined at a few days and again at several weeks old. Your Health Visitor will ask if you have any concerns about your child's vision during routine developmental checks and will observe their play and interactions during all their contacts. If there are any concerns then advice can be sought from a GP or from a High Street Optician. However, if you do not, it would be better to wait until the child is over 3 years old for a full eye test. You should always see a high street optician if you have concerns about your child’s sight. They will carry out sight tests for children free of charge. 

NHS - Eye tests in children

 

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