how many children?
Nursery - 26 children can be admitted into each nursery either for a morning or afternoon session. We offer 30 hour places for those that are eligible and we offer ‘top up sessions’ that parents may wish to purchase for their child to stay for the entire school day.
Reception - There are spaces for 120 children in across our Reception classes and even though this sounds like a large number, all our classes have space for 30 children in each with a teacher and a learning support assistant, similar to all other schools.
will my child be with other children s/he knows?
Reception - We take a long time to group the children into classes, to make sure each class is balanced. We also gain information from all our pre-school providers if your child was not part of our nursery. Don’t worry if your child doesn’t know anyone else or is the only child from their nursery joining us. Just let us know and we will make sure that we support them in quickly making new friends in the class.
how will i know what my child is learning?
We know that often children do not share their experiences with you when they get home. This is often because they are quite tired or just want to leave school at school. We run termly ‘meet the teacher’ sessions and update our website with the curriculum overviews. Information about how we teach different skills, such as phonics and handwriting is shared both at meetings and on our website. We use ‘Tapestry’ which is an online portal where observations and evidence of your child’s learning can be accessed by parents. We also send home a ‘learning Journey’ book at the end of the year for parents to keep.
We hold termly Parents’ evenings which is an opportunity for you to talk in more detail about your child’s learning and progress as well as setting next steps together. At the end of the year, you will receive a written report from your child’s class teacher, sharing their progress and achievements throughout the year.
I work full time and won't be dropping off or picking up my child. how do i communicate with school?
The partnership between home and school is really important to us as we know that if we get this right, and work together, your child will flourish. You can call in to the school office if you have a query or email us and we will signpost it to the class teacher. You will see your child’s class teacher at end of each day if you need to pass on a quick piece of information about a change to pick up routine etc. For a longer chat, we would ask that you call in to the office so a meeting or phone call can be arranged with the teacher, around their teaching commitments.
We also celebrate ‘Proud Clouds’ where parents can share with the teacher any achievements outside of school.
my child has special educational needs. what support will they get?
We have a Special Needs co-ordinator and support team in school, who plan provision for all children with additional needs. If you are concerned about any medical or learning needs your child may have, we would suggest that you make contact with Jonny Franks, our SEND Co, to talk through their needs and she will be able to talk you through what support we can offer. We have trained Learning Mentors, ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) Speech and Language support and also run nurture group for children with social and emotional needs.
my child is a summer born child. i'm not sure they are ready for school.
Reception - We are really experienced in supporting the whole range of reception age children, from those who are born in September to those who just turn 4 in August. The EYFS curriculum is from 0-5 years and we work closely with you, and previous nurseries to ensure we cater for all of our children, whatever their level of development.
how do you manage and support behaviour?
Our behaviour policy is based on the theories within the book ‘When the Adult’s Change’. This focuses on positive relationships, setting high expectations and rewarding behaviours that we really want to see the children demonstrating. Each classroom has a ‘recognition board’ where we celebrate children’s attitudes and behaviours. We do not ignore negative behaviours, but these are talked about in a separate space and the child is always given the opportunity to turn things around and make the right choice next time!
how does transition work?
We meet with each family ahead of your child starting so you can talk to the teacher about your child as an individual, their likes, dislikes, worries and special skills. This is an opportunity for you to visit the class and meet the teachers ahead of the start of school so your child is familiar with the environment and settles quickly. We have a very brief ‘staggered start’ at the beginning of September which enables your child to be in the class in a smaller group initially and allow the teacher to get to know them too, and aim to get the children starting school as swiftly as possible. For some children, they may experience a longer transition period and that is based on individual need and through discussion with the school.
do the children have access to outside space?
Nursery – Each Nursery has access to a large safe space for them access learning. Our talented team ensure that the areas are exciting, well-resourced and reflect the indoor learning inside. The children also have access to trikes and bikes and mud-kitchens!
Reception – Our Reception children share a well-resourced outdoor learning area with their parallel class, as well as having access to the larger fields and playgrounds. The children also have an opportunity to mix with the children in Years 1 and 2 at lunchtimes. The outdoor learning environment reflects the learning indoors and children have access to these areas all day. The learning activities are set up to support them in developing a range of skills including their speaking and listening skills, physical, social and collaborative development.
how does lunchtime work?
All children from Reception to Year 2 are entitled to a hot school meal. They are provided by Twelve 15. The reception children all eat together in the hall. Their Learning Support Assistant is with them throughout and can let you know if there is anything they don’t like. We would always suggest that you give the hot school meals a try, as we often find that children eat things at school that they won’t at home, just because they are with their friends. Please be reassured that we would always contact you if your child isn’t eating much of their lunch and there is always the option to send them with a packed lunch.
my child has a food allergy or requires a special diet. Do you cater for them?
We would ask that you let us know before admission and we will contact Twelve 15, our lunchtime meal provider, who will plan a menu for your child based on the information you give them. This information is then shared with the class teacher and teaching assistant who ensure that they get the correct meal each day.
what about enrichment activities and after school clubs?
We know that children learn best when they are immersed in their learning and are ‘hands on’ with their learning. We try to link trips out, local and further afield, to current learning, and aim to have at least one ‘enrichment’ activity each term. When we are able, we love to have visitors and recently had some reptiles in school for the children to touch! We have lots of opportunities for after school activities although we haven’t been able to run many of our clubs recently, due to the COVID restrictions, we are hoping to restart them again as soon as possible.
do you have breakfast and after school club?
Nursery – At our France Hill Drive site our Nursery children can attend after school club provided by Casa Club our Wrap-Around Care provider, this runs until 6:00pm each day. A breakfast club will also operate from the Summer term 2022.
There is not currently a provision for Nursery children at our James Road site.
Reception - For our James Road children Casa Club provide a breakfast club from 7:30am in the morning until school starts at our Junior site. We run a ‘walking bus' system from our Junior site to the James Road site and children are then taken to class. At our France Hill Drive site a breakfast club will operate from the Summer term 2022.
Casa Club also provide an after school club at our France Hill drive site which finishes at 6:00pm each day, and our James Road children can attend after-school club at our Junior site which is again facilitated by a walking bus from our James Road site. All the details for Casa Club are on our website. Just follow the link for more information.
my child isn't toilet trained yet. will they be supported with this?
We usually have one or two children who are not developmentally ready or have a medical need that means they are not toilet trained when they start school. We would always suggest that you speak with a nurse or Health Visitor to advise you between now and starting school and we can continue the support with a Health Care Plan that we will write with you to ensure your child gets the right help and support.
what phonics system do you use?
We use a combination of Letters and Sounds and Read Write Inc. We have developed our own programme based on these two systems which is more flexible to the needs of our children. We teach ‘pure’ sounds and ensure that they are taught in the same way and the same order across the school. Daily phonics sessions link in with our reading, writing and letter formation/handwriting programme so the children become familiar with each sound and how to use them effectively.
we are out of catchment. are we likely to get a place?
We have a large catchment but take children from out of catchment most years.
If you want any further advice and information, please telephone the school on 01276 63870.