Everything you need to know about our new school

Questions about uniform......

What is the uniform for the nursery class?

We have tried to keep the uniform in the nursery practical and simple.  If you would like to, your children can wear the full school uniform (purple polo, sweatshirt or cardigan with logo, dark grey skirt/trousers/pinafore/shorts) or they can simply wear the school purple T shirt with logo, school sweatshirt or cardigan with logo and their own home clothes for the bottom half.  They do not need a PE kit.

What are the other children in school expected to wear? (please also see the uniform section of the website)

We want our school to be easily identifiable by our striking school uniform and by the exemplary behaviour that our children will exhibit when wearing it.  Please keep to our school uniform guidelines. 

  • All cardigans and sweatshirts need to have the official school logo embroidered on them. (Available from our uniform suppliers)
  • Polo shirts can be plain purple or have the logo.  These can be purchased from our suppliers.  Alternatively some supermarkets are now stocking purple polo shirt packs.  These are a slightly different colour but are allowed. 
  • Socks and tights should be grey, white or purple.
  • Trousers,skirts, pinafore dresses and shorts should be dark grey please. 
  • Tracksuits are only needed for pupils in Year 1 upwards. Please stick to plain black joggers and a zip top.  These will be worn for outdoor PE when it is a bit colder and for other outdoor activities.
  • Waterproof jackets and trousers can be what ever colour you like.  These should stay in school inside the PE bag. 
  • You will be advised of your child's house colour shortly.
  • Please name EVERYTHING!!
  • Please purchase the PE bag from our supplier.  The cloakrooms are situated within the classrooms and have limited space.  
  • All children will need a purple book bag - with or without a logo.
  • When purchasing school shoes, please make sure that children can take them on and off themselves.  If you purchase school shoes or trainers with laces, please help your child to learn how to tie these themselves! Velcro fastenings are useful.  School shoes must be black. 

Questions about the curriculum....

What will the children be taught?  will it be fun?

  • The teaching staff are very busy planning an exciting, fun, engaging and inspiring curriculum for the children.  We will be starting with a whole school project when we open: Who is who? Everyone is new! The children will be finding out about each other, making sure that the staff find out all about them, exploring the school and its surroundings. We will be introducing the rules, behaviour expectations and rewards systems (please read the Behaviour Policy for further details). We will be ending this short topic with a celebratory event which you will all be invited to - more of that when we open.

When will we find out more and meet our child's teacher?

  • There will be class meetings within three weeks of our opening so that you can meet your child's teacher and find out more about the curriculum that they will be studying across the year.  Reception children and nursery children will also have home visits.

Why is French the chosen language to teach?

  • More than 220 million people speak French across the world and it is a major language of international communication. Children will be introduced to French throughout the Foundation stage (nursery and reception) with songs and games in an informal way.  Children will then have dedicated French lessons from Year 1 (about 30 minutes per week). 

When will swimming start?

Swimming is a requirement by the end of KS2 and will most likely take place in Year 4.  

How is the school organised this year?

How big are the classes?

  • The nursery class has a maximum of 26 children for the morning and 26 for the afternoon.  This is to do with the ratio of adults to children and the amount of toilets provided!  There will be a qualified teacher and two qualified Early Years Support Workers working within the nursery at all times.
  • Each of the other classes in the school has a maximum of 30 pupils in the class.  This is a standard class size for schools in England.  Without having 30 pupils in the class, there would not be sufficient budget to staff the school.  The legal class limit for key stage 1 children (Year 1 and 2) is 30 pupils.  There is no legal upper limit in KS2 (Year 3 upwards) but we will aim to stick to 30 pupils in each class throughout the school.  Every class will have a qualified teacher and a teaching assistant when we open.

How can you teach Year 1 and 2 together?

  • Teaching Year 1 and 2 together as a mixed group is very common practice and teachers are highly skilled in ensuring that all children receive the correct curriculum. This can be achieved in many different ways.  Sometimes, there will be a common theme to the work but the outcomes expected will be very different.  At other times the teaching input will be split so that specific curriculum information for each age group can be taught.  As Principal, I will be supporting this class at times so that they can be taught in two separate year groups, for example, during Mathematics.

Will this class ever be split into single year groups?

  • We are aware that there is another group of people due to move on to the Great Western Park in the autumn who have not yet been allocated any spaces at GEMS.  If there are sufficient numbers, we would consider employing an additional teacher for after Christmas.  We will also be taking a continued interest list for September 2017.  We will, of course, keep you informed about this, but whilst the class are a mixed group, please be assured that your child will be receiving exactly what they need. 

When will the school building be finished?

When is the opening date?

  • We will be opening our doors to the Year 1 and 2 children on Wednesday 7th September at 8:40am!  These children will have the whole building to themselves on this day and will become superb tour guides I am sure!
  • The building is expected to be completed right at the end of the summer holidays.  The school staff will be setting up whilst the building is finished prior to the children arriving.

Will workmen still be on site?

  • There is a chance that the building might be slightly delayed and workmen may be on site.  However, this will be at the very final stages of the building work - painters, carpeting etc and will not involve any big machinery. If there are workmen on site when we open, there will be a risk assessment undertaken and shared with you all.  Separate entrances for children and workers will be enforced.  We will have a fantastic building when it is finished so please be patient!

When will parents be able to tour the site?

  • I will organise school tour dates once I have been given a suitable start date for this from the builders.  This may not be prior to the commencement of term.

How do we access the building?  Where are the entrances?

  • The main entrance to the school is on Chestnut Drive (which at present is not accessible).  This will be the only entrance for pupils and families to enter and exit on a daily basis.  There are other entrances/exits but these are for emergency use only.