Virtual open Morning Presentation
In 2020 we were unable to hold an Open Morning due to the COVID pandemic and so we held a virtual Open Morning.
The presentation below was shown as part of that virtual Open Morning for parents on 13th November and at the bottom of this page you will find some questions that were asked at that meeting.
Questions from Virtual Open Morning
Q: Is your wrap around care happening at the moment, is it on site and what timings?
A: Wrap around care for children at Sandygate is provided by a private company, Teatimers, who rent a building on our school site. They run breakfast club from 7.45 each morning, children are fed breakfast and then brought across to school for the start of the day. After school, children are collected from school and are taken to Teatimers where they can stay until 6pm. Children are given tea if required. Teatimers is continuing to run at present but with reduced numbers. Teatimers wrap around only takes children from Marlow C of E and Holy Trinity (our feeder junior school)
Q: Do the children learn languages and what music provision do you have?
A: In 'usual' times we have French and Spanish lunchtime clubs which run for all year groups. These are provided by outside companies and there is a charge for them. When the children move to Holy Trinity they have provision for language lessons.
All the children at Sandygate have a music lesson once a week. We have a music teacher who covers classes when class teachers are out of class for their planning time. In addition we would normally have extra-curricular music clubs which include recorders, singing and dancing.
Q: What preparation do the children have for moving up to HT school and is this an automatic transition?
A: During the summer term we work closely with Holy Trinity and have several opportunities for the children to visit Holy Trinity with their class teacher for PE lessons on their field and lessons in a classroom. In addition our children visit Holy Trinity for their Christingle service and their Year 6 play.
Whilst most of our children do move to Holy Trinity, and their Admissions criteria put children from our school and Little Marlow school first, the admissions process is not automatic. During the autumn and spring term in Year 2 you will need to apply for Holy Trinity in the same way that you are applying for a Reception place now, on the Buckinghamshire Council website. We will give you lots of reminders about this at the time!
Q: How do you deal with summer born children who will have just turned 4 joining the school in September?
A: We generally have an even spread of children born in Autumn, Spring and Summer and we find that they all settle in school as quickly as each other. We tailor learning for each child and ensure they fulfil their potential.
Children must attend school full time from the term after they turn 5 and we encourage all children to attend full time from September. If you feel this is not appropriate for your child there will be an opportunity to discuss this with our Headteacher, Mrs Reynolds, once a place has been offered.
Q: How are children settled in to reception?
A: There are usually several opportunities for children to visit our school during the summer term, usually with their pre-school leaders. This allows them to meet the staff and see the school before they start in the autumn term. Our staff are very experienced in ensuring children settle happily in the first few weeks of term and you will be surprised how quickly they start to come in to class independently.
Q: Do you have any type of Forest School initiatives at Sandygate?
A; Over the past few years we have worked very hard at developing our Outdoor Learning space. We are lucky to have a dedicated team of parents who have re-designed our Wild World area to make it an exciting, interactive space which the children love to explore and they have also refurbished a pergola style outdoor classrooms which the children named 'The Cocoon' and planted a wildlife corridor around the edge of our school field. In addition we have built a teepee style outdoor learning space complete with benches and a fire pit. Much of the children's learning is done outside of the classroom using these spaces and each class in school has an outside covered area which they can access.
Last year we initiated a dedicated outdoor learning day for each year group: Reception have Welly Wednesday, Year 1 Muddy Monday and Year 2 Forest Friday. On those days at least some of the children's curriculum learning will be done outside.
Q: How many applications do you receive and how many do you take?
Over the last three years we have only taken an average of 7 children from outside our catchment. We are always over-subscribed and last year we received 152 applications, 71 of which put us as 1st preference. As our admission number is 60 this meant that 11 families who had put us as 1st preference did not get offered a place at our school.
Applications are ranked according to the oversubscription criteria in our Admissions Policy and last year the offers made were as follows:
|Children with a statement naming the school||1|
|i||Looked after children||0|
|ii||Children with exceptional social or medical needs||0|
|iii||Children in catchment with a sibling at our school or at Holy Trinity school||18|
|iv/vi||Children in catchment expressing a denominational preference with supporting evidence||3|
|iv||Children in catchment||31|
|v||Children out of catchment with a sibling at our school or at Holy Trinity school||3|
|vi||Children out of catchment expressing a denominational preference with supporting evidence||3|
|vii||Other children - by distance||1|
Q: Do you have any pupils from the RAF community and how likely is it to be offered a place if you live on the RAF patch at Medmenham?
A: We have had families from the services in the past, however see the question above for the likelihood of getting a place if you do not live in catchment.
Q: Will Holy Trinity be doing their own virtual open day?
A: Holy Trinity are planning to provide a virtual tour and details will be on their website shortly.
Q: Please can you explain some of the previous "vital projects" that needed funding?
A: Our PFA fundraise brilliantly for us every year and some of the major projects they have funded in recent years include; refurbishing toilet facilities Summer 2020, painting and decorating of classrooms, purchasing tablet computers for use in class. In addition to this they fund transport costs for school trips, special days in school and art materials for classrooms. Please see the PFA pages for more details of what they do.