Frequently Asked Questions

What are your class sizes?

 

At the moment we have 24 children in our Cygnet class and 20 children in Swans.  We can take up to 8 children in each year group, but sometimes due to appeals we will have more children in a year group, if the number of children can happily be accommodated in the size of classroom. We have a much higher than average teaching staff to pupil ratio.

 

Will my child get as many opportunities in a small school as in a large school?

 

Though we are a small school we do as great a range of activities, if not more, than a large school. We love to immerse the children in their learning through trips,  aiming for a trip or a visitor who is linked to our topic at least six times a year We are lucky to have an active supportive PTA who help with the cost of coaches for whole class trips. For smaller group outings we have our own minibus and at the moment it is used weekly for swimming and forest school. Most years your child will go on multiple trips during the year. 

We participate in many external sports competitions, such as rugby, netball and football tournaments, cross country and district sports. We have an inspiring sports coach, who also runs after school Sports Club and plays for Gloucester Rugby.  Each class takes part in whole class instrument lessons and additional instrument tuition is offered by two perapatetic teachers. During the year our partners, Kitchen Club, provide cookery days linked to the topic  or healthy eating. 

On alternate years we do a residential  for Year 4, 5 and 6 in either Gloucestershire or France. 

Due to the smaller number of children in each year group, each child has a greater chance of competing in a sports team, getting a substantial part in the school play, representing the school at the Mock Trial, Nature Quiz etc.

 

What is the school's approach to outdoor learning?

 

As a school we value the beautiful outdoor space we have on our site and in the village.  Our playground has a fantastic view over an area of outstanding natural beauty; it is an inspiring space to hold our morning worship or to gather together to enjoy lunch. Whenever possible we seize the opportunity to do our learning outdoors, this may be small group work or music on the playground, art, science or story time in the Wildlife Garden.  

The children enjoy a great range of equipment in the playground, including a trim trail, mud kitchen, den and stage area. The older children enjoy looking after the chickens and raised beds in the wildlife garden. This is also where we install our biennial sculpture show.  

 

We go to nearby Macaroni Woods for Forest School. At the moment Reception and Year 1 are going once a week.

 

Will having lots of staff in the classroom confuse my child?

 

In the Cygnet classroom we have a teacher each morning for the Reception children. Mrs Tipple and Miss Davies do 2 and 3 days of teaching respectively each week. In the mornings they teach the Year 1 & 2s and in the afternoons all of the class. Your child will be in this class for 3 years.

In the Swan class, the Year 3 & 4 and Year 5 & 6 pupils are taught in separate classrooms in the mornings for Maths and English. In the afternoons they are taught all together, with the exception of French and Science. For Maths, English, Science and French the pupils are taught either by Mr Jones our Higher Level Teaching Assistant, who is also a qualified teacher, or by Mrs McLellan for 3 days of the week and Mrs Dawson for 2 days. Your child will be in this class for 4 years.

We believe it is beneficial for pupils to interact with and learn in smaller groups from a range of adults over the  period they are in one class. It is a strength of our school that as your child moves up  into the next year group each member of staff will already know them really well.

An additional benefit is that we have part-time staff who are able to do extra hours if another member of staff is at training or sick. Because of this we very rarely need to employ supply staff. 

Is there an After School club? 

 

After School Club runs every afternoon from 3pm until 5pm. Once a week there is a free after school Sports Club for each class until 4.30pm. When weather permits the Sports Club and associated After School Club takes place at the field.  Our After School Playleader, Mrs Martyn, is full of bright ideas and activities include junk modelling, gardening, cookery, craft and playground games. 

 

How does the school approach PE and sport?

 

As well as our playground, we are lucky to have the use of the village hall and playing field, allowing the school to be part of the community and the children to enjoy the full range of school sports throughout the year. PE lessons and Sports Club are run by our fabulous sports coach,  Miss Belcher. In addition we regularly invite in external PE coaches, most recently  for cricket and hula-hoop training!  To ensure that every child leaving our school is able to swim, we make use of Cricklade's great refurbished pool. , .

 

We particpate in a range of sports fixtures: netball, football, rugby tournaments, cross country, district sports, sports hall athletics, archery, 

 

Where do the pupils from our school usually go on to secondary school?

 

The majority go on to Farmor’s School in Fairford, though some go to Burford or to one of the grammar schools in Cheltenham or Stroud.

 

Will my child find it difficult to move from such a small school to a large secondary school?

 

The pupils in our school do not only make friends within their year group or class. They make strong friendships and relationships right across the school, with children of all ages and with the adults in the school. Through the many opportunities they experience in our school, they gain confidence which allows them to transition successfully to a larger school. We also share residential trips and activities with other local small schools, so that the pupils get to know other children in their year groups who will be going on to the same secondary schools.