At this time of year, we normally show around over 100 families but obviously we are unable to do so because of the pandemic. We recognise that this makes it incredibly difficult for parents trying to choose a school for the first time. To help you get a flavour of life at Leverstock Green, we have put together a selection of Frequently Asked Questions, a selection of short videos of our school and we are offering some virtual meetings with the Headteacher so you have an opportunity to find out any other information you might need.
If you have a question about individual special needs, you are welcome to contact our Inclusion lead, Mrs H Clarke, via the school office.
We hope you enjoy the selection of material we have put together and look forward to meeting you.
Joining the School: FAQs
What does a typical day in Reception look like?
The children arrive to a ‘busy fingers’ activity which the teacher has put out. It might be threading, a tweezer activity, a sorting game, etc. but all busy fingers activities are designed to strengthen fine motor development and get the children ready for writing.
They move on to a whole class, teacher-led learning activity and from there, break into their key worker groups to continue that learning. After that, they have child-initiated learning time. This is where the children from Nursery and Reception have free flow access to both classrooms and the garden area and can self-select from activities the adults have put out. The activities will follow the class topic although they invariably end up morphing to follow the children’s interests. After tidy up time, they join together again for a whole class teacher led session before lunch.
Lunch is in the main dining room, although Reception children have the dining room to themselves. It can be very noisy and off-putting to little ones when there are lots of people in there. During the lunch break, the children play in their own garden. Normally, the teacher will make a judgement about when the class as a whole is confident enough to join KS1 on the lower playground but at the moment, they play separately.
After lunch, they start with a whole class learning activity, break into key worker groups and then have some more child-initiated learning time before joining up once more for a story before going home.
How much access do the children have to the outside?
Our children have their own large, recently renovated garden. It has a very large canopy which means they can be outside whatever the weather. From the garden, they also have access to the playground, the fields and woodland. Our Reception teacher is a qualified Forest School leader and they spent every Monday afternoon in the woods for ‘Muddy Mondays’. Your child will need a full set of wet weather clothing and wellies to be kept in school.
How do you monitor and assess children’s learning?
We use an online learning journey tool called Tapestry. Staff make observations of children as they are learning, take photos and videos and upload them with commentary and suggested next steps for learning. Parents and carers have unique logins to this, so you can see what your child has been learning and so you get very regular updates on their progress. You can also upload your own photos and comments so you can share your child’s achievements at home too! In this way, we get to know how and where your child prefers to learn so we can set up and encourage them towards specific activities to meet their next steps.
We hold two parent consultations per year (October and February) and you will receive an end of year report in the summer term which details your child’s achievement against the Early Years curriculum expectations.
What if my child isn’t very good at managing their own self care?
The more independent your child is at managing things like using the toilet, doing up their coat, putting on their shoes, using a knife and fork, the more confident they will be about starting school. Of course, everyone needs a little help now and then and accidents can happen for everyone. If it does, staff will help your child to change and we recommend keeping spare underwear in their school bag. If they need a change of clothes, we will use their PE kit which should be kept in school all the time
What about lunches?
Your child is entitled to a free school meal until the end of Year 2. There are four choices on offer every day so it’s unlikely there will be nothing your child will eat. You will get the menu in advance and it runs on a three week cycle. Our catering company can cater for religious and medical dietary requirements but you will need to complete a form on their website first. If you would prefer your child to have a packed lunch, that’s fine too but please, no hot food and absolutely nothing which contains or might contain nuts.
Where do we buy uniform?
We stock jumpers, cardigans, book bags, PE bags, hats and polo shirts in the school office. You can buy grey trousers, skirts, pinafore dresses, green checked dresses for the summer from most supermarkets. PE kit is plain black shorts, plain white T-shirt and a plain black track suit.
How do we apply?
As a voluntary controlled school, our admissions procedure is exactly the same as a school maintained by the local authority. You apply online via Herts Direct. Being a practising Christian is not one of our criteria; we welcome families of all faiths and those with no faith at all. Make sure you apply on time!
What happens if we don’t get a place?
You can inform Hertfordshire admissions office that you want to be on our continuing interest list. This is essentially a waiting list and if a place becomes available, it will be offered by email to the child who lives closest to the school.
If we are offered a place, what happens next?
Under normal circumstances, we will invite you into school for a child-free meeting. You will receive an admissions pack with a lot of forms to complete and return and have an opportunity to meet the Reception teaching team and ask all those questions you don’t want the children to overhear! Then we will invite your child in for a play session in their new classroom followed by lunch in the dining room with you. We will give you a starting date for September and stagger the start so the number of children in the class builds up each day.
This year, because of coronavirus, we held an online meeting for parents and did small online meet ups for a few families each time. We’re hoping we won’t need to do that again, although the children managed it all really well.
Is wrap around care available?
We run our own breakfast and after school club, called The Zone, and it’s only available to pupils of our school from Reception upwards. Breakfast club opens at 7:45 and after school club closes at 6pm. We take a maximum of 20 children per session and it can be booked and paid for in advance on the School Gateway app. Breakfast club needs to be booked by 6pm the night before and after school sessions must be booked by 2pm on the day. We also take child care vouchers to help working parents cover the cost.
What extra-curricular clubs are available?
Normally, we run many extra-curricular clubs. We change our timetable each term to try to meet the children’s interests right the way across the school. For the older children, we always have a boys and girls football team and a mixed netball team and we participate in the local leagues. There is always a KS1 choir and a KS2 choir and last year we ran a very popular Forest School club. We try to make sure we offer a range of sporting and creative opportunities so, hopefully, there is something for everyone. We don’t tend to offer after school club for Reception children because we have found they are usually far too tired after a busy day at school!
Where do most children go on to secondary school?
Because of our location, we often feed on to many different schools. The majority go to Longdean and some to Townsend, however a fair number go to Parmiter’s, Watford Grammar and other 11+ selective schools. The feedback from our secondary colleagues is that our children are always well-prepared to make that big transition.
Meet the Headteacher via Zoom
Mrs Burgess will be hosting sessions for parents on the following dates:
Tuesday 17th November 11am
Meeting ID 846 207 4265
Monday 30th November 6pm
Meeting ID 774 6871 2859
Thursday 3rd December 2pm
Meeting ID 846 207 4265
Thursday 10th December 6:30pm
Meeting ID 846 207 4265