New School start-up. Seeking info from parents and teachers

(12 Posts)
DuelingFanjo Wed 13-May-15 16:41:04

Hello there

I have registered an interest in my son starting in Reception in a brand new school which will open in September IF the council give it the OK this month.

Initially they will have 2 reception classes and nursery classes on an existing site in temporary classrooms and build the school around them.

I think it's a fairly exciting thing and am hoping he gets a place.

I just wondered if anyone here had experience of either teaching in a school from scratch or sending their kids to one?

Many thanks smile

nlondondad Wed 13-May-15 16:51:21

I would want to check out what "building the school around them" means...

Mitzi50 Wed 13-May-15 16:57:50

I would want to know about the staffing - especially the head teacher and their educational philosophy and CV. How do they intend to provide school meals? Where will the children play - particularly important for the EYFS? How will they ensure that the building work does not impact on the children's education?

DuelingFanjo Wed 13-May-15 17:02:32

sorry - that is my phrase.

Basically there is existing accommodation which is where the classrooms will be - I mean that they will be the founding class and will grow up with the school.

There's all sorts of things I would like to know but we are not likely to find out those things until after the School creation is confirmed. I still have a place for him in another school if it falls through or if I decide against it. I am definitely applying having weighed up the pros and cons.

What I would like to know is what it has been like for other parents/teachers who have been through it. I am imagining that it might be quite nice to get involved and be part of the 'founding parents' so to speak...

Itshouldntmatter Wed 13-May-15 17:45:18

My DD is in Y1 of a school which opened in September (with Y2, Y1 & 2 reception). What was really crucial for me was the head teacher. He was (and is) phenomenally impressive and educationally exciting. We didn't move my DD in September, we chickened out, but then moved her in November. So my experience of the first year of the school has been incredibly smooth. The building they are in is temporary and lovely. It doesn't feel temporary, it feels like a settled home for the children. The school management and teachers have embraced parent involvement in terms of the playground painting, help to get the library up and running, the creation of a school 'garden', and on many other levels they have sought help from the parents. I love the small size of the school and the fact that the headteacher knows ever child in the school. Although the school will grow, I am confident that he will continue to get to know all the new children that join the school. It means that the children are all 'seen', and are part of a family.

The atmosphere of the school has very much been directed by the headteacher, so I would say you need to decide what you think of him/her. The educational ethos was set up by the founding parents, and they selected a very impressive person to take their school forward educationally. The other important consideration is the trust that is running/supporting the school. They will provide important administrative and sometimes directional support. If you think that their ethos is good, then again, that is a positive sign.

Good luck with your decision!

DuelingFanjo Wed 13-May-15 20:10:19

Ooh thank you, that's all really good to know. I don't know if we will get a place but I hope so. I like the idea that parents and children get involved.

BertPuttocks Wed 13-May-15 21:48:26

I sent my ds to a brand new school. It felt like a huge gamble at the time but I'm really glad I went ahead. He's now coming to the end of his third year there and is proud of being one of the original pupils.

They're more open to trying out new ways of doing things to see what works best for them, rather than having to stick to a particular system because it's the way it's always been done. It's been interesting to see them building up their own identity and traditions.

The school has grown but still has a family feel to it. Some of the original staff have moved on but most have stayed.

DuelingFanjo Wed 13-May-15 21:54:56

Oh, I really hope we get a place now. I've thought long and hard about applying and more and more I think I am doing the right thing. We are basically inner city but this school will be set in a small suburb with a fair amount of green space and near a nature reserve.

I think there is so much potential for good things.

MrsJamin Fri 15-May-15 13:49:54

I agree, it's all about the Headteacher and their vision - if they are brilliant, the school is more than likely to be brilliant too and is well worth getting on board now.

DuelingFanjo Fri 15-May-15 14:34:56

Trouble is we won't know the detail of the head teacher until after it has been confirmed to be going ahead which will be near to June I think. Then they have just over 2 months to get it going!

BertPuttocks Fri 15-May-15 16:32:36

If the set-up is anything like ours was, they'll have employed a business manager who will have put the school's framework together. They will then start working with the new Head to arrange any further details.

We were all invited to come into the school before the summer holidays for a meeting with the new staff and to look at and order the new uniform.

Once the school was up and running in September, the parents were invited in for a tour of the buildings.

DuelingFanjo Fri 15-May-15 18:24:39

They do have a temporary board of governors and one has a fairly well updated Facebook page.

A friend of mine has made me slightly question what to do as she seemed to think I should stick with the school we have been allocated but when I think about a school with 60 pupils (and 94 nursery) versus 500+ I can't help but think the smaller one would be better.

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