FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Most of the information you require about St Katharine’s should be on our website and we encourage you to take a good look at each section. Below are the most common questions we get asked when we do ‘in-person’ show rounds. Please do email the school office firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a specific query and someone will signpost you to the information or get back to you.
Will my child get to visit before they start?
Yes. We hold a series of sessions for you and your child during the summer term so that they can meet their teacher and teaching assistant. These are usually ‘look and play’ and ‘story and rhyme’ sessions.
How many adults will be in their class?
There will be one teacher and one teaching assistant in each class.
When do they start school?
Children start school part-time for a few weeks – they either do a morning or an afternoon session. This means that there is a smaller adult to child ratio (2:15) whilst the children settle into school and learn the routines. We firmly believe that this supports the wellbeing and development of our children. Prior to this, there will be an opportunity for you and your child to meet the teacher on a 1:1 basis.
What phonics scheme do you follow?
We follow the Letters and Sounds programme, using Jolly Phonics resources to ensure a multi-sensory approach. Children read Rocket Phonics books that are matched to their phonics ability and also bring home additional reading books from book bands.
What about in year 1 – do they play?
In year 1, we ensure that there is a smooth transition, with continued opportunities for play and lots of active learning.
Do you teach modern foreign languages at St. Katharine’s?
In Key Stage 2 (years 3 – 6), children are taught French. This is delivered to each class once a week by our specialist teacher. Please see our French Progression Pathway for further details.
What do you do about bullying?
We have recently been awarded the Anti-Bullying Alliance Silver Award. All Together is innovative anti-bullying whole school programme. It helps schools understand their anti-bullying practice and breaks it down into manageable chunks. It gives schools the tools to make long-lasting change. Through this project we are continuing to develop our prevention strategies, many of which are embedded into the ethos and practices of our school. We have also identified our most vulnerable pupils and have further support in place to ensure that they continue to flourish and are not at risk of bullying behaviour.
What trips are on offer?
Each year group takes part in at least one off site trip each school year. These are linked with projects they are learning about in class.
In year 5, the children take part in a three day residential at Hooke Court where they experience den building, camp fires and problem solving activities. In Year 6, the children have the opportunity to take part in a four day residential trip to Harrow House with a focus on adventurous activities such as kayaking, raft building and coasteering.
Do you teach swimming?
Swimming is a statutory part of the curriculum which is taught over two terms. The children attend a weekly lesson at Littledown which is delivered by qualified swim instructors. Please see our PE Progression Pathway for further details.
Is there a breakfast and after school club?
Breakfast club is available from 7:45am – 8:45 am and Afterschool club is available until 5:00pm currently. Both of these facilities can be booked for specific dates to suit your work commitments. Please see our section on clubs here.
Do you provide hot school meals?
We have a catering team on site who prepare hot school meals for children. These can be pre-booked through a Wisepay account. Please see our section on School Meals where there is an up-to-date copy of the current menu.
Can children be taken out of worship?
Legal status of collective worship
All maintained schools in England must provide a daily act of collective worship.
In a Church of England School, worship must be in line with the trust deed of the school and will reflect the traditions of the Church of England, i.e. the Anglican tradition.
Right to withdraw
Parents have the right to withdraw their child from the daily act of collective worship, without giving a reason for doing so. Schools must comply with this wish and must ensure a duty of care for pupils who are withdrawn from collective worship.
Collective worship guidance is contained in Circular 1/94.
The school will respect parental requests and will try to discuss the request to see if an accommodation can be reached and to ensure worship remains inclusive and invitational and open to all members of the school community.
What extra-curricular clubs are on offer?
We usually offer a wide array of clubs, before school, at lunchtime and after school. Some of these are run by external staff, eg badminton, gymnastics, mindfulness, band and the rest run by our fantastic staff. Some are targeted by year group and others are open for a mix of ages. These generally start from year 1, with the exception of gymnastics.
Can my child learn a musical instrument?
Music is taught by a specialist teacher each week. In Year 2, the children are taught to play the recorder and in Year 3 the children receive a term’s teaching of Violin and a term of Ukulele.
From year 4 onwards, your child can opt to learn a musical instrument (guitar, violin, drums, flute, clarinet) and they will have a weekly lesson delivered by a peripatetic teacher. These lessons are funded by parents.