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Parent Questions

We've put together some handy questions and answers for parents. If you have another query that you would like to speak to us about, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
What are the benefits of a small school?

Being a small school, new parents often have questions around the benefits of our size. Small is mighty in many ways! We have 15 places per school year, which means we are able to keep a dedicated focus of the quality of our teaching and care. This is particularly valuable in our Reception year where this low pupil-to-teacher ratio means our children get unrivalled support in their key first year at school.

 

Add to this a genuine and traditional family feel, excellent inter-personal skill building with mixed-age friendships, and a strong sense of community and school spirit! Come and visit us to see what we are all about.

What are the class sizes?

We have 15 places per school year. This is structured as below:

Reception class (Twinkle): Maximum of 15

Class One (Year 1 and 2): Maximum of 30

Class Two (Year 3 and 4): Maximum of 30

Class Three (Year 5 and 6): Maximum of 30

 

How do you teach mixed-year classes?

Mixed-year teaching is common in smaller schools, though also seen in large primary schools, where some or all classes combine two year groups into one class. Teachers of mixed age classes face the challenge of responding to a wide diversity of learners within their classroom – but this is the norm in any primary classroom - and high quality teaching and learning successfully addresses the full range of diversity. Our staff are very experienced in teaching mixed classes and they work extremely hard to ensure that teaching is always effective.

 

Our teachers skilfully weave the curriculum together to cater for all learners, creating a bespoke experience that is tailored to the class and the individuals within it. Most lessons take place as a whole class, although staff plan creatively so that pupils are taught what they need in the way that will help them learn best. Sometimes teachers teach one year group at a time for short periods within a lesson, while the others do an activity led by the Teaching Assistant (TA) or work independently. Staff carefully adapt activities which means that pupils have slightly different tasks, or more support or challenge, to ensure that pupils practice the skills that they need to move on at their level.  This happens across all schools whether classes are mixed or not.

 

A key benefit of mixed age classes is the children usually have continued learning with the same teacher over 2 years and this provides an opportunity for the teacher to develop a deeper understanding of a child’s needs and strengths and is therefore in a stronger position to better support the child’s learning. In turn the child knows their teacher well, understands the expectations they have, and can build upon a level of trust that encourages them to ‘have a go’ or try something new; this supports our ethos of growth mindset.

 

Another wonderful positive of mixed-year classes is that pupils help and support each other in a very nurturing way - older children take on a nurturing role that is confidence building and the younger children are inspired by their older classmates. As the children progress through each class they rotate being the oldest or youngest year group, which we find helps with their transition moving through the school's classes. 

My child doesn't know anyone, will they make friends easily?

Our small year groups mean children quickly feel at ease and friendships flourish; not only within their class but across the whole school. A key life skill, social confidence is built by forming a broad range of social bonds across ages – something we are pleased to say happens naturally here at Costock School due to our small (but mighty!) size, our mixed-year classes and range of school clubs.

 

Do you offer before and after school clubs?

Yes we do - our breakfast and after-school clubs are very popular! We ensure a variety of experiences including crafts, Lego and sports (both indoor and outdoor) as well as a reading and calm area. We love being outdoors as much as possible and make good use of our playground with ball nets, goals, clamber stack and reading house. We are also very fortunate to have a wonderful allotment with potting shed and nature area.

 

We understand that working patterns and daily life can be unpredictable and is why we have committed to ensuring our clubs meet your needs. Booking for the following day can be made up to midnight on the previous day through a few clicks on our SchoolMoney App. We have many regular club goers with fairly consistent numbers and, although popular, we have the staff/child ratios to support the capacity required and have never had to turn a child away to-date. Payment is taken at the end of each half term for what your child has attended.

What does being a Church of England School mean?

Church of England schools were originally founded on a vision to provide education and learning to all, with strong moral and spiritual education being at the core. The church’s aim of educating children to help them flourish regardless of their background or starting point, is something we value strongly here at Costock as we strive to provide an education that enables 'life in all its fullness'.

 

Being a Church of England School means we carry our Christian values through all that we do. Our school STAR ethos "Where every child is a star" comes from Philippians 2 v15 as "children of God... you shine like stars". These values are also remembered through the word STAR: Service to God, each other and ourselves. Truth. Agape. Respect.

 

We live these values in our daily school life, and we say our school prayer at the close of each day to remember them. The Department for Education (DfE) specifies that all schools must hold a daily act of collective worship which we do at the end of each school day, and we also visit St Giles Church in Costock at certain times; specifically Remembrance, Easter and Christmas, and a Harvest Festival and Pet Service annually on the school field. These services are open for parents and carers to attend and we welcome you joining us.

How do you prepare children for Secondary School?

Parents have asked us how our children find the transition from a small primary school to secondary school, which is naturally much bigger. Through our emphasis on building each child's confidence in their own abilities, along with a growth mindset that they are able to problem solve and have resilience in situations that are new to them, our children are well prepared for the secondary transition. We work in partnership with the secondary schools to ensure a smooth transition for all children, taking into account any specific needs of individuals. We often have comments from our feeder secondary schools on how well-behaved and confident our children are which we are very proud of and demonstrates that we have done our job well.

Have another question or ready to apply?

Please get in touch, we would be happy to help.

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