Children generally start Reception in the September of the school year following their fourth birthday. Admission procedures start in the previous September and we have an Open Event in October when parents/carers and children are invited into school to look around, try a few activities, talk with the teachers and listen to a talk by the Headteacher, who will explain the school ethos and what we have to offer.
Applications for a school place in Reception (or Years 1 - 6) are made through the County Council; Application Forms are available from their website, www.durham.gov.uk/schooladmissions. These should be completed (preferably on-line) and returned by the middle of January (for Reception) to the Admissions Office at County Hall. They will advise parents, by mid-April, of their child's placement in a school for September entry.
The admission limit for Reception in September 2024 is 30. As all the Admission procedures are administered by the Local Authority they will use the following criteria to allocate places if more than this number of applications is received:
i. Children who are ‘looked after’ or a child who was previously looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to adoption, residence or special guardianship order.
A looked after child is a child who is, at the time of making an application to a school, (a) in the care of a local authority, or (b) being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions (see the definition in section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989).
ii. Medical Reasons
Pupils with very exceptional medical factors directly related to school placement, including those with a disability.
iii. Sibling Links
Pupils who have a sibling already attending the school and who is expected to be on roll at the school at the time of admission.
Pupils who live nearest the preferred school measured by the shortest walking route. This will be based on the parents’ address. Where the last place to be allocated would mean that a multiple birth sibling group i.e. twins, triplets or other multiple birth sibling groups, would be split, the sibling group will be given priority over other children.
Our Summer term Induction Programme involves the Reception Teacher's pre-school liaison with local nurseries, together with a series of morning/afternoon visits by the children to our school. These visits help children to familiarise themselves with our school and help them to settle in that little bit more quickly in September. Some children, including those with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities may require additional transition arrangements. The Reception Teacher will liaise closely with parents/carers, nurseries and other professionals in order to ensure the needs of each child are met.
Particular information for parents of those starting school is circulated in our New Starters' brochure.
We strongly recommend visiting our school during the day as getting a 'feel' for the school is very important. The best thing about our school is the children, so it is important to come and see them, not just the building! It is particularly important if your child has any additional needs, whether a learning need, developmental delay, medical need or disability, that you come and talk to us so that we can make sure everything is in place for your child and that extra transition is organised if appropriate. Please also see our SEND information pages (click here).
Children start our nursery the term after their third birthday. All children are eligible for 15 hours of nursery education free of charge. In families where both parents work more than 16 hours, or single parents who work more than 16 hours, the child is entitled to a further 15 hours of free nursery education (30 hours in total). There is a process for parents to apply for a code to prove the entitlement to the 30 hours of nursery education. Please contact school and we will advise you on this. We aim to offer a fully flexible service for working parents, which matches your requirements. We do this in partnership with Fun Club, enabling us to offer a 7.30am - 6.00pm service 51 weeks of the year.
To apply for a place at nursery, please contact the school office. We do take expressions of interest well in advance of your child turning three. Should we have more applications than places available, we will follow the same selection criteria as outlined above for Reception places. For further information please contact school, or see our Nursery Admissions Policy (click here).
As with Reception starters, we strongly recommend visiting us during the day to get a 'feel' for our setting. It is also important to discuss any additional needs your child may have so that we can ensure everything is in place so that your child has the best possible start to their time at our school.
If you are looking for a place for an older child, i.e. from another school or county, whether at the start of the school year or mid-term, are also co-ordinated by the Admissions Team at County Hall. We would suggest you phone school for a chat and a visit. If you are happy with your choice, the required form , the Primary In-year Transfer Form should be completed and returned to the Local Authority, who will check the school role and advise if there is a place available. We like to invite prospective pupils into school for a half-day or so before they start so that they can meet their new classmates and teacher; this ensures that there is a 'friendly face' to greet them on their first day.
At the end of their primary school career children transfer to a local secondary school. A large majority of our children transfer to Sedgefield Community College. Our Transition Worker, spends a lot of time getting to know the children and helping them to prepare for the different expectations of KS3. Throughout their time in school the children regularly visit Sedgefield Community College for sporting events. Each Year 6 pupil has a two day visit to the school to work with the teachers and to meet new friends; this gives them the opportunity to become accustomed to the different scale of the school and to their new surroundings. They all seem to settle in very well and hardly miss us at all!