Starting School in Reception
Those of you with children starting school in the next academic year will be looking at local schools, in order to decide which one you would like your child to attend.
We would strongly advise you to visit all of the schools in which you are interested. Whether you know a great deal about education or not, you only need to spend half an hour in a school to know whether the atmosphere and ethos is right for you and your child. There are many very good primary schools which serve the Aylesford area. However, they all have their own ethos and their own beliefs about what is important in education, and consequently what they are trying to achieve with their pupils. Our advice is to visit the schools in order to decide which one is right for you.
At St Peter’s, we place great value on providing a fully rounded education for our pupils. We promote art, music, sport, languages and a wide range of extra-curricular and enrichment activities in order to develop the character of our pupils. We have extensive systems for tracking our pupils’ progress in English and maths, and we go to great lengths to maximise their progress in these important subjects. However, we do not sacrifice the wider curriculum, the arts, music and sport, or our children’s happiness, in order to push our pupils to achieve government targets in the SAT tests.
Further, as a church school, St Peter’s has a very distinct atmosphere. We instil a strong moral compass in our children, and we insist on high standards of behaviour and respect within our school community. We have been awarded the UNICEF rights respecting status, as a result of the standards of behaviour which exist within our school.
Whilst many other schools are growing and expanding, St Peter’s remains a small, traditional school. We revel in the family atmosphere which exists here. Our class sizes are small, with 26 pupils being the norm. However, despite being a small school, our large staff ensure that our children receive a wonderful and exciting education, with a wealth of opportunities and experiences.
Finding out more about St Peter’s Church of England Primary School
We quite appreciate that selecting a primary school for your child is one of the most important choices you will make as parents. In order to provide you with sufficient opportunity to really get to know us and to decide whether the ethos of our school matches what you want for your child, we hold an extended open evening for parents in addition to providing guided tours of the school during the day. The two events provide you with very different insights into our school.
The guided tours are conducted by the Headteacher and take place during the course of a normal, working day, so that you can see the school in operation. You will be able to experience the atmosphere within the school and see the interaction between pupils, and between pupils and staff. Being in a school during the day provides you with the most important indicator of whether the school is a happy, productive environment and whether it is right for your child.
However, because all of the teachers and teaching assistants are busy working with the children during our guided tours, you obviously don’t have the opportunity to talk to them. Hence, we also hold an open evening.
The open evening provides you with an extended opportunity to talk to a wide range of the adults who work at our school, and to ask each and every question to which you need an answer. You will be able to come along to the school hall where there will be a large number of displays on various aspects of life at St Peter’s Primary. Members of staff will be on hand to explain the philosophy behind our teaching of various curriculum subjects, and members of the school’s governing body will also be available to talk through any questions or issues which you may have. Children from our current Year 6 will be present and you will be able to talk to them about life in the school. You will also be able to talk to parents whose own children have recently started at our school, to ask them about their experiences and impressions. In addition, there will be representatives from the school’s breakfast club and after school club. Most importantly you will be able to visit the Reception class and to talk with the teacher and teaching assistant who work in this year group.
You can come along at any time during the evening and you are welcome to stay for 10 minutes or for the whole session. The school will provide refreshments during the evening. Please feel free to bring your children along should you so wish. Full details of Open Evenings taking place later this year will be posted here at the beginning of the next academic year 20/21.
Legally, children must start full-time schooling by the beginning of the school term after their 5th birthday. At St Peter’s, children start Reception class in the September following their 4th birthday. Applications for your child to start in Reception class are generally made online via the Kent County Council website. Local admission arrangements may also be found here. Paper application forms are available from Kent County Council if required. Registration generally closes on a set date in January and parents are advised of school allocations by the Local Authority in April.
Joining St Peter’s from Another School
Moving house and school can be traumatic or at the very least a little daunting. We will manage your child’s move with care, professionalism and sensitivity. You are encouraged to bring your children with you when you visit, so that they can spend some time in the class they may join. All children are invited to spend one or two half days in school in the term before they start, if this is feasible. We ease the transition by operating a buddy system, where a child will volunteer to look after their new classmate.
If you wish to know more please contact us and come and have a look round.
For in year admissions to any year group, parents must complete the In Year Casual Application Form available from St Peter’s School office or complete the downloadable form from the Kent County Council website. This form must be returned to us. We will advise you whether a place is available. If we do not have a place available you may ask to join our waiting list.
We can admit up to 26 pupils in each year group. The Local Authority applies the following admissions criteria in the event of oversubscription:
If the number of preferences for the school is more than the number of spaces available, places will be allocated in the following priority order:
Children in Local Authority Care or Previously in Local Authority Care – a ‘looked after child’ or a child who was previously looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, child arrangements, or special guardianship order. A looked after child is a child who is (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).
Current Family Association – a brother or sister in the same school at the time of entry where the family continue to live at the same address as when the sibling was admitted –or –if they have moved –live within 2 miles of the school, or have moved to a property that is nearer to the school than the previous property as defined by the ‘Nearness’ criterion’ (below). In this context brother or sister means children who live as brother and sister in the same house, including natural brothers or sisters, adopted siblings, stepbrothers or sisters, foster brothers or sisters.
Health and Special Access Reasons – Medical, health, social and special access reasons will be applied in accordance with the school’s legal obligations, in particular those under the Equality Act 2010. Priority will be given to those children whose mental or physical impairment means they have a demonstrable and significant need to attend a particular school. Equally this priority will apply to children whose parents’/guardians’ physical or mental health or social needs mean that they have a demonstrable and significant need to attend a particular school. Such claims will need to be supported by written evidence from a suitably qualified medical or other practitioner who can demonstrate a special connection between these needs and the particular school.
Nearness of children’s homes to school – we use the distance between the child’s permanent home address and the school, measured in a straight line using the National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG) address point. Distances are measured from a point defined as within the child’s home to a point defined as within the school as specified by NLPG. The same address point on the school site is used for everybody. When we apply the distance criterion for an oversubscribed Community or Voluntary Controlled school, these straight line measurements are used to determine how close each applicant’s address is to the school.
In the event of any of the above criteria being oversubscribed, priority will be given based on distance as described above with those closest being given higher priority. In the unlikely event that two or more children in all other ways have equal eligibility for the last available place at the school, the names will be issued a number and drawn randomly to decide which child should be given the place.