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Admissions

Sandford Hill Primary School caters for the needs of children aged 3-11. The capacity of the school is 480 and this includes a 60 place full time nursery. Stoke-on-Trent City Council is the admissions authority for the School. The standard admissions number set by the Authority is 60 pupils per year group. 

 

Applications for new admission to school for Nursery and Reception should be made electronically where possible, using the ‘Stoke on Trent Admissions link above:  

Please Note:  Nursery places at Sandford Hill Primary are full time, 30 hours a week and not the 15 hours as stated on the Stoke application page.  

  • 15 hours of Nursery provision are funded by the local authority Monday to Friday Fri 9.00 a.m. – 12.00 p.m.
  • The 15 hours afternoon provision is: – either chargeable or for working parents of 16 hours or more a week, covered by Government funding. Further details are available within the Admissions policy

 

Oversubscription Criteria

Where there are more applications for a nursery or Reception class setting than there are places, the following priorities will be used, in order, to allocate places:

1. Children in the care of the local authority and children who were previously looked after but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order).

2. Children living within the catchment who have an elder brother or sister at the school who will still be attending at the time of admission (or at the linked junior school in the case of infant schools).

3. Other children living within the catchment area of the school.

4. Children living outside the catchment who have an elder brother or sister at the school who will still be attending at the time of admission (or at the linked junior school in the case of infant schools).

5. Children who live nearest to the school as determined by a straight-line measurement from the front door of the child’s home address to the main entrance of the school.

Our full Admissions Policy is available via the Policies section of our website.

In-Year Transfers

For in-year applications (i.e. September onwards) there is no requirement for local authorities to co-ordinate places in-year. However, they must, on request, provide information to a parent about the places still available in all schools within the City, and a suitable form for parents to complete when applying for a place for their child at any school for which they are not the admission authority. Any parent can apply for a place for their child at any time to any school outside the normal admissions round.

Applications for an In-Year Transfer should be made directly to the School’s office.

School-based Transitions

 Pupils at Sandford Hill Primary School make several transitions;

  • Into Foundation Stage
  • From Foundation Stage to KS1
  • From KS1 to KS2
  • From Year 6 to KS3
  • From class to class within Key Stages

Transition and Inclusion

The school’s Inclusion team, in partnership with our teaching staff and parents meet regualrly to discuss particular children. Staff with responsibility for inclusion at our feeder High Schools are also met regularly to share information and make the transition process as smooth as possible.

Aims of transition:

Each of our transitions is a unique phase in the  childrens educational journey and we aim to ensure-

  • Our children will experience a smooth transition from one class, key stage or school to the next, so that pace and quality of learning is maintained to ensure that children continue to make good progress.

  • Our children will feel happy and secure in their new environment with new staff and possibly new peers,

  • Our children will have a clear understanding of the new expectations ahead of them, and look forward to each new experience with minimal anxiety.

  • We will ensure that teachers have a good knowledge of the children and their needs prior to starting in the class in September.

  • We will ensure that all staff see transition as a process rather than an event.

Transition arrangements:

Nursery

Once names have been confirmed the new Nursery, the  children are invited to the Pre Admissions Library service (PALs). This takes place over a 6 week period with the children being invited on alternate weeks; therefore giving each child 3 opportunities to visit the EYFS.

New Admissions evening in June for new Nursery  and new Reception parents.

Home visits take place during week 1 of the new school year.

Nursery children follow a gradual induction programme over weeks 2 and 3 of the new school year with all children in school full time by the Friday of week 3.

Reception

New reception children are invited to visit during the PALs sessions and one morning session during the last 2 weeks of the school year. This enables them to spend time in the Nursery with the children who they will be in Reception with.

Current Reception children take part in the transition sessions and parents are invited for the transition morning.

Reception teachers share stories with the Nursery children.

Year 1

Parents are invited to an afternoon meeting to share information about new routines and class information. Information packs are given to the parents.

Years 1-6

Transition sessions take place during the school year with their forthcoming class teacher. These take place  initially in the children’s current classroom and then in what will be the children’s new classroom.

Parents are invited to transition morning with the children in their classes during the last few weks of the Summer Term.

Letters are sent out to inform parents about new routines and further information is made available through the school website.

The children write letters to the year below to share with them their experiences and also what they have enjoyed.

Staff meet to discuss their new classes, with the previous teacher at a designated staff meeting.

Parents are  again invited to a transition morning with the children in their new classes during the first  few weks of the Autumn Term. Further sessions take place also throughout the school year.

If you have any questions about our Early Years, try our FAQs and Mythbusters  below.  If this doesn’t provide you with the answer, then please contact the school office who will be happy to help.

FAQ's and Mythbusters

Making decisions about starting Nursery can be a really difficult time for parents/carers with lots of conflicting information being shared leading to unanswered questions and confusion. So please find below a number of questions we have been asked and our responses, to try to help you make the best choice for your child. If you have a question that isn’t answered below then please do get in touch and we will add it to the list.

School Nursery or Private Nursery – which is best for my child?

Sandford Hill Primary School motto is ‘Thoughtfulness and Respect’ and these qualities are evident throughout the whole school, in all the staff and children, starting in the Early Years. Because of this Sandford Hill has a very caring ‘family’ feel to it. In fact, we have many children at our school whose parents also came here! In terms of your child starting their journey in education, they will not gain a better start to their schooling. All our early years staff are very experienced practitioners with children of their own and they treat the children in their care just as they would their own children. They have seen many year groups pass through the school and even as the children leave the school to go onto High School, they are not too old to have a hug off their first Nursery teachers! Educationally and socially the children make amazing progress through their Nursery year with activities planned by a qualified teacher and delivered to stimulate, enthuse and challenge the children, whatever their starting point. In addition, these activities are shared with parents/carers through the school blog http://sandfordhill.schoolblogs.org/category/eyfs/. This means that you can keep in touch with what your child has been doing each week.

I live out of Sandford Hill Primary’s catchment area – can I still send my child to your school?

Yes you can. Parents/carers can apply to send their child to any school of their choice and providing there is a space and they promise to get their child to school every day, then the catchment area does not matter. See more information about criteria for places below

If my child comes to your Nursery, what are the chances of them getting into your Reception class?

As Nursery education is not compulsory and parents/carers can send their child to a school nursery class, a private nursery or keep them at home, there is no guarantee that if your child attends our Nursery classes that they will automatically be given a place in the Reception class. How the places are allocated can be seen below. Clearly every year the number applying and where they live will be different, but as a matter of interest: – In 2017, 33 of the 60 Reception children were from within the catchment area; – In 2018, 23 of the 60 Reception children were from within the catchment area; – In 2019, 17 of the 54 Reception children were from within the catchment area; So as you can see, over the last 3 years, there has been a trend for more children to be getting places from out of the catchment area. Again, this is not a guarantee for future years

Does the school have any say in who comes to Sandford Hill Primary?

No. For the Nursery and Reception places, Sandford Hill Primary do not have any say at all. The admissions team at the Local Authority allocate the places to children using the criteria below.

How are Nursery and Reception places allocated to children?

If there are more places wanted than there are available then the Local Authority Admissions Team children are allocated to the school using the Admissions Policy criteria: Where there are more applications for a Nursery/Reception setting than there are places the following priorities will be used, in order, to allocate places:

1. Children in the care of the local authority and children who were previously looked after but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order).

2. Children living within the catchment who have an elder brother or sister at the school who will still be attending at the time of admission.

3. Other children living within the catchment area of the school.

4. Children living outside the catchment who have an elder brother or sister at the school who will still be attending at the time of admission.

5. Children who live nearest to the school as determined by a straight- line measurement from the front door of the child’s home address to the main entrance of the school.

Once the year group admission number is reached, a waiting list, based on these criteria, will be held until the end of September of that academic year.

Does my child have to go to a specific nursery to get a better chance of getting a place in a Sandford Hill Primary School Reception class?

No. The admissions team at the Local Authority allocate the places to children using the criteria above. Other factors like which Nursery they went to previously makes no difference.

Does my child have to be out of nappies before they can start at Sandford Hill Primary?

No. We accept children who are still in nappies and we work in partnership with parents to toilet train children. Therefore, we ask that children wear pants, not nappies, when they come to school and we ask that they are brought with a supply of clean pants for changing. We have 100% success rate of all children being dry within the first 3 weeks with us.

Would you ever leave my child in wet pants to teach them not to do it again?

Absolutely not! All our Early Years staff are very experienced practitioners with children of their own and they would never leave a child wet. What they would do, is change your child as many times as is required while they are toilet training. This might mean you need to supply a lot of pants to school though!