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BerkswichCE Primary School

Achieve, Believe and Care

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Nursery, School & Wrap-around Admission Arrangements

 

"We are made for goodness. We are made for love. We are made for friendliness. We are made for togetherness. We are made for all of the beautiful things that you and I know. We are made to tell the world that there are no outsiders. All are welcome."

Desmond Tutu

 

School Admissions Applications

 

There are three ways in which children join Berkswich CE:

 

  • * Apply for a September place in Reception

  • * Apply for a place in Nursery (this does not guarantee a school  place - details below)

  • * Apply for an In-year place in school

 

Please see below for further information about each of these options.

 

Visits to school

If you are considering applying for your child to attend Berkswich CE, we warmly welcome visits to our school. Due to high numbers of prospective families wishing to visit, we often allocate specific days and times at which these take place. Please contact Mrs Harper in our office if you wish to arrange a tour of the school with Ms Jackson, our headteacher (office@berkswich.staffs.sch.uk or 01785 337360).

 

Click here to find out more about our excellent before and after school care club, Cedars. Places are available for those in every year - from Nursery to Year Six.

 

Applying for a Reception place

At Berkswich CE Primary, we follow Staffordshire’s School Admissions arrangements and, therefore, parents must apply directly to the County Council. The quickest and easiest way to apply for a Reception class place is to complete an online application. Parents can apply online from the beginning of the November before the September start date requires. The closing date for applications is usually mid January. Please note: you must apply for a place, even if you have an older child already attending this school. Please see the Staffordshire admission site for the opening and closing dates for this year. If you are unable to apply online, you will need to download a form found by clicking the link on the right. All links can be found via the stars at the bottom of the page. Please also see our school's admission policy which can be found in the school policies area of our website.

 

Transition into our Reception

At Berkswich CE, we have excellent relationships with other pre-school settings; the Early years teachers carry out visits to these Nurseries to ensure a smooth transition for children.

Our structured transition programme allows parents and children to attend weekly learning sessions in our Reception class during the Summer Term. In addition, induction meetings are held in the Summer Term and we invite parents to attend a family lunch with their child to meet their new buddy. All Reception pupils are allocated a buddy from Year Six; these work alongside the Reception children throughout the school year and reinforce our Christian values and nurturing, family atmosphere.

 

Applying for a Nursery place

At Berkswich CE Primary, we are unique in the fact that we provide whole day, teacher-led Nursery provision and warmly welcome children from the age of three. All parents receive 15 hours of funding. There are various ways in which places can be further funded and we accept the '30 hours' free childcare which is an entitlement for most working parents with three and four year old children. Parents can also choose to self-fund additional hours. Further information about funding can be found following the links below. 

 

At present, Berkswich CE Nursery is able to admit twenty one pupils in our morning Nursery sessions and twenty one pupils in our afternoon sessions. All places should be applied for directly to Berkswich CE following our governor-run Nursery admissions procedure (see links below). It is important that parents read our Nursery Admission Policy before applying directly to the school. Please see our Nursery information booklet for a comprehensive guide to places and funding.

 

Our morning Nursery sessions commence at 8:45am and finish at 11:45am. A lunch club is offered for all Nursery children between 11:45am and 12:30pm. Afternoon Nursery sessions run from 12:30pm until 3:30pm. Further wrap-around provision is available from 7:45am until Nursery starts and from the end of afternoon Nursery, until 5:30pm.

 

Transition into our Nursery

We offer an excellent model of transition to our Nursery in order to ensure that children are happy and confident when they start their learning journey at Berkswich CE. There are a number of parent and child sessions available; parents and children are invited into school to take part in sessions during the second part of the Summer Term, prior to the children beginning at Berkswich in the September term. We also offer bespoke transition sessions for those children who may turn three later in the year and join us during the Spring and Summer Terms (mid-year places are often very limited due to high numbers of September applicants).

 

For further information about funding choices, starting points, admissions criteria or an application form, please click on the  star at the bottom of the page. If you require paper copies of any of the information, then please contact the school office. Completed forms should be returned via office@berkswich.staffs.sch.uk or to the school. 

 

Admissions to other year groups

As outlined in our admissions policy, we have a class size limit of thirty children in Year One and Year Two. These classes can occasionally exceed thirty, if the Local Authority has accepted pupils as ‘permitted exceptions’ which breach the government's class size pledge. Our Key Stage Two classes (Years Three, Four, Five and Six), have a class size limit of thirty. If you would like to apply for a place, then parents are asked to submit an 'In-year Application' form supplied by Staffordshire County Council (see links below). There is a section which must be completed by your child's current headteacher. The completed form must be submitted to Berkswich. Following receipt of an application, school will notify the county of the application and its status; you will receive a letter from school stating whether or not a place can be offered. This letter will also outline the next steps in terms of preparing to start or appealing the decision. 

 

Oversubscription

If the total number of preferences for admission to a school exceeds the school’s Published Admission Number (PAN), the Local Authority's order of priority is used to allocate the available places. 

 

Oversubscription Criteria

If the total number of preferences for admission to a school exceeds the school’s Published Admission Number (PAN), the following order of priority is used to allocate the available places.

 

  1. Children in Care and children who ceased to be in care because they were adopted (or became subject to a child arrangement order or special guardianship order).
  2. Children who satisfy both of the following tests: Test 1:  the child is distinguished from the great majority of other applicants either on their own medical grounds or by other exceptional circumstances. Medical grounds must be supported by a medical report (obtained by the applicant and provided at the point of application). This report must clearly justify, for health reasons only, why it is better for the child’s health to attend the preferred school rather than any other school. Exceptional circumstances must relate to the choice of school and the individual child, i.e. the circumstances of the child, not the economic or social circumstances of the parent/carer. They should be supported by a professional report (obtained by the applicant and provided at the point of application), e.g. social worker. This report must clearly justify why it is better for the child to attend the preferred school rather than any other school. Test 2: the child would suffer hardship if they were unable to attend the preferred school.
  3. Hardship means severe suffering of any kind, not merely difficulty or inconvenience, which is likely to be experienced as a result of the child attending a different school. Applicants must provide detailed information about both the type and severity of any likely hardship at the time of application.
  4. Children who have an elder sibling in attendance at the preferred school (or in the case of an infants school, the affiliated Junior school) and who will still be attending the school at the proposed admission date; (For admission purposes, a brother or sister is a child who lives at the same address and either: have one or both natural parents in common; are related by a parents marriage; are adopted or fostered by a common parent or are unrelated children who live at the same address, whose parents live as partners.)
  5. Children living within the catchment area of the preferred school
  6. Children whose parents regularly attend a Church of England church, or a church in communion with the Church of England, or of a church which is affiliated to the Council of Churches for Great Britain and Northern Ireland or the Evangelical Alliance. Evidence of such attendance will be required in the form of a letter from a minister of the Churches concerned. Regular attendance is defined as attendance at a church service (or an explicitly defined church activity) on a Sunday or weekday on at least two occasions per month for at least two years.
  7. Other children arranged in order of priority according to how near their home addresses are to the main gate of the school, determined by a straight-line measurement as calculated by the Local Authority’s Geographical Information System.

 

Where it is not possible to accommodate all children applying for places within a particular category then the Local Authority will allocate the available places in accordance with the remaining criteria. If for instance, all the catchment area children cannot be accommodated at a school, children who are resident within the catchment area will be arranged in order of priority according to the remaining criteria. Please note: after applying the oversubscription criteria, where an applicant can be offered a place at more than one preferred school, then they will be offered a place at the school ranked highest on their application.

 

Waiting lists

If there is not a place available at Berkswich CE, the County Council can add a child to a waiting list for a particular year group. Please note that a child's position on this list can change if, for example, another child joins the list and fulfils criteria higher up the list. The County Council are able to let parents know where their child is positioned on the waiting list. 

 

Applying for our Cedars wrap-around places

We run a wrap-around care club service from 7:45am until school and Nursery starts and from 3:30pm until 5:30pm after school. To register your child, please visit the Cedars website area (click here) and download a registration form; alternatively, pick up one of these from the school office. New starters to school will automatically be given a copy to use should this provision be required. 

 

Further questions

Please see the links below for further contacts, forms and information. If you are unable to find the resources that you need, please do not hesitate to contact school if you have a query. 

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