Chestnut Lane School Prospectus
We hope that you will find this prospectus gives you some of the information you will need when considering choosing a school for your child. It is, however, important for you to visit the school to get a real feel for the ethos, facilities and approach to learning as well as seeing the children at work and meeting the staff.
Chestnut Lane School has long had a reputation for excellence but this is not at the expense of helping children to develop positive attitudes, good work habits and a sense of pride and enjoyment in all they are asked to do. All children are valued and encouraged to do the best that they can but acts of kindness and progress in personal development are recognised along with achievements in academic work.
The school has generous accommodation in a peaceful setting and provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. The school has good IT provision with laptops used in each year group, interactive white boards and a good range of resources and books. The nursery provides a secure foundation for introduction to school life and there is a natural transition through reception to Key Stage 1 (age 5-7).
Parents are the first educators of their children and the staff at the school wish to build on this by developing a close partnership with parents, so that parents feel comfortable in discussing progress or any concerns with staff.
We hope you will enjoy reading about Chestnut Lane, we suggest making an appointment to visit and, if you are happy with what you see, will consider this school as an ideal place for your child to start their formal education. If you would like to make an appointment to see the school, please telephone or email the school secretary.
tel: 01494 727415
Chairman of Governors
Chestnut Lane is an outstanding two form entry school catering for 4 - 7 year olds. Children from within our reserved area who have applied for a place, can be admitted in the term after they are four to the nursery or as a reception aged child. We are very much in favour of children joining our school at four as this gives greater continuity and makes an easier transition to full-time schooling.
Please note that applications to reception are allocated by the Local Authority and a place at our nursery does not guarantee a place in our reception. Most of our children transfer to Elangeni Junior School on the adjacent site at the end of Year 2.
The School is divided into year groups as follows:-
- 4-5 years in Early Years - Nursery, and Reception classes
- 5-6 years in Year 1 - Orange and Silver classes
- 6-7 years in Year 2 - Red and Green classes
Every effort is made to help new pupils at Chestnut Lane feel secure in their environment. New children and parents receive a starter pack which we hope will answer any queries they may have before they arrive. The children will also have the opportunity to visit the school and meet their new teacher.
Rights Respecting Schools
In July 2013 Chestnut Lane School was awarded Level 2 Rights Respecting School Status.
This award recognises our achievement in putting the rights of the child at the heart of our work and means that rights and respect are modelled by all.
The school's equalities and cohesion policy is based on accepting and responding to the strengths, needs and experiences of each individual. Through this, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to develop their full potential. Staff appreciate how factors such as gender, size, ethnicity, bilingualism, disability, exceptional ability and social circumstances may affect learning and self esteem, and plan to take these needs into account.
Parents are encouraged to visit the school before submitting an application form, and should contact the school office for an appointment to see around the school. (Prospective Parent Tour dates are listed in the Frequently Asked Questions section of the website.) We encourage all parents to take up the place offered in our nursery class as it serves as an excellent introduction to school.
Children are eligible for entry the term after their fourth birthday. Children born between the 1st September and 31st December are eligible to join in the spring term, children born before the 31st March may join in the summer term. (Children born on or after the 1st April are not eligible to join our nursery). There are 26 places in the nursery class.
When the number of applications exceeds the places available the following admission rules apply:
Once places have been allocated to children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs, the remaining places will be allocated in the following order:
- Looked After Children.
- Children who have exceptional medical or social needs, which can only be met at this school, supported by written evidence from an appropriate professional person.
- Children living within the catchment area of the school.
- Places will then be offered in date of birth order.
Please note that attending our nursery has no bearing on being allocated a reception class place by the Local Authority.
Parents need to register separately for admission to the main school at five. Applications for places at the school must be submitted to the Local Authority (LA). More information can be found on the Buckinghamshire County Council's website in the education section.
As a community school we follow the Buckinghamshire County Council's admission rules for primary schools.
Admission to Chestnut Lane School does not imply automatic right of admission to Elangeni School.
Arrangements for the Admission of Pupils with Disabilities
Chestnut Lane is an inclusive school, which welcomes children with special needs and disabilities. The main building has ramps and handrails, plus a disabled toilet. One classroom in each block has wheelchair access. We have a learning support assistant in each key stage 1 class every morning, and all day in reception classes. All pupils have access to all areas of the curriculum, and physical access to the buildings. Our accessibility plan is available from the school office, as is the school's special needs policy.
Please see Our Curriculum in the School section.
Special Educational Needs
Chestnut Lane special needs policy reflects the requirements of the most recent Code of Practice on the identification and assessment of special educational needs. Pupil needs are met whenever possible within the classroom. There is regular communication with the parents of these children and the regular reviews keep the parents and staff working closely together. If it is necessary, outside agencies are invited in to offer advice and guidance.
A member of the teaching staff is appointed as the special educational needs coordinator who becomes responsible for special needs throughout the school.
Working with Parents
At Chestnut Lane School staff are very keen to work in partnership with parents and we ask that you share with us information about other skills your children may have, such as being able to speak a different language, play a musical instrument or participating in a particular sport.
Times of Sessions
Children should arrive at their class gardens between 8.40 and 8.45am.
Key Stage One
Morning session: 8.50 am - 12.00 pm
Afternoon session: 1.15 pm - 3.05 pm
Morning session: 8.50 am - 11.45 am
Afternoon session: 1.00 pm to 3.05 pm
A playtime is provided in the morning for Key Stage One and in the afternoon for Early Years.
Regular attendance is important and we encourage parents not to take their child out of school during term time. If this is unavoidable, parents are required to request leave of absence and complete the relevant form at least one month in advance.
During the academic year 2013/2014 we had 97.4% attendance with 2.4% authorised absences and 0.2% unauthorised absences.
Grey trousers or shorts
Red sweatshirt and red or white polo shirt
Grey skirt or pinafore dress with tights (red or grey) or socks, or grey smart trousers
Red sweatshirt or cardigan and red or white polo shirt
Summer dress - red and white checked gingham with socks
Shoes: Children should wear sensible black shoes which are safe to run in.
PE Kit: For children to benefit fully from PE and games lessons it is essential for them to have proper kit. Children need to have a gym bag in which to keep their PE kit.
- Early Years: On PE day children should come to school in shoes, black jogging bottoms or red shorts, white t-shirt, school sweatshirt or cardigan. They will change into black plimsolls wth elastic sides rather than laces in school.
- Key Stage One: Children will change into black plimsolls with elastic sides rather than laces, red shorts or black jogging bottoms and a white t-shirt.
Long Hair: Should be tied back on PE days.
Little Chestnuts Afternoon Nursery
In addition to the statutory hours in school, we offer a flexible, optional facility, whereby children in nursery can stay for lunch and the afternoon. The nursery teacher continues to work in the class in the afternoons with qualified assistants. The sessions are from 12 noon to 3pm are are avaialbe Monday to Friday.
Please see the section on Little Chestnuts for more information.
Assessment and Parent Consultation
We carry out informal assessment as part of the daily activities and record our findings. We make plans to provide each child with experiences and activities at appropriate levels to allow progress according to their potential. Assessment and targets for improvement will be shared with parents.
The school has parent consultations during the autumn and spring terms. The consultations are in private and the child's progress will be discussed and targets are reviewed. All Year 2 parents will be offered the opportunity to discuss their child's National Curriculum End of Key Stage assessment result (previously known as SATs) at the end of the summer term.
All parents receive a written report at the end of the summer term. Parents wishing to discuss a particular problem with the class teacher may do so informally or by appointment. The Head Teacher also has an 'open door' policy to encourage good communication between parents and the school.
Homework is given on a regular basis throughout the school and varies according the age of the children. The teachers send out guidance to parents regarding this subject.
Universal Free School Meals and Pupil Premium
All children in Reception and Key Stage One are entitled to free hot lunches. We use an external caterer to supply our lunches and parents must pre-order meals on-line for their children. In addition, parents who receive certain benefits (e.g. income support) may be entitled to register for Pupil Premium which raises an additional £1300 per child for the school. Further information is available from the school office.
Voluntary Donations to the School Fund
We ask parents to make a voluntary contribution of £12 per family per term to provide additional resources for the benefit of the children.
The school organises a variety of extra-curricular activities which include French, yoga, keep fit & dance, cooking, environment & gardening lunch time clubs, as well as Judo and Tennis after school clubs.
Visits and Charging
All the children during their time at Chestnut Lane are offered the opportunity to visit places of interest relevant to their topic work. These trips are only possible if parents agree to make a voluntary contribution to help cover the cost of the trip, however, no child shall be excluded on financial grounds. You may wish to view the Charging Policy.
Safeguarding our Pupils
At this school, the health, safety and well-being of every child is our paramount concern. We listen to our pupils and take seriously what they tell us. Our aim is that children will enjoy their time as pupils in this school. We want to work in partnership with you to help your child to achieve their full potential and make a positive contribution.
To promote a safe environment for pupils, our selection and recruitment policy includes all checks on staff and regular volunteers’ suitability, including Disclosure and Barring Service checks, as recommended by Buckinghamshire County Council in accordance with current legislation.
In accordance with our responsibilities under section 175 of the Education Act 2002, we have a Designated Person for Child Protection (Mrs Plimsaul) who has received appropriate training for this role. It is her responsibility to ensure that all staff in contact with children receive child protection awareness training on a regular basis.
On rare occasions our concern about a child may mean that we have to consult other agencies. Unless it is not safe for a child, we would always aim to achieve this with a parent's consent. The procedures, which we follow, have been laid down by the Local Safeguarding Childrens Board, and the school has adopted a Child Protection Policy in line with this for the safety of all. If you want to know more about our procedures, please speak to Mrs Plimsaul or your child’s teacher.
Safety, Health and Welfare
Minor accidents are treated by staff but we let the parents know if we are concerned about an injury and these are recorded in an accident book. If a child becomes ill during the session we keep them comfortable and contact the parents without delay. In an emergency we would phone for a paramedic or an ambulance.
The school cannot undertake the responsibility for administering medicines to children and children must not bring medication to school. If a pupil uses an inhaler this will be kept in the child's class, and supervised by the class teacher. Parents, however, may call at the school to administer antibiotics if necessary but in most cases the doctor will be able to prescribe a course of treatment which will not require administration during school hours.
In exceptional circumstances, e.g. a severe nut allergy or diabetes, the staff are trained to administer vital medication. This is done in partnership with the parents.
Access to Documents
Parents are welcome to look at any of the following documents which are available in school:
- Statement of Curriculum Aims and Policies
- LA agreed syllabus for Religious Education
- Full details of the LA complaints procedure
- Last Ofsted Reports
- School Policies
- Publication scheme on information available under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
We expect our children to behave in a reasonable manner and we will encourage them to be kind and considerate, and to respect others and their belongings. If a child causes us concern then the parents are notified and consulted and the appropriate action is taken. The school has a behaviour policy and an anti-bullying policy and any form of discrimination is not tolerated. We actively encourage children to 'tell the teacher' if they feel someone has made them feel sad or upset. The teacher is concerned with the pastoral care of each child in their class. Our approach to discipline is firm but kind. There are a few rules which our children quickly learn. The school's 'Five Golden Rules' are:
- Speak quietly
- Sit properly and walk safely
- Be kind and polite
- Care for our school
- Tell the truth
There are other classroom rules which are decided by the children. The children learn to recognise that unsociable behaviour is not acceptable and that everyone and everything should be respected and cared for. Parents will be informed if any discipline problems arise.
Chestnut Lane follows the complaints and resolutions procedure as laid down by the Local Authority. If a parent has a complaint, they should first bring the matter to the attention of the class teacher who will inform the Head Teacher. If the outcome is not satisfactory, the matter should then be referred to the Chair of Governors.
Parent Teacher Association (CLESA)
The association is very active and successful with many functions a year including a Quiz Night, Christmas Bazaar and Summer Fete. It is a joint association with Elangeni School. All parents are automatic members. Funds raised are used to provide extra resources for the school.