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 supporting children to develop positive attitudes, good work habits and a sense of pride and enjoyment in all they do. All children are valued and encouraged to do the best that they can. 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 a range of stimulating ICT provision with Chromebooks and iPads used in each year group, interactive touch screens in each classroom and a good range of resources and books, including an easily accessible and attractive school library as well as a wide range of books within classroom reading corners. 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).
We recognise that each pupil is an individual and will therefore all have differing starting points. We use these to identify the next steps for pupils and plan for progress accordingly. We use our staff flexibly to meet the needs of pupils, including providing intensive teaching sessions where pupils have the opportunity to learn in smaller groups than a class of 30. We believe in a personalised learning approach where intervention takes place for all abilities in order to further support their progress.
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 administration manager.
tel: 01494 727415
Chestnut Lane is an outstanding two form entry school catering for 3 - 7 year olds. Children may join our nursery, Little Chestnuts, for the academic year in which they turn four or can be admitted as a reception aged child. We are very much in favour of children joining our nursery 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:-
- 3-5 years in Early Years - Nursery (Little Chestnuts), and Reception classes (Forest and Hive)
- 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.
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.
Chestnut Lane is an inclusive school, which welcomes children with special educational needs and disabilities. We have a wide range of expertise within our support staff team who work across the school to meet the needs of all pupils. All areas of the curriculum are accessed by all pupils. The main building has ramps and handrails, plus a disabled toilet. One classroom in each block has wheelchair access. Our accessibility plan is available from the school office, as is the school's special educational needs and disability policy.
Special Educational Needs
Chestnut Lane School’s special educational needs and disability 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. We have close working relationships with a range of outside agencies who provide expertise within their fields.
A member of the teaching staff is appointed as the special educational needs coordinator who is responsible for managing the special educational needs provision throughout the school.
Working with Parents
At Chestnut Lane School staff are very keen to work in partnership with parents and we encourage your participation in your child’s learning journey. This may be by sharing with us observations you have made at home, commenting on your child’s progress with reading and homework tasks or sharing particular skills which your child may have developed outside of school. It is very important to us to know about different languages that your child might speak so that these can be recognised, supported and celebrated within school.
Times of Sessions
Children should arrive at their class gardens between 8.40 and 8.45 am.
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 pm
Afternoon session: 1.00 pm to 3.05 pm
Morning session: 8.45 am - 11.45 am
Afternoon session: 12.00 noon - 3.00 pm
All day session: 8.45 am - 3 pm
A playtime is provided in the morning for Key Stage One and in the afternoon for Early Years.
At the moment the start and finish times of all the classes are staggered to help facilitate social distancing.
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. We understand that attending medical appointments at shorter notice may be necessary and we ask that you let the school office know about these as soon as you can.
During the academic year 2018/2019 we had 96% attendance with 3.5% authorised absences and 0.2% unauthorised absences.
During the academic year 2019/2020 attendance was 90% due to the restrictions surrounding COVID-19.
Assessment and Parent Consultation
We carry out informal assessments as part of the daily activities and record our findings. We plan lessons and activities to provide each child with experiences at appropriate levels to allow progress according to their starting points and potential. Achievements and next steps 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 next steps 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 concern with the class teacher may do so informally (if appropriate) or by appointment. The Headteacher 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. As the pupils progress through the school we encourage them to take more ownership over their homework tasks to promote their independence and curiosity to learn.
Voluntary Donations to the School Fund
We ask parents to make a voluntary contribution of £40 per child per year to provide additional resources for the benefit of the children. This includes contributing towards purchasing items like plants and compost for the children's flower beds and vegetable patches, sand for sand trays, playtime resources, cooking ingredients, resources for Art and Design and Technology projects and Christmas production costumes. It also helps towards the cost of providing specialised workshops and subsidising school trips.
The school usually organises a variety of extra-curricular activities including french, yoga, dance, cooking, chess, judo and environment & gardening at lunchtime, as well as playball, tennis, art and football after school.
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. Previous educational visits and trips have included Bekonscot Model Village, Tring Natural History Museum and Mop End Field Studies Centre. 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 Safer 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 Safeguarding Lead (Mrs Rehal) 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 Children's 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 Rehal 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. All accidents are recorded. If a child becomes ill during the school day 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 themselves. 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. Please see the school office for further information.
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.
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’s behaviour 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. There are a few rules which our children quickly learn. Chestnut Lane School Rules are:
- Respect the school and everybody in it.
- Always keep yourself and others safe.
- Make mindful and sensible choices.
- Always try your best and be proud.
- Always tell the truth.
There are other classroom behaviour agreements 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.
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 Fireworks Night, 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 which have recently included new playground equipment and updating IT hardware e.g. Chromebooks.