As we countdown to the opening of our fantastic new school, we would like to ensure that the transition is as smooth and seamless as possible for you and your child. Below, you will find responses to your most frequently asked questions, covering everything from teaching and learning, to uniform and equipment, as well as key information about our new school premises, finance, communication and consultation. We also have a digital booklet for further reading about our new school, which will be available to view in the new year.
We have every confidence that this next exciting step in the Foundation’s history will absolutely enrich our youngest children, preparing them for their future life.
Our vision is to further enhance our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Key Stage 1 (KS1) educational offering and we can best do this in our new pre-preparatory school.
We will be building upon the best aspects of teaching and learning from both Centenary House and Mulberry House retaining our small classes and enabling individualised attention for our boys and girls who all learn in different ways.
We will provide them with a breadth of choices in how they learn, enhancing, accentuating and building upon their passions, interests and uniqueness - ensuring that their time in school gives them the best chance to understand and use their own talents for future happiness and success.
Our experienced staff will work together to ensure that your children continue to have a genuine love of learning, in a stimulating environment through activities that will encourage their curiosity and interest. Our pre-preparatory school will enable a seamless transition to Wakefield Girls’ High School and QEGS.
We will continue to provide individual attention in small classes for our boys and girls. The planned average class size for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 will be 18 with a maximum of 20 pupils.
All of our staff are experienced practitioners in Early Years Foundation Stage or Key Stage 1. As soon as we have the class and staffing plans in place we will let you know who will be teaching your child. We would like to reassure you that staff from both schools will be working closely together and will be aware of educational and pastoral information for all the children going into their new class.
Wakefield Girls’ High School and QEGS have a proud and distinguished history of providing single sex education, and this remains our offering for girls and boys aged 7-18 years across the Foundation. However, for reasons of financial prudence we have carefully considered the impact of moving to a co-educational setting at Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1.
Educational thinking is that all children learn in different ways and experienced teachers recognise this and teach accordingly. We feel confident in bringing the best elements from both Centenary House and Mulberry House together in our new school.
We have listened to feedback from some of the current Year 1 parents and recognise that there is the potential for particular disruption to children in this year group. We are looking into the available options to minimise this and will consult with parents of all current Year 1 boys and girls early next year.
To ensure that all the children benefit from the investment in quality staff, setting and education we have to combine all children from Centenary House and Mulberry House. As mentioned in the answer above, we are looking into available options for the current Year 1 boys and girls and will consult with the relevant parents early next year.
Our new school will bring together high quality, experienced teachers and support staff from both Centenary House and Mulberry House as we build one team. We appreciate that this is a time of change for current staff and we will be supporting and consulting regularly with them as we continue to prepare for the opening of Wakefield Grammar Pre-Preparatory School.
Uniform and Equipment
No, there will be a new uniform which will be available to buy when your daughter or son is ready for a replacement uniform or earlier, if you wish.
As we are bringing our boys and girls together we are planning on combining the existing colours of blue, gold and grey. We would like a uniform that is suitable for our youngest children to wear in winter and summer, indoors and out. As soon as we have samples available we will share them with you.
Yes, we agree that it would be sensible to buy a new uniform when your child grows out of their old one.
There will be a period of transition and no expectation that children wear the new uniform in September 2021.
We are reviewing our current uniform suppliers. As soon as a decision has been made we will let you know.
The outdoor spaces in our new school will have all areas of provision to enable our young learners to progress in an age-related way towards the completion of their Early Learning Goals. Existing resources from both schools will be used and additional investment will be made as needed.
Our outdoor curriculum for the new school will be comparable to what is currently provided. As plans are made, we will continue to share any updates with you.
We appreciate that parking for parents is a challenge for all schools in the Foundation but do not foresee major issues as a result of this change.
We are currently reviewing the start and finish times and will let you know as soon as this is decided.
A new Head will be appointed very soon to lead our new pre-preparatory school. Once we have our Head of School in post we will be delighted to arrange times for parents to visit.
Once the Head of School is in post and classes and class teachers finalised, the children from Centenary House will have lots of opportunities to visit their new school and to feel confident, happy and safe in their new space. There will be plenty of transition activities giving all children the opportunity to meet their future classmates and their teacher.
As has been the case for all the Foundation schools during the pandemic, we will ensure that Wakefield Grammar Pre-Preparatory School is able to operate safely in accordance with Department for Education and Public Health England guidance in force at the time.
The Foundation remains in strong financial health. It is always our priority to invest so we can deliver exceptional education, managing our finances proactively and carefully to do so. Our decision to combine the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 elements of QEGS Junior School and WGHS Junior School will enable us to most efficiently and effectively invest in the operation of an exceptional pre-preparatory education.
As well as combining the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 education in the newly created Wakefield Grammar Pre-Preparatory School, the Governors have identified considerable annual savings and efficiencies by creating two all-through schools for QEGS and WGHS. Additionally, the Governors are reviewing other opportunities in the Schools’ and the Foundation’s operations.
We are currently preparing a new website, which will share progress and updates as we continue to develop Wakefield Grammar Pre-Preparatory School. We will be in touch with a link to the new website upon launch in January 2021.
Ordinarily we would welcome parents in school to hear our plans and host a Q&A. We propose to host a Google Meet in the Spring of 2021, and an invitation containing a link to join the meeting will be emailed to you.
We welcome your questions via the new website. Upon its launch in the new year, we will include a special Questions button which you can use at any time. Your question will be reviewed and answered by the appropriate staff and/or governors.