Junior School Faqs
- Q. How big are the classes in Junior School?
In Key Stage 1 classes will be no bigger than 14 pupils.
In Key Stage 2, Year 3 and 4 have a capacity of 16 and increases to a maximum of around 18 for Year 5 and 6. These are maximum numbers and many classes are much smaller than this.
- Q. How will my child be prepared for Senior School life?
In Year 6 our children are taught by many Senior School specialists for Games, Art, Science, ICT, Languages and Music, so they are already familiar with many of our teachers and know the geography of the Senior School buildings. They also get a number of taster days to increase their familiarisation. It is the easiest of transitions for our pupils and their familiarity decreases any anxiety about moving up to ‘big school’.
- Q. Will my child have to take a test to access the Senior School?
All children, including those that are already at Hollygirt Junior School, will come into Senior School for an Entrance Assessment Day usually scheduled in the January of Year 6. Children will sit an assessment in Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, English (Creative Writing) and Maths. Each will also have a short interview on this day and a team building activity in the afternoon.
We assess children at this point to i) give us comparative data across the whole cohort, ii) offer academic scholarships to the most able and music awards to the musically gifted and iii) to ensure parents are aware if a level of need is identified which may require further support.
- Q. Is there any provision for bursary support for a Junior School pupil?
Our scholarship and bursary support is targeted to children entering the school at Year 7. However other incentives may be available for siblings, or in unique cases.
- Q. Do you take part in any competitive activities?
Our pupils get the opportunity to be involved in many competitive activities. Some are linked to the curriculum, for example, creative writing and handwriting competitions.
Others stem from the extra-curricular programme. For example, hockey, netball, athletics, cross country and football.
We also run friendly inter house competitions including a Swimming Gala which all pupils from Years 1 to 6 take part in.
We are proud to have a good record of success in all our competitive endeavours.
- Q. What extra-curricular opportunities are available for children?
We offer many extra-curricular activities for children of all ages. All staff provide lunchtime and after school activities at no extra charge. Occasionally we bring in external professionals to provide specialist after school clubs for which an additional charge is levied. The current extra-curricular programmes can be found on the school website. If you think your child would be interested in an activity which is not offered, let us know and we will see what we can do. We are also interested in hearing from parents who might like to offer a club in their field of interest.
- Q. Can you accept applications from a child with a physical disability?
This depends on the level of need and whether we can reasonably make adjustments to meet the need. Our school is housed in large Victorian buildings and there are many stairs. The best way to find out is to come for a tour of Hollygirt School and to discuss the required access arrangements with the Headmistress.
- Q. I am interested in Hollygirt as my child’s needs are not being adequately met in the large classes in primary school. Can you meet the needs of a child with Autism? Dyslexia? Dyspraxia? Dyscalculia?
Most certainly, the biggest differences for our pupils is the different feeling of the smaller classes and being known as a unique individual. We differentiate our teaching materials to meet very different educational and sometimes social needs. We have experience working with pupils with a whole range of difficulties and a wide range of abilities. We test them against a variety of standardised measures which indicate whether they are making progress in line with their peers and put action plans in place to meet very specific needs where appropriate. Usually support is offered within the classroom as we feel that this is most beneficial to children. Classroom assistants work throughout the Junior School to provide appropriate support. Occasionally we will ask you to seek a report from an educational psychologist. Socially, children thrive in our structured and disciplined environment and all learn our expectations of behaviour very quickly. Children help to write class rules, which are age appropriate. We rarely need to use any disciplinary sanctions within Junior School. Parents are kept informed of any issues we have with learning or social issues.
- Q. My child is not at an independent school at the moment – will they have issues fitting in?
Usually children feel at home very quickly. We invite all children to come in for a Taster Day before starting, and generally even on this day they begin to form firm friendships with their peers and get to know their teachers well. In our small classes no child is anonymous, none go unnoticed and we quickly get to know their personalities, preferences and abilities.
- Q. At what age can children travel independently on the school buses?
It would be rare for a child below Year 6 to travel independently on the school bus. Where possible all Junior School children are paired with a Senior School buddy who travels on the same bus. We share buses with the Nottingham High School.
- Q. How do I pay my termly bill?
Fees are due in advance, on the first day of term. They can be paid by cheque or by BACS transfer. See the finance section of the website for further details of how to pay.
- Q. Can I pay for fees monthly?
Parents can pay monthly by joining the ‘School Fees Plan’ which is an external provision and a small termly fee is charged for this service. Please ask for a leaflet or look for details on the website.
- Q. Could anything additional to school fees appear on my termly bill?
On the first bill there is a one off payment, per family, of £50 for contribution to the Friends of Hollygirt. Thereafter all other disbursements for trips, visits, revision guides etc are signed for by parents in advance. There are additionally some insurances and schemes which parents can opt in to.
- Q. How do you ensure the safety and security of the pupils?
The safety and security of our pupils is of paramount importance to us. Children in Junior School are always accompanied when moving between buildings. Senior pupils are asked to move around in small groups. No pupils are permitted to leave our sites unless accompanied by a teacher and parental consent is required for all off site visits. All access points to our grounds and buildings have key pads and all visitors are signed in and badged.
All staff are required to have enhanced checks to ensure their suitability for working with children and all undergo regular safeguarding training.
- Q. Where can I park?
In common with most schools found in urban areas, parking is tight in the immediate environs of school. This is exacerbated by Elm Avenue being pedestrianised, traffic calming schemes and permit parking. There is metered parking on Villa Road and the bottom of Mapperley Road for £2 a day. There are a limited number of two hour parking bays on Cranmer Street.
School is open from 8am so arrival times can be staggered to ease congestion and we alert parents if there are any road works affecting our area or temporary restrictions (for example Goose Fair week).
- Q. What would I do if I had a complaint?
We have a formal complaints procedure, which outlines the stages by which a complaint is heard. This can be viewed in the policies section of the website. Usually serious complaints should be addressed to the Headmistress in the first instance.
- Q. Who do I talk to if my child is having an issue with another child?
Issues should initially be raised with the the child’s Form Tutor or class teacher.
- Q. How much will the uniform cost?
The uniform list is available with approximate costings. Purchased new from Schoolwear Solutions, our uniform suppliers, the full uniform will cost somewhere between £150 and £300. However many parents will take advantage of our Friends of Hollygirt second hand uniform shop for some items which offers fantastic value for money, especially when children are growing quickly.
- Q. Where does Hollygirt play sports?
For the first two terms in the academic year we are privileged to be able to use the Nottingham University Sports Hall for games lessons for all children in Years 3 to 11. In the Summer Term, we use the field at Nottingham University’s Highfields Sports Complex.
Junior School pupils from Years 1 to 6 use the Ken Martin Leisure Centre for swimming lessons.
We also use the Astro Turf at the Forest Recreation Ground for additional Games lessons and after school football training.