FAQs

Below is a list of the questions that prospective and current parents ask most frequently.

The FAQs are split into four sections; General, Early Years, Junior School and Senior School.  If your question isn’t answered on this page then please call 0115 958 0596 or email your questions to info@hollygirt.co.uk and we will get an answer to you as quickly as possible.

Early Years FAQ

  • Q. What records of my child’s academic progress are kept?
    • We keep full Early Years’ profiles which are shared with parents at parents’ evenings or at any other time by request. These log details of what the child is able to do and form an ongoing record of pupil progress.

  • Q. Are snacks provided for playtime?
    • Children are provided with either milk or orange juice at morning playtime.  They bring their own healthy snacks from home.

  • Q. Do all children in Early Years’ have to eat school lunches?
    • Lunches are included in our fees for all full time/ full day children.  We offer two choices of main meal every day, one of which is non-meat.  All children eat a school meal unless they have a very specific dietary need that we cannot cater for.  The menu is published on the website and parents are asked to help with the choices.

  • Q. What time can my child arrive in the morning and leave at night?
    • School starts at 8.45am and finishes at 3.30pm.

      Children can arrive at school anytime between 8am and 8.45am. They can sit indoors with a teacher for a story or play in the supervised playground, where weather permits until the beginning of the school day.

      After school children not involved in extra-curricular activities can attend the 325 club until 5.30pm. (An extra charge is made for this service).

  • 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. What do you mean by ‘ready for a Hollygirt education’
    • The two basic prerequisites for starting in Nursery are: (i) the child can manage their own toileting (We do not take children in nappies or trainer pants) and (ii) they are able to feed themselves.

      After this we look at whether they are emotionally and socially able to function for a full day around other children. For entry at this age we do not have any academic expectations.

  • Q. Can a child who has just turned 3 years old start in Hollygirt’s Nursery?
    • We take children in the academic year in which they are four.  Occasionally for an autumn born child we will consider taking them part time after Christmas or Easter in the preceding academic year if they are ready for school and we have spaces available.

  • Q. My child has never been to a nursery or away from their mother for more than a few hours; I am worried about whether she/he will settle in to full time school. How will you help?
    • We usually find that once a child has been left in our care they quickly settle.  The teachers and other children are very kind and helpful.  All young people starting in school spend a whole day with us to assess their readiness for a Hollygirt education. Some children will start part time and build up to full time throughout the nursery year.

  • Q. Why do the EYFS years’ share a room? Does this impede the learning of the older children?
    • The curriculum for the  EYFS is shared for all pre-school children. For the formal parts of teaching/learning  the Nursery and Reception children work with their own teacher at a different level appropriate to their ability and maturity.

  • Q. My 4 year old is very able, can the school offer appropriate stretch in the N/R classroom?
    • From the very beginning our children in the Early Years class learn phonics, handwriting skills and do topic work. Every night each child takes home a reading book and parents are encouraged to talk about the books each night at home, with their child.  With a high teacher:pupil ratio, children can work at their own level. The most able will develop at a faster pace.  Children in Nursery who are more advanced in their learning can join the reception class for the formal work times, if the level of work there is more suited to their needs.

General FAQ

  • 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 ‘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.  Insurances may be included if requested.

  • 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. However there is on street parking on Cranmer Street, St Ann’s hill (unrestricted before 9am and after 5pm) and on Mapperley Road. 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?
    • In Senior School pastoral concerns should be addressed with the form tutor in the first instance or the Deputy Head, Mrs Brooksby.

      In Junior School concerns should go to the class teacher or to Miss Carlin.

  • 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 3-11.  In the Summer term, we use Harvey Haddon Athletics Stadium.  Junior children from Years 1-6 swim every week at the University Pool.  Additionally Year 7and 8 children get a lesson of health related fitness in the school hall.  Occasionally the soft play surface of the senior playground is used for high jump.  Through the extra- curricular programme, pupils can get involved in a range of minor sports, dancing, table tennis, fencing, running as well as team sports and matches.

Junior School FAQ

  • Q. How big are junior classes?
    • In Key Stage 1 classes will be no bigger than 14 pupils.

      In Key Stage 2, Year 3 and 4 have a capacity of 14 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, Design and Technology, Languages and Music, so they are already familiar with many of our teachers and know the geography of the senior 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?
    • In Year 5 we offer all our children a Senior School taster day and in Year 6 all do the same tests as our external applicants.  This gives us comparative data against the new starters and enables us to offer academic scholarships to the most able and music awards to the musically gifted.  However, unless we have alerted parents in Year 5 that the Senior School may not be the best place for their continuing education, all junior pupils are offered a Senior School place.

  • 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. Please enquire about this.

  • 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 Year 5 and 6 take part in hockey and netball tournaments.  Years 3 to 6 are involved in cross country running and choir competitions.  We also run friendly inter house competitions.

      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 book the child in for a taster day and see how it goes.  We ask parents to let us know if there are any medical issues we need to be aware of which might impact on mobility.

  • 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 in a local school now – will they have issues fitting in?
    • It will certainly be a different experience.  Usually children feel at home very quickly.  We invite all children to come in for a visit 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 slip 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 5 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.  Our buses are run by the Nottingham High School.

Senior School FAQ

  • Q. My child is already in Year 10, is it possible to transfer at this late stage?
    • Depending on circumstances, it is possible to transfer during the Autumn Term of Year 10 but we cannot guarantee being able to match option choices and there would be significant additional work to catch up on. We are happy to discuss situations individually.

      It would not be uncommon for a pupil to drop back a year if education has been interrupted mid GCSEs.

  • Q. What opportunities does Hollygirt offer its pupils beyond the curriculum?
    • There is a comprehensive programme of extra-curricular activities which offers depth and breadth to our educational offering.  This programme is updated termly. The current programme can be seen here. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme is very popular and pupils in Year 9-11 have the opportunity to do their bronze and silver award.

      Many subjects offer additional support lessons in the terms before public examinations.

      Some additional qualifications are offered after school.

  • Q. How are pupils prepared for life post Hollygirt?
    • Throughout the Senior School pupils follow an ‘Issues’ programme which looks at a variety of personal, social, health, careers, finance and citizenship education.  In Years 10 and 11, conference days are added to the programme, which look at university requirements, writing CVs and personal statements, study skills etc.

  • Q. How many GCSEs are studied at Hollygirt?
    • Our pupils study for 9 GCSEs as standard, plus an additional qualification in ICT.  There are sometimes additional subjects offered as extra-curricular activities.

      We believe that quality is more important than quantity and this is borne out by all universities.

  • Q. How big are senior classes?
    • An average class size for Year 7-9  is around 12-15.  This varies subject by subject and year by year.  GCSE option groups can be as small as 4 and rarely beyond 14.

  • Q. Why do you not run a sixth form?
    • Currently our cohorts of pupils are too small to offer a range of subject options to meet the post 16 needs.  We will reconsider this opportunity in the future.

  • Q. Where do Hollygirt pupils go post 16?
    • Pupils move on to a variety of establishments county wide and occasionally beyond, including local maintained sixth forms, colleges, independent day and boarding schools. We prepare them well for this time of change and early on at the start of Year we invite all providers of post 16 education to our post Hollygirt Evening.  We know all pupils well, by ability, work ethic and ambition so can advise on suitable places.

  • Q. I would like my son to come to Hollygirt Senior School. What provision can you make for him?
    • We have assessed our curriculum and extra-curriculum and made some changes to essential facilities to accommodate boys.

      We are always keen to hear from our children and their parents on how any aspect of school could be better for them, this will be particularly important after such a shift in our strategy.  It is worth noting that the  expectations of boys will be identical to those of girls and our ethos and standards will remain constant

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"Pupils are self-confident, self-aware and have a good sense of who they are."

ISI Inspection February 2013