Will I make friends, and can I change houses/classes if I am unhappy?
Yes, you will make friends, this is always a worry and you are not the only one thinking this. It is very unusual for students to change houses and almost unheard of if you already have siblings in a house. We sometimes change tutor groups.
How are my teaching classes arranged?
Teaching classes - Class allocation is decided by the school to ensure a positive learning environment for all children. The main priority for CFS is to make sure classes are balanced and encourage the best learning outcomes for all. It is not possible to move pupils as this would require other students to be shuffled and so would not be considered, unless we were changing all the groups which happens each September.
What happens if I get upset and worried at school?
The first person you must talk to is your tutor who will be able to support you. We have a pastoral team who can also help you, but your tutor needs to be the first person you go to.
As a parent, who is my first port of call if I have a concern about my child at school?
In Primary it would be talking to the class teacher. In Secondary it will be your child's tutor. Details of email addresses for all staff can be found on the Staff page of the website.
What paths and bus stops will be available for our students and families?
There is a footpath from the A27 down the western side of the Hunston Road linking from the footbridge over the A27 to the north of the school site. The footpath is partly covered by CCTV camera and also protected from the road by the remaining section of beech hedge for part of its length. At present there are no plans from WSCC to extend the footpath to Hunston. There are bus stops constructed outside the front of the school, northbound and southbound, plus a toucan crossing (traffic light controlled) to the north of the school.
Will there be any buses running to villages outside Chichester?
We have been working closely with Stagecoach who have produced a timetable of their proposed bus times and connecting buses from outlying areas eg from the Witterings. Students will travel into Chichester on their local bus route and then connect with a bus travelling along Hunston Route on the 51 or 600 bus route. Of course, students could opt to walk the 20 minutes from the bus station/railway station to the school site via the protected footpaths and footbridge.
Will there be buses after 15:30?
Yes, it is a public bus service running approx. every 20 minutes.
I am concerned about the transport costs, can you give some guidance here?
What are the arrangements for primary pupils to ‘kiss and drop’/parking on Convent site?
Chichester District Planning Authority have guidelines that they permit on any development and of course ESFA had a budget to build a school and provide facilities. There are limited parking spaces on site. We have 120 parking spaces on site, which must cater for everyone – disabled parking, the staff, visitors and drop off/pick up, so ‘kiss and drop’ will be vital for the safety of all our children on site and we will need to oversee this; arrangements will include use of permits, car sharing for pupils and staff, and public transport.
Primary and Secondary staff will be on hand in hi-vis vests at both ends of the school day to assist with the ‘kiss and drop’ and drive in to pick up service. If parents wish to park and accompany their pupils into school, they should park north of the A27 and walk on the new footpath to the school via the bridge over the A27.
Are you still encouraging car sharing?
We are still committed to car sharing and think it will be essential for all families. Due to limited drop off bays, only families with children who car share will be able to drop off on-site, any vehicle wanting to come on site should be a car share regardless of whether it is primary or secondary and we will be conducting ad hoc car share checks throughout the term. We would encourage all secondary pupils to use public transport or be dropped off north of the A27 and then to walk into school or cycle in from home.
What are the compulsory car share times?
Car sharing is compulsory from 08:00 until 16:30.
Crossing the A27.
The only safe method to cross the A27 is to use the footbridge. From the south, this will be accessed via the new footpath and cycleway that run to and from the school. From the north, it should be accessed via the footpath that cuts through the Whyke estate and can be accessed from within the estate or from the Whyke Road. Parents and pupils should not attempt to use the crossing on the Whyke Road by the Hunston Roundabout. There is a safe crossing point further north near Kingsham Avenue. You can access the footpath from inside the Whyke estate and then you do not need to cross over again.
Are Primary children who are travelling by bus with seniors able to wait with car sharing siblings between different start and finish times?
Primary children will be supervised on the playground (or in the hall in wet weather) from 08:10, before this time children will need to be booked into breakfast WAC with EnergyKidz. All Primary pupils will be supervised by staff until 15:30, walked to clubs or WAC. All Primary pupils not collected by parents, will be supervised by staff until 15:30, walked to clubs or delivered to WAC if registered in advance with EnergyKidz.
What are the details for drop off & pick up?
Essentially, pupils will gather at the meeting point of the youngest child and if they are not in a club or WAC they will need to be collected.
Suggested walking route to Chichester Free School
As the school is now operating from its permanent site, travel patterns for pupils will change. Accordingly, we wish to make the school community aware of a potential road safety issue for those pupils and parents walking to the new school site from the south of Chichester. This issue has been identified by a concerned parent and discussed with West Sussex County Council as Highways Authority.
It concerns the pedestrian crossing on Whyke Road just before it meets the A27 (Chichester By-Pass). As there is no pavement on the western side of the road at the point where it meets the A27, parents and pupils using this route would have to cross the road using the uncontrolled crossing. This crossing has no traffic lights and is very close to the roundabout. We understand cars frequently exit the roundabout at speeds in excess of 30 mph. We would therefore ask that those coming to school on foot use the alternative footpath to the west of Whyke Road. This is shown on the diagram below.
If you have any queries or concerns, please contact the School Office.
Can I cycle to school?
Absolutely yes but all students MUST wear a helmet please and have bike lights in the darker months.
Will pupils have to attend an afterschool club?
We expect all KS2 and KS3 pupils to attend at least one club every week, and we are looking at how this can be monitored. If a child has a regular externally organised club which can be evidenced, then this this can count as their club.
Why are the clubs at the end of the day proposed to be optional?
Following consultation with all concerned, we believe this reflects the preference of the vast majority. We have observed the clubs running at the moment and feel the quality of the clubs and the willingness of staff to run clubs is compromised when there are students attending who really don’t want to be there. Optional school clubs also opens up more possibilities for people who would like to attend clubs out of school.
Will Supervised Study and School Clubs be chargeable extras?
Our commitment to Supervised Study at KS3 where pupils can complete homework will not incur a cost. Clubs will range from no charge to a small charge if they involve external staff, additional hours for support staff or specialist kit to cover our costs. Approx. costs will be from £1.00 a week for Art club, £3.50 a week for primary dance club taught by an external teacher to £10 for horse riding.
Why do we not offer Supervised Study for primary pupils?
The nature of the work we want primary pupils to do at home, involves parents reading with their children and short bursts of learning of spellings and timetables or other mental arithmetic. There may be other work set at appropriate times for many year groups. We do not feel it is best practice for primary-aged children to study at the end of a busy day. Following a club of choice is a much more desirable activity!
Will Clubs be booked on a termly or half-termly basis?
We aim to organise clubs on a termly basis. There will be an Activities Timetable produced in the previous term, so parents can work out what is on offer and choices can be made ahead of start of clubs. Registers will be taken of children attending clubs to ensure people who are booked on attend and if not, places can be offered to other pupils. We will be offering a wide variety of clubs running from 15:30 – 16:25 every day of the week for our pupils. Primary will be supervised by class teachers until clubs begin. All clubs will start on the first full week of a term, and end on the last day of term.
What are the booking arrangements for Supervised Study?
Supervised Study (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) will be booked on a termly basis in the same way as Clubs, so registers will be set up and children will be marked in.
What happens on a Monday?
We are looking to have our Secondary staff meetings and training on Mondays and opportunities for whole staff collaboration and planning. There will be supervised study and a few clubs run by outside providers. Primary clubs run as normal on a Monday.
Is it possible for Secondary Supervised Study and Clubs to finish at 16:25 (in order that some pupils can get the 16:32 bus and relieve pressure on the later ones)?
Yes, it will be possible clubs will finish at 16:25. See question "Will clubs be booked on a termly or half-termly basis?"
What happens between the end of school for primary aged children and start of WAC?
Pupils will be supervised by staff and guided to their appropriate activity. WAC services will begin when children arrive from class, even if this is before the advertised 15:30 start time.
What are the costs of WAC?
Please see the EnergyKidz website here for details.
Why was EnergyKidz chosen?
EnergyKidz are an Ofsted registered provider who will be able to run a far more structured and varied after school care offer. They were chosen as they are a nationwide company with a good track record who pride themselves in delivering a fun and happy place for children to take part in activities, arts and crafts, sports, or just chill out and enjoy the variety of toys and games available. All care follows the play work principles and offers lots of free play and free choice activities. See the EnergyKidz website for more details.
A healthy snack is provided at all clubs. Breakfast Clubs provide a selection of cereals, toast, crumpets, water and fruit. After School Clubs provide wraps or bagels with cheese or meat, vegetables, fruit and yoghurt.
Assistance with charges for WAC can be applied for in the following ways:
Childcare Vouchers– Childcare Vouchers allow employers to help their employees with the cost of childcare. Childcare Vouchers are exempt from National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and Income Tax for employees up to the value of £55 per week, which can mean savings of over £2000 a year for a couple who are both working. EnergyKidz accept all childcare vouchers. All employers are able to run a childcare voucher scheme (they make savings too). Please speak to your employer for details on this.
Working Tax Credit – nine out of ten families could save up to 80% of childcare costs through Working Tax Credit. For more information call 0845 300 3900 or visit payingforchildcare.org.uk. Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert fame has also produced a very user friendly section on paying for childcare on his website, which includes a tax credit eligibility calculator http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/health/childcare-costs
Please be aware that EnergyKidz were one of several providers who applied to run the service and the combination of price to parents and the level of service were compared and Energy Kidz were the best option. The School does not take any money from this service and has used the profit share that it could have received to subsidise the price for parents.
What do you expect parents to do if they have picked up primary aged children and are waiting for secondary aged pupils to finish at 16:25?
A few suggestions include: make use of outside space on-site and take time to read with your child; arrange a meeting point that your secondary child could walk to; enrol primary pupils in clubs that run until 16:25. Please be aware that you cannot park on site whilst waiting, and this will be monitored very carefully.
What are the arrangements for drop off and collection from WAC?
Parents will be required to bring children into the school building for WAC services to enable the company to sign the pupils in and out. Drop off will be the Primary Hall.
What are the arrangements for purchasing food for secondary pupils?
There ia a biometric fingerprint-type system in place for secondary pupils linked to the pupils’ ParentPay account, which parents will credit online. Parents/Carers of new secondary pupils will be sent an activation letter in their child's first week at school so pupils should being a packed lunch until their account has been set up.
When can I go to the secondary dining hall?
The dining hall will be open for both of the breaks and can be accessed during this time by all secondary pupils.
Can we eat in classrooms?
Eating will not be allowed in classrooms; Primary pupils will eat in the Primary dining hall. Secondary pupils may eat outside or in the Secondary dining hall if purchasing food on site or in the Primary dining hall if bringing a packed lunch.
What is Apple Classroom?
This is how teachers can guide their students and keep an eye on iPads in class from their own iPad. This will allow us to ensure students are not off-task in lessons and that only approved apps etc are available to them. In addition, this will strengthen safeguarding your child against access to inappropriate material.
How can my child join the school iPad scheme?
Details of the School iPad scheme can be found in the attached letter here. All iPads that pupils bring in to school must be on our Mobile Device Management (MDM) system and signed into a School Managed Apple ID. This enables us to purchase and send apps to the iPads, control the apps that are used within school, and allows access to the School’s filtered wireless network. This is necessary to help us ensure that pupils remain focused on their learning whilst in school and that all pupils have access to the apps teachers wish to use in lessons.
What impact will these changes have for my child?
Moving to Apple Classroom Technology will allow all students access to the latest educational features Apple has to offer, whilst allowing staff to monitor and control environments whilst pupils are in school. This will provide innovative apps and features that are specially designed to work in schools meaning that iPads are used to their full capacity.
What access to IT will the Sixth Form students have at School?
We are looking at a separate system where they can get onto our network safely and use a laptop whilst working at school. Of course, laptops during school time will be subject to our filtering and IT Acceptable User Agreements, so they will only be able to be used for accessing school approved content. This filtering will only apply whilst being used in school and the laptops will function in the normal way off site.
What equipment do I need for school and can I buy stationery at school?
If you are in Primary we will provide all stationery for you. In Secondary, please check the equipment list on the school website (under Secondary Curriculum) and in the Parent Information Pack that you will have received.
What are the rules on school bags?
Primary : we are encouraging all primary pupils to carry their reading materials in a reading bag. School equipment will be provided in school. Packed lunches should be brought in, in a suitable lunch container. PE kit and Forest School clothing should be bought in an appropriate bag (preferably drawstring) and left in school for the week (PE kit only) Therefore, there should be no need for large bags to be carried back and forth each day, which we do not have storage for.
Secondary: We are taking this opportunity to return to the Uniform Policy for bags and coats.
* A smart red, navy, black or grey plain coat or jacket may be worn to and from school.
* Hats and scarfs may also be worn but extreme styles will not be permitted, this includes football motifs.
* Coats and jackets made of leather or denim are not acceptable.
* Outdoor clothes are not to be worn during lessons, in the dining hall or at movement times between lessons.
* Pupils will be expected to bring books, equipment and kit to school in a plain red, navy, black or grey bag.
* Extreme styles and designs will not be permitted, this includes football motifs.
* We strongly recommend rucksack-style (plain red, navy, black or grey bag) rather than shoulder bags as these are much safer in the corridors.
What happens if I forget my PE kit?
You will not participate in the lesson, but you will be required to watch or help out. If this happens regularly your parents will be informed and you will receive behaviour points (in secondary).
What do I need to wear for drama/art etc?
Black leggings or PE shorts/skorts for drama together with a change of footwear as outdoor shoes are not allowed in the drama studio. the defining features being that it has grip on the bottom and that it is clean. Students have brought in sliders, slipper socks, clean trainers and even slippers – all of which are acceptable, socks and tights are, however, not acceptable as they increase the risk of slipping and falling. A long sleeved old shirt for Art and DT and long hair should be tied back for these subjects as well as in PE and Science lessons.
What footwear do I need for Secondary PE & Games?
Compulsory footwear for Secondary pupils:
- White or black sports trainers with white non-marking soles for wearing indoors (non-marking soles are essential due to the flooring of the sports hall).
- Black studded boots for the field
Optional footwear for Secondary pupils:
- moulded plastic studded boots or Astro trainers for the MUGA pitch (normal sports trainers can be worn on this surface but it will be slippery when wet).
How can I support my son/daughter with their homework?
At CFS all pupils will be given homework. They need a quiet space to do this and gentle encouragement. We do not recommend that they listen to music as this will not be possible in lessons or exams.
In Primary, reading together, weekly spellings and times-tables are the most important and in many ways this is the same for Secondary, with the addition of language vocabulary.
In Secondary students have their homework set on Show My Homework which parents have access to, allowing them to monitor deadlines. The most important advice is not to do homework for your son or daughter and contact the school before it gets too stressful.
When can Secondary pupils arrive in school?
The gates will be open from 07:45 but there will be no staff supervision until 08:10 and the school buildings will not be open until this time.
Will I be allowed indoors at break times?
All pupils will be outside during break times unless they are at a club or eating in the dining hall, unless the weather requires us to be indoors.
Will all Secondary pupils have a locker to store things?
Yes and they will need a padlock for this.
Why are we not able to park on the school site?
The planning permission for the site only allows for limited parking on site and some drop off areas. The number of parking bays for parents/visitors is approximately 30. This is a number that Chichester District Planning calculate based on their own criteria. It is less than we would have liked but the School has no influence over the amount of parking we are allocated. Therefore, it is not feasible to allow parking on site apart from for the two reception classes who are the last to arrive in the morning and the first to exit the site in the afternoon. The only fair way to handle the traffic for all parents is to have a car sharing and ‘drop and go’ system to allow the large number of vehicles expected at the site to move through in a timely fashion.
What Sports Facilities does the school offer?
We have extended our agreement with North Mundham Playing Fields to continue to use these facilities. Pupils will continue to access the fields for games as they have been doing for the past few years. In addition, we will have the MUGA pitch and Sports Hall so it may not be as regular as it has needed to be in the past. The School is in discussion with a number of local landowners to see if we can secure extra land for playing fields. We are also in discussion with a number of providers of funding which we continue to move forward.
How do we access the school or if we are collecting an unwell child etc.. ?
You would park on site in one of the visitor bays if arriving between 09:00 and 15:00 and report to the Main Office to which your child will be brought by a member of staff. Pupils will need to be signed out at the Main Office. If visiting for an appointment between these times you would also park in a visitor bay and report to the Main Office. Outside of these times it is the normal car parking system.