Welcome to 2019-20 Reception information page
Take a look at the timeline, find out what happens in the first couple of weeks and read our FAQs!
- How offers were made (2018/19)
- Our Frequently Asked Questions
- Our admissions policy 2018-19 (no change from 2017-18)
- Information leaflet from the NHS
- Admissions arrangements 2020 – 2021
- 15 January 2019 - closing date for applications:
- 16 April 2019 – National Allocation Day: letters (sent by second class post) and emails sent detailing the offer of a school place. If the answer is negative, please make sure to tell the county council that you wish to remain on our continued interest list for round 2. (Usually you can do this via the portal that you used to apply for a school place).
- The school will send those offered a place an e-mail asking for 1st and 2nd language preference. We aim to enter everyone in our database and send an email to you at the latest Wednesday 24 April. NB Check your spam e-mail regularly, in case our e-mails are sent there. We will ask you to return your answer by Monday 30 April at the latest, so we can confirms everyone's language before the deadline the beginning of May.
- Beginning of May 2018 - deadline for submitting response form, continued interest forms, late applications and changes of preference
- 12 June 2018 – second allocation round: This will include all late applications and those that requested to be on our continued interest list. We usually have some places for this round.
- The week of 25 June: several "meet the teacher" sessions for parents and children - more details will be sent out by e-mail closer to the date.
- 26 June 2018 - Come visit the school for our Summer Fete! - 11.00-16.00
- Summer - We will send login details to the parent portal to those who accepted the place, so you can check that all details, like the name of your child, are correct before we print any labels - as soon as we receive the list from the county council with whom has accepted the place (this can take some time)
- September 2018 - start of the school year: further information to follow, but the children will have 2 mornings or one morning and 1 afternoon the first week, so they have the opportunity to settle in properly before starting full days.
We will update the parent handbook for the coming year, but in the meantime, the one of 2018-19 should be fairly accurate. It is full of practical information about school life, so be sure to read it please.
Every child in keystage 1 (Reception included) will be entitled to a free school dinner. We will send out more information on the menus before the end of the summer holidays. We need to inform the catering company of numbers, so please let us know if your child will not make use of them by returning the e-mail you will receive. It is important for the school to know, as we will only get refunded for the actual meals consumed. There is always a vegetarian option.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Q: Where can I buy a school uniform?
A: There is no school uniform, so you can go shopping wherever you like. Just make sure that you don't mind clothes getting dirty, the Reception year spends a lot of time outside, also when it is muddy! The parent handbook will tell you exactly what you will need.
2. Q: How do you determine who goes in which class (which language) for reception?
A: First, we determine a ranking from 1 to 84, where number 1 would be a sibling. After the siblings, we use the ranking determined by entry to give priority. We will then send out an e-mail to all applicants offered a place and ask for their first and second preference. We then go down the list and offer applicant number 1 their preference, then number 2, etc, until a class is full. When a class is full, we give the next person their second preference. When 2 classes are full, the rest goes to the third class. So it is possible that we offer a French child a place in the Spanish class. Please remember that as a state funded school, we cannot make any decisions based on background and culture, and this is the only unbiased way we can make this decision.
3. Q: Can I accept the place, but remain on the waiting list for the other class?
A: The simple answer is – no-. We do not have a waiting list for the other class. When a child enters a class, but does not speak the language, the school invests a lot in helping the child get to the right level. It will only really work, if the child and family are behind the language and fully supportive. The child will be less motivated, if it is seen as a temporary waiting stage until a place comes up in the other class. It will also be disruptive for the other pupils in both classes.
It is possible to withdraw your child and reapply to the school. It has happened in the past that the governors have allowed a change in reception and year 1 to avoid the parents from actually doing so, where the person that wished to move had a clear priority over anyone else on the continued interest list. However, these cases are very rare, so if your heart is set on a certain language, we advise you to turn down the place, and ask to remain on the continued interest list for if a place comes up in that class.
4. How do I sign up for the After School Club?
A: Please follow the link: http://www.culhamafterschool.com/contact-us.html
5. Q: Do I need to start teaching my child French/German/Spanish/English?
A: No, most children can pick it up at school. Our teachers will make allowances for children that do not understand in the first months to make sure they settle in well and happily.
6 Q: Children are like sponges, so can I expect my child to speak French/German/Spanish in a couple of months?
A: No, while children would learn the language rather quickly in a full French/German/Spanish environment in and outside of school, remember that the children only have 2,5 school days in the second language. Generally, children will start to understand during the first year, but it will be over 2 years before they really start to speak it actively (and the character of the child in question plays a major role too, of course).
7. Q: With all the focus on language, will my child get behind in other subjects, like maths?
The school follows the maths curriculum of the European Schools, where the focus is on really understanding smaller numbers before moving on to bigger numbers. This is a deliberate choice, and not because they are "focused on learning another language". In terms of English, children on average are a bit behind in KS1 (Reception to year 2), but are generally catching up after, while at the same time gaining an additional language. For our KS2 results (end of primary), please go here: https://www.compare-school-performance.service.gov.uk/school/138269/europa-school-uk
8. What are the calendar dates for 2019-20.
For the Easter holidays and onwards we have to have the same timetable as the European Schools for the Baccalaureate exams, the school tries to allign with the county council for the other holidays, as there are many families with one child with us and another child in another school. The calendar for next year can be found by scrolling down here: /parent-info/calendar/
9. With Brexit, will you still be able to be a European School?
We have been accredited to do the European School up to and including our current S5s (year 11s). After that we are preparing to move to the International Baccalaureate if we can't continue the European Baccalaureate. The school has received accrediation, but teachers will need to be trained and the curriculum adapted. This will most likely not impact the primary school in the short term though.
10. There are many stories about schools that are underfunded. Are you impacted by this?
Yes, unfortunately we are impacted and have to ask parents to make a contribution of £365,- per child/year to the school. Also, our model is more expensive than a standard monolingual system, as our primary teachers need coordination time between them, which is added to the teaching time for each class. We believe our teachers are worth this investment, we hope you do too!