New Admissions – Frequently Asked Questions

This section aims to provide a brief explanation of the main questions we are usually asked during Open Mornings.
If you have a question that doesn’t appear on this list please email me direct
grundyj@the-oaks.bolton.sch.uk or ring on 01204 333171.

Will my child get a place at The Oaks?
Places will be allocated in the first instance to those children who:
• Have a statement of Special Educational Need
• Are in the care of the Local Authority
• Have an older brother or sister attending the school at the time of the child’s admission
• Suffer from an illness or have a disability, which makes it better for them to attend this school rather than another. This must be notified at the time of application. (An examination by the School Medical Officer may be necessary.)
• After this list places are offered based on the distance from school.
If you would like a place for your child at The Oaks then you need to ensure you put us as your first preference on your application form. Parents will be informed via email at the beginning of April.

How are the classes organised?
We have 7 classes in school. There are 30 children in each class in Reception and KS1 and 32 children in each class in KS2. We are very fortunate that all our classes have a class teacher and a teaching assistant.
We are open plan, but each classroom has a sliding door that can be closed for quiet learning time.

What does the curriculum look like?
Our school ‘motto’ is ‘Bringing Learning to Life’ this encompasses everything we do!
We endeavour to make learning real, relevant and fun! Children are encouraged to be lifelong learners. We teach through a project based curriculum. Projects are brought to life and learning is practical and engaging. We ensure that children are taught a wide and varied curriculum including key life skills. We enjoy making the curriculum real and varied by taking children out on educational visits in the local area and beyond or inviting visitors in.

The Oaks Values: Happiness, Respect, Appreciation, Honesty, Courage, Kindness.
Children, parents, governors and staff worked together to decide on our core set of values! Children are taught these values through everything we do!

How do we communicate with parents?
We pride ourselves on our excellent communication with parents. There is a weekly newsletter that is emailed home each week. Staff are always available for parents, either by phone or email. Before COVID-19 we always operated an open door policy, this is tricky to manage at the minute but we are busy developing new systems to ensure our communication with parents isn’t affected.
We host a ‘Meet the teacher’ meeting in September, to help with settling into new year groups. Staff also hold curriculum evenings to support parents. Class teachers hold two formal parents evenings each year, but are always on hand to speak to parents about their child’s progress.

What is the school’s policy for home work?
At The Oaks we strongly believe that education is a partnership between parents and school. Children are expected to practise the skill of reading at home at least 4 times a week.
• In reception children will be set small amounts of learning to practise at home. We encourage family conversations about learning, practical learning, real life experiences and regular reading together.
• From Year 1 to Year 6 children are set home learning grids for each half term, these can be found on our website. Basic skills are expected to be practised at home. Children are provided with log-ins for key online platforms and apps.
• We use SeeSaw in Y1-Y6 for children to share learning between home and school. In reception parents are signed up to Tapestry so they share their child’s learning journey online.

Does The Oaks have a breakfast club and afterschool club?
Yes. We are lucky that our club is run by school staff. It is open from 7.30am until 6pm. Our club is very high quality, nurturing and welcoming. Children are provided with snacks and take part in fun activities. Children that attend have lots of fun and are well looked after!

What are the school meals like?
An example menu is on our website. At the moment children are eating from a reduced menu and having hot packed lunches. This is due to the guidance around COVID-19 and we have taken this decision to reduce the contact between classes.

Currently, children are provided with free school meals in KS1. We have a great kitchen team that provide high quality meals. Children always have a choice including a vegetarian option and jacket potato option. Children are encouraged to try new foods and supported with their meals. If children aren’t eating enough staff will always communicate this with parents. There is also the option to bring a packed lunch.

Will my child be comforted if they are upset?
This is a common question we get asked. The answer is of course yes. Children are sometimes upset in school. If they fall and hurt themselves, if they are feeling poorly or if they are missing their parents at the beginning of term. Children are always comforted and parents will be called if their child is hurt or poorly.

How do we organise transition in September?
Once children have been offered a place at The Oaks we write to parents in April to set out our transition arrangements. Usually, parents are invited in to school at the beginning of June for a parent’s session and to meet key staff in school. Children are invited in for a half-day session in July. In September children start in the first week of term, attending mornings or afternoon sessions only. This phased start enables staff and children to develop relationships and embed key routines. The second week of term children start full time.

Which reading scheme do you use?
Children are taught to read using the phonics scheme of Letters and Sounds. We primarily use Oxford Reading tree books to develop the children’s love of reading.

What makes The Oaks special?
It is a shame we cannot welcome visits into school at moment because The Oaks does have a very special family feel. We really hope that through our website you get a flavour of The Oaks.

If you make the decision to send your child to us we promise they will flourish under our care!