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FAQs

Head teacher Jonathan Bishop answers some frequently asked questions about WCPS.

If we can't answer your questions here, please feel free to contact us.

What's so special about the school?

What's so special about the school?

What’s special is the amazing children and staff who work and learn together. This is a place full of energy, where it’s not just about teaching reading, writing and arithmetic in the traditional sense, but also about reasoning – getting children to think things through, solve problems and become avid learners so that they will be ready for the future.

We’ve invested in a range of opportunities for the children, including outdoor and physical activities such as forest school, sailing, bike-riding and climbing, as well as our television studio and one-to-one access to technology. Throughout their time at the school, children are involved in projects including collaboration through Skype with their peers in other countries and an enterprise challenge where they work in teams to run a business (again, collaborating with others across the world).

Broadclyst Community Primary School and Westclyst Community Primary School work in partnership, drawing on many years of experience and expertise at Broadclyst, to offer these outstanding facilities and opportunities to local children.

How can one school build and run another one?

How can one school build and run another one?

For decades, schools have been organised, run and funded through local authorities. More recently, the opportunity has been available for state schools to become independent of the local authority and through their board of trustees be responsible for management and delivery of education as academies. They are still state schools, but the money comes from central government through the Department for Education, rather than the local authority. With this came the opportunity for academy trusts to run more than one school, to grow in their size and capacity, so benefiting from economies of scale and sharing opportunities. This is how the Cornerstone Academy Trust, which runs Broadclyst Community Primary School, has been able to expand into the development and building of a brand-new school at the heart of the new housing development at Westclyst.

The two schools will be able to share best practice as well as many resources and facilities, and there will be a common vision and goals with shared leadership. Well managed finances will ensure that both schools can deliver a quality education.

Why should I care when nothing has even been built yet?

Why should I care when nothing has even been built yet?

This new school has opened for its first reception intake in temporary accommodation on the Broadclyst Community Primary School site. The brand-new school building, with a 60-place nursery, is now being constructed at Westclyst for 420 children, and the children who have just started in the first reception class will be moving there in a year’s time.

Come and look at what Broadclyst Community Primary School has to offer, and you will see what will be available at the new school. Together, they will make a really strong educational offering for this part of East Devon.

Where is the money coming from to build a new school?

Where is the money coming from to build a new school?

Academies are state-funded, independent schools – our money comes from central government. We put in a bid to the Department for Education through the Free School Programme and we are building Westclyst Community Primary School to fulfil a needs of a new community at Westclyst. Cornerstone Academy Trust receives the money for both the Westclyst and Broadclyst schools, and it’s up to the trustees to ensure that the money is spent wisely, to provide resources, opportunities and amazing staff to deliver the best possible education for your child.

Who will be overall manager of both schools?

Who will be overall manager of both schools?

The larger scale, with more schools, more teachers and more students in one academy trust, means that we need a bigger structure with shared services, economies of scale, a joined-up, common purpose and a shared vision.

There is one board of trustees that ensures that the vision and direction and accountability are shared across the academy trust.

There is also a shared leadership team across both schools (and any more that may join the trust in the future), looking at consistency of standards, outcomes, opportunities offered, and procuring services and facilities.

Then there is an advisory board for each school, that focuses on the curriculum and local needs, ensuring local autonomy and accountability responding to the needs of children, parents and community.

Jonathan Bishop will be head teacher for both schools, leading a team of outstanding teachers to ensure a high quality of education for all children.

How will children from Westclyst get to Broadclyst till the new school is built?

How will children from Westclyst get to Broadclyst till the new school is built?

We’ve purchased a brand-new bus and will be running a free bus service that will pick children up from Westclyst and ensure they get safely into their classroom at Broadclyst each day.

We understand that there will be a bit of inconvenience involved in taking your child out of Westclyst till the new school is built, and we are also aware of the traffic already in Broadclyst, so want to reduce the number of cars and do our best for both communities.

Won’t the first children be disadvantaged without a permanent school?

Won’t the first children be disadvantaged without a permanent school?

The first group of children, starting in temporary accommodation at Broadclyst, are in a brand-new, classroom that will be a great start to their journey through school. In addition, they will have the advantage of being part of a well-established large school, and they will benefit from the opportunities there. They will be able to go to assembly and share the dining facilities with the Broadclyst children, as well as the library and all the facilities for sport and art, before they move over to their own purpose-built school at Westclyst in 2017.

I don’t want my child spending all day in front of a computer!

I don’t want my child spending all day in front of a computer!

At Broadclyst, we’ve had a reputation for many years of using technology to underpin both teaching and learning. There’s a perception that we are driven by computers, because you’ll see lots of devices and technology all around both the Broadclyst and the Westclyst school. The connected world of IT is the world we live in and the future for our children. Let me reassure you that we don’t get the children to sit in front of a screen all day; we buy a pencil, a pen, a ruler, a protractor, a compass … and a computer for each child. The principle is that they’re all tools in the kitbag for learning, and we encourage children to have a really ‘balanced diet’ in their education. We want them to go out and play hard, perform well, develop great social skills, become confident speakers, work collaboratively, solve problems together, love reading real books, create literature and solve mathematical problems by applying them to the real world. Technology is instrumental, together with great quality teaching, in facilitating children’s learning safely and equipping them for their future.

Is there a school uniform?

Is there a school uniform?

Yes, there is, and the uniforms are almost the same for both Broadclyst and Westclyst, to make sure that the children feel they are part of the same ‘family’ within the Cornerstone Academy Trust. The difference is in the badges, which the children wear with pride; we outline the whole uniform on the website: www.bcps.org.uk/index.php/parents-home/school- uniform for Broadclyst and www.wcps.education/parents/school-uniform for Westclyst. You can purchase uniform from Thomas Moore in Exeter, and also online, as explained on the above web pages.

Surely you just have to teach the national curriculum?

Surely you just have to teach the national curriculum?

The national curriculum has all the core subjects of English, maths, science, history, geography, RE, humanities, creative arts, sports and modern foreign languages. That is what school is about. But it’s really about getting the best results, and how you teach that curriculum. We are measured by results, and we know that to get great results, we need great teachers to inspire and engage children. Of course we teach the national curriculum, but it’s what else we do that makes the school an outstanding school in terms of the opportunities and quality of education. Not only do we teach the core skills and the breadth of the national curriculum, but we are going above and beyond that, harnessing the power of IT together with great teaching to equip children with the skills they need for their future.

Will it take children with special needs?

Will it take children with special needs?

We have always had a strong track record of including all children. We work in partnership with parents and other agencies to create personalised plans for each child so that we can meet their needs. All children are different, with different strengths and weaknesses. It is the quality of the teaching staff, who can identify needs, and implement processes for assessing, tracking and meeting those needs which is critical. That’s at the heart of the principles and vision of our schools – that we find individual strengths and ensure that every child is successful.

What and how will my child be fed at school?

What and how will my child be fed at school?

We have transformed school dinners by establishing a ‘family dining’ facility – like at home, the dinner is placed on the table, and older children serve the younger ones. It’s a culture of quality food in a nice environment at the heart of the school day. Children are able to make healthy choices, which ready them for their academic work.

A key government initiative is the infant free school meal entitlement, which in both our schools gives children in reception, year 1 and year 2 a healthy, nutritious, balanced free school dinner where the staff and children eat together in a caring, nurturing and supportive environment. From year 3, the standard school dinner is £2.30, so we subsidise the cost of the meal heavily by offering a dining club, where children get dinner for £1.20 per day, provided that they are committed to the club for a term.

What care and activities are available for my child before and after school?

What care and activities are available for my child before and after school?

We have a breakfast club that opens at 7.30am, making sure that children are fed and delivered to their classrooms in time for lessons to begin at 9am. We can also ensure that they are well cared-for after school until you can collect them – up to 6.30pm. These are paid-for services, but we also offer a range of free extra-curricular activities that provide opportunities to develop children outside of formal education in different ways, so they can experiment with different hobbies and activities that will help to form their character. They can ensure that children love coming to school, and that you know that they are being cared-for and also have added value to their school day. All these services are flexible, and can be used occasionally, on certain days or every day, as your circumstances dictate.

Why can’t my older child join Westclyst Community Primary School?

Why can’t my older child join Westclyst Community Primary School?

Initially, WCPS will grow one year group at a time. We have just opened the first reception class, and when the building at Westclyst is completed in 2017, we will open a nursery, the first reception children will become year 1, and there will be a new reception intake.

Each year, the school will steadily grow. This is because we get funded by the number of children in the school, and we can’t open up a class without enough children in it to make it financially viable. When we get to a viable number of children in the school, two or three years down the line, we will of course review whether we can open up older year groups, but our aim is a strategic, planned, steady growth of the school to ensure its success.

Growing too quickly with random numbers of children in different year groups make it difficult for us to deliver the outstanding quality of education we want for all children.

Who can I contact for more information?

Who can I contact for more information?

You can find lots of information on the website, and for more you can call 01392 461288 or email admin@bcps.org.uk or admin@wcps.education to arrange a visit, and meet one of the school leadership team.

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