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Q. Do you run after school activities?
We run a number of clubs in lunchtimes and after school for children in Y1-6. These include chargeable clubs run by outside companies such as football, dance, drama and Spanish. We also run a number of clubs at lunchtimes such as choir, drumming and PE. Wednesday after school each week is our big club night where staff run a whole range of activities including sports, art, coding, comics and computers, board games, and science investigation.
Q. Do children have the opportunity to swim when they are at Southborough?
We are very fortunate that our school is so close to the St John’s swimming pool. This means we can easily walk to the pool for lessons. Year 4 and 5 go swimming for half the year each meaning that all children have a year of small group lessons. It is our aim that every child can swim at least 25 metres confidently before they leave us and those children who are already able to swim have the opportunity to further improve their swimming skills.
Q. How is behaviour approached at Southborough?
The school expects every member of the school community to show respect and care for each other and their environment. Our Christian school ethos and values underpin our behaviour policy and strategies. Our children are well behaved learners as a result of the strong importance we give to being a kind, honest, courteous and compassionate members of our school.
We know from time to time a very small number of children struggle with their behaviour due to particular challenges they have to deal with. On those occasions we offer them extra support and understanding as well as focusing on the rest of the class’s learning and wellbeing.
Q. Is there bullying at Southborough?
Unfortunately no school is going to be able to say that there aren’t episodes of bullying from time to time. However, at Southborough all our children know we have zero tolerance to this and when this is identified as such then we work closely with the children involved in addressing this. Children know any incidents will be dealt with. Our incidences of bullying are extremely low as a result of our school ethos and Christian values as well as our robust PSHE curriculum. We ensure children enjoy playtimes (where research shows incidents are more likely to occur) by providing a range of supervised games and activities and our high staff ratio mean that children are well supported during these less structured times and staff can address any potential issues early.
Q. Do children wear uniform?
At Southborough we believe it’s important that we look smart and dress appropriately for school. We believe that uniform unifies all the children in the school, giving them a strong sense of identity and being part of a team.
Q. How many teachers do you have?
All of our classes benefit from having fully trained teachers, usually one per class or in a few cases benefit from two teachers as part of a job share arrangement. Teachers also work across the year group so they lead a class and teach their specialist area to all three classes in the same year group. This means that children gain hugely from the expertise of all teachers in their Year group ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in all subjects as well as an increased number of teachers to support and mentor them.
In addition we have a team of specialist teachers who teach across the school, our P.E., Art and Music teachers meaning that we have an experienced, rich and diverse team of teachers to enhance children’s educational opportunities.
Q. How do you communicate with parents?
We have an open door for all parents and carers. We believe passionately in strong parent partnership and working together to ensure your child is happy and learning well. There are regular opportunities to contact the class teacher or member of the senior management team informally at the beginning or end of the day on the school gate or via email or a telephone call. There are also regular more formal occasions such as termly consultations and bi-annual reports.
Our website has a huge amount of general information about our school as well as specific class pages for you where we share your child’s life and learning. We use Arbor Parent Portal to electronically send you letters and news including our weekly mid-week news and newsletter. The website and newsletters in particular give you a good range of information and a flavour of what’s happening in the whole school.
Q. Which secondary schools do children go on to?
As we are situated in Southborough, children are fortunate to have the opportunity to access a variety of excellent secondary schools in Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge. We find many of our parents wish their child to move onto a secondary school that is also a church, local school and generally a third of our Year 6 move to either Bennett or St.Gregorys which is particularly popular with it being so close in proximity. About a third of families also choose the Grammar school route and these children chose a range of Grammar schools including Judd, TOGGS, Skinners, TWGGS and Weald. The rest of the cohort often chose specialist subject schools such as Hayesbrook or Hillview or choose a mixed gender secondary such as Skinners Kent Academy.
We know that moving to secondary school can be just as challenging as choosing a primary school and we support you through the process. Our formal and informal assessments at Southborough every term and year ensure that we build up a very strong long term academic picture of your child during their time at Southborough and which types of schools may be the right setting for them to continue to thrive in when they leave us.
We adhere to the Local Education Authority’s admission policy. Please see the local authority website www.kent.gov.uk/primaryadmissions .
Reception place applications can be made on-line from the November before your child is due to start Reception the following September by logging on to the Kent County Council’s website on-line at www.kent.gov.uk/primaryadmissions. All applications are accessed according to the admission criteria and offer letters are sent out direct from the local authority.
Parents are legally responsible to ensure their child starts school in the year in which they have their fifth birthday. They will start school in the Autumn term (September) initially part-time for a period of up to 3 weeks to ensure children are happy, settled and ready for full days. There is an opportunity to delay starting full-time education, at parent’s request and in consultation with the Class Teacher and Headteacher, if your child is not ready which sometimes is the case for very young summer born children.
In year applications are for children moving into the area or wishing to move schools are dealt with through the Main school office. Please contact them for an In Year Application form.