Frequently Asked Questions 2020 – 2021 Westvale Park Primary Academy
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is the school going to open in September?
Whilst the legal technicality of the Funding Agreement between the Trust and the Secretary of State still needs to be signed off, this is not an uncommon occurrence at this stage and everything remains on track for a September opening. Westvale Park Primary Academy has the full backing of the DFE, Surrey CC and Aurora Academies Trust and we are excited to welcome all of the families who have already secured a place for their child. We have already hired some inspirational staff members who will join us in September.
2. Surrey CC has emailed me to advise me not to reject a place for my child at one of their other LA schools because Westvale Park opening is not guaranteed. What should I do?
Please do not worry about this advice – Surrey CC has a legal duty to remind you that in the first year of any new school opening, parents will receive two offers (in this instance, one from us and one from Surrey CC). As stated in the above response, Westvale Park is well on track to open in September but, obviously, from a strictly legal perspective, Surrey CC are not in a position to comment about us. However, they are also very committed to us opening the school!
3. Will the building work be finished for September?
Sadly, no. There is a long list of reasons for this, all of them being outside of the control of Aurora Academies Trust. Reasons include: newt DNA being discovered on the site, unprecedented rainfall levels and; the impact on national building programmes due to the Covid-19 emergency. That being said, the contractors report that the full workforce is now back on site, with a view to finishing the build as soon as is humanly possible.
4. It looks like the school will take much longer than this to build; how can it be only slightly delayed?
It is a modular build, so when you pass the site you are only seeing the work that has been completed at the foundations level. Much of the school build will take place in a factory and then will be transported to the site for quick erection, at a later date. There are several schools in the southeast that have been built using this method, which delivers a fantastic school environment
5. Will there be outside space in the temporary accommodation?
Temporary classrooms and office space have been priority-ordered to arrive before September. They will be located on the school site, to the right-hand side of where the permanent school building will be located. These are modern, purpose-built temporary classrooms and they will be arranged to ensure that the outdoor environment is as engaging as possible, as well as being completely safe and secure.
6. Do nursery children have to wear a uniform?
No. However, we have carefully chosen a uniform that is suitable for nursery children, should you wish your child to wear one. That being said, we are aware that children of nursery age may need several clothing changes in a day because of the wide range of learning experiences that we provide for them! Therefore, we do not expect parents to spend money on several uniforms.
7. I am concerned that there will still be a need to enforce social distancing. What steps are being taken to address this?
We are hoping that there will be a ‘new normal’ established by September and we will continue to follow all the appropriate guidance from the NHS, Public Health England and the DFE. We simply do not know yet what the Government’s strategy is for the next stage of dealing with the Covid-19 emergency. Should social distancing measures still be required in September, all planning will extremely careful, both at a school and trust level. We will keep in frequent contact with you about developments as they arise.
8. How will the school manage my child’s transition?
Due to national circumstances, Westvale Park Primary Academy will be organising transition in a range of ways, mainly online to start with. Transition arrangements will include: arranging secure Zoom meetings for parents; online storytelling videos being made by members of staff; staff contacting pre-schools and nurseries for a detailed handover and sharing of information; teachers carrying out home-visits in September (if social distancing measures make that possible); there will be a staggered start for pupils in September. We will continue to offer suggestions to support your child’s transition and development. In addition, there will also be a pre-planned and extended settling-in period for all children in September.
9. Are there still places at Westvale Park Primary Academy?
Yes, although there are only limited places left for reception class. We already have enough pupils on roll for two healthy-sized reception classes. If you want to recommend us to anyone, they should contact us directly. However, please note that our nursery already has a waiting list.