Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions

What is the school's Published Admissions Number?
The published admission number is 24. In September 2013, when the school opened 24 children were admitted into Reception, 24 into Year 1 and 24 into Year 2. In September of each subsequent year there will be an intake of 24 Reception children.
What are your oversubscription criteria?
Our oversubscription criteria and admission arrangements are set out in our Admissions Policy.
How many places will be taken by children of Founders?
In the September 2013, 2 Founders' children were admitted into Reception. There will be 4 more Founders' children taking up a place at the school over the next five years.

Buildings and facilities

Where will the permanent school building be located?
In December 2012 planning permission was granted for The Wells Free School to have its permanent home on Mount Ephraim as part of the Berkeley Homes development of the old Kent and Sussex Hospital site. We are delighted that the school will be housed in a purpose-built, architect designed, modern building. While the building work takes place however, we are housed in temporary accommodation for two school years.
What will the catering arrangements be?
There is no kitchen in the temporary accommodation, so during the first two years the plan is for the children to have packed lunches. Our permanent building has been designed with a full catering kitchen and we plan to provide a range of quality hot meals from there.
How about outdoor space? Will competitive sports be available to the children?

There is sufficient space at the site to provide children with an outstanding education, both inside and outside the classroom. Our Head Teacher, Ani Lawrence, and her staff are making the most of the space on site and find creative ways to learn outside the classroom. Ani is used to finding ways to make sure that even without large playing fields children still have the chance to explore and learn in the outdoors. This was something that she achieved very successfully at her previous school.

The children will be offered a wide range of competitive sports, and we are working closely with other schools and clubs to share facilities.


Staffing

Are teachers at The Wells Free School fully qualified?
Yes, The Wells Free School has and will recruit fully qualified teachers.

School organisation and after school clubs

How will the school terms differ from local authority schools?

We have carefully designed our school year to ensure that our terms and holidays are of as even length as possible – either of six or seven weeks followed by a two week break (four weeks in the Summer). We hope this stability will help to boost the children’s momentum throughout the year and work to counter the attainment dip after the traditional long Summer break. Our term dates for 2013-2014 will be as follows:

Start Term Length Followed by Holiday Length
Term 1 2nd September 2013 7 weeks Half Term 2 weeks
Term 2 4th November 2013 7 weeks Christmas Holidays 2 weeks
Term 3 6th January 2014 6 weeks Half Term 1.5 weeks
Term 4 3rd March 2014 6 weeks Easter Holidays 2 weeks
Term 5 28th April 2014 6 weeks Half Term 2 weeks
Term 6 23rd June 2014 6 weeks Summer Holidays 4 weeks
What are the timings of the school day?
After consulting with parents and the community, we have decided our school day will run earlier than other schools, starting at 8.00 a.m. and ending at 2.30 p.m. This is for a number of reasons, including easing traffic congestion, and helping parents who need to get to work early, or have multiple drop-offs.
Is there an extended school day?
Yes, we will endeavour to offer a diverse range of clubs on a daily basis to allow children to explore their interests and to discover new skills and pursuits. The provision and timing of these clubs will depend on the level of demand indicated by parents and the facilities of the temporary accommodation. Due to the small number of children and staff in the first years of operation, we will have to make sure that demand is high enough to be cost effective. It is likely that the provision of extended clubs will grow in line with the growth of the school over the next few years.

Free School policy

What is a Free School?
Free Schools are all-ability, state-funded schools set up in response to what local people say they want and need, in order to improve education for children in their community. The Free Schools programme allows voluntary groups of teachers, charities, parents and education experts to open schools to address real demand within an area.
What does 'free' mean, and is the school accountable and to whom?
A Free School has certain freedoms in terms of school organisation, timetabling, staffing and curriculum. However, we will have regular Ofsted inspections to hold us to account and we are judged against the same criteria as Local Authority schools. The children will sit KS 1 and KS 2 SATs at the end of Year 2 and Year 6, and we are subject to similar financial and data regulations. Ultimately the Free School is accountable to the Secretary of State for Education through our Department of Education Funding Agreement.

How can I find out more?

Our online prospectus gives more information about our educational aim and objectives.