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FAQs

Which Year groups will you open with?

We are offering nursery class for 2, 3 and 4 year olds, 15 places in reception and will accept in year transfers from year 1 and 2.  You can apply for nursery and reception places on this website. For in year transfers, please fill in the in year transfer form available from Oxfordshire County Council and you will be contacted if a space is available.  

 

When can older year groups join?

The school will grow from the bottom up with two reception classes joining each year until we have two classes in each year group. We will not be opening up additional older classes at this time. The school will eventually be full in 2027.

 

What do I need to do if I would like my child to start at GEMS WPA?

Please go to our admissions pages for details. Do also contact the GEMS Learning Trust to ask further questions. 

 

How do I express a preference for this as my first, second, or third (etc.) choice school?

We are co-ordinating Reception offers with Oxfordshire County Council (OCC). If you apply to our school, OCC will contact you after the 15th of January 2020 to ask you to determine the order of preference you would like to place GEMS Wantage Primary Academy.

 

Will my child need a uniform?

Yes, all children right from nursery will need a uniform. Please go to our uniform page for more details.

 

Will your term dates be different from that of other schools?

The dates will generally be in line with other local Wantage schools.

 

When will the school be inspected?

The school is likely to inspected in 2023, which is the standard time frame for all new schools. We will have to pass a pre-opening inspection from Ofsted to ensure we are fully compliant.

 

How is an academy different?

The school receives funding direct from the DFE and this is the same budget as other schools.  Academies can choose to have different term dates, different curriculum (we enrich ours with languages from Year 1) and length of school day.  Our school day is slightly longer than other primary schools - we start at 8:40am and finish a 3:30pm. Our Trust supports the quality of the school through visits from the Director of Education.

 

How will we be kept informed about my child's progress?

The new head will confirm reporting arrangements in due course.

 

How are clubs organised?  Are they for all year groups?

We will run a range of different clubs each term, some that are organised by school staff and some that are organised through outside providers.  Some clubs incur a small cost. Clubs tend to be for children for Year 1 upwards (dependent on each club) subject to the content of the club.  There is a childcare provider on site till 6pm if you require this facility.

 

How am I kept informed of dates and events?

There will be a regular home/school newsletter which will contain a summary of events and news and a full calendar.  The website is also kept as up to date as possible.  Please do keep checking this for updates.

 

Why do I have to apply directly to the school for a place in Reception?

For 2020 admissions the GEMS Learning Trust will handle applications. This ensures that parents have an offer of a place at another school should the opening be delayed for any reason. It is standard practice for all brand new schools. For 2021 admissions, GEMS Wantage Primary Academy will appear as a choice on the Common Application Form.

 

How is the building process progressing? Is it on schedule to open for September 2020?

Building works have already started on site and the planned handover date to the school is several months ahead of September 2020. We have every confidence in developer and building company to complete on time and are currently very pleased with the progress.

 

What does the building look like? When can I look round?

The planning application documents show great images of what the school will look like when finished. As soon as tours are available, we will invite prospective parents and carers to come and see. This is likely to be in the summer of 2020.

Interested parents and carers can search for the plans on the Vale of White House planning portal using the planning application number P18/V2971/RM.

 

Can I have a tour of the Didcot school?

Yes, ​​​​​​you can book a tour on the 23rd of October at 2pm or on the 12th of December at 2pm. Please do register your interest for tours on our website.

 

When can we find out more about the school and meet the new Head teacher?

  1. We will hold an open event in the Autumn term of 2019 in addition to the tours above. Further details will be published soon. 
  2. If the head has been appointed they will attend these events to share information about the school and answer your questions

 

What will happen if I accept a place at the school and the opening is delayed?

  1. In this unlikely event, we will explore temporary classrooms/partial occupation if the delay is likely to be short.
  2. In the unlikely event of a longer delay, parents/carers may have to consider accepting an offer of a place at another school. We will do everything we can to avoid this scenario and offer parents/carers as much certainty as we can.

 

Why are you prioritising places at the school to staff?

We are consulting on this option for GEMS Wantage Primary Academy. If it proves popular we will consider adding this to the admissions policies of our other schools. We would like to offer this to staff to attract and retain our teachers who might consider moving away if they can’t find a local school place for their child(ren). In reality very few staff meet the criteria.

 

Why is there no catchment area for GEMS Wantage Primary Academy?

None of our schools operate a catchment area as we believe those who live closest to the school should be eligible to attend. However, as we are consulting on our admissions policy, we will listen to the responses and debate this at our next Trust Board review of admissions policies. We are confident that everyone who applies for 2020 admission will be offered a place.

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