Senior FAQs

As the children move from year group to year group their experiences change as we pack more into the school day. Please do not hesitate to contact us directly if you need any further information about any aspect of the education we provide. We are always on hand to support parents as their child progresses through each stage of his/her education with us.

Senior FAQs

How big will classes be in the senior department?

Our senior model will see one class of around 20-22 students, with the capacity for sets and smaller groups in many areas. As pupils move through the school to GCSE lessons, Option subject classes will be smaller.

What experience does the group have with working with senior pupils?

The Oak-Tree Group has extensive experience working with seniors, with two all-through schools already in the group. Matthew Hagger, Claire Osborn and Moreen Barnard, the three key people behind the development of the senior department, have a wealth of senior experience on which to draw.

How will pupils be prepared for when they leave school at Year 11?

Pupils will be prepared in a number of ways, including taking part in mock A Level interviews with the Head and senior team, have careers guidance and discussions with industry leaders, have the opportunity to take a week long work experience placement and aptitude tests in Year 10.

What new facilities will be developed for the seniors?

We have planning consent to refurbish the inside of Bakers Cottage to form a new senior building, with classrooms, toilets, Science Lab/store, offices, support rooms, and an ICT Suite. The large conservatory at the rear of the cottage will be demolished and a new senior block built, with classrooms and toilets/changing rooms/showers. We will also re-landscape an area to the rear of the site to create a senior recreation/seating area.

What will the entry procedures for external pupils look like?

There will be external exams for students looking to join us in the seniors from other local schools. Pupils will go through an academic selection process with the same entrance exams and interviews as we have in place at our other all-through schools to ensure that we maintain a high academic standard.

Will you still prepare pupils for 11+ exams?

We will continue to prepare children for 11+ entry for several years in order to provide more choice to our families. Pupils will be prepared as thoroughly as they always have been for the next phase of their education beyond our Year 6. This will either be for parents’ original choices of external senior schools, with whom we maintain excellent relationships, or for the new option of our own senior department.

When will Coopersale Hall have a full senior department?

There will be a phased introduction of senior pupils from September 2023, with the hope of having a full seniors, up to Year 11, by 2027. In 2024, Year 7 pupils will move to Year 8 and a new group of Year 7 pupils will join and so on.

What happens if my child needs extra support?

We are fortunate to have a well-resourced Learning Support team, coordinated by our SENDCo Mrs Doherty. We have a large number of Learning Support Assistants who work in a variety of classes. All work is routinely differentiated to meet the range of abilities of our children so that they are all able to access the curriculum.

Our specialist staff give one-to-one targeted support to pupils to help them make progress. We also have a specialist dyslexia teacher who provides lessons for some of our pupils and undertakes assessments if necessary.

What links are there between school and parents?

Parents have the opportunity each day to talk to the class teacher either in the morning or in the afternoon. We are very happy for parents to contact us to make a longer appointment if they need a more detailed conversation with the form teacher or a member of the senior team. The Headmistress is readily available to see parents about a variety of matters.

We have at least one formal communication with home each term, which takes the form of a short report, full report or parent’s meeting. There are regular newsletters and the website is always updated with information and news. We have a text messaging service and we email letters and news home.  We also tweet our news!

There are annual drop-in mornings for Early Years, Infant and Junior parents to visit the classrooms, annual coffee mornings for all parents to chat with the Group Managing Principal and Headmistress about school, and we hold a display of work evening in the Summer Term. Parents of Kindergarten children see their child’s keyworker on a daily basis and are able to request an appointment at any time.

What are lunches like?

The children receive a snack at morning breaktime with a drink of milk or water.

We have a wide range of food on offer at lunchtime freshly prepared by our Chef and her team. There is a daily choice of a hot main meal with a hot vegetarian alternative, together with a cold buffet that includes filled baguettes and a wide variety of salads. A daily pudding choice is available or plenty of fresh fruit and yoghurts.

There are many members of staff on duty to help children with their choice of food and to ensure that they eat a balanced meal. We always encourage children to try new food. Our team is used to catering for all dietary needs.