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Virtual Opening for Prospective Parents

This is the time of year when decisions must be made regarding the next stage of your child’s education.  Current restrictions have curtailed our normal transitional experiences and so instead, we invite you to visit our website where we have collated the guidance, advice and information for parents and pupils alike.

Unfortunately, we cannot hold our experience mornings for Year 4 pupils and Open Evening for parents/carers as we normally would do, however, our website aims to provide you with the detailed information that you would have received at this time of year.

Please see below where you will find the following:

  • Presentations from Assistant Principal, Miss Billingsley.
  • A list of answers from the most commonly asked questions from parents with children moving into Year 5.
  • Videos of current pupils explaining what life is like at GPA.
  • Presentations from teaching staff.

Our principal aim at Great Park Academy is to encourage high expectations and high standards of achievement, both academic and personal.  Our curriculum is designed to offer learning experiences, which extend pupils and promote their personal development, regardless of academic, social or cultural background.  We believe that a calm, friendly, disciplined atmosphere, in which hard work and co-operation are respected, is the best way to promote these values.  We hope that you will visit our website, and this ethos and our values will shine through in the transitional information provided.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours faithfully

Denise Waugh

D Waugh

Principal of Great Park Academy

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GPA Parents FAQs
Please find below the answers to the most commonly asked questions at this time of year. If you cannot find the answer to your query once you have read and watched all the information shared with you on this site, please contact our office who will direct your question to the right member of staff to help you.

How are form classes arranged?

We work closely with our feeder first schools, especially in the summer term. Miss Billingsley meets with all the Year 4 teachers to discuss all pupils. We then ask the Year 4 staff to recommend small groups of pupils based on their knowledge and expertise of them. We then use all this information to assign students to a form group.

My child is very shy. How will they be supported in their transition?

We have a very kind and friendly Key Stage 2 community. All our Year 5 form tutors are approachable and caring. In the first half-term, we focus on coming together as a year group and have lots of PHSE lessons and form-time focused on building friendships and developing independence and confidence. Our Student Support Leader also runs Nurture Group and Games Club for students who may need extra support settling in and making friends.

What will transition look like?

Unfortunately, we cannot say what we will be able to offer in the coming months due to the constant changing guidance. Of course, as soon as it is safe to do so, we will endeavour to offer transition experiences to Year 4 students. Last summer, we opened a transition website for Year 4s, with videos, tours and a chance to chat with Year 5 teachers and other students.

How do I speak to my child’s Year 5 form tutor?

Your child’s school planner is the first point of contact between home and school. However, you can also contact the school office and a member of staff will get back to you as soon as possible. In the first ½ term, we also run a Meet the Tutor event so you can find out how your child has settled in.

Can my child walk to school alone?

Yes. This is often an exciting milestone for our Year 5s. We recommend you practice it first with your child so they can do it safely and, ideally they would have a friend who could join them. 

My child can’t decide between packed lunch or a school dinner. What should they do?

Yes they can try both options; both are eaten in the Dining Hall and students eating a packed lunch can still ‘top up’ with items from the canteen. We use a biometric system and meals can be paid for via the office or online.

If my child has a problem, who can they speak to?

Firstly, their form tutor is their main point of contact, but they will also have some subject teachers too, if the issue is subject related.  Miss Billingsley is the Assistant Principal and there is additional support offered by Miss Readman. GPA is a very caring school and all staff members are approachable and will point your child in the right direction of help!

Can my child bring their phone to school?

We appreciate that some parents want their children to have a mobile phone for the journey to/from school and so for this reason only, we allow phones. They must be turned off and left in bags once students come onto the school site. Any phones seen/heard during the school day, will be confiscated and must be collected at the end of the school day.

What support is there for children with SEND?

Our SEN support team will meet with first schools in the summer term to collect personalised information regarding additional needs.  We also attend any EHCP meetings in this term to support with transition. Miss Readman may also contact parents/carers ahead of September to discuss personal circumstances. We hope to be able to offer additional transition experiences for vulnerable students and those with additional needs, however at present, we cannot say what this will look like in 2021.

My child takes daily medication. How is this organised?

Before they start with us, we would ask that you to come to school to meet our First Aider and complete the medical paperwork. Then we could arrange for whatever was required.