FAQ

You'll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Berkhampstead below, if you have one that is not on our list, then please do contact us directly - we are happy to help!

WHY WILL BERKHAMPSTEAD SCHOOL OFFER A BETTER EDUCATION THAN A STATE PRIMARY SCHOOL?

Small classes mean close bonds are formed between staff and children and there is greater attention given to each child. Pastoral care and mental health are emphasised through the ‘family’ atmosphere.

There is a wide range of enrichment activities both within lessons and in clubs before, during and after school.

We have subject specialist teachers for MFL (Modern Foreign Languages), Music and PE from age 3 and in all subjects from age 7, making for inspired teaching and excellent learning opportunities.

There are many opportunities for children to increase their independence, take responsibility and develop leadership qualities.

Our caterers Palmer and Howells prepare healthy, nutritious meals each day; these are eaten at the table with the teachers in a traditional family way.


HOW MUCH HOMEWORK WILL MY CHILD HAVE?

Reading books are sent home regularly.

Years 1 and 2 have spellings to learn and a maths homework based on their work done in class each week. Sometimes, they are asked to do some research for their topic.

The Prep children (Years 3 - 6) have a small amount of homework set for four out of five days; this is English, maths, science and humanities.



HOW BIG IS BERKHAMPSTEAD?

In the School, there are currently 263 boys and girls aged 3 - 11.

In the Day Nursery, there are currently 136 boys and girls aged 3 months to 4.

Many children move across from the Day Nursery to join Kindergarten or Reception.

We both feel very lucky that Hugo has had the opportunity to have such great start to life in a great nursery. We are very much looking forward to many many years of Hugo developing at Berkhampstead.

— — Day Nursery parent

WHICH SCHOOLS DO CHILDREN TRANSFER TO AT THE AGE OF 11?

There are many excellent secondary schools in the area - grammar, state and independent - and our children go on to a variety of these, a significant number achieving grammar school places and scholarships to secondary schools.

As we have no ties to any senior school, we can offer independent advice on the most appropriate school for each child.

We hold an annual Future Schools Information Evening to give parents information and advice.

We have a good relationship with local heads who visit during the year to take Prep assembly and meet with parents.


DO YOU TEACH VERBAL REASONING (VR) OR CRITICAL THINKING?

In the Prep, all the children have a weekly Critical Thinking lesson which covers Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning and Maths.

WHAT PROVISION IS THERE FOR BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL CARE?

Children can be left at school from 8.10am.

The normal school day finishes at 3.30 pm (Pre-Prep) or 3.45 (Prep); however, there are various activities and clubs before and after school.

Children can be supervised after school in After School Club (until 4.30) and Teatime Club (until 5.30). Tea is served at 4.40pm.


WHAT IS THE SCHOOL UNIFORM – WHERE IS IT STOCKED?

Our uniform is stocked at John Lewis and can be ordered online.

Academy Sports, Cheltenham, stock our PE kit.

We have a second-hand uniform shop in school run by our PTA, the ‘Friends of Berkhampstead’.


WILL MY CHILD LEARN AN INSTRUMENT?

Music is an important part of life at Berkhampstead; from Kindergarten, all children have music sessions with a specialist music teacher.

The majority of children in the Prep learn at least one instrument with one of our team of peripatetic music teachers.

In class music lessons, children have the opportunity to play in Samba Bands and learn to play the ukulele, ocarina and recorder. They also compose and learn the basics of music theory.

There are many different Music Clubs: the youngest children in the Day Nursery have ‘Berky Bears Music’, in the Pre-Prep there is always a Music Club - ‘Crash Bang Wallop’, Junior Choir or ‘Strum It’ - and in the Prep there are various ensembles for both beginners and more advanced players - String Groups, Jazz Bands, Choirs and Percussion and Recorder Ensembles.


WHAT ARE THE SPORTS RESULTS LIKE?

We believe in inclusivity; every child will represent the school in matches against other schools across a range of sports during their time at Berkhampstead.

We regularly hold our own against much bigger schools; our results are impressive.


WHAT ABOUT TECHNOLOGY?

Children have a weekly Computing lesson; this involves learning the core skills of typing and programming as well as eSafety.

We have several class sets of MacBooks, iPads and Spheros which can be used in other subjects where appropriate. The younger children also use Beebots.


WHAT IS THE FOOD LIKE?

Our caterers Palmer and Howells prepare fresh meals on the premises each day.

There is a healthy mid-morning snack provided for every child.

The children have a delicious two course lunch served at the table by a member of staff or a Year 6 pupil.

How is my child kept safe at school?

There is a thorough procedure for ensuring children’s safety and happiness; this is our highest priority.

Regular checks on Health and Safety procedure and policy are carried out by the Bursar and Maintenance team.

The staff receive regular First Aid and Child Protection training.


Is there a Parents’ Association?

Our PTA is known as the ‘Friends of Berkhampstead’ and consists of both parents and staff members.

Many fund-raising and social events are organised throughout the year, for example, the Firework Night, the Christmas Fayre, the May Ball and the Summer Fete.


Do you cater for children with special needs?

Every child is closely monitored by their teachers; if additional support is required, this is discussed with parents.

The SENCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) has overall charge of any learning support.

Our experienced teachers differentiate tasks to suit the individual children; strengths are recognised and nurtured while weaknesses are supported.


When can we visit the School?

Our main Open Mornings are during the Autumn and Spring terms, and individual tours with the Headmaster can be arranged at any time.