When are you opening?
We are opening in September 2018, with only 150 year 7 pupils. Only those currently in Year 6 can apply for a place. We won’t be taking children into older year groups. We are not opening the sixth form until 2023 when the new pupils reach Year 12.
Why isn’t the building started/finished?
We are currently appointing the contractors who will build the new school for us – we couldn’t have the land until 2018, so the timeline means that we will be built on the new site in 2020.
Will being in temporary accommodation harm their education?
Not at all, we will be in the old Orion school building, which will be refurbished for us to use for 2 years. It is a school already so is perfect as temporary accommodation until the new building is complete. If we didn’t have this, we wouldn’t be opening until 2020.
How will they get to school?
There are buses, tubes and of course we would hope that pupils will walk or cycle to school
We haven’t designed the uniform yet – we just know that it will be based around the Saracens colours. Why not go to the activities room and help us plan the uniform?
Will you be teaching science as three separate subjects?
In Year 7, science is taught as an overall subject in most schools, as it will be with us.
What language will you be teaching?
Spanish will be the main language for all pupils – supports the development and learning of English. There may be opportunities for other languages.
Who is the headteacher?
We haven’t appointed yet – we hope to do so later this week when we have our assessment centre. We have 6 candidates who are all excellent in their current schools. Why not pop along to the activities area and tell us what we should be looking for in our headteacher?
How do I know my child will get a good education?
We are being supported by Watford Grammar School for Boys, which is led by a National Leader of Education, providing support to our education development. If you have specific education questions, please go over and speak to Ian Cooksey, Headteacher WG, or his Deputy Jim MacLeod.
They will always be the oldest year group…
This brings benefits – they will be extremely well looked after – a nice transition between primary and secondary that you won’t get elsewhere. They will also be a year group of leaders – setting examples to each new year group as they start in the school. We will also do activities with other schools to ensure they meet older children.
Will you have childcare after school?
Not childcare as such, secondary schools are different to primary. There will be extra-curricular clubs every day (go and write on the wall to tell us what you want!), and school will be open from 8am – 6pm so children can come in, get breakfast, and then study after school.
What sports will you be doing?
We will do a full PE programme as in any other school, along with a strong after school club of teams. We will have a FANTASTIC rugby team, but you don’t have to play rugby, or want to play it to come to our school. The opportunity will be there if you want it.
Basketball, dance, football, athletics, cricket, hockey, netball, aerobics, yoga, trampolining, circuit training…
Whose initiative is the school?
Two of the board members at Saracens wanted to do something for the local community and so thought of opening a secondary school near to the ground, taking the clubs values into the classroom. When Barnet heard of this, they were extremely supportive because by 2021, there will be a shortage of over 17 Year 7 classes in Barnet.
What impact will it have on the local schools?
It won’t, there is a need for the places, so we will actually be relieving some of the pressure on applications for their schools.
Do we really need a school?
Yes, children in Grahame Park, Burnt Oak etc., already have problems getting into the school of their choice. This will really help children stay locally, without having to travel for a long time on public transport. They can spend time studying instead of being on a bus.
What do Saracens get out of it?
Saracens don’t gain anything financially – it is a separate Trust, and is funded by the government. The value that Saracens will add comes from the values, and the support they will provide for extra-curricular activities.
Who pays for the school?
The government pay for the school building.
Can the school afford to run with only Year 7 pupils in it?
Yes, we will only employ the staff we need to work with Year 7, then each year we will employ more staff as the school grows.
Who are the governors?
The school will have a local governing body, which will look after the school on behalf of the trust. They are mostly very local people who want to help. They are currently learning how to be a governor.
Who are the trustees?
The trustees are a combination of Saracens people and professionals who want to do something good in the local area. You can see who they all are on the website.
Is Barnet in charge of the school?
No, we are accountable to the Department for Education.
How do I apply?
See the handout – separate link for our school only.
Send them to Sylvia.
What is the catchment area?
There isn’t a catchment area – it is children with special circumstances first, e.g. Looked after children, SEND etc., then by distance. But this is the best year to apply because there are no siblings, so we have 150 places available.
Where will they play sports?
We will do some sports here, but we will also travel over to Allianz Park to use the facilities.
It isn’t long until September 2018, will you be ready in time?
Absolutely – we have a project manager whose only job is to make sure we are all organised. The headteacher will start with us part time in January, so between them, everything will be in place. The DfE will oversee us to make sure too.
How many pupils in a class?
There will be between 25-30 in each class.
Why are you not opening a 6th form?
There isn’t a need to open it just yet, the places aren’t needed in Barnet until these year groups get to sixth form age.
Will you be teaching RE?
Yes, either as distinct lessons or as part of PHSE.
How will you look after children with special needs?
We will employ a qualified SENCO who will have pastoral staff to support the children, guided by the SENCO.
Will you follow the national curriculum?
We will choose a curriculum that suits the needs of the children – preparing them to external exams in year 11, so we will work backwards from that, to ensure they are learning exactly what they need.
How can I get involved in the school?
We will be holding elections for parent governors in the October after the school opens and we would like for a Parents and Teachers Association to organise themselves too!
What about bullying?
We will not tolerate bullying in the school.
What do you mean by coaching the children?
We will coach every child to succeed – to be the best they can be.
That covers talents and skills, character and also academic. We will have coaches in school – both from the staff that are there, but also external people coming in to work with the children.