How big are the class sizes?
Class sizes will be different for different subjects. The average class size for core subjects such as English and maths is around 20, and slightly larger for others. The key advantage is smaller year groups, knowing students better (not necessarily smaller classes).
What after/before school provision is there as I am a working parent?
The Free School operates an extended school day with formal teaching from 8.30am to 4.15pm each day. Breakfast and after school clubs and activities are provided from 8.00am to 6.00pm.
How are sports incorporated into the curriculum as there are no playing fields around?
Outdoor activity sports are provided at off-site facilities.
Is the curriculum similar to that delivered by state schools governed by local authorities?
Yes - our curriculum uses the National Curriculum as a starting point, but we feel it will go much broader and deeper than that, especially given the enrichment opportunities we offer to every child.
During lunch and break times where do the students go?
We have a Dining and Social Hall and outside Social/Playground areas.
Are school holidays different to that of the local authority?
The Free School operates to the same academic year timetable as other schools in Bedford Borough.
How do you deal with under performance?
A major benefit of being a small school is that each individual pupil is known to all staff. Any under performance will be identified at an early stage and intervention strategies implemented to address the issue. Upon accepting an offer of a place at the school, parents will be given the contact details of their child's key member of staff and encouraged to stay in touch. At the same time, staff will regularly contact parents, and raise any concerns about a student's wellbeing or performance as soon as it arises.
How will you make learning interesting?
Key to this feature is teaching and non-teaching staff. The Free School only employs committed, enthusiastic outstanding teachers able to teach a range of subject areas.
How do you deal with under-performing teachers?
It is hoped that this situation will not arise. However, a full range of policies and procedures have been developed to respond to any under performance. All staff have a 12 month probationary period.
Will discipline be a focus?
The Free School believes in the importance of discipline both within and outside the school to maintain and maximise all leaning opportunities. Student Behaviour Policies backed up by Reward and Sanction procedures are a key feature within the school. We have studied policies and practices at some of the best performing schools in the country, and have adopted many of these for Bedford Free School.