Frequently Asked Questions
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PRIMARY SCHOOL
How do I apply for a place at Heyford Park School?
In the first instance please contact the school office who will be happy to explain the application process. We encourage potential parents (and pupils) to come and visit us, to see the school in action and see all the exciting things that we have going on.
What is the history of Heyford Park School?
Heyford Park School was established about 10 years ago by a group of parents supported by the local development company. The school is based on the site of a former US airbase and uses buildings formerly used by the US Airforce. The school serves the local Heyford Park community and wider villages nearby. Originally established as a Free School, Heyford Park School received a disappointing OFSTED report back in 2019 after which it joined the Eynsham Partnership Academy Trust – a local ‘family’ of primary and secondary schools in North Oxfordshire.
Since joining the Trust, our school has converted into an academy, seen a change of leadership and undergone rapid and sustained improvement. In the primary school a new, rigorous and exciting curriculum has been introduced, expectations have been raised, teaching improved, a new approach to managing pupil behaviour and relationships has been introduced, safeguarding procedures and record keeping have been tightened, and a new school brand, including our Eagle Logo (which reflects our US Air Force heritage), and a new uniform are now in place. Our well-loved school is now rapidly growing, sits at the heart of the local community and provides a happy, safe and inspiring place in which to learn and work.
Do you have a nursery school at Heyford Park School?
Yes, we have a lovely nursery which is based at our Specialisms Campus on Izzard Road. The nursery is an key part of our school and for many children this is their first experience of Heyford Park School. Many of our nursery children go on to join our Reception classes each September. To contact our nursery team please phone the main school number.
How is the Primary School organised?
The Primary School is structured into the following four phases:
Early Years – Nursery and Reception
Key Stage 1 – Years 1 and 2
Lower Key Stage 2 – Years 3 and 4
Upper Key Stage 2 – Years 5 and 6
The table below shows the ages of children for different year groups in primary:
Age of child (Years)
Key Stage 1
Key Stage 1
Lower Key Stage 2
Lower Key Stage 2
Upper Key Stage 2
10 - 11
Upper Key Stage 2
After completing Year 6, children move directly to Year 7 which is the first year of secondary learning at Heyford Park School
Each phase is led by a Phase Leader who takes responsibility for Leading the teaching, learning and activities across the year groups and classes within the phase.
The Head of School is responsible for day-to-day leadership of the school supported by the Assistant Headteacher. Our Executive Headteacher oversees the school and is our key link into the wider Trust leadership.
How is the school day organised?
At Heyford Park School, children take part in lessons which are carefully planned to be engaging, informative and maximise learning. The primary school day is planned so that Maths and English (our ‘core subjects’) are generally taught in the morning (including reading, phonics and spelling) while other subjects (such as science, humanities, art, sports, music) are generally taught in the afternoon. The two main morning lessons are generally separated by a break when children go outside to play. Younger children typically also have an outside break in the afternoon. Morning and afternoon sessions are separated by lunchbreak which provides time for children to eat lunch, socialise and spend time together outside. Breaktimes are structured so that children are not all outside at the same time and different aged children use different playgrounds. For more information, please see Our Lessons and Our Learning.
What are the academic results at Heyford Park School?
We are proud of our academic results which have improved year on year. Our primary school results are above national average in many areas. For further details please see our Exam and Key Stage Results page Exam & Key Stage Results - Heyford Park School.
How do I get to know what my child is learning in school?
The primary school has a very detailed curriculum which is documented on the school website here. This shows how knowledge and skills progress across the year groups. At the start of each term, parents/carers are sent a Termly Overview which shows exactly what children will be learning in that term. Our school also holds regular parents evening where parents/carers get to see our classrooms, look at children’s work and discover more about their learning. We also offer parent events throughout the year on specific topics such as phonics, maths and reading.
How do I get information on my child’s progress and wellbeing in school?
Our teachers are always eager to share information with parents. Academic progress is reported at our Parents Evenings and in formal school reports. Should you have a query, teachers are always happy to meet to provide further information. Should a teacher have a concern about a child’s learning or wellbeing, they will always make contact with parents/carers so you are informed in a timely manner.
How does school communicate with parents?
We work hard to make our parent/carer communications as smooth and informative as possible. At the end of most school days, our friendly teachers can be found in the playground; this is a perfect time for an informal catch-up or to share information. We also welcome parents contacting us via the school office should you need to make a more formal appointment.
We also have regular briefing events for parents/carers on specific aspects of our curriculum such as phonics, reading and trips information. We also hold Parents Evening’s throughout the year.
During term times, we send out a weekly Primary Bulletin every Friday evening. This contains weekly news and information, alongside our school diary for the following week. At the start of each term, we send out termly Learning Overviews which show what your child will be learning over the course of the term.
We try wherever possible to be paperless - nearly all parent/carer communications are sent out via our ParentMail system so they come straight to your phone or device.
How can I support my child’s learning at home?
See this part of our website for information on how to support your child’s learning at home.
Will my child’s teacher/teaching assistant change?
Children will usually only change teachers and teaching assistants when they progress from one year to the next. Occasionally children may have the same teacher more than once as we do sometimes re-deploy teachers to make sure our teaching, learning and school leadership is as effective as possible. We do very occasionally have staff leave us during an academic year – when this happens we communicate with parents in advance and explain any changes that may be taking place.
How do I contact my child’s teacher/the SENCO/The Headteacher?
The best way to contact any member of staff is by emailing or phoning us via the school office. Your message will be sent to the individual best placed to answer your query. Where possible, we aim to respond to all queries with 48hrs (working days).
My child has mentioned ‘Learning Objectives’ and ‘I cans’ - what are these?
‘Learning Objectives’ and ‘I cans’ are used in most lessons and describe the differentiated activities that the children are completing as part of their learning. For more information on this, please visit Our Lessons and Learning page where our lesson structure if fully explained.
Do I need to provide my child with stationery, pens, pencils etc?
No, our school supplies all these items for everyday class use. We encourage children to use a bookbag to bring reading materials to school but discourage rucksacks being brought into school as these take up a lot of storage space!
Can you tell me about the school phonics and reading schemes.
At Heyford Park School we use the Essential Letters and Sounds Phonics Scheme (ELS - Essential Letters & Sounds) and books from The Oxford Reading Tree, Project X and Bug Club for developing readers. Click to here to read more about phonics at Heyford Park and here to discover more about reading and our wider primary English curriculum.
Can my child go to the toilet during lessons?
Yes. We always want children to be treated with dignity and kindness and being able to go to the toilet when needed is a part of this. Where possible, in order to minimise disruption to learning, we encourage children to try to visit the toilet during breaks and lunchtimes but we know this isn’t always possible. We encourage parents/carers to let us know if their child has any issues with toileting as we are always keen to address these in school.
Where do children eat?
Children all eat in The Ballroom, which is used as our school hall. Lunches are served in shifts which reduces the number of children in the hall at any one time and ensures children get to eat and spend time with their peers from their year groups. Children come together to eat whether they are eating fresh, hot food served from our school kitchen or a packed lunch from home. As well as spending time dining together, all children spend time playing outside during their lunchbreak.
Does my child need to bring a water bottle or snack into school?
Yes, we ask that all children bring in a fresh bottle of water and a healthy snack into school each day. We ask that unhealthy snacks such as crisps, chocolate, sugary treats and anything containing nuts are not brought into school.
What should my child wear for school?
We have a school uniform which children are expected to wear each day, along with a waterproof, warm coat. Our uniform is designed to be both cost effective and practical and shows children that they are part of the Heyford Park School ‘family’. Most items of our uniform can be purchased at reasonable prices from large retailers and/or supermarkets. Further details about uniform can be found here. On PE/Sports days, children come into school in their PE kit to save changing. Details of PE kit are also here.
If I have a question, worry or concern who should I speak to?
Your first point of contact for any concern should be your child’s class teacher. If you feel your concern has not been addressed is better addressed by somebody else then it is best to contact the Phase Leader, Assistant Head or the Head Teacher/Executive Head Teacher. These can all be contacted via the School Office. If you have a safeguarding concern you should contact Mrs Wallington who is our Designated Safeguarding Lead.
What are the primary classrooms like?
Our children love their classrooms because they are spacious, bright and safe places to learn and work. Full details of what our classrooms are like can be found on the Inside Our Classrooms section of our website.
What are lessons at Heyford Park Primary School like?
At Heyford Park School, children take part in lessons which are carefully planned to be engaging, informative and maximise learning. Visit Our Lessons and Learning page to read much more about how our lessons are designed and delivered.
Does the school have a Parent teacher Association (PTA) and how can I support this?
Yes, we have a PTA who work hard to support the school both practically and through various fund raising activities. We encourage parents/carers to support in any way you can – this could be by joining the PTA committee, volunteering or just coming along to events. To contact the PTA please email: PTA@heyfordparkschool.org or call the school office to leave a message.
How is behaviour managed in school?
Heyford Park School is a community of people built up of students, teachers, teaching assistants and other associate staff members committed to fostering and facilitating students’ learning. We aim for all our students to be well-motivated and self-aware learners who can conduct themselves appropriately in a range of situations. We want our students to behave appropriately because it is the right thing to do. We expect our staff to be positive role models for our students. We want our students to develop into responsible young adults who are valued in the wider community.
In building the culture of the school we will give first attention to the best conduct. Adults will be explicit and expectant in the behaviour for learning that is needed at school. Students will be rewarded/praised for consistently good behaviour with arrange of rewards including verbal praise, house points, [postcards home, certificates presented in our celebration assemblies. When behaviour is sustainably above and beyond this will be met with individual, personalised recognition and reward, including our Certificates of Excellence and Hot Chocolate with a member of our leadership team. More details can be found in our Behaviour Policy.
My child mentioned ‘The Heyford Way’. What is this?
The Heyford Way is a set of guiding principles comprising of five key components: Teaching & Learning, Positive Behaviour Management, Assessment, Marking and Feedback; Environment and Presentation in Books. You can read more about the Heyford Way here.
Why is the school part of a Trust and how does this work?
Since 2019 Heyford Park School has been a part of the Eynsham Partnership Academic (EPA) Trust. This is a family of Oxfordshire schools which share a common ethos and work together to ensure deliver the most effective teaching possible to all our pupils. Sharing expertise and ideas is a key part of ensuring all schools are delivering the best possible education for their pupils. The Trust supports schools with staff Professional Development, back-office services and other support. Further information can be found about the trust here.
My child might be worried about moving up to the next year group – what is done in school to help?
We encourage children to see ‘moving up’ to a new class/year as a normal part of growing up. Prior to the end of the academic year, all children will spend time with their new teacher. This transition time allows the teacher to get to know the children and the teacher to get to know the children. During transition time, children will spend time in their new classroom and the teacher will explain expectations, any changes and the highlights of the new academic year to look forward to.
At the end of the academic year, existing teachers do thorough handovers to the new teacher; these ensure that key information is fully shared, helping to keep the children happy and successful as they move up.
On returning to school after the summer holiday, children and their new teacher will spend some social, off-timetable time together to further get to know each other.
Children who are identified as potentially struggling with a change of year group/teacher, and children who have specific needs, will be given additional, enhanced transition through a bespoke programme tailored to the individual needs of each child.
Who should I contact if I have a safeguarding concern about a child?
Safeguarding is a priority at Heyford Park School. If you have a safeguarding concern about a child in school, you should initially contact our Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), one of our other safeguarding leads or a member of staff who then has a responsibility to respond by referring it to the DSL. These can all be contacted via the school office.
If you have concerns safeguarding concerns about a child away from school you should contact the Oxfordshire MultiAgency Safeguarding Hub (MASH): 0354 050 7666 or visit: Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) | Oxfordshire County Council
In an emergency, the police should be called on 999.
‘Any parent, carer or professional who is concerned about a child and wants advice or guidance can also call the NSPCC helpline (0808 800 500).