We understand that prospective parents may have many questions that they would like to ask ahead of applying for a place for their child at Crackley Hall. We have included those most frequently asked, but should you have a query that isn’t covered here, please call Jenny Vaughan (pictured), our Admissions Secretary, on 01926 514410.
Q: Will my child need to take an entrance exam for Crackley Hall?
A: Whilst we do not have a formal entrance examination for Crackley, we wish to ensure that every child will fit into school life and engage with our stimulating and varied range of activities and our ethos. We ask prospective parents to meet with Mr Duigan, the Headmaster, and for children to join us on a taster day which can be arranged for a mutually convenient date. During the course of a taster day, we ask children in years 2 and above to take papers in English and Maths although we will look at the taster day as a whole when offering a place. For more information see the section in this update under Admissions about 'What to expect on a taster day'.
Q: Are there set joining points within the school year?
A: No, where places exist, we take children throughout the school year according to the preference of parents.
Q: What is the average class size at Crackley Hall?
A: The average class size is 18 pupils. Where class sizes exceed this we provide additional teaching support to ensure the same high standards and level of personal attention for each child. Our teacher to pupil ratio is 1:11 and our adult to child ratio is 1:8.
Q: Do you have to be Catholic to join Crackley Hall?
A: No. We welcome children from all faiths and cultural backgrounds. The Catholic ethos of the Princethorpe Foundation underpins the school and is central to its character as a caring and friendly environment where children are encouraged to be the best that they can be. The Crackley community includes Catholic children whose families wish their children to be educated within a Catholic setting but also other Christian denominations and children of other faiths or no faith.
Q: What makes Crackley Hall special?
A: We talk a lot about the ethos of the Princethorpe Foundation and it is not just talk; it really is the basis of all that we do at Crackley Hall and parents often comment on the friendly atmosphere when they visit. We encourage the children to be kind to each other and to show respect for their peers and teachers, which in turn creates an environment where they are free to try their best and to develop their talents. The school has grown in recent years, but the family feel where each child is known as an individual remains. This combines with the highest standards of teaching and tuition from specialist teachers in Music, Drama, French, Sports, RE, and Mandarin.
Q: My child is a high achiever; how will Crackley benefit him/her?
A: Children who demonstrate a high standard academically will be supported to further develop their abilities. A structured Able, Gifted and Talented programme operates through the school, ensuring that we meet the needs of children not just academically but also in other areas such as sports and performing arts. Sometimes parents worry that because their child is quiet or falls in the middle ground, they will be overlooked – this is not the case at Crackley as we strive to develop the potential of all children and to develop their talents.
Last year, with the support of our senior school, Princethorpe College, we introduced the Junior da Vinci Programme to stretch children and to engender the idea that any child can be a gifted or talented student if they work hard. The programme encourages children to develop a growth mind-set and to take an active part in their own learning.
Q: My child may need additional support – what can Crackley Hall offer?
A: Our learning support team, which includes a Speech and Language therapist, works with children providing extra help at whatever level they need from 1:1 support to inclusion in small groups to hone their skills in specific areas, such as communication and language, numeracy and co-ordination.
We are quick to recognise children who may need extra support and we try to “catch” them before they begin to struggle. This means that class teachers refer children to our Learning Support Co-ordinator as soon as they are concerned. In this way we try not to miss anyone and to keep all children’s self-esteem high. We welcome input from parents and are very happy to discuss any concerns they may have.
When a child needs support that is additional to, or different from that provided for other children of their age, then we follow the Special Needs Code of Practice fully. This includes the process of applying for an Education, Health and Care Plan where required, so that parents are fully involved and children get the support they need.
Support for a child may entail 1:1 teaching for which there is a termly charge. Children who require this teaching will receive a structured, cumulative, multi-sensory learning programme tailored to their individual needs.
Should your child need any additional learning support, please indicate this on the registration form. He/she will then spend some time with our SENCo during the taster day.
Q: What extra-curricular clubs do you offer?
A: We offer over 47 different lunch-time and after school clubs that cater for all interests – see the section on clubs, sport and music within this update.
Q: I am a working parent – do you offer wrap around care and holiday provision?
A: We offer free ‘early bird’ supervision from 7.45am and paid-for after-care until 6pm. We run a holiday club subject to demand, in all school holidays apart from the Christmas week.
Q: If I have two or more children joining, will I get a discount?
A: Yes, families with more than one child at either Princethorpe College or Crackley Hall School receive a discount of 5% for a second or third child or 10% for a fourth or subsequent child. The discount does not apply to Little Crackers although children in our Nursery may qualify for Nursery Education Funding.
Q: Do you accept childcare vouchers?
A: Yes, we take vouchers from most of the major schemes, which may be used against after-school care or holiday club.
Q: Do you operate a bus service to Crackley?
We do not currently operate a bus service, however should you accept a place we are happy to pass your details on to current parents in your post-code so that you can explore lift-share opportunities.
Q: When do I need to apply for a place in September?
A: We always advise the sooner, the better as classes fill up. For external applicants for Reception the deadline is Monday 3 February 2020. For other year groups all children need to be registered by Friday 22 May 2020 in order for their application to be progressed for our Induction Morning in June. Our prospectus pack includes a registration form and once you return it to us with the registration fee, we can start the admissions process.
Q: If I apply, when will I hear about a place?
A: Once you have completed and returned a registration form, we will contact you and, if you have already met with Mr Duigan, arrange a taster day. Following a taster day, we aim to provide feedback promptly and, once we have had time to source a reference from your child’s current school, we will advise whether we will offer a place. For applications made in advance for September entry, all applicants will be held on a waiting list until a taster can be arranged in the spring or summer term in the year of entry.
For Reception applicants, offer letters are sent out at the start of December for children attending Little Crackers Nursery whilst, for those children joining us from other nurseries, the offer date is Friday 6 March 2020.
Q: Will joining Crackley Hall give my child priority for joining Princethorpe?
A: Crackley children do not automatically gain entry to Princethorpe and in the November of Year 6 take the Princethorpe examination paper. However, they are well prepared for the examination and have a high success rate as a result.