When do children join LJS?
Most pupils join LJS in Reception, where the foundations of learning are laid, preparing children for all that lies ahead. Our two Reception classes (each with a dedicated Form teacher and teaching assistant) share a new, high quality learning environment, with dynamic indoor and outdoor areas that flow seamlessly. Our staffing ratios ensure individual talents and abilities are both recognised and nurtured and that every child gets the right support where needed. It may be possible for children to join LJS after Reception, depending on the availability of places.
What are the entry requirements for LJS?
We are a non-selective school across all year groups. We believe in creating strong and open relationships with parents from the outset so please do share any identified learning or behavioural concerns so we can ensure we are able to offer the right level of support from the start of your child’s education with us. Children joining after the beginning of their Reception year will be invited to spend two days with us so that we can get to know them and ensure that we have the resources to enable them to achieve and thrive.
How important are the Early Years in a child’s education?
The early years of a child’s education can be likened to the building of a wall – if you get the foundations right, the wall will stand firm and strong for many years to come. It is, of course, possible to fill in gaps but getting it right in those early stages is fundamental and we are passionate about giving children the very best start that we can, working with families closely along the way.
What does ‘school ready’ mean and how do you help parents prepare their child for starting school?
We do not have a specific list of school readiness requirements. Our only request is that children are toilet trained and not wearing nappies when they start, unless, of course, there is a medical reason why this is not the case. We simply wish for children to be happy and ready to interact with their environment and the people within it.
What does the school day look like for Reception?
Our day begins between 8.15am and 8.30am and our free flow Reception space allows children to take part in a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, sometimes self-initiated and sometimes guided by a teacher. We have role-play corners where children can initiate imaginative play; quiet zones for focused adult-led learning tasks; messy and wet play areas, for exploring the properties of things like water, mud, bubbles and slime, as well as areas for children to engage in reading, mark-making, art, construction and modelling. Our children love to be outside – building, climbing, cycling, planting, exploring, socialising and so much more – so we have lots of outdoor space; an area dedicated to Reception, our Woodland Garden, playground and extensive games fields. Busy children need plenty of energy so we have a mid-morning break that includes a fruit snack, a delicious home-cooked lunch, that is eaten with staff and Year 6 helpers, as well as an afternoon break and snack too! The school day finishes at 3.45pm, unless children are attending after school activities, which end at 4.45pm. Wrap-around care is available and is known as Griffin Club.
What are the steps to joining LJS?
We keep things very simple! If you are interested in finding out more about LJS, please contact Rachel Waterhouse, Assistant Head Admissions for a conversation. We encourage all prospective families to come and meet us in person to get a real feel for who we are and the education we offer.
What is the best way to visit LJS?
We hold three Reception Family Days a year – held on Saturday afternoons, they give you and your child the chance to come and enjoy a fun-filled afternoon where you can meet our staff and other families in your position as well as getting stuck into a range of play-based activities! We also think it is really important you see the school when it is full of children and staff during a normal school – LJS is a vibrant and busy place to learn and we love showing visitors around. Contact us to find out more and book your visit.
Does LJS offer bursaries/support with fees?
Bursary support may be available to children in Year 4 or above. This can be applied for by existing families or before joining LJS. Further information on Bursaries can be found here on the website.
What curriculum does LJS follow?
Our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum and planned as a bespoke curriculum, designed to take advantage of the resources we have available to us.
Do children get to learn outside?
We love being outside! Our grounds include a large natural space, known as the Woodland Garden, which has been designed for learning. At any time, you may find children engaged in traditionally classroom-based subjects or learning specific outdoor skills, such as using a bow saw, whittling with a knife or starting a fire. Regular Outdoor Learning days are planned for children throughout the school.
What does educational support look like at LIS?
Our Educational Support department is made up of two full-time and one part-time teachers. Whether children have a diagnosed need or if it is something that is identified by our staff, support can take many forms, as required; children may receive support individually or in small groups, in the classroom or outside of the classroom. If your child needs support, please do talk to us.
Can children take music lessons?
Many of our children take instrumental music lessons. In fact, our Music Department delivers hundreds of individual lessons each week in a multitude of instruments. As we have access to a number of our own full-time, part-time and visiting music teachers (VMTs), as well as the team at Oundle School, we are able to offer lessons in pretty much any instrument you can think of. Opportunities increase as children grow, with voice and percussion lessons being available from Year 1, piano from Year 1 or 2 (depending on the size of the child’s hands!) and strings being taught to every child in Year 2, with those that find their passion continuing with lessons beyond this. Woodwind is available from Year 3, with Brass being introduced from Year 4. We also have a couple of harpists at LJS, with a child-sized harp. Even bagpipes are a possibility should you so wish!
What after school clubs can children take part in?
There are over forty after school clubs on offer (click here to see the range of clubs offered across the school year) all tailored to specific age groups. There is a huge range on offer – outside or inside, sporty, crafty, musical – the list goes on and on! Clubs change termly so anything is possible! These clubs are usually free to join and generally take place from 3.45pm – 4.45pm, with a few exceptions. Most clubs and activities are run by LJS or Oundle School staff and are held at LJS or Oundle School. If you need your child to stay in school afterwards you can book a late session at Griffin Club from 4.45pm – 6pm.
Are there competitive sport fixtures?
Yes! Children at LJS can regularly be found outside participating in a huge variety of sporting activities. We think it’s incredibly important that all children engage with and enjoy sport but that it is also important to enjoy a sense of competition – learning how to win and lose with grace and dignity are fundamental life skills. Fixtures are played against a variety of local independent schools in hockey, rugby, cricket, netball, swimming and football. We hold our own sporting festivals for each sport, with a number of schools being invited to attend.
What schools do children go to after LJS? Do all children go to Oundle School?
The majority of our pupils move to Oundle School as the natural next step, and we work together as one School to ensure this move is as seamless as it can be. However, our primary goal is to ensure that our pupils move up to the right school for them and their families, and we pride ourselves in providing the best possible preparation for 11+ entry to a range of senior schools. We have good relationships with all of the local senior schools, including both grammar and independent schools, and have worked with them for many years to ensure a successful transition.
Is before and after school care available?
Our wrap around care is known as Griffin Club and is available as breakfast club in the Art Room from 7.30am. After school, the hall is the place to be, with early sessions running until 5pm, late sessions from 4.45pm (after our after school activities programme) until 6pm or the full session from 3.45 to 6pm can be booked. More information on Griffin Club can be found here.
Prospective families are warmly invited to contact Mrs Rachel Waterhouse, Assistant Head Admissions to find out more and to explore a visiting option that works for you.
T: 01832 277159
Our philosophy and approach, along with thoughts from the children themselves, is set out further in our Big Book of Little Details which is shared with all prospective parents. At the end of each academic year, we are proud to report upon progress made against each of our objectives in The LJS Review, which is shared with our whole community.