Q. What are the requirements for entrance into the School?
A. The School is not academically selective - all propsective pupils must attend an assessment day.
Q. Are bursaries and/or scholarships available?
A. Means-tested Bursaries are available and dependant upon individual circumstances. The School does not offer scholarships, preferring instead to support those who would otherwise be unable to attend.
Q. Are the fees fully inclusive? What extras are not included in the fees?
A. The fees include tuition, books and materials. Lunch is also included. Charges are made for individual music lessons, associated sheet music and examinations and for trips and visits. Occasionally, other charges are made for services which have been requested by parents, such as breakfast and after-school care. Parental permission is always sought before extra items are charged to school fees. Where extra-curricular activities, such as LAMDA, are taught or provided by outside agencies on school premises, the cost is passed on to parents accordingly. The majority of Learning Support is included in the basic fees.
Q. In what way does the School’s curriculum provide a broad and rich education?
A. A wide range of subjects is taught by graduate specialists in purpose-built facilities, enabling The Old Hall to offer a quality of education not available in the majority of schools. English, Mathematics, Humanities, Science, French, Music, Art, Drama, Design Technology, PE and Games, ICT ... all are pursued to very high standards. Full curriculum details are always available for parents. In addition, an extensive range of extra-curricular experiences – physical, social, spiritual and cultural – offers children an unrivalled opportunity for rich and rounded development.
Q. How does the School make provision for children with particular academic strengths or weaknesses?
A. A comprehensive and continuous assessment programme, managed by a qualified full-time Learning Support Co-ordinator, identifies strengths and weaknesses. The Learning Support Department then works with staff and children to implement personally appropriate individual education plans.
Q. How is music taught and enjoyed at the School?
A. All children from Reception to Year 6 learn to read and play music. They progress from percussion instruments and recorders to keyboards during their school careers, learning to compose as well as to play. Individual instrumental lessons are provided by a gifted team of peripatetics, and all children have the opportunity to play in concerts and to take The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music examinations. Children are encouraged to make, share and appreciate music as regularly as possible.
Q. How does the School’s pastoral system work? How are pupils’ problems and problem pupils approached?
A. An extremely effective tutor system and a timetabled PSHE programme provide an excellent framework for guidance and support. In addition, the prefect and House systems offer peer support and the work of the pupils on the School Council is centred upon pupil welfare.
Q. What is the pupil to teacher ratio? Is staff turnover high?
A. There are approximately 30 dedicated full- and part-time teachers and classroom assistants, making the staff-pupil ratio roughly 1:8. Staff turnover is very low, which reflects the happy and nurturing ethos enjoyed by all members of the School community.
Q. How does the School help parents to choose the right school for their children’s senior education?
A. The School has a long and very successful history of matching senior schools to the needs of individual families. The Head is active in maintaining strong links with a broad range of senior schools, knowing the ethos and characteristics of each one. Individual consultations with parents are designed to help families to choose schools in which their particular children will flourish.
Q. To which senior schools does The Old Hall send its pupils at 11+
A. In a typical year many pupils move on to Wrekin College. Some parents elect for their children to be educated in single-sex senior schools. The local grammar school system and academies also attract some of our pupils. Our record of success at competitive 11+ entrance examinations is excellent.
Q. To which organisation does the school belong? How has it been accredited?
A. The Headmaster is an active member of IAPS (The Independent Association of Preparatory Schools). Therefore, the School is accredited via rigorous inspection by ISI (the Independent Schools Inspectorate). IAPS is considered to be the kitemark for excellence in preparatory school education.
Q. When was the last School Inspection and what recommendations were made?
A. The School was inspected in January 2010 by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) and received a very impressive report which can be downloaded from here or from the ISI website. The only significant recommendation was that we should seek to ‘develop the continuity and progression of cross-curricular planning throughout the school and across the key stages’. The School is constantly working to improve its planning and cross-curricular links in line with the constantly developing curriculum.
Q. What is the relationship between The Old Hall and Wrekin College?
A. The Schools belong to the same charitable trust – The Wrekin Old Hall Trust. They enjoy a strong relationship, although the Schools operate largely autonomously as educational providers. The Heads and staff of both Schools work closely together to provide first class education from 4 to 18 years of age. The Schools share some outstanding facilities, notably in PE and Games and a variety of support staff are employed to serve both schools.
Q. What provision is made for educational visits and residential trips?
A. Numerous educational visits and outings are included across the curriculum and in all year groups. Upper School pupils (7 to 11 years) also benefit from residential trips for outdoor education and to enhance their experience of foreign culture. Hugely enjoyable overseas trips are experienced by children in the Upper School.
Q. What is the School’s attitude to religion?
A. The Old Hall School has a broadly Christian ethos and recognises and welcomes pupils from all religious faiths. Religious Studies encompasses all the major world religions in its curriculum and seeks to promote tolerance and understanding of all.
Q. How does the school communicate with parents?
A. Frequently and in a multitude of ways on a daily, weekly and fortnightly basis. eHeadlines, home-school books and numerous noticeboards give regular up-to-date information. Informal and formal meetings complement daily conversation in order to maintain a strong partnership between home and school. Most communication is now done electronically.
Q. What does the School offer by way of extra-curricular activities?
A. A varied and exciting range of clubs operates five evenings a week in addition to lunchtime activities. They currently include: Chess, Board Games, Football, Rugby, Cricket, Netball, Rounders, Tennis, Multi-Sports, Forest Club, Cookery, Hovercraft, Art, Computers, Nitro-Cars, Scrabble, Drama, ESB, LAMDA, Dance,Yoga, Music and Rockets! Clubs and activities vary each term but are enjoyed by all.
Q. How does the School measure its academic success?
A. The School measures its academic success by the results of its pupils in relation to their abilities. We celebrate the achievements of those who do well just to get through a test as publicly as those of our academic award winners.