At Highfields School and Day Nursery, we firmly believe in providing opportunities and opening doors for our pupils. We are extremely proud of our outcomes which really speak for themselves. We provide the highest standard of primary education in the fullest sense.

Our Cambridge Curriculum outcomes are above International Standards, and our children’s excellent personal, musical, drama, sporting and social achievements enable them to have a perfect and wholesome childhood and start to their educational journeys.

Highfields pupils leave us to go to grammar schools (100% pass rate), state (Southwell Minster, Newark Academy) and Independent Senior Schools (e.g. Notts High, Lincoln Minster, Stamford) and frequently achieve Scholarships.

Highfields Main School provides 11+ tuition and common entrance preparation for a seamless transition.

Parents often request advice on this subject, so we’ve assembled some tips for you from our Headteacher and mother of three, Mrs. Lyons.

1. Start early! Choosing the right school for your child is a VERY big decision. People often ask how soon they should start thinking about their child’s education and the truth is it’s never too early.

2. There are a lot of school options out there and your child is unique.  Not all children will necessarily flourish in all schools.  Also, research shows moving schools adversely affects children academically, socially and emotionally, so finding the right school from age 4 for your child’s primary education is so important.

3. Consider outcomes. By thinking through the bigger picture of your child’s academic journey early on will ensure smooth transitions to secondary/senior schools. For example: preparation for 11+ examinations for Lincolnshire grammar schools or Common Entrance examinations for Independent secondary schools are not part of the provision or remit of most state primary schools. This could disadvantage a child who is competing against children who have had the benefit of greater preparation. Ask prospective schools about their current leavers’ secondary school destinations and how their curriculum is designed to support children’s next steps.

4. Consider the whole school experience. The day to day lived experience of children in different school settings will vary greatly… from how and when lunch is served to the amount of time spent on core subjects (Maths, English, Science) in addition to other creative curriculum areas, such as Art and Design, Modern Foreign Languages and Drama. Not all schools spend the same amount of time weekly on PE, Sports and Music, so if this is a parental priority, questions need to be asked to clarify.
Check the provision for swimming and wraparound care, also for extra curricular activities such as Forest School, Speech & Drama (LAMDA), outdoor and adventurous education or residential trips, all of which vary greatly between settings. Also, do schools deliver financial literacy, growth mindset, leadership or well-being programmes? – all so important in early education.

5. Speak to current families and pupils where possible as they are a fantastic resource. Older pupils are often directly representative of a school’s values and success. Consider how they engage, communicate with each other and support younger pupils. Reflect on whether you would like to see your child with similar accomplishments at the same age. Ask about how the school prioritises pupil well-being and work-life balance at a time where children’s mental health is a growing concern.

6. Visit, Observe and Ask Questions! Visit on Open Days, although be sure to ask for a tour of your top choices on an ordinary day as well, to gain an authentic impression of how the school runs. Ask about the mobility of the staff team and the approachability of the Headteacher too. Remember, above all, YOU know your child best of all so only take your child for a visit once you are 99% sure a setting would work for them. Once you have a plan, do take your child for a visit and arrange a transition or a ‘stay and play’ visit as a final check. Good luck on your mission!

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