Looking for a school place
We are keen to support parents in choosing Wistaston Church Lane as the right school for your child in Reception 2021. We would love to show you round our lovely school but unfortunately the lockdown situation in November/December means that we cannot physically bring you or your child into school.
We hope that the information on this page will support you in making this important decision.
Things to think about and questions to ask when visiting a primary school
Wistaston Church Lane Academy
In September 2019 the BBC published a list of questions to ask and things to think about when visiting a primary school.
Read the article at:
We want you to make your own mind up about which school is right for your child, but here is some information about Wistaston Church Lane to get you thinking…
How would you describe the feel of the school?
What we hope you will see as you visit Church Lane more than anything are happy children – happy children, who enjoy learning. We firmly believe that if we get this right then everything else will come naturally. To do this we need happy colleagues and we like to think of ourselves as a close team. We take teaching and learning very seriously but we like to have fun too!
When was the last Ofsted inspection and how did the school do?
The school was last inspected in April 2019 and Ofsted said this was a Good school. We were very proud of the judgement and have set ourselves the challenge of continuing to improve…
Does the school feel cared for?
Our Site Manager, Scott Bickerton, and our Assistant Caretaker, Kev Clark, supported by our cleaners from Service Master, work very hard to keep the school clean, tidy and well-maintained. The school has received investment of well over a million pounds during the last four years to improve the condition of its buildings and grounds. This has been used to build an extension, replace all perimeter fences, rewire the whole building, install a new heating system throughout the school, install new fire doors, replace windows in the Junior Building and restore the roof on the 1874 classrooms. We have also added new outdoor equipment. There are lots more things we would love to do and we will work hard to put our ideas into action over the next few years, with the support of our Business Manager, Claire Dobson.
How long has the headteacher and other staff been there for, and what is the vision for the school?
Our Principal, James Bancroft, has been the substantive head since March 2017 but has actually worked at the school since 2001 when he joined as an NQT! Our Vice Principal, Steph Watson, joined the school in June 2019 and has had a huge impact on the quality of teaching and learning in the school. The children at Church Lane are the best children in the world and we want to do our best for them! Future plans for the school include developing our immersive, thematic curriculum, continuing to raise expectations and preparing children for bright futures through quality experiences.
How does the school communicate with parents and involve them in the life of the school?
We communicate in a variety of ways, but we try to channel all important information through our Wistaston Weekly newsletter. We share news and important information on our Facebook page and share learning updates using Twitter. We also have a text messaging service which is useful for reminders! We hold parents meetings twice a year and send an end of year report home. Each year group has an end of year learning assembly and takes part in a performance. We love it when parents and grandparents volunteer to help in school. And lots of them are members of our PTA, The Friends. We have a website with lots of information.
How does the school support more or less able children?
Our SENCO, Anna Willington, supports class teachers and oversees our efforts to meet the needs of children with special educational needs. We are proud that we try to be as inclusive as possible and our Assistant SENCO, Sara White, supports with this. We want all children to achieve well. Higher attaining pupils are stretched and challenged in lessons in different ways.
What are the lunchtime arrangements?
Our school dinners are provided by Mellors and lots of children in the school have a dinner every day. We can be flexible and so some families choose to have a dinner on just a few days of the week. Children can also bring in a packed lunch. You can find our menus on our school website. Our Lunchtime Assistant Team is led by Sasha Lewis who works hard to ensure that children are happy, safe and cared for during lunchtimes.
What experiences does the school offer the children?
We offer a range of after school clubs run by school staff. These range from mindfulness to football, from Hama beads to singing. Many of our children attend the clubs. In each year group there are three educational visits and from Year Two upwards there is a residential. We do our best to keep costs to a minimum as we want all children to participate. Our residential visits include Delamere Forest, York and London!
Our Key Stage Leads, Angela Culshaw (Key Stage Two), Laura Baugh (Key Stage One) and Sara White (Early Years Reception) ensure that positive experiences enrich the curriculum.
Is there a before and after school club?
Swan Stars is a school-operated club which is very popular across the school – over half the children in the school are registered to attend. It is entirely flexible so we can accommodate regular bookings or the one off occasions too. Wendy Stones, our Swan Stars Manager, leads a team who care, understand children and who make sure children have loads of fun!
How does the school deal with bullying?
Our behaviour and anti-bullying policies are both on our website. We are pleased that bullying situations are very rare but we will take such situations very seriously. The children’s behaviour at Church Lane is usually excellent and we hope you observe this as you visit the school. Our Safeguarding Team is led by James Bancroft and includes Steph Watson, Angela Culshaw, Kim Potts and Wendy Stones.
Is this a happy school and is it the right one for my child?
We hope that it is the right school for your child. At Wistaston Church Lane we do our best to ensure that everyone has a positive experience. If you have any further questions, please ask Jackie Hulme or Nicola Wood at the School Office and we will do our best to answer your queries.
Wistaston Church Lane Academy is part of The Learning for Life Partnership and the school’s Local Advisory Board is the admissions authority. The admissions policy has been designed to comply with the Schools Admissions Code 2014 and all relevant legislation, including that on infant class sizes and equal opportunities.
Admissions to the Reception Year
Subject to the criteria set out below, children will be admitted in the September following their fourth birthday. The Academy has an agreed admission number (the published admission number or PAN) of 60 pupils for entry in reception. The academy will accordingly admit up to 60 pupils.
Oversubscription Criteria for all types of admissions:
Where more applications are received than there are places available, after children with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans, priority for admission will be based on the Local Authority’s published oversubscription criteria.
Once children with EHC plans, naming Wistaston Church Lane Academy have been admitted, then places are allocated in accordance with the order of the following oversubscription rules:
‘Cared for Children’ and Children who were ‘Previously Cared for’.
A ‘cared for child’ is a child who is in the care of a local authority or provided with accommodation by that local authority (as defined in section 22 of the Children Act 1989).
- Children previously ‘cared for’ are children who were ‘cared for’ as defined above, but immediately after being ‘cared for’ became subject to an adoption, child arrangements order (formerly residence order), or special guardianship order. A child arrangements order is as an order settling the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom the child is to live under section 8 of the Children Act 1989 amended by Children and Families Act 2014. Section 14A of the Children Act 1989 defines a ‘special guardianship order’ as an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian (or special guardians). This includes children who appear to (in the view of Cheshire East) have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted.
- Siblings - pupils with brothers or sisters, step-brothers or step-sisters, foster brother or sisters, half-brother or half-sisters, adopted brothers or adopted sisters living together as part of one household, already attending the preferred academy (in years reception through to year 6) and expected to continue at the academy in the following academy year (i.e. at the time of admission)
- Children of staff at the academy - Priority will be given to children of full-time members of staff who have been employed at the academy for two or more years (at the time of application) and for new staff recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage.]
- Children resident within the designated catchment area of the academy – children will be classed within this criterion if they and their parents/carers are resident within the area served by the academy.
- Pupils living nearest to the academy – Pupils living nearest to the school – measured using the National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG) which measures straight line distances in miles from the address point of the place of residence to the address point of the academy.
If there are more applicants than there are places remaining within a particular category, and where there are siblings or there is no difference in distance from home to the Academy for two or more children, random allocation will be used to allocate the final available place(s).
An admissions panel, including the Principal and two members of the Local Advisory Board who are not employed by the Academy, will apply the oversubscription criteria.
Right of Appeal
In the event of an unsuccessful application, parents have the right to appeal to an independent appeals panel against non-admission. Appeal forms can be downloaded from the Documents section below, or a copy can be requested from the School. Appeals can be lodged up to 20 school days from the date of the offer letter.
Where an in-year application and subsequent appeal are unsuccessful the Admissions Authority will not consider a repeat application within the same academic year unless there has been a relevant and significant change of circumstances relating to the application, or a place has become available in school.
Our Induction Process for new Reception pupils
Due to the pandemic we cannot guarantee that any of the below activities will take place. However, below we have described how we would usually welcome new Reception children to Church Lane.
Once our intake is confirmed in early May we will contact families to inform them of our welcome to school process. The pack, which is posted out, includes some important forms which will help us to learn more about the children.
During the Summer Term the Reception Team will arrange a visit to your child's nursery or setting. We will spend some time with your child and with their key worker. At this visit a letter from the teachers will be given to your child.
Learning Together Sessions
During the Summer Term before starting school we run sessions for parents/carers and children to play and have fun together in their new learning environment. The sessions are very informal and provide an opportunity for you all to familiarise yourselves with the indoor and outdoor provision.
The introduction to our school is really important and so we arrange for the children to have two visits before starting school. These visits will involve your child attending one morning session and one afternoon session. They will be within a small group of around 15 learners with both Reception teachers working alongside.
We hold an evening for parents/carers in July where you'll be able to meet our staff, find out more about the Early Years (Reception) Curriculum, visit the learning environment and learn more about the school.
At this evening parents/carers will be given a Welcome Pack with items to support and guide the children's learning over the summer.
Starting School in September
Although dates and times may vary, our principle for starting school is to phase children into the new environment. Therefore the children begin with half a day in school on the first day. This increases to staying for the whole day within the first week at school.
Frequently Asked Questions by Reception parents
My child is still in nappies. Can they come to school?
We would like children to be toilet trained when they come to school although there are sometimes exceptional reasons why this doesn't happen (usually due to a special educational need). Here's some more information to help you.
Will my child be happy at school?
Our main goals are for children to be happy at school and to enjoy learning. We believe that if we can get this right, children will thrive. Research says that parents believe happiness at school is more important than test results.
My child is still unable to get dressed independently. When will they be expected to do this at school? When will PE start?
PE sessions begin as soon as your child starts school, but they will not be expected to change into PE kits until after October half-term. To begin with, children are encouraged to take off their clothes one item at a time as a class and teachers will talk them through this. Lots of children require some support with certain items (eg. Jumpers) but we encourage them to be as independent as possible when changing.
How does the school dinner system work?
When your child starts school, they will be entitled to free school meal until they start Key Stage Two. Dinner choices are divided into four options each day; a main option, a vegetarian option, a jacket potato option and a sandwich option. The dinner system also works across a three week time frame and the choices are set at the beginning of the year for each specific day and week. A menu will be sent home at the beginning of term and it will also be displayed outside your child’s classroom. Your child’s class teacher will explain the different options each morning and order your child’s choice ready for lunch time. We need to be informed of any food intolerances or allergies prior to your child starting school so that we can cater to these.
Will my child be able to play with children who are in the alternate class?
Yes. Some of your child’s lessons will take place within their class, with their class teacher. However, both reception classes are currently mixed for sessions such as maths and phonics. This allows practitioners to tailor the learning more closely to your child’s specific learning needs. Your child will also have the opportunity to mix with children from the alternate class during Busy Bee Learning time. This is when children are provided with the opportunity to learn through play and it takes place throughout each day in between lessons.
Will my child have access to both outdoor learning areas?
Yes. We ensure that both classes both have access to both outdoor learning environments each day, so your child will have frequent opportunities to use both.
Do I need to send in a snack for my child?
No. We ask that you do not send in a snack because the children are given fresh fruit to snack on each day at snack time until they begin Key Stage Two.
How long will my child be expected to sit on the carpet for when they start school?
When your child starts school, carpet-based lessons will be approximately 15 minutes long. Maths, English and phonics sessions will take place on a daily basis and topic sessions will also take place frequently. These sessions will be active, engaging and tailored to the interests and learning needs of your child.
How is reading assessed and when will my child receive a reading book?
Your child will receive a reading book during their first half-term at school. Books are divided into colour bands based on the level of comprehension and the reading skill required. Children are read with by a member of staff at least once every two weeks and your child can be moved up onto the next book band at any time. We encourage you to support your child with their reading at home by reading frequently and discussing stories as you read them. We also offer a phonics information evening in the Autumn term during which we discuss some useful strategies to support reading.
How are children divided into classes?
After the nursery visits have taken place, the EYFS team will sort your child into an appropriate class. We aim to ensure that each child has at least one familiar friend in their own class, although the two classes do frequently mix together. Your child will also be sorted into a colour team at this time. If they have older siblings, we will take their colour team into account when allocating one for your child.
What uniform do I need to purchase and how can I purchase it?
The uniform for boys consists of grey trousers or shorts, black shoes, a white shirt or polo top and a navy jumper. The uniform for girls consists of a navy jumper, grey skirt, a grey dress or grey trousers, a white polo top or shirt, black shoes and blue checked summer dresses with white socks in the summer. Uniform can be ordered from the school office or alternatively can be purchased online or from a supermarket.
How can I prepare my child for school?
We encourage you to attend the school readiness talk that will take place in the summer prior to your child starting school. We will discuss the structure of a typical day at school and how to prepare your child during this particular evening. You will also be provided with your child’s homework folder containing some useful activities to work on at home and you will be informed of your child’s class and team colour.
In-Year Admissions (Joining Wistaston Church Lane after the start of the school year )
Sometimes parents make the decision to apply for a place at Church Lane part way through a school year.
Pupils are normally admitted to school at the beginning of Reception. However, places may be available in year groups during a year.
Please enquire at the School Office if you would be interested in a place. Note that class sizes in Key Stage Two are restricted to 30 places.
Applications should be made online at http://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/schools/admissions/in_year_admissions.aspx.
|Appeals Form||08th Nov 2020||Download|
|Wistaston Church Lane Academy Admissions Policy 2021 to 2022 LFLP||21st Jul 2021||Download|
|Wistaston Church Lane Academy Admissions Policy 2022 to 2023 LFLP||21st Jul 2021||Download|