Q & A
Please find below answers to questions recently raised regarding our new school. If you have any query or question that isn't addressed below, please email it to OTS@maidenerleghtrust.org
Q: What is the address of Oak Tree School?
A: Oak Tree School, Woodward Close, Winnersh, Berkshire, RG41 5LP.
Q: What are the school hours?
A: 9:00am – 3:00pm. Breakfast club will be available at 8:30am and after school club will run 3:00 – 4:00pm.
Q: Is there public transport to the school?
A: If you would like to have transport for your child to the school, please contact your local authority. They will provide you with a transport form to complete to ensure transport is secured.
Oak Tree School is well served by Bus Routes 122, 123, 125, 128 4 & X4. The nearest train station is at Winnersh, located 0.7 mile from the school.
Q: How many children for the whole school? And how many children are there per class?
A: Maximum 8 children per class. We will begin with 50 children and throughout the years grow to 150 children.
Q: How many children will there be when the school opens and what year groups are they?
A: We will open with Year groups 1, 3 and 7. There will be 50 children with one class of Year 1, up to 2 classes of Year 3 (dependent on panel placements) and 4 classes of Year 7s.
Q: Is there a contingency plan in place if for any reason the school is not completed in time for start of term?
A: The school will be completed ahead of September with occupancy of the building from June.
Q: What is the staff to student ratio per class?
A: This is dependent on need. However, on average for a class of 8 there is usually 1 adult and 2 teaching assistants.
Q: Will staff be visiting the children in their current schools?
A: Yes, if this is something you would like, please email and we will arrange a setting visit.
Q: When will other year groups begin at the school?
A: September 2024 will see an increase of pupils in year groups, prioritising those in transition years. Admissions will then continue to be phased across the next two-three academic years at manageable levels, until the school is full.
Q: How will the four Year 7 groups be split? Will it be based on their needs?
A: Based on their needs and which curriculum pathway they will be following.
Q: As there is no Reception year, how will it work for the children starting at 4/4.5 years old?
A: Children will join us as Year 1 pupils, so they will already be 5 years old. These pupils will be following the EYFS curriculum till the end of Year 2.
Q: How will the children be grouped? Is it based on their academic level or based on their needs e.g., SLCN/SEMH?
A: Based on their SEN needs this usually works closely with their academic level.
Q: How will the children’s needs be managed once they are attending whilst the school is still establishing itself? Especially if children have significant difficulties surrounding change.
A: There will not be significant changes. The school will be focused and personalised to each child’s individual needs. If the child does face any changes, we will work with each of the children to consider how to manage this with therapist support and interventions.
Q: What help will there be for children who are not toilet trained?
A: There will be an occupational therapist on site to help support the children. The class team will be provided with several strategies to help support the children in their self-care skills as they progress in the school.
Q: Does Oak Tree School have an after-school club? And will there be different ones each day?
A: An after-school club will be available. This will be enrichment style activities focused on different children’s interests for example clubs will include sports, cooking club and arts and crafts. However, as the children continue to progress within the school, we will be developing clubs in line with any pressures they will be facing; for example, exam revision or providing self-regulation strategies.
Q: Will there be a holiday club opportunity for the children to attend?
A: We will not be in a position to offer this in the first term but hope to have something up and running by the spring term.
Q: Will the school have a minibus for curriculum opportunities?
A: Yes, we have already secured a minibus that will be used for ‘out in the community’ trips during the school day.
Q: Does Oak Tree School have a hall for indoor P.E and how big will it be?
A: The school has a large hall that can accommodate the full cohort of students (150) for assemblies and similar, therefore ample space and height available for indoor PE usage.
Q: Will all teachers be assigned their class prior to transitions? So, children can meet their class teacher prior to starting in September?
A: This will be unlikely to happen before transition but hopefully will be in place before the summer - dependent on recruitment. There will be staff members able to support a personalised transition plan.
Q: Will we be told which pathway (formal/semi-formal curriculum) our child will be assigned to before starting, can this be challenged, and can children do a mixture of formal and semi-formal?
A: We will have some idea before they start with us and children will be placed in the appropriate class dependent on their needs. Teachers and the class team will regularly review this and work together to see what curriculum pathway best meets the child’s needs. The ethos of the school will be a semi-formal independent learner ethos. However, we will continue to challenge our children to complete the relevant qualifications.
Q: Will there be soft starts after lunch and breaks for the children in secondary?
A: Yes, it is child led with a multidisciplinary team.
Q: Is there any type of structure to the play time for secondary?
A: Yes, this will be built into the timetable.
Q: Can you clarify what the therapeutic approaches to behaviour management are?
A: We are not an ABA school, so we will not be taking this behaviour management strategy. We will be using therapeutic approaches to behaviour management considering the function of the behaviour. Does the pupil need support with their communication? Or do they need sensory support? The school will be trained in the CPI approach to behaviour management.
Q: Will emotional literacy be offered?
A: Yes, this is woven into the curriculum and is supported by the speech and language therapist.
Q: Will specialist teachers deliver the practical subjects like PE, Drama, Art, Music, etc?
A: There will be specialist teachers for the core subjects - English, Maths and Science, for the first year. After this, we hope to expand the specialist teachers once the school has been established.
Q: Is the hall ceiling high enough for Rebound Therapy trampolining?
A: We will not be offering rebound therapy.
Q: How will children with physiotherapy plans be supported?
A: If necessary, we will have a physiotherapist come in to support the plan. However, we do have an occupational therapist on site to ensure that appropriate core strength exercises are being met.
Q: Will selective mutism be covered as part of SLT?
A: Yes, this will be covered.
Q: If students find the uniform to be scratchy etc. and they struggle with sensory issues, can there be flexibility particularly with the trousers and polo shirt?
A: There will be flexibility. However, we will work with the child with strategies given by the occupational therapist to support the child to wear school uniform.