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Supplementary Information for Parents

We very much wish to welcome you to our friendly, happy and purposeful school.  The following lines provide additional information about our Nursery, Pre-Prep and Prep School, as well as a general information section, all of which we hope you will find useful and helpful.

Early Years Foundation Stage

Admissions

Children may be registered for entry by completing and returning our Registration Form to the Admissions Secretary, together with payment of the Registration Fee, which is non-returnable.  On receipt of a completed Registration Form parents will be contacted, acknowledging receipt and offering a provisional place.  If no places are available applicants will be placed on the appropriate waiting list; early application is advised.

Children who have registered for our Reception Classes may join the Nursery from the start of the term in which they turn three or from two and a half (subject to key physical milestones) – please see table at the bottom of this page *Recommended Earliest Nursery Start Dates.  All pupils who wish to join the Nursery are required to attend for a minimum of five sessions a week in order to provide sufficient time to access the EYFS curriculum.  Please note that morning, afternoon and whole day sessions may be mixed.  A whole day equates to two sessions.  At this early stage there is no formal entry assessment; however, there are several key physical milestones, such as being dry during the day (not in ‘pull ups’,) that the children are expected to have achieved prior to entry.  All children are required to attend two familiarisation sessions during the term before entry to the Nursery.  Parents are asked to inform the school of any known or suspected developmental delay (speech, toileting etc.) prior to the familiarisation sessions, so we can support your child effectively.

Approximately two years before entry to a Reception Class (4+) a returnable deposit (subject to our Terms and Conditions) is payable and a Terms and Conditions Acceptance Form is required to secure a definite place.  On receipt of the deposit and a completed Terms and Conditions Acceptance Form, a place in Reception is confirmed and details of our Nursery entry provided. 

Daily Routine

Nursery:  The morning session runs from 08.30am to 11.30am and the afternoon session from 12.30 pm to 3.30pm.  The lunch session (11.30am to 12.30pm) may be added to either the morning or afternoon sessions.  Each session begins with a period of child led independent learning followed by teacher directed phonics and maths.

Reception: The children arrive at their classrooms between 8.25am and 8.45am and have the opportunity to settle into the day with a variety of early morning activities designed to develop their independence and fine motor skills.  Literacy, numeracy and phonics are mainly taught in the mornings, our ‘Understanding the World’ and ‘Expressive Arts’ activities in the afternoons. 

Weekly enrichment topics centred on the children’s interests are also introduced and linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.

All EYFS children have a child-initiated session from 10.00 to 11.00, lunch is at 12.00pm and the day ends at 3.20pm.  Breakfast, early morning and after-school supervision is available.

The Curriculum

Teaching and activities in the EYFS are designed to meet the ‘Early Learning Goals’ which include the following:

Prime Areas

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development

Specific Areas

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Clothing/Uniform

Nursery:  There is no compulsory uniform for the Nursery.  However there is a purple polo shirt, purple sweatshirt, black shorts, fleece top and tracksuit bottoms that the children wear in the Reception classes that are available for Nursery children to wear all day instead of their own clothes.  Although this clothing is not compulsory, many parents opt for their children to wear it, as it is most suitable.  If you prefer your child to wear their own clothes, please send your son/daughter in practical clothes and footwear.

Reception:  Children wear the full Hilden Grange uniform.

KS1 (Years 1 and 2)

Admissions
Entry to KS1 is subject to a satisfactory assessment during a familiarisation day.  In exceptional circumstances, if these sessions demonstrate a lack of readiness or a serious concern, the school will discuss with the parents the extent to which it would be able to meet the child’s needs.  On completion of a satisfactory assessment, a place will be offered.  Payment of a returnable deposit (subject to our Terms and Conditions) is payable and completion of a Terms and Conditions Acceptance Form is required to secure a definite place.  On receipt of the deposit and the completed Terms and Conditions Acceptance Form, a place is confirmed. 

Daily Routine
Children arrive at their classrooms between 8.25am and 8.45am and have the opportunity to settle into the day with a quiet activity.  Literacy, numeracy and phonics are mainly taught in the mornings, with the Foundation subjects mainly taught in the afternoons.  Morning break is at 10.10am, lunch is at 12.00pm and the day ends at 3.20pm.  Breakfast, early morning and after-school supervision is available.

The Curriculum
KS1 children follow the National Curriculum though they are also introduced to other subjects, for example, French, at this early stage.  The following curriculum areas are taught in the key stage:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE)
  • Music
  • Art, Design and Technology
  • Computing
  • Physical Education (PE) and Games
  • History
  • Geography
  • Religious Studies
  • Language Studies

The programmes of study are also enhanced by a number of visits.  There is also a range of clubs and activities available after school.

The Prep School

Admissions
Children not already in our Pre-Prep may be registered for entry to Years 3 – 8 (7+ – 12+) by completing and returning our Registration Form to the Admissions Secretary, together with the Registration Fee which is non-returnable.  On receipt of a completed Registration Form parents will be contacted, acknowledging receipt and offering a provisional place, subject to a satisfactory assessment in English and Mathematics.  Following the assessment procedure, a deposit is payable to secure a definite place.  On receipt of the deposit and a completed Terms and Conditions Acceptance Form, a place in the relevant Prep School year group is confirmed.  If no places are available, applicants will be placed on the appropriate waiting list; early application is advised.

Children already in our Pre-Prep normally transfer to the Prep School at 7+; however, they are expected to meet the entry standards in reading, writing and mathematics.  On the rare occasions when a Pre-Prep pupil falls short of the entry standards for the Prep School, every effort is made to provide early notice to parents and assistance will be given in placing the pupil in an appropriate alternative school.

Daily Routine
Children arrive at their classrooms in time for registration to be complete by 8.35am.  An Assembly or Form Period is held between 8.35am and 8.50am when lessons begin.  The day is divided into six 55 minute lessons with a break at 10.45am and lunch at 1.05pm.  Afternoon school begins at 2.05pm and lessons end at 4.00pm.  Breakfast, early morning and after-school supervision is available, as well as a range of clubs and activities. 

The Curriculum
Prep School children broadly follow the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum in Years 3-6 (7+ – 10+) and its own, or Scholarship, programmes of study, which take into account the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum as well as the ISEB Common Entrance syllabus, in Years 7-8 (11+ – 12+).  Teaching often goes beyond the National Curriculum and additional subjects are also taught, for example, French, Spanish and Latin.  The following curriculum areas are taught in the Prep School:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • French
  • Spanish
  • History
  • Geography
  • Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE)
  • Religious Studies
  • Music and Drama
  • Art, Design and Technology
  • Computing
  • Physical Education (PE) and team games
  • Classical Studies and Latin are introduced in Year 6 (11+), Latin continues to be taught through to Year 8  

The programmes of study are enhanced by a number of visits, both residential and non-residential, projects and homework. There is also an extensive range of clubs and activities available in the Prep School.


General Information

Pastoral Care:  The happiness and welfare of our children is crucial to us at Hilden Grange.  All staff get to know each individual child and aim to ensure that their time throughout Hilden Grange is happy and fulfilling.  Form Tutors and are the first point of reference for pupils, closely supported in their pastoral roles by the Head of Pre-Prep and the Assistant Head Pastoral, in the Prep school.  

PSHEE:  All departments of the school follow the Jigsaw programme of Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE), which aims to encourage independence, develop confidence, sensitivity towards others, respect for other cultures and an understanding of the world in which we live.

Additional Educational Needs:  Hilden Grange has a team of teachers who support pupils with additional education needs (AEN).  Individual or small group tuition is available.  Hilden Grange has a ‘Challenge for All’ policy.  We do not place a ‘ceiling’ on any pupil’s learning and create opportunities for all pupils to further develop their abilities, both in and out of the classroom.

Assemblies:  Regular assemblies are held in the Pre-Prep and Prep School.  The assemblies sometimes follow Christian traditions but also include visiting speakers, musical performances and current affairs discussions.  It is hoped that parents of all faiths and beliefs, and none, will want their children to take part, but they are, of course, free to withdraw if they wish to do so.  In this event parents should make their request in writing to the Headmaster.

Communications with Parents:   Parents are welcome at the numerous school events, including concerts, plays and sporting events.  There are regular reports, parents’ evenings in all departments of the school and half termly newsletters keep parents informed about events, developments and successes.  The Hilden Grange Association (HGA) organises a range of fund-raising and fun events and supports the activities of the school.

Conduct and Discipline:  We seek to work together in an orderly, pleasant and nurturing environment in which learning can take place effectively; therefore, our approach to discipline is positive, caring and encouraging.  There are many incentives for the children to act in a positive and co-operative manner and to develop pride in their community.  Any necessary sanctions are relevant to the offence.  A full behaviour and discipline policy, including exclusions, is available on the school website.  The School’s Anti-Bullying Policy is available on the school website.

Lunches:  The school provides healthy, nutritious, cooked lunches for all children who require them; an additional charge is made and half term’s notice is required for cancellation of lunches.  There are facilities available for those who wish to bring packed lunches. 

Uniform:  The school uniform supplier is Horncastles of Sevenoaks.  A full uniform list is provided when children join the Pre-Prep and Prep School.  The HGA also provides an outgrown uniform service; details are available from the School Office.

Full Admissions Policy:  All parents are encouraged to visit the school and to meet the Headmaster before registering their son or daughter for entry to Hilden Grange.

  • Following registration and the payment of a non-returnable registration fee, pupils are placed on a provisional list for entry to the appropriate year group
  • Prior to entry parents are requested to pay a deposit, to secure a definite place for their son or daughter, subject to meeting the entry requirements, Year 1 (5+) – Year 8 (12+)
  • All children are invited to spend a day at Hilden Grange; age appropriate assessments are carried out during the course of this familiarisation time
  • Entry to the Nursery at 2 ½ + or to Reception at 4+ is not subject to a formal entry assessment; however, children are invited to spend a day in the school and their ability to adapt to the learning environment is assessed
  • Entry to subsequent years, including Years 1 and 2 in the Pre-Prep, is conditional upon meeting the entry requirements.  INCAS assessments are used to provide the school with standardised data in reading, maths and developed ability
  • Following the familiarisation day and successful completion of the entry tests, an offer of a place is made, together with a request for the deposit
  • A Terms and Conditions Acceptance document is also provided at this stage for parents to complete and agree.  The document includes details of fees payments.  The first set of fees are due before the first day of the first term; also included are the circumstances under which deposits can be refunded.

Given the specialist teaching system that operates in the Prep School, an assessment of a child’s ability to adapt to the teaching system is also made prior to transfer from Year 2 to Year 3.  On the rare occasions that transfer to the Prep School is considered not to be in a child’s best interest, parents are informed at the earliest opportunity and supported to find a place in an alternative school. 

  • The normal entry points are 2 ½ + into the Nursery, 4+ into Reception and 7+ into the Prep School (Year 3).
  • If during the course of the school year places are or become available, pupils may join the appropriate year group at any time.
  • Entry to Year 7 (11+) is also possible, conditional upon meeting entry requirements.
  • Pupils are prepared for Senior School examinations or Public School Scholarship or 13+ examinations to the senior school most suited to develop their individual talents and personalities.  We also prepare pupils thoroughly for the many 11+ tests for those who wish to transfer at 11 to independent Senior Schools or Grammar Schools.
  • 13+ entry to local Grammar or High Schools is also possible, subject to the availability of places and to meeting the entry requirements.

If class lists are full at any stage, pupils are placed on a waiting list.  Parents are contacted at regular intervals to keep them informed about the likelihood of a definite place becoming available.  Waiting list priority is given to siblings of existing pupils.

Hilden Grange School is committed to the equality of all individuals regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, social background or sexual orientation.

Admissions policy for SEND:

  • We are firmly committed to inclusivity and to giving every child the best possible start in life, irrespective of their special educational needs or disability (SEND)
  • It is the school’s policy to enrol pupils who meet the entry standards, regardless of any disability of which it is aware
  • We consider all children for admission to the school who have the ability and aptitude to access an academic curriculum
  • In assessing any prospective pupil the school may take such advice and require such assessments as considered appropriate
  • Pupils whose SEND are suited to the curriculum are welcome provided that we have the appropriate resources and facilities to provide them with the support that they require
  • The life of the school is enhanced by inclusive policies, but equal importance must be given to ensuring that no pupil’s education is impaired.

Admissions policy for EAL:

  • We are firmly committed to inclusivity and to giving every child the best possible start in life, including those for whom English is an additional language (EAL),
  • We consider all children for admission to the school who have the ability and aptitude to access an academic curriculum
  • In assessing any prospective pupil the school may take such advice and require such assessments as considered appropriate
  • EAL pupils who are suited to and able to access the curriculum are welcome provided that we have the appropriate resources and facilities to provide them with the support that they require.

Bursaries and scholarships: Fees remission in the form of bursaries and scholarships are available through the support of the Alpha Plus Group and the Gold Standard Trust.  Applications should be submitted to the Headmaster and will be processed in discussion with Alpha Plus Group Head Office.  An application form is available from the School Office.

Additional Information:

  • Before a place is offered at the school, and preferably prior to application and assessment, parents must disclose to the school in writing any known or suspected circumstances relating to their child’s health, development, allergies, disabilities, level of English or learning difficulties
  • Based on such disclosure and the assessment process, the school will confirm whether or not it is able to fully meet the needs of the child
  • The school reserves the right to subsequently withdraw any place offered based on incomplete disclosure of known or suspected SEND/EAL circumstances
  • In assessing any pupil or prospective pupil the school may take such advice and require such assessments as considered appropriate.  Subject to this, the school will be sensitive to any requests and requirements for confidentiality
  • Where a child’s SEND is identified, or develops, after the child has started at the school, we will endeavour to continue to support the child as long as:
  • we have the appropriate resources and facilities to provide them with the support they require, and
  • we believe it is in the best interest of the child and of the school community to remain at the school
  • Where, in our judgement, either of these conditions no longer apply, we reserve the right to withdraw a place at the school.  In such circumstances, we will use our reasonable endeavours to support parents in finding alternative arrangements
  • The life of the school is enhanced by inclusive policies, but equal importance must be given to ensuring that no pupil’s education is impaired.

Complaints Procedure: The School wishes for all its pupils and their parents to have a fruitful and rewarding association with the school during a child’s career at Hilden Grange.  However, should there be cause for complaint, details of the relevant procedures are provided in the introductory information for all departments of the school.

Disclaimer:  The prospectus is for information only and does not form any part of any contract between parents and Alpha Plus.  This publication has been necessarily prepared well in advance of the entry of a pupil to the school and inevitably there may be subsequent alterations.

Terms and Conditions:  A full Terms and Conditions document is available here.  The document and relevant form is sent with the request for a deposit.  Agreement is required before the confirmation of a definite place.

Alpha Plus:  The Alpha Plus Group owns and runs over 20 highly successful schools and colleges, including nurseries, Pre-Prep and Prep Schools.  All Alpha Plus Schools and Colleges aspire to be centres of educational excellence.  They strive to establish a climate of high expectations and there is a genuine and visible commitment to setting challenging targets, exceeding expectations and maximising individual achievements.  A key feature in our success is the appointment and retention of high quality school leaders, teachers and support staff.

Our establishments benefit from cutting edge technology and modern learning environments.  The school and college curricula are regularly reviewed to ensure their relevance and their potential to enable pupils to obtain first choice placements into destination schools and Higher Education establishments. 

We are committed to maintaining and improving this level of quality and whilst each school is encouraged to retain its own individual ethos and identity, all Alpha schools and colleges have a number of common characteristics that enable them to maintain and enhance the Gold Standard. 

These include:

  • High aspirations and expectations for all pupils and staff
  • Outstanding leadership at all levels and effective resource management
  • Working in partnership with parents
  • A focus upon and a passion for high quality teaching and learning
  • A commitment to self-review and continuous improvement that is underpinned by the celebration of success.

*Recommended Earliest Nursery Start Dates – from 2 ½ years old (subject to key physical milestones)

Month of Birth –
date 1st to 31st
Nursery Start Date –
from the start of the term in
which a child turns three
Earliest Nursery Start Date – from 2.5
(subject to key physical milestones being met)
SeptemberSeptemberAfter Trinity Half Term – June
OctoberSeptember After Trinity Half Term – June
NovemberSeptember Start Michaelmas Term – September
December September Start Michaelmas Term – September
JanuaryJanuaryAfter Michaelmas Term – November
FebruaryJanuary After Michaelmas Term – November
MarchJanuary Start Lent Term – January
AprilJanuary Start Lent Term – January
MayAprilAfter Lent Half Term – February
JuneApril After Lent Half Term – February
JulyApril Start Trinity Term – April
AugustApril Start Trinity Term – April