FAQs

Everything you need to know about our new school

We are very grateful to all the local families who have helped us to plan and develop GEMS Twickenham Primary Academy. Over the period of consultation we heard a lot of questions, which we thought you would find useful to read all in one place.

We hope you find these answers to frequently asked questions helpful. If your question is not here or your need a little more clarity please do not hesitate to contact us.

What is the size of the school?

We currently have two Reception classes and two Year 1 classes with 93 pupils in total. Our class sizes will have a maximum of 30 pupils so when we are full we will have a capacity of 420 pupils.

Do you have a sibling admission policy?

Yes we do. Our admissions policy is on our web site

Will the school always be located at the Colne Road site?

Yes we obtained planning permission in May 2016 for a two form entry school from Reception to Year 6. The maximum pupils will be 420 when full. We need to ensure that we develop strong relationships with our neighbours and to be considerate neighbours ourselves. We ask all parents and staff to sign our Travel Policy. Part of this is a commitment not to drive along Colne Road and Knowle Road or to park in these roads.

How do you use the building inside?

We are fortunate to have lots of available space inside. On the ground floor we have our two Reception classrooms which have direct access to the Reception playground. There is also a Dining Hall, a Library for Reception pupils, a Hall and the Atrium. The latter ensure that we do not have to have any wet playtimes in the classroom. The first floor has our two Year 1 classrooms and will have the Year 2 and 3 classrooms plus a library for these year groups. There is also a Special Educational Needs room and suite of music practice rooms. The top floor will have the Year 4, 5 & 6 classrooms, a library for these year groups, a science room and art room.

How do you manage playtimes and outdoor PE?

We will rotate the use of the playground. We currently use The Green for our outdoor PE lessons and we plan to use Kneller Gardens for sports for Years 3, 4, 5 and 6. We hope to use Archdeacon Cambridge’s swimming pool for our swimming lessons.

What curriculum do you offer?

We follow the National Curriculum. In addition we teach Spanish to Reception children upwards and we plan to introduce another optional language further up the school. We also ensure that there is an element of physical activity every day in the timetable so on days when there isn’t an indoor or outdoor PE lesson planned there could be a wake up shake up routine, a yoga session or a run for older pupils. We also have Thinking Skills lessons from Reception upwards. Our timetabled is structured and our lessons always include activities that are differentiated to suit all ability groups.

Do you provide for Special Education Needs?

We aim to be as inclusive as we can be. We do have a SEN Coordinator one morning a week who can provide additional support. We also have support from the Local Authority Speech and Language, Educational Psychology and CAMHS (Children and Adult Mental Health Service) teams. As we grow we plan to develop our ability to support SEN children.

How do you help your pupils to develop emotionally?

Emotional development is on-going and part of our pastoral & PSHE programmes. In each literacy, numeracy & topic lessons the children go over the SMSC (social, moral, spiritual & cultural) skills required in the lesson. We teach resilience (eg our TAG strategy) and conflict resolution strategies on a daily basis too. To provide more support for each pupil we link each child with another pupil in the year above - these are called their school ‘uncle’ or ‘auntie’. In the future Reception children will also be linked to a Year 6 pupil who will be their school ‘granny’ or ‘grandpa’. We arrange opportunities for the children to spend time with their 'family mentor’ each term. We also ask the children each term to tell us the name of an adult they feel they can talk to in school.

 Are you a religious school?*

We are not a faith school. We follow the National Curriculum for religious education and we base our schemes of work on the syllabus provided by our Local Authority SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education). Our timetables include the required daily act of religious worship. This is not based on one faith.

Are there extra-curricular activities?

We have a visits programme for each year group including Reception. We have House Days every term during which the children are vertically grouped for activities and we have themed days such as art, maths, science & literacy throughout the year. The children participate in events such as Enterprise Day, Diversity Day and Sports Day. We also have a whole school project every spring term. We plan a series of workshops for each year group these range from washroom best practice to relaxation techniques to personal safety. We have established a relationship with The Richmond Music Trust who run our Year 1 Music Makers course and will be providing peripatetic teachers as the children become old enough to do private lessons (from Year 2). There are no after school clubs for reception pupils. Year 1 have after school clubs eg dance and multi sports.

Do you have positions of responsibility?

Each term our classes vote for a class ambassador. The ambassadors collect ideas and information from their class and attend meetings each term with the Principal. This leadership group is called the school ‘Hub’. We will have a pupil leadership team when we have Key Stage two pupils and a Head Girl and Head Boy to represent the school. We are developing monitor roles and the class leader role is rotated each day to give the opportunity to lead to all our pupils.

How do you provide school meals?

We currently have our hot food made and delivered by ‘Heavenly Dish’ a company based in Colne Road. The menu is very simple and each day we keep the items as separate as possible to ensure there is something for everyone. The children are encouraged to try new things. We have 91 children at the moment and 3 choose to have a packed lunch. We are planning to cook in our own kitchen next year. All children are entitled to a free school meal from Reception to Year 2.

Where do parents buy the uniform?

Stevenson’s in Heath Road stock any items with the logo (jumper, cardigan, PE sweat shirt) plus the school purple coat (which is compulsory), polo shirt with purple stripe and House T shirt. All other items can be purchased from any outlet eg supermarkets, department stores.

What are your drop off collection times?

Drop–off is between 8.30am and 9.00am

Collection for Reception is 3.20pm. Each year this is a little later until Year 6 when it will be 4.00pm

Do you have wrap around care?

Yes we do. There is a Breakfast Club from 7.45am – 8.30am and Energy Kidz provide after school care until 6.00pm. www.energy-kidz.co.uk

We hope you find these answers to frequently asked questions helpful.  We welcome all enquiries so please do contact the school office if you have any further questions or you require specific information our contact number is 0203 019 6196 or email us at office@gemstwickenham.co.uk