Questions Submitted by Parents, Staff and Local Community
Questions submitted in response to the proposal:
Q: What are the reasons behind wanting to convert Orchard and why can it not carry on as a single school? (from a parent)
A: Orchard Primary is a small one form entry school in Bexley and one of the few remaining schools still maintained by the Borough. Governors and the Head Teacher believe that conversion to an academy and joining The Primary First Trust (TPFT) will better support staff to deliver quality teaching and learning to our pupils. TPFT are specialists in the primary sector and are established operators of schools in Bexley and Medway. The ability to share and draw upon resources and expertise is a significant advantage to the present arrangements. (Mr P Atkinson, Chair of Governors - Orchard Primary School)
Q: If the Trust design their own curriculums how can we be sure they are covering everything they should be and that our children are being fully prepared for national/regional exams such as the 11+? (from a parent)
A: Although trust schools can develop a unique curriculum, the curriculum must still cover the national curriculum and this supports the 11+ where the 11+ is entered. This means children receive the coverage, challenge and, most importantly, are fully prepared for the next stage of their education. (Mr P Atkinson, Chair of Governors - Orchard Primary School)
Q: We chose Orchard Primary because of its focus on nurture and wellbeing. I notice that there is no mention at all of our children's wellbeing and mental health in the literature circulated, which forms the basis for any successful education. I am worried that the focus on results will bypass all the vulnerable children at the school and lead to them being excluded (either literally or by means of their difficulties to keep up)
A: The Trust is inclusive and values the whole child. We celebrate each child’s uniqueness and welcome all children from our communities. All our schools support the wellbeing and mental health of our children and this is at the heart of all we do. We support each child’s learning journey through personalised plans and recognise their own progress journey. Our schools curriculums are accessible by all children through quality teaching.
Our schools are ambassadors of inclusion and have been recognised through national accreditation of the Inclusion Quality Mark. Three of our schools are highlighted as Centres of Excellence for Inclusion and one of our schools was the first school nationally to be recognised for Wellbeing and Mental Health.
Our Trust and School values are the fundamental in how our schools operate. (Ms L Hamilton, Education Director - The Primary First Trust)