We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers to help understand what our vision & plans are. If the answer you’re looking for isn’t here, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
Free Schools are state-funded independent schools set up in response to the needs of a local area. Hoe Valley School was founded by a group of local parents and is a non-religious, non-selective, local school.
Once open, a Free School is an Academy like any other. Academies have more freedom to adapt the national curriculum, have more financial autonomy and have the freedom to alter the duration of the school day and school term.
As an Academy, we must abide by the National Admissions Code and are inspected by OFSTED in the same way as all non-fee paying school.
Why is a new school needed?
The population of Woking is increasing through a combination of new housing and increased birth rates. You may have seen in the local papers that several primary schools in the area have had extra forms added on a permanent basis. As these children work their way through the system more secondary school places are needed to meet the increased demand. Hoe Valley School is providing some of these places.
How is Hoe Valley School funded?
We are funded on the same basis as other academies and Surrey maintained schools. All free schools and academies are run by non-profit making charitable trusts.
How will you deliver more practical subjects on your temporary site?
All of our Assemblies, PE, Drama and Dance lessons are delivered using the facilities at Woking Leisure Centre. Design, Art and Technology and Science are delivered on site in specialist classrooms in addition to off-site days using facilities at other local organisations and local schools and colleges.
What does ‘smaller than average’ actually mean?
Hoe Valley School has a maximum intake of 120 students per school year. Our current year seven will always be our oldest year group. This means there will be four classes in each year group with a maximum of 30 students in each class. When English and Maths are timetabled there will be additional classes running so class sizes will be small, allowing students to experience a personalised curriculum and receive regular 1:1 feedback on their learning.
How have you recruited your teachers?
All of our teaching positions are advertised nationally via recognised recruitment channels. As part of the selection process, shortlisted candidates are observed delivering a lesson to ensure we have experienced and outstanding practitioners. They are appointed based on the quality of their lessons, their embodiment of the School’s values and the range of experiences they bring to the School.
What about school lunches?
All students eat lunch together with the School’s staff at Woking Football Club. Whilst students can bring a packed lunch, we encourage them to take up a hot school meal cooked by Steve Trembley, a professional chef: www.tremblays.co.uk The School will provide this for students who qualify for free school meals.
What do you mean by an extended day?
The School’s compulsory day runs from 8.30am – 4.00pm. This gives us the opportunity to offer additional time for English and Maths along with a curriculum with real breadth and depth, and for students to apply their learning to real life projects.
There is also a breakfast club and an extensive enrichment programme running outside of the compulsory day. An example of a term’s enrichment programme can be seen here – Enrichment.
What do you mean by Personalisation?
We believe that students learn effectively in different ways. Our curriculum is designed to ensure students are stretched, challenged and supported in their learning in every lesson, every day. Our enrichment programme is also bespoke to develop students’ skills, talents and interests.
Our Head of Personalisation and the Teaching Assistant Team lead on ensuring the curriculum meets the needs of our students. Half-termly reviews of progress and attainment highlight those students who require more focused support in the following half term.
Our higher attaining students also work with the Personalisation Team to ensure they continue to make exceptional progress.
I live outside the area you are planning to serve. Can I still apply to send my children to your school?
Yes. We welcome all parents and children from the surrounding areas who support our vision and ethos and wish to be part of our school community. We do not have a catchment area – we will admit pupils using the normal admissions and oversubscription criteria other Surrey secondary schools use. Further details can be found on our admissions page.