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 residents, 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.
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 and are funded directly by central Government.
What does ‘smaller than average’ actually mean?
Hoe Valley School has a Published Admissions Number (PAN) of 120 students per school year. Our first intake will always be our oldest year group while the school is growing. This means there will be four classes in each of our first three year groups with a maximum of 30 students in each class. In September 2018 we have admitted 150 students into year 7, which will mean five classes of 30 students. This is still considerably smaller than most secondary schools in the area.
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 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.
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 SENCO 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 do not have a catchment area – we will admit pupils using the admissions and oversubscription criteria based primarily on distance from the school. Students typically live within 2 miles of the school, as measured on a straight line basis. Further details can be found on our admissions page.