I came across flexi-schooling a couple of years ago when my lovely little school began to suffer from a declining pupil roll. The demographics of the locality have gone through a significant change in recent years, leaving us with very few young families locally. Since making the flexi offer I have been totally won over by the values and advantages of flexi-schooling.
My school sits in the heart of the Peak District, where we make the most of our beautiful surroundings through use of 'the big outdoors' whenever possible. We provide a huge range of curriculum breadth: forest school, circus skills, dance and an outward bound programme to name but a few. Our preference for curriculum provision is to focus on a creative approach to learning. We have an exceptional adult pupil ratio with only 9 pupils on roll, so can offer individualised learning at it's best.
Our flexi offer is based on a three day week, these days are set;Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The two 'home school' days are recorded on the register as 'authorised absence'. I ask for an 'overview' of the learning that takes place on these days, and will from time to time request some input based on what has been happening in school. I am happy to work with individual families regarding this approach as each family has their own ideas on how they would like to use their home-school days. I have a family who likes to keep a diary, some prefer me to offer a topic to work on that is linked to what is going on in the classroom, whilst I have had families who have preferred me to supply maths and Literacy workbooks, in order to keep up a daily input for these key subjects.
If you are within travelling distance of our very special little school and would be interested in our flexi offer, please do get in touch. I would really like to be able to maintain this provision so would welcome extra pupils.
Easing into School
We appreciate that all children are different and we endeavour to accommodate those differences. Some children find starting school an anxious time and need to have a gentle 'ease in' to the routines of the school day. This is something that we are keen to explore with families, particularly those of summer born children. Our 'Stay and Play' sessions on a Monday morning are an excellent way for the children to become familiar with the school setting. I have already seen changes in the children that attend, they can be seen to be relaxing into a comfortable school routine.. This I believe makes the transition to them attending independently a stress free experience for both parents and child. I am happy to meet the needs of the individuals in these instances, some may be ready before others, and that is clearly recognised in our approach.
We already have a majority of our children who are transported some distance to make Castleton their school of choice. Parents are willing to travel up to 1 hour and 20 minutes for our provision. We are able to provide a place for parents to spend their day if they choose not to make a return journey in between dropping off the children and home time. We have a room at the village hall which is being developed as our 'Parent Pad'. There is space to sit and work, a kettle and microwave for your use, and it is a great opportunity to get to know other parents who are using the space and are keen flexi-school customers.
If flexi-schooling provision in a beautiful rural primary school is something you are considering, then for more information, please email Mrs Lees on firstname.lastname@example.org or ring for an informal chat on 01433 620630.