FAQs

Updated April 2021

What does this mean for whole-school activities?

We recognise the benefit of whole-school activities such as discos and fêtes and will be looking at the best way of arranging more events in the future. Please let us know if you have any ideas this.

What will happen to the school’s house teams?

We intend to keep the current house teams and extend this provision across the whole primary school.

What does this mean in terms of student mixing?

There are currently no plans for joint break times. There are separate play areas for the infant and junior pupils and there are no plans to change these after merging. All class sizes will remain in line with government rules and guidance.

What will happen to the governing body?

There is currently one governing body which oversees both schools. There are no plans to change this after merging, but we are keen to grow the current governing body to represent the wider community. For anyone interested, please email the school office, ensuring you clearly mark the email ‘For the attention of the chair of governors’. If you have any governance queries, you can also contact governance@ormistonacademies.co.uk.

What will the new school’s name be?

The proposed name is Ormiston Cliff Park Primary Academy. The new name includes primary to clarify the difference (and avoid any confusion) between the new merged infant and junior schools and the current secondary academy Cliff Park Ormiston Academy located on Kennedy Avenue, NR31 6TA.

What will happen to the existing schools?

Merging means that one school is legally required to close, the school buildings and site will remain open as usual. It is usual in these circumstances to base the decision on whichever school has the better Ofsted judgement. In line with the merger proposal and results of the consultation, the Junior school will close at the end of August. Both schools are valued members of the Trust so this decision in no way reflects on the hard work and progress of the staff or the pupils at the junior school, it is just a procedural requirement.

Becoming one primary school will build on and continue the work that has already begun to integrate the schools in ethos, working practices and shared resources to provide a stronger learning and teaching environment. There are currently no plans to change the layout of the school site as part of the merger, except to update signage where appropriate. The junior school site will remain and be used by pupils in that age range, and day-to-day provision will remain the same.

Will there be any changes to the uniform?

To avoid any unnecessary costs to parents/carers, uniform changes will be kept to a minimum (eg. a sweatshirt with a new logo) and phased in over time. Pupils will still be able to wear their existing uniform until there is a natural need to update it. We are currently exploring the possibility of offering all pupils a free PE shirt.

What will happen to staff?

As part of the normal running of a school, we plan to make a small number of changes to the current staffing structure, so that by September 2021, we have the right staff in the right roles to support our children and the new single school format. This is not part of the merger and is being managed as a separate activity.

Will the teachers move into different year groups?

They may do: working as a primary school the teachers will be able to teach in different year groups based on their strengths, expertise and the needs of the children.

Will parents still need to apply to Year 3? (admissions information)

From 2022, parents/carers would no longer need to apply for a Year 3 place at the junior school. Pupils would simply progress from Year 2 to Year 3 at the beginning of the academic year. We will create a seamless transition from Key Stage 1 (infants) to Key Stage 2 (juniors), leading to a reduction of anxiety regarding availability of places.

Will the curriculum offer change at either school?

No, the curriculum offer will remain the same. All Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) primary academies follow the national curriculum.

How will the pupil experience be affected?

There will be no major change in the daily school experience of pupils. The school day across the schools has already been aligned. Children will benefit from a wider range of resources and facilities eg. the use of the field, infant learners will be able to use junior IT suites, PE resources would be shared. Enrichment opportunities would be enhanced through initiatives such as one pupil council to encourage pupil voice. There will also be a consistent approach to teaching and learning practices from Early Years through to end of Key Stage 2.

FAQs previously posted during the course of the consultation

1. What is the timescale for the proposed merger?

The consultation period for these proposals will run from 12 January 2021 through to midday 26 March 2021. After we have considered responses, and should the decision be taken to merge the schools, this will take effect from 1 September 2021.

2. What are the advantages/benefits of a merger?

Ormiston Cliff Park Infant and Junior Academies already work very closely together and the merger will deepen and strengthen this relationship. We believe that the merger will offer the following advantages:

  • A continuous, joined up curriculum from the Early Years Foundation Stage through to the end of Key Stage 2.
  • Consistent approaches to teaching, learning and assessment from Early Years through to the end of Key Stage 2.
  • Children will have access to, and be able to benefit from, a wider range of resources and facilities e.g. the use of the field, infant learners will be able to use junior IT suites, PE resources would be shared. Enrichment opportunities would be enhanced through initiatives such as one pupil council to encourage pupil voice.
  • Streamlining of procedures, policies and lines of communication for stakeholders.
  • There will be greater opportunity for fostering relationships between pupils, parents/carers and the school to increase and share understanding of the needs of each pupil.
  • There will be more professional development opportunities for the staff, such as shared training and the chance to work more closely across the curriculum and gain experience and understanding of all key stages. All-through primaries can provide staff with greater opportunities to gain a broader and deeper understanding of the learning continuum for children from 4 to 11 years of age.
  • One lunchtime increases the opportunities for staff to work together and increases the staffing capacity to nurture and safeguard children.
3. What will happen to the existing schools?

The intention is that the junior school will close and the infants will be expanded into a primary school. Becoming one primary school will build on and continue the work that has already begun to integrate the schools in ethos, working practices and shared resources to provide a stronger learning and teaching environment.

4. What will the new school name be?

The proposed name is Ormiston Cliff Park Primary Academy.

5. Will there be any changes to the school day?

No further changes will be made. The consultation has already taken place and the new times will be re-introduced when the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

6. What will happen to staff?

As part of the normal running of a school, we plan to make a small number of changes to the current staffing structure, so that by September 2021, we have the right staff in the right roles to support our children and the new single school format. This is not part of the merger and will be managed as a separate activity, any redundancies will be kept to a minimum.

7. Will the teachers move into different year groups?

They may do: working as a primary school the teachers will be able to teach in different year groups based on their strengths, expertise and the needs of the children.

8. Will parents still need to apply to Year 3? (admissions information)

From 2022, parents/carers would no longer need to apply for a Year 3 place at the junior school. Pupils would simply progress from Year 2 to Year 3 at the beginning of the academic year. We will create a seamless transition from Key Stage 1 (infants) to Key Stage 2 (juniors), leading to a reduction of anxiety regarding availability of places.

9. Will the curriculum offer change at either school?

No the curriculum offer will remain the same. All Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) primary academies follow the national curriculum.

10. Will this result in larger class sizes?

All class sizes will remain in line with government rules and guidance.

11. How will the pupil experience be affected?

There will be no major change in the daily school experience of pupils. Children will be able to benefit from a wider range of resources and facilities e.g. the use of the field, infant learners will be able to use junior IT suites, PE resources would be shared. Enrichment opportunities would be enhanced through initiatives such as one pupil council to encourage pupil voice. There will also be a consistent approach to teaching and learning practices from Early Years through to Key Stage 2.

12. Will there be any changes to the uniform?

To avoid any unnecessary costs to parents/carers, uniform changes will be kept to a minimum (e.g. a sweatshirt with a new logo) and phased in over time. Pupils will still be able to wear their existing uniform until there is a natural need to update it.  

13. What happens if the planned merger does not go ahead?

If the merger does not go ahead for whatever reason, the schools will remain as they are and will continue to work closely together.