Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing the right school is one of the most important decisions you can make for your child and their education. Below are some questions and answers from existing and previous parents; we hope you find them useful, but if you have any more questions, please dont hesitate to call us or come along to one of our Open Mornings to find out more. 

Academic FAQs

Does the School offer scholarships or bursaries?

Yes, The School is keen to recognise and reward talented students and we offer scholarships at 11+, 13+ and 16+ (Years 7, Year 9 and Sixth Form entry).  Please see our Scholarships and Bursaries page.

Additional discounts are available for Armed Forces Families (Royal Navy, Army, RAF etc.), children of anyone in full-time Christian ministry and children of former Park School pupils.

A bursary fund is available for existing pupils to assist families who may experience a sudden change in financial circumstances.  Such awards are subject to the availability of funding.

For more information please call Jane Whear, Head of Admissions on 01935 850555 l admissions@parkschool.com

How many pupils are in your classes?

Each year group will be different depending on the number of children on our roll.  In the prep school we aim to keep our classes small and from Years 3 – 6 children are individual year groups.  In the senior school, we have two classes in each year group allowing our teachers to give individual support and guidance to each pupil according to their needs and abilities.  Numbers per class are very much lower than in the state school model where children can feel lost in classes of 30 or more.

In our Sixth Form classes are much smaller and can be as few as three per subject.  This is an ideal environment for the depth of learning required at A Level.  We work hard to tailor our A Level offering to a student’s individual wishes, to help them gain the A Levels they require to access the next step in their education, whether it is university or not.  Students often comment on the highly supportive relationships that are fostered with subject teachers in the Sixth Form.

Do you have a pre-school or nursery?

No, we can take pupils from 4 years old – rising 5 (those who will be 5 years old in the academic year), but not before.  We would expect pupils to be ready to attend full-time when they join us, or soon after.

Do Park School pupils sit SATS in Year 6?

No, we do not prepare our pupils to sit SATS in year 6.  This is because we teach the core subjects with added breadth, not just to meet the requirements of the tests.  We also teach a wider range of additional subjects.  Pupils in our Prep School learn French and Spanish as well as having Music and PE lessons with our Senior School subject specialists.

You’re a private school, why don’t you have lessons at weekends?

We believe that our private school model of a no-frills, independent education and no Saturday school allows more time for families to be together and for our boarders to relax.  Many of our parents appreciate weekend time that doesn’t include a school run!  Our terms are also a little bit longer than other private schools, which working parents find helpful.

Does the School accept pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN)?

Yes, we already have some pupils in our school who need a little extra help.  Our smaller classes enable us to take more time to support a child’s individual needs.  We welcome any child who is willing and able to make the most of the curriculum and the opportunities we provide.  We are known for our nurturing, family environment and children flourish in our care when they may not in a school with larger classes.

For more information see our Policies page for our Disability Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Learning Support Policy.

Or contact David Cudworth (Inclusion Co-ordinator) or Jane Whear (Head of Admissions) 01935 850555 | admissions@parkschool.com

What provision does The Park School have for Ambitious, Academic and Able (AAA) children? (previously Gifted & Talented)

We have an enrichment programme for all children and AAA children are encouraged to participate and contribute to a wide range of opportunities including Public Speaking, Debating and Model United Nations (MUN), with tailored visits to cater for individual interests, notably a visit this year to The Houses of Parliament and another to Bath Spa University to investigate the Architecture Faculty.

For more information see our Policies page for our AAA Policy.

Or contact David Cudworth (Inclusion Co-ordinator) or Jane Whear (Head of Admissions) 01935 850555 | admissions@parkschool.com

Does The Park School have a tutoring system?

Yes, every class has a form tutor who becomes the first point of contact between the student, school and home.  EAL students have a tutor dedicated to overseeing their cultural and linguistic development so that they understand and feel fully involved in the life of the school.

My child speaks English as a second language, can you help them with English lessons?

Yes, we offer specialist language provision to EAL students entering the Sixth Form who wish to take their IELTS exam.  This teaching is provided by The Phoenix School of Languages in Yeovil.  

In Years 10 and 11 EAL students are prepared for the IGCSE English as a Second Language exam as well as being supported in other lessons.  Younger students are supported in class and encouraged by their teachers and peers to join in and speak English.

We ask that each student works hard to improve their English to allow them to access the curriculum fully and for them to be able to socialise with other students at The Park.  They are encouraged to speak in English, rather than their native language during the school day and at social times in the boarding house.

Does The Park School have a forest school?

Yes, we offer a forest school experience in our own parkland grounds and woods.  Our pupils really enjoy their time spent outside the normal classroom learning.  They learn varied skills including photo orienteering, use of tools, identification of trees, measuring the moisture of sticks for fires and about water flow and erosion of river banks.  They also create artwork and pictures using natural resources.  Our forest school leader is very experienced. 

Boarding FAQs

What are the boarding facilities like?  Are boys and girls separate?

Our modern Riverside Boarding House is situated in the grounds of the Chilton estate.  On two levels it provides twin rooms and dormitory bedrooms that allow each boarding student their own space for their personal belongings and a comfy place to sleep.  Male and female students board on separate, self-contained floors with private bathroom facilities. A communal lounge, known as ‘The Swamp,’ provides space for TV and gaming, pool, table football, jigsaws, board games and table tennis, with comfortable seating and doors that open out onto a patio.  A bar area provides Wi-Fi and internet access for all students in a safe public environment.

In the communal area is a kitchenette where the boarders can make hot and cold drinks for themselves; there is also a fridge in which to store their own snacks.

The boarding house has its own raised patio area with covered veranda and picnic benches where boarders can relax outside of school time.  Situated right in the middle of the open grounds and parkland, when the school is closed, the boarders can use this as their exclusive garden.

What do the boarding pupils do at weekends?

During term time weekends boarding pupils spend their time completing homework tasks and they have specified prep times for this.  The boarding team also organises activities and trips at weekends that may include trips to the cinema, shopping, the beach or to historic local sites.

We also run a Health and Wellbeing programme in conjunction with Nuffield Health in Yeovil.  Boarders can become members of the gym and fitness centre and we provide a minibus service to the centre on scheduled evenings and at weekends. 

I don’t want my son/daughter to board all the time – Do you offer occasional boarding?

Yes, we understand that some families require flexibility when it comes to boarding – they may wish their child to board only occasionally according to their work commitments for instance.  We are happy to take enquiries for flexi or occasional boarding and can offer places subject to there being beds available.  To find out more about flexi boarding options, please contact Jane Whear, who will put you in touch with our boarding team.

For boarding fees, click here.

From what age can my child board at The Park School?

We can offer flexi boarding from the age of seven, but we recommend that full-time boarding begins from the age of nine onwards.

Fees FAQs

What is included in the school fees and what is extra?

The fees cover all tuition costs, wrap around care (if required), school lunches, school books and stationery.  Fees do not include: school uniform, minibus service, external exam fees and costs (GCSE, AS/A level, IELTS, BTEC etc.), educational trips and excursions, travel or medical insurance, pocket money, or individual boarding activities.

Individual Music lessons are an extra and are invoiced directly by the peripatetic teacher.

Our optional Health and Wellbeing Programme (for boarders 12+) is not included in the fees.

Application and enrolment fees are in addition to and paid in advance of fees. 

Pastoral/Wellbeing FAQs

Is there a School Council?

Yes, the school holds regular Prep and Senior School council meetings to gather pupils’ opinions and wishes on school matters. This might include how to spend a new fiction library budget or ideas for school days out.  Each year group has two representatives on the school council, and they meet with the Bursar and the Head of Pastoral Care twice a term.  Meetings are chaired by the Head Boy and Girl.

Does The Park School have a peer mentoring system?

Yes, we have a ‘Buddy’ system where our Reception and Year 1 & 2 pupils have a Buddy in Year 6.  Year 6 pupils love reading with their younger charges and the younger children enjoy meeting the Year 6 pupils at break and lunchtimes and sometimes spending some time with them on project or topic work. 

New pupils in all classes are paired up with a pupil in their own year group to help them and act as their mentor until they are familiar with the routines of the school.

What is the School’s policy on mobile phones and internet access?

The use of phones is not permitted during the school day until students enter the Sixth Form and then at specific times, outside of academic lessons. Senior Day pupils in Year 7 and above are permitted to bring phones to school in case they are needed to help with transport arrangements or to listen to music on the journey to school.  Phones are collected each morning by the form tutor, who returns them at the end of the day. 

Boarders must leave their phones in the boarding house. They are permitted to use these out of school hours at the discretion of the boarding staff.  Pupils in Year 11 and below must hand in all mobile devices and laptops before lights out.

Miscellaneous FAQs

Is The Park School a Christian School?

Yes, the School was founded on Christian principles in 1851.  The ethos of the School remains rooted in these principles; however, we welcome families of all faiths or none.  We encourage pupils to explore the spiritual side of life as they progress through the School.  We run a Christian Union for those who wish to enquire or engage further.

Can I hire the school buildings and grounds for a private event?

Yes, we’d love to hear about any event(s) you may wish to hold on our Chilton site.  Availability is more likely in the school holidays.  Please contact our Assistant Bursar, Tammy Cooney to find out more.  Tammy.cooney@parkschool.com

What is the food like?  Can you cater for special dietary needs?

All meals at The Park School are included in the fees.  Our catering is provided by Palmer and Howells and Rob, our Head Chef has worked with us for three years.  Each day meals are cooked from scratch with fresh, local ingredients.

Lunch menus offer a varied choice of meals including a daily vegetarian option.  You can see a sample menu here.  If your child has any special dietary requirements (for example celiac, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian) we are happy to make sure they are met.  We have a nut free policy at school.

During morning break there is a tuck shop and complimentary afternoon snacks are provided.

Does school have special Park School buses to pick up pupils?

Yes, we have a fleet of minibuses and dedicated drivers collecting and returning children from many local towns and villages around Yeovil.  Pick up points include Sherborne, Yeovil, Ilchester, South Petherton, Milborne Port etc.  For a full list click here. Every minibus driver is DBS checked and they offer safe, familiar and trustworthy transport to and from school.  Our minibus service is extra to our fees. 

Does the school have a House system?

Yes, we have four houses:  Livingstone, Müller, Shaftesbury, and Slessor.  Each year they compete for the Stunt Cup for which points are awarded throughout the year for sport, and service to their house and the school.  The Academic Shield is awarded to the house with the highest number of academic merits.

Each house appoints house captains who are responsible for organising teams for house events such as the Swimming Gala, Sports day and inter-house matches.

Why did The Park School move from Yeovil to Chilton Cantelo?

Our School had been part of Yeovil since its establishment in 1851.  It was sad to leave after such a long time in the centre of town, but during its 167 year history, it has moved buildings several times to bigger and better premises.  The Chilton Cantelo site became available for purchase in 2016 when Cognita schools vacated it and the Governors felt that the estate offered many benefits over the buildings and grounds we occupied in the centre of Yeovil.  The School now occupies 27 acres of parkland so we can offer a forest school experience which is great for the Pre-Prep and prep, but also for those preparing for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award!  It also gives us the opportunity to host home rugby, football, hockey, cricket and tennis matches as well as cross country and athletics in their season.

Our new location also offers parents easier access to School from the A303, Sherborne and the surrounding villages.  Parking and access are a lot easier away from the town centre.

The peaceful grounds also offer all our pupils and staff a calm, clean, unpolluted environment in which to learn and grow.

How long has the current Head – Jane Huntington, been at The Park School?  And what is her background?

Mrs Huntington joined the School in 2011.  Before The Park School she was Deputy Head and Director of Music at Thetford Grammar School in Norfolk.

Mrs Huntington’s special interest is in Music, having taught and sung professionally for several years.  She has been instrumental in bringing about the move to our new site and with the support of the Bursar and the Board of Governors she is looking ahead to develop further the facilities and opportunities this offers for the School.

TESTIMONIALS
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OPEN MORNINGS: You're invited to see our small, friendly school in our NEW location!
Thur 27 September & Wed 10 October (Early Years)
Please contact admissions to book your place or call 01935 850555

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