- PRE-PREP FAQs
- UNIFORM FAQs
- BOARDING FAQs
- When can my child start at Walhampton?
They can join at the start of the term or half term after they have turned two.
- How can I tell if my child is ready to start at Walhampton?
Every child is different, as are the needs of each family. We can work this out together to get it right for your child and your family.
- Do you provide Learning Support?
We aim to meet the needs of all of the children in our care. Whilst support for some needs is provided in class by the teacher, should your child require additional support, the teacher will liaise with the Pre-Prep SENDCo. If necessary, an individual learning programme will be developed which will target the needs of the child. LSU lessons are provided at an additional cost.
- How do you cater for the individual needs of each child?
Small class sizes enable us to know exactly where each child is at in their learning journey. We are therefore able to differentiate and plan accordingly to help them to take their appropriate next step.
- How big are your class sizes?
We are committed to small classes and superb adult to child ratios. Across Key Stage 1 each class of 17 children has a teacher and a full time teaching assistant. Our Kindergarten and Reception classes follow a 1:8 ratio and in the Nursery, with our youngest children, we follow a ratio of one adult to every four children.
- How do you manage the transitions between each Year group?
We look upon transition as a carefully managed process to ensure that each next step is a hop skip and jump for both children and parents.
- Are you part of the Early Years Foundation Stage funding scheme?
Yes we are and this can be accessed from the term after your child's 3rd birthday. Full details are available from the Bursary.
- Is there a uniform?
In Nursery and Kindergarten we like children to wear a pale blue polo shirt with a dark blue Walhampton tracksuit. They'll also need a waterproof coat, wellington boots and non-marking plimsolls. Only from Reception year onwards do children wear the full school uniform.
For a list of uniform please click here
- How do you promote good behaviour?
We implement a positive behaviour management policy with Golden Rules for home and school.
- Are blazers compulsory?
Yes, for the Prep School. The Pre-Prep do not wear blazers. Blazers are to be worn into school in the morning and again on the way out in the afternoon. They do not need to be worn during
class and can be left on pegs if children choose not to wear them during the day. They will be required for school trips (where uniform is worn), to and from matches but only when pupils
change once at the venue, and into Chapel.
- Why does my child need a coat in the Prep School?
The blazer is the outside layer that the children wear to and from school. However, it is important that all children have a waterproof outside layer in school so that they can participate in outdoor
learning whenever it occurs, without worrying about their blazer, hoodie or jumper getting wet or dirty. A school coat is available from the school shop.
- When is summer uniform worn?
The summer uniform season runs from the beginning of the Summer Term to the first exeat of the Autumn Term. In practice this is around early October. A reminder is given in The Friday
Flyer. Girls wear summer dresses. They may wear navy short socks, long socks or tights as they choose, the only proviso being that long socks need to be pulled up. Trousers or shorts are optional.
Boys tend to wear shorts rather than long trousers. They may roll their shirt sleeves up to the elbow. Year 7 and 8 girls are given the option to wear either winter or summer uniform at this time. Year 8 boys may choose to wear long trousers instead of shorts as their summer uniform.
- How many of each item of uniform do I need to buy?
We do not specify how many of each item you need as only you know your child’s requirements and how quickly washing gets done in your house. Boarders need two complete changes of clothes - further details are supplied by the Boarding House.
The uniform shop is open regularly to top up supplies if necessary.
- What sort of school shoes are acceptable?
School shoes should be plain black or navy blue and need to be well fitted and sturdy.
Girls’ shoes should not have a heel and should have a strap or laces. Ballet style pumps for girls do not offer sufficient support and so are not acceptable. Patent leather is discouraged. Good suppliers are Clarks (there is a Lymington outlet) and Start-Rite, both of which can also be found in Southampton.
- What about jewellery?
Jewellery is not permitted in school, with the exception of religious symbols following a ceremony e.g. a confirmation cross. Similarly, medic-alert identification is permitted. Watches are allowed but not encouraged as they are easily lost or damaged. They must be named, and must be removed for PE and games. Smart watches are not permitted. Earrings can only be worn if they are small studs. Please note that due to new regulations, earrings may not be worn for contact sports e.g. hockey, netball, and this should be considered before ear piercing takes place.
- Are there rules for hair?
Hair should be neat, and tied up if long. Long hair should not get in the way of equipment, and should not be a distraction in class. Hair bands should be black or navy.
- Is there a Uniform Dress Code?
We expect all the children to look smart - shirts tucked in, with clean shoes - at all times. We encourage them to learn to recognise when a quick tidy up and tuck in is necessary: after break, after lunch and after games for example. These are life skills. We ask for parents’ help in ensuring that children learn to take responsibility for their appearance and their belongings. We will let you know when your child’s appearance is unacceptable - shirts that are stained, jumpers that have holes in them, shoes that are badly scuffed and so on - and we ask that the relevant items be repaired or replaced. We feel it is important that children learn to take care of their clothes, and encourage them to take responsibility for them rather than expecting items to be magically replaced when they are torn/lost.
- How long should the school skirts/shorts be?
Our clothing comes in a range of waist:length ratios and so it is possible to find a skirt to fit every girl. They are designed to be worn on or just above the knee. Shorts should also be just above the knee.
- Why should I consider boarding my child at Walhampton?
Bradfield House is the perfect environment for children to be gently introduced to boarding whilst at Prep school. A number of pupils leave us to go on to board full-time at their senior school. For those children going on to day school, boarding at Walhampton is an opportunity to gain confidence, independence and a sense of achievement.
Walhampton recognises that for many families, achieving a balance within modern day demands can often be challenging. Our approach to boarding is built on providing parents with a choice that best suits your child's and family's needs. Bradfield House offers full-time, weekly and flexi-boarding for children aged 7-13.
Boarding life is more and more attractive to children; indeed we often find that it is they who ask to board. There are many reasons: boarders get their work done in supervised prep sessions, have time to enjoy a wide range of activities and make full use of the on-site facilities. Being together builds great friendships and the pupils have the attention of dedicated adults in a warm community. For many families there are great practical benefits - less time on school runs or organising child care, more relaxed time together - and for the pupils it can be great fun.
- Will boarding at Walhampton suit my child?
You may be surprised how well it could suit your son or daughter and we do encourage parents to be as open-minded as possible. The description we use for boarding is: ‘a shared adventure' between child, parent and the school. Boarders and parents can get a lot out of a boarding experience but there are some factors which help children settle into boarding at Walhampton:
- A supportive family commitment – where parents share the excitement of boarding and are positive about the experience
- Some experience of spending time away from home and enthusiasm for being surrounded by friends
Boarding is very much a decision that needs to be made as a family and the decision to board must be based on what is best for the child. It is crucial that your child understands the reasons for boarding and the benefits they can gain from Bradfield House.
- What do boarders do at weekends?
Weekends are busy and adventurous! Saturday morning is crammed full of activities for both day and boarding children. In the afternoon, we spend time in the woods, making fires and swimming in the pool.Saturday evenings are all about family time, with staff watching a film with the children, enjoying a home-cooked supper and playing board games. On Sunday’s, we head out to a range of action packed activities including Laser Quest, Aqua Parks, Shopping and theatre trips and even Rib Rides around the Solent!
- What effect does boarding have on a child?
Children who board at Walhampton grow in confidence, as they learn to have a greater sense of responsibility for themselves. They become more independent as they go up the school and will learn how to be organised with their own personal items as well as their work. They learn the importance of being able to get to the right place at the right time with the correct equipment and kit.
Bradfield House is all about learning to live within an extended family community. We encourage all our flexi and full-time boarders to understand that their actions, (both good and bad) will have an effect on others.
Children will learn to be considerate, accepting and respectful of their friends' opinions whilst still staying true to themselves.
Boarding pupils enjoy an active and varied social time in Bradfield House. Boarding life is busy and exciting. However, there will be those times when things are not going so well and they miss home. Our experienced boarding staff are very astute and will quickly respond to a 'feeling down’ day by helping the child feel better quickly. This is done by listening, understanding and responding to the child's needs, whilst respecting that they may simply need some downtime. The boarders themselves are also quick to spot any unhappiness and will help their friends. Camaraderie in Bradfield House is strong and kindness is praised at every level.
- How much contact will I have with my child who is boarding?
All our boarders can have frequent contact with their parents. Most boarders use the house phones or their own personal devices in the evenings in which they can use Facetime to talk to loved ones. For those parents who are based outside of the UK, we establish a regular, convenient time for children to make contact. We also encourage the use of emails and text messages outside school hours. We are always delighted to welcome parents to the school to see their children take part in sports fixtures, musical and dramatic productions; you can find current dates for these in the school calendar.
- How much contact do parents have with the staff?
Parents have direct contact with the Houseparents and can easily telephone or email. Walhampton sees boarding as a partnership in parenting and we will contact you regularly to let you know how your son or daughter is doing. Parents are encouraged to contact the staff with anything from a concern to a lost property matter and everything in between.