Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) Reports
  • Junior Drama on the High Seas! Details
  • Successful inspection! Details
  • Best independent prep school in Bristol and the wider south west area! Details

Life at Fairfield

An atmosphere of trust and encouragement permeates the school. The strong pastoral structure provides effective support for the pupils, who are very well cared for.

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ISI Report, 2011

We have always focused on the child as an individual and strive to ensure that they all fulfil their individual potential across the curriculum. We aim to educate children in so much more than just academic subjects; we develop children’s ability to think, reason and formulate their own opinions and we promote values of tolerance, compassion and responsibility to oneself and others. We encourage competition and teach children how to win or lose graciously. We reinforce traditional family values and place great emphasis on good manners and good behaviour. Our children achieve very high academic standards whilst still enjoying a broad and stimulating curriculum.

Family Assembly takes place on Fridays and any parent, grandparent, relative, carer etc is welcome to attend. The assembly is usually taken by a class and consists of a mixture of prayer, hymn, public speaking, drama, music and artwork; the theme is often related to the curriculum topics studied by the class. Following the class presentation, two children from every other year group throughout the school, including Nursery, are applauded for their achievement that week. Finally, birthdays taking place that week are celebrated. Each class usually takes at least two assemblies per year.

Homework is seen by us as a valuable way of developing self-discipline and good study habits. Early Years Foundation Stage and Infant Department children bring home their reading book and reading record book; in addition, sight words will be sent home when appropriate. In Years 1 and 2, differentiated weekly spelling lists are sent home too. In the Junior Department, the amount of homework gradually increases from 20-30 minutes in Year 3 to one hour in Year 6 and includes daily reading and spelling in addition to written tasks or research.

Nursery children have a Reading Buddy from Year 3 (age 7-8) with whom they share books once a fortnight. The Nursery children thoroughly enjoy talking to Year 3 about the story their Year 3 Buddy has just read to them and good friendships are forged. Occasionally, Year 3 children will accompany their Nursery Buddies on the Nursery Welly Walk as a treat. Reception and Year 4 children continue the Reading Buddy system. This system facilitates transfer from EYFS into the Infant Department because the Reception children already know the older children and feel secure.

Lunchtimes are a social occasion and strengthen the community feeling within the school. All of the children enjoy a cooked lunch each day; food is purchased from local suppliers and freshly prepared on the premises. Fresh fruit and yoghurt are served daily as alternatives to the main dessert, vegetarian options are available daily and fresh water is freely available at all times of the day.

Children from Years 1 to 6 are encouraged to bring a prepared piece of fruit for break time and EYFS children are provided with fruit as part of their curriculum. No biscuits or sweets are allowed but we do celebrate birthdays with birthday cake if the children want to bring in their cake! 

If they are feeling unwell, children are able to wait in the first aid room at school until parents arrive to collect them. Parents will always be contacted if a child is feeling unwell. The school follows government guidelines regarding infectious illnesses, sickness and cryptosporidium.

All classes have the opportunity to go on day trips to destinations which enhance their curriculum topics or provide breadth to the curriculum. These trips range from visits to the zoo to theatre trips and residential trips. We also bring in visiting speakers and productions to present to us at school.

We hold information evenings for all parents when the curriculum is explained and there are opportunities for questions and discussion. We also operate an ‘open door’ policy whereby parents have the opportunity to speak informally on a daily basis to the class teachers or to the Headmistress if necessary. Parents’ Evenings are held each term and parents are offered 15 minute appointments with the class teacher. They spend 15 minutes prior to this looking through their child’s work. Written reports are sent out at the end of the autumn and summer terms.