What are Fairfield’s strengths?
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 and we have an enviable reputation for preparing our Year 6 children thoroughly for entry to senior school in Year 7.
Where do children move on to after Fairfield?
The majority of our children carry on in the independent sector and move on to one of the Bristol independent senior schools at age 11. A few children transfer to the maintained sector and attend their local senior school. We have an outstanding record for preparing our Year 6 children for the next stage of their education and have developed excellent relationships with the local and Bristol independent senior schools, achieving a significantly high number of scholarships for Year 7 entry in recent years, for academic excellence, sport, music and performing arts. We do not recommend that parents try to circumvent the entrance test procedures by moving their child before Year 6; this is most definitely not in the best interests of the child and is unnecessary given our rigorous preparation and consistently successful results. Year 6 is a special year for our children, during which they assume their place as leaders of the school, School Captains, School Council Leaders, Librarians and House Prefects. They develop and mature in so many ways over the year, a year which culminates in their residential trip, Shakespeare production, Leavers' Supper and Leavers’ Assembly.
What is Family Assembly?
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 followed 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.
Will my child have a lot of homework?
Homework is seen by us as a valuable way of developing self-discipline and good study habits. Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 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 Key Stage 2, the amount of homework gradually increases 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.
What are Reading Buddies?
Lambs Nursery children have a Reading Buddy who is a Year 6 child (age 10-11) and Upper Nursery children have a Reading Buddy who is a Year 3 child (age 7-8) with whom they share books. The Nursery children thoroughly enjoy talking to Year 3 children 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 the transfer from Early Years Foundation Stage into the Infant Department/Key Stage 1 because the Reception children already know the older children and feel secure. Year 1 and Year 5 children are Buddies and Year 2 and Year 6 children.
Where do I buy uniform?
Some uniform is available through the school; most is obtained from our uniform supplier. There is also a second hand uniform shop, staffed by parent volunteers. The uniform is predominantly grey with white shirts. Sports uniform is navy blue and white. School bags are part of our uniform; our cloakroom storage is designed to accommodate our own school bags and rucksacks are not permitted.
What do I do if I have a concern?
The first point of contact is usually the class teacher. The Headmistress is also happy to meet parents to discuss any issues or concerns; appointments can be made through the office.
What happens at lunchtime?
Early Years Foundation Stage children eat separately and the rest of the school eat together on mixed age group tables headed by Year 6 Monitors who help to serve and clear away. 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. Bread is available every day, 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.
Can my child bring a break time snack?
Children are encouraged to bring a prepared piece of fruit for break time. No biscuits or sweets are allowed but we do like to celebrate children's birthdays so they are able to bring in a birthday cake on their birthday if they wish!
Is there an after-school care facility?
Pre- and after-school care arrangements are explained elsewhere on the website.
Can my child take part in extra-curricular activities?
There is a very wide range of activities (see relevant section of the website) but not all of them are open to children in EYFS and Years 1 and 2, as their days are action packed and they have some form of sporting curriculum activity on four days each week. Activities available to our younger children include: ballet, Forest School, mini tennis, choir, recorders, percussion and multisports.
What happens if my child is ill?
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.
Are there many school trips?
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. We also bring in visiting speakers and productions to present to us at school.
Year 6 children have the opportunity to spend a week at a PGL residential centre on an outdoor activity trip and Years 3, 4 and 5 also enjoy shorter residentials. These trips usually take place at the end of the spring term or during the summer term and provide an excellent opportunity to develop teamwork skills, self-confidence and an element of independence which is essential in preparing our children for life after their primary education.
How can I support my child’s learning and education?
We hold information evenings for all parents when the curriculum is explained, or we put presentations up on the Parent Portal and there are opportunities for questions and discussion with staff. 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.
“We moved our son to Fairfield as we felt he needed a nurturing and caring environment coupled with an education to suit his individual needs and, after much consideration, we chose Fairfield as we felt it ticked all the boxes. However, we obviously hoped all we had been told and had seen would be proven once he started.”
Fairfield is accredited by the Independent Schools Council, affiliated to the Independent Schools Association and the Association of PNEU Schools.
Fairfield PNEU School (Backwell) Limited is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No. 814684. The company is established for charitable purposes. Charity No. 310215.
Classroom, class and staff photographs reproduced with permission from Dave Pratt Photography; Whole school and individual staff photographs reproduced with permission from Colorfoto Ltd.
Copyright © 2017 Fairfield PNEU School (Backwell) Limited. All rights reserved.