Admissions FAQs: Junior School & Nursery

These are some of the questions we are asked most often by parents who are considering Hereford Cathedral Junior School & Nursery for their children. Please do feel you can contact our Registrar, Mrs Lucy Debenham, on 01432 363511 or email enquiry@herefordcs.com if you would like to find out more.

Please note that due to the COVID-19 situation, we are currently not able to run our usual open events and taster days. However, if you would like to arrange a 1-1 meeting and a tour of the school with Mr Wright, Head of the Junior School, we would be very happy to arrange this either online or in person. 

When can I visit the school?

We would be delighted to arrange a 1-1 meeting with Mr Wright, Head of the Junior School, at a time to suit you. You will be able to have your questions answered and enjoy a tour of the school. We also hold a termly open morning, usually on a Friday, which offers the opportunity to visit us during a working school day and meet our pupils and teachers. Indeed, many parents choose to do both!

Please contact our Registrar to arrange a tour or to register for an open morning. Once you have made contact with us, we will keep you up to date with upcoming open mornings, as well as special events and workshops throughout the year.

Do you offer taster days?

Taster days are the ideal way to help your child get a feel for life at Hereford Cathedral Junior School. For children in Year 3 and above, we usually suggest two consecutive days for your child to get the most from their experience with us. They will be 'buddied' with pupils from their year group and will spend the day in their class, experiencing lessons, lunchtimes and break times together.

Is there an entrance examination?

There is no entrance examination. During your child's taster days with us, we usually undertake some informal assessments to gauge their levels in English and Maths and to ensure that they will flourish with us. 

How do you settle new children into school life?

Whether joining at the start of the year, or part way through, we are very good at welcoming new pupils into our school community. 

Taster days are key, as this gives children a good opportunity to get to know us and to feel comfortable and it gives us a good opportunity to get to know them too. We arrange these days in liaison with you and your child, so we can choose a day when the class have those particular lessons which your child will really enjoy. When new children join us they generally join the same class in which they did their taster days, so they are already familiar with the children and the staff. You can read more about how we welcome new children to the school here.

In the Summer Term, we hold a Moving Up Afternoon where we invite all those pupils who will be joining us in September to spend the afternoon with their class and amongst next year’s teachers. 

At what age can children start at the Nursery?

Children can start at our Nursery from the beginning of the term in which they turn 3 years of age. Find out more here.

We also offer Play & Discover sessions every Wednesday afternoon in our Nursery setting for children aged 0-2 years and their parents. These are a great way for your child to start to get to know our setting and staff.

Do you offer holiday care?

Hereford Cathedral Junior School’s holiday club provision, Castle Hill Holiday Club, is open to HCJS pupils in Nursery, Reception and Years 1 & 2. Click here for more details. Care is available all year round, including half terms and holidays (except for a two-week close down at Christmas, Easter and the end of the summer holiday).

Do your pupils sit SATs exams?

No, our pupils do not sit SATs at the Junior School. Our focus is on each individual child and their own progress. We do test the children, though we do this in a low key way. We look at each child’s test scoreds alongside:

- their previous scores (has Sam made the progress we would expect? Has Sam made super progress – is there a talent and we need to be nurturing? Has Sam made less progress than we would hope – is there a difficulty we can be providing support for?)

- their scores in CATS tests which give us an idea of each child's potential (is Sam doing as well as his potential would suggest?)

- our own teachers’ professional judgement.

Each child is an individual and it is his or her individual progress in which we are interested. We believe this is something we can do without causing undue stress to the children and allows us to focus upon the children's progress in the classroom without compromising their wider development and their self-esteem.

Read more here.

Do you offer school transport?

We offer a variety of school minibus and coach services which are used by many of our children throughout the school. These affordable services provide a reliable, supervised journey to and from school and in addition, help to reduce the number of vehicles on the road each morning. We have several established routes available and always look to meet the needs and requirements of parents wherever possible. For further details, click here.

What does a typical school day look like?

School days at Hereford Cathedral Junior School are busy and varied. In the Early Years, children are taught primarily in our purpose-built setting, The Moat. They head over to the Dining Hall for lunch, St David's Hall for assembly and yoga, and the Sports Hall and all-weather pitch for PE. They also have their own outdoor play areas to enjoy. See our video here for A Day in the Life of Reception.

Our older pupils are based in No. 28 Castle Street and are taught by subject specialist teachers throughout the week. They enjoy Games on a Wednesday afternoon, which often includes fixtures against other local schools. The timetable is extremely varied – children in Years 3-6 have lessons in English, Maths, Science, ICT, PE, Music, Singing, PSHE, RE, French, Games, Drama and Art & Design.