What do new parents have to say about our School?
If you are considering HCJS for your child, you may have read my article ‘Welcoming New Pupils to our School'. Certainly we work hard at this.
However, keen to hear the naked truth, I contacted parents of children in Years 1-6 who have joined us since September 2018, asking them about their experience and thoughts. Below is what they wrote – word for word, unedited and unredacted!
Chris Wright, Head of the Junior School.
Parents of a girl who joined in Year 6
We decided to move our daughter in Year 6 as she had historically been a slightly a nervous character and we felt it would be beneficial for her to become familiar with the school and year group before the big move to senior school.
We cannot thank the school enough for welcoming both her and ourselves into HCJS. From the moment our daughter started all of the teachers have been so supportive and made us feel that our daughter was very well looked after, being nurtured and was on track to achieve her full potential. It has been amazing to watch her confidence flourish which was highlighted when she spoke out in the Cathedral at a service recently, something that she would previously have not wanted to do.
There are so many opportunities for sport which our daughter has embraced and she has already joined a netball and cricket club. We honestly could not ask any more of the school, they are a great team and truly nurture and invest in each individual child.
Parents of a boy who joined in Year 4
Both boys previously attended the primary school and nursery in our village so the decision to take them out of the local community setting wasn't one we made lightly. We were always going to consider Hereford Cathedral School for Senior School but the small class sizes, specialist subject teachers and the broad curriculum, plus the opportunities that a private school education offers, coupled with the fact that both boys are very bright and need challenging, made us decide to move them earlier. The whole process was easy and reassuring. The buddy system in the Junior School was fantastic and helped our eldest to settle well. The school has a real family ethos and both boys now feel at home, are thriving in their education and are benefitting greatly from the experiences they have had. They both can't wait to get there in the morning!
Parents of a girl who joined in Year 6
We chose Hereford Cathedral Junior School for our daughter and they have welcomed her with such friendly open arms to join them in Year 6. She was floundering at her last school and she is now a different child - happy, increasing in confidence and excited to see friends and go to school. We have all found the school to be incredibly friendly and supportive with a 'family feel' and strong connection between staff and pupils. The school have also looked after the parents, ensuring that we are able to contact them and other parents with a very strong communication network between school and home. Thank you for your continued hard work.
Parents of a boy who joined in Year 5 and a girl who joined in Year 3
It started with two taster days and the children being made to feel like a ‘King and Queen’ for a day. Both children thoroughly enjoyed this and by the end of day two, the question was “so when can I start?”
Our son has settled in very well. The support from the teachers has been second to none and the communication flow is excellent.
Having been a child that mainly ate packed lunch comprising of cheese or egg sandwiches we are now in full swing of cooked dinners and trying new things.
One of the main reasons we moved our son was for the sport and again, this has been excellent. He is actually coming home tired from school!
Our daughter is still in her early stages of settling in but it is pleasing to know that she has made some new friends and is enjoying the new schedule.
Our Form Teacher has been marvellous and really helped with our daughter settling in. Our daughter has certainly found the change harder and coming into a smaller year group harder to establish friends however we seem to be coming out the other side. She also is enjoying the ‘lovely cooked dinners’, art and ICT classes and netball. Something she hasn’t been able to do before”.
We have found the whole experience a very positive one and we certainly feel we have made the right move.
A lovely school with a very personal approach.
Parents of a girl who joined in Year 2
My daughter joined Year 2 in winter time mid-way through the academic year, and it was one of the biggest decisions we ever made.
We moved from the Far East, which meant that various aspects of life like weather, culture and cuisine would all be very different for our 7 years old daughter. We were worried whether she would settle well in the UK, and whether the school we had chosen for her was the right one, even though she had always studied in International British Schools from a very young age.
Surprisingly, our daughter loves her new school (HCJS) and gets along very well with her class mates and her teachers. She gets to experience so many new exciting subjects and things at school that help her to forget how cold the weather is compared to where we used to live! She was so happy to see her first snow in Hereford on the way to school. As parents, we received a warm welcome from everyone in the school i.e. teachers, class parents, PTA & school staffs, they are very helpful with information about the school and Hereford town. We could say from the hardest decision we made to the best decision to send our daughter to HCJS.
Parents of a girl who joined in Year 5
Our daughter settled quickly into Year 5, after relocating from South East England. The staff have been consistent with their outstanding pastoral care and naturally went to great lengths to ensure a positive induction period for her. She has made super friendships and the HCJS parents have also been extremely kind. We have been particularly grateful for the opportunities she has been given and the array of activities on offer at HCJS. Her confidence has flourished which we feel has increased her ability to just ‘give it a go’! Her academic progress has also continued to improve, her strengths have been celebrated and her areas for development have been quickly identified.
In the words of our daughter . . .
“I really like my new school. I’ve made lots of friends and everyone made me feel welcome. The teachers are very supportive too.”
Parents of a boy who joined in Year 5
We’re really pleased with how he’s settled in. The staff have all been really helpful with any queries we’ve had, and we’re very glad we decided to move him in Year 5.
Parents of a girl who joined in Year 1 and a girl who joined in Year 3
Our children were very happy and settled at their local primary school. However, my husband, an Old Herefordian, saw an advertisement for an open day, so suggested we viewed the School……we haven’t looked back.
The girls’ decided during the initial visit, this was a place they wanted to be. The specialist subject teaching and timetabled lesson changes excited them; as did the prospect of a range of Sports, Arts and Drama. Once they had heard and saw the school choir, they were full of aspiration and chattered together about how school life could be. Mr. Wright, the Headteacher, answered all the girl’s questions responding enthusiastically and showing a pride and passion for the school.
This enthusiasm has not faded, they have been well supported through a buddy system and have made new friendships. The children are transported to school on the local mini bus service, which is friendly and safe. Since they started in September 2018, they have participated in assemblies, productions and sporting events. As a parent, I admittedly felt uneasy around the move as we were changing school for no reason, except for greater opportunities than the village primary could provide. My apprehensions were unfounded, and I now have new friendships too. The school encourages the parents to unite through various events, which strengthens parent partnerships, ensuring the children have a happy and confident base, in which to thrive.
Thank you HCJS for making our daughters’ transitions into Year 1 and 3 effortless.
Parents of a boy who joined in Year 4 and a girl who joined in Year 6
Our two children moved to HCJS mid-year. We thought it could be a difficult transition for them but our experience has been nothing other than positive. From the start of the process when we first considered the move the staff were very welcoming. During their taster days both children were made to feel very at home and as if they were already part of the school. Their first day was a pleasure as they ran into school without a backward glance. Two happy children and two happy parents!
Communication with us as new parents has been great too. We know exactly what is going on and any questions have been answered quickly. Telephone calls to us from their form teachers after the first week to feedback on how they were getting on and to find out how we thought they were doing were much appreciated.
The parent socials have been great too as it isn’t just the children who are at a new school!
In all a very positive experience and we can’t thank the school enough for making us all feel very welcome.
Parents of a girl who joined in Year 5
We both made the decision to move our daughter to the HCJS for various reasons, we went along to the Open Day and were delighted by the schools ethos and felt welcome by all.
After a successful taster session, our daughter couldn’t wait to start. As parents, we were apprehensive about moving her in the middle of Year 5, but the staff and pupils made the transition very easy for her. Our daughter settled in very quickly. She loves the school, the work and the school lunches. She is chatty at the end of the day about what she has been doing at school. Moving school was the best decision we made for her.
Parents of a girl who joined in Year 4
A thoughtfully arranged gathering with her year group in the holidays before our daughter started was a lovely introduction to her HCJS life. Regular contact with her form teacher and the opportunity to meet with all the teachers a few weeks into term all made the move very smooth. Any queries we had were addressed swiftly and efficiently. One term in, she has made some lovely friends, enjoys new challenges and is thriving. She is very happy and we are very proud of her.
If you would like to find out more about joining our Junior School, please do come and visit us. To arrange this, contact Mrs Lucy Debenham, our Registrar (01432 363511).
Thank you for reading, and do please feel free to comment below.
Chris Wright, Head of the Junior School, March 2019