Joining Us

Admissions FAQs

How big is the School?

Dorset House is proud to be a small school.  We are a single form entry school – i.e. we have one class per Year Group and the total number of children tends to be between 140 and 150.  This contributes to the family atmosphere.

 

When can my child join Dorset House?

Our usual points of entry are Reception and Year 3.  However, if space allows, children can join at other times.  We advise you to speak to us as soon as possible if you are interested in a place at Dorset House for your child.  In recent times we have had to disappoint parents as we did not have spaces available.

 

When can we visit?

We hold regular Open Mornings but you are very welcome to visit us at any time.  Just contact our Registrar, Sarah O’Brien, on 01798 831456 or via email sobrien@dorsethouseschool.com.  She will be delighted to arrange a time for you to meet our Headmaster Matt Thomas in order for him to learn about your child/children and to explore the possibility of them joining our school. On a tour during a typical day, you will be able to see children in lessons. We encourage visitors to ask our pupils about their work or school life in general – they are our greatest asset!

 

Are there tests or assessments for new pupils?

Dorset House is an inclusive school and so we do not ask prospective pupils to sit an entrance exam or test.  We do ask to see copies of recent school reports and to be informed of any special educational needs or disability before a child comes to spend a `taster’ day with us.  If, during the `taster’ day, obvious difficulties are identified, we will invite your child to return in order to meet with the Head of Learning Development (Years 4 – 8) or the Pre-Prep SENCO (Years 1 – 3) for assessment.  We seek to maintain a balance of abilities within each Year group and this is taken into account when places are offered.

 

Do most children live locally?

Most families live within a 10 mile radius of the school and all within 20 miles.

 

Do you have a minibus for morning pick-ups?

Our minibuses pick children up in the mornings from local villages and the routes change according to demand.  Please call the school office for details of routes and charges.

 

Do you offer After-School Care?

After school, children in the Pre-Prep can stay until 5.30pm (6.00pm by prior arrangement) at our After School Club.  There are also many after-school activities to choose from.  In the morning, there is a `cornflake club’ in the village from 7.30am and children can be brought to school from there.

 

Do you have Saturday school?

We don’t have lessons on Saturdays although there are some Saturday fixtures and parents enjoy this opportunity to watch their children competing and to meet with other parents.  We also hold occasional Open Mornings on Saturdays.

 

Can my child learn a musical instrument?

Absolutely!  From Year 2, all children are taught the Recorder and from Year 3, are offered lessons on a wide range of instruments including: Piano, Guitar, Drums, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon, Violin, Cello, Bagpipes and Brass.  92% receive tuition in addition to their timetabled lessons and we have a choir and orchestra.

 

What about homework?

We believe that the partnership between home and school is vital throughout the school and we encourage parents to be involved with their children’s reading – both in the early stages of their school career and ensuring that there is time for reading for pleasure as they progress.

 

What is your attitude to Sport?

From Reception up, our children are taught by specialists and from Year 3, all children will have the opportunity to play in competitive matches against other schools.  We also offer extra-curricular opportunities in Sports including Cricket, Gymnastics, Tennis, Judo, Multi-Sports.