Frequently Asked Questions

As the children move from year group to year group their experiences change as we pack more into the school day. Please do not hesitate to contact us directly if you need any further information about any aspect of the education we provide. We are always on hand to support parents as their child progresses through each stage of his/her education with us.

School FAQs

Can parents become involved in the life of the school?

We have an excellent Parents’ Association with a large committee of supportive parents, who organise regular events for both pupils and parents. This culminates in a Summer Barbecue where the whole school community gets together. Take a look at the Normanhurst Parents’ Association page HERE. 

Parents are invited into school for assemblies and events, and sometimes to accompany trips and outings. We have a parent reader scheme in the Juniors where parents can volunteer to help hear pupils read in the junior school.

Parents who wish to are invited to offer work experience placements for our Year 10 pupils for a week in the Summer term to give them an experience of the world of work. This is immensely valuable for pupils as they consider their career choices and where they want to study next.

What learning support do you offer to support my child?

We are fortunate to have a well-resourced Learning Support team, coordinated by our SENDCo Mrs Huxford. We have a large number of Learning Support Assistants who work in a variety of classes. All work is routinely differentiated to meet the range of abilities of our children so that they are all able to access the curriculum.

Our specialist staff give one-to-one targeted support to pupils to help them make progress. We also have a specialist dyslexia teacher who provides lessons for some of our pupils and undertakes assessments if necessary.

How do you do PE when you do not have any pitches?

We use some of the borough’s finest sporting facilities, including the Peter May Centre for indoor and outdoor activities, the Chingford Leisure Centre for swimming, The Chingford Tennis Centre at Rolls Park and the indoor and outdoor track and field facilities at Lee Valley Athletics Centre which is also used by UK Athletics to train Olympic athletes.

Classes from Year 3 upwards have PE offsite. The PE department provides a wide-ranging and challenging curriculum that includes swimming, badminton, tennis, football, gym, softball, cricket, hockey tag rugby, netball and athletics.

Sports Day is held at Lee Valley Athletics Centre in the Summer Term, and parents are very welcome to join us for what is always an excellent event.

Do you offer before and after school care?

We have a Breakfast Club from 7.30am until 8.40am each morning and an After-School Club that runs until 6pm. These are run by Normanhurst staff for children from 3 to 12 years.

Normanhurst now also run a Senior Breakfast Club for pupils Years 7-11. This is held in the school hall from 7.30am- 8.15am, with the breakfast prepared by Chartwells catering team. Pupils do not need to pre-book and the charge will be £3 daily with the cost added to termly invoices.

For Breakfast Club, drinks, breakfast cereals and toast are provided each morning. Children are given a range of activities after breakfast that engage them until the school day begins at 8.40am.

After School Club is staffed by the same team, and provides sandwiches and fruit every afternoon. Homework can be completed in the quiet area and there is a variety of activities on offer.

It is advisable to book into these clubs via the School Office, either on an occasional, regular or daily basis.

Does Normanhurst provide lunch?

Normanhurst employs the national independent school catering contractor Chartwells to provide lunches for our pupils. There is a wide variety on offer and all food is prepared freshly on site by our chef and his team.

The School Council and our chef worked together last year on new menus and choices for children of all ages. We offer a vegetarian option and a Halal option each day alongside a hot main meal, jacket potatoes, pasta, rolls, baguettes and a salad bar. The fruit platters are a very popular choice for dessert, as are the hot puddings.

Teachers check that our younger pupils make balanced choices and eat properly; they will liaise with you if they have any concerns.

CLICK HERE to see our rolling three week menu.

Where do pupils go when they have to leave Normanhurst at 16?

We prepare all of our pupils to go on to further education and the majority study for A levels. Most move to schools in the area to selective independent schools (sometimes with scholarships), to grammar schools or to local state schools and colleges. Over the last three years pupils have received offers from independent schools including Chigwell, Forest and Bancroft’s. Others apply for grammar schools such as Ilford County High, Woodford County High or Latymer.

We find that some pupils choose a vocation route after successfully completing their GCSEs. This have included Interior Design, Media Studies, ICT and Professional Culinary Arts.

Our pupils are well-prepared for the transition after GCSE. We hold a parents’ evening in September for parents and pupils in Years 10 and 11 in which we provide advice and information about the application process for different schools and colleges. Mock interviews are held so that pupils can practise their techniques. Scholarship candidates have support for their applications.

Each year our pupils go on to study a wide range of subjects and most go to their first choice school. Many former pupils return to school to share their achievements with us. Many go on to study at leading universities; former pupils include a chef at the Savoy, a gymnast in China and numerous accountants, bankers, city traders and musicians to name a few!

Recent examples of universities and subjects chosen by former Normanhurst pupils include: Oriental Studies at Cambridge, History at Bristol, Engineering at Loughborough, Biomedical Sciences in London, Journalism and Sports Studies at University of East Anglia and Masters in Mechanical Engineering at Nottingham.

Read about our leavers destination schools

What are the benefits of a mixed school?

Boys and girls work together extremely well at our school, which prepares them well for life beyond Normanhurst. Our class sizes are small and so all pupils are able to take part with confidence, whether a boy or a girl. Boys and girls achieve equally well at Normanhurst School at each stage.

The younger children play together happily, and this ease with each other continues through the school even into the teenage years, where pupils are comfortable with each other.

What links are there between school and home?

Parents of pupils in our Early Years, Infants and Juniors have the opportunity each day to talk to the class teacher either in the morning or in the afternoon. We are very happy for parents to contact us to make a longer appointment if they need a more detailed conversation with the form teacher or a member of the senior team. The Headmistress is readily available to see parents about a variety of matters.

We have at least one formal communication with home each term, which takes the form of a short report, full report or parent’s meeting. ‘Settling in’ reports are sent home after the first few weeks in school. There are regular newsletters and the website is always updated with information and news. We have a text messaging service and we email letters and news home.  We also tweet our news!

There are termly drop-in mornings for Early Years, Infant and Junior parents to visit the classrooms and annual coffee mornings for all parents to chat with the Group Managing Principal and Headmistress about school.

What are the benefits of a school taking children from 2½ – 16?

We understand the educational needs of children all the way through their education and we ensure that the progression from one stage to the next is smooth and supported. Teachers share their knowledge and understanding of the children and progress is maintained.

The school is a strong community where the clear sense of caring and togetherness permeates from the oldest pupils down to the youngest. This is unique. We are one school, on one site, and pupils share school events together such as Speech Day, Harvest Festivals, celebrations, concerts, the annual sponsored walk and sports day.

Pupils in the infants and juniors gain from the expertise of specialist teachers who are graduates in a wide range of subjects and who work hard to make the curriculum relevant, exciting and challenging.