Parents' information on admissions

To find out why Finstock Church of England Primary School is the best school for you and your child, please explore our website, watch our video and contact us on or 01993 868314 to arrange to have a telephone conversation or virtual meeting with a member of our leadership team. 

Finstock Church of England Primary School is an academy which is part of The MILL Academy Trust which is its own admissions authority.  The MILL Academy Trust has delegated the responsibility for admission arrangements to the Local Authority, Oxfordshire County Council (OCC). 


Reception admissions and in-year admissions to Finstock Church of England Primary School are co-ordinated by Oxfordshire County Council.

Applications can be made by visiting the Oxfordshire website at:

School Admissions Team
Ground Floor
County Hall
New Road
Tel: 01865 815175

OCC website has a Frequently asked Questions area on their website. Please click here to view these FAQs.


The Process for In-Year Admissions 

Usually, places will be offered if there are places available in the year group (the number of children in the year group is less than the published Admission Number for the school).  

Sometimes, it will not be possible to offer places even though there are less children in the year group than the Admission Number because the school has had to organise in a way that means the admission of a further pupil would cause prejudice to the efficient education of the children already there. 

For admissions after a September intake i.e. In- year admissions if a year group has been undersubscribed and therefore staffing is established for a lower number of forms at the start of the academic year, the Trust reserves the right to refuse in-year admission applications which would require an additional class to be established and therefore the employment of additional teachers.


Admission Number

A Published Admission Number (PAN) is set for each year group that takes into account our capacity to offer and deliver an effective education for all students at our Trust schools.   For admissions after September i.e. In- year admissions if a year group has been undersubscribed and therefore staffing is established for a lower number of forms at the start of the academic year, the Trust reserves the right to refuse in-year admission applications which would require an additional form to be established and therefore the employment of additional teachers. 

Finstock Church of England Primary  School is part of the coordinated in-year admissions process for Oxfordshire. The scheme is published on the County Council’s public website:

Once an application is received, it will be submitted to the Trust's Admissions Panel for consideration.  A decision will be communicated within 15 working days of the receipt of the application. 



If we receive more applications than we have places, it may not be possible to offer a place. If we cannot offer places to all the children in our catchment area we will use our admissions rules to allocate the places.

All applicants refused a place have a right of appeal to an independent appeal panel constituted and operated in accordance with the School Admission Appeals Code. The Trust will utilise the services of the Local Authority to assist with any appeals. Details of the procedure are available from the Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) website and details of the procedure will be sent out with the response letter:


For all other admissions and in year transfers please contact the school office in the first instance.


Nursery admissions 

Please contact the school office to register an interest in your child attending the Nursery Class at Finstock School.


When is Early Years open?

We are open during Oxfordshire School Term Time dates. Please see the school website for exact term dates. Our opening times are 8.40am – 3pm each day.

Can I book in extra session for my child?

Extra one off sessions can be booked via the office. These will only be available if we remain within staffing ratios.

What are the costs of sessions over the 15 funded hours?

You may wish to send your child for more than the 15 hours. Sessions (am/pm) are £12 each. This can be either 8.40am-12pm or 12pm-3pm. If you wish to pay for an additional hour, such as lunch, this is charged at £4.

Do you offer the 30 hours entitlement?

We do offer 30 hours, if you are entitled to this funding you will need to obtain your code online. More details can be found at:

How much notice is required to change hours?

We kindly ask that you let us know as soon as possible, with a minimum of 4 weeks, if you wish to change your child’s hours. Changes mid-year will be subject to availability to ensure we maintain the correct staffing ratios. We kindly ask that any changes take place at the start of each long half term (September, January and April.)

What does my child need to bring?

Children need to bring a snack, water bottle and a change of clothes in a bag every day. You may wish to leave a bag of clothes and wellies at school. All items of clothing in school MUST be named, including coats and hats. Outdoor clothing will be weather dependent however typically:

Autumn/Spring: A lightweight jacket/raincoat

Winter: A coat, hat, gloves, wellies

Summer: Sun hat and sun cream

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Can my child have hot cooked lunch?

Yes, you can pay for a hot cooked lunch; this can be booked and paid for via ParentPay. The cost of this is currently £2.40.

Does my child need to wear a uniform?

Whilst uniform is not compulsory in Early Years, we would encourage children to wear white/red polo shirts and red sweatshirts. These can be teamed with comfortable trousers/leggings/jeans suitable for exploring and playing. Uniform is not only hard wearing – because children do get very messy – but it also helps them to feel part of the school community.

Can my child attend after school care?

Yes, these sessions can be booked directly with the office. We offer a after school multi sports club on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.  A football coach runs a club on Tuesday, this is charged.

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How do you communicate with parents?

At the end of every day, we will write on a whiteboard outside what learning we have done. A member of staff will always be on hand to answer any questions you may have but please bear with us as sometimes there are many parents wishing to chat with us. If you wish to speak with us at another time, we can arrange a mutually convenient time after school. You will receive school newsletters and letters and will also receive emails to keep you up to date with school information. We have two parents evenings each year, there are held usually in December and March. At the end of the school year, you will also receive a school report.

What happens if my child is ill?

If your child has sickness and/or diarrhoea, we have a strict 48-hour policy. This ensures that children are not spreading germs about and your little one is well enough to return to school. If your child falls ill at school, we will call you and ask you to collect him/her. Full details of school exclusions can be found here:


Can you administer medication?

We are able to administer medication prescribed by a doctor. If your child is well enough to return to school, we kindly ask that you fill out a medication form (via the class teacher), we will then administer as per your instructions.


Do I need to let you know if my child is not attending nursery?

We do like to know if your child is going to be present. If it is for a holiday, please fill out a holiday form (via the class teacher.) Although holidays are allowed for nursery children during term time, it does help us with our planning. If your child will not be in suddenly, due to illness or another reason, if you would kindly let us know by calling the school office we would really appreciate it.

Will you let my child take a nap?

Nursery children can get tired, especially if they are getting used to a long day. We have cushions and a quiet area for naps or just a rest if needed.

Who is my child’s key person?

Your child Key Person will be the teacher in the classroom.

What does he/she need to be able to do independently before he/she starts? How can I help my pre-schooler at home?

Children all join us will varying abilities and things they can and cannot do. Many parents ask ‘What should he be able to do?’ The simple answer is ‘Whatever he is ready to do!’

If he is ready to button/zip his coat - great

If he can put his coat on ‘the magic-way’ – amazing

If he can tell us when he needs the toilet (this is a lifesaver!)

If he can count the stair at home – fabulous

If he can recognise some familiar words/images – maybe his – maybe the golden arches of McDonalds

Help your pre-schooler at home by talking to them – lots! Use lots of different words and vocabulary, you will be amazed at how many new words they will pick up when you expose them to it. Count EVERYTHING – steps, claps, jumps, cars. Show them EVERYTHING – fruit in Sainsbury’s, clouds moving in the sky, leaves blowing in the wind. Children learn all the time.

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What phonics schemes do you use?

We use Read Write Inc. phonics across the school. Children in nursery will be exposed to listening activities and phase 1 letters and sounds activities throughout their pre-school year. Letters and sound focusses on seven aspects:

Aspect 1: General sound discrimination – environmental sounds

Aspect 2: General sound discrimination – instrumental sounds

Aspect 3: General sound discrimination – body percussion

Aspect 4: Rhythm and rhyme

Aspect 5: Alliteration

Aspect 6: Voice sounds

Aspect 7: Oral blending and segmenting

If/when, we feel they are ready for more formal phonics this will be introduced alongside the reception children. If you would like to know more about Read Write Inc. please take a look here:

If you wish to help your child at home, this video will help you with teaching the sounds:


How do you teach maths?

We use Inspire Maths; a concrete, picotrial and abstract approach. In Inspire Maths , concepts in each topic are carefully developed using Piaget’s Assimilation and Accommodation Approach. This ensures that sufficient time is given for children to master each concept before they move on to the next.

Piagetian conceptual development takes place over four stages:

• Learn: Direct teaching to develop knowledge and deep understanding.

• Guided practice: Informal assessment of children’s understanding.

• Activity: Help for children to accommodate the concepts and skills learnt.

• Practice: Further enhancement to the accommodation of concepts and skills.

How do you share learning with parents?

We use the online learning journal ‘Tapestry’ to collect observations and evidence on your child’s learning, as well as in writing and maths books.  At the beginning of the year, parents are asked to consent for their child’s learning and photos to be uploaded securely onto Tapestry, where you can access you child’s personal account, where photos/ videos/ observations are stored.  We also welcome any information on learning that has happened outside of school, to create a complete picture of your child.

Does Early years have different policies and procedures to school?

Our policies are the same as the whole school. However, there are elements, such as the behaviour policy that will look different in Early Years. Our role is to teach children early social skills and how to self-regulate their feelings and behaviour. Therefore, the behaviour system we adopt focuses on talking to the children; modelling expected behaviours and allowing them time to reflect.

Does the pre-school have any trips?

Last year, the nursery children accompanied us on a visit to Fairytale Farm. The children were also able to experience ZooLab, a minibeast experience in school. Both of these events happened during the summer term. Throughout the year, however, we may go on local visits – such as a walk to the village shop, to the park or to the church with the rest of the school.

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