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Admissions Policy

The Willow Tree Kindergartens provide Steiner Waldorf Early Years education based on the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner. We are a term-time only pre-school and do not provide wraparound care. We encourage all applicants to consider carefully whether Steiner/Waldorf education is a good fit for your child and suggest you research how we differ in our Early Years approach before making your application.

The Willow Tree Kindergarten operates at two sites: Willow Tree St Werburghs and Willow Tree Fishponds.

Please note that our Fishponds site is not affiliated with Avanti Gardens School and our children do not automatically feed into Avanti Gardens. Our Fishponds setting simply shares premises with the school, and attendance at Willow Tree Fishponds will not influence whether your child is admitted to Avanti Gardens School once at primary school age.

Provision

Our settings are open to children aged 2.5-4 as follows: 

  • We admit children aged from 2.5 to rising 4 year olds.

  • Where space is available, limited numbers of children aged 2.5 will be considered for admission, subject to the Kindergarten Manager’s assessment of readiness to attend.

We can only admit children who are developmentally ready. They need to be able to use the toilet and no longer wear nappies, as neither site has appropriate facilities for nappy changing or disposal. The children also need to have basic self-care skills and be able to separate from parents.

Application process

Application for places at Willow Tree must be submitted in writing using our application form this can be completed following this link or emailing info@willowtreekindergarten for and application form. We recommend sending your application at the latest by the end of January for the following academic year. 

Waiting lists for the Willow Tree Kindergarten are operated using the following criteria:

  • Children already attending the setting and requiring additional hours

  • Children of staff and trustees of the Willow Tree Kindergarten

  • Siblings of children already attending the Willow Tree Kindergarten, or siblings of children who previously attended Willow Tree Kindergarten (returning families), subject to approval by the Kindergarten Manager

  • Date of application received

  • Distance from the kindergarten, and eligibility depending on where the child’s birthday falls in relation to the start of the academic year in September

  • When offering spaces, we will also consider appropriateness in the context of the existing cohort and meeting the existing cohort’s needs.

Eligible applicants will be invited to an education meeting between the parents and teacher before a place can be offered.

  • Education meetings for September start are normally conducted from spring onwards

  • Education meetings for January intake are conducted during the Autumn term

  • If there is no vacancy, the applicant will be given the option of joining a waiting list

  • Education meetings are conducted by the Kindergarten Setting Manager who may have Kindergarten Assistant present

  • The decision to admit a pupil is made after the meeting by the Setting Manager

No child, individual or family will be unlawfully discriminated against on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy, maternity or adoption, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

Special educational needs

The Willow Tree Kindergarten is a mainstream setting.

  • We admit children with Special Educational Needs where we have the appropriate facilities and resources available and where it is in the best interest of both the child and the existing class.

  • We admit children with disabilities where we have the appropriate facilities and resources available.

  • If additional support is required for a child to attend the setting, the setting will work with the parents/carers and other relevant professionals prior to admission and will aim to accommodate individual needs. If we are unable to do so, we may not be able to offer a place.

  • We are unable to permit parents to act as carers for children with special needs. However, we may be able to provide additional staff for individual attention on a case-by-case basis and where parents are able to meet the additional costs for one-to-one care.

 

Class size

The Willow Tree Kindergartens have a maximum of 18 children aged 2.5-4 years old, per morning session, and 12 per afternoon session. On the register, there will be a maximum of 25 children.

 

Finance

Please click here to view our Fees & Finance Info

Any outstanding balances must be settled by parents/carers before admission, or for a child to continue accessing existing places at this setting.

All 3- and 4-year-olds in England are currently eligible for the universal Free Early Education Entitlement (FEEE). Willow Tree charges an additional consumables fee for any hours accessed under the scheme that families are expected to pay. Please see our Fees and Finance sheet for further information on hours, the FEEE scheme, consumables fees, and fees for additional hours.

Willow Tree will charge an admin fee of £50 once a family has accepted a place. The fee will not be refunded if the family decides not to take up the place prior to their child starting kindergarten.

To withdraw their child from the kindergarten, families must give a full term’s notice (three months) in writing (i.e. give notice before the spring, summer or the autumn term starts after which they plan to leave). See Exit Policy for more information.

If you require any further information please contact us via:

Email: info@willowtreekindergarten.org.uk

Phone : 07355512009

Application form to join or to be added to waiting list:  https://forms.gle/nWn9SiLZznZqF29CA

 

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