North Independent Secondary School of the Year 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Rose Court moving?
Since the merger of our two founding schools, the only area of our former sites still in use was Rose Court. We now want the whole school community to come together physically, to maximise the benefits of learning together, sharing experiences across all age groups and following a child’s full development from 3-18.

Will Rose Court retain its own identity?
Children aged 3-7 will be together on the ground floor of the current Junior School, with their own multi-purpose hall, kitchen and refectory and their own library. The sense of identity will not only be maintained but enhanced, as they will benefit from a continuous learning journey during their primary years, providing a smooth transition from one part of the school to another.

How will Rose Court pupils benefit from the move?
They will benefit from new and exciting, larger learning spaces that are purpose built and resourced to the highest level, also providing opportunities for the youngest pupils to have seamless access to external learning and play areas. They will also be able to use the wide range of facilities on the Alwoodley site including the swimming pool. The opportunity to work together with older children in the primary and senior school is an additional advantage.

What are the advantages for families?
With all children from 3-18 on one site, the whole experience for parents will be much more convenient and transitions between phases will be seamless.

Where will you accommodate the additional pupils at Alwoodley Gates, will there be new buildings?
There is no need for additional buildings at Alwoodley Gates because the existing accommodation has capacity for all our pupils, with some reconfiguration of the space.

The introduction of laptops for all senior pupils frees up some of our existing computer suites, so we have reviewed the space available in Senior School. The interior spaces will be redeveloped to extend the primary area and move the oldest primary pupils into a section of the current Senior School, thus enabling us to redesign the current Junior School to incorporate Rose Court. The capacity of the whole school remains unchanged but the space will be better utilised.

The only new structure required is the bridge under the porte cochère, built in summer 2019, which links the senior and primary school buildings. This provides easy access between the buildings for the older primary pupils who will be in new classrooms in Senior School.

When will I be able to look round the new primary school?
The majority of the work will be completed during the 2020 summer holidays ready for an official opening in September 2020. Floorplans are available to view at any of our open events and one nursery classroom is set up as a showcase of what you can expect across the Primary School.

How will you ensure such young children feel confident and secure in a big school?
They will continue to benefit from the highest level of pastoral care from our outstanding Rose Court staff. Their priority will continue to be the well-being of every child. By locating all of the Rose Court children into their own part of the current junior building, and keeping their own spaces for eating, music, library etc, they will still feel part of a cosy community with a real family feel, yet will benefit from a wider range of spaces, e.g. the new forest school/outdoor learning area.

What impact will the move have on pupils already at Alwoodley Gates?
When you see GSAL pupils of all ages working together, both across the primary phase and when the senior students help out at school sports days or with young, emerging readers, it is an absolute delight! All children learn so much from each other, grow together and grow to be kind and supportive of one another. That’s the magic of 3-18 on one site.

How will you minimise disruption to school life during the relocation project?
We have deliberately planned the work on the site redevelopments during school holidays only, to avoid any disruption to our pupils.

Will the school day be the same in the primary and senior schools?
We will operate a staggered school day, with three phases within primary school starting and ending the school day at slightly different times. However, to assist families with siblings in different phases, classrooms in all year groups will be open with children supervised between 8.30am and 3.30pm. In addition, the existing wraparound care from 7.20am to 6pm will continue, provided by Children’s Corner.

Senior School students register at 8.30am and finish lessons at 3.55pm.

What measures are you taking to facilitate travelling to and from school?
We have worked with a traffic consultant who knows the Alwoodley site well, and are introducing a range of transport measures. Combined with the staggered start and end times for the school day, we anticipate that these measures will improve the journey to and from school for parents and pupils.

A safe drop-off zone will be provided for parents of older primary pupils, to ease the demand for parking spaces in the visitor car park.

We operate an extensive school bus service, which will be available to pupils in Year 2 and above. We review the routes annually to try and meet the needs of families who wish to use the service regularly. Details of the service and the current routes are on the For Parents pages of our website.

Where will children eat lunch?
Rose Court children will eat in their own, smaller hall, on the ground floor of the Primary School. Food will be freshly prepared in an attached kitchen, as at Rose Court. Older primary pupils will continue to have lunch in the main school refectory.

What outside space will children have access to?
The primary playgrounds will be allocated by year groups so Early Years and Key Stage One children will have their own spaces, as will the older children. All play areas will be upgraded with the latest equipment and layout as part of the refurbishment programme.

Will pupils still be taught by the classroom staff who they know from Rose Court?

How will you fund the project and will it affect my school fees?
The funding for the project will be met by the sale of Rose Court with no addition to the school fees.

Can you guarantee a quality learning environment at Rose Court in Headingley for its last year?
Absolutely – exactly the same as always! The quality of our staff is well known; they inspire and nurture the children and that will continue, either side of the physical move. We continue to invest in the facilities and resources at Rose Court. Every pupil’s experience, every year, is precious and should not be compromised.

What will happen to Rose Court in Headingley once GSAL has vacated the site?
Although we will be moving to Alwoodley Gates, our commitment to education and the Headingley community who have embraced us so well remains. We are pleased to have agreed the sale of Rose Court to Leeds City Council, for use as a school for children with special educational needs.



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