St Stephen’s School is organised over seven year groups starting with Reception and running through years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. The children start school in the year in which their fifth birthday occurs and they leave for secondary school at the end of the year in which their eleventh birthday occurs.
There are two classes per year at St Stephen’s. We admit children into Reception according to age; that is to say that there is a younger class (Class 1) and an older class (Class 2). Typically, Class 1 contains children with birthdays from March/April to August 31st and Class 2 contains children with birthdays typically between September 1st and March/April. Of course, all of this depends upon the relative ages of the children making up any single year group’s roll. We reserve the right to occasionally place children out of logical class (according to birthday) if in our professional opinion they will be better placed to succeed in the other class. There may also be occasions as a year group moves through the school where we feel that mixing the classes to some extent may benefit the children. This would be a senior leadership decision, but we would always communicate this fully with parents before any changes occurred.
When we refer to curriculum and national assessments, you might hear us talk about Key Stages. A child's entire journey through Primary and Secondary school takes them through a series of 'Key Stages', and all primary schools consist of Key Stage 1 (Infants - Years 1 and 2), and Key Stage 2 (Juniors - Years 3 to 6). Reception is considered a separate phase as part of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
At St Stephen’s, on a day to day basis you will more typically hear us talking about Phases. Phase 1 includes all the children from Year 1 to Year 3. Towards the end of Year 3, we move the children over into Phase 2, which includes the end of Year 3 plus Years 4, 5 and 6. Each phase has a leader who is a member of the senior leadership team and who works closely with the teachers in their phase to support the children pastorally as well as academically. This means that every child benefits from the care and support of a an extended team, comprising a class teacher, teaching assistant, phase leader, deputy head and headteacher. It also means we can make sure that assemblies and playtimes effectively meet the needs of the children.