Archives for 2018

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Let us celebrate everything we have achieved as a school this year

As we close school up for the 64th time (yes 64 years we have been opening our doors to lots of children and their parents) and say goodbye to our Year 6s we can look back on a very happy and successful 2017 / 2018 year. There have been lots of achievements, friendships and happy memories gained for both our pupils, teachers and friends.


Speaking to our year 6 children this morning they were all excited for their next chapter but also talking so positively about the years they have spent at Hopelands from the teachers that have helped them on their journey to the friends they have made and the experiences they have shared. During the last 7 years, these 16 pupils (some obviously joining us a little later) have achieved so much from sporting, academic, musical, drama, science, engineering and most importantly personal growth. They joined us back in 2010 as young 4 year olds excited about what their future at Hopelands held and I am pleased to say they are all leaving us as confident, happy, determined children with the mind set I can, I will, I do!


This year our school family has once again produced outstanding SATs results and 100% pass rate in the 11 plus for Gloucestershire Grammar schools as well as seeing other successes across both the core curriculum and other activities that our teachers and support staff work so hard to offer the children.


This year we have also seen success in national challenges for KS2 children. Earlier this year most pupils in years 5 and 6 tried their best to take the very difficult Primary Maths Challenge. This year 68,000 pupils from all over UK and some from abroad entered the first round in November 2017. Out of these, 3255 pupils who scored 20 or more (just under 5% of the total) were invited to take part in the Bonus Round in February 2018. Two pupils at Hopelands qualified for the Bonus Round, of whom we are enormously proud. This is a terrific achievement for them. One of our pupils achieved a Silver medal with the highest score, just missing the Gold, which is truly outstanding, as there were only 167 children with scores above her.


As always, the children’s enjoyment in learning is paramount at Hopelands, and thus, we have tried to offer pupils as many opportunities to experience lots of interesting things. To celebrate 2018 as the year of Engineering, Hopelands children in years 4, 5 and 6 took part in the STEM Leaders’ Award; they designed what they would make if they were engineers. All of our children worked with passion and purpose in their creations. We are proud of all our pupils for their effort and work ethic, and we are glad some of our children submitted work that was recognised by the Judges as special. The work of 4 children was shortlisted; the work of a fifth pupil was Highly Commended by the Judges, and the work of a sixth pupil was awarded a trophy; these six entries have been selected for public exhibition. Children should be very proud of their achievement, as solely in the South West there were 2,712 entries.


In addition to those activities the children have enjoyed a variety of out of school activities to support their learning this year including:

  • Westonbirt Arboretum for a day at the arboretum and a ‘day in space’
  • Regular termly trips to Forest school
  • Skill Zone in Gloucester where they learnt all about being safe in their environment both inside and outside of the home
  • GWR Steam railway museum where they had full WW2 dress experiencing what it was like to be an evacuee.
  • Edward Jenner Museum in Berkeley where they learnt about how to prevent the spread of diseases.


This year we have also helped our children understand some Fundamental British values by welcoming the following activities:

  • UK Parliament Week where our local MP visited and addressed the children at an assembly, to explain his role in Government.
  • Parliamentary Outreach – an officer joined us to meet with the children and ran workshops for KS2 about elections, debate and affirmative action.
  • Stroud Mock Trials where the children worked hard as a team to put a strong case across.


Our sporting achievements are always outstanding for a small school and Gloucester rugby club coaches commented on the quality of the children’s rugby skills in year 5, with wheelchair rugby being a new introduction. Our PE teacher offers the children such an array of sports including Lacrosse, high jump, hockey, cross country, rounder’s and lots of fun in between, this summer has resulted in lots of water fun!

This year the successes are numerous with highlights including:

  • Only two rugby games lost throughout the entire TWO rugby DISTRICT tournaments.
  • Silver in both DISTRICT netball tournament and track and field athletics.
  • EIGHT children qualifying for county cross country championships and WINNING the district swimming and cross county trophies.


This ethos shines so brightly in our music and drama department, culminating annually in our summer concert and prize giving event in July. Our music and drama teachers ensure they get the best out of every pupil and ensure they all have an opportunity to shine whether that be in music, drama, dance or singing. Hopelands children always enjoy the opportunity to sing with lots of other schools from across the country at Young Voices every year and to take part in the Cheltenham festival, they work so hard and produce such quality.


At Hopelands we also like the children to appreciate the world around them and the school council chooses a nominated charity every year that the school will raise money for, this year they picked ‘Water Aid’ as well as ‘Toilet Twinning’.  It is great to see the children supporting our charity and thinking up innovative ways to raise money but it is also fantastic to help them understand their Social Responsibility for other people around them and for the world in which they live. As well as our chosen charity pupils ask to help other charities throughout the year including:

  • Macmillan Coffee morning
  • Gloucestershire young carers ‘Snazzy Sock Day’
  • Macmillan Cancer research with ‘The Great HopelandsBakeoff’ where the pupils even received a handwritten note from Mary Berry herself.


We are always busy at school and the teachers work so hard ensuring the children have lots fun, enriching experiences and it is fantastic that so many of our parents and Grandparents help us in so many ways.


Finally we’d like to thank all of our pupils for working so hard again this year and just to say have a very relaxing and enjoyable Summer break!


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Hopelands Case Study

Paul is delighted with the encouragement and family feel of Hopelands Preparatory school for his daughter Poppy who started in Fox Cubs (Reception class), age 4.

Why did you choose Hopelands Preparatory school?

“All of our choices for state schools were unfortunately declined. Poppy was very quiet in her younger years and the only option we had available was with a large school which would have been too daunting for her. Having visited public schools in the area, Hopelands stood out for me. The school is perfect in terms of size and the first impression had a very positive effect. All the children seemed so happy and the teachers were all so welcoming.

What I really liked about Hopelands is the fact that everybody was so down to earth. There is no pretentiousness at all and as a parent wanting the very best for my child, the school just ticked all of the boxes”.

Small, Happy School

Hopelands Preparatory school averages 12 pupils per class and therefore we can focus on the children as individuals and ensure they all reach their full potential. Paul commented “I was encouraged to see that the classes are very small. It was comforting and reassuring to know that Poppy would always have ample time from the teachers to help her learn and develop”.

Poppy was a very quiet in her younger years and Paul recognised that Hopelands would be the ideal environment to help Poppy flourish “What really stands out for me is the family feel to the school. Being a small school, the pupils of all ages interact with each other and all seem to get on so well. I have confidence that Poppy is not only looked after by the teachers at Hopelands but also by her friends around her. I’ve seen nothing quite like it and I’m so grateful for Poppy’s happiness”.

Confidence building

When children start school at 4 they can sometimes be shy and worried about the new environment they are entering so we work on building resilience and our happy environment promotes positive attitudes in every child, so they feel able to take risks and become more confident. “The reason for choosing Hopelands was due to Poppy being so quiet and timid. When she joined Hopelands in the Fox Cubs year, her new friends and amazing teachers could develop her trust and confidence very quickly. Within no time, Poppy was standing up and presenting confidently during activities such as show and tell. Poppy now oozes confidence and has such a lovely connection with all the children. I never thought I would see the day when a child would say she was missing school during the holidays! Hopelands has certainly had a wonderful impact on Poppy and she is also proving to be a very bright child”.

Academic success

Paul said that Poppy’s proving to be a bright child, and this is evident throughout the school where it thrives to achieve academic excellence. “I feel the school is unique. It has a personality of its own which is so friendly, nurturing and accommodating. It’s also apparent that the children love spending time there and the success pass rate for 11+ is testimony to this. In 2017 (for September 2018 start) 100% of Hopelands pupils passed the 11+ entrance exam. If that doesn’t motivate you towards booking a tour of the school, nothing will!”.

What advice would you give a prospective parent?

“I would firstly suggest that they pay Hopelands a visit. I would be confident that any parent who is passionate about their child’s development and education would struggle not to embrace the school, its staff and its nurturing ethos immediately”.

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Letter of appreciation from our 2017 leavers

Below is a letter from the 2017 leavers to our Sports teacher here at Hopelands

THANK YOU so, so, so much you are the most amazing teacher and you have taught me so well. I didn’t realise just how much of a brilliant teacher you were until I came here to my secondary school. None of the teachers are a spot on you, I hope you are proud of yourself. All three of us from Hopelands are getting involved in the sports teams and are in A team for netball, A / B team for hockey and have had an email about competing at an indoor athletics tournament. I am going to the Tewksbury Cross country event and that is from you doing all the cross country with us (those killer hills) has made me such a better runner! The running at our school you would be appalled at – we don’t do any!! But because of you, I have been inspired to run at weekends – all because of you! I would like to thank you on behalf of all of the 2017 leavers and hope you carry on being AMAZING and as inspirational as you are!!

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Reception school places – a nervous wait

It is nearly that time of year when thousands of children across the UK will find out which school they have been offered. Back in January Gloucestershire parents hastily added their application for first, second, third, fourth or even fifth choice for Gloucestershire primary schools. With many hoping to get their first or at least second choice others are worried that they may get their fifth choice. School places are very sought after with only 1 in 4 children getting their first choice of school in some areas in 2017.

So, what happens on Monday 16th April when you receive that email or letter to inform you where your child of 3 or 4 has been allocated for their primary school place? Will there be elation because you have been offered the school that you wanted or will you be distraught as you didn’t get your first or second choice but your third, fourth or even fifth and you didn’t really want them anyway, or even worst you didn’t get any of the choices you made. Don’t panic, it may feel like the end of the world to you, but it’s not, there are several options including:

  1. Accept the school you have been given – many people find that once their child starts school they realise it was the best school for them.
  2. Decline your place and ask to be reconsidered for another one of your choices.
  3. Decline your place and ask to be added to the waiting list for your preferred school.
  4. Accept your place but ask to still be considered for one of your preferred choices.
  5. Appeal to the council for your preferred choice and go through the appeal process which takes place in June or July 2018 – more information about appeals can be found here:

When you are appealing remember there could be several people in the same position as you so it is key to think about the following:

  1. Consider the grounds upon which you want to appeal. Ensure your reasons are as strong as they can be, putting emphasis on the strongest argument first.
  2. Ensure you collate as much supporting evidence as you can to substantiate your appeal.
  3. Medical and Social Reasons which have arisen since the original application must be supported by evidence (e.g. doctor’s letter).
  4. Preparation is key, make sure you are fully aware of what you want to say to the panel and that everyone who is attending with you has the same idea.

All the options above are for the state system in Gloucestershire, have you ever considered an Independent school? Many parents are put off even looking at Independent schooling due to the perceived cost. However, many people fail to realise that there is a lot of support available for families who wish to consider Independent schooling for their children and the perceived cost is not always as much as you think. Hopelands Preparatory School in Stonehouse is exceptional value in comparison to many other Independent schools whilst still offering all the same added benefits. We also firmly believe that families should not be restricted by their financial circumstances and that a child’s attendance at the School should be an option for all and therefore the School offers a limited number of means tested assisted places, more information on our bursaries can be found here:

Finally, we’d like to wish everyone the best of luck for Monday 16th April and hope you receive the school place you have been hoping for. If the result is not as you would have hoped we also want to reassure you that there are other options for you. As well as offering exceptional value at our small, happy school we are also dedicated to enabling each child to achieve their full potential. We create a nurturing, supportive environment that will enable all children to become resilient, confident young people. Our website has lots of information about our school including the Curriculum, History and Ethos, Pastoral and Enrichment and especially pertinent to new reception children information about the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Please do get in touch with us on 01453 822164 if you have any more questions or contact us to book an appointment at our Open Morning taking place on Friday 2nd March between 09:30am – 12noon.


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