Yr2 Transition FAQs

Year 2 Transition FAQs

What happens at drop-off in the mornings?

In Year 3 you may either park up and walk your child to their classroom or use the Drop Off Zone next to the Blencowe Centre. Children should arrive between 8.00am and 8.10am, with Registration ending at 8.25am.  If you are walking your child to their classroom, please park on the Entrance drive (before the roundabout) or in the Cedar car park, which is the car park to the right of the Theatre.  Walk to the Clock Tower (where the School Uniform shop is) and through to the school hall where both classrooms will be situated.  Before arriving at the classrooms, please ensure children hang coats and bags in the cloakroom on their pegs provided. Once the children are more confident and familiar with the school, you may wish to use the Drop Off Zone and allow your child to make their own way to the class.  You may stop your car in front of Mrs Brooks who waits here, welcomes the children as they get out and helps them on their way to class.  Mrs Brooks can take messages for teachers or Surgery, but please do move on once you have dropped to allow the parents behind you to drop off.

What will the children need to bring to school?

Children will need a school coat, plus a pencil case which will remain at school.  On the first morning of each term, please send all Games kit in with your child in a large, clearly labelled bag. The staff will help them to unpack and hang it up during the school day and return the bag to you. Please ensure every item is labelled and has a large loop (cotton tape is best) sewn in for hanging – without these we have found that clothes are far more likely to be left off their pegs, and go missing. All kit remains at school and is laundered here during the term – it will come home with the children at the end of term.

Where do I pick up from at the end of the day?

Please collect your child from their classroom door at 5.15pm in the Autumn Term.  If your child stays for an after school activity in the Spring or Summer Term, they are to be collected from the Theatre foyer at 5.50pm.  Please ensure you sign your child out of school with the member of staff present no matter what time you collect them.
If your child does not have an after school activity, but a 5.15pm pick up is inconvenient, we are happy to supervise the children until 5.50pm in the Year 3 & 4 Club where they can play or read. In such instances, they will then be available for pick up from the Theatre foyer at 5.50pm.

What should I do if I’m going to be late to collect my child?

Please call Surgery on 01342 335375 during School Hours; we will ensure that your child is looked after until you arrive. You should come straight to Surgery to pick up your child.

What events can I attend in school?

All events that parents can attend are marked with an asterisk in the pink calendar you will be given at the beginning of every term.

How do I contact the school?

For most matters relating to school life, please make your child’s Form Tutor the first port of call.  Mr Brundish can be contacted on dbrundish@brambletye.com, or Miss Young on ayoung@brambletye.com.  Please bear in mind that teachers are with pupils all day, so may not be able to respond to emails immediately.  If the matter is urgent, please email the School Secretary, Rachel Duthie, on rduthie@brambletye.com or call on the main telephone number 01342 321004.  If there is a medical issue you would like to discuss, please contact one of our School Sisters (Sister Julie and Sister Paula) or a matron (Mrs Kingsley or Miss Faulkner) in the Surgery – surgery@brambletye.com or you are welcome to phone them on 01342 335375.  If you require support further to the Form Tutor, please do email David Brundish, the Head of Lower School on dbrundish@brambletye.com

What can I find on the Parent Portal?

The Parent Portal is designed to ensure information is made more readily accessible to you. As a Year 2 parent, you have already been able to use the portal to reach the School Calendar, view your child’s school reports, check your own contact details and School Email Inbox, as well as access a number of useful documents or handbooks; this is the same for the Prep School. In addition to this, you will also be able check the Team Lists and Sports Results (with full match reports) under School Links, plus details on your child’s Activities and Extras allocation (see below).  If you have any questions regarding the portal and the information it holds, please contact Rachel Duthie on rduthie@brambletye.com.

How do I request leave for my child?

Permission for your child to leave school during school hours, be it for a medical/dental appointment or a school visit, must be requested from and sanctioned by the Headmaster. You can accomplish this via an online form on the Parent Portal (‘Leave Request Form’ under ‘My Children’). The Headmaster or his PA, Harriet Tarnoy, will get back to you as swiftly as possible. As in the Pre-Prep, there is a difference between this and the Absence Form, which is designed to alert teachers and Surgery, about unexpected or immediate absence due to illness.  This Absence Form can also be found on the portal.


What are the Prep School’s Activities & Extras?

Activities are led by Brambletye staff and are offered to pupils from Year 5 onwards.
Extras are different in that they are delivered by specialist, external teachers or coaches, and are chargeable (much like Taekwondo or Tri Golf in the Pre-Prep). 
Extras take place after lessons, from 5.15pm onwards. Year 3s are only offered these from the Spring Term onwards, to allow them time to get used to the longer Prep School day. However, from Spring onwards we will ask you if you wish to sign up for any Extras each term, which you can do via an online form that will be emailed to you at the end of the preceding term or early in the holidays.
Once the Extras timetable is confirmed, parents are notified and directed to the relevant section of the school’s portal to view their child’s allocation. 
If your child does not have an Extra, but a 5.15pm pick up is inconvenient, we are happy to keep the children until 5.50pm in a Year 3 & 4 Club in the classrooms. They will then be collected from the Theatre foyer at 5.50pm and signed out with the member of staff on duty.

What are the arrangements with sports matches?

If your child is selected to play, there are matches on Wednesday afternoons, usually from 2.30pm, and on some Saturdays in the Summer Term.  A provisional team sheet is posted on the Parent Portal on a Tuesday (and Friday) evening, and stuck up on the Sports Noticeboard under the clocktower the next morning. The final Team Lists, which may change overnight or early on the morning of the match due to absences, are posted on the Parent Portal by 11.00am on the morning of the match.  If able, please do come and support your children playing in the matches and allow them to stay for match tea, which is expected.  Match teas are held in Walnut for parents and visitors after the game.  If you would like to take your child home after tea from an away match you can, but you must notify the school by 12.00pm on the day of the match by emailing the school on homeaftermatches@brambletye.com

How do I know when my child has a music lesson?

Parents are notified about a child’s individual Visiting Music Teacher (VMT or ‘Peri’) at the start of the term. The music timetables are displayed on both boards in the Music Department and in the hall outside the 3B classroom under the Scholarship boards.  Form Tutors will record the day and time of lessons for pupils in their class, display this information in the classroom and prompt them to attend.  Please ensure that they bring their instrument into school on these days, which are to be stored in the Music department please.

If the child has music lessons in Year 2 with a VMT, unless the Music Department is notified otherwise, they will automatically be transferred over on arrival in the Prep School.   If you would like to alter this arrangement, look into organising lessons for your child or discuss any matter to do with music lessons, please contact the Head of Music, Rachel Selleck on rselleck@brambletye.com

Will my child have reading & homework?

As a general rule, we do not send work home in the Lower School due to the length of the school day unless a special arrangement between yourself and the class teacher is in place.  Children read to their class teachers and other staff members throughout the week and reading records are kept.  Reading books are not sent home but we do encourage reading with your child in the evenings.

What is the Prep School ‘House’ system and how does it work?

Your child will join a House (Drake, Marlborough, Nelson or Wellington).  Each house has a Housemaster/Housemistress and House Tutors who play an important role in the pastoral care of the pupils in their house with whom they meet once a week.  Within the house there are divisions. These are small groups of children of all ages who work together on activities.  The system helps children to get to know pupils throughout the school and we hope they will develop friends in different year groups. There are both sporting and non-sporting Inter House contests with cups and prizes awarded at the end of term when your child may be chosen to represent their appointed House.

How does the rewards system work?

Children are awarded Gold Stars for good work (similar to the Pre-Prep ‘Jewels’), Pink Stars for helpfulness and kindness (similar to the Pre-Prep ‘Golden Leaves’) and Send-ups for any outstanding pieces of work which are also seen by the Headmaster.  These rewards are tallied at the end of the week and added to a House score.

How can I see photos of children at the Prep School?

These are often taken around school and many can be viewed or purchased from www.siggyphotography.co.uk. To access these, head to the site, click on Brambletye and use Login: Brambletye Password: bramble123. They can also be viewed through the Photo Gallery on the Parent Portal. Parents can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@brambletweet) and Instagram.

Life in the Prep School – Other General FAQs

What are the school day hours?

Prep School
Day pupils arrive at school between 8am and 8.10am.  Tutor time begins for all pupils at 8.15am.   
On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday the school day ends at 5.50pm. Year 3 & Year 4 pupils may leave at 5.10pm
Pupils may stay at school later in the day to participate in extras and activities. 
On Wednesdays and Saturdays (match days), pupils may leave after match teas at 4pm. 

Pre-Prep day begins at 8.15am and ends at 3.15pm.  There is a breakfast club from 7.30am and an activities and clubs programme which runs daily until 5.45pm. 

Isn't it a long school day?

The Brambletye day is quite a long day compared to some other schools however it is designed to enable  pupils to do everything they wish to at school and  once they go home at the end of the day they are able to  relax with their family.  Pupils play at least an hour of sport everyday and they enjoy lessons in all the creative arts once a week including Drama, Music, DT and Art.  There is an Enrichment afternoon every Thursday.  Homework is done at school and with a huge array of clubs on offer, pupils are able to pursue most of their extracurricular passions without having to leave Brambletye.   

How many children are there in a class?

The average class size is 14 pupils per class.

What sports do children play and how often?

Children have games sessions or matches against other schools every day of the week. The major sports played are football, rugby, cricket, hockey and netball. There is also swimming, squash, tennis, athletics, cross country, golf, basketball and badminton.

Could you tell us more about the food at Brambletye?

Boarders start the day with a cooked breakfast, fruit, toast and cereal.   There is a break at 10.30 when children have a drink and homemade cookies, biscuits or fruit.   There are 3 lunch sittings a day divided into  Pre-Prep, Lower School and Senior School.  Pupils may choose between a hot meal or the salad bar which has a huge array of different dishes every day. Lunch is a “family service” which means that staff  serve the children at each table and eat with them to ensure that everyone is eating well and good table manners are taught.  Low tea takes place at 3.30pm and is a drink, sandwich or fruit.   Boarders’ supper takes place at 6pm and day pupils who are doing any extra activities in the evening may join them.  Finally the Boarders have “grub” before going to bed which is a choice of sandwiches, toast, cereal and fruit.   All of our food is loving prepared by our very dedicated in-house catering team, 

Do you have Saturday School?

Yes, we have Saturday school roughly every other week, when the children have lessons in the morning and games or matches in the afternoon. Parents are invited to watch matches and join us afterwards for our renowned match teas.  This is a great time for parents to get a glimpse into their child’s life at school and to meet other parents.   Saturday school starts from the Summer Term of Year 3. In Years 3 & 4, children have the option of going home at lunch time, if they are not in a match. 

Which Senior Schools do pupils go onto?

Our pupils go onto a wide range of Senior Schools across the U,K. A full list can be found at https://www.brambletye.co.uk/prep/destination-schools/. Parents are encouraged to make an appointment with the Headmaster when their child is in Year 4 or early on in Year 5, to discuss some schools that would suit your child and you as a family. 

Where can I buy uniform from?

Simmonds in Tunbridge Wells are  Brambletye ‘s uniform supplier.  They have an online shop and new uniform may be sent directly to Brambletye.  We have a name taping service but please let us know if you would like to use this.  You will need to order your child’s name tapes.  
We also have a second hand shop at Brambletye.  Please email hatarnoy@brambletye.com to make an appointment. 

Boarding FAQs

Are there flexible boarding options?

In  Years 3-6  children may choose to board  1, 2, 3 or 4 nights per week. The days are fixed termly. We expect that if a child is boarding 1 night a week, this will increase to 2 or more nights after one term. We also  have a number of children in those year groups who are full-time boarders. In Years 7 & 8 pupils are either boarders or day pupils.  Boarders may go home on a Saturday afternoon after matches or stay at school to enjoy the full weekend activity programme which we are proud of. 


How many children are there in a dormitory?

There are between 5 to 10 children in a dorm.  They are always with children of their own year group and sometimes with children in the year above or year below.


What is an All-In weekend?

All-in weekends take place once or twice a term and all boarders in Years 7 & 8 are expected to stay in school to enjoy a fun packed weekend together. On other weekends children are welcome to go home or to friends, leaving after matches on Saturday and returning on either Sunday night or Monday morning, though a good number of children choose to remain in school.


How many international pupils do you have and where do they come from?

Around 10% of our pupils come from overseas and we currently have American, Chinese, French, Spanish, Russian, Thai and Japanese pupils. 

How far away is the airport and how to pupils travel there?

Gatwick airport is just under half an hour from the school by car. Heathrow airport is just over an hour from the school by car.   We use a local taxi firm which has a number of DBS checked drivers. The drivers are able to meet the children on arrival and help them check in on departure.

Travel to London

Our nearest train station is East Grinstead which is 5 minutes away from school.   On exeat weekends and half terms, children travelling to London are escorted on the train to Victoria station  by a member of staff where they will There is an escorted return journey on Sunday evenings, or Monday evenings if it has been a bank holiday.

Are pupils allowed devices at school?

We do not allow any personal devices at school.   Children have school email addresses and they may call home whenever they wish either on the phone or using Facetime, Skype and WeChat.  Any electronic devices, including mobile phones, are handed in to staff on arrival to school. Children are able to take them with them for exeats, half terms and holidays.


What activities are there at weekends?

The weekend programme is designed to be busy and sociable but we also give the children space to relax when they need to.  Boarders have access to all the school facilities including the sports hall, tennis courts, golf course, swimming pool and grounds.   There is often a themed supper on Saturdays followed by games, karoake or a film.   A programme of activities is planned every Sunday and the busy children are kept well fed by Annabelle’s Sunday Roast lunch.     Activities include:- Big Tree Climbing company, inflatables,a  giant waterslide , outings to the beach, London and sports fixtures, camping in the grounds, planning shows and walks for ice creams and hot chocolate.