FAQs

Please find below answers to questions frequently asked about St Chris. For further information please visit the page on School Life here

If you have accepted a place at St Chris soon, please refer to the Starting at St Chris page here, which contains further information for you to download.

For other questions please contact the admissions team by calling +44 144 650 947 or by emailing admissions@stchris.co.uk.

Questions frequently asked by parents

How many pupils do you have at St Chris?

We have over 550 pupils at St Chris.

The Junior School and Nursery comprise around 170 pupils, the Senior School 300 and the Sixth Form 100.

The majority of pupils are day pupils however there is a lively and thriving community of around 50 boarders.

When do children generally join the School?

Some children join the Nursery and continue through to Sixth Form.

Others join later in the Junior School (Year 4, 5or 6) or in the Senior School in Year 7, Year 9 and Year 12.

We welcome applications from children in other year groups depending on availability.

Are there many siblings in the school?

Yes, generally speaking siblings tend to come to the School together.

How big are the classes?

Teaching groups are small, allowing us to easily differentiate between ability levels and meet individual pupil needs.

There are a maximum of 20 pupils in a class in the Junior and Senior Schools. Class sizes may occasionally be a little larger for popular GCSE subjects in the Senior School.

Are children allowed phones in school?

Junior school pupils can bring a mobile phone in to school but it must be left with the Junior School secretary during the day.

In Year 7 in the Senior School, pupils can bring in a phone but they are provided with a mobile phone locker that they must use while they are at school.

Older pupils, from Year 8 upwards, are given the responsibility of looking after and using their phones independently, but the School’s policy is that all mobile phones must be switched off and stored out of sight during lessons.

What is included in the fees?

For a detailed breakdown of our fees, what is included and any extras please see our fee pages here

Junior School

What are the year groups called in the Nursery and Junior School?

The names for St Chris year groups were devised by pupils a number of years ago and are very popular within the School…however for parents and pupils new to the School, they can take some getting used to!

For more information about which year your child should be joining please click here.

National Curriculum Year St Chris name for year Child’s age on 1 September
Nursery (-2) Half Monte 2
Nursery (-1) Top Monte 3
Reception (0) K Group 4
Year 1 J Group 5
Year 2 H Group 6
Year 3 G Group 7
Year 4 F Group 8
Year 5 E Group 9
Year 6 D Group 10

Do the children have specialist teachers for any of the subjects?

Yes, for French, swimming, PE and music

What does the School day look like?

The Junior School day starts at 8.30am and finishes at 3.20pm. For more information about the structure of the day in the Nursery click here, and for the Junior School click here

Do many Junior School children transfer to the Senior School?

Yes the vast majority of children move up.

The move to Senior School is such a big step. How do you make sure that new pupils make a smooth transition?

We have an outstanding pastoral support team led by our Director of Pastoral Care. The team includes Heads of Year, Advisers, the Pastoral Assistant and the School Nurse who are in close liaison with the Head of the Junior School and Junior School teaching staff.

Transition activities for the move to the Senior School take place from Year 5 (E Group) onwards and include weekly activities in the Senior School and dedicated transition days. There is also a Year 7 (I Group) induction programme at the start of the first term of Senior School.

The wellbeing of our pupils is at the heart of all we do; as a result, when you visit you will see that our pupils are happy, self-confident young people with a common sense of purpose.

They enjoy being here and are passionate ambassadors for their school. Visitors regularly comment on this and we hope you will sense this too.

Senior School

Can you board for just one or two nights a week?

Yes, we offer occasional boarding for a maximum of 2 nights a week.

Please contact Cecilia Drayton, Houseparent to organise the booking cecelia.drayton@stchris.co.uk

Where do your Senior School children transfer from?

Pupils come from state primary and middle schools, and independent prep schools both locally and from a wide catchment area which takes in London to the South, Cambridge and Saffron Walden to the East, and Bedford to the West.

How do I book the school bus?

All bus bookings are made through our supplier Coach Hire. You can access bus routes and timetables on the Coach Hire website here

What is the Late Summer Programme?

The Late Summer Programme, or LSP, takes place in the last week of the summer term for pupils in Year 7 to Year 9.

For further information please see the Senior School Trips and Visits page here

 

St Chris appears to have a less formal approach than other independent schools; how do you maintain boundaries and motivate pupils to learn?

While some areas of school life are more informal than one might see in other independent schools, there is the same commitment to high standards of teaching and learning.

Pupils repay our trust by showing respect for their teachers and their environment.

The atmosphere in the School is purposeful with pupils and teachers working together to ensure that all achieve their best.

Children and teachers here have high aspirations, which, combined with an enjoyment of learning and a real sense of togetherness, are a powerful motivating force.

For further information about our behaviour policy please refer to the policy page here

Which universities do your pupils move onto?

Virtually all of our students go onto further education, with a significant proportion of them going to university, including Oxbridge and Russell Group universities.

We have a broad spectrum of pupils at St Chris, which is matched by the diverse range of courses they choose to study when they leave us. Whichever path they take, our aim is to ensure that every pupil achieves their full potential.

For more information please click here.

 

Questions frequently asked by pupils

What do pupils wear?

There is no uniform at St Chris. We ask that all clothes are appropriate, clean and mended.

Camouflage and military-type clothing are unsuitable.

A St Chris PE kit is available to buy online and is required for all children from Year 5 in the Junior School and up.

PE Kit can be bought from our suppliers SWI. Please visit the SWI online shop here.

Do you really call everyone by their first name?

Yes! We use first name terms between staff and students, staff and parents and staff and other staff at St Chris.

We find that it breaks down potential barriers to communication, particularly between staff and students, and enables a more relaxed style of communication that enables mutual respect.

It can take a bit of getting used to so don’t worry if you call someone Sir when you first start!

 

How much homework do you get?

You will have homework. However, we try to make sure it is evenly spread and that you are left with some time to follow your own interests in the evening. We use Show My Homework to help pupils and parents them and their parents plan their week.

Homework is set at age appropriate levels. For further information about homework in the Senior School please click here

How hard will I have to work?

You will need to work hard – all of our pupils do – but the important thing is, you will enjoy doing so!

What after school clubs are there?

There are lots of lunchtime and after school clubs at St Chris, some of which are for specific year groups but many of which are open to all pupils.

In the Junior School a list of activities is sent out termly with a choices form for parents to complete.

In the Senior School a list of current clubs is available on the board outside Room 12 and pupils can go along if they are interested.

For more information please see:

Do I have to take languages?

In the Junior School pupils start to learn French.

From Year 7 to Year 9 in the Senior School all pupils take French and Spanish.

When you choose your GCSE options for Year 10 you can decide whether you would like to continue with a language subject.

What happens when I first start at St Chris?

If you are starting in September, you will be invited to a transition day in the preceding summer term.

Once you start you will be assigned a buddy who will be able to answer any questions you have and help you to settle in to life at the School.

You will be given a copy of your timetable so you know when and where all your lessons are.  You will be assigned to a Company and you will have an Adviser – our name for a personal tutor – who is there to support you.

What is the School Council?

It is your chance to have a say in what happens in your School – it’s as simple as that and it works.

All decisions made by Council are discussed in a School Meeting and everyone has a vote.  For further information click here

What do I do if I have a problem?

There will be lots of people here to help and ensure you can tackle any problem, whatever it is. The most important thing is that you tell someone at School as soon as you have a problem so that we can give you the advice or support you need.

If something is making you unhappy, if you have a complaint or you have a concern about your safety or that of a friend, it is important that you share this with an adult.

You can speak to any member of staff at School about anything that is worrying you. You can also approach your Adviser, Head of Year, the Head or the School Nurse or any of the Designated Safeguarding Leads listed below.

Whoever you approach will help you. If something needs to be investigated, they will do so and then tell you what has happened.

Designated Safeguarding Lead (Whole School)
Rich Jones
Deputy Head, Senior School
01462 650 850
rich.jones@stchris.co.uk

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (Whole School)
Gavin Fraser-Williams
Director of Pastoral Care
01462 650 850
gavin.fraser-williams@stchris.co.uk

Designated Safeguarding Lead (EYC and Junior School)
Katie Wright
Head, Junior School
01462 650 962
katie.wright@stchris.co.uk

Deputy Safeguarding Lead (Junior School) 
Zareena Subhani
Deputy Head, Junior School
01462 650 962
zareena.subhani@stchris.co.uk

Deputy Safeguarding Lead (EYC) 
Lesley Farrell
Deputy Manager, Early Years Centre and Lead Nursery Teacher
01462 650 851
lesley.farrell@stchris.co.uk

Deputy Safeguarding Lead (EYC)
Rebecca Simon
Reception (K Group) Teacher
01462 650 851
rebecca.simon@stchris.co.uk