Consultation on changing to primary status

At the request of the Governing Body, Northumberland County Council has initiated a formal consultation on changing the status of West End First School to a primary school beginning in September 2020.
The Council is seeking the views of parents, carers and members of the local community who may be affected by this change.
They have produced a document stating the reasons for the proposal and what changes will need to be made. 
You can access this document via the link below.
The document can be viewed here.
You will be able to respond to the consultation online via the consultation document.
The consultation closes on 12th June 2019.
This is your opportunity to share your views on what education should look like in West Bedlington, so please read the document and respond before the deadline.
There will also be a public drop-in session at the school on Thursday 9th May between 7:00pm and 8:30pm when Northumberland County Council officers and school staff and governors will be available to discuss the proposals. We look forward to seeing you then.

Consultation on changing to primary status

Myth buster

Below are some of the questions and concerns raised by parents, carers, staff and children in relation to our proposed change to a primary school from September 2020.

How will all of the children fit into the West End site?

If the proposal is approved by Northumberland County Council they will commit funds to develop the site so that it meets the needs of primary age pupils. There is a legal obligation to provide enough space for children of this age. It is likely to mean building work being undertaken on the site. At this stage we don’t know what that will look like, but we are excited.

How will playtimes be managed for all age ranges?

We already split playtimes in the mornings so that the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children play separately and Reception and Nursery children have access to their own outdoor spaces during the day. Lots of primary schools have playtimes when all of the children play out together but we would be more likely to continue to split our playtimes to enable the older and younger children to play safely and have more room; this might also mean having separate sittings at lunchtime. Luckily there are already lots of primary schools in Bedlington from whom we can learn.

Will my child be in a mixed age range class and what will this mean for his/her education?

The falling birth rate across Bedlington means that there will be fewer children coming in to all Bedlington schools in future years. This is the reason why we are consulting on becoming a one and a half form entry school instead of two form entry. This was already the case before Meadowdale Academy decided to change its age range. As a result it may be necessary to have mixed age range classes in the future. This is something that we have done successfully in the past and is quite common in Northumberland schools. As a school we will decide which is the best way to mix the classes depending on what is best for the children academically, socially and emotionally. We will ensure that the curriculum is organised so no child misses out or repeats a topic. This will not impact on all classes as we are quite full in some year groups.

Will my child get the same opportunities in Year 5 and 6 at West End as they would at middle school?

We are very excited about developing our own Year 5 and 6 curriculum, which will deliver the same objectives as all Year 5 and 6 children are taught across the country. We will want to make it bespoke to West End, so we will continue to provide exciting and memorable experiences through trips and visits. We are also really looking forward to offering new extra-curricular activities and opportunities for another residential experience.

I am concerned that children from Year 6 will be mixing with children from Early Years and Key Stage 1.

Like every other primary school in the country, we will be organising our school day so that the children’s welfare is our top priority. Our children are already separated during the school day because of the school being split across three buildings. We will be organising the day to ensure that the children are mixing and playing together appropriately. We also think this will be a great opportunity for the older children to take on leadership roles (our Year 4s are already playground buddies and lunchtime helpers) so we will be investigating how the older children can support the younger ones through house events and playleaders (to name but two).

Do the staff know how to teach Years 5 and 6?

We have staff with recent experience of teaching in both primary and middle school settings in Years 5 and 6. All of our staff are primary trained and some of us have experience of leadership in primary schools. We also work very closely with the Bedlington partnership of schools, most of which are primaries, so we will be able to access support if we need it.



Can my child transfer from another pre-school or nursery setting to Reception at West End ?

Yes. The admissions process will stay the same with parents having the choice of where they would like to send their child to school (subject to space being available), regardless of where they currently attend pre-school or nursery.

How can I make my views known?

You can respond to the consultation via the Northumberland County Council website at or you can complete a hard copy at school and we will return it for you. You will be able to do this before school from 8:30am during the week of 3rd to 7th June and from 10th to 12th June. Staff will be on hand to look after the children or answer any questions while you do so.

The deadline for returning consultations is midnight on Wednesday 12th June.