Honest & Respect
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The Duke of Bedford School is a co-educational day school and caters for children in the age range 4 - 11 years. Children may start school in September following their fourth birthday, but compulsory education does not begin until the start of the term following a child’s fifth birthday.

Informal meetings for parents of pre-school children are arranged in June. School organisation is outlined at these meetings, but we are happy to arrange a personal discussion with parents who prefer us to visit them at home.

Children also have the opportunity to attend school for several sessions as they prepare for ‘big school’ the following September.

In order to support our young pupils we practise a ‘buddy’ system. Simply, a Year 5 child becomes the ‘partner’ of a pre-school child, forming a caring and supportive friendship before the small child starts school. We find this practice helps ease the transition into school.

Peterborough Education Authority sets our admissions policy as follows:

Schools are only able to admit up to their physical capacity, for us that is 30 pupils in each year group.  Where there are more applications than places available the allocation will be made in the following order:

Children living in the school’s catchment area:

In rural settings (including Thorney) where there is no alternative local school within two miles of the child’s home (measured by the shortest available walking route), then the LEA will offer a place at the local designated school.

Children living outside the school’s catchment area:

(In cases of equal merit, priority will be given to those living nearest to the school by the shortest available safe walking route.)

  1. Children with a brother or sister in attendance at the school at the time of admission.
  2. Children living closest to the school by the shortest available safe walking route.

Full details from Peterborough City Council can be found on the links below:

Starting school in Reception

In year transfers

School Admission Appeals

School Transport

Starting school - arrangements for admission into the Reception Class

Children in the Reception Group are admitted to the School at the beginning of the school year during which their fifth birthday occurs.

In order to ensure that our pupils settle in to life in ‘big school’ quickly, we stagger their start date.  We anticipate that most pupils will be in school by the end of the second week of the September term.  Specific details will be sent to you towards the end of the summer term.

Preparatory visit

During the term before the children are admitted, parents are invited into school for a meeting to find out more about the school, meet the class teachers and support staff, as well as finding out about some of the activities that the children will be taking part in during their first year.