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Parsons Down Infant School
Paynesdown Road, Thatcham, RG19 3TE, UK Newbury
+44 (0)1635 862475

Parsons Down Infant School

"Welcome to Parsons Down Infant School online. We invite you to look around our school, and if you would like any more information please do not hesitate to email, write, call or visit us."
Mrs Janice Schofield (Head Teacher)

What's new?

  • September Newsletter


The hall is used for assemblies, PE, television and singing. It is also the venue for school productions, Schools Association events and visiting performers. There are always some interesting displays on the walls which are changed on a regular basis.

Photo of Parsons Down Infant School Hall

Dining hall

We are very lucky to have a separate dining area. This is used for morning milk as well as school dinners. We also use the area to take groups of children to work with Teaching Assistants during the rest of the day.

Photo of Parsons Down Infant School Dining Hall


The children choose a library book to take home to share with their parents every Friday. We have a rota of parents who look after our library.

Photo of Parsons Down Infant School Library


Photo of the Parsons Down Infant School playgroundWe are lucky to have a large outdoor play area with both hard surface and grass. There is a separate area for the Foundation Stage Unit.


Photo of the Parsons Down Infant School playground
Foundation Stage Unit Play Area

Photo of the Parsons Down Infant School playground

Photo of the Parsons Down Infant School playground


Foundation Stage Unit

Children at the Foundation Stage use many different resources to support their learning both inside and outside.

Year 1 classrooms

At Year 1 the children spend the mornings in their own class areas developing their literacy and numeracy skills. In the afternoons the children use the whole Year 1 area to learn the other subject areas.

Year 2 classrooms

Each Year 2 classroom is divided into a working area, an art area and a quiet area where the whole class can get together.

Photo of a Parsons Down Infant School classroom
Foundation Stage Unit

Photo of a Parsons Down Infant School classroom
Year 1 role play area

Photo of a Parsons Down Infant School classroom
Year 2 quiet area

Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide a happy, caring and stimulating environment where children are valued and encouraged to develop their academic and physical abilities and to grow spiritually, morally, socially, culturally and emotionally.

Personal Development and Wellbeing

Our aim is to provide a caring, secure environment which gives children a happy and confident start to school life.
In order to achieve this:

  • We will ensure that the school is a welcoming place for children and parents
  • We will ensure that school is fun, remembering that children learn when they are happy
  • We will ensure that all the children feel valued and are rewarded appropriately by giving constructive criticism and celebrating their achievements
  • We will ensure that their emotional needs are acknowledged and that they feel secure in the classroom
  • We will encourage the children to display pride in their achievements
  • We will encourage children's social development and communication skills
  • We will ensure that there is clear communication between ourselves, with the children and with the parents
  • We will establish a sharing and supportive relationship with parents

Teaching and Learning

Our aim is to ensure that children know what they are learning and know what they need to do to progress well both in the short and long term.
In order to achieve this:

  • We will ensure the teaching enables all the children to learn well
  • We will ensure that each lesson has clear learning objectives and success criteria which are shared with children and revisited in the plenary
  • We will set clear targets for the children which are challenging but achievable
  • We will ensure that work is differentiated so that it is challenging but achievable
  • We will ensure that we use a variety of resources that will motivate the children
  • We will plan and deliver lessons whic take into account children's different learning styles
  • We will encourage the children to learn from each other
  • We will encourage children to answer and ask questions confidently
  • We will help the children to develop their learning skills so that they can work independently
  • We will remember that children are individuals and will sometimes need individual support
  • We will encourage the children to aspire to do their best at all times

Staff Development

Our aim is to ensure that all staff feel valued, supported and confident to carry out their roles in school.
In order to achieve this:

  • We will work well together and support each other remembering that happy staff means happy children
  • We will accept that sometimes we have to do things that we do not always agree with for the common good
  • We will focus on the positives and work on the negatives remembering that we cannot ignore what needs to be improved
  • We will have confidence in our own abilities and acknowledge our individual areas for development
  • We will encourage free thinking, the expression of ideas and the sharing of good practice at all levels
  • Teachers will take part in peer observations across classes and year groups
  • We will ensure that staff are given objective feedback which is positive and developmental
  • We will be open-minded about change remembering that change keeps you fresh
  • We will give each other encouragement

Information for Prospective / New Parents

Admission Arrangements

Parents need to apply via West Berkshire LEA to secure a school place. These application forms are available in the Parents' Guide to Admissions to Primary Schools in West Berkshire which can be obtained from the school office and the LEA.

Children will be admitted to full time education in the following way: Those with birthdays between 1st September and 31st December will start Foundation Stage 2 in the Autumn Term (September). Those with birthdays between 1st January and 31st August will start in the Spring Term (January).

Preference for admission is given to children living within the area normally served by the school. Other requests are considered according to the criteria and procedures set out in the Parents' Guide to Admissions to Primary Schools in West Berkshire. We are able to take 80 children in each year group.

Part-time places for the Autumn Term, for those children starting full time in January, will be allocated by the school at the beginning of the Summer Term. There is a Lunchtime Club for these children.

Junior School

Most children transfer from Parsons Down Infant School to Parsons Down Junior School. Parents will need to apply via West Berkshire LEA to secure a school place at the Parsons Down Junior School. These application forms will be given to pupils in the Autumn Term of Year 2.

School Curriculum

Our policy is to provide a broad and balanced curriculum. Prior to Year 1 the children follow the Foundation Stage Curriculum, working towards the Early Learning Goals. Years 1 and 2 follow the National Curriculum, taking account of the Literacy and Numeracy Strategies. The school teaching week is 21 hours as recommended by the Department for Education and Skills.

Underpinning these statutory requirements is the school's Mission Statement.


Each year group consists of parallel classes. The teachers plan programmes of work together for the children under the direction of the Team Leader. Year 1 children are grouped by ability for phonics teaching and Year 2 children are grouped by ability for the teaching of literacy. For other areas of the curriculum children work within the class at their own rate in groups of varying sizes and abilities, depending on the activity. Teaching Assistants provide extra support throughout the school.

Special Needs

The Special Needs Policy, which takes account of the Special Needs Code of Practice, sets out clear procedures for helping children with special needs. Parents are always fully involved from the outset if teachers have concerns about any children.

Home School Partnership

When children start school they enter a much wider world of experience. Home, however, is still the most important place. It helps if parents and teachers are seen to be working together.

We expect parents to try and ensure that:

  • all children attend school regularly, on time and properly equipped with personal items clearly labeled
  • they support the school's values, codes of conduct and rules by encouraging a positive attitude towards school
  • they inform the school of the reasons of any absence by telephone or letter and let the school know of any concerns or problems which may affect the child's work or behaviour
  • they help to sustain their child's effort and achievement by supporting their child in any home learning opportunities
  • they attend parents' meetings and bring any concerns promptly to the school's attention
  • all children go to bed at a reasonable time during the school week
  • they inform the school where they can be contacted in the event of an emergency
  • they walk to school whenever possible
  • they park with care when bringing children in the car

Parent Involvement

We encourage parents to be involved fully in their child's education. Each term there is the opportunity for parents to discuss their child's progress with the class teacher. We welcome parents coming into school to help in the classroom, whatever their area of expertise. We look forward to seeing parents at our Harvest Festival, Christmas Productions and Sports Day.

Parsons Down Schools' Association

All parents automatically belong to the Parsons Down Schools' Association, which exists to support the interests of both the Infant and Junior School and everyone connected with them.

Many social and fund-raising events are organised. Help is always needed.

Parent Governors

There are four parent representatives on the school governing body, which meets regularly throughout the year. All parents with children attending the school are eligible for nomination. Details are circulated when a vacancy occurs.

Lunchtime Club

There are two members of staff employed to look after the children at the Lunchtime Club.


The hours of the club are from 12.00 - 1.15 p.m. during the Autumn Term.


There are 26 places available each day.

Session Format

Children need to bring their own packed lunches. There is time for free play, more structured activities and for eating lunch together.

Booking and Payment

You need to book at least one week in advance by checking with the Lunchtime Club Staff.

The cost per session is £2.50 payable in advance (cheques to be made payable to Parsons Down Nursery Lunchtime Club). There will be a refund if your child is unwell.

Enquiries and Concerns

All enquiries and concerns relating to the Lunchtime Club (including booking and payment) should be referred to the Lunchtime Club staff. If any issues cannot be resolved in this way please contact Mrs Schofield.

Extra activities

The following extra-curricular activities are available at Parsons Down Infant School:

Martial Arts

Mr Clive Elliot holds Martial Arts Classes on Mondays after school. There is one children's class and one adult class. The cost and times of these are available from the school office (01635 862475).


Mrs Vicky van den Bogaerde runs a French Club at lunchtime on Wednesday. The cost of these sessions are available from the school office (01635 862475).


Mr Gavin Sheppard runs two Football Clubs after school. Year One is on Tuesday and Year Two on Wednesday. These take place in the Autumn Term, second half of the Spring Term and Summer Term. The cost of these sessions is available from the school office (01635 862475).

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