New Parents Information
You are most likely visiting this page because you're interested in a place at our school for Reception 2023. We provide open days throughout the year.
Due to restrictions in previous years, we created a 'virtual open day' video for prospective parents - why not have a watch to help you to understand what this school can offer your child, even if you do also attend an open day.
So have a watch of our video, and hopefully any further questions can be answered by the FAQs below!
Whitehouse Common Primary School Open Day
Frequently Asked Questions
How is Whitehouse Common Primary School organised and what is its ethos?
Whitehouse Common Primary School is a two form entry primary school which means that there are two classes in each year group from Reception up to Year 6. There are 60 children in each year group and we also have a full time Nursery with 26 children.
We have a strong sense of family in our school and the warm and welcoming environment created by our caring and dedicated staff is frequently commented upon. We are proud of our academic results but this is not our only measure of success; we strive to ensure that each individual reaches their full potential.
We work in co-operation with you as parents in order to give your children the best opportunities to grow and develop.
How do I apply for a place at Whitehouse Common Primary School?
From the beginning of October, you can apply for a Reception school place in any Birmingham school by visiting https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/20119/school_admissions/1786/apply_for_reception_primary_school
The cut-off date for applications is mid January but we would advise you to complete your application before this date. Any application received after midnight on last date ( this will be be published each year) will be deemed to be a late application and only processed after all other applications. On the above web page you will be able to see admission details from every primary school in Birmingham. If you wish to apply for a school outside of Birmingham then you may, but if you live in Birmingham you must still apply for that place using the Birmingham on-line system.
When applying for a place you need to put down three choices in order of preference. Please choose three different schools because if you put Whitehouse Common as choice 1, 2 and 3, and then do not get a place, then you could be allocated a place anywhere in Birmingham.
How are applications for the 60 Reception places decided upon each year?
We follow Birmingham Local Authority’s admissions policy and so our 60 Reception places are decided upon by answering the following questions in this order:
- Does your child have a specific diagnosed learning difficulty which Whitehouse Common Primary School can cater for? If so, they are admitted first.
- Is your child Looked After (fostered) or Post Looked After (adopted)? If so, they are admitted next.
3. Does your child have an older sibling who will still be in the school in the September when your child should begin school? If so they are admitted next.
If your child does have a sibling claim then you still need to apply for a place, this does not happen automatically!
After all of the above children have been given a place then any other places out of the 60 available to begin with are allocated on geographical distance between the middle of the school site and the address you put on the application form.
How many applications are usually received for the 60 Reception places?
This varies from year to year but generally we have between 120 and 200 applications, so if you would like your child to join our ‘Whitehouse Common Family’ then you will need to put us down as your 1st choice! If you do not get offered a place at Whitehouse Common you can still leave your child’s name on our waiting list in case a place becomes available. These lists are ordered in terms of distance from your home to the school site.
How can I access the school website?
You can find our school website at www.whitehousecommon.bham.sch.uk
We pride ourselves on the fact that we think our website gives a highly accurate reflection of what school life is like. The website is the vehicle to read all parental letters and you can find out what each of the year groups have been up to by accessing the blog pages via the ‘curriculum’ tab.
What does the Curriculum look like?
At Whitehouse Common Primary School, the children enjoy a broad and diverse curriculum. With our pupils at the centre of all we do, our curriculum builds on our locality, as well as reflecting the backgrounds, interests and capabilities of our pupils. Our children at Whitehouse Common love learning and are immersed in engaging lessons that ‘hook’ them in, exciting extra-curricular visits and clubs, strong links with the local community and international links with schools across the globe. This enrichment and creativity ensures that we promote excellence for all and that our pupils achieve well. Our curriculum aspires to foster children that are creative, confident, resilient, safe, and happy. To see more details, please visit our school website and click on the ‘Curriculum’ tab.
What is the staff structure at Whitehouse Common Primary?
Our very low staff turnover is testament to the fact that Whitehouse Common Primary is a happy place to be with a family feel. Alongside the Head Teacher and Deputy Head Teacher, we have an Assistant Head Teacher and three Phase Leaders. Each year group has a minimum of two teachers and all year groups have a Teaching Assistant with one of our year groups having two. Should your child have an EHCP (Education Health Care Plan), unless that provision comes with extra funding they will not automatically have 1:1 help from a teaching assistant.
The running of school is monitored by our school Governing Body which is made up of Local Authority, Parent, staff and specialist governors. They meet once a half term and oversee all strategic decisions made by the senior management in school.
What are the timings of the school day?
Normally our Reception and KS1 children start school at 8.50am and finish at 3.20pm. Our KS2 children finish ten minutes later at 3.30pm
Do children have to wear uniform?
Yes. We pride ourselves on the fact that all members of our school community are smart and are dressed appropriately for a day at school. More information about school uniform can be found by clicking on the ‘Parents’ tab on our school website.
How is behaviour managed at Whitehouse Common?
In both of our last two Ofsted inspections, children’s behaviour has been reported as being ‘outstanding’ with children seen to be “extremely well mannered and respectful to staff and to one another.” This comment recognises the hard work and importance we place on behaviour at Whitehouse Common.
We have very high expectations of behaviour and the children are reminded of this at all times. We operate a system of noticing positive behaviour and always rewarding such things. Throughout the school we use the ‘Good to be Green’ behaviour system. In dealing with any behaviour issues we will always endeavour to work alongside parents and we do expect support from home to make the approach to good behaviour highly consistent.
What arrangements are in place for school lunches?
Here at Whitehouse Common Primary School we are very proud of our school lunches and they are probably not what you would think of as the traditional image of a school dinner. All school lunches are cooked on site every day from fresh ingredients with nothing being shipped in or prepared elsewhere off site. If children have particular dietary requirements then we can be highly flexible and will do our best to meet their needs. We have a wide and varied menu and these change on a three week cycle, always providing a vegetarian option. Our school lunch menus can be viewed by clicking on the ‘Parents’ tab on our school website.
In the Infant department all children get a free hot lunch funded by the Government’s ‘Universal Free Schools’ Meal scheme. The Infant children also get a free piece of fruit each morning funded by the Local Authority.
Can children with Special Educational Needs be catered for at Whitehouse Common?
We pride ourselves at Whitehouse Common in developing the whole child. Every child is unique with different skills and talents, and we recognise that it is our job as educators to give them every opportunity to fulfil their potential. We are a highly inclusive school and if we can cater for children’s special needs then we will endeavour to do so. We have a very positive relationship with a variety of support services and outside agencies who work alongside us to support children and to help them overcome any barriers to learning. Should your child have an EHCP (Education Health Care Plan) it is worth considering that, unless that provision comes with extra funding, they will not automatically have 1:1 support from a teaching assistant.
Can children who need medication be catered for at Whitehouse Common?
Here at Whitehouse Common we look at every child as an individual, irrespective of their needs. We are happy to have a private conversation with any parent about their child’s medical needs, and we will do our utmost to cater for those needs in school. We will administer prescribed medication to children during the course of the day but only following guidance from a medical professional and with written permission from parents. A large number of staff within our school are first aid trained and we ensure that staff receive annual training on key medical conditions. We also have a strong relationship with the Birmingham School Health Support Service and can signpost parents to various bodies that can support and help them with medical advice.
Do children stay in the same class throughout their time at Whitehouse Common?
We have two distinct classes of 30 children in each year group. In their Reception year the 60 children mix much more than in any other year group due to the nature of the Early Years curriculum and so will often mingle with children from the opposite class. From year to year the children will often stay in the same class but we say that in their seven years with us they will be mixed at some point. This helps pupils to make new friendships and prepare them for their transition to secondary school where they will move between groups on a much more regular basis.
Where do children move on to after leaving Whitehouse Common?
Generally speaking, around 15% of our Year 6 children end up moving on to grammar schools either in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham or Walsall. The vast majority of the other children move on to our main feeder school which is Fairfax or Plantsbrook.
What does Homework look like?
We have an open door policy in relation to working with parents, and one of the main ways in which we ask for support is with the completion of homework. Activities to complete at home will begin in Reception and continue all the way to Year 6, however along that journey the nature of such activities will change and become more demanding as the children grow older. This homework usually forms the basis of future learning in class and again helps to prepare the children for their independent learning which will take place when they are older. For more details about homework you can read our Homework Policy on the ‘School Policies’ page of our school website by clicking on the ‘Parents’ tab.
What kind of school site is Whitehouse Common set in?
We are extremely lucky to have fantastic school grounds which give the opportunity for both staff and children to extend their teaching and learning opportunities beyond the classroom. We have three separate playgrounds, two large school fields and are fortunate to have the use of the Bishop Vesey field as this backs directly onto our school. We have two wooded areas where the children can explore, learn and play.
Do you have a PTA?
Yes we do! We are extremely lucky to have a highly supportive parental community. Our PTA are very active and their activities are organised by a fantastic committee. PTA events such as Christmas and Summer Fayres, Discos, Elfridges, ‘silver Smarties’ and second hand uniform sales raise approximately £8000. Every penny of these funds goes straight back to the children with a lot of fun being had on the way. This can only be continued if new members join the PTA so the committee will definitely be on the eye out for new people interested in helping!
What kind of Extra-Curricular Activities are available?
There is a wide variety of opportunities for pupils to attend extra-curricular activities. Most of these occur after school but a few also take place at lunchtimes. Activities range from football to gymnastics, from musical instrument lessons to choir and from French to dance.
Do you run a wrap-a-round care service?
Our wrap-a-round care service at is called Happy Hometime Club. This runs from 7.30am until 8.45am, and then from 3.20pm until 6pm. Breakfast can be purchased when the children attend. Places at Happy Hometime Club can be booked once you have a guaranteed place at Whitehouse Common. To read further details about the service just click on the ‘Parents’ tab on our school website.