Q. When will the school open?
A. We are planning to open in September 2014.
Q. Where will the school be?
A. Our first choice is the old Breeze Hill School, but we are looking for other suitable sites in Oldham (or possibly Rochdale). If you know of a suitable property we would love to hear from you.
Q. Do you have to live in Oldham to apply?
A. No—but you will have to pay for your own transportation costs if your child wins a place.
Q. I have a child who is now in Year 6—can I apply?
A. Sadly, no. We didn’t make the rules. Applications to the Phoenix Free School are open only to pupils who are currently in Year 4 or Year 5.
Q. What is your admission criteria?
A. We accept applications from all pupils, and we do not discriminate on any grounds. After the first year, we will use a fair-banding lottery system if we are over-subscribed.
Q. Will Phoenix have a Combined Cadet Force?
A. No—not unless enough parents and pupils want one. Giving all pupils a good all-around education is our first priority.
Q. Won’t ‘military discipline’ be too harsh for some children?
A. Let’s get one thing straight — we will never, ever have teachers shouting at pupils. The old-style glasshouse discipline went out with the National Service. The secret to good discipline is good teaching. Pupils who are succeeding in class are almost always happy and well-behaved.
Q. What will the school hours be?
A. The school will open at 0830 hrs every morning, and all KS3 and KS4 pupils must be present for Registration at 0845. The last class in the mandatory school day ends at 1525, and the optional extended school programme runs from 1530 to 1650.
Q. What subjects will Phoenix offer?
A. The core subjects will be English, Maths, Science, History, a Modern Foreign Language, Geography and Music—these will be taught in Year 7. There will also be a wide range of sport and outdoor activities. In our extended school programme we will offer ICT, Drama and Art. Other subjects and activities will be added in response to demand.
Q. Will Phoenix offer a 6th form?
A. Yes—we want to give our pupils the best possible chance of getting into a good university.
Q. Will my child be able to get a good apprenticeship?
A. Apprenticeships will be available only to pupils who have demonstrated consistent willingness to work hard.
Q. What about ICT?
A. ICT will be the responsibility of Heads of Departments, who will determine which aspects of ICT are relevant to their subject. Advanced or specialist ICT skills will be an optional subject in the extended school programme.