Starting School 2024

We understand that starting school is a big step, not only for the children, but for parents and carers too. At St Werburgh’s and St Columba’s, we aim to make the transition from pre-school settings to ‘big school’ as smooth as possible, and pride ourselves on the relationships we build with families prior to children beginning their learning journey with us.   

We know how hard it is to make a choice about primary schools, particularly in what has been a challenging year for so many families. Come and visit our school -  Please contact us to book.

Our children benefit from small class sizes, extensive grounds, a broad range of learning opportunities, and an experienced and caring teaching team.  We also offer wrap around care both before and after school on school days, and throughout the day in the holidays - see the Werbies tab for more information.  

Here are some of the questions we have been frequently asked by parents and carers looking for primary school places this year.  You may find these answers helpful, but please don’t hesitate to contact the office by email at  or call 01244 478968 if you have any queries – we are here to help and no question is too small. 

How many children will be in each Reception Class? 

We have a maximum of 50 children joining us each September, which means there will be no more than 25 in each of our 2 Reception Classes. 

What does Reception look like in your school? 

We aim to make the transition to school as smooth as possible, so our classrooms reflect the skills and independence that children have developed during their time in preschool.  The two classrooms have clear areas where the children work through a balance of independent and adult led activities, challenges and purposeful play.  The classrooms are connected by double doors, which are closed during whole class teaching sessions, but open during activity times.  The children have access to their own outdoor learning area, the field and forest area.  During lunch time play, the children play in the infant playground in a separated area.  Year 6 pupils are invited to apply for the role of ‘play buddy’, and they join Reception children at lunch times to support playtime games and relationship building each day. 

How many adults work with the Reception children? 

Each Reception class is supported by Teacher and Teaching Assistant all day, every day. 

What do you mean when you say you offer ‘more than just an academic curriculum’? 

Our children love coming to school.  That is because we make learning fun and our teachers find creative ways of doing things.  We utilise the local area – Chester has such a lot to offer - from the nature spaces, historical buildings and walls, to the Storyhouse, river and railway network.  We captivate children’s interests by inviting inspirational visitors to school, engaging in creative and sporting opportunities and projects, and planning exciting day trips and residential visits.  We have our own specialist sports teacher to ensure all pupils have access to high quality sports education, and have an ever increasing array of trophies in our cabinet!   

Our topics ensure curriculum coverage is met, yet teaching staff strive to make learning creative and fun, so ensure that activities and lessons planned will inspire and motivate the children, enabling them to reach their potential.  

Over recent years we have been developing our forest area, and the passion for learning outside is visible in all of our staff and children alike.  We were fortunate during the spring and summer of this year, to be able to focus attention on fine-tuning the area to maximise the learning potential, and we have recently installed a tepee so that learning in the forest is less weather dependent.  

We offer a diverse range of after school and lunch time clubs – from languages, drama and craft, to sport, bushcraft and computing, and we review or enrichment offer termly.  Every child in our school has a voice which is represented by members of school council, and they regularly question the pupils about clubs they would like to see on offer.  Our long list of enrichment clubs are provided by our talented staff or outside professionals such as Theatretrain.   

Our children’s wellbeing is at the heart of what we do.  Staff are continually engaging in training in how best to support our children in the modern world, with all of the pressures that will be put on them through life, and we work hard to equip them with skills and knowledge to empower them to take care of themselves and each other.  We have designated areas of school which are calm, quiet spaces for when children need them, and children learn calming techniques such as peer massage and guided meditation.   

Your school sounds right for me and my child, but we are not Catholic - is this a problem and how is RE taught in your school? 

You do not need to follow the Catholic faith to come to our school. We are a welcoming and inclusive school with pupils from a diverse range of cultures, religions and backgrounds. RE is taught throughout the school and does teach about the Catholic faith and the Bible. During the year we acknowledge and celebrate many festivals from other religions.  

One of the key elements of our Religious Education is to teach the children to be kind, caring children with a strong moral compass.  

We hope these FAQ’s have helped give more of an insight into our school – please watch the film below and have a look at our Reception page to find out a bit more about what being in Reception is like!   

Useful Information:

You will need to apply for your child's Reception place here


Please also complete our Supplementary Information Form and return it to, along with a copy of your child's birth certificate (and baptism certificate, if they are Roman Catholic)


Contact Us

St Werburgh & St Columba Primary School

Lightfoot Street

Tel: 01244 478968

Email: - for new enquiries

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