Bridgewater Primary

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Nursery Admissions Policy and online application form

The school determines the Nursery Admissions Policy. This policy only applies to Nursery admissions. Attendance at our Nursery does NOT guarantee a place in Reception; the two admissions procedures are independent of each other. Parents of children who are allocated a place at our Nursery will need to reapply for a school place in line with the Reception Admissions Policy, which is coordinated by Hertfordshire County Council.

Timeline for applications

The following timeline for Nursery applications for children born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2018 is being followed by the following Berkhamsted schools: Bridgewater, Greenway, Potten End, St Mary’s CofE Northchurch, St Thomas More, Swing Gate, Victoria and Westfield;


  • Monday 22 February 2021 – Nursery applications open.
  • Thursday 15 April 2021 – Nursery applications close for on time applications (applications can be accepted at any point after this date, but will be dealt with after on time applications)
  • Wednesday 28 April 2021 - Nursery places are offered to families by email
  • Friday 7 May 2021 – Deadline for families to accept Nursery places in writing (by email is sufficient)

(From 7 May onwards we can continue to accept applications and allocate Nursery places to children, based on availability).


Please refer to the individual school websites for information about their oversubscription criteria. 


The applications for Nursery have now shut.  If you wish to make a late application for a Nursery place startng September 2021 to July 2022 please complete the late application form  Please contact the Office if you have any questions or email or 01442 871231.

In Year Applications

If you wish to make an "in-year" application to start Nursery with us before September 2021, we can accept applications for Nursery places at any point during the school year. For children who were born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2017, please complete this online form and then call the school office on 01442 871231 to discuss the arrangements for your child starting with us. 

Number of places available

Each academic year the school will admit up to 40 places for morning Nursery sessions, starting September 2021, for children born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2018.


For the first time Bridgewater School are offering the opportunity for a full day’s childcare for your child (ren).  Morning sessions will be run by Bridgewater School and are offered to up to 40 children, starting in September 2021.  Parents then have the option to pay for, or use their 30 free childcare hours with our wrap around care provider Rialize, from 11.30am.  Details are outlined further in the policy.


PLEASE NOTE - whilst we will do everything we can to accommodate your day preferences chosen in the application form, this may not be possible.


Bridgewater School Nursery Sessions


We ask that children attend the Bridgewater School Nursery morning sessions (8.30-11.30am) 5 days per week, but we recognise that this is not practical for all families and so will consider part-time attendance (i.e., less than 15 hours per week/less than 5 days per week). As a minimum, we ask that the children attend Nursery for at least 3 days per week.


If you would prefer to use your free childcare hours in the afternoon with Rialize, rather than a morning session with Bridgewater School Nursery, then this is possible.  There is an option to request this on the application form.


Rialize Wrap Around Care Sessions


We offer additional sessions which can be either paid for, or chosen as part of your free childcare hours.  These sessions are not conducted by Bridgewater School.  They are run by our wrap around care provider Rialize, who we have a long-standing, strongly established relationship with.  We will work closely together to support all your child's needs. 


These sessions take place in the school, in the same classrooms as they were in the morning.  The staff who are looking after the children will change in the afternoon.


The additional sessions, where you can either pay for, or use your free childcare hours, are:

  • 11.30am – 12pm, Rialize Lunch Club (£3.50 if you have to pay for lunch club)
  • 12pm - 3pm, Rialize Afternoon Session (£16 if you have to pay for the afternoon session).  NB a minimum of 3 afternoon sessions must be chosen
  • 3pm - 6pm, Rialize After School Club (£16 if you have to pay for after school club)


The following session can be booked but is a PAID for session.  You cannot use your free childcare provision for this session:

  • 7.30am - 8.30am, Rialize Breakfast Club @ £8 (breakfast is provided)

15 Hours’ Free Childcare Provision


As mentioned previously, we would prefer that you use your 15 hours on the morning sessions at Bridgewater School Nursery.  However, in the case where you would prefer to use your 15 hours for full school days, you will be asked to book a minimum of 3 mornings (with Bridgwater School Nursery) and 3 afternoons (with Rialize).  This will result in 19.5 hours of childcare (8.30am-3pm = 6.5 hours per day / 19.5 hours for 3 days) which means you will have to pay for 3 lunch clubs @ £3.50 per club and 1 x 3-hour Rialize afternoon session @ £16.


You can buy more sessions, as follows:

  • 7.30am - 8.30am, Rialize Breakfast Club @ £8 (breakfast is provided)
  • 11.30am – 12pm, Rialize Lunch Club @ £3.50
  • 12pm - 3pm, Rialize Afternoon Session @ £16 (a minimum of 3 afternoon sessions must be chosen)
  • 3pm - 6pm, Rialize After School Club @ £16


30 hours’ free childcare

30 hours' free childcare can be used for lunch club, afternoon or afterschool sessions, which are run by our wraparound care provider Rialize.  Bridgewater School have been working closely with Rialize for a number of years.Parents will need to provide evidence of their 30 hours’ eligibility code before being offered a 30 hours’ place.


At Bridgewater School and Rialize the school day is more than 6 hours a day and so more than 30 hours a week.  If you choose to use your full 30 hours’ free childcare this will be made up of just over 4.5 school days.


  • 4 days x 8.30am-3pm (6.5 hours) is 26 hours PLUS half a day (8.30am-12.30pm) of 4 hours = 30 hours


Each day includes Rialize Lunch Club and you will need to supply a nut fee packed lunch for your child.


If you want to pay for more than your 30 hours’ free provision the following hours can be paid for:


* Rialize Breakfast Club - 7.30am - 8.30am @ £8 (breakfast included)

* A fifth Rialize Afternoon Session of the week which falls outside the 30 free hours (as outlined above) - 12.30-3pm (2.5 hours @ £13.50)

* Rialize After School Club - 3pm - 6pm @ £16 (tea provided)


Oversubscription Criteria


If there are more applications than available places, the school will allocate places using the oversubscription criteria listed below:


Children with EHC (Education, Health and Care) Plan or a statement of Special Educational Needs which names the school will be allocated a place, the latter in accordance with section 324 of the Education Act 1996.


If there are not enough places available in the Nursery class, places will be allocated in the following order of priority:


  1. Children looked after (see notes) and children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to child arrangements order or a special guardianship order).
  2. A child “at risk” or the sibling of a child “at risk” who is the subject of an inter-agency child protection plan
  3. Other applicants, where the following criteria are considered to determine priorities:
    1. Children for whom it can be demonstrated that they have a particular medical or social need to go to the school (see notes).
    2. Children who have a sibling (see notes) at the school at the time of application, unless the sibling is in the last year of the normal age-range of the school. Note the “normal age range” is the designated range for which the school provides (Year 6).
    3. Any other children.


If more children qualify under a particular rule than there are places available, a tiebreak will be used by applying the next rule to those children. If more children qualify under criterion 3 than there are places available, priority will be given to those who live nearest the school, as measured in a straight line, using a distance calculator.


Where there is a need for a tie-breaker where two different addresses measure the same distance from the school, in the case of a block of flats for example, the lower door number will be deemed nearest, as logically this will be on the ground floor and therefore closer. If there are two identical addresses of separate applicants, the tie break will be by random allocation.


Nursery provision is non-statutory and there is no right of appeal against refusal of a place. Attendance at our Nursery does not guarantee a place in Reception; the two admissions procedures are independent of each other. Parents of children who are allocated a place at our Nursery will need to reapply for a school place in line with the Reception Admissions Policy.




Children Looked After – definition


Children looked after by the Local Authority, including children who were previously looked after, but were then adopted (or became subject to a child arrangements order or a special guardianship order). Adopted children must have been previously looked after by an English or Welsh Local Authority. Children who were not looked after immediately before being adopted, or made the subject of a child arrangement order or special guardianship order, will not be prioritised under this rule. Evidence needed – please include a letter or document from your child's social worker, advisory teacher or other professional as evidence.


Sibling definition

  • brother or sister.
  • half brother or sister.
  • adopted brother or sister.
  • child of the parent / carer or partner.
  • children looked after or previously looked after. This doesn't include children temporarily living in the same house. For example, a looked after child in a short-term foster or bridging placement.


In every case, the sibling must be living permanently in the same family home (at least Monday to Friday).

A sibling must be on the roll of Bridgewater School, or have been offered and accepted a place, at the school at the time of application (and when the applicant starts Nursery).


Particular medical and social needs to support an application


The school will consider prioritising applicants where it can be demonstrated that the child has a particular social or medical need to go to the school. A panel of staff and governors will determine whether the evidence provided is sufficiently compelling to meet the requirements for this rule. The evidence must relate specifically to Bridgewater School and must clearly demonstrate why it is the only school that can meet the child’s needs.


Parents and carers who are making a social and medical need application should state their reasons on their application and send the school evidence in support of their application. Successful applications for social and medical need will include the following at the time the parent applies for a place:


  1. Evidence that the child or their parent or carer can demonstrate a wholly exceptional social or medical need to attend the school and that only Bridgewater School can meet the child’s social or medical needs.
  2. Where there are other schools nearer to the child’s home address, why each of these schools is unable to meet the child’s needs.
  3. Recent objective evidence establishing the parent’s, carer’s or child’s social or medical need to attend the school (this may be from a GP, educational psychologist, social worker, police officer or other professional) or relevant family circumstances.


Applicants should note:


  1. Social and medical need applications will only be considered at the time of initial application, unless there has been a significant and exceptional change of circumstances within the family since the initial application was submitted. Information received after the closing date will only be considered if there is a significant change of circumstances.
  2. All Hertfordshire Local Authority schools are able to work with children with special educational needs and severe medical needs. It is therefore unlikely that applications on these grounds alone will succeed in demonstrating that only Bridgewater Primary School can meet the child’s needs.
  3.  In medical cases applicants must provide a clear explanation of why the child’s or parent’s or carer’s severity of illness or disability makes attendance at only Bridgewater Primary School essential.
  4. Applications on the basis of domestic arrangements, for example child care arrangements, will NOT succeed without evidence supporting compelling social and medical reasons.
  5. Applications under medical and social needs criteria that fail to satisfy the panel that there is a compelling social or medical need to admit the child will be processed at the next highest admission criteria.


If you have any queries regarding admissions at Bridgewater School, please contact the school office.