FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much is Dinner Money?

Presently the daily cost is  £2.20

2. What time does school start?

Gates open at 8:45am. We start school at 8:55am when the school bell goes. We would encourage children to be in the school playground from 8.45am to avoid lateness and the stresses this can bring. Any child arriving after 8:55 must enter by the school office and parents must explain why their child is late.

3. Where can I buy uniform?

Presently at the school office – only cash and cheques

4. How do I make an application for a school place?

Cottons Farm has a nursery. An application form for nursery can be obtained from either of the schools.

Nursery (2 year olds – Rising 3’s)

Do you know that you two old could have up to 15 hours of free childcare each week? We have a limited number of places available for ‘Rising 3’s’

If you have a household income of more than £16,190 you would not be eligible, unless your child has a disability or is a looked after child.

Do any of the following apply to you?

You get at least one of these benefits:

  • Income Support (IS)
  • Income-based Job Seekers’ Allowance (JSA)
  • Employment Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Help from the National Asylum Support Service (NASS)
  • Pension Credit Child Tax Credit and / or Working tax Credits where your household income is £16,190 or less


Your two year old is looked after by the Derby City Local Authority or has a Child Protection Plan. Children with adoption orders, residence orders or special guardianship orders are also eligible.


Your child has a disability and receives Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) / Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

If you are entitled, free early learning is available from the term after your child turns two and finishes at the end of the term in which your child turns three. You can then claim the three and four year old 15 hours of free early education.

How to Apply and when do they start?

To find out if you are eligible, please contact The Family Information Service on 01332 642601. You can also check online from the comfort of your own home by visiting the Free Childcare Check.


An application form for nursery can be obtained from the school.

Children can be entered on the list from their second birthday onwards. The school’s admission policy follows the Derby City Council guidelines.

Priority is given to:

  • Children in Public care
  • Children who have identified Special Educational Needs- supported by documentation
  • Brothers and sisters living at the same address and attending Cottons Farm Primary Academy
  • Cottons Farm Primary School is the nearest school

The schools 3 point of entry admission policy means that children should be offered 3 or 4 terms in the Nursery before entry to main school, subject to availability of places.


When applying for a place to start Reception in September, parents must APPLY using the Common Application Form (CAF).

Main School – Reception Class

Places in main school are offered as follows:

  • In September for children who reach their fifth birthday between 1st September and 31st August

By law children must receive full-time education from the beginning of the school term following their fifth birthday. Parents can ask to defer entry, but not beyond the beginning of the term after their child becomes 5, or beyond the reception year.)

Derby City Council Admissions coordinate places. At Cottons Farm Primary Academy priority is given to children in the following order:

  • Children in public care (also called Looked After) or a child previously in care but has been adopted or those subject to a residence order or special guardianship.
  • Children with an exceptional medical or social need for Cottons Farm, which is supported by professional documentation
  • Children whose brother, sister , half siblings or foster siblings live at the same address and are on roll at Cottons Farm and will be on roll at the intended day of admission.
  • Children living closest to Cottons Farm Primary Academy.

The number of places available at the school is published annually and the school can not exceed that number, which is allocated with regards to available accommodation in the school.

Cottons Farm: There are 20 main school places in each year group.

Derby City Council has an admission appeal procedure.

For further details regarding appeals please telephone: 01332 642727

For further details regarding school admissions please telephone: 01332 642727

Further information can be obtained from the school office and also at http://www.derby.gov.uk/education-and-learning/schools-and-colleges/school-admissions-appeals/

5. What should I do if my child is bullied?

Advise your child to speak to an adult in the school. This can be any member of staff that they feel comfortable with. You may also wish to support your child by talking to the teacher with your child. We would encourage that they report any incident to the class teacher as they can observe behaviour during lessons and advise lunchtime staff as necessary. We take accusations of bullying very seriously and any incidents are dealt with appropriately and with speed. If you are concerned about your child please speak to the head teacher and never approach a child or the parent.

6. Can I park at the school?

We do not have a car parking facilities on site. Cottons Farm does have spaces for disabled visitors/ parents but a blue badge must be shown to park here. The school is situated on residential roads and we ask parents to park legally and with due consideration for our neighbours.

7. Can my child cycle to school?

Yes, your child can cycle or ‘scoot’ if they are accompanied by an adult. If you wish your child to cycle on their own they would need to be in Year 5 or 6. A secure cycle shed is provided on both sites.

8. Can my child walk to school alone?

No, children must be accompanied by an adult. If you wish an older child to walk to school alone we must receive a permission letter from the parent with parental responsibility, except Year 6 where verbal parental permission is acceptable.

9. What should I put in my child’s packed lunch?

We encourage healthy eating and expect parents to choose healthily when creating a packed lunch.

An example of a healthy packed lunch:

  • A sandwich (no peanut butter)
  • No crisps except baked snacks eg. Baked crisps, cheddars.
  • A wafer biscuit e.g. twix, kit kat, blue ribband.
  • Yoghurt and a piece of fruit.
  • Bottle of water or juice.
  • No fizzy drinks.

10. What do I do if my child has lost a piece of clothing?

Parents must either sew a name label into all clothing or write the child’s name in indelible ink. We are able to provide the use of an indelible ink pen when purchasing school uniform, and there is also an indelible pen in all classrooms. If an item goes missing your child must inform the class teacher and class teaching assistant and look in the lost property. We will do our utmost to find lost items but we are unable to provide a replacement.

11. Where will my child go when they finish in Year 6?

We offer varied support in the transition from primary to secondary school. This process includes a parents’ meeting, workshops and individual meetings with the head teacher. The school will keep you well informed regarding the CAF (common application form) process. Due to our geographical location, most of our pupils go on to City of Derby Academy.

12. When will my child start in Reception?

This will depend on their age and parental preference, usually children join Reception class in the September before their 5th birthday. Please see the school prospectus under the Admission section and for further advice you can speak to the school office staff.

13. Can my child bring toys in to school?

No, we normally discourage toys or collectables (e.g. football cards) being brought to school, unless the class teacher has specifically requested that they do. Please always check with the class teacher.

14. Can I receive the newsletter by email?

Yes, we email our academy newsletter out weekly.

15. What is the best time to talk to the teacher if I have a question?

We would discourage parents from trying to talk to a teacher in the morning as they are busy preparing for the school day. We would advise you to speak to the teacher at the end of the school day after all the children have been dismissed. We can also make appointments in the school office for parents to see the class teacher or another member of staff.

16. Is there before and after school provision?

Cottons Farm offers a variety of clubs for different age groups. These may run before school or after school from 3.30 -4.30pm. Clubs change every term and you will always be notified in the first week of the new term so you can apply.

Sinfin Community Childcare (SCC) offer a drop off and pick up service from  Cottons Farm. They have two out of School Clubs; ‘Sinfin Out of School’ is based at Sinfin Community Centre on Swallowdale Road and ‘Stenson Out of School Club’ is based at Stenson Fields Primary School. For further details see:


Please note that SCC is not linked to either school.

17. How can parents get involved?

We encourage parents to get involved in various ways from attending trips to individual reading. The Academy has a small fundraising team "Friends of Cottons Farm” and would welcome new members with new ideas and contacts. If you work for a company that is able to sponsor or donate to fundraising in the school please email info@cottonsfarm.theharmonytrust.org subject: fundraising.

If you are asked to help or you would like to help please speak the the school office at Cottons Farm.


Sheridan Street, Sinfin, Derby, Derbyshire DE24 9HG

Mrs K Patmore - Principal

01332 771370 - Cottons Farm Academy