Q+A: Royal School in Transylvania
Royal School in Transylvania, Romania, answers our questions and takes Winter’s readers on a virtual tour…
What curriculum do you follow?
The school follows the National Curriculum of England, through Key Stages 1, 2 and 3. Our school has introduced fresh education initiatives in the fields of technology, performing arts and Saturday morning options.
When the senior school opens, we will introduce Cambridge International Examinations at IGCSE and A Levels.
The school offers Romanian, Hungarian, French and German, along with a third modern foreign language from Year 3.
At what age can children start school?
The school only enrols children from the age of four (Reception Class). There are good local nurseries, some of which are feeder schools to Royal School.
How many children are in each class?
The school policy states that all classes have capacity for 20 children. This policy is reviewed annually and in extreme cases to meet demand, class sizes may grow to a maximum of 22 children.
What is the teaching day?
Children arrive at 8.15am for registration, then lessons begin at 8.30am. There is a 15-minute morning break, a 60-minute lunch break and a final 10-minute break in the afternoon before after-school clubs commence. Lessons end at 3.00pm for KS1 and KS2, and at 4.00pm for KS3.
The lessons (about 50 minutes each) are split into 10—15 minute activities and involve moving around the classroom to maintain interest and attention. The first lesson every day is literacy/English and the second lesson is numeracy/maths.
What is the background of your teaching staff?
There is a mixture of local and international teachers with a rich blend of youth and experience. Most importantly, all the teachers are good and proven professionals and have prior experience of working in international environments and teaching the National Curriculum of England.
What is your homework policy?
In primary school there is no homework for Reception and Year 1. Year 2 has 20 minutes homework per week, lower KS2 (years 3 and 4) 30 minutes per week and upper KS2 (years 5 and 6) 40–60 minutes per week. These are the recommended national prescriptions in England. Year 7 students have a maximum of 40 minutes homework daily.
How do you actively support students in maintaining their mother tongue?
Two lessons per week in Romanian, Hungarian, French and German are scheduled. The activities planned follow the students’ learning in literacy, maths and science. We are looking at options for building other language lessons into the after-school timetable and will encourage parents to volunteer during these lessons, alongside the regular teachers.
How and when are parents informed of their child’s progress at school?
- At the beginning of the school year, all parents attend a meeting which explains the programme the students will follow.
- Individual meetings are scheduled in mid-September, after the initial assessment; at the end of November progress reports are issued and individual parent meetings scheduled.
- End-of-year reports are issued in mid-May, followed by individual parent meetings.
- Every Friday the students write in their student planner the number of merits, warnings and house points they received during the week.
- In special cases, communication with parents is more frequent and a meeting is scheduled if requested by the teacher or parent.
- A group email is sent at the beginning of the week to keep parents up to date with the main activities scheduled in literacy, numeracy, science, geography and history.
- Parents have access to Moodle through the school website and can check on grades and behaviour reports.
- Student diaries are also a medium for daily written contact.
How do you evaluate a child’s progress? Is there a clear way to know, for instance, a child’s attainment level in reading or maths?
All children possess a Student Profile Folder and children with learning needs receive individual education profiles (IEP). There are comprehensive scales of progression as part of the national literacy and numeracy strategies (such as the Oxford Reading Tree). All children are set attainment targets according to their chronological level. These levels are available on the website and are explained to all parents at start of year. SATs tests are held at the end of KS1 and KS2. Optional internal tests are held annually but these are all standardised.
Is it easy to drop off and pick up children?
Yes, there is good access at the location. Upon arrival the teacher on duty guides the students to their classrooms. At the end of the day, the teachers take the students outside, to be picked up by parents at the agreed time. There are always teachers on duty.
Do you have a school canteen?
Yes, lunch and break-time refreshments are provided in our canteen. Children have the option to bring a packed lunch into school, but we encourage them to participate in the well-planned school food offer. The school provides milk and fruit snacks during morning breaks.
All images: Royal School in Transylvania
To view the Winter's profile for Royal School, please go to this link.