Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Haileybury Astana?

Haileybury Astana is an independent school offering a superior education based on the British education system and its associated standard of education, through its campuses in the UK and Kazakhstan. At Haileybury Astana, children can enjoy the experience of a British private boarding school, complete with numerous co-curricular activities, while staying with their family. 

Instead of the 11 years education that the Kazakh system offers, Haileybury delivers a full British education from 2-16 years of age, followed by the International Baccalaureate Diploma (16-18 years). A pupil within this system will have no problem adapting to any change in environment should it be necessary to move school location for any reason.

 A distinctive feature of Haileybury Astana is its ‘holistic’ education. We focus not only on every child reaching their academic potential, but also to extending the breadth of their education through co-curricular activities and individual pastoral care.

What are the age categories Haileybury Astana teach?

Haileybury Astana has a Kindergarten, Junior School and Senior School. 

The Kindergarten is for children aged 2-5 and is much more than a child care setting - we help kindergarten children to maximise their potential academically, physically, culturally and socially.

Junior school is for children aged 5-11. In the British national curriculum, Junior school is separated into two Key Stages; KS1 is for pupils aged 5-7 and KS2 is for pupils aged 7-11. The Junior School builds on the broad base of experiences in Kindergarten to continue to develop pupils into responsible learners with a broad and balanced curriculum within a supportive learning environment.

Senior School is for pupils aged 11-18 and this again is broken down into Key Stages; KS3, KS4 and KS5. KS3 for Years 7-9, where pupils are taught lessons by specialist teachers and the curriculum is rich and dynamic. KS4 is when pupils in Year 10 and 11 take IGCSEs in a range of subjects offered by Cambridge International Examinations. Finally, in Sixth Form, also known as KS5 and for Years 12 and 13, pupils have the opportunity to follow the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme which has a focus on independence, leadership skills with a truly international approach. 

 

School Section

Key Stages - Year Groups

Pupil ages

Kindergarten

Kindergarten - Creche, Nursery and Reception

2-5

Junior School

KS1 - Year 1 & 2

KS2 - Years 3, 4, 5 & 6

5-7

7-11

Senior School

KS3 - Year 7, 8 & 9

KS4 - Years 10 & 11

KS5 - Years 12 & 13

11-14

14-16

16-18

 

What is the daily schedule of the school?

The school day varies by Key Stage and is summarised in the table below:

 

Key Stage

Start

Finish

Kindergarten

08:15

15:30 or  Wrap-around-Care until 17:00

Key Stage 1

08:15

1530 or 1700 when CCAs are available for KS1.

Key Stage 2

08:15

1550  or 1700 when CCAs are available

Key Stages 3

08:15

1550  or 1700 when CCAs are available

Key Stage 4 & 5

08:15

1550  or 1700 when CCAs are available

What curriculum does Haileybury Astana follow?

Kindergarten - Here at Haileybury Astana we use the internationally recognised International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC). This curriculum is designed specifically to support ‘whole child development’ within an international setting and gives children a solid foundation on which to build lifelong learning. Adopting a thematic approach enables each unit of learning to be delivered around an exciting central theme, for example, the space-inspired topic ‘Blast Off!’

Junior School - The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) is a comprehensive, thematic, creative curriculum with a clear process of learning and with specific learning goals for international mindedness and for personal learning based on the IPC personal goals of cooperation, communication, thoughtfulness, respect, resilience and morality. 

During their Key Stage 1 years at Haileybury Astana, our pupils build on the broad base of experiences from Kindergarten and continue to develop their social, numeracy and communication skills through a combination of play and multi-sensory learning activities. Counting and number games are used, with a strong emphasis on exploration and practical work. Pupils, when ready, are introduced to more formal maths concepts leading to working with all four number processes.

Key Stage 1 pupils at Haileybury Astana begin to learn more about the world around them through a range of child-centred globally relevant topics exploring more aspects of science and introducing history and geography. With specialist teachers for PE, swimming, music, Kazakh language, performing arts and dance, pupils at Haileybury Astana experience a rich, broad and balanced curriculum within a supportive learning environment enabling every pupil to thrive.

As pupils enter Key Stage 2 at Haileybury Astana, more emphasis is placed on independence and taking responsibility for their own learning and behaviour. Pupils are expected to concentrate for longer periods of time and to take pride in their work.

At Haileybury Astana, our Key Stage 2 pupils continue to expand upon their previous skills, knowledge and widen their horizons through child-centred globally relevant integrated topics covering aspects of history and geography as well as literacy. With specialist teachers for Physical Education, swimming, music, Kazakh, Russian, Performing Arts and dance pupils at Haileybury Astana experience a rich, broad and balanced curriculum within a supportive learning environment enabling every pupil to thrive.

Senior School - Pupils are taught all subjects by specialist teachers in the medium of English, with the exception of the language option subjects. The curriculum is rich and dynamic, drawing on a wide range of academic, creative and performance areas. In addition, the Co-Curricular Activities (CCA) programme in Years 7 to 9 is expanded to take into account the growing responsibility and maturity of this stage of education. This allows pupils to quickly gauge their interest and skills in new areas and subjects.

Pupils take IGCSEs/GCSEs in a range of subjects offered by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), who are part of the University of Cambridge. They are also the world’s largest provider of international qualifications to school age pupils. At the end of the two-year course, after successfully passing the exams, pupils are awarded these world-recognised certificates in each subject, ready for the next stage of their education.

In Years 10 and 11 everyone takes English (as a First or Second Language; English Literature is also an option), Mathematics, Sciences and a Modern Foreign Language. 

Sixth Form - Sixth Form at Haileybury Astana presents an exciting opportunity for pupils to have a significant choice over their pathways. The International Baccalaureate is an exciting qualification accepted by universities all over the world. Many American universities can give up to a full year’s credit for pupils who have taken this qualification offered to pupils from 16 to 18 years old. For many UK and world universities, IB pupils are valued for the research and learning skills it develops, and the IB is now offered by many of the UK's top schools.

The IB is the fastest-growing pre-university programme in the world.

Is the education process taught in English?

Yes, throughout the whole school and with the only exception being languages, the medium of teaching is English for all age groups and by native English speakers with British teaching qualifications. 

For pupils that require EAL (English as an Additional Language) support, translation from their native language is sometimes needed.

Where can I find information about school fees?

School Fees are posted on the school website at the following link: https://www.haileybury.kz/en/astana/fees 

School fees are reviewed annually by the Governors and published in the May preceding the next academic year.

Is transport available?

Unfortunately, transportation is not available. There are some school bus companies in Nur-Sultan that parents can make their own arrangements with but the school has no affiliation with any of them. 

Do parents get involved in school life?

Haileybury Astana is a community and parents are an especially important part of it. Under normal circumstances parents can get involved in a variety of activities throughout the academic year, from helping to organise events, being a representative for your child’s class or watching your children perform in their topic exit point, we want to offer the chance for you to be involved as much as is practically possible. Although the temporary measures related to the pandemic mean that these activities are currently scaled back - this doesn’t mean parents’ involvement is any less valued.

How can parents get involved in school life?

Constant communication with parents is important for the well being of every pupil and parents are always encouraged to attend school performances, concerts and other various events. The Haileybury Parents’ Association is another way to get involved in school activities.

What is the HPA?

The Haileybury Parents’ Association works seamlessly with the school in organising various functions from formal balls to casual quiz nights. Its main aim is in creating opportunities and environments for every parent to get as much from the school as they wish to.

Is food provided?

Haileybury Astana provides a healthy breakfast, hot lunch, plus morning and afternoon snacks. All meals and snacks are prepared in our school kitchens. The menu is designed by nutritionists with children in mind to ensure they receive a healthy and balanced variety of foods. Meals are included in the school fees.

How has meal provisioning changed due to COVID-19?

Breakfast is now being served in classrooms for all children.

Kindergarten children will continue to have snacks and their lunch in their own dining room with staggered seatings and settings to allow for social distancing and sanitation after each sitting (maximum 2 groups at a time at different ends of the room). 

KS1 and KS2 students will be served breakfast, snacks and a hot lunch in their classrooms. 

When Senior School pupils are able to return, they will go to the main dining hall at designated times, stand in socially distanced queues to collect lunch and move to designated seats following the one way system. The dining hall will be sanitised after each sitting. All students will use hand sanitiser on entry and exit of the dining hall.

What is on the school menu this year?

Our menu is updated throughout the year to account for seasonal items. We are very happy to share the latest menus with you when you visit for a school tour. If you would like to have a copy, please contact the admissions office.

Does the school offer extra activities?

Haileybury Astana offers a wide range of sport, music and academic activities such as chess, basketball, volleyball, swimming, debate club, 3D art, language clubs, music lessons and much more. However, at this time the CCA programme is on hold pending changes to restriction related to the pandemic. When restrictions are lifted the full CCA programme for this academic year will be published.

What does a typical school day look like?

Senior School

The day starts at 08:15 with pupils having a 15 minute meeting with their House Tutors. Two 55 minute lessons are followed by a 20 minute break between 10:20 - 10:40. Pupils return to their learning with another two 55 minute lessons until 12:30. From 12:30 - 14:00 pupils have lunch, a break and are engaged in house assemblies and activities as well as CCAs. Their two last lessons for the day take place between 14:00 - 15:50. CCAs are available until 17:00 between Monday and Thursday. Please note that CCAs are not available during the Online Learning period. Pupils in KS5 also have study periods scheduled throughout the week where they can cover the independent learning aspects of the IB Diploma Programme.

Do Haileybury Astana pupils wear school uniforms?

Yes, Haileybury pupils wear a school uniform that can be purchased at the school shop or via the online shop at www.schooluniform.kz. It is best to visit the school shop when you enrol your child so that they can try the uniform on, to check for an appropriate fit.

Can I visit the school during the COVID-19 period?

If you are interested in enrolling your child at Haileybury Astana, we would love to meet you and show you around. Please complete the enquiry form and our admissions team will contact you very soon to arrange an appointment. We are not currently able to offer appointments during the school day, whilst pupils are in school, but visits can be arranged between 5:00 - 6:00 PM on weekdays. Other times are possible but you may not get to meet some of the academic teams who would love to say hello and give you more insight into the school from the classroom perspective.

Admissions Welcome Page

Do you offer coffee mornings?

Ms Jane Knight, Head of Junior School, regularly holds coffee mornings throughout the year with an educational theme for each one. Whilst Ms Knight would love to be face to face with everyone current restrictions mean that until further notice these are held on Zoom. Invitations are sent regularly and parents are very welcome to attend.

Who should I contact if I have a concern about my child’s learning?

In Kindergarten and Junior School, the most important person to be in contact with is your child’s class teacher. You can discuss anything to do with your child’s academic success and pastoral concerns with them. Teachers are busy throughout the day, but always aim to respond to emails within 24 hours. Teachers at Haileybury Astana are very keen to develop positive relationships with parents to support and develop the children’s learning. There are many opportunities throughout the year to meet with the class teacher, including an introduction early in the year, subject specific open mornings, end of topic class performances, parent-teacher evenings plus three sets of school reports. If you and your teacher felt an additional conversation was needed then a meeting can be easily arranged. 

In Senior School, every pupil is in a tutor group that also reflects the house they are in. Pupils’ first point of contact will usually be their Tutor, and they can also turn to their House Master or any subject teacher for advice and support. If you have concerns about your child’s learning, then you should discuss these with their class tutor, but you too can also speak to their House Master or any of their subject teachers. Your child’s Tutor and House Master have the interests and well-being of their pupils at the top of their priority list, but also the academic success. There are two parent-teacher conferences plus other special events throughout the year, giving parents an opportunity to speak with teachers, but if further information or conversations are needed, then teachers are very happy to organise additional meetings.

What is on the Kazakh curriculum?

The educational content of the Kazakh language is divided into three main parts:

  1. social background (family, traditions, relationship, friendship, meals, health, daily routine, pets)
  2. educational and labor sphere (at school, education, time management, assistance, hobby, sports)
  3. socio-cultural background (shopping, library, mass media, entertainment, famous people, national heritage, Independent country, travelling).

Special time is allocated for the "Journey to the Miracle country" section. For Junior school. The "Journey to the Miracle country" includes activities such as listening to fairy tales, memorizing poems, solving puzzles, singing, dancing, drama performances, etc. in order to increase students' interest in the language and develop their cognitive thinking.

The purpose of teaching the Kazakh language at Haileybury Astana school is to connect students to a new way of verbal communication, to integrate them into the culture of the Kazakh people in the language they are learning, as well as to develop and educate students through the Kazakh language.

Learning objectives:

  • teaching language tools and developing skills to interact with them in the process of listening, speaking, reading and writing;
  • formation of simple communication skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing;
  • mastering spoken and written linguistic concepts that are understandable to students and necessary for mastering oral and written vocabulary in the target language;
  • development of socio-cultural education in accordance with the Kazakh people;
  • development of cognitive functions: intelligence, thinking, imagination; to cultivate the ability to speak, interest in the Kazakh language, friendly attitude to other countries and cultures;
  • to determine the impact of socio-cultural conditions on the development of the individual in the school environment;
  • to determine the level of development of the individual at a particular stage;
  • organization of the educational process, which creates favorable conditions for the development of the individual.

The educational goals of the subject are closely related to other disciplines, as they teach students not only to memorize word sequences, active vocabulary but also to use each learned word correctly in speech and sentence construction.

Does Kazakh in the curriculum follow the Kazakh national curriculum?

Our provision is an adaptation of the Kazakh national curriculum in order to meet the needs and goals of our pupils.

Does my child (ex-pat) need to study Kazakh and Kazakh History?

Kazakh is one subject in the rich, broad and balanced curriculum that Haileybury Astana offers. Not only are all schools in Kazakhstan legally required to offer Kazakh, but it also provides pupils with knowledge of history, geography and language to widen their horizons and cultural appreciation.

Can my child learn a European language instead of Kazakh or Russian in the Junior School?

It is not possible for Junior School pupils to study another language in place of Kazakh, but we can discuss the possibility of studying an additional language as part of the co-curricular activity programme. 

What is thematic learning?

Thematic learning is a common method of delivering exciting topics in Haileybury’s  Kindergarten and Junior School. It is a method of learning in which pupils are taught a number of subjects whilst following a common and specific theme. It is based on integrating various subjects to demonstrate the topic. 

For example, in Year 5 pupils learn about the Silk Road and this theme will run through all of their subjects, culminating in an exit point where they show off what they have learnt. This could be an exhibition of their work, or a performance for the community to see.

Why do you have a house system?

Every pupil at Haileybury Astana is assigned to one of four Houses within the school. 

Our pupils and teachers are very passionate about their houses and healthy competition is established between Houses through school sports, performing arts and academic competitions. You know when the children have taken part because they’ll be especially excited on those days.

In the Senior School, Housemasters are in charge of the pastoral care of pupils and the Houses supported by a team of Tutors who meet with their pupils every day. The four Houses provide smaller communities within the school and facilitate pupils’ identification with staff and other pupils in their house throughout the school.

What do Housemasters do?

In the Senior School, Housemasters are in charge of the pastoral care of pupils and the Houses supported by a team of Tutors who meet with their pupils every day. The four Houses provide smaller communities within the school and facilitate pupils’ identification with staff and other pupils in their house throughout the school.

Who can support my child in Senior School if they need extra support or advice? (e.g.workload/stress/a specific lesson)

Haileybury Astana places pupils welfare and learning at the top of the priority list and all teachers are here to support your child. Pastoral support is very strong and for Senior School pupils this would usually start with their Tutor and House Master, with whom they have daily contact. More often than not these are the most appropriate people for your child to address concerns or seek advice from. If they are concerned about subject specific workload or stress, then pupils can also speak with those respective teachers. 

The school also has a counselor that is available to meet with pupils to listen to concerns in any respect of the pupil’s life.

How much homework should my child receive a week?

At Haileybury Astana, the majority of academic learning is done in the classroom, but homework helps to reinforce this learning. Finding the balance between learning and being a child is important and our teachers apply common sense to the levels of homework set. 

We pride ourselves on the relationships we develop between staff and parents. Learning starts at home and we provide support and a culture which enables all staff and parents to communicate in an open and honest way.

Home learning helps your child to develop organisational and time-management skills, self- discipline, skills in using out-of-school resources and personal responsibility for learning.

Home learning is an opportunity for parents and children to work together to reinforce classroom learning, fostering lifelong learning habits, and providing an opportunity for students to be responsible for their own learning.

Parents, in partnership with the school, should encourage their children to establish good Home Learning patterns from Junior school.

It is essential to provide a quiet space for children to complete their home learning tasks, with no distractions such as TV, mobile phones etc. Research shows that if parents take an interest in their children’s home learning, they develop a more positive attitude towards it and it is generally done to a higher standard.

Would we have to pay school fees if there is another two-week lockdown?

Haileybury Astana’s school fees reflect the quality of the school; the educational provisions, quality of facilities and resources. The investment needed to maintain these high standards continues regardless of whether there is an enforced lock-down. Teachers and academic teams will continue to teach pupils and will adapt to online provisioning.

 

My child is academically strong, can they go into Year 1 instead of reception?

We recommend that children learn with peers of the same age. Teachers and teaching staff are skilled at differentiating tasks and activities to support and push pupils of all levels. 

Can my child join Year 6 if they don’t know any English?

Our EAL department is able to support children who are unable to speak English. This would be in conjunction with parental support and academic reports supporting their level of ability in their native language.

Can children access the school libraries?

In Junior School, all children have access to Bug Club, an online reading resource with books set at the child’s reading levels.  In addition, children are given books to practise reading at home. Children have access to the Junior Library and can take books home each week. Currently, we are unable to send home individual reading books or library books.

Senior School Specific Questions

Describe your online provision in the Senior School

All Senior Pupils pupils are provided with an account for Online Education that includes: 

  • Firefly - online learning platform 
  • ManageBac (KS5) - online learning platform 
  • Google Drive - cloud storage 
  • School Email Address - web email client 
  • Zoom - video conferencing tool 

Firefly and ManageBac are the main platforms for all the work at the Senior School during the online period, and will continue to be so when school is back in the classroom. They are very powerful teaching and learning tools that create a well organised, safe and robust educational environment. The platforms allow work to be set marked and returned. It also provides a place for important subject materials to be distributed and stored. Together with the linked Zoom video conference platform it allows for live lessons to be streamed. This helps any pupil working from home or in an offsite environment. Teachers will work with every pupil to ensure the same standard of learning provision is provided. Pupils will work in their class groups engaging and learning in our stimulating online education programme. 

Will Year 11s & Year 13s take exams this year?

At the moment we are confident the examinations will take place at the end of this academic year. We are working closely with the Examination Boards though and we will follow their advice and guidelines.

Can a child access the Senior School library?

During the Online Learning period this is not possible as it would be against the Ministry regulations. However, we do offer an excellent range of online reading books. 

How will online education be evaluated?

Online education is evaluated in the same way as offline education. We have been utilizing the same cloud based platforms for our teaching and learning well before we were forced to move learning online and both our teachers and pupils are proficient in the use of online and digital tools. With rigorous performance management systems in place we ensure that Teaching Level is very high and that our Course Design is of high quality and standards. Our Learning level is also high and regular work submissions and daily interactions with pupils both in person and via task feedback ensure our pupils are experiencing high levels of quality education. 

What is the number of pupils per class in Senior School?

The maximum number of pupils per class in the Senior School is 20 -22. 

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We are happy to invite everyone who is interested in a British education for their children to visit our Haileybury Astana Open Morning; Saturday, 28th November, 10:00 to 12:00.

Register here