Meeting 2 - Term 3 - February 2015
Whissendine CE Primary School - Parents as Partners
Following the Vision Evening held at the school, Parents as Partners were asked to review and prioritise the parental input ‘Post It Notes’ from that meeting. Below are the comments that were made about the areas we were able to address. Due to the amount of contributions, we were not able to cover them all.
The school should offer other languages such as Mandarin – It was recognised that this had been trialled before but had little uptake and was therefore not considered a worthwhile use of curriculum time by the PaP steering group.
There should be a bigger focus on languages / specialist teachers. Consistent language teaching to individual classes should be throughout the year. More information should be available for children on the wider world / differences in cultures / world issues. – These areas are addressed through the curriculum subjects of RE and Learning 2 Learn. PaP asked if after school / lunch time clubs be made available to ensure that languages are taught consistently (rather than 2 terms out of 6) so that children do not forget what they learn from term to term?
Communication between school and home, does it give enough notice, is it relevant, is it sensitive to family life? – PaP said that the regular newsletter / new layout is appreciated, knowing that it comes out regularly on a Friday is great but stated that sometimes things were sent out on Parentmail that did not give enough time for parents to plan ahead.
Could more enrichment options be offered? Maybe with parental involvement? – PaP asked if a formal inventory of parents skills set could be taken so that when readers are required or enrichment sessions to be run (politics) a group of volunteer parents can be drawn upon. This had been done prior to the Enrichment initiative starting by Mrs Rowland. Sadly, few responses were received and those parents that were able to support enrichment in Terms 1 and 2 are not able to give any more of their time.
The school should have more permanent sports teams across all year groups. Throughout the year? For girls? Not just football and rugby? – PaP recognised that football matches have taken place between the schools within the MAT, for this to continue, parent volunteers would need to be called upon to support coaching. Issue of transportation were also raised.
The children should have more access to music – Oakham school lunchtime concerts. – This was thought to be a nice idea by PaP, but questions were raised as to why the children should be taken away from their learning?
What music teaching is available? –Information about the peripatetic music lessons available to be listed on the website along with contact details.
Could the school have an inclusive choir / orchestra / ensemble? – Choir is available at lunch time, orchestra is no longer available as the instruments needed were in short supply. Rock band is available to Y5/6.
Are any non sport based clubs available? Could more after school clubs be run? Or the same ones run each term for those who miss out? – PaP recognised that teacher’s time was not available to run these and asked if it was something the school would consider using parent volunteers for?
Should there be more teacher interaction at lunchtimes with their classes? – PaP recognised the importance of teachers having a break from the children (as well as the children from the teachers) and for the teachers to have to time to prepare for the afternoon sessions.
Should we avoid extrinsic motivators (stickers etc.)? – The use of nice learner stickers etc. was praised by PaP although the request was made that the parents were somehow made aware of which children had received a sticker / nomination that week and what for.
The classrooms should be ‘open’ to parents with a limit of 2/3 parents at a time – The PaP steering group did not like this idea at all! They felt that the children would be distracted by their parents being in the room. They wanted the teachers to be left to get on with their jobs.
Is the learning personalised to the needs of the individual? – The process of regular and ongoing assessment was explained to the group as well as the system of AfP (assessment for progress) used by the teachers at the start of a new unit of maths. This ensures that the children are taught from their individual point of learning so that the teacher and most importantly, the child, can see that progress is being made. PaP thought that this personalised learning to the individual child even more that it was addressed before.
Internet safety and etiquette skills should be built in from the start of ICT teaching – These are taught as part of the ICT curriculum.
Focus on well-being teaching, mindfulness and communication skills between children. – PaP felt that this was being addressed through the teaching of the R’s
At parents evening, parents are told that children are ‘where they are supposed to be’. What does this mean? - PaP asked if it was possible for the school to issue reports prior to parents evening report (using the format of the end of year report but just the sun bursts) to show effort and attainment to form a basis for parents evening discussions.
These areas were not addressed due to a lack of time:
More ‘Tepee’ use.
More updated information on the school website – sports results, competition results etc.,
Termly concerts across the MAT. End of term productions to involved all 3 schools.
Learning through creativity more.
Maintain current class sizes. Keep lower numbers if possible. Keep class sizes at current levels or smaller.
How to evolve the curriculum while being restrained by SATs
Learning without feeling like they are learning
Curriculum based visits to local businesses e.g. bakers, grocers, manufacturing.
Regular art / painting
Specialised focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) outside specialists are available.
More use of interactive classwork and homework using IT that can be viewed / assessed by teachers and parents.
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