Parents Forum


Just a reminder that the next parents forum is on Tuesday 30th January at 14:30 in the school hall. The report from the previous forum is below.

The agenda for Tuesday is:

  • School vision
  • Parents’ evening structure from feedback
  • Parental engagement and communication activities

If there is anything else that you feel you would like discussed or commented on please let us know via the school admin email or the orange slips at Reception.  We look forward to seeing you then.

 

Monday 4th December 2017

Dear Parents and Carers,

Thank you to those who attended the recent parents forum it was a positive forum with some useful ideas we can take forward.

Feedback from previous forums

Staff email addresses: we have decided not give these out as we have many new staff and need to ensure that they are confident in responding to emails (or not) appropriately and in line with school policies.  We will continue to review this.  Emails should be sent to admin@whittington.herts.sch.uk and will be forwarded to staff.  Please include a subject and as much information as possible to ensure you get an accurate response.

Facebook: the school has a Facebook group on which we post up to date photos, videos and reminders.  Please request to join the group.  You will need to answer a couple of security questions to be accepted.

Twitter: this is used mainly for instant updates about school trip arrivals and departures.

Website: the website is much more up to date and accurate, however, it does take longer to upload class information than either Facebook or Twitter so there is more of a delay on information.

Lunchtimes

There were several issues around lunchtime arrangements.  Two significant problems are the number of seats available and the amount of time.

Several possible solutions were put forward at the forum, however, all of these have been attempted by the school and have caused further issues.

For re-assurance going forward:

  • No child is sat on the floor to eat.  Many will have to sit on benches to eat a packed lunch (this has been the solution for a long time).
  • We do not force children to eat outside it is a choice when appropriate and this has been reiterated to all staff.
  • Older children are rotated so the same class are not always the last to eat.
  • We try to encourage children to finish eating within the time, however, we are aware of the time some enter the dining hall and therefore the amount of time they have had to eat.

Ways you can support:

  • Continue to teach younger children how to use a knife and fork.
  • Remind children to pick up their own rubbish.
  • We have staff vacancies for midday assistants – please apply.
  • Write to your local MP stating that the school has been forced into having children eating on benches and the floor to fit them into the hall as the hall is not fit for purpose and ask how the local authority can help.

Parents’ Evening

We have trialled a new parents’ evening format and have taken some initial feedback.

Positives:

  • The chance to interact with the teacher more.
  • Seeing the class room.
  • Demonstrations of teaching methods.
  • Opportunity to work with children with teacher support.
  • Support staff presence.
  • Length of time to see and discuss work.

Drawbacks:

  • Length of time needed.
  • Lack of privacy.
  • Some feeling that there was a lack of individuality.
  • More than 1 child in a key stage made attending workshops difficult.

It was acknowledged that experiences differed with different teachers.  It was accepted that this was new for all teachers and they were learning as much as parents and children.  The parental questionnaire will remain live until Friday 8th December.  Please take the time to complete it as we need a clear picture to be able to evaluate the effectiveness of the parents’ evenings to make decisions for the future.

Other topics

Play equipment: The new climbing equipment has had impact absorbing surfacing installed as an additional safety measure.  Children are reminded that they can all use the equipment, however, there is a height restriction on it stating that they can only use the equipment they can reach and that they should not help each other (particularly younger children) access it.

Lunchtime equipment: Children are provided with games and equipment to use at lunch times.  We also have trained play leaders to support games at lunch times.  Miss Matthews is currently working with Mr. Dulake to investigate installing a sports fencing to support different games and activities at lunch time.

Canopy: Mr. Dulake is discussing with companies the cost of installing a canopy and seating area between the KS1 demountable class room and the Y 5/6 classes to try to utilise the space that is currently used for the planters.

 

Date of next forum Tuesday 30th January 2018 @ 14:30