HT & Governor Forums
13th November 2015
Feedback from the Head Teacher and Governor Forum at the Parent Evenings
Thank you so much to all parents and pupils who gave us feedback at our Parent Evenings about what you liked about the school and what you would like to see improved.
The governors have collated all of the responses and the main areas are outlined below:
WHAT WORKS WELL?
- Throckley Primary is a warm, welcoming school with friendly staff.
- Having had my child in another school I realise how good it is here.
- I think the school is amazing.
- The teachers are great and see our children as individuals.
- Tapestry is a great way of keeping me informed about my child’s progress.
- We love online payments for school meals.
- My child is happy to come to school.
- Staff are very approachable.
- The school has a real family atmosphere.
- I love the leadership of the school - it has the children’s best interests at heart.
- Very good communication.
- The variety of work, visits, topics and learning opportunities are fantastic.
- Children enjoy coming to school.
- We love the newsletters.
- The Monday-Friday homework works really well.
- Great facilities!
- I love the Parents and Children Together days.
- My child has special needs and the school was fantastic in supporting myself and him to reach his potential.
- Children have someone to confide in when they are upset or unhappy.
- I really like how the school always celebrates pupils’ achievements.
- Excellent range of clubs.
- There is always a teacher available to speak to at the front if we need to.
- Jelly Bean after school club is fantastic.
- The school produces bright and confident children. It gives them the skills that will last a lifetime.
Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. It is great to get some feedback about all of the things you enjoy about our school.
EVEN BETTER IF…
- It would be better if there was more parking.
- Bigger paths are needed along Hexham Road.
- We would like to use the disabled parking bays for drop off.
We understand how frustrating it is for parents who travel to school by car not to be able to park near the building and take their child into or pick them up from school. We are restricted by our school site and there is simply no space for a parent car park on the school grounds. Our drop off service is available for all children (from two years old) and our staff will collect your children from your car and escort them safely into the building and along to their classes. Because of this service, there is no need to park on site when bringing your children to school. The disabled parking bays are for disable visitors and staff to use.
Most Primary schools in our area do not allow cars to park on site but they do have a safer road, better paths and more parking available outside of the school gates. We continue to raise this issue with the Local Authority. In the development plan for the Throckley area, we have been informed that additional ways into school will be looked at as well as a community parking area.
- I would like more notice about special events that are taking place in school, (particularly if they involve dressing up).
- We have reviewed the school trip procedures with teachers and the school policy is that trip letters will be sent home at least two weeks before school trips.
- We have asked all teachers to send out the Christmas Show costume letters as soon as possible.
- We have asked teachers to include dates on their termly class newsletters (topic maps) so that you know in advance the activities that will be happening that term.
- Dates For Your Diary During the summer term we put together a whole school ‘Dates for Your Diary’ document. These dates are sent home on paper (if you need a copy, please ask at the Office) and also posted on the diary section of the website. They include the dates for your Parent & Child Together Sessions, the Christmas and Summer Shows, Share a Morning, Class Assemblies, Sports Day and other key dates throughout the year. The dates for each term are then repeated weekly on the ‘Dates for Your Diary’ section of the newsletter (the Christmas dates are on the newsletters that are coming home during this half term).
- Text Messages Our texts are reminders about the dates that are in the diary document and in the newsletters. We usually send them out 24 hours in advance as reminders for those of you who may have missed an activity in the diary.
- Occasionally we have the opportunity to take part in a special activity that is not already in the main diary. When this happens, we will send out a whole school slip note as soon as possible and follow that up with a text to let you know. We will work to keep this type of communication to a minimum.
- Why do we receive both paper and electronic copies of the newsletter?
- We send out our newsletters in three different formats: paper copies, email copies and a posting on the website. We are pleased that so many of you now receive the full colour pdf of the newsletter by email. We continue to send out paper copies to everyone as the job of addressing individual newsletters is very time consuming. We used to run a paper/electronic mailing list and we found that it changed regularly and took the office staff most of Friday afternoon to keep the list up to date and arrange for the newsletters to go out to the right people in the right format. Therefore, we will continue to send out paper copies to everyone. However, we will also continue to review our electronic communications regularly and look to move to electronic when it is acceptable to all of the families in our school.
- We would like more sports teams and clubs.
- We currently offer six sports clubs (KS1 Mini Movers, KS1 Gymnastics, KS2 Basketball, KS2 Gymnastics, Y5 & Y6 Boy’s Football and KS2 Dodgeball). Most of the sports clubs are for KS2 children as they often lead to competitions between the other OWL Trust schools. We have only two indoor areas for sports clubs which restricts how many that we can hold during the first two terms of the school year. We plan to offer a wide variety of sport clubs during the summer term when more activities can take place outside.
- So far this year we have taken part in two OWL Trust Competitions (KS1 Multi Skills and KS2 Dodgeball). We are proud to announce that we won both of those competitions and that we are at the top of the OWL Trust leader board! We have competitions coming up in the following sports over the next few months:
- Cross Country
- We would like more parent and child activities later in the evening for working parents.
As the building is a PFI building, it is managed by a private company which closes the building at 6pm each night. We have a restricted number of free community hours which we can use for later closure times. We use these for parent evenings and the shows. If we go beyond our community hours allocation, we are charged to keep the building open. We hope that our annual diary dates give working parents enough advance notice of events so that they can, if possible, arrange to come into school.
- Improve the sound for children during shows
The PTFA are currently fundraising in order to buy a new sound system with microphones for the hall. If you would like to support the work of the PTFA, please speak to Mrs Comstock in the Office or Miss Newton in Year 2.
- We would like more school trips.
The lack of public transport to our school means that most trips require a coach. The price of a coach means that the cost of each trip starts at about £5.00 before you add the cost of the actual excursion activity. The school subsidises trips where appropriate. We aim to have at least three trips per class per year, which include visits to our local area, visiting shows or inviting specialist practitioners to come into school. We also use our fantastic school grounds to take children on learning walks and other outdoor activities. We are aware that the costs of school trips can be difficult to manage so we work to keep these costs to a minimum without compromising on the exciting experiences for the children.
- We wish the government wouldn’t keep raising good attendance percentage.
As a school, we firmly believe in the importance of every child coming to school every day on time as it is essential to their work, progress and general welfare.
If your child is too unwell to come into school, we do understand. We often send children home from school if they are poorly. However, we are legally required to update parents regularly about their child’s attendance and to monitor any attendance which falls below 92% (although, we choose to monitor attendance that is below 96%). We encourage good attendance with certificates of achievement and want to support families where there are issues of persistent absence.
Please remember that although we communicate regularly about attendance, we actually celebrate much more than good attendance. Because the attendance at our school is so good, our children accomplish so many wonderful things. We are so proud of the fact that our school has happy, confident children who treat everyone with respect and always do their best. We will continue to find more ways to share your child’s achievements with you.
Your ongoing feedback is vital to the continuing success of our school and we are very pleased with all of the responses that you have provided this week. This type of forum allows us to reach more parents than the Head Teacher forums that we held last year. Therefore, we will continue with this format at future whole school events.
If you were not able to provide feedback this week, please feel free to ring or write the school with your ideas. You do not need to wait for a forum to communicate with us.
Thank you again for your participation.
Mrs J Stuart (Head Teacher) and the Governors