Pupil Progress Parent Forum

7th November 2014

Parent Forum Minutes, 6th November 2014

Topic:  Sharing Progress With Parents

Mrs Stuart welcomed parents to the meeting and explained that the purpose of her parent forum meetings is to find out how parents feel about issues in school.  The discussions in these meetings feed into our school policies and practice. 

The results of the summer parent questionnaires demonstrated that some parents did not know how their child was doing in school last academic year.

You said:  The September parent’s evening is held too early and the teachers do not know the children well enough at that time to discuss progress.  Because there wasn’t a January parent’s evening, you felt that you did not receive information about your child’s progress until the final meeting at the end of the summer term.

Mrs Stuart:  We could change the September meetings to more of a drop-in session.  These drop-ins could combine ‘meet the teacher’ with information about how the child is settling into their new class.  The year group expectations (such as homework/PE schedule) could be shared in the first week through a year group newsletter.  We could then reinstate the January parent evening.

You said:  You liked the ‘sharing progress’ folders that were sent home before half term.  However, you didn’t understand the purpose of the first sheet.  The rest of the information in the folder was useful.

Mrs Stuart:  The folders are a work in progress and we welcome your feedback so that we can work to get the correct content in the best format for you.  Mrs Stuart shared information about what other schools do.  She also explained the types of data we hold on the system (levels, percentages, achievements) which can be incorporated into the progress reports so that parents get a full picture of how their child is doing across all subjects and in extra-curricular activities.  Levels will be reported to parents in December.  Parents can also share information with the school by adding information to the progress folders.  For example:  you can tell us about music lessons or sporting clubs that your children attend..  

You said:  100 ‘high frequency words’ in Reception came out just before the May half term last year which caused parents to worry about their children could learn them all in time.

Mrs Stuart:   The ‘high frequency words’ can be sent out at the start of the year so that parents and children have plenty of time to work on them throughout the year.

You said:  The new curriculum and expectations in Year 1 seem to put a great deal of pressure on the children.  It is a big jump from Reception and has taken you and your child a while to settle into the routine and get used to the homework/spelling/maths tables.

Mrs Stuart:  The new curriculum is very challenging and there are higher expectations on children.  However, while the homework focuses on English and Maths, the actual school day is much more balanced with a range of subjects and fun activities for the children.

You said:  What is happening with Three Rings?  Why haven’t the teachers been sending work home using this online system?

Mrs Stuart:  The Three Rings system has been purchased by a company who is developing it into a better website for sharing learning with you.  This is an exciting development which has come about due to the enthusiastic response from our parents during the Three Rings trial that we took part in last year.  The new website is due this term and as soon as it is in place, we will start sharing work with you again.  This delay in the website is one of the reasons why we have sent home the progress folders.  For parents in Acorns, Nursery and Reception, teachers will be using Tapestry which is a website that is specifically designed for use in the Early Years.  Mrs Stuart reminded parents to also look at the website galleries as they are frequently updated and give a good idea of the range of activities that are happening in school.

You said:  Why do some teachers send out more work on Three Rings than others?

Mrs Stuart:  We are still working on our plan for how often the teachers will be sharing work.  The system needs to keep parents informed while being realistic for the teachers. 

You said:  What are the ‘Share a Morning With Your Child’ sessions in January?

Mrs Stuart:  These sessions will give you the opportunity to spend a morning in your child’s class.  You will be able to see how subjects are taught and experience a modern classroom in the year 2015 (which we guarantee will be a completely different experience to the one that you had as a child!).  More information will be sent home in the near future.  We hope you will be able to join us.

Mrs Stuart thanked the parents for coming.  The next Parent Forum meeting will be in the spring term.