Parent/Carer Feedback from Parent Evenings

27th April 2018

Dear Parents/Carers,

Re:  Your Feedback from Parent Evenings

Thank you for taking the time to leave a note during the Autumn and the Spring parent evenings about our work here at Throckley Primary School.  We were so pleased to read all of the lovely comments about the things that we already do well.  We don’t have the space to share all of your positive comments, but here are a few examples:

  • I think the school is fantastic.  Really happy with the high standard of teaching and the facilities.  The sports club during the school holidays is excellent and really useful.
  • Teachers always supporting and wanting the best from all pupils.
  • The teachers are engaging and fun!
  • Lots of positive praise and recognition for pupils.
  • Throckley Primary is an amazing, outstanding school with brilliant staff who go over and above their duty to help others.
  • Good teaching, encouraging children to work to their full ability and beyond.
  • I wish my school was like this when I was a child.

We also appreciate you letting us know about the things that we can improve.  Please find our responses below to the issues that you have raised.

Parking, Drop-Off, Pick-up and Road Safety

Thirty-one of you (65% of ‘could do better’ responses) mentioned concerns about road safety during the busy mornings and afternoons when children are arriving or leaving school.  Many parents/carers were particularly concerned about the cars which are parked in front of the school gates at home time.  

  • We have purchased a new sign for the gates reminding everyone that parking in front of the gates could endanger the lives of the children.
  • We regularly speak to the Police and Newcastle City Council about the problems with illegal parking and dangerous driving outside of our school.  Unfortunately, these problems happen outside of every school in the city and the resources for tackling these problems are limited.    
  • Any expansion of the car park would involve major construction and cost hundreds of thousands of pounds (we have had estimates).  All schools are struggling with reduced budgets and the money that we receive is earmarked for the education of the children in our care.  We will never be able to afford to provide a parent/carer car park. 
  • We have been working with the Planning Department and the developers who are building homes in the area.  Following consultation with us and with the wider community, improvements have been made to the safety of pedestrians on Hexham Road (wider footpaths with protective railings, 20 MPH speed limit, lighted crossings).  
  • We would encourage all of our families to walk, cycle or ride a scooter to school.  A reduction in cars bringing children to or collecting children from school would really help to reduce the problems on Hexham Road and at the front of the school.  If you need to drive, please consider parking in the rear car park of Sainsburys and walking up to the school – it just takes a few minutes.
  • In addition to the improvements to Hexham Road, there are two new entrances planned for the school – one from of the Recreation Ground and one from the new housing development.  We are working with Greenwich Hospital to have the Recreation Ground entrance open from September.  We will keep you informed of our progress in these negotiations.

Could Do Better

Response

Can text messages be sent to more than one contact?

We have now introduced Parent App and it is going to become our main point of contact with you.  Any person with Parental Responsibility can sign into Parent App and receive all communication related to that child.

Can a few words be added to the achievement points so parents know why the achievement has been given?

Teachers award achievement points to all of the children in their class – often while in the middle of teaching a lesson.  This makes it very difficult for them to add comments to the achievements, although the will occasionally add a few words when your child has a special achievement.

SIMS App doesn’t work properly.

If you have any problems with your Parent App, please come and see the Office so that we can help to solve the problem.

Can we have more notifications when things are added to the website?

We add new photographs and news stories to the website each week – usually on a Friday.  News articles appear on the homepage and photographs are added to the galleries which are arranged by class or by event.

Can we have more variety of After School Clubs, especially for the younger children? 

 

 

Can we have after school clubs for children in Reception?

We offer a large variety of free clubs each term across the school (music, sport, IT, art, French, etc).  Because our after school clubs need to be age appropriate, not every club is available to every child. All teachers run at least one club per year and we buy in the services of Premier Sport, NUFC and other external providers.  These clubs are paid for from the school budget and we don’t pass any charges on to you.    

 The children in Reception are too young to enjoy after school clubs after a long day of learning.  Cuba Club offers relaxing sessions for parents/carers who need after school childcare for younger children. 

Lunchtimes can be rushed and a bit too busy.  It would be nice if children had more time to eat.

All children have at least 30 minutes to eat lunch whether they go in the hall from 11.30-12, 12-12.30 or 12.15-12.45pm and the other half hour is for their outdoor play.  As we grow, the lunch hall becomes busier but we have not reduced the time for pupils to eat their lunch.

We would like more parent participation/involvement in school (such as PACT days, assemblies or coffee mornings).

Miss Sewell is in the process of restarting our Parent, Teacher and Friends (PTFA) group and all parents/carers are welcome to join. 

 

We plan at least one parent involvement activity for each term.  In the autumn, we have Share a Morning, in the spring we have a PACT (this year it was STEM) and in the summer you will be able to attend your child’s class assembly, Sports Day and a Carnival.

The playground needs to be better.

We are in the middle of a big project to improve the outdoor area for Nursery and Reception. 

 

During playtimes in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, lots of portable play equipment is available for the children to use – you may not be aware of this equipment because it is tidied away after each playtime.  Additionally, Premier Sport and the lunchtime staff run activities and games during the playtimes.  Our yards may not look very exciting in the mornings and at home time, but they are full of fun when the children are outside during their breaks!

If a child is off for a serious appointment, don’t count it as an absence.

Schools must use the statutory absence codes that are provided by the Department for Education.  Serious appointments are coded as a medical appointment, which is counted by the DfE as an authorised absence from school.

Parents waiting in the snow and rain with little ones.

We have had terrible weather this year!  On bad weather days, we aim to get children into school as soon as possible.  If you arrive a bit early, there is a large covered area just outside the front doors of school which provides some protection from the bad weather.

Why can’t the children have more fun activities such as trips and discos?

We work hard to make sure that children enjoy coming to school and have fun while they are learning.  In addition to the activities planned for each class by the teachers, so far this year we have had PACTs, Christmas shows and parties, the Spring Disco, World Book Day, Sport Relief and Easter activities.  In the summer term children can look forward to a British History Day, Health & Wellbeing Week filled with fun activities, the Throckley Carnival and their class assemblies.

 

Teachers plan a Wow activity (trip or visitor in school) for their classes each term.  This summer every class in school will be attending the Great North Exhibition.    

Why can’t you offer a paid-for playgroup for under 3’s?

Our Acorns provision has been set up to provide support and learning for two year olds who qualify for a funded place.  Acorns is now full with a waiting list and we do not have the space in our building to provide additional places for children of this age.  We do take children into our Rising 3 group in the term after they turn three.     

When do children who are struggling get a dyslexia test?

We are happy to work with any parent who has concerns about the learning of their child.  Please speak to your child’s class teacher or ask to speak to one of the teachers on our SEND team (Mr Kidger, Mrs Brown or Ms Wright).

 

Thank you again for taking the time to give us feedback.  We welcome your opinions and will use them to help us improve our school.

Yours sincerely,

 

Mrs Julie Stuart               Mrs Helen Richardson                    Mrs Michelle Taberham

Head Teacher                    Co-chair of Governors                    Co-Chair of Governors