We have a Parent Forum to hear the views of parents and to look at ways we can improve. These are held at least termly on Friday mornings at 9.00am during the Friday Café time.
I am pleased that we now have a group of eleven parents who have agreed to share their views. If you would like to join them please email me at:
If you have something you would like considered for the Parent Forum please put it in the Comments Box by the front office or email me it. Mark it clearly for Parent Forum.
The Parent Forum set the dates to coincide wiith Friday Cafe (9.00 - 10.00am). These are published on the website calendar (under Communications tab).
Feedback from No 10 meeting
Residential visits: There was discussion whether there could be a payment scenario that accrued payments well before, ideally in other the year before.
Bikeability: There was a request whether there could be additional bikeability sessions perhaps after school for younger children.
The forum reflected on the year. Mr Metcalfe shared that he was pleased with the results this year and the forum expressed that they were pleased with the work they had undertaken.
Feedback from No 9 meeting
Suncream: It was asked whether staff could apply suncream to children when it gets hot. HT explained that many suncreams work for long periods and even waterproof so there is no reason why parents could not apply before coming into school. This would avoid any issues of some creams being used by children who may have allergies. It was agreed that PTA would provide some general advice for parents on non-alergic suncream to support school.
Parent Forum Poster: Still needs to be undertaken and displayed. Needs to have next forum date on it so will last throughout the years. Needs to be marketed in a 'Parents Update and Views Session' as parents felt Parent Forum could be seen to be too formal.
Y6 Activity Week: Was raised that Y6 had not had bell boating yet - HT to follow up with admin to check on dates.
Sports Day: Feedback from last year was very well received and parents really liked the use of the whole site around the school. The HT confirmed it worked well from a staff perspective too and therefore agreed to go with the new format again this year (hopefully leaving out the inside hall if fine weather).
PTA: This needs new members and so agreed to have a Welcome to Friends/PTA meeting on Wed 13th September 6.30pm, possibly with fizzy orange juice!
PTA Tuckshop: It was suggested that the PTA could run a tuck shop. It was considered that if only once a week then it would be fine to still be a healthy school as most families go to icecream man anyway. We could offer healthier options e.g. icepops than icecream. One member agreed to do the puchasing from Costco and run it. Need a freezer.
FACEBOOK: School has a facebook. Fed by its twitter feed. Parents raised that not all photos could be enlarged in facebook. HT to look at settings. PTA have a facebook therefore felt no need to have a seperate Parent Forum one. Agreed to market the sites on bottom of forum poster.
Feedback from No 8 meeting
Maths: The meeting began with a short presentation from Mrs Spenceley, the school's maths subject leader, about the new approach to mastery maths; specifically Singapore. Discussion included the overview of the principles, that it was based on international research and the resources available for parents in the use of the videos. There was also a good discussion that took place about how we teach multiplication.
Action: Miss Spencely to put maths parent videos on school website.
Minor accidents: Communication with home was raised and Mr Metcalfe was asked to consider reviewing what action school takes when notifyoing parents about minor accidents at lunchtime for older children. A slip is in use, however, perhaps how these are used needs a review.
Action: Mr Metcalfe agreed to review the process.
School trips: The cost of school trips is reportedly coming out too late. Pupils do not always bring home letters. Could the school look at an estimate of costs across a year? Mr Metcalfe said that reception had tried this last year and would look at how this can be taken forward.
Action: Mr Metcalfe to look at how the longer plan for trips can be shared more quickly.
Parent Forum Dates: Parent forum dates to be put onto a poster to be put up in parent noticeboards.
Feedback from No 7 meeting
On the first day of snow in Warrington the Friday Cafe hosted the planned Parent Forum. We discussed and agred the following:
Holiday Pattern :Parents noted the diffeence in holiday prices during term time but due to the week and a few days on the half-term it enabled two families present to book cheaper time periods and therefore appreciated this.
Parents Evening Layout : Parents wanted to see more space from the waiting area from the parents who were talking to parents. Mr Metcalfe agreed to open up the Learning Resource Area adjacent to the hall to enable the tables to be more spread out at the next meeting.
Online Safety : Parents discussed the Keep Safe Anti-bullying Week in November and Mr Metcalfe informed them that posters were now put into the childrens toilets to promote online safety, making use of every opportunity to reinforce key messages.
Dress Up Days : Parents appreciated the option of children bringing a topical item in rather than the dress up expectations for theme days.
Publication of Parent Forum Dates : Whilst dates for the year went on this page and also on school facebook it was agreed that a poster be put up in some of the noticeboards and text out to parents a few days before. It was also discussed that some parents are very busy and find it hard to come to Friday Cafe. Dates of Friday Cafe to also go on the poster.
Feedback from No 6 meeting
This meeting coincided with Children in Need but unfortunately the weather was deadful and we only had a smaller number turn out - thank you to those who did. We talked about:
- Employability Curriculum
St Margaret's is leading a local network (BOLD) to develop an Employability Curriculum to compliment the version they will use at BCA high school. Mr Metcalfe explained that he was looking for parents who could help such as those who work in companies etc with some of the activities and also to help design the programme. This would also comliment our Enrichment Curriculum that will include a family STEM club after school in the new term.
- KeepSafe Week (Anti-bullying and Online Safety)
Parents were told about a Kidsafe Week which is part of Anti-bullying Week but focussing on Online Safety too. There will be an online prtfolio of the activities undertaken.
- Grant Application
Mr Metcalfe's secretary is liaisng with GD Funding to access up to £10k towards an envirnment project. Mr Metcalfe will be seeking a contribution of £250 from the PTA towards the cost of application.
- Why low turn out at Meet the Teacher and Video Messaging
There was a very low turn out this year to the Meet the Teacher meetings. Mr Metcalfe sought the reasons from the forum. They identified that it was due to: parents already know the school well, they are meeting on a 1:1 with teachers two weeks time from the general meeting, if they came last year they felt they didn't need to come again, the time was not always convenient such as shirft workers.
Mr Metcalfe explained that he had spoken to the Governing Body about it and considered the use of video messaging, via text or email nesletter distribution, might help parents gain information followed up by opportunity for Question and ANswer (perhaps at Friday Cafe or after school). The Parent Forum thought this was an excellent idea. Mr Metcalfe explained he is not from the BBC/ITV so parents will need to understand - and request to promote this with the parent body.
- Set the dates for the remainder of the year
The Parent Forum set the dates to coincide wiith Friday Cafe (9.00 - 10.00am) of:
Friday 10 February 2017, Friday 26 May, Friday 14 July.
Feedback from No 5 meeting
Unfortunately had to be cancelled.
Feedback from no 4 meeting
- school discipline policy
Every year the Governors have to approve the school's discipline policy. To check it is effective, from parental viewpoint, Mr Metcalfe brought it to the Parent Forum. Parents looked at it and they felt that behaviour was usually very good and that based on this the policy seems to work. Parents said that if they weren't happy they would come and and it is dealt with.
- new assessment approach
Mr Metcalfe gave parents information about how we do our new assessments and what the new termly reports (slightly tweaked) would look like. Parents thought it sounded sensbile.
Feedback from No 3 meeting
- appointment of first Parent Forum Chair
The Forum appointed Mrs Joanne Hones as Forum Chair.
- recap on uniform
Mr Metcalfe confirmed that the uniform would not be changing.
- Academy Status
Mr Metcalfe explained that a number of school were looking at becoming an academy. When asked whether we would go with BCA, Mr Metcalfe explained that we couldn't as BCA is not in a church multi-academy trust but one with the Collegaite. Parents asked to be kept informed if there were any developments.
Feedback from No 2 meeting
We took the opportunity at the end of the year to review the progress of the school, or end of year processes and ny actions taken from the previous parents forum meeting.
- follow up to Breaktime Tuckshop
Mr Metcalfe agreed at the last meeting that the school would look into providing fruit. He had discussed wthis with the school kitchen and storage of fruit is a key issue. The cost too from the kitchen would be much more than at a supermarket. Mr Metcalfe is making contact with Longford Nurseries to see if they have a good supplier.
Mr Metcalfe informed the parent forum of the outcomes at the End of Key Stage 2, KS1 and phonics Year 1. They noted the improvements in all areas and had also seen these improvements in other areas of the school.
- library opening
Mr Metcalfe explained that the opening will take place on Monday and that parents are welcome to come and see the new library during Open Evening, also on Monday
- End of Year Reports
Some parents expressed concern regarding their lack of understanding of the A - E system used on the report. Whilst mr Metcalfe explained that there is a leaflet that explains this, it was agreed that the use of text within the report could explain the grading e.g. 'George has been given a B for achievement because... to get an A George will need to show...'
There was strong requests from parents not to set homework during holidays. They appreciated the family time without additional demands. Mr Metcalfe agreed to not send homeowrk home during the three main holidays. He explained that children need to keep reading, which was appreciated by parent forum, and that the school may send home competitions and initiatives to support learning e.g. libabry schemes. This was supportd by the parent forum.
- request for outdoor picnic area/seating area to have shade
Parents requested the school to consider providing shade over the picnic table area for sunny days. This was noted by members of the PTA who said that they could make this their next project. This was agreed.
- St Roccos Partnership
The school chaplain and parish vicar, Rev Canon Stephen Boyd, spoke to the parents about the highly positive messages he had received independently from St Roccos about the project we are beginning with the hospice.
Feedback from our first meeting
We discussed the following agenda items which were pre-announced on this webpage:
- improving our school uniform
Mr Metcalfe raised that from conversations with some people that the light blue polo shirt did not help children to look smart. One view was that it looked washed-out. It was proposed that the colour could change to either golden to go with the school badge and same as nursery or royal blue and blend with the sweatshirt. At this stage the school order had been placed for reception so it could not change tioll next year but Mr Metcalfe wanted to start the conversation to see what parents thought. The members of the forum had mixed views. It was decided that it would be re-visited at a future parents forum, possibly after canvassing the views of a wider group.
- what you would like to see offered at breaktime tuckshop
Mr Metcalfe provided the range of foods and drinks offered at the breaktime tuck shop. It was noted that the items were available from local supermarkets but the school tried to provide it at cost. It was raised by members whether the school could provide fruit. Mr Metcalfe agreed that a fruit option would be good, but not easy to store so he would look at the feasibility of this and perhaps work with local suppliers once a week or once a month.
- homework approach
Mr Metcalfe was keen to find out the views of parents about the amount of homework being sent home and specifically how children and parents are responding to the comprehension approach started in September. All the parents said that their children were managing the amount of homework, even though it had increased, and that they did manage to do the comprehension. The standard approach to the comprehension expectation was appreciated as parent knew what to expect. Their children did need to get used to it but after a few weeks were managing it well.
- parent support in developing their child's reading, spelling, maths
Mr Metcalfe asked if parents wanted any additional support in helping support their child's learning e.g. workshops etc. It was said that parents found the 'Mad Hatter's' maths evening really good and helpful so could the school do another one. Mr Metcalfe said he would take it back to the leadership team to look at planning another event.
Parents were asked if they wished to raise anything else but they felt they had nothing further to add and said they liked having the meeting.