Parents were asked a series of questions about school. Questionnaires will be sent out individually to all families but it is good to get some collective thoughts. Parents were given a few minutes to discuss each area. These will feed directly into our wide reaching annual review of performance and impact before the creation of the new ADP for 2018/2019 and the supporting diary, calendar and timetables.
1) What do we do well?
2) What would you like us to do next/see more of?
3) Scoring of communication - the higher the score the better the communication.
4) Scoring of extra-curricular provision
5) Scoring of safety
6) Scoring of sports provision
7) Scoring of reporting systems (progress, achievement and social aspects)
8) Scoring of rewards and sanction systems
9) Awareness of initiatives
10) Ideas or suggestions that we could consider for 2018/19 academic year
Every Key Stage have now started the 'Circle of Life' curriculum. You can visit the website to download every document relating to the curriculum and your child's own current learning. We do not intend to send home paper versions to everyone and instead encourage families to use the website. Master copies will be available to view in reception. (Paper copies can be made upon request to the office team.)
The budget has reduced further, which is impacting on staffing and not being able to replace Mr Swift like for like. It is looking like only Mr Denton will be permanently out of class next year. People are having to work harder and harder with less time and less funding. The academy is at minimum levels of staff but on a positive note, this is creating more opportunities for people's development. The fund raising of the partnership is more fundamental than ever.
Clair Watkins thanked everyone for helping on Friday and for raising £500. Everyone was overwhelmed by the response from the children. The next event is Quiz Night on Friday 11th May. We still need some raffle prizes for the event so please speak to Clair if you have anything. The school disco raised a good total but it may have run its course as numbers were slightly lower. We may consider a new event for 2018/2019.
Sports days are on different weeks this year. There will be drink and cake stalls available for each event to raise more money for the school. We just need volunteers to support this and run the stalls. Please avoid volunteering on days when your child/ren will be taking part in events as it can be difficult to watch them due to demands on the stall.
In July, information will be shared about the main events for the next academic year. 'Movie Night' with pizza and popcorn is already a possibility for next year.
Mrs Joyce spoke to parents about whether parents/children would like a Leavers' hoodies. It is looking like it will cost approximately £18 for the hoodie. It was discussed whether Parent Partnership would be able to make a contribution towards this. It was also discussed whether the children themselves could do something to help raise money for this. It was agreed that we would ask the parents to pay for the full amount with a view to supporting any families who would struggle with this. Next year, we would mention this to parents earlier so that the cost could be spread out.
Miss Crowther and Mrs Everitt answered some questions that were asked at the last meeting:
Parents asked how we could encourage more parents to attend the session. Mr Denton outlined the current processes and trying to capture new parents upon entry to St James in September. It is a possibility that we tag these meetings onto other events to encourage attendance.
Mrs Riley mentioned the potential to support UNICEF via Clarke's by donating shoes to enable UNICEF to provide educational resources for countries in need. Mrs Riley will be working on this with Mr Denton in the coming weeks.
Mr Denton has done a lot of work on this, including attending external training and speaking to and visiting different schools. One of the main differences between outstanding and good schools are that outstanding schools have a clear vision and everything they do relates back to this vision. After a whole staff meeting today, we came up with 'Ready for the Future' as our vision.
This is a new initiative that began last week. Every Tuesday to Friday, Years 1 to 6 will spend 15 minutes a day to learn their multiplication tables. A poster is coming out to parents tomorrow which explains National Curriculum expectations, rewards in place for the children and how we will assess how the children are progressing and then communicate this to parents. Once every half term, children will be assessed so we can measure how much progress they are making. Learning multiplication tables is crucial for the future so it is imperative that we have this push in school.
There have been lots of changes that have happened with reading books in school. Teachers spent the Inset day in January banding all of the books in school. Each child will be told which band they are and can take out any book in that band. There is a mixture of different reading schemed books and other books at a similar level. All children will have free choice within their band - if they don't like the look of a certain book then they do not have to read it - reading has to be for enjoyment! Reading records will go home for every child and we still expect the children to be listened to at home. Once children are ready to change their books, they will let the teacher or ESA know and then they will be able to change their books - there will not be a limit on the number of books that a child can have per week. Parents at the forum were asked about a task that the children can complete after they have read a book before they are allowed to change it. This will ensure that the children are reading and understanding the books that they have read. Parents seemed to be happy with some sort of task. It was asked whether parents have to listen to the children read or whether they can read in their head. Mrs Hambleton suggested that there should be instances where parents do listen to their children read - hopefully at least weekly. Each half term teachers will check every child so that we can see if the band is still correct or whether they need to move up a band.
Tomorrow is our next Collective Worship on Neverendingstories. Zapp the wizard will be visiting the children and announcing the winners of our reading competition. Every child that has entered will receive a reward for doing so and there are 6 winners throughout school that will receive a further prize. The next set of books will then be announced to the children. Thank you to everybody who had taken part in this - around 20% of school have done so!
Our together garden at the front of school has been competed with the help of HSBC. There is going to be an addition of a water feature and our school values are going to be written on the stepping stones.
Food Hygiene situation - our kitchen is now a 4 star kitchen. The areas that needed tweaking have already been tweaked.
Clair and Sarah thanked everybody for their hard work over the last year. The partnership raised over £3,400 which is absolutely amazing. New members are always welcome - if you know anybody then please get them to contact Clair or Sarah. There is a disco planned - hopefully for next month and then the Quiz Night in summer term. Clair asked for any suggestions for further fundraising - a summer fayre was discussed but it was deemed to take far too much organising to do another fayre. A movie night was also suggested and this seemed to be like a good idea.
Have parents responded positively to school's request for parents to try and not use Paypal? The answer to this will be looked at at our Resource Committee this Friday.
Is there a way to get rid of any clubs that children do not want to attend? Miss Crowther will look into this; however Mr Duggan did say you can swipe on your phone and then delete.
Could we use Parentmail to book Parents Evening times? Miss Crowther will look into this.
Does there have to be an attachment for a letter or can the actual letter be copied and pasted into the email message? Miss Crowther will look into this.
What is the idea behind Star of Safety and what has the response to this been? There has been an excellent response to this and school are very pleased with the impact of this. The children know the 5 points of the star and have earned 53 minutes of 'Golden Time' for last term.
Mr Duggan asked about the bike shed and has said that if we can find someone to take the scrap metal of the bike shed away then he can sort out the dismantling.
Mrs Hanson thanked the staff who organised the Young Voices - it was a fantastic event and a night to remember!
Thank you to Miss Crowther for responding to emails that were sent to the admin email address. Could an automated response be sent when someone has emailed the admin email? Mr Denton will talk to Miss Crowther about this.
1) Academy Development Plan Priorities
2) Streamed Classes - This enables all staff to take into account individual children's starting points. In Key Stage One, children are streamed for reading, writing and maths. In Key Stage Two, children are streamed for reading and writing.
3) Star of Safety - The children have already begun to hear about the Star of Safety. The children have come up with a number of things that would make them feel happy, safe and respected in school.
The 5 points are:
1. Feeling safe online (e-safety)
2. Kind hands and feet (not hurting others)
3. Saying the right words (showing more tolerance)
4. Nobody will be bullied (everyone will feel safe)
5. Safe movement around the school (sensibly walking down corridors etc)
In the centre of the star, there will be information about who the children can go to if they feel they need help with anything.
4) Fund Raising & Priorities for 17/18 - It was agreed that the fund raising efforts from this year would go towards buying resources to extend the curriculum e.g. more medals at sports day.
Events for this academic year
Sal's Shoes Initiative - This was a great success. There was in excess of 500 pairs of shoes. Chris Duggan kindly drove down south with a van full of shoes to where the charity is based. There was agreement that something like this would be pursued - maybe with Clarks shoes
5) Open Questions
- There was a question relating to Caterlink and the food hygiene rating that it had been awarded. Mr Denton will look into this.
- A question was asked relating to Parentmail where the payment for the pantomime went live before the letter came out. This was noticed in school and discussed as to how this can be made better.
- A question was asked as to whether parents could be given some information about credit unions and advertising this for people in hardship. Mr Denton will look into this.