Key Themes of Discussion
The key themes of discussion for the parents forum are shown below.
- The importance of communication from school to home.
In response to this, we have raised the importance of returning any communications from parents within a 24 hour time frame. Staff have been advised through briefings and staff meetings. In addition, this will also be included in the new staff handbook with additional support and guidance regarding good communications with parents.
- The awareness of mental health issues in young people and what support may be given.
In response to this we have had several wide ranging discussions as to how we can best support our students. Further work in liaison with outside agencies is required but a major development is that we have been included in the Headstart phase 3 pilot project. This project aims to improve the mental well-being of at-risk 10-16 year olds. This will be carried out in collaboration with the school by the implementation of a locally developed, cross-disciplinary, multi-layered and integrated prevention strategy. The year 7 and 9 students have already been surveyed and the first elements of support will be taking place in the coming months.
- The importance of parents in the whole education of the child.
The importance of attending parents evenings and the general support that a parent can give the school by listening and working with staff as opposed to against them. The year 7 parents evening was well attended and the feedback form parents was both positive and extremely helpful. We will continue to encourage parents to take a close interest in education by more school comms messages and positive phone calls from teachers (as opposed to negative calls as so frequently happens).
- The schools unique selling points.
These were extremely helpful in sharing with potential year 6 parents and existing parents. In addition, a group of students from across all year groups will be taking part in a Trust wide student conference on Friday 23rd June and will be presenting on the schools unique selling points in the introduction.
Thank you to all parents who attended and supported at the recent parent’s forum.
Our final meeting of the year will take place on Monday 10th July at 6pm. At this meeting you will be introduced to our new 6th Form Head Boy and Head Girl and the student Principals and their Vice Principals from the community. The meeting will also focus on the successes of the school over the course of the academic year.
I encourage all those who are intending to come to bring an example of one specific thing that has taken place this year at the school that you have been impressed with and would like to see again.
Minutes from 4th March 2019
Many thanks to all the parents who attended last night's meeting. It was good to both welcome new parents to the forum and of course see our regular and extremely loyal existing members.
1) Literacy Update. Mrs Martin.
Names of students who are producing excellent work in literacy or oracy to be awarded the Star. For the most hard working students who produce exemplar work to be written into the Book of Commendation.
Can we also consider the possibility of parents reading with the students. Beanstalk is a company that can engage with parents/volunteer readers and do the necessary checks and training. Mrs Martin will look into this and will add into the School Bulletin a request for any volunteers.
2) New PE Department Kit. Miss Kray.
Shorts were not received well due to the weight and material. Could we look at alternatives?
Miss Kray to discuss with a group of boys the types of shorts that they may like.
3) Mobile Phones in Schools. Mr Prebble.
An open debate as to whether mobile phones should be permitted in school. The overwhelming majority felt that the schools current position was the right one. Many parents felt that banning them totally would not appropriately educate the students. Especially in a world which is mostly driven by technology. No actions required. It was felt that the current stance by the school in having the 'off and away' rule would suffice at this stage.
4) The impact of BREXIT on the smooth running of the School. Mr Prebble.
Once we leave the EU on March 29th at 11pm, the potential of gridlocked roads may impact on travelling to and from school for both staff and students. Mr Prebble shared the fact that we are planning for any eventuality and that we would be communicating with parents over the course of the next week.
Next date: Monday 29th April 2019.
Possible agenda items:
1) Exam preparation- Learning Leaders to present.
2) Science- Update on the school progress towards Triple Science being studied.
3) Oracy- Possibly will not be ready to present on this as the project is in its infancy.
4) Mental Health support- This has recently been presented. However, an update would be possible.
Development of literacy
The forum met Mrs Martin who has now taken the responsibility of whole school literacy and transition. We discussed the nature of the literacy in a secondary school (compared and contrasted to a Grammar School) and discussed the types of interventions and support for students that have lower levels of literacy on entry to the school. We also discussed the types of books available and study texts at KS3.
The conversation moved towards more in depth support for individual support for students throughout the school.
Learning Leaders are in place in order to support progress for all students. It was felt that the learning leaders role needs to be shared with both parents/carers and students.
Action: The Learning role to be presented in detail in the weekly bulletin over the next two weeks. LL’s to be introduced to the forum in September. Mrs Allon to action.
We also discussed the support that can be offered to students regarding how to revise prior to the end of year examinations in al year groups.
Action: Mr Prebble to liaise with Mrs Allon about the learning leaders supporting key stage 3 students for revision materials.
WhatsApp forum group
We discussed the possibility of creating a group which I would use to collect views on various issues as opposed to waiting until the meetings. It was agreed that although not everyone has access to this it was agreed that we should start a group.
Action: Mr Prebble to set the group up asap.
Year 8 parent’s evenings
Year 8 currently only have an options evening and 1 parents evening in the year. It was felt that the parents evening may be better placed in the year to help support parents awareness of progress.
A suggestion that the parent’s evening could be placed in January next year in order to help support parents awareness of progress in order to help support the options process.
Action: Mr Prebble to discuss with SLT the possibility of moving the parent’s evening.
Although the system is widely used by teachers, some inconsistencies were raised.
Staff responding to messages from both parents and students.
Grades and submission were still not always visible.
Feedback on homework not always given
Action: Mr Prebble to raise these concerns with Teaching staff in staff briefing over the next week.
Next meeting TBC
Thank you to all who attended last night’s meeting.
We discussed the following areas.
1) How to improve literacy in the school.
Do we offer lessons purely on SPAG. Some other schools do offer this?
We viewed the library area and discussed the current situation and future use. 2 6th form students have been recently given the responsibility of leading and supervising the library area during break time and lunch. We discussed the possibility of the parent’s forum taking the Library on as a project in collaboration with the 2 6th form students and a student voice group.
Action: Can parents consider how the school could improve the use of the library area with a view to improving literacy and a love of reading. Ideas to be sent to me please.
I then presented information from the recent newsletter which gave parents and carers advice and guidance as to how they could support their child’s improvement in literacy skills.
Action: Advice and guidance to help parents to improve literacy from home. In addition to the advice given in last month’s newsletter, what else could the school do to support parents on this important area?
2) The school website.
The website currently has a lot of information relating to course content and assessments in core departments. We would like to improve the layout and content over the next few months and increase the information and quality of the content to share with parents and stakeholders. It was discussed that the quotes for subjects were not necessary, the key documents should be moved up to the first page of the subject area and that the first information shown would be the schemes of work by topic.
It was agreed that where the Mathematics department have communicated to parents and forthcoming assessments, this was seen as excellent practice and something that would be rolled out to other departments.
Action: Any further observations or recommendations to be passed on to me before the next parent’s forum.
Date of the next meeting. Monday 11th June. Conference room.
Thank you to all of you who were able to attend our meeting yesterday. We hopefully covered all of the areas that were raised from the previous meeting on the 6-11-17.
- Knowledge organisers located on the website were presented for Maths by Miss Williams. Key stage 3 schemes of work and assessment points are now available on the school website for some subjects. This is an area for further development as other subjects will follow in due course. The main aim is to have ALL topics for all subjects covered in all year groups over the course of the next 3 terms.
- Saturday schools for Photography. Are there going to be any sessions planned? Mrs Allon to follow up with the Subject leader.
- Bulletin has been received well by all the parents who attended. No additional feedback given.
- Staff absences were discussed and how the school pre-plan and adapt to the potential changes to teachers over the course of the year. The school now have a standard letter which will get sent to parents when an unplanned staff absence takes place.
- The new target setting models and 9-1 levels were presented. Targets and the donuts on the books are used on a termly basis for all students in all subjects.
Dates of the next meetings. All 6pm until 7pm in the Conference room.
Monday 26th February. Growth mind-set presentation for next meeting. How are we praising effort as opposed to ability.
Monday 23rd April
Monday 11th June
06-11-2017: Thank you to all of you who were able to attend our meeting yesterday. As well as celebrating the current inspection report a number of areas were raised for the school to consider and improve upon.
We agreed the following points to be considered and actioned where necessary.
- Consideration of a further explanation of the new 9-1 assessments.
- Revision resources for Key stage 3.
- The frequency of updates for parents of year 7 students. Parents evenings and books being sent home.
- Cover supervisors and communication of any long term absences to parents
- The future of the parents forum. The forum to be evolved to allow more specific areas to be discussed with a defined groups. Eg Year groups to discuss the 9-1 assessments.
Dates of the next meetings. All 6pm until 7pm in the Conference room.
Monday 15th January
Monday 26th February
Monday 23rd April
Monday 11th June
02-05-2017: Many thanks to all who joined us for such a productive parents forum. The conversations were extremely wide ranging and have given the school a number of issues to consider.