Parent Voice Meetings

 Parent View - Give Ofsted your view on your child's school

Firstly I would like to apologise for the lengthy document that we have written below but it is the result of a series of meetings the Governors organised aimed at examining different aspects of school and gaining thoughts and opinion from our parents.

The meetings took place in February 2016 and were well attended. Parents were enticed in with a warm drink and a bite to eat and were asked to comment upon a wide range of elements of the school. Comments were collated and this document produced. It is regularly referred to by Governors and SMT and provides the basis for the School Development Plan and the work of Governor Committees.

We will be going through the same process again in the 2017 2018 academic year.

Maths

What we do well.

What we could do better.

  • Maths enjoyed. Homework usually completed well and straightforward.
  • Our child enjoys their maths work at home in the PC.
  • Expectations for the team/year are clearly stated. Good to take away and refer to on the sheet.
  • Focus at the start, in Reception and Year 1 seems to be heavily towards reading and writing – we still don’t really understand Mathletics.
  • Mathletics is brilliant – my son is learning loads.
  • Children’s maths has improved since they have been at the school.
  • Parent appointments clearly show the government’s new expectations and is tailored to the children’s needs.

 

  • We need maths homework and information on how the number line is taught and used.
  • More support for maths, more structured ideas to help with maths at home.
  • Too much homework.
  • My children don’t enjoy homework because they think that they have done enough at school.
  • With learning expectations changing, consistent communication with the parents is needed regarding the new levels & how to support children at home.
  • More maths homework would be good – work sheets etc.
  • I did not know about mathletics
  • Mathletics is difficult to navigate, the system has had problems. I do not feel that the website or the school’s expectations have been explained properly.

 

What we need to do now:

  • Additional sessions and opportunities for parents to learn about how we teach maths.

  • Give parents practical tasks they can do at home such as telling the time, weighing, measuring etc.

  • Continue to develop the Target Setting Day information

  • Further develop the children’s understanding of solving maths problems that involve number, shape etc.

Reading

What we do well.

What we could do better.

  • I love Bug Club but I would have liked to have started sooner and would like the opportunity to request more books, rather than 1 per week.
  • My son loves reading. Before coming here he would rather watch television than read, but now he reads every night and looks forward to a Friday to check his books on Bug Club.
  • Extremely satisfied with this. The library, reading sweep, Bug Club and books to take home give lots of options for children to select from and enjoy.
  • Well done with Bug Club and the library.
  • The school is very supportive with helping children to learn to read.
  • Reading seems to be very important to this school.
  • The school works hard supporting and informing parents through the newsletter.
  • The school makes reading fun and interesting.
  • The library is growing wonderfully.
  • There is a clear focus; parents are well informed with regards to the raised standards set by the government.
  • I would like to know more about what colours/reading levels they are on so that I know where they are.
  • Communication is good between the students, teachers and parents. I feel that although the standards are satisfactory, I would like some more feedback on progress.
  • Personally, the reading sweep makes no difference to me. My children read every night with me anyway but they don’t mention the reading sweep. I’m not sure how important it actually is to the children.
  • Bug Club is a good thing for children to learn ICT skills but personally, I think it’s not really reading when there is a ‘read to me’ option.
  • I don’t hear much about the children reading to the staff – I feel that it is left to the parents.
  • I think that rewarding children for reading is blackmailing them – they should want to do it without being forced.
  • I feel that there is a lot of pressure for children to be spending their time reading – time that should be being spent relaxing or playing.
  • I am not a user of Bug Club unless there is a competition.
  • Bug Club doesn’t work on a tablet – this is possibly less of an incentive for many children.
  • It would be better if Bug Club could be used instead of their normal nightly reading.

 

 

What we need to do now:

  • Make sure BUG CLUB allocations are up to date for the children

  • There is a need to work together with parents to ensure children develop reading speed and stamina

  • Better communication between school and home and home and school (through the Reading Diary) is needed. 

 

Introducing & settling children into school and transition into new classes and secondary school.

What we do well.

What we could do better.

  • My son gets familiar very quickly – you do well at this.
  • My child was admitted in-year, settled very well. Unconfident children become confident very quickly.
  • When my son started, the open day where he came and met his teachers and friends was brilliant. He was very nervous but now he absolutely loves it here.
  • Reception had a good balance of play and work to introduce children into the school setting.
  • Very good – My Daughter loved Miss Tonkin when she started.
  • My children started in November after relocating – the school were very organised in settling them and they loved it straight away.
  • There is a very good, warm, friendly and caring approach from all of the teachers to all of the new students.
  • Time is given to ensure that the children are not rushed when moving up to a new class – they are well prepared and settle well.
  • Excellent transition – especially visiting other settings to ensure a smooth transition.
  • I really enjoyed the first week transition into Reception but I felt that more settling in sessions were needed.
  • Transition into the Reception class felt rushed – my daughter is a Summer baby who was only used to 15 hours per week in her Nursery setting; she found it difficult and scary – it wasn’t enough.
  • Transition into Year 1 was very easy as my child already knew her teacher – although, we didn’t get invited to ‘Meet the Teacher’ until after she started.
  • I still do not understand why children are put into mixed classes after Reception. My child is the youngest in his class and is mixed with other children who are 18 months to 2 years older than him. How does this work? This has not been explained.
  • I was very disappointed that there was no transition into the new class – classes were split up and given a new teacher and I was unable to explain because we were not given the option to meet the new teacher.
  • Splitting the classes does not help – it is unsettling for parents and children.
  • Combined parent and child transition into Reception would be better – Miss Tonkin had to work incredibly hard to get to know the children as parents weren’t to hand to help.
 

 

What we need to do now:

  • Transition for Years 1 to 6 will be extended to 1 week to give the children more time to get to know their new teacher.

  • We need to find the best way to explain to parents why we put Meet the Teacher evenings early in the new academic year rather than the end of the old year.

  • Further develop the transition arrangements for Reception children

 

Behaviour

What we do well.

What we could do better.

  • The behaviour in school is very good. There is a very nice atmosphere when in the school.
  • Always very polite and very well behaved.
  • I have seen some challenging behaviour which has been dealt with very well.
  • I have seen for myself and been told that good and bad behaviour is dealt with appropriately.
  • The children have good manners.
  • Incidents are dealt with quickly.
  • Incentives work well, behaviour is managed well.
  • Children behave well during school and throughout outside activities.
  • ‘Proud to be a Pennoweth Pupil’ seems to be the consensus.
  • My child is very aware of the rules set by Pennoweth.

 

  • Issues with swearing and bullying in the playground.

 

What we need to do now:

  • Further develop the Pastoral Team and explore different ways of encouraging parents to come into school and see, first hand, how our school community operates.

 

P.E

What we do well.

What we could do better.

  • Very good at encouraging children to take part in after school activities.
  • I have noticed more mention of inter-school sports in the newsletter. I am very keen so see and hear more about sport.
  • This appears to be developing in the school with the new pitch being built. Matches are encouraged between other schools.
  • There are a good range of after school sports.
  • The school is very good at encouraging the children to be active.

 

  • On sports days some parents can’t park or get into the field due to access issues.
  • There doesn’t seem to be enough focus on it in Reception and Year 1.
  • I would like to see more encouragement in sport.
  • I have never seen the PE facilities – I would like to see this.
  • I would like to know how much encouragement my children have to take part in sport.
  • Possible opening of sports clubs for children in lower Key Stage 1.

 

What we need to do now:

  • Further develop the range and quality of sporting opportunities in Key Stage 1.

  • Appoint teachers who are accomplished in teaching PE – especially in Key Stage 1 

 

School Website

What we do well.

What we could do better.

  • The website is very accessible and user friendly.
  • The website is very informative – I have used it to check holidays etc.
  • I used it a lot when we were relocating to Cornwall – it was very informative.
  • It doesn’t work properly, the photos need updating.
  • Could you duplicate the newsletter to make it on the front page every week?
  • The term dates and uniform weren’t on there when I looked over the Summer holidays.
  • It is sometimes a little out of date.
  • It is nice to see staff faces on the website – although a child’s drawing is a nice idea, the point is to be able to put a face to the name.
  • Possibly too much text.
  • Not always accessible on a tablet.
 

 

What we need to do now:

  • Update photographs regularly

  • Ensure teachers have sufficient time and update their pages so parents can see what is happening in their child’s class.

     

How good are we at ensuring that the school site is safe/secure/developing/comfortable/appropriate

What we do well.

What we could do better.

  • It is a brilliant idea that you can only enter school with a fingerprint.
  • Great that the gates are locked from the inside.
  • My daughter feels very safe.
  • I feel comfortable that not just anyone can collect your child after school.
  • The site is well maintained.
  • Good drop off in the morning so that we do not block up the traffic.
  • The site is safe – the CCTV and entering and exiting the school.
  • The school always looks fantastic.
  • The environment is great – friendly and welcoming.
  • It’s great to see the vibrant displays in school.
  • It’s much improved.
  • The path outside lower Key Stage 2 is too narrow especially with a pushchair.
  • The after school traffic of Mums and Dads is too much.
  • School parking could be improved.
  • Parking awful – cars are pulling out outside the school building while children are leaving school. Why not shut the gates?
  • We see staff managing the environment but as parents, we aren’t able to judge. For example, how comfortable the toilets are and dinner time.
  • More staff out a playtime.
  • Clearer marking for disabled and taxi bays.
  • Outside Mrs Hitchens-Todd’s class needs a shelter.
  • Widen the pathway near to Key Stage 1 to ensure safety of children.
  • Lighting to be improved in Reception playground as there are obstacles in the way.
 

 

What we need to do now:

  • Premises committee to look at the path access leading to Reception Class and a shelter idea.

  • School to continue to push the Ex PFI works to upgrade the toilets. The cost of this is prohibitive to the school but it is on the 7 year schedule to be carried out at no cost to the school

  • Carry out our annual review of play time staffing levels and Governors to monitor.

  • Look at the lighting outside the front entrance and outside Reception Class.

     

How good are we at being welcoming, open and inclusive

What we do well.

What we could do better.

  • Very welcoming and informative
  • Letters home etc. are very good
  • The teachers are always available to speak to when you need them
  • Good welcoming atmosphere, lovely secretaries and nice events (family breakfasts etc.)
  • The newsletter is brilliant for communication
  • Pennoweth are absolutely brilliant at this – the children are all treated as individuals with unique potential – I love how open the school is
  • The school is very welcoming, the office staff are always helpful
  • More invitations for parents to be in school to celebrate achievements
  • The front office is sometimes empty
  • KS2 need more invitations into school

 

 

What we need to do now:

  • Invite parents in to school to class assemblies

  • Parents of Forest School children to be invited in to take part in sessions together with their children.

  • Regular invitations to school lunches

  • Creation of a new role – Community Outreach and Child Safety – to help engage parents.

     

How good are we at informing parents about the new curriculum?

What we do well.

What we could do better.

  • I was well informed at parents evening, I went home feeling that my understanding of this was sufficient
  • The parent/teacher meeting was very informative, my children’s previous school never spoke about this
  • It would be good to have some information other than in the newsletter
  • It would be good to be regularly updated about levels and expectations
  • The information should be held in meetings at the start of the year
  • It’s frustrating not knowing how the children will be tested
  • Parents evening slots aren’t long enough to discuss this
  • There is a lack of communication regarding this when they reach upper KS2

 

 

What we need to do now:

  • Meet the Teacher sessions in September should address the expectations in terms of testing however the Government is in the process of changing them.

  • I think we need to be better at telling parents what we do offer as a school because perhaps we are not informing parents about the annual process so effectively

 

How good are we at helping parents to know how they can support their children at home?

What we do well.

What we could do better.

  • Teachers put things on the notice board, the newsletter also helps. The class teacher arranges meetings to support parents with helping their children at home
  • The school communicates very clearly what is expected from parents
  • Target setting days are useful
  • Relevant homework is checked by the teachers and TA’s
  • The communication is excellent from letters, sessions in school and the head teacher’s piece on the front of the newsletter
  • I would like to see more regular meetings to support reading at home
  • Sometimes homework comes home with no explanation
  • I would like more information about what techniques are being used for example, using a number line
  • Would like more family learning sessions
  • Weekly/monthly information sheets about what the children are learning in the classroom
 

 

What we need to do now:

  • Invite parents in to school to class assemblies

  • Parents of Forest School children to be invited in to take part in sessions together with their children.

  • Regular invitations to school lunches

  • Creation of a new role – Community Outreach and Child Safety – to help engage parents.

SEN

What we do well.

What we could do better.

  • I have found the support amazing, Mrs Skidmore is invaluable
  • There are good facilities for those with special needs
  • Children with individual needs get individual support
  • The catering team have been amazing with those with specific dietary requirements
  • I couldn’t ask for better than the support that my child has received
  • The school has been excellent dealing with my son’s absences due to an ongoing illness

 

  • I would like extra feedback on progress

 

 

How good are we at inspiring your children to want to learn

What we do well.

What we could do better.

  • Our child is keen do discuss school work at home, especially topics
  • The rewards charts encourage the children to want to learn
  • The staff are passionate about learning which encourages the children
  • The children find the topics exciting
  • The postcards and blue cards encourage the children
  • The teachers make learning fun
  • Launch topics
  • Not so happy about sweets being used as rewards as we try to avoid this at home
  • Parents should be invited to celebration assemblies
  • Hard work at home not being rewarded enough at school
  • Postcards could be sent more often
 

 

What we need to do now:

  • Invite parents in to school to class assemblies

 

How effective are we at developing your child’s computer skills?

What we do well.

What we could do better.

  • There is lots of opportunity to access computers
  • Bug club
  • The ICT suite is available throughout the week
  • It is introduced slowly and balanced with the importance of physical activity and a love of books
  • Children have access to computers at lunchtime
  • Parents aren’t always aware of what children do at school on the computers
  • It’s difficult to know as children have a general interest in computers anyway
  • Not much feedback at home from use on computers
  • It would be good if parent were taught to support at home
 

 

How good are we at responding to and sorting out issues?

What we do well.

What we could do better.

  • The ‘say positive things’ ethos seems to work
  • Issues have been addressed straight away
  • Small issues have dealt with to my satisfaction, I feel confident that more serious issues would be dealt with in the same way
  • The school is very good at dealing with bullying
  • Phone calls home from the class teacher and head teacher are appreciated
  • Although staff are approachable and friendly when talking about issues, not all actions are followed through
  • Phone calls home when incidents have happened in school would be good
  • Feedback shouldn’t be given at the classroom door in front of other parents
  • Messages in the reading diary are not always responded to
  • Emails are not always passed on or responded to

 

 

What we need to do now:

  • Finishing issues correctly is important to us and we aim to get better.

  • Greater emphasis needed in Reading Diary

  • It is not always necessary or appropriate to communicate on all issues. We have to make a judgement call on what is significant. Much of this also hinges upon our knowledge of our parents.

 

Anything else.

What we do well.

What we could do better.

  • The school has catered very well for people who have different religions
  • Incentive schemes for behaviour are good
  • Sport and activities
  • After school clubs
  • Breakfast club and after school care provide an excellent service
  • Car parking facilities
  • Children are happy and well cared for
  • The catering staff are great
  • There is nothing that the nursery could improve on

 

  • It would be good to receive letters through email
  • A facility to text parents
  • Following through with requests such as giving children medicine during school
  • The parking could be improved
  • More praise for children who are always well behaved
  • More maths homework for Reception children
  • More school trips
  • A better range of food for fussy eaters
  • A longer appointment at parents evening
  • An answer machine for parents ringing before the start of the school day
  • A walking bus

 

What we need to do now:

  • Texting service will be introduced in 2016/17 academic year.

  • Maintain regular meetings with kitchen manager to ensure good range of food available at lunchtime.

  • Answer machine system to be introduced but we are also keen to maintain our personal touch and not become automated and therefore ‘faceless’.