Information from the Meeting for Parents (8th Sept)
9th September 2015
Information from the Parents’ Meeting held on Tuesday 8th September 2015
This meeting was held to give parents an opportunity to hear first-hand about some of the key priorities for Amble Links First School over the next academic year and into the future. There was also an opportunity to ask questions in public or privately with Mr Heeley and class teachers at the end.
Parents attending were given a copy of the ‘Vision’ for the school that has recently been revised by staff and governors. It is this that we are always striving towards with the children at the centre of what we do. It is our job to prepare them for their next stage of learning and ultimately for a working life.
The 6Rs of being: resourceful, reasoning, responsible, reflective, resilient and respectful were discussed. We believe that if all of our children can be each of these 6Rs then they are well equipped to learn well and be good young citizens.
Being safe is at the beginning of our vision. We reminded parents that we have strong policies and procedures for dealing with child protection concerns and that Mr Heeley and Miss Lightley are the Designated Leads in the school for this. The school website was referred to including the link on the main page that provides a reporting tool for anyone who may have any concerns about the safety and wellbeing of a child. It was also pointed out about our role in keeping children safe in today’s digital world. Parents were directed towards the ‘E-Safety’ section of the school website that contains a wealth of information to support keeping the children safe online. The dangers of children being exposed to video games that are not age appropriate and Facebook were also mentioned.
The importance of good attendance and punctuality were discussed in terms of us encouraging children to be responsible and preparing them for the world of work. New government guidelines now highlight children with less than 90% attendance as ‘Persistent Absentees’ and the Education Welfare is likely to become involved with families where attendance is below this. Our policy on holidays during term time was reinforced – Leave of Absence Forms can be downloaded from the school website and give details on the policy we share with other schools in the area regarding penalty notices.
Our approach to dealing with behaviour issues was discussed in term of being RESPECTFUL. This includes the consistent use of Behaviour Steps for minor classroom and playground issues as well as yellow/red cards for more serious behaviours that we will not tolerate. Our behaviour policy is available on the school website.
Uniform and PE Kits were discussed. Mr Heeley apologised for the unforeseen difficulties we have had over the summer with our uniform provider and told parents that we will continue to keep a supply of uniform in school until we can resolve the issue. We have a very clear uniform policy that is in place for the following reasons:
Our policy is that all children should wear clothing that is in keeping with a purposeful learning ethos.
Our policy is based on the belief that a school uniform:
- promotes a sense of pride in the school
- engenders a feeling of belonging
- is practical and distinctive
- identifies the children with the school
- is not distracting in class (as fashion clothing might be)
- makes children feel equal to one another in terms of appearance
- reflects the sense both of community and of diversity that the school takes pride in
- is regarded as suitable, and good value for money, by parents.
- supports safety and hygiene (in relation to PE Kit)
Ensuring the children wear correct uniform is important and Ofsted also evaluate whether children ‘take pride in their appearance.’
Parents were asked to ensure that PE kits were brought into school at the start of a half term and left in school.
Mr Heeley explained how we would be approaching our teaching and learning this year using ‘Bloom’s Taxonomy’ to help deepen children’s understanding of what they are learning. This will be evident in the children’s books which can be looked at by parents during half termly visits to classrooms and at the Spring and Summer Parents’ Evenings. This approach will ensure all pupils are challenged at their own level of learning.
Homework was discussed. Homework expectations are made very clear in homework books and in half termly class newsletters. Homework helps the children learn to become responsible and prepares them for their next stage in learning ensuring that the Middle School homework load doesn’t come as a shock. School also provides additional support to children who are not supported with homework at home through opportunities at lunchtimes and after school clubs. The use of the internet for homework is a reflection of the digital world we now live in. Parents were asked to support their children with online homework (especially logging in). Sites we use can be accessed through the school website ‘Links’ page.
The improvements we have made to our school dinners were talked about. At lunchtimes we work hard to encourage the children to eat properly using a knife and fork as well as trying out a range of different healthy foods. There is also a daily option of a baked potato.
Parents were told of ways that they can help at the school and their child. We stressed the importance of Reading at home daily with the children and helping them with homework as well as ensuring that they come to school with appropriate uniform/clothing/equipment.
The ways in which we communicate with parents were reinforced including: the school website, Facebook Page, weekly school newsletters, half termly class newsletters, termly parents evening and half termly classroom visits. Parents are also invited to our weekly celebration assembly on a Friday morning.
Parents were encouraged to come in and talk to us if they have any concerns, questions or ideas.