Communication with Parents/Carers
"The majority of parents say that the school makes sure that their children are happy, safe and secure."
Ofsted June 2016.
At St Mary's we are committed to ensuring that the communication between parents/carers and the school is good. We use a variety of methods to send information home and we welcome the feedback, questions and queries that are sent back to us in school. In this way, we hope to build a strong partnership with parents/carers, which benefits their child's learning.
Below are just some of the ways that we build this partnership throughout the year:
Our school website includes much of the day to day information that parents/carers will require throughout the year. Letters, news and diary dates will be regularly updated on the website.
SUMMARY OF LEARNING
The first written communication that parents/carers receive from the teachers each year is the ‘Summary of Learning’ that briefly explains the curriculum and routines for the term ahead. This will arrive at home within the first few weeks of each term. The summaries will be placed on the website at the start of each term in the relevant 'Class Pages' sections.
NEW CLASS MEETINGS
Year 1 to Year 5 classes, offer an opportunity to come to school for a short group meeting with the child’s class teacher in the first two weeks of the autumn term. In this meeting the teacher talks through their own class procedures and arrangements and there is an opportunity to ask general class questions.
YEAR 6 CLASS MEETING
Year 6 parents/carers are invited to attend a special meeting in the classroom early in September, which runs through some of the key events and procedures of the important Year 6-7 transition year.
EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE CLASS PHONICS AND READING MEETING
Early Years Foundation Stage parents/carers are invited to come into school early in September to hear about the way that we teach phonics and reading at the school. This is followed by refreshments with the Paddlers Parents and Friends Association.
AUTUMN AND SPRING LEARNING CONFERENCES
These take place in late October and mid February. They provide an opportunity for the children to attend individual meetings with their parents/carers and their teachers. Parents/carers have a chance to see the child's work, discuss their learning and communicate with the teacher, so that every child makes the most of their time at school.
At these times parents/carers may come back into school with their child at the end of the day, to have a look at their books and work on display in the classroom. These are informal sessions and no appointments are necessary.
SUMMER CELEBRATION AFTERNOON
The school is opened up for parents/carers to visit the classes and celebrate the children’s learning through the year.
On most Mondays parents/carers are invited to come in at 2.55pm to read with their child in the classroom. We invite red and yellow team parents/carers in one week, then blue and green in the next. The dates for each team are included in the Newsline at the start of each term.
KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH TEACHERS
We greatly value the positive relationships and good communication that we have with parents/carers on a day to day basis. We don’t expect parents/carers to wait for a whole term for each opportunity to meet the teacher! Staff are in the playground every morning, so if there is brief information to share or there are quick queries, it is usually possible to speak to the teacher then. If possible, it is normally better to speak to the teacher after school, as they don’t have to rush off to class and they can give a little more time. If parents/carers need a longer meeting, staff will make an appointment as soon as they possibly can. Parents/carers should not worry if they are not able to make it to the school, as they may telephone the office and a message will be passed to the teacher, who will call back as soon as possible. It is always best to initially contact class teachers about any worries, as they are the people who work most closely with the children.
CONTACTING THE HEADTEACHER
It is important that initial queries go directly to the member of staff concerned, as they are normally in the best position to answer individual questions. However, if a query is about wider school matters, or a problem persists, then the Headteacher would be pleased to help. Parents/carers should contact the school office and they will pass the message on. Parents/carers will usually be asked to indicate what the query is concerning, so that the matter can be dealt with more efficiently. The Headteacher will respond as soon as possible.
LETTERS AND TEXTS
We do also send home letters, so it is important to check carefully in the book bag each day. We prefer to send letters by email and recommend that parents/carers choose this option, as it avoids lost correspondence.
We will also send texts quite often, with little updates and reminders, so it is important for parents/carers to make sure that we have the correct mobile phone number for them.
"The school works very effectively with families and meets the needs of individual pupils wherever they can." Statutory Church School Inspection February 2015.