Thank you to all those parents that were able to attend the parent consultation meeting on 4th March 2013. Matters discussed were:
New School Hall plans
We have had plans drawn up and approved by the Architects and are now at the stage where the completed plans have been taken to the planning and conservation officers and are under consultation at this point in time. Our main aim is to provide a much bigger dining hall to accommodate all the children for one dinner sitting, a new production kitchen, a multi-use area, changing rooms, new entrance and reception area.
Teaching of reading
We have invested in a number of new initiatives within this area, including RWi phonics teaching and Accelerated Reader. We are into our second year of teaching phonics in this way. It is a very animated approach and uses many visual prompts. The children are grouped according to level and understanding of each phonic stage. Visual word prompts are separated into ‘green’ and ‘red’ words (those that can be sounded out phonetically and those that cannot). When secure with level one the children start to learn and bring home the first set of red ‘ditty’ books. We implemented into ‘Accelerated Reader’ which is aimed at readers that have moved beyond decoding words/books and needs more work with comprehension and understanding.
Teaching of spelling, grammar and handwriting
A new government incentive is to reintroduce more emphasis on spelling, grammar and handwriting. From previous experience the ‘Spelling Test’ was not very effective and can be very de-motivating for students. To have a strategy to teach children is very complicated and varied in popularity. Practice often plays a big part in learning how to spell correctly. We have decided to trial the RWi spelling programme that involves a 10 minutes a day input across the year groups from Year 2 onwards. This programme runs parallel to the phonics teaching within the school and is based on sounding out words.
A new record has been designed to go home with all children receiving music lessons to encourage contact and feedback with parents, encourage the children to practice and grade effort and progress.
We have decided to teach Spanish across the school as this is fairly widely spoke across the world and we have a number of Spanish speakers on the staff. Language games and activities are a good way to start in any year group, developing the experience of the children in meeting Spanish people in school and learning about the culture.
Pupil record folders
In a bid to try and be more informative to you we have created the folders to scaffold a more precise discussion with parents, especially during Parents evenings. I am keen that we are honest but sensitive with parents about the progress of their children. Music lessons A new record has been designed to go home with all children receiving music lessons to encourage contact and feedback with parents, encourage the children to practice and grade effort and progress.
We have to notify parents and publish on our website what we do with the money. The scheme is aimed at allowing all children regardless of wealth and background to achieve their full potential. We have spent a portion of the money on subsiding school uniform costs, music tuition and employing extra teachers / staff to support smaller groups of children. There are a number of families that are eligible for FSM but do not claim this eligibility.
We are moving towards a pre-order service. Feedback from the questionnaires was extremely wide. One of the main themes that came through was the time taken for the children to collect their meal. We have changed the lunchtime timings to allow a specified time for eating and to allow for more space in the playgrounds.
Thank you to all those parents that already come into school. Areas that would benefit from extra help: languages, allotment, gardening club, library, after school clubs, events.