TaTa - Year 4 art club - acrylic on canvas
There is no greater wealth than wisdom, no greater poverty than ignorance; no greater heritage than culture and no greater support than consultation.
Ali ibn Abi Talib
Parents, carers, children and the community can share their views, the good the bad and the interesting, all year round at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The reason for us to consult is to gather useful information so governors and school leaders can make informed plans as to current provision and priorities for future improvement. Parents' and carers' views, alongside those of children, staff and governors, enable us to make robust decisions which can be supported by families.
We use single issue quick consults for particular things that come up over time, examples include residential visits and the April 2021 consultation regarding covid restrictions.
Consultation on home learning and and another single issue questionnaires about school trips, and residential visits have been important in informing policy and practice.
In February and March 2020 we consulted with families regarding statutory PHSE and RSE (relationships and sex education), this was through the school's blog followed by opportunities for families to see materials and meet in school. There was additional consultation with families whose cultural heritage mean that some aspects of the curriculum might be more difficult to understand and support.
A questionnaire issued in lockdown, Summer 2020, was invaluable in our being able to evaluate the effectiveness of the provision we were offering, make some improvements during the Summer term. Just as important, parents' and carers' views have led the planning and policy for a rapid move from children being in school to online learning in the unfortunate event of further lockdown restrictions nationally or locally. Hopefully this will be one bit of planning and policy we won't be needing.
year 4 Pupil voice summer 2022
Mrs Hammond asked children about transition arrangements for classes in Upper Key Stage 2. Just over half of year 4 children met with Mrs Hammond in small groups. We asked year 4 as this is where the change happens, from grouping the cohort of 45 children by age to three parallel groups.
Mrs Hammond also asked about things relevant for other year groups such as being told in advance of meet the new teachers days.
23/45 were interviewed (51%)
65% liked the surprise of not knowing in advance.
57% of Sparrows and 70% of Hen Harriers were happy not being told beforehand.
100% of children said they were happy with the class they were in; even if they hadn't come up with a friend, they would make new ones. Those who would rather be told in advance spoke of some feeling of anxiety over the weekend.
'[I] like the fact I can make new friends.'
'[I] liked sitting next to [an older girl] I knew already'
[I was] excited. I was a bit nervous but not bothered.]
[I was] anxious over the weekend. ...worried whether I would be with my friends. Felt better once in my class.'
[I] wasn't told before and enjoyed the surprise. I have people I know but not friends... [will] make new friends.'
Quite a lot of children told us they 'Liked the surprise.'
We cannot take all anxiety about moving to a new class. Being human means any move to somewhere new, whether a house, school or job can bring some anxiety and worry. It is important children learn to manage while young so they can prepare for the bigger transitions ahead of them. What our policy for transition should do is ensure that the natural anxiety and some worry doesn't become too big for them to manage.
Mrs Hammond's survey of Year 4 tells us that our policy is effective for most children. As this year, it is important that we continue to make reasonable adjustments for those who need it.
We have updated the Classes homepage sharing information from the prospectus about how classes are split in our 1.5 form entry school.
We will continue the policy of not telling children in advance unless teachers believe it would be in a child's interests (for example children with ASD who are not keen on surprises).
We will continue to support children whose parents and carers tell us transition is causing an unacceptable level of anxiety.
We will have an assembly in 2023 Summer term which explains to all children how classes are organised, hopefully reducing any anxiety.
We will share with parents and carers how classes are organised annually, to help families support their children talking about new classes at home.
Parent survey spring 2022
You can see summaries of how the school community are thinking. We haven't included every written comment. Some might identify children or families and responses were confidential and comments are responded to in the document and actions we will be taking.
2022 - before and after school care
With demand for places outstripping supply and frustrations with the booking system, lead governor for Resources, Paul Tuohy, surveyed families in January 2022.
From the responses to Paul's survey of your views we know:
A majority of families favour prioritising places for regular users.
A majority favour booking for a set schedule over flexibility to cancel (and receive a refund at short notice).
A majority don't have a problem with paying at the time of booking. However we have also noted that a large minority (around a third) would like to book before paying. It is important to leaders and governors that the club supports working families on all income ranges.
A large majority are happy to pay a month or half term in advance. Monthly up front looks to suit over 85% of users and balance potential admin time chasing up payment and the workload on staff who have duties well beyond administering Early Birds and Night Owls.
2021 - school expansion
Consultation with families and discussions with CW&C to expand the school to 2 form entry (60 children per year group)
Update November 2021
Following a meeting with CW&C officers and consideration around school Reception place data the decision has been made to pause. The data does not suggest that more school places are needed for September 2022. This does not mean that the school will not expand in the future, just that as of now, it is on hold.
Consultation Summer 2021
The Local Authority have been looking at pupil numbers forecasts in the area and there is and will continue to be a shortage of spaces for children in Reception over the coming years.
Therefore the LA are consulting with relevant parties about increasing the published admission number here at Kingsmead to 60 (another 15 per year group).
Governors and staff are supportive of the consultation and we will be updating the website in due course with FAQs as we did back in 2015 when last consulting on expanding the school.
We hope you will find the attached useful and please do have your say as everyone’s views are important.
2021 - Covid Restrictions
83 families responded to the quick survey of views responding to the letter of 29th April 2021. Sadly, local infection rates meant that planned mixing within a phase was unable to go ahead after Summer half term. Nevertheless, parent views were important information for risk assessing and planning provision from September. Thank you.
2020 - Quick consult
95 people responded to our 2020 quick consult. We then were able to speak to Edsential about dessert in school lunches, confident in the support of parents to our healthy eating policy.
Thanks to parents and carers sharing their views we now provide a Breakfast Club with a more substantial breakfast, either as part of Early Birds from 7.30am or at a lower cost for families wanting to bring children for breakfast from 8.10am.
While the pandemic continues to impact on events in school we know that when the time is right, families would be interested in attending information evenings on e-safety, Mathematics and helping children with reading.
We consulted formally with parents in the Spring term 2019 and the newsletter from Easter includes the Governors' response and a link to the full response sent out following analysis.
We also consulted on school uniform, adding navy to the colour of sweatshirts and cardigans, the preferred choice of families.