Parent Forum Minutes – 29th Jan

Minutes of the Parent Forum 4.12.14

Attendees:

Gail Cox (parent)

Ruth Doughty (Headteacher)

Questions:

Was there a decision on breakfast club starting early?

The suggestion went out on the Informer asking parents to let us know if an earlier start time would be of interest to them, there were only two responses so it was deemed that there was not enough interest to make an earlier start viable.

The World Book Day website has a competition on it, would CGPS be interested?

The information about this competition has been passed on to the teachers.

Uniform policy – why can the children not wear boots?

The reason for not allowing boots is because pupils would wear an array of boots and the uniform would not look smart. In inclement weather, we would prefer children to change footwear to keep the carpets cleaner in school.

What is happening with clubs?

The company that we used recently have been unable to keep their commitment to us. We now have the details of other companies and some local providers but these will take a little time to go through and have trial lessons so that we can decided on new providers. Remember that school is funding these clubs for you. Hopefully, we will be able to provide a wide variety for your children.

Language classes: what’s happening with them?

We have had difficulty recruiting a language teacher since our last one returned to Spain. However, we have just recruited someone today and once the relevant checks have been completed she will be able to start teaching Spanish. We aim to provide this for Years 3-6.

Sending books home at the end of the year:

We don’t generally do this as a rule because books are needed in the Autumn term as evidence. For example, Ofsted arrived early in September and last year’s books were used for evidence. I will discuss this issue with the teachers as we could send some books home later in the year.

Rather than KS1 children having responsibility for their own money at the disco, could they have tokens?

We will pass this on to the PTA as a suggestion.

Pupil Progress Slips – could the format be changed to include more detail? Could a communication book be used?

Contact books are extremely time consuming for teachers and just not workable in the school day. However if there are any matters which you feel we need to know about on any particular day then you are very welcome to speak to us on the gate or to leave a message for your child’s teacher via the school office, either in person or by email. Similarly if there are any matters which we feel you need to know about at the end of a school day then the class teacher will catch you when you collect your child or we will contact you by phone or email.

The Pupil Progress Reports are intended to be a snapshot to fill in the break between parents’ evenings and give parents a summary of how children are doing. They are designed to inform you of the basics and alert you if you ought to be discussing something with the teacher. We have had this query before about the wording so if a parent would like to re-design the slip and make a suggestion for a new format we would be very much open to the discussion that would generate.

There was an anonymous form relating to information sharing… could that person please approach me to discuss this issue in confidence?

Queries about school meals:

Two questions were raised about why the school is asking parents not to put crisps in lunch boxes. Schools were asked way back in 2003 to support parents through the Every Child Matters framework and part of this was “Be Healthy”. This is not about schools telling parents what to do but we are being increasingly being asked to support the welfare of pupils. It is simply part of our remit. I realise that parents do not like being told what to do but the fact is that crisps every day are not part of the healthy recommendation. The two queries criticised the puddings served by our catering company. These puddings are small servings and are no different to a small cake or biscuit being part of a lunch box.  I compared catering companies and these puddings are similar to those offered by other companies and more importantly they meet the stringent guidelines about food in schools. Food which is unhealthy does indeed contribute to bad behaviour and there is a huge amount of research to support this. Finally, there is a national concern about obesity and schools have a part to play in educating children and parents.

One parent has praised the move saying it has educated their child about the need to eat healthily, make sugar swaps and therefore not have crisps on a daily basis.

I have concerns that children are having seconds of dessert:

I have spoken to Wendy and stopped this today unless children request seconds of the fruit on offer.

Sherriff award system –  a query over whether it is fair that some children receive it twice (last year and this):

Children who always set the right example are chosen for the Sheriff award i.e. the role models for the class. The achievement assembly is used to reward a wider variety of achievements which are personal to the child and may be from a snapshot in time to ensure that all pupils have a chance to receive this award. There is a difference between the two but we are happy to review this and discuss as a staff. There is one Sherriff assembly at the end of each month and the remainder of the Fridays are achievement assemblies so there are lots of opportunities for achievements to be recognised.

This meeting had only one parent attending. This forum is for you to voice your queries but, in future, the meetings will not be held unless a minimum of 4 parents attend.

  • Meeting can only be quorate with 4 members
  • Anonymous forms will no longer be discussed.

Next meeting: 19.03.15

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