Parental Engagement

At St Andrew’s we are passionate about parental engagement and recognise that our families are an integral part of school life. We endeavour to involve and support our families wherever possible and are constantly reviewing our practices to ensure we are meeting the needs of our families in the best way we can.

Estyn 2009 reports that, where there is good practice in planning parental involvement, schools understand that parents:

  1. Like to be involved in their child’s school.

  2. Want the school to know them personally as individuals and be kept well informed about the progress made by their children.

  3. Need clear information about day-to-day matters that affect their children.

  4. Feel more confident if they know the staff and have a basic understanding of the curriculum.

  5. Are willing to support school events.

  6. Like to have clear rules for their children that are applied consistently.

 

1. How do we involve our families in school life at St Andrew’s?

 

  • Workshops
    Family workshops are organised by subject leaders and class teachers to help parents support their child with home learning. We use parent feedback to help us decide which workshops would be most beneficial.

 

  • Meetings
    We invite families to meetings to keep them informed about statutory assessments and deadlines that may affect them and their children. Meetings are held regarding Year 1 Phonics Check, Year 2 + 6 SATS, plus how to complete any necessary paperwork. If any family requires additional support, staff are always on hand to arrange meetings on a one to one basis.

 

  • Termly Progress Reports and Parent’s Evenings
    Families receive termly progress reports to help keep them informed about their child’s progress. They can also attend termly parent’s evening to discuss their child’s progress.

 

  • Assemblies
    We have regular celebration assemblies that families can attend. We have fortnightly awards assemblies where families are invited to attend to celebrate their children’s achievements.  In addition to that, we have assemblies presented by children to share their learning at the end of their topics.

 

  • Worship
    As a Church of England school, we recognise the importance of shared worship. We invite families to attend services at St Andrew’s Church.

 

  • Events
    Families are invited to attend exciting events such as European Languages Day, Black History Day, World Book Day, Strictly Come St Andrew’s and the Christmas Fayre. Families are also invited to support their children in sporting events across the city.

2. How do we get to know our families and communicate information about children’s learning?

  • Children are greeted and released by a member of staff from their class each morning and evening. Parents and guardians are able to speak to their child’s teacher before and after school if they need to.

  • Members of the senior leadership team are present on the front playground both before and after school to speak to families in the school community.

  • Three formal parent’s evenings are organised each year. Parents and guardians are able to request days and times to see their children’s teachers and wherever possible, teachers will endeavour to fulfil their requests.

  • Parents may also organise additional meetings with members of staff should they need to. Both teaching and non-teaching staff are always happy to meet with families if they request to.

  • Marvellous Me is used for school staff to communicate with families. This enables teaching and non-teaching staff to share good news with parents during the school day. Teachers also aim to speak to parents about their children whenever the opportunity arises during drop off and dismissal.

  • Termly reports are shared with families. These reports share the children’s progress, attainment, attitudes to learning and attendance. Parents and guardians are invited to respond to these reports by completing slips to be returned to school. All of these are read by staff and views are taken on board.

  • Class teachers organise curriculum events and assemblies to engage families with their children’s learning in school.

 

 

3. How do we communicate important information to families?

  • Parents receive fortnightly newsletters that keep them up to date with school life and important dates.

  • Our school website. We have recently made improvements to our site to make it more useful and user friendly.

  • Marvellous Me is used to keep parents updated on their children’s good news and enables class teachers to send messages specific to their class regarding homework, PE, trips etc.

  • A text messaging service is used to keep parents up to date with important information and provide reminders.

  • Letters are sent out when necessary to communicate key information.

  • Noticeboards around the school grounds also hold important information.

4. How do we ensure our staff have excellent curriculum knowledge?

  • Our website provides information about our curriculum and the staff that have responsibility for each area.

  • Termly Parent’s Evenings give families the opportunity to talk to our staff about the learning that takes place at St Andrew’s and how their child is getting on

  • ‘Meet the Teacher’ meetings at the start of each school year to meet your child’s teacher and find out about expectations in your child’s new year group

  • Meet the Teacher letters shared with families before the summer holiday so that families know who their child’s new teacher is and what to expect in September.

  • Curriculum letters and vocabulary lists sent to families each half term. Teachers put together information useful to parents for each half term. These are given to children in paper form but can also be accessed on our website.

  • Each subject has a named member of staff responsible for it and they receive training to ensure their subject is the best it can be.

  • Staff regularly attend CPD  in subjects and areas that are appropriate for their role.

  • The curriculum intent, implementation and impact is consistent through all subjects ensuring best outcomes for all pupils.

6. How do we engage parents with school events?

  • Parents are kept informed about upcoming school events through letters, text messages, marvellous me, posters and word of mouth.

  • We provide a range of events for parents to attend (assemblies, worship, Parent’s Evenings, workshops, meetings, fayres…)

  • We use feedback from Parent Questionnaires to help us plan events that will engage our families.

  • Families are encouraged to complete feedback forms throughout the year which help us continue to improve

7. How do we ensure behaviour and safety of pupils?

  • We have clear school rules: Ready, Respectful, Safe

  • We have a behaviour policy which all staff are familiar with and is available on our school website.

  • Safeguarding leads are always present in school.

  • Displays around school show children who they can speak to if they are worried.

  • Staff reward positive behaviour through the use of whole school house points, certificates and stickers.

  • Classrooms have behaviour zones which help children monitor their own behaviour. Again, positive behaviour is rewarded at the discretion of class teachers. 

  • We believe communication is vital and we endeavour to keep parents informed of their children’s behaviour in school so that we can work as a team to support children in the best way that we can.

 

Estyn 2009 also reports that ‘The good practice we found was mostly in areas where the school had been proactive, had listened to parents, refined its work to take account of their suggestions and built on activities it considered successful.’

We believe that to best support our children, we need to work closely with families. It is because of this we regularly ask parents for feedback so that we can use this information to plan next steps. Parent feedback is monitored by a named member of staff and is shared with the rest of the team.

How do we support parents of vulnerable children?

Pastoral Manager
We have a skilled full time pastoral manager who supports children and their families if they feel that extra support is needed. Our pastoral manager has strong links within the community. This includes links to children’s services, children’s centres, refugee and migrant centres and foodbanks.

 

SENDCo

Parents of children who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) are supported through half-termly meetings which we refer to as “Team around the child” (TAC). These are attended by the parents, SENDCo, class teacher and/or teaching assistant, learning mentor/pastoral manager and other relevant professionals who may be involved (e.g. occupational therapy, physiotherapy, outreach support). TAC meetings are also held for those children who may need an EHCP in the future to ensure parents, school staff and other professionals involved are communicating.

Parents are signposted to relevant support networks across the city and as a school we continue to develop the support we offer in providing bespoke sessions for parents to ensure continuity in what we deliver at school e.g. PECs training for parents, information sessions including an opportunity to network with other parents.

If the situation arises where a parent wishes to consider alternative provision, then the SENDCo supports the parents by making and attending appointments to view different settings if parents wish. Once a decision has been reached, as far as possible we push for flexible transition arrangements to ensure a successful transfer.