At John Stainer Primary School we believe that our pupils benefit most from their educational experience and care here when we work in close partnership with parents. Children have two main educators in their lives, their parents and their teachers. Both have crucial roles to play and the impact of learning is greater if we work together with shared aims. We want to make our school a welcoming place for parents with an ethos based on mutual trust and respect.
Some parents find it less easy to engage in their child’s education; these may include parents who live apart from their children but still play a part in their lives, some parents who may not have had access to a quality education themselves, or those who do not yet speak English. We will be proactive in ensuring that such parents are offered the same opportunities and support to become more involved.
When referring to ‘parents’ this means both mothers and fathers; these include both natural parents as well as step-parents, adoptive parents and parents who do not live with their children but have contact and play an active part in their lives. ‘Parents’ also includes foster parents and guardians.
We will ensure that no one discriminates against any parent, either directly or indirectly, or victimises another person on the grounds of sex, age, disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, marital status or any other unjustifiable condition or requirement.
- To encourage all parents to participate constructively and fully in their child’s education and in the life of the school.
- To give parents the knowledge and understanding that they need to enable them to fully support their child’s education.
- To provide opportunities to enrich the learning experience of the child, bringing together the resources of home and school.
- To give parents a sense of purpose and belonging, through a range of opportunities to become involved in the life of the school.
- To ensure that parents are made to feel welcome in our school and encouraged to work in partnership in the best interests of the child.
Parental involvement in our school can be divided into two broad strands:
- Parental involvement in the life of the school.
- Parental support for children at home and in school.
Parental involvement in the life of the school
Types of Communication
We communicate with parents in a number of different ways to reach as many parents as possible.
Where English is a barrier we have translators, either brought in from outside, or from our own school community. If anybody has any other sort of communication need, please let us know.
Communication card (in every child’s bookbag, for quick daily messages) Each class has a teacher and a teaching assistant and parents are encouraged to make contact via the communication card, which is read each morning. Alternatively the school office will pass on any messages.
Texts or phone calls with the school office. Text service: Short messages are sent via text message and we encourage parents to keep us up to date with current mobile phone numbers.
Verbal or written communication with the school office
Weekly Friday newsletter (emailed and also in paper form, leave your email address with the office and ask to be included) A newsletter goes out to all parents every Friday without fail. Copies of these can also be found on the school website and a paper copy will be with your child. It is very important that you read these before Monday as they often have important information that needs you to take some sort of action or complete a slip to return on the Monday.
Curriculum meetings (held termly to show
you the Age Related Expectations and topics that will be covered that term)
Parent Consultation Meetings and written progress reports (3 times a year)
One off events – eg Early Years Disco in Autumn for new EYFS parents to meet each other, the Cultural Food Tasting event
Noticeboard reminders of upcoming events
Coffee mornings for all parents, (Tuesdays and Fridays 9 am in the After School Club)
WhatsApp groups for each class
Concerts and performances throughout the year
Exhibitions of homework projects
Internet Safety training Jade Najair and Louise O’Mahony are our school’s e-safety ambassadors and can provide advice and support to parents who may have concerns of this nature. Regular sessions are held on Internet Safety that you will be notified about.
PTA events – fairs, fundraisers etc.
The school website – www.johnstainer.lewisham.sch.uk, this also has a live calendar and reminders of upcoming events and is a valuable source of information and has a designated parent section where statutory information, our OFSTED report, SATS results, policies, procedures, blank forms etc. can be found.
Parent leaflets and books Please feel free to browse and help yourselves to the information we have provided for you in Reception.
Tracy Townrow, our School Home Support person (5 days a week) is on the gate every day, she deals with any family issues – bereavement, housing, domestic violence, sleep routines, organisation, attendance, lateness and punctuality etc. Tracy is on the gate or in the playground every morning, just introduce yourself or go along to coffee morning, which is a very friendly group of supportive parents.
Dealing with any concerns/issues
In all instances we ask that you go to the class teacher first if there are issues before going to the deputy or headteacher. If there are issues between children we also ask that you let us know so we can investigate it, rather than you questioning any parents or pupils that are not your own, as this can be intimidating and frightening. If you don’t feel that speaking to the teacher has resolved the issue, then there is a senior leader that can be approached.
Early Years leader: Jan Ransom
Assistant Heads: Claire and Andy Bond
Senior Leaders: Claire Power and Graeme Johnson
Only in the most extreme cases would concerns be brought straight to the attention of the Deputy Head Shermane Okorodudu or the Head Teacher Sue Harte, but if staff feel that it is a serious concern it will be escalated quickly.
If you feel more comfortable with emailing us with a concern, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org and the email will be directed to the appropriate person within a day.
We have a number of parent representatives on the school’s Governing Body. They play a vital role in helping to raise the standards and performance of the school by considering data, and ensuring the finances are being spent wisely to achieve the best results for the children. When vacancies arise for parent representatives, these are advertised and parents are invited to nominate themselves for election. It is important to understand the role of Parent Governors, they do not deal with grievances or complaints from parents until the school complaints policy (available on the website) has been followed and all avenues to resolve issues have been exhausted. Governors do not operate as individuals, but as a group, and the Governing Body operates strategically, and is not involved in issues connected with the daily running of the school, which is solely the Head Teacher’s responsibility.
John Stainer PTA
Our PTA consists of a number of enthusiastic and wonderful parents who volunteer their time to support the work of the school. They organise school events such as our fairs and quiz evenings. New parents are always welcome to join this friendly group, the contacts are Helen Sheward and Bel Corette, two very well known figures in the playground, just introduce yourselves, they will be very keen to involve you.
Parental support for the individual child at home and in school
All staff value communication with parents and will do their best to speak with you personally whenever the need arises, and you are welcome to ask for a meeting if you have an issue that needs to be dealt with before the next Parent Teacher consultation. Staff will do their best to swiftly arrange a mutually convenient time to meet.
Before children enter our Early Years, parents and children are invited to a ‘meet the teacher’ session, which is an opportunity to meet staff and become familiar with the classes and outdoor areas and how the curriculum is delivered and the structure of the school day. In Nursery every child is allocated a key worker who will ensure a smooth transition and do any intervention work as necessary. We stagger the entry of children into Reception over a week so that we can focus on each individual a little bit more as they settle in. All parents are given a very detailed transition booklet, and staff will make themselves available on request if your child has additional needs.
A good home learning programme helps pupils to develop the skills and attitudes that they will need for successful lifelong learning. Homework enables pupils to develop independence in their learning and provides parents with an opportunity to take part in their children’s education. Our Home Learning Policy sets out our guidelines and expectations and the support that we offer in ensuring that our policy is effective and has impact upon pupil progress.
Parent Meetings and Pupil Progress Reports
In the Autumn term all parents will have the opportunity to attend the first meeting with their child’s class teacher. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss how the child has settled into the new school year, see how they are comparing against the Age Related Expectations and to share any concerns that may have arisen. These meetings are compulsory, and you will get a short written report with some targets that you can work on at home. In the Spring and Summer terms we will also give you an appointment and you will receive a short written update in the Spring. At the end of the academic year in the Summer, you will receive a more detailed report telling you about your child’s performance in all areas of the curriculum. If your child has additional needs, the SENCo, Michael Riddle may have had some contact and/or meetings.
There will be many opportunities for you to attend workshops aimed at developing your understanding of the curriculum and supporting you in helping your child learn. These could include:
Introduction to phonics
How to support your child with reading
Class curriculum meetings each term
How we teach calculations
Using mathletics at home
Keeping your child safe online
Our workshops are always well attended and parents find them to be an extremely useful source of information.
Open Mornings and Project Exhibitions
Once we have settled the new children into Reception, we will invite parents to come in to Open Morning to see what the children have been doing and to show how the free-flow of activities and teaching works in the Early Years. We will also invite you in for exhibitions of the home learning projects – these are always very well attended and show the amazing creativity of the children with these tasks – it may be something like London landmarks, volcanoes or pirate ships. In the Early years parents also complete WOW cards – these are a great way of reinforcing good behaviour and are a way for early years parents to record those moments when your child says or does something that makes you think ‘Wow!’ These Wow cards, photos or even pieces of work can then be celebrated with the rest of the class before being displayed.
We have a busy curriculum packed with events and shows – we try to include parents in as many of these as possible, but where we have the whole school in the hall, for example at the poetry show, we may have to restrict numbers. When we do the Christmas concerts we will split them into Early Years, Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2), and Key Stage 2 so we can increase the numbers of parents able to see the children perform.
Parental contributions to the curriculum
We welcome any parent who may have skills, knowledge and interests to offer that could support the delivery of the school’s curriculum – for example we have had a midwife in explaining to the children how she helps mums have their babies. Please let us know what you would like to help us with. We do have a system for training parents to be Volunteer Readers, you will be able to complete a form for us to include you in this.
We rely on parent volunteers to come on school trips with us, as we like to have a high number of adults to children. We have very clear written guidelines about what the role of a trip supporter is which you will be given on the day of the trip, as you will be responsible for a group of children under the direction of the teacher. For safeguarding reasons all volunteers are police checked before they go on a trip.
Absent and Separated Parents policy
We aim to engage with all parents, regardless of whether they live with or apart from their child. As such, we ask all families to let us know if this happens so we can support you and your child with the transition, or where it has been in place for a while and what level of information and engagement each parent would like, eg for us to provide copies of Pupil Progress Reports, school photographs and invitations to workshops and meetings.
We believe that it is very important to listen to the views, opinions and ideas of parents. We aim to be as approachable as possible and encourage parents to come to us or email us with any worries or concerns. After each Parents’ Consultation we ask you to write comments about what you like about the school and suggestions about what you think we could do better. Obviously where you have written positive things about staff members these are copied and shared with them.
Parent View is your opportunity to tell Ofsted what you think about John Stainer Primary School, with questions ranging from the quality of teaching to dealing with poor behaviour and bullying. Parents can complete this survey at any time during the academic year at Parent View