Book Day dressing up. I am getting angry again.

(37 Posts)
AfroditeJones Thu 06-Mar-14 10:55:17

So, triggered by another thread, I have just remembered how upset I was last week when was Dd's book dressing up day.

It was last Friday the 28th (every other school in the area is either today or tomorrow), but Dd was off sick on the Monday before (24th) and we did not receive the letter they sent out on that day. We did not receive any letter at all any other day of the week, but on the Tuesday when I asked the teacher about the new timetable for after school clubs, she called Dd in the classroom to give her a letter about it, as the after school club letters were also sent out on the Monday that Dd was off.

I did not think of asking if there was anything else or any other letter I should be aware of and now I kick myself for it.

I am absolutely sure they did not send a letter any other day prior and the info was not on the website, neither a received any txt or email. I am pretty organised and I always make sure I know what is going on and support Dd and the school

On the dress up day, Dh dropped her off at school and went straight to work, he didn't call and mention anything about other kids being dressed up, the school never called me and never lent Dd any costume.

When I arrived to collect she was very sad and I could see she was angry inside. That night she cried before sleeping as one girl at her class was teasing her. She still mentioned it a few times during the weekend.

She said a T.A apologised for not remembering to let us know.

I never complained to anyone, but parent's conferences are coming up in 2 weeks time, should I mention anything or just let it go?
Maybe is worth talking about the teasing the other girl done?
Should I mention the website should be updated more often?

Or is it my fault for not asking the school for letters that were sent out when Dd wasn't attending?

I think that, after a week, you need to let this go a little. I wouldn't raise it at parent's evening as I'm sure you have more important stuff to talk about and it might be a waste of those pressure fe minutes.

However, it would be worth talking to the school about their channels of communication. By relying on a single copy of a letter, they must expect some children to miss out. At my DCs school the info about WBD appeared in the weekly school newsletter a couple of times over the last month, plus there has been a reminder text sent to all parents, plus information on the school website, plus a copy of the letter is displayed in the window of every classroom (as are all class related letters, plus a hardcopy of the newsletter). So the school could do more. Could you talk to the office or admin team? Or email the HT with some suggestions?

Pollyputthekettle Thu 06-Mar-14 11:02:28

Let it go. The TA apologised and making a big deal out of it is not required. I would perhaps suggest the school give more notice of dress up days. If you had got the letter on the Monday you would have only had 3 days to get a costume. As a working parent that type of thing drives me nuts.

few minutes - sorry

cheeseandpineapple Thu 06-Mar-14 11:10:15

I would feed it back, not necessarily at parents evening but as an independent point about communication generally as it seems like the school hardly gave any notice in the first place. Do you have a school newsletter or do they do anything by email?

We were told about book day months ago and then were given regular reminders and kids all knew about it at least the day before too as they were reminded about it in the classroom.

I can understand why you're peeved, it must have been gutting for your DD. She'll get over it but naturally you're disappointed on her behalf.

AfroditeJones Thu 06-Mar-14 11:13:49

Should I write a formal letter or email to the HT suggesting improving communication with parents?
Can anyone help me writing it please?
The have a nice website but it is almost never updated and they just send txts when they want to close earlier or ask for money.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Thu 06-Mar-14 11:22:02

Our school send text messages as reminders about all sorts of things. We get reminders about which clubs are on (or if they are cancelled) each day, "school is open as usual" on the first day of each term, "Last day of school see you after the holidays!" on the last day of each term etc. We also get reminders of non uniform days, school fetes, school meetings, parents evenings, and school trip information.
We average about 5 texts a week (to both me and DH). I think it is a fantastic system, as not everyone receives the news letters (DN never takes his letters home, DS is not in 2 days a week - pre school hours, DC being off sick etc).
Maybe the text reminder is an option for your school?

CocktailQueen Thu 06-Mar-14 11:26:00

Our school does a text message system too so we get reminders of everything by text. Great idea and works well. Maybe you could suggest this to your school secretary?

OpalQuartz Thu 06-Mar-14 11:27:22

That is annoying yes. They should have given a bit more notice as well. Our school informed us about a month ago in the newsletter (which comes out by email, so you wouldn't miss it if the child was off) and then reminded us this Tuesday, again by email. Could you ask about your school swapping to email and ask that in the meantime, people are sent home the letter the next day if they are off sick. Also mention more notice being given.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Thu 06-Mar-14 11:28:03

Sorry cross posted. So they could send you reminders via text by expanding their system a little. I would think that is the way forward.
I would email the head teacher, (I know our HT prefers emails as she can read them at her leisure between meetings and she can do it from anywhere) and say you think it would be a good improvement to communication if they were to text you with reminders about important events through out the school year.

AfroditeJones Thu 06-Mar-14 11:28:18

Our school does txt reminders when they are closing earlier because it is the last day of the term or because it is snowing.
Or when is it muft day and they want the kids to bring a £1.
Any other event, no txt reminders, nevermind emails.
Never received an email from them at all.

Goblinchild Thu 06-Mar-14 11:29:15

Parentmail is used by all the schools in my area, and it seems to work very well as efficient communication.

Purplepoodle Thu 06-Mar-14 11:29:38

It happens. I wouldn't complain but perhaps make a suggestion to the school about communication. Ours sends out a monthly newsletter with important dates for the month then sends text alerts a few days before to remind parents. Those text reminders have prevented many incidents in our household.

AfroditeJones Thu 06-Mar-14 11:32:53

Can anyone please please please help me design a nice letter for the HT.
I am not a native speaker and although I can spell ok some I might get expressions wrong and I want it to be a suggestion of improvement instead of a complaint, iykwim.

It is such a small school and is rated outstanding.
Not sure if all the parents have access to emails and internet, some of them can't barely read and write never mind speak English, but some of us DO.

Dear HT,

Following a communication failure around WBD letters last week, I hope you will consider looking at ways to supplement your paper-based communications to help families avoid missing out on important information when their children are off school due to sickness.

As the school already has a website, I think it should be possible to post copies of letters online and to introduce a calendar of important events.

The existing text messaging service could be used to remind parents of upcoming events.

A brief weekly newsletter detailing the week's successes and highlighting events planned for the following week could be an effective way of improving communication. This could be posted online and paper copies could be displayed on school noticeboards (or classroom windows depending on what your school has).

These ideas should be relatively inexpensive and you might even find that you can reduce the number of paper copies needed, which would hopefully lead to a saving in your photocopying budget.

Best regards
AfroditeJones

AfroditeJones Thu 06-Mar-14 11:54:15

Thank you very much cakes, brilliant!

I will change some things though, because they do make a week newsletters on paper and online but it did not feature WBD at all, only a big THANK YOU for the parents who supported it on a following newsletter which did wind me up even more.
Also from Y1, we are not to get near the classroom doors but the school's notice board are almost never updated either.

thanks

Do the teachers not remind the students?

Ok yes I know that's not the most reliable method ever but ds2 was reminded at school every day this week.

But yes, there should be a way of communicating events if your child is absent.

Tbh I would be inclined to think, ok it's done now. It's not the end of the world. I don't think I would bring it up at parents evening, I wouldn't think it would be relevant but no harm in dropping an email to the office.

TeenAndTween Thu 06-Mar-14 11:56:30

alternate, slightly simpler letter.

Dear HT

DD was very upset following WBD as she had no costume. This was because she was off sick on the day the letter came out about it and we never received it.

Please could I ask that the school ensures that all events / dress up days / trips etc are notified to parents by at least 2 methods (eg on 2 newsletters, or letter plus text) to try to stop this kind of thing happening again. This would also help less organised parents (or children) who may mislay the occasional letter.

Regards

AfroditeJones

Glad it was a useful start point for you - if they are already doing a newsletter then adding a little box with "Upcoming events" shouldn't be any hassle at all for them. And if they have noticeboards then they should use them! It sounds like they haven't really thought it through TBH, and Ofsted like good communication and feedback from families.

Good luck - I hope you get a reasonable response.

cheeseandpineapple Thu 06-Mar-14 18:47:20

They sound completely rubbish, how can they not have mentioned it in the newsletter!

Topseyt Thu 06-Mar-14 18:54:54

This is what I like "parentmail" for. Reliable school - home communication without the need to use the children as posties.

I would suggest in your letter that they look into it. That way they could easily email the vast majority of parents, regardless of any absentees on a particular day.

HadABadDay2014 Thu 06-Mar-14 19:22:25

I can't get away from reminders.

Facebook update, newsletter, twitter, notice on the door plus a verbal warning the day before from DD school.

DS school is rubbish with reminders, thank god for Facebook

Fairenuff Thu 06-Mar-14 19:25:40

Personally I would tell my dd that it's a shame but that's life. Mistakes happen and it wasn't the end of the world. I certainly wouldn't mention it to school.

How old is she?

AfroditeJones Fri 07-Mar-14 09:22:07

She is nearly 7 fairennuf
I understand that mistakes happens and that's life but the school already have 3 systems of communication: weekly newsletters, txt messages and website.
To not mention WBD in none of them is such a big deal and not only affect children who were off that day but also those who loses their letters.

memememum Fri 07-Mar-14 11:06:38

I'm sorry your DC was left out. There was a girl in the line to go into school at my dd's reception class with no costume and the teacher just came straight to her and said 'shall we find you a costume, would you like to be a princess?'
Maybe you could write/email the headteacher making a suggestion for next year that there are spare costumes available and teachers make sure they offer them so children aren't left out.

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