Could they not just write one big letter every term or half term?

(38 Posts)
youretoastmildred Tue 22-Oct-13 23:24:17

- these are the inset days
- here are the times we will be asking you for money, and what for
- these are the "special" school lunch days
- here are the times you will be invited to the school
- here are the extra things your child will need for school on certain days
- here are the permission slips we need you to sign

Then you could just put all the money in an envelope, do 25 signatures on things with one of those millions-of-pens-taped-together contraptions that Molesworth probably used to write lines, put all the dates for the other stuff in your diary, (including "Monday 25th: prepare ptarmigan costume by end of week for BIRDS OF THE BRITISH ISLES day; Wednesday 27th: dc's show and tell tomorrow is on Entropy, find example of entropy") and get the hell on with your life


phantomnamechanger Tue 22-Oct-13 23:30:44

DDs secondary school has the whole school calendar including every trip, special event, concert, parents evening on their website from the beginning of september.

the letters don't all come home in one go though!

Bunbaker Tue 22-Oct-13 23:31:48

We used to have this. I was on the PTA, and although it wasn't really PTA stuff we raised it at a meeting. After that the head teacher did a newsletter at the beginning of each term with future events, fund raising activities etc.

So my answer is ask at the school - class teacher, secretary, a member of the PTA or even a governor (although strictly speaking it isn't really part of a governor's remit)

I thought you were going to be whining about newsletters.

Our head did a newsletter a few weeks ago with all the agreed dates until Christmas on it (including Christmas performances). I was Very Happy.

clam Tue 22-Oct-13 23:34:26

Because NOTHING works for everyone when it comes to disseminating information re: school events. For every person that wants to know 3 months in advance, there's another who loses the letter and therefore forgets.

That's why most schools give the main events (such as term dates and Inset days) up to a year or more in advance, major events at the beginning of term and ad hoc things as soon as they know about them.
And there are also last-minute reminders.

Get used to it.

I do think that any event that would involve parents needing to ask for time off work ought to get absolutely shedloads of notice. A bulletin once a term that does this, plus reminders closer to the time, would surely increase parental involvement.

It simply isn't possible for many parents to ask for an afternoon off for a carol concert (for example) with only a day week or two's notice. Asking in September would give them more of a chance.

BrokenSunglasses Tue 22-Oct-13 23:41:59

You are asking for too much information in one go.

A calendar is a reasonable request. Asking to be informed at the start of term of every little extra thing your child might need to have on exact days is not.

BackforGood Tue 22-Oct-13 23:52:44

What Clam said.

An awful lot of people like their information in bite sized chunks you know.

Ihatespiders Tue 22-Oct-13 23:59:55

Sometimes events are not organised that far in advance.

Plans change.

Parents lose the letter or deny receiving it.

ArtexMonkey Wed 23-Oct-13 00:06:25

We've just had a letter out with all inset days, nativity performances and class assemblies on up to the end of the academic year. Bravo school. I promptly lost it. What a twat.

ArtexMonkey Wed 23-Oct-13 00:08:06

Also, i haven't got a 2014 calendar yet, so no fucking clue where i should have written this shit down. <vindicated> <slightly>

Chattymummyhere Wed 23-Oct-13 07:36:52

We had the big calendar sent home.. However my child has been at school nearly 4 weeks so nearl 20 days over had over 40! Emails from school which each contain at least 2 if not 4 attachments that's a minimum of 80 news letters! Plus I get copies in his book bag

jamdonut Wed 23-Oct-13 07:53:34

There are some people who cannot take in or read all that information in one letter.

We usually have a half-termly newsletter with up-coming events, but we also send out reminders and texts etc nearer the time. And we still get people who forget or say they didn't know about it!

NutcrackerFairy Wed 23-Oct-13 08:05:07

But some parents genuinely don't get every letter!

I have compared book bag contents with a couple of other Mums of children in DSs class... and we definitely don't always all get the same stuff [which we should all be getting].

I don't know why this is... but I find it very useful to compare and then we can tell each other or remind each other about inset days, teacher strike, payment required for after school clubs, parent/teacher meetings, school concerts, dress up days, etc, etc...

My son has just started reception class. I feel quite sick thinking about how many years I have of this extra curricular school stuff which I need to firstly be somehow aware of and then do something about, whether that's provide a costume, book time off work, whatever.

Then DS will be starting nursery next year.... <rocks in corner pulling hair out>

AllOutOfIdeas Wed 23-Oct-13 08:06:28

Our school sends out the school calendar in September. All dates- dress up days, school photo days, inset days, special assemblies, parents evenings, etc.

But we still get weekly newsletters too, with reminders and other school news.

But yanbu, it is really helpful especially for dp to plan work around the times we can go into school to watch the dc, goes in his work calendar months in advance.

CeliaFate Wed 23-Oct-13 08:07:58

Our school now sends emails and texts instead of a hard copy (which they will give you if you ask specifically).
Tell your school about Schoop. That way you don't have to rely on dc bringing home letters.

puffinnuffin Wed 23-Oct-13 08:18:46

Our school produces a little booklet with all the dates for the term for everything in the whole school. We are given it a couple of weeks before term starts. It is also on the school website should you lose the booklet.

CMOTDibbler Wed 23-Oct-13 08:24:22

We get a year calendar with all major events on it (and term dates 18 months in advance), then a term calendar with more detail. Letters about specifics, weekly newsletter etc. Weekly newsletter has a list of 'letters home this week' so you know if you've missed something
All newsletters, letters, calendar are on the website, and some events get a text reminder too.

marriedinwhiteisback Wed 23-Oct-13 08:31:15

Its 2013. Why do you need paper letters - it should all be on the website. This is the digital age. Nobody should forget anything because it should all be there. Perhaps they could get an App too.

Agree about the notice for working parents though

ballstoit Wed 23-Oct-13 09:13:02

Not everyone has constant internet access confused

My DC school have dates on the website for the next academic year for the main events eg nativity, sports day. They also send weekly newsletter to remind about dates and moan about remind parents about uniform, term time holiday requests procedure, not to bring dogs/cigarettes/spliffs into the playground.

freddiefrog Wed 23-Oct-13 09:17:49

Our school gives us one newsletter at the beginning of each term with a list of all the planned activities/trips/fund raising events/dressing up days/etc.

Which is massive and I get bored of reading, I then stick it on the fridge. 2 days later it's fallen off and got kicked underneath never to be seen again.

Fortunately, they also post it all up on the school website and send out reminders

NoComet Wed 23-Oct-13 09:19:32

The senior school can, lovely bright coloured Callander for the year comes home and sits on the Website for when you lose it.

Primary, we asked nicely, we moaned, we even got down in our knees and begged. No joy. We still got incomplete 1/2 newsletters and last minute notes and texts containing everything that wasn't in the newsletter.

NoComet Wed 23-Oct-13 09:20:05

1/2 termly

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 23-Oct-13 09:23:13

Celia, that link is fab. Our service costs more than that and doesnt give discounts for small schools. Its also not unlimited.

Some parents dont like emails but given the majority of parents have smart phones and tablets it could be a great idea.

youretoastmildred Wed 23-Oct-13 09:24:12

There is nothing on the website.

I am rocking too, NutcrackerFairy - same sitch, dd1 in reception, can't believe how easy it is to be wrongfooted or on the verge of being wrongfooted all the time by a constant not-quite-clear flow of bitty communications and requests. And the awful fact that if you miss one, you don't know, because if you haven't had it you don't know you haven't had it.

thestauntonlick Wed 23-Oct-13 09:25:41

We get newsletters AND individual letters. The school are VERY good at communicating with parents, which suits me because I do nd to forget things.

NoComet Wed 23-Oct-13 09:27:46

Also why do Primary HT waffle and hide key information in flowery news letters people don't necessarily read very carefully? Just tell us what we need in one paragraph and keep the news, achievements and complaints about parking separate.

(Actually don't bother wasting paper on the parking you and the previous HT have done it twice a year for 10 years, non of us are going to do anything different).

comeandgo Wed 23-Oct-13 09:43:21

Our school has a website which can't be accessed.

According to a txt message its because our browser needs updating - its always the parents fault right?

We get endless txt messages about lollipop ladies and god knows what else.

Then they sprinh dress up days on is out of ko where.

Parental commication is def bottom of the list with our ofsted rated 'outstanding'primary hmm

Having steered two DDs through primary and will start DS next year, here are two extra tips.....find at least two parents who you can share texts with, e.g. "Did you get that note about Y5 ice cream making?" etc...this will save on the panic of not thinking you've seen all the letters or texts from school.
Once child is a junior, get them to make tiny note or squiggle a little Smiley face/symbol in their planner when told something exciting by teacher re a trip or event. When you jot down reading you will find odd picture/word and be able to ask child what it represents, in case of not having full story, text friend you have made links with.


Plus YAB a bit U because some things like the more informal come in to school to watch , or take part in...are only finalised as the year goes on.

Get enormous calendar with columns and big notice board dedicated to smooth running of family. Train all family members to write on it. I even bought little reminder pads for mine, from junior age, they loved writing own reminders on it. For everyone's future school life, train Y2 children to be as organised as possible...with you being back up. Teachers expect them to be able to get organised with support....they can do it at home too.

As soon as peculiar letter/request arrives with it, or note on the pile will build to unmanageable proportions!!

Just enormous packet of tiny brown envelopes for all odd payments such as for 75p I can take my clay animal home etc...!! They are not expensive and will last you years. I have , since first one went to school, a little tin in kitchen for silver change and throw it in the tin from purse occasionally...then when 45 p needs to be found urgently, rummage in your tin! Set up your systems at home and you'll find the irregularities of school admin much easier.

Dahlen Wed 23-Oct-13 10:02:45

All schools should have a google calendar available to print off or import. How good would THAT be!

youretoastmildred Wed 23-Oct-13 10:05:20

Thanks, Perspective, good tips.
Some of them are for the future (dd1 is quite little), I will bear them in mind though.
We have a google calendar which dp laboriously transfers dates and info to and that works quite well, but we don't seem to have a failsafe method of feeding the letters that come in into that system, either because we don't get them all, or because they come so often and I am so pathetically knackered during the week....
I thought I signed up for Parentmail but I don't get anything and dp gets emails he does not always forward to me....

I think it all relies on the parents turning up at the school twice a day and keeping an ear to the ground and I don't do this (CM does school run). I hate systems like that. I want things in writing (stamps foot)

youretoastmildred Wed 23-Oct-13 10:05:49

ha ha x-posted with Dahlen on the google calendar. Totally! I would love that.

sashh Wed 23-Oct-13 11:19:09

Also, i haven't got a 2014 calendar yet, so no fucking clue where i should have written this shit down.

I think the school should sell you a 2014 calendar with all the dates on, it would be a bit of money for the school and give those who need dates in advance fair warning.

NutcrackerFairy Wed 23-Oct-13 16:30:14

sash that is an absolutely BRILLIANT idea!

I would so buy one of these!

phantomnamechanger Thu 24-Oct-13 20:07:15

sash, that's exactly what our school does - each child draws themselves and then it's a class per month with the pictures of their little faces on one A4 page and the boxes for the dates on another A4 page hanging underneath

£3 a pop - suggest it to your PTA?

cupcakeicing Thu 24-Oct-13 20:16:57

We are sent a calendar in the first newsletter detailing main events eg class assemblies, parents evenings abd in service days. This is really useful for me as I work shifts so can ensure on earlies/lates without having to take days off.
We get reminder letters a week or so before the event too.

zoobaby Thu 24-Oct-13 20:22:51

It's not possible because they're making it up as they go along. grin

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