What would you improve at your primary school?(73 Posts)
We have a new head and she has sent a questionnaire home asking for parents views? So if you had a questionnaire back what would you fill in? Before it came I would have said music lessons at school, but the ne head has just brought these in. So if you could suggest anything, what would you? What worked well at your primary schools?
Every primary school is different. What your child's primary school might be very different to my child's primary school. Music lessons are nice, but it must not be at the expense of mastering the basics of being able to read, write and do basic arithemetic.
My children's primary was like a holiday camp on the old head teacher. The new head teacher has cut a lot of the fun activities much to the disgust of parents. The children had a lovely time, but failed their sats. Its easy with lots of lovely fun activities to neglect the boring stuff like learning to spell.
Children need a balance between work, rest and play. Upmost importance is that children must feel safe. They also need to have high quality teaching to reach their full academic potential.
I think that having robust systems to track progress and intervention if a child is failing to make progress is important. Good communication and feedback to parents on children's progress is essential. With my daughter's school I think they need to improve maths teaching. However the school recongises this and are making efforts to do so.
DD's school works on the "grapevine" scheme of communicating - this is simply not good enough.
And if you do send letters home make sure as a minimum that they have correct spelling and grammar and include all vital information (e.g. for a trip - the actual date of the trip).
Atm mine needs a deep clean. It was very quiet this morning and I think that is probably due to the amount with the sickness bug going around for last few weeks.
I would probably get rid of some of the parents and introduce nicer ones. (helpful.)
I loved it that the DC spent as much time as possible outside learning. This involved everything from maintaining a couple of graves in the next door church yard to an allotment to pond dipping in a specially constructed pond (DC waist height for easy access but hard to fall in to!) and taking wildlife surveys. Maybe we were lucky, but the exceptional staff managed to make the activities both educational and fun. No need for the two to be mutually exclusive.
By the way the graves thing wasn't as odd as it might sound. Many DC used the cemetery as a short cut home (it cut about half a mile off some journeys) and as a result of that initiative behaviour in the cemetery was much more respectful and gentle (less playing tag and scooting at top speed). I think it may also have been tied into the work on WW2 they did in upper primary.
Communication with the teacher.
Dd started reception this year, I've got no idea how she's getting along with the practical stuff. For some reason the school didn't do a parents evening for reception.
Additional support for advanced children. Dd's school had the funding removed for advanced kids and she's bored senseless now.
I think all schools had that funding removed.
More rewards, certificates for effort, star of the week type things, just praise in general really for the middle attained who are so often overlooked.
I would love more opportunity to meet the teacher. Its easier to get into Buckingham Palace than actually get to see my DSs teacher.
I think leaving parents evening until June is madness so I would like to see a 'meet and greet' evening within the first week or so of September just to say hi and what everyone is up to plus a progress review at the end of each term.
After school activities are a must, especially forest school and unusual sports like fencing. My DS loved fencing at his old primary school but once we moved schools they used the exact same sports coach/business but only offered football. My DD would have adored a choir and art clubs along with history when she was at primary.
Maybe a weekly email highlighting what the classes have done this week and any important dates in the weeks ahead.
For work purposes advanced notice of any award assembly. Our school sends a text out the day before which is useless if you work and want to attend.
Parent helpers to listen to children read, to clean up paint, glue and glitter, to help with baking, decorating etc.
Set up an amazon wish list (or other retailer) for each individual class then ask the parents from that class to purchase odd items from the wish list when they do their online shopping. It saves the school constantly asking for money to buy paints/glitter/paper and parents actually feel their money will be for the benefit of their own children etc It can sometimes feel the schools think parents are a bottomless pit of money and a wish list where you actually purchase a specific item that goes directly to your childs class will seem more reasonable than 'we are raising funds for felt tip pens' when your child is sat with a pencil case full of felt tips.
Communication. It's so hit and miss. They have a website but there is no logic as to what letters are put up. There are letters on there from 3 years ago but nothing of the ones sent last month.
Also their awful sports team policy. They tell the students they are looking for good attitude, good behaviour in class and showing you try your best at all times but then go on to only choose the sportiest and not always well behaved for every single event and ensure some get no opportunity ever to represent their school. Truly awful sports leadship.
The grammatical errors that go home in the school letter. Apparently my passive aggressive anonymous letters to the head have had little effect and they continue to arrive in abundance.
I speak with tongue in cheek although they are annoying.
I would have liked more opportunities for speaking in public for all the children, not just the confident ones who didn't actually need the practice. I think that is one thing private schools tend to do well which state schools miss, and if worked into assemblies wouldn't actually cost much/anything in terms of time and money.
It's going to depend what your school is like
Some thoughts that might, or might not apply to your school:
-Wrap around care / Breakfast / After school club?
-Communication? - Newsletters for school, plus year group seperately. Things sent by e-mail / text rather than wasting paper printing out things that then never make it home
-Opportunities for sports clubs (incl. those who might not b e 'elite' players) ? Doesn't have to be teachers, my dcs Primary school had volunteers come in from local basketball and Rugby Clubs and a Parent ran the netball Team, setc.
-Might you want to go into assemblies sometimes?
-Would those parent workshops appeal
or do you hate having to try to find someone to go when you are at work
-Safeguarding - is the school welcoming, but safe? Is the way the dc are released good? Are vehicles kept away from where the dc walk?
-Mornings - is there a way of leaving a message with staff? Some kind of system that means you know the class teacher will get the information?
Foreign language provision wishlist: plenty of it, start as early as possible, ideally get native speakers in (at least occasionally).
I think two parent evenings a year, the last one in Feb/March is not enough. Also, no feedback on homework or any classwork means parents are just left in the dark. While DD in Y5 now is a more reliable source of information, Reception-Y2 was a nightmare.
A good - ideally electronical - information flow with newsletter/consent slips/school information/decent website is also vital. Luckily our school does it, I can rely on information posted. ParentMail means information are send out fast and I don't have to remember DD to hand in slips/bring letters home.
Approachable teacher/head. Again, we are lucky, we get replies quickly when we send emails as we are hardly in the school for drop off/pick up. Teacher/head who take parents seriously regardless if a concern sounds silly, there is a reason for the parents contacting the school.
Remembering that parents work. If they do things during school hours give plenty of notice. I know the dates for concerts/plays often 2-3 months in advance. Assemblies are a bit more short notice but they listen if parents say it is too short.
Enrichment clubs like art, drama and music as well and sport and games. Chances for all children to succeed and be good at something. Great to focus on maths and English, but everything else seems to be forgotten in the new curriculum and this is real hole in many kids learning. DD's primary barely had a music teacher and nothing else. Moved her siblings to a different school and it has everything. Huge difference. Kids need to play and get exercise. It enhances the academic side.
Proud to say our primary school has a dedicated French teacher and a Music teacher. They learn/have lessons with both from reception upwards. We also have a sports teacher come in, and each class gets one lesson with him a week. (Other PE is done with the class teacher).
No pointless homeworks!
More books for library.(They can ask donation of unwanted books from parents.)
Agree with specialist teachers too. (Especially MFL)
Communication - key element
Parent helpers to feel valued - my dc's school,use to have a coffee morning at the end of term for all parent helpers, with tablecloths on the tables, flowers etc. Year 6s used to serve the coffee. It was nothing much but a way for the school,to say 'thank you'. When a new head didn't continue this tradition, the parents felt a bit undervalued.
Teachers and PTA to support each other. Eg. Teacher representative turn up at pta events to support them.
Teachers and heads - willing to listen to,parents
Why don't you just print out this thread and show it to the head!
I would love my school to have its own traffic warden. The amount of cars blocking the road so you can't cross, cars parked on pavements, quad bikes parked on the road waiting for kids to come out for. Cars parked in the bus lane, on corners and all on one of the main roads for ambulances to the local hospital.
the pta to stop deleting stuff they don't like from their own pages online and consist of people who will actually stand up and speak for themselves.
To have better security and stop bloody nit picking.
The kids pointlessly Q before going in.*
School Did not do this for first 6 yrs we were there, new HT brought it in.
Every parent said they hated it.
I'm aware that it's standard practice elsewhere: it's also Stupid & brings no benefits.
Let the kids go straight in upon arrival instead.
*Unless it's raining, in which case all the supposed benefits of Queueing disappear, and the kids go straight in after all.
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