My feed

to access all these features

Join our Primary Education forum to discuss starting school and helping your child get the most out of it.

Primary education

Please help me get some perspective on whether our school is normal or not.

59 replies

gladbag · 19/11/2008 16:37

Ds is in Reception. It's a great school in many ways - outstanding in everything from ofsted last term, good results, lovely Reception Class teacher....but....things have been niggling at me about how side-lined I feel parents are.

Could you help me decide whether I should feel righteously indignant, or whether I should get over myself because it's actually normal for a Primary School.

  1. Do Reception children get picked up and dropped off in the playground so that you rarely see inside the classroom?

Yes or No

  1. Does your school allow parent helpers/volunteers of any description in classes or on trips?

Yes or No

2. If you dropped off a 4 year old mid-morning after a hospital appointment, would you be able to walk them to their classroom, if the child wanted you to?
Yes or No

3. If you wrote a letter or emailed the Head about what you felt was an important issue, would you expect some sort of reply, even if it was just 'We got your letter, thank you blah de blah'
Yes or No

I'd be interested to see what happens else where. Thank you.
OP posts:
funnypeculiar · 19/11/2008 22:49
  1. Yes, since half term - we were encouraged to go into the

2. Yes, if CRB checked. Helpers every day plus loads for trips
3. No idea, but suspect yes, but reception are away from main school, so partly from pov of practicality
4. I got a lovely letter recently when I wrote to say ds was going to be out of school for a funeral - expressed symathy & hoped ds was OK etc. Wasn't expecting it, though.
But defn yes if a big issue. But might not expect it for at least a week.
funnypeculiar · 19/11/2008 22:50

Humm, got half way through the first sentence obviously. Before half term we were encouraged to go in & settle them.

gladbag · 20/11/2008 07:37

Thanks again.

And Cat64 and BoccaDellaVerita, I'm sure you are both right. The reasons for the school being like it is will be for security, child protection and confidentiality, teachers' being wary of parents or deciding as a school that they don't need help/support, lack of money for CRB checks, lack of space etc etc All valid I'm sure.

It's just that many schools aren't like that, judging from my experience and the responses here, and there are still lots out there that overcome these barriers and actively welcome and encourage parents.I'm just disappointed that our school obviously isn't one of them, when I thought it was, that's all.

OP posts:
cory · 20/11/2008 07:55

It is possible to feel welcomed in a school even if you don't, say, take the child into the classroom. In our school this was for purely practical reasons, there wasn't a lot of room by the door, and small children risked being pushed over by too many gossiping adults. It was still a wonderfully warm and welcoming school in other ways.

I wouldn't judge a school on a few things like this alone. If you thought it was a welcoming school...maybe it is in other respects?

Is there a PTA or a Friends of the School group? How about joining there if you want to feel closer to the school? Or if there isn't one, why not set one up?

cory · 20/11/2008 07:56

sorry, not reading properly, you have joined the PTA.

throckenholt · 20/11/2008 08:08
  1. no - drop off indoors in morning, pickup from playground in afternoon

2. not really needed - have lots of TAs - but yes occasionally

3. yes

4. yes - but also the head would probably appear at morning drop off and talk to me about it.
ChippyMinton · 20/11/2008 08:25

1 no - drop off in playground for first half-term, then drop at gate. Pick up in playground, child handed over when teacher/TA sees the parent
2 yes, reading - CRB needed because you sit outside the classroom with individual children
3 receptionist would do it, or borrow a passing older child to take them (who would then get house points for being helpful)
4 Head has 'open door' so I would not expect to ever write a letter, I would go in/phone and speak to her.

BTW school has oustanding Ofsted, is very friendly, lively PTA etc but definately takes the view that it is in loco parentis from 9-3.15.

morningpaper · 20/11/2008 08:41
  1. Yes

2. No
3. No
4. Yes eventually

My school is lovely btw
Dottoressa · 20/11/2008 08:51
  1. No. We take DD up and settle her into the classroom. At picking-up time, they line up with the Reception teacher, and are handed over to their parents. The teacher is always available to chat at the start and end of school.

2. Yes - encourages them. CRB not necessary for trips; parent volunteers for (eg) reading or school clubs have to be CRB-d. The school organises and pays for this. The school welcomes parent helpers, despite the classes being tiny (12 in DS's class) and there being lots of TAs as well. I think they like parents being involved!

3. Yes.

4. I would expect a reply (even if just a holding one) within a couple of days of receipt. However, our Head has an 'open door' policy; she also stands outside at picking-up time (making sure the boys have their shirts tucked in and their socks pulled up), so there are plenty of opportunities to talk to her. Every time we have spoken to her about anything of significance, she has followed up our conversation with a letter.
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.