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Parent Council Meeting Meeting of 11th January 2022

Reps in attendance

  • Nursery 1 – Amy (Hugo's mum)
  • Nursery 2 Steph (Brendon’s mum)
  • Reception - Danielle (Carter's mum); Jenna (Penny's mum)
  • Year 1 - Bethan (Jamie’s mum)
  • Year 2 – Natasha (Charlotte’s Mum); Jenna (Betsy's mum)
  • Year 3 – Claire (Beau’s mum)
  • Year 4 - Vicky (Olivia's mum)
  • Year 5s - Bethan (Abigail’s mum), Natasha (Alexander’s Mum)
  • Year 6 - Vicki (Izzi’s Mum)


Apologies: Bethan, Natasha and Vicky


Mrs Curtis opened the meeting and explained the function of the group was to explore how to make improvements to the whole of Ash Grange Nursery and Primary School.  It is not a place to air individual’s issues, which should be firstly shared with the staff member and secondly with Mrs Curtis.


Matters arising:


1. Reports


Mrs Curtis explained to the group legally have to give parents one report a year. The report shows progress and attainment, this tends to be the end of year report. Every term we put all the learning and achievements together and share with parents. We always try to make changes to improve how it is delivered however, it’s a constant moving target. We give parents as much information as possible which I understand can become quite clinical. I believe a lot of parents just want the personal information e.g. how my child is doing. Are they alright? Do they have friends and are they learning?


Mrs Curtis asked the group to share what they would like to see in a report. Below are the key points:

My report said my child was 3 months behind with his reading, having spoken with other Nursery parents it seems it was the same for many of them. At the Parent teacher meeting this was clarified in detail with the teacher.



Is that something you wanted to know?

School Council Response

Yes, definitely.


Mrs Curtis- We want to make parents aware their child is behind, but we don’t want to cause alarm especially when they are in Nursery, but at the same time there are national markers that are laid down by government and we have a duty to report where the children are academically. We have tried every variation of reporting where a child is “just within, slightly behind, as expected and below expected.


School Council Response

It would be nice to have a personal sentence that runs alongside the reporting for nursery as there is not a lot of academic at that age.


Mrs Curtis-The reason why that has been removed is nursery parents have Tapestry, what we don’t want is to keep repeating the same information. For a nursery parent what they would like is four lovely pictures that we’ve picked out from a half term with a statement maybe that is enough.


School Council Response

It would be nice to have a personal sentence for example “they really enjoy doing this”, “they prefer to play with”. Lots of parents were concerned about the use of language, especially the first-time parents. When parents clarified this with Mrs Wade, she was very reassuring and explained a lot of the topics hadn’t been covered so there were no assessments for the children on those criteria.


Mrs Curtis- I agree for Early Years you want to know about the prime areas, communication, and pastoral, conversely in the school parents want to know about English and Maths. However, every half term the class would have only done one Art unit or DT unit so in trying to include everything we possibly are reporting too much.


School Council Response

Several Year 2 parents commented about comments section looking limited, as they were from a drop-down menu.


Mrs Curtis-Yes, that’s correct. The reason behind this is for consistency throughout the school. For example, if you have a teacher whose language is matter of fact and another who is language rich there will be inconstancies. I appreciate the drop down makes you feel like we are ticking a box.



Is it possible to add to the report “not all areas have been assessed” receiving a report prior to a meeting telling me my child is behind is not a great feeling? As a parent I would like to know is my child doing well.


Mrs Curtis-I understand, however, feedback from previous Parent/Techer meetings when reports were shared during the meeting was that parents weren’t given an opportunity to read them in advance. Therefore, they are sent a couple of days prior to the meetings.


School Council Response

Yes, the context is key as a parent, I want to know if my child is doing well, and their strengths as well as what they enjoy, maybe three bullet points on what is done well, then if there are any areas for concern or needs to be developed. As you legally have to report once a year maybe you could report on every subject on the end of year, as previously said different terms teach different subject areas so if I know overall my child is doing well or needs to develop in certain areas is this need for each report.


Mrs Curtis- So for Early Years we need to be aware of where they are with the Prime areas and incorporate their strengths within that along with areas to work on, so you do not end up with any tick list. You would have four pictures, strengths and interests and areas to work on.

At school level the report would include certificates, because parents would want to know how well their child was doing for particularly reading, writing and maths.


School Council Response

I would like to receive feedback earlier than December, something just to say they are settling in well.


Mrs Curtis- I think we need to recognise some families want different things; it’s giving people the option to have a little catch up. MarvellousMe is a great tool. Possibly the Friday 2 weeks before half term receiving a positive notification around how children have settled in and what they are interested in.

We need to give parents opportunities to discuss their child’s progress and areas for concern but accept that doesn’t always mean they need to attend a Parent/Teacher meeting if there are no concerns. We would like to move away from closing the school so I propose we release the teacher on two/three separate occasions; parents could then book an informal chat/catch up. I will ask Mrs Mohammad our Early Years Leader and Mrs Chantler our assessment lead to draft some templates.


2. Shine Programme



Is the Shine programme still running?


Mrs Curtis- Yes, what we need to look at is how the notifications will be going out either by letter like the previous term or on MarvellousMe. The Shine programme is for children who are just below expected (yellow or orange) and need extra help.


Clarification after the meeting – all parents were informed on the autumn report if their child was having shine so no additional letters/notifications are required.


3. Clubs

Mrs Curtis explained the clubs list has gone out this week, the children chose the clubs because it’s important to me that they are doing what they want to do. This half term the children asked for cooking and now that we own the kitchen, we can run much bigger clubs for cooking. We also have the Elite club which is working well for the children who attend trails and try outs.  It would be lovely to run Elite clubs in other areas in the years to come, e.g. for children who are brilliant at DT, logical minded so we are looking at how we create wonderful experiences for then without taking them away from other experiences within the curriculum.



Is an example of an Elite club Gymnastics? Do you need to be selected?


Mrs Curtis- Yes, children do need to be selected however children can also put themselves forward through the trials/try out events. This term we have Basketball and Tag Rugby. Just before Christmas the children did the trials and from that Mr Barnett was able to pick.



Do trials take part during a P.E lesson?


Mrs Curtis- No the children took part after school. Parents are emailed information on when trials are taking place. Parents then send their child along to it. We advertise every term. Next term we have organised a dance teacher so Mr Barnett will be organising trials soon for that.



Do parents need to provide the food for cooking club?


Mrs Curtis- No we provide everything. We try wherever possible to remove costs because we don’t want it to become a factor.


4. NSPCC-Speak Out Campaign 17th January 2022


Mrs Curtis- Every year we do something around speaking out. Over the last two years due to Covid the NSPCC made the decision to move their offer to online. Previously they would come in and do an assembly then go to class and talk about it. By making it a school-based process it helps children understand who they can talk to in school. The idea is next week I will run the assemblies with the children Key Stage appropriate.


They do talk about in an appropriate manner the four categories of abuse so children are aware people can be hit. They also talk about how they can be touched in places they shouldn’t be. So, it is talking with children about how they speak out. Each term when our School Counsellors are doing their assembly they will add in a little reminder.


5. Premises

Mrs Curtis- We have been waiting on planning permission to increase the height of the fence. There have been some unwanted visitors who have occasionally damaged equipment. As you are aware the alley is a constant bugbear because it’s dirty, overgrown and not looked after as it falls between Guildford Council and Ash Parish. When we have asked who owns it the answer is no one.


So, we have started the renovations by clearing the trees so we can then put our fencing in. This is a massive project costing thousand and thousand of pounds. We are also making the side gate double the size and there will be another gate at the bottom of the field; both of these gates will be automatic.


We are also planning on re tarmacking the area inside the gate up to the 2 playgrounds. Playground markings are currently being chosen by the children for their fun activities at break and lunchtime. Nurseries 1 and 2 had their walls taken out so we are going to re floor both rooms.


The computer room has run its course as computers are integrated as part of the day to day classroom learning. The children have their Ipads and Chromebooks, we are just in the midst of getting Chromebook towers so once in place the children will have access to them during lessons. So, this will make the computer room null and void so we would like to change it into an art studio/DT room which classrooms are not designed for.  The plan is for this to be completed by the end of the summer term. I have applied to the arts council to see if we can get an artist in residence so we can then have an artist each year that is associated with the school.


Date of next meeting 1st March 2022


Minutes kindly written by Mrs Taylor.

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