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W/C 16.5.2022 - - - Monday: Community Stay and Play, Clubs - - - Tuesday: Y3/4 Rounders Squad Training - - - Wednesday to Friday: Oakwood Residential (No Y5/6 Athletics or Cricket Clubs)- - - Friday: Community Stay and Play
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Parent Council Minutes for Meeting of 3rd May 2022

Reps in attendance

  • Nursery 1 – Amy (Hugo's mum)
  • Nursery 2 Steph (Brendon’s mum)
  • Reception - Jenna (Penny's mum)
  • Year 2 – Jenna (Betsy's mum)
  • Year 3 – Claire (Beau’s mum)
  • Year 6 - Vicki (Izzi’s Mum)

Apologies:  Bethan, Natasha

 

Items:

1. Homework

Mrs Curtis- We asked parents for their view on the new homework structure, lots of people said they didn't like it, so we tried going over to a separate week for different subjects. Most children and parents didn’t like the change, only one family shared how much they liked it. Quite a few said they didn't like it because they didn’t quite understand what was required and they wanted access to everything else.

We had hoped by reducing homework down to one aspect per week there would be higher completion; this didn't happen. We realised this was not helping, and particularly for the families who are diligent with the homework, it wasn't helping them either. So, we looked at it in more detail and what's been interesting is reverting to the old system has brought lots of new questions. We have clarified the expectations of time: 30 minutes for Reception, 35 minutes for Year 1, 40 minutes for Year 2 and so on up to 60 minutes Year 6. What that hopefully helps people to do was evaluate if they might be expecting a bit much from their little ones.

During the first week a lot of KS1 parents voiced there was too much homework to do, so we asked parents to focus on the reading and spelling (unless they have a weaker area which has been agreed as the focus with the teacher and parents), with the options of doing extra if the child wanted to. We are now using Homework books which have been a very good of recording the homework and keeping a log.

Parent Council Response

Claire- Thank you for explaining the reasons behind the change. There has been mixed feedback from parents. What has been helpful is having the expectations around homework. Some parents have expressed as homework is now due on a Thursday instead of Friday they have lost a day.  Also parents are concerned that the children can’t do their homework at Funzone anymore.

Question: Would it be possible for everything other than spellings to come in on a Friday?

Response:

Mrs Curtis-Teachers need time to mark and set homework, the change is so they have time to look at what has been returned, mark it and set the appropriate level for the following week.

For children attending Funzone, if they would like to complete their homework, we have a table set up, access to computers with staff available to support if required.

Question:

Jenna- Very positive feedback regarding Homework books, however, some families have expressed their concerns around their children being anxious about not completing enough homework.    

Response:

Mrs Curtis- Children should not be anxious if they know homework is going to be done. If an activity takes longer than expected, parents can use the Homework book to write a brief explanation. This has been explained to parents via email.

Vicki shared her experience of being anxious when her child was younger but by relaxing about it so did her daughter.

 

2. School meals

Mrs Curtis- We have found an alternative provider, after much research we have found a company the offers four options per day; a meat or vegetarian hot meal, jacket potato or packed lunch.  The company cook inhouse and dinners can be ordered on the day.

The food has won awards so it must be good. The cost for a meal will remain the same. The government provides a free school meal for Reception and KS1 children, with the four choices including a packed lunch option parents will no longer be required to bring food from home. Our aim is to have the service up and running from the 1st of July.

 

3. Religion – a question had been raised about the increased RE and focus on religions.

Mrs Curtis- I wanted to pick up on a comment regarding religion. The school follows the agreed syllabus for RE set by Surrey.  When children achieve a rite of passage in their religion, they are given recognition of that, which is something we have always done as we celebrate special events /moments in children’s lives.  E.g., When children are taking their Holy Communion, we've always given a Bible to children from the school. Of course, now we have a richer wider range of religions within the school community we need alternative items e.g., When Muslim children have read the whole Koran, they receive a prayer mat and set of beads.  We have not increased religion in school it is within families. In April our Year 4 children reinstated the Easter production again this is something we have always done pre Covid.

 

4. Play Rangers – more information required please

Mrs Curtis- The children had an assembly where the company came along so the children could see how fun it is. It’s a great provision.

I will ask Mrs Taylor to put a link onto these minutes so you can find out more and book places. We will also add it to the website.

Office response

https://www.guildford.gov.uk/playrangers

 

5. Funzone

Claire- Sometimes when parents are trying to book Funzone it’s showing as fully booked.

Response Mrs Curtis- Obviously there is a quota in terms of the two or three staff members depending on numbers. If a parent wants to book in addition to being fully booked, then they phone the office and then we must put in extra staff. We do require at least one working day to arrange additional staff. If spaces are available on the day of course we will book children in.

 

6. Inset Days

Question- Has anything been agreed about inset days in September?

Response- Mrs Curtis Yes, I have provisionally booked them. I was also trying to ensure that they are on different days for staff and parents.  I have part time staff that may not be in on a Monday or sometimes on a Friday so by changing the days I catch everyone. I will get them finalized in the next week (by 20th May).

 

7. Exhibitions

Mrs Curtis- A parent had asked me about exhibitions because now exhibitions have returned just so everyone's aware we've previously done them on Thursday or Friday mornings, if you happen to work at that end of the week, you never get an opportunity to come and see all the lovely work. So, from now on they will be on a Tuesday and Thursday after school. Can’t do Monday as Club night and Friday people tend to be in a rush to leave.

 

8. Events

Mrs Curtis discussed some of the events happening soon:

  • Next week is Year 6 SATS the children had their mock SATS last week. Year 2 SATS will happen over the coming weeks.
  • We have Year 1 assessments for phonics happening in June.
  • Year 4 will be having the first ever  new government times table test.
  • Year 5/6 residential 18-20th May
  • Year 5 and 6 Body Talks, in line with our RSE policy
  • Trips
  • Year 6 production
  • Sports Day
  • Lamda Exams for Year 5
  • New Induction for Reception Class 2022-23

 

After the summer raffle, our wonderful PTA are stepping down so we will explore what people want to do in the future, whether that might be a role for Parent Council, organising support for events.

 

A full list of events is available on the school website:

www.ash-grange.surrey.sch.uk/diary

 

Date of next meeting 14th June 2022

Minutes kindly written by Mrs Taylor.

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