Leading Parent Partnership Award
Parochial Primary School is committed to providing the best education for the children in our care. In order to achieve this, it is really important that we work closely with our families and the local community to create a learning environment that meets the needs of all of our children, develops a life long love of learning and prepares them for the future.
Research identifies by 7 years old, a parent's influence of their child's learning is 6 times that of their school. Being actively involved in your child's education can raise attainment by at least 18% compared with no involvement which can mean lower level qualifications/ no qualification at GCSE.
We are using the Leading Parent Partnership Award (LPPA) to help strengthen our partnership with parents. This national award is an important aspect of our school improvement plan.
Our commitment to achieving the LPPA award will ensure many benefits for your children including:
- Increased parental participation and active involvement in school life.
- Continually improved home/ school communications
- Improvements in children's attendance, punctuality, behaviour and academic progress.
- A collaborative drive to increase and maintain parent-friendly events.
What have we done so far?
- There has been clear strategic leadership and management of the award led by an effective LPPA co-ordinator with support from the head teacher, governors, LPPA working group, all staff and parents. The continued development of an effective partnership with parents is regarded as a core aim of the school and is included in the School Improvement Plan. Information about the LPPA is included in the head teacher’s report and the chair of governors has a clear commitment to placing a high priority on this area. She recognised that the pupil profile is constantly changing and the school needs to seek different ways of engaging all parents, including those who are ‘harder to reach’ due to language barriers and prior educational experiences. The school has recently joined six other schools in the Forward as One Trust and it is anticipated this will bring further developments. There are clear systems to gain parent/carer perspectives including use of the LPPA and school questionnaires following workshops. The LPPA working group includes a cross section of staff, reviews the action plan regularly and feedback is provided to parents, governors and staff. There is evidence this has informed current practice.
- There is an open door policy and the school has a calm ethos with evidence of positive staff and children relationships. There was evidence of attractive displays in each room and on corridors which parents can see as they come into school for a range of different events. Parents described the school as ‘very approachable’ and ‘if there are any issues somebody will always see you and it’s not left until the end of the day.’ Parents appreciated the introduction of class dojo’s which informs them what their child is learning in class and collects behaviour points. Parents found the on line system called Tapestry, informative and a parent stated: ‘I can see my child holding a picture up and its lovely to see her in her class environment.’
- A wide range of other communication methods are used to inform parents about school life and parents reported that ‘information provided is excellent.’ Types of communication includes homework diary, home school agreement, weekly newsletters, assemblies, coffee mornings, website, twitter, face to face meetings, texts, class dojo’s, school app, noticeboards in the playground, phone calls and letters home. Key letters are translated into different languages. There is an annual report and termly reports for attainment and attendance. At the start of the school year Meet the Teacher enables parents to learn about the curriculum and to get to know the teacher. Free child care is provided. Twice a year there is an opportunity for parents to work with their child in the classroom and a parent said ‘kids love this,’
- There are a wide range of workshops to help parents support and celebrate their child’s learning and parents reported these help their children make progress. Workshops include topics such as: Phonics, Ready Steady Cook, E safety, preparation for SAT’s but ‘making it fun and reducing stress,’ Maths and English workshops. Following an evaluation of parent attendance workshops there has been a change of format for some events. For example, all years groups now invite their parents into school, take the role of teachers and explain different methods, for example, multiplication. This approach has helped increase parent take up as well as providing a non-threatening forum to explain educational practice. In Nursery and Reception, a Starting Out and Moving On workshop is held. This provides an opportunity for parents to learn about what their child will learn, how to support their child, information about the PTA and available school support systems if the need arises. In addition, there are opportunities for parents to take part in other activities, for example, an autumn walk, clean your teeth and bedtime stories and the focus is on teacher modelling to ‘establish good habits so it becomes the norm.’
- Informal activities such as: Curry, Bingo and Art, Wine and Cheese, Chinese nights, The Harvest Festival, a Parochial Got Talent event and the Christmas Fair are all popular. A member of the PTA stated: ‘they are all family events which give a sense of community’ and these events also help
- celebrate cultural diversity. A tea and tissues informal gathering helps parents when their child starts school and is also open to other parents. All workshops and informal events are evaluated and reported to parents to inform next steps. Pupils reported that the school council meets on a weekly basis and representatives have organised a beetle drive, as part of a global neighbourhood project, and parents have been invited to a celebration assembly.
- The school sees itself as an important community resource. There is a much personalised approach and as a result parents report that additional support such as speech and language, help with specific learning difficulties or other matters has really helped. A parent said that the ‘support I have had in school and at home has been fantastic.’
- Effective transition arrangements are in place with home visits taking place prior to all new families starting school and for those children with identified needs. Following home visits adjustments are made in school or specific support is accessed from other agencies as appropriate. The school effectively shares information about individual pupils at transition to secondary schools and pupils have planned visits to ease transition from Year 6 to 7. This is made more complex since children move on to seven different secondary schools. In some cases, school staff attend, with the parent, a school Open day as well as providing practical help with school applications. As the head teacher stated: ‘we all go above and beyond to help our families.’
What are we doing next?
We are currently...
- Reviewing processes of analysis of parental attendance at events
- Extending translation services
- Gathering feedback to monitor and improve our partnership
- Creating 'Parent Ambassadors/ Champions' to support other families
How can YOU get involved?
For further information regarding the LPPA at Parochial, our coordinator, Mrs Finlay would be happy to help.