Working with Parents/Carers
Involving Parents/Carers At St Matthias School
At St Matthias School we want to work in partnership with parents/carers. We understand that parents/carers are their child’s first teachers, so we want to build on the foundations you have already laid to ensure your child:
- Is happy
- Is safe
- Is a valued member of the school community?
- Is provided with a balanced curriculum that meets their individual needs.
- Achieves high standards of work and behaviour through building good relationships and developing a sense of responsibility.
In order to do this we will:
- Keep you informed about general school matters and, in particular, your child’s progress.
- Be open and welcoming at all times and offer opportunities for you to become involved in the daily life of the school.
- Support you during times of difficulty that affect your family’s well-being.
How we do this
In order to keep you informed, we have six main ways of letting you know what is going on:
- Every day the parent/carer board in the main playground is updated with information about what is happening that day.
- The ‘parental’ text message service is used to send texts to parents/carers. Please make sure you always tell us when you change your mobile number (or the text might go to your old number and you will miss useful information!).
- Each term the class teacher sends out an overview of the areas of learning that will be covered that term.
- Twice termly newsletters (at least).
- Parents/carers can make an appointment with their class teacher after school if they specifically want further detail about your child’s progress/well-being.
- The school website contains details of term dates, the curriculum, the main school improvement priorities, what we provide for children with special educational needs and disabilities, our latest results and Ofsted reports.
Finding out about your child's learning
- Parent/carer-class teacher consultations – held twice a year.
- End of year reports written and given to each child at the second consultation.
- Workshops on key learning aspects. For example, we run an annual reception parent/carer phonics workshop to explain phonics teaching methods and how you can support at home. Also, we run Ocean Maths workshops where you can join your child in school and work on a fun maths activity together.
We welcome suggestions for other workshops which parents/carers might like us to offer. While these workshops mainly run during the school day, we are happy to repeat them at 5:30pm upon request.
- Parents/carers can request an appointment with their child’s class teacher after school if they want further information about their child’s academic progress or well-being. For working parents/carers, we are happy to offer appointments at 5:30pm.
- Parents/carers whose children have special education needs or disabilities are invited to their Annual Review and other key meetings, as necessary.
Personal and social development of your child
We want your child to be happy, safe and to enjoy coming to school. Therefore, when they first join St Matthias School, we:
- Visit you at home to meet your child and find out more from you about them. This helps the child become familiar with us and also for us to begin to learn about your child’s needs and interests. If your child starts in the early years, then the home visit will be undertaken by members of the early years team. If your child starts later in their school career, the visit will be by a member of our pastoral team (usually the Home School Liaison Officer and/or the Learning Mentor)
- During this meeting you will be asked to sign a home school agreement that outlines the commitments that parents, staff and children agree to uphold.
- Early years children are helped to settle into school by a gradual settling process. This means the parents/carers stay with their child in class initially, and over a series of days (or longer, if necessary) parents/carers gradually withdraw as the child gains confidence in their new surroundings.
- In the early years, we have a welcome session every day that parents/carers are encouraged to join. This helps the children settle in at the beginning of the school day.
Building a school community
We want our school to be friendly and welcoming to all who come here. Therefore, we run a series of events to help parents/carers become valued members of the St Matthias community. We employ a Home School Liaison Officer three days a week who runs various activities for parents/carers including:
- Coffee mornings.
- Special celebrations, for events such as Christmas and Eid.
- Parent/carer workshops, covering curriculum subjects, such as art.
- Helping parents/carers organise social events and fund raising activities.
Being a parent/carer isn’t always easy and so we offer a range of support, including:
- Holding a range of workshops which support key aspects of parenting, such as bedwetting, managing finances, healthy eating and applying for jobs.
- Running the very successful ‘Strengthening Families’ parenting course, in partnership with local schools.
- Individual meetings with our Home School Liaison Officer, who can provide support and guidance with difficulties, such as attendance issues, depression, domestic violence, challenging child behaviours.
- Guidance on other services which can provide longer term support (offered by our Home School Liaison Officer).
- Access to our school-based Social Worker, who can support you and access other services for you.
Volunteering in school
We welcome parent/carer volunteers in school and always need help on school trips. If you want to volunteer on a more regular basis, we do have to make sure parents/carers abide by certain rules in order to keep the children safe.
If you wish to volunteer in school, we need you to have a safeguarding check (a DBS check, formerly known as a CRB check). Also, we will ask you to undertake a short course run by the Home School Liaison Officer covering topics such as confidentiality, professional behaviour and child protection. We do not usually allow parents/carers to work in the same class as their child. Please speak to our Home School Liaison Officer if you would like to find out more.
Feedback, consultation and complaints
We work very hard to do the best job we possibly can, but we do not get everything right all the time. We welcome feedback from you about what is going well and what you think we could improve.
You can do this by:
- Completing our end of year parental satisfaction survey.
- Talking to our Home School Liaison Officer – she can provide guidance about our school procedures and systems or join you during a meeting with a senior member of staff if you would like support expressing your views. She might be able to hold a workshop or arrange a meeting about an issue, if several parents/carers are interested or concerned about it.
- Booking an appointment with the Headteacher or Head of School to talk through a concern.
- Attending a Parent Voice event. For major issues likely to be of interest or concern to many parents/carers, such as homework or bullying, we hold a series of workshops for parents/carers to give their views. These will run both during the school day and later for working parents. Obviously, we are unable to consult parents/carers about everything, so occasionally a topic arises that we hadn’t anticipated would be something that parents/carers wanted to discuss. If this happens, then let us know and we will endeavour to hold a meeting where you can ask questions and find out more.
- Using the Parentview survey on Ofsted’s website – accessible via the link on our website’s homepage. We encourage parents/carers to use this facility.
- Following the complaints procedure. We have a formal complaints policy (available under ‘Policies’ on the website or from the school office) for parents/carers to pursue if none of the above have helped to resolve the difficulty. Also you may leave a letter in a sealed envelope addressed to the Chair of Governors at the school office and she will get back to you to discuss this with you.
Please contact the school office in the first instance on 020 7739 8058 or at:
Head teacher: Clare Sealy
Head of School: Keeley Warren
Home School Liaison Officer: Rushnara Khatun
School Social Worker: Helen Davis (Friday
Chair of Governors: Ruth McCurry
St Matthias Home/School Agreement
I/We shall ensure that:
- My/our child will attend school regularly, punctually and in correct school uniform.
- I/we will inform the school on the first day of any absence.
- I/we will make the school aware of any concerns or problems that might affect my child’s work or behaviour.
- I /we support the school’s policies and guidelines for behaviour.
- I/we support the school’s policy for equal opportunities.
- I/we will attend parents’ evenings and discussions about my child’s progress.
- I/we will not take my child on holiday in term time.
- I/we will support my child’s learning at home by reading to them and doing any homework tasks with them.
St Matthias School
The school will ensure that:
- We care for your child’s safety and happiness.
- Your child achieves their full potential as a valued member of the school community.
- We provide a balanced curriculum and meet the individual needs of your child.
- We achieve high standards of work and behaviour through building good relationships and developing a sense of responsibility.
- We will keep you informed about general school matters and your child’s progress in particular.
- We will be open and welcoming at all times and offer opportunities for you to become involved in the daily life of the school.
- Attend school regularly and on time.
- Bring all my equipment I need every day.
- Wear the school uniform and be tidy in appearance.
- Do all my classwork as well as I can.
- Be polite, respectful and helpful to others.
- Keep the school free from litter and graffiti.
- Do what I am asked the first time an adult asked me to do so.
- As soon as I am old enough I will read at home every day.