"The staff are lovely."
"Friendly and caring environment that encourages pupils learning and development."
"I value the combination of nurture and academic focus."
"Strong leadership, good teaching and a nurturing environment."
"The nursery has a warm & welcoming family atmosphere."
"I feel it develops a great sense of community."
"Cannot believe how well my children have done."
"Gets children interested in learning and ready for the next stage of their lives."
"As soon as I visited the school I loved it, all the children look happy."
"Best school office staff we've ever experienced."
"Am grateful for the hard work and dedication of the staff."
"The teachers at the school are excellent."
"The class is organised well and there are imaginative ideas used to help the children share ideas and learning. I feel my child has been recognised for their skills."
"This is a wonderful school."
"The children of Chalfont St Giles Village school leave the school as rounded, happy, self-confident young people."
"I really appreciate the excellent work by the leadership team and the staff in making this an excellent school."
"All the staff are very helpful and supportive."
"I think the school has been very nurturing towards my son and he is really happy at the school."
"Such a fantastic school"
Online Survey held April 2015 - Positive Comments added 25th September 2015.
181 respondents started and 144 completed the whole survey. There is little change in the number of respondents since last year, with 142 full responses in 2014.
The response rate throughout the school as a whole, therefore, is 32%. This is a significant number but we note that 68% possibly did not feel strongly enough to respond to our survey.
Much of the feedback was similar at both Infants/Nursery and Junior schools but there were some differences between the sites which we will be exploring further to see whether any changes to process or practice might be helpful.
The majority of you who responded to the survey are happy or very happy with most aspects of school life for you and your child/children.
Some of you are not happy with some things but happy with others and others of you have a number of issues or suggestions, e.g.
As a general point, if you are unhappy about anything, please raise it with your child’s class teacher first. If you are still not satisfied, go to the Deputy Head, then the Head and if still unhappy, raise it with the Governors. Many issues can be resolved with a conversation but if you’re still not happy, keep coming back and saying so. We can’t deal with problems if we don’t know about them. To be honest, we can’t always resolve every problem, try as we might. But everyone in the school, both staff and governors, are here because we want the best possible education for your children and we are all doing our utmost for them. We are all human and are sometimes less than perfect. But the welfare, happiness and success of your children is our number one priority.
As a school we are in the process of researching and identifying more effective ways of engaging with parents and exploring how we can best respond to ideas offered in the survey. We have to balance a variety of feedback, so if you feel your feedback has not been listened to it is likely that you were in the minority and more people felt the opposite. We are sorry if that is the case. For example, although many of you value the opportunities to come into school, others who are working full time find this difficult and wish the school did not invite you in so often. The difficult decision we have, therefore, is whether to stop offering these opportunities to those who are able to attend because of those who can’t.
Our Governing Body Communications Committee is looking at all the feedback and is going to make recommendations for improvements in the new School Plan to try to accommodate as many needs as possible.
Now to the survey results:
75% of you are happy with your child’s progress, 9% are not. Similar numbers of you feel you know how well your child is progressing, that you understand what your child’s targets are and that they get good guidance on how to achieve them. Some interesting feedback was given and this will be discussed, for example:
Where we received comments on how we focus our efforts, there were an even number of parents who thought we focussed on the less able and gifted/talented, compared to those who thought we focussed on the middle. Governors and staff look very closely at the figures for every individual child (without the former knowing the names), and any sign of a child failing to make progress, regardless of where they are in the lower, middle or higher range, is questioned and addressed. We will be holding a forum in September which will include information on changes to how we track progress, so please attend this so that you can understand better how we do this.
If you want to know more about the progress your child is making and do not feel that the parents’ evenings and annual reports give you regular or detailed enough information, do make an appointment to speak to your child’s class teacher who will be happy to share information with you and address any areas of concern. This is also true of Nursery. If you do not pick up or drop off your child because of work commitments and cannot therefore have an update at these times, call the school office and make an appointment for a face to face or telephone conversation.
The majority of you, 80% feel your child is taught well, only 6% disagreeing with this. The many appreciative comments received about staff are genuinely treasured. For example:
(We have chosen not to quote the names of specific members of staff.)
69% said teachers deal well with issues raised and 61% feel they understand problems your child has with learning. 11%/13% respectively disagreed. If you are feeling like this, please talk first to your child’s class teacher and escalate if an issue is not resolved.
There is a perception from a small number of parents that children are not moved on quickly enough in their reading levels. The teachers look at more than just the ability to recognise the words. An ability to show comprehension of the text is also a key part of assessing a child. We know that parents see moving up levels as a tangible illustration of how well their child is progressing but enjoyment of reading is something that can really be fostered at home. Encourage your child to read a wide variety of books at home and praise them for it, and discuss with the teacher why they have chosen not to move your child up a level if you think they are ready. You may find the answer very informative.
Three quarters of you agreed that the school is well led and managed. Fewer parents than last year agreed that they knew what the school was doing to improve although three quarters felt they understood the ethos and direction of the school. An open forum meeting is planned for the new school year to explain what is in the school plan for the next two years and to seek your feedback on our actions and priorities.
85% agreed that pupils generally behave well and that their child is treated fairly. The school is happy that the principles of the behaviour policy are effective and are in line with the ethos of the school, but we are in the process of reviewing the toolkit available to teachers to ensure that the strategies available are keeping in line with changing behaviours seen in class. There are national trends of increasingly challenging behaviour in the Primary age group and the school accesses as much specialist support as is available to create an environment where all pupils can flourish. The school always addresses behaviour issues as they arise but we recognise that part of the problem lies in the fact that we cannot explain how we are dealing with difficult situations because of confidentiality issues. If you are unhappy with any behavioural issue affecting your child we urge you to speak first to their class teacher.
The vast majority 88% agree that the school is clean, safe and tidy and a similar number are happy with the facilities offered. The governors conduct a termly health and safety audit of the school sites and are responding to specific feedback and suggestions for improvement. Around 70% of you are happy with the opportunities offered in the areas of sports, music, art and after school clubs.
There is no change in the overall agreement that the school welcomes feedback from parents and carers, 76% of you felt this, but we appreciate that there is a significant minority of parents in most year groups who feel that their feedback is not welcomed. Please keep talking to us. The school may not agree with you, or vice versa, but both parties will gain an understanding of the other’s point of view and strengthen the relationship. We assure you that constructive feedback is always welcomed. We discuss all suggestions for improvement and will act on them where possible. We will not take into account comments that are personal and unfounded. Luckily, such comments are very few and far between.
Can we draw your attention to the suggestions boxes at the school offices and the feedback button on the school website to make specific suggestions that can then be discussed with you.
86% of parents agreed that they liked the way that the school communicates with them. This was a new question for this year. We received 33 written responses, of which 15 were broadly positive, e.g.
We received a number of responses asking for meetings to take place at other times of day. We did not get a consistent picture and are sorry that we cannot please everyone. We have tried to amalgamate some meetings to reduce the number of times you are asked to come out in the evening and are looking at more opportunities to do this in the coming year. We also run open forum meetings twice, once during the school day and once in the evening to try to accommodate as many parents as possible.
11+: We are not permitted to provide practice opportunities for our pupils over and above the defined requirements. The majority of the 11+ paper is based on the English and Maths in the National Curriculum.
Breakfast and after school clubs are requested by a few parents. We know from surveys we have conducted in the past that there has been insufficient demand for this facility to make it viable. We will review this periodically.
The school gives pupils opportunities to make positive contributions to the school and community: the overall agreement is 85% but there are other respondents who don’t know or who neither agree nor disagree. As we work hard at providing these opportunities, we will work on informing parents more clearly about what we are doing.
Your reasons for choosing the school. The main reasons other than proximity to home were its reputation, its nurturing ethos and good Ofsted reports/SATs results. Comments include:
Great friendly atmosphere. Children love going to school every day and are always eager to learn - even enjoy doing homework most of the time!
Friendly and caring environment that encourages pupils learning and development.
Wanted to continue relationship with the school based on our excellent experience with the infant school. In particular I value the combination of nurture and academic focus.
This is a good school/I am happy my child attends it. 85% of agreed with these statements and only 5% disagreed.
We like to think of all staff, governors, parents and pupils as part of the school family. Most people in families get on well most of the time and are very fond of each other. Sometimes they annoy each other and need to talk an issue through. Sometimes they have ideas for ways to make the family happier or more successful. You can talk to any member of staff or any governor direct, via the school office or via the feedback form or governor email on the website. Or catch a governor at a school event. Tell us about it!
Online Survey held April 2015 - Feedback added 15th July 2015.
Here is our feedback regarding the online survey for both schools. We received 142 responses and we are grateful for the time taken to share your views. This is a fall from the number who responded last year and we would encourage all parents to take part next spring as the survey is a great opportunity for you to share your thoughts about the school. We take your views very seriously, and your comments, whether positive or negative are fed back quickly and clearly to the Senior Leadership Team and where appropriate are acted upon or fed into the School Plan.
We are pleased to be able to tell you that for every survey question, there has been a marked improvement in parent perceptions.
Over 90% of you feel that:
Over 87% of parents agree or strongly agree that this is a good school and they are happy that their child attends it, that facilities and equipment are good and support learning.
Last year there were a number of concerns expressed which related to:
The school took your views on board and looked at ways of helping you to understand your child’s targets and progress and to give you more guidance about how you can help with learning at home.
Survey response in more detail:
As a result of all these initiatives, the number of parents who understand their child’s targets has improved. Last year 52 disagreed, this year only seven disagreed with the statement I understand what targets my child is working towards at school.
Last year 44 parents didn’t feel that their child receives good guidance on ways to achieve their targets. This year only 10 parents over both schools feel that way.
Last year 86 parents felt that they didn’t understand the progress that their child was making at school. This has fallen to 23 parents. If you don’t feel you understand your child’s progress, please ask your teacher to discuss it with you.
The percentage of parents who are unhappy with their child’s rate of progress has fallen to 17%. We would like to reassure you that, as Governors, we monitor rates of progress each term and within this academic year we are particularly impressed with progress overall, especially in writing.
You have indicated that you find parents’ evenings the most useful way of finding out about your child’s progress followed by reports and then having teachers available by appointment. Parents of younger pupils really appreciate Friday Open Mornings.
Parents of Nursery children receive a report at the end of their child’s time at Nursery together with a consultation. This, together with open days and an open evening, give parents several opportunities to discuss their child.
Reports on children’s progress were mentioned, with a number of parents asking for more frequent updates. As mentioned above, we will be looking at the format of our reports next year, but are unlikely to increase the number of parents’ evenings. Teachers are always happy to make an appointment to discuss your child’s progress on an individual basis and you are strongly encouraged to arrange a meeting where national curriculum levels and other progress information can be shared and any issues can be discussed in more depth.
A concern was expressed by a few parents who felt that lower ability children are supported more than those of higher ability. Whilst some children with special educational needs do receive additional support, lessons are differentiated so that children at all levels of ability are challenged and stretched. The progress data that we review each term shows that children are making progress across the board, and it is certainly not the case that children at higher levels of attainment make less progress than those at middle or lower levels. Research shows that effective differentiation of tasks set for pupils has a bigger impact on learning than reducing class sizes and our teachers are careful to ensure that a range of tasks are included in all lesson planning. This is one reason why such a high proportion of our teaching has been judged good or outstanding by independent reviewers.
We are very pleased with the improvement in the number of you who agree or strongly agree that you have enough information about the school’s development plans and the new teaching initiatives. We still have some way to go with this but if you access the different forums, information evenings, our Open Days and spend time looking at our website and all it contains, your knowledge of what the school is doing will improve even further.
We are pleased to note that having staff more freely available at the beginning of each day has enabled you to talk with them. As a result of the survey we will review our home-school communication systems ready for next academic year. Please contact the school if you want to talk about your child, raise an issue or ask a question. We are happy to meet you in person or to talk over the phone.
Some parents disagree with the statement that teachers understand problems my child has with learning and offer ways to support them. The vast majority of parents feel that teachers react positively to issues that are brought to their attention, that they understand problems a child might have with learning and that they explain how parents can support a child’s learning at home. This relationship between parents and teachers is fundamental to children’s progress and wellbeing and we would encourage you to share any information on events and circumstances that might affect your child’s learning. Teachers will welcome the opportunity to work with you to achieve the best for your child.
We received a number of very positive comments about activities relating to termly topics and special weeks such as Science week and Maths week. The history topics also got lots of mentions e.g. Egyptians, Romans and WW2. It’s great to hear your enthusiasm for out of class activities such as Woodland School, class visits, special visitors which are all seen as inspiring the children. A number of topics will change next year as a result of the National Curriculum. Topics will last a full term to allow children to engage even more fully in them. Teachers are very excited about planning a whole range of new activities both in and out of the classroom.
21% of parents don’t know whether the school teaches children to deal with risks and to behave safely. Parents should be assured that the school takes every opportunity through PSHE lessons, visits outside the school, special assemblies and road safety programmes to teach children about different sorts of risk and how to behave safely.
Whilst over 75% of you feel that the school welcomes feedback from carers and parents, 12.5% disagree or strongly disagree. We would like to re-assure you that your feedback is very important to the school and we hope that this letter has already shown you how changes have been made because of feedback you have given.
Overall 86% of parents are comfortable to approach the school with questions. A few comments received however, show that a few of you have low expectations of the school dealing with an issue raised. Please continue to raise issues. We can’t solve every problem, but rest assured, your concerns are always listened to and taken seriously.
This year we have held topic meetings, numeracy and literacy meetings, special talks and Open Forums at various times to try to accommodate as many parents as possible. We also tried this year to amalgamate different meetings to reduce the number that you were invited to attend. This amalgamation of meetings where possible will continue next year. Attendance, however, remains low for many of these meetings and decreases with the age of pupils. From the collated evaluations we have from meetings this year it is clear that those parents who do attend have found the events extremely beneficial. 100% of attendees reported that they found the information useful, that they have improved their own knowledge of school practice and that they had more ideas to help their child at home. The overwhelming majority of evaluations judge the events as excellent and as great opportunities to hear information, ask questions and share ideas.
There has been low attendance at Dr Tom sessions amongst parents of older pupils, though more in Years 1 - 4. Dr Tom has helped us a great deal to evolve into a creative school that recognises the importance of children taking ownership of their learning. The gem system identifies each of the powers that children need to do this and as the children grow older they do recognise what each of the gems stands for. The last talk was very much aimed at parents of older children and really helped explain the gem system in a scientific way.
Thank you for suggesting some new ideas for future parent information evenings. We are now looking at scheduling meetings about managing behaviour at home positively and avoiding homework battles.
There has been a marked improvement in the number of parents that agree/strongly agree that the school offers a wide range of activities and clubs that are attractive to their child – an increase from 59% to 73%.
Last year you asked for a wider range of clubs and you will have noticed how many more clubs there are on offer this year. More of these are free and therefore inclusive. Additional funding for sports activities has been made available by the Government and we have taken full advantage of this in increasing sports provision at both sites.
Sports activities were mentioned – could we have more in the curriculum. Although there is no time in the school day to increase the hours of sport in the curriculum we are always keen to make the most of the time we have. We have maximised the potential of the school’s sports grant by improving teaching and learning through training and support and we have a robust plan to continue this into next year. We have increased the range of play equipment available at break times and have used the additional funding through the Sports Grant to offer a wider range of extra-curricular sports. Some of you have asked for more inter-school competitions. We do take part in a number of competitions with other schools but these mostly involve years 5 and 6 when enough children have developed the sporting skills to form teams.
The survey suggests that there are parents with skills in French, Art, IT, drama and cooking. Please contact either of the school offices if you are serious about wanting to share your skills with the children. Your name will be given to the Senior Leadership Team and they will contact you to find out what you are able to offer.
You may be interested to know that the school also conducts an annual survey of pupils and the results of this are shared with the Governing Body and any trends or areas of concern are discussed. You will be pleased to hear that the vast majority of pupils are happy at school, feel they are well taught, well looked after and know what they need to do to improve. They are proud to belong to the school. Again the trend has been upward this year compared with last year which is very pleasing.
In addition, a survey of staff is conducted each year. Staff wellbeing is key to the effectiveness of learning and the happiness of pupils as well as being important in its own right. We have established a well-being working party who will analyse the results and develop an action plan to ensure that despite the incredible hard work, dedication and time committed to our school and all children, the well-being of staff remains a key element in the responsibilities of the Senior Leadership Team and Governing Body Personnel Committee.
Finally, we don’t want your feedback to be just a once a year event and would love to hear from you about these plans and any concerns you may have.
A link has been put on the website (in the parent tab) where you can post your feedback online. Suggestion boxes are in reception at both sites for written comments as we really want to hear your thoughts and views.
I hope you are happy with our detailed survey analysis. If you have any questions, please come along to the Open Forums next week to ask, or you can always direct your questions to the governors via the school offices.
PLEASE NOTE WE HAVE TWO OPEN FORUMS NEXT WEEK ON 18TH JUNE AT 7PM AT THE JUNIOR SCHOOL AND ON 19TH JUNE AT 2PM AT THE INFANT SCHOOL. WE WILL BE DISCUSSING THE NEW ATTENDANCE POLICY, THE TALK FOR WRITING STRATEGY AND THE ANNUAL SURVEY RESULTS. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR ISSUES TO RAISE PLEASE LET US KNOW.
Mrs Eleanor O’Connor
Chair of Governors
An Online Survey for parents was held in December 2013 and initial feeback was given in the school newsletter issued on 20th December 2013.
Thank you to all those parents who completed the sports clubs survey. Mrs Dury and Mrs Baker received over 100 responses. Your feedback will be invaluable in helping us to adapt our current clubs timetable to suit what you and the children would like to see. We are already working hard to see what developments and further clubs we can make.
Feedback issued Feb 2014.
An Online Survey for parents was held in July 2013 and Feedback was given in October 2013.
Our analysis identifies four areas which we need to address:
Actions already taken:
Action to be taken:
Ideas to explore:
Action already taken:
Action to be taken:
Concerns should first be raised with the class teacher who will be aware of the specifics of your child’s circumstances.
If the actions don’t resolve the issue, the next stage is to approach a member of the Senior Leadership Team.
At the Infant School this is Miss Rogers who is a Senior Teacher and Mrs Bascombe who is the Deputy Head.
At the Junior School this is Mr Holmes who is a Senior Teacher and Mrs English who is the Deputy Head.
Mrs Mannion is also a Senior Teacher and works across both sites.
Our Deputies are tasked with the day-to-day running of the school and are always on site to help.
Mrs Peal, our Head, is also available to assist with any concerns and if required our Governing Body are also available. There is a link in the governor section of the website to make contacting us easier.
Ideas to explore:
Action to be taken:
Action already taken:
Finally, we don’t want your feedback to be just a once a year event and would love to hear from you about these plans and any concerns you may have.
A link has been put on the website (in the parent tab) where you can post your feedback online. Suggestion boxes will shortly be arriving in reception at both sites for written comments as we really want to hear your thoughts and views.
We feel that this year’s survey has been a great help in shaping the direction of our school and once again thank you all for your participation. We plan to repeat the survey in the summer term and we hope to be able to see from the results that we have made the kind of progress we are all expecting.