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Parents Forum Minutes 2019-2020

Minutes of Parents Forum Tuesday 28th January 2020

Present Jackie Irwin (JI) Headteacher                        Richard Bailey (RB) Chair of Governors

             Claire Sainsbury (CS) SBM                             Elouise Aitchison (EA)

              Hannah Watts (HW)                                      Kay Corris (KC)

              Amanda Flack (AF)                                       Louise Bloomfield (LB)

 JI welcomed everyone including EA and LB who were attending for the first time.

1              Apologies for absence

No apologies received

2          Minutes of the previous meeting

The new uniform suppliers are Anglia Sport and Schoolwear, the sweatshirts with the new logos will be available after half term. Obviously, parents can wait until their children have grown out of their existing schoolwear before ordering the new uniform. The new supplier supplies most of the local secondary schools, so parents can save on delivery costs.

JI advised that she had discussed having Fitbits in school with the Chair of Governors, JI asked parents for their views on this. A conversation took place around this, parents suggested that the policy should say that smart watches/fitbits  should not be worn in school. Ms Irwin to speak to governors about their view on this.

We are not tied in to the existing photographers, CS suggested that we stay with them for the class photos at the end of the summer term, then change for the individual photos in the Autumn term. It has been suggested that we use Rob Sambrook, as he comes highly recommended by parents whose children attend the pre school.  School Office to check on prices and also possible commission.

JI reported that although we have not had any parents in to speak to the children about their careers, we have been visited by the Home Secretary Priti Patel. JI will be following this up in the newsletter. RB noted that Priti Patel was very engaging and charismatic. The children were in awe of her. She donated books as she is involved in ‘Get Witham Reading’ and we are going to be part of this, she wants Fiveways to be the hub for ‘Get Stanway Reading’.  

JI then went on to talk about the children whose parents are in the services, and the support that we could offer these children using our Pupil Premium money.  KC works in a school attended predominantly by service children. She mentioned ‘Bluey Letters club’ for children whose parents that are away on exercise.

EA suggested a careers day for children, where parents where invited in and then spend time speaking to small groups of children about their jobs. KC also suggested inviting local companies to come in, e.g COOP, Hatfields.  JI was keen to use the ‘Make £5 Grow via Virgin Money, she asked the office to look in to this.

JI had applied for funding from the Locality Budget, we have been advised that we will be given funding for astroturf for the muddy areas around the playground.

3          Concerns and Ideas from Parents

KC - Year 6 children are complaining that portions are not large enough and it is affecting their concentration, learning and PE energy. Carole Spademan, (Catering Manager) came in to the meeting to discuss portion size, she explained that the children at the lower end of the school received a larger portion than children in KS1 and gave an example of fish fingers. LB asked about children in reception eating vegetables, Carole explained that they encouraged the children to eat their vegetables, but could not force them, she explained that there is always a salad bar and fruit on offer.

KC suggested a cookbook with recipes from the kitchen. Carole Spademan to be asked for her most popular menu choices, in order to assess the feasibility of this idea.

HW – Year 5 parents wanted more information around the 11+, this was on the back of a recent email enclosing a letter from CSSE. Parent Forum felt that this letter had all the necessary information.  JI advised that she would write something for the newsletter.

AF – Raised punctuality at the end of the school day, JI agreed to send an email to staff reminding them to get children out on time.

After school club is now full, parents asked whether there were any plans to increase the numbers attending, CS appointed out that we needed to ensure that there was enough call for the places before it was extended, as this would mean a change in venue, also the number of staff operating the club. Newsletter to advertise that there is a waiting list.

EA – Asked if there could be more clubs, e.g. sports, it clubs, Lego club, art club this message is coming from parents that children have come from other schools. She suggested that all teachers do a club for one term, until 4pm., RB explained that he and the head had spoken about this. Lunchtime clubs would also be useful too for children that do not fit Rainbow Club. Gardening club is also on the agenda.

Forest School had been raised; JI explained that Trina Stone in Year 6 is completing her training. She will be starting to take out her year 6 children. We are also going to be Learning Outside the Classroom, (LOTC), Trina and Craig lead some training with the teachers, they were all asked to trial LOTC once a week.

Mindfulness had been raised; EA asked if this was still happening, CS thought that it was. JI explained that this was more quiet time or reading time, rather than mindfulness. JI suggested that we could talk about this at the next meeting; she would look in to this and report back.

EA performances that parents could attend, JI said that she would look in to each year group doing a Carol Service. JI felt that this needed to discussed again at the next forum.

EA raised issues with homework; JI advised that children’s books would be out on show when homework is shared.

4          3PR Road Safety Initiative

JI explained that we should be running 3PR at the school, JI asked for volunteers from parents to run 3PR, HW and KC said that they would run it. JI suggested that if it could be run twice a month, this would be enough. DBS Checks to be completed, KC and HW to provide ID to the office.

5          Communications between School and Home

JI asked if parents had problems logging in to some of the websites that the school used for homework. Parent forum agreed that they did not have a problem.

JI asked parent Forum to look at Ofsted Parent View and complete this and asked other parents to complete the Parent View.

JI to ensure that school laptops are available and logged on to Parent View at Parents evening for parents to complete whilst they are waiting to speak to the teacher.

All agreed that communications had improved at the school. LB felt that some things needed to be tweaked in respect of new parents. Office to remind parents that the website is available and contains lots of useful information.

AF asked about the new SENCO, JI had already met all the candidates and interviews would take place next Thursday.

JI explained that we were managing without a SENCO at the moment.  JI explained that we were working with our inclusion partner and would be asking her for support until we appoint a new SENCO.

Meeting closed 11.00 am



Next Meeting 9.00 am 17th March 2020










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