Encouraging parental involvement in all aspects of school life and in their child's education is a high priority for the Academy. All staff aim to be welcoming to all parents. The Principal and Staff have an open door policy and are always happy to discuss issues or concerns with parents on an individual basis. If staff are unavailable at the time due to teaching commitments, an appointment can always be made to see staff. We want you to feel as comfortable here as your child will!
Studies have shown that parents interested in their children's learning make a huge difference regardless of class or income. Research found that parental interest 'is eight times more important than other factors and that a quarter of the attainment of top scoring children aged 16 is explained by the interest that parents took in their education.'
We recognise that you are the first - and longest lasting - teacher your child has ever had. We never underestimate the good start you have already given to your child.
We seek to keep parents informed about their child's progress in school. Individual Parents-Teachers meetings are held in the Autumn and Spring terms. Annual Reports on the progress of your child are sent out at the end of the summer term with an opportunity to discuss the report with the teacher if parents wish. Opportunities are given for parents to attend workshops on different aspects of the curriculum and visit classes to see lessons and learn how better to support the children's learning. Weekly newsletters also keep parents informed of what is happening in school.
Offers of practical help from parents are most welcome in school. Parents help in classrooms in a variety of ways including hearing children read, baking and sewing with groups of children. All parental helpers are expected to complete a DBS check as part of our procedures for the safe keeping of the children, in line with government requirements.
Home School Agreement
The Academy has devised a Home-School agreement that is sent to all parents during the first few weeks of term. We hope that all parents will support the school in making sure that they and their children sign and support the Epworth Home-School Agreement. This details the obligations of school staff, parents and children in ensuring all work together for the education of your child. The Principal, Mrs Gallagher, signs the agreement on behalf of the school to make clear our commitment to you as parents.
We believe Homework:
- helps to develop an effective partnership between the school, parents and pupils, keeping parents informed of the learning of their child.
- gives opportunity for children to practise skills learnt in class in a range of areas.
- makes use of learning resources at home, including PCs and the internet.
- extends learning in school.
- prepares pupils as they get older to develop the skills needed to study on their own, preparing them for secondary school.
The type and amount of homework tasks given will match the age of the children - with the amount increasing as the children get older. Homework set will match the abilities of each child, including those with special needs.
The main focus of homework will be on Literacy and Numeracy, although other subjects may be added as children move up through the school.
Regular reading is vital. For parents of Reception and Key Stage 1 children, homework will largely consist of regular reading with parents/carers looking at books together with the children. As children get older and become more fluent they are encouraged to read on their own for at least 10 to 20 minutes a day. Other Literacy related homework will include learning spellings. In Numeracy activities should include number games and tasks, developing into more formal exercises for older children.
Homework set will be part of the usual work of the class with a clear purpose, linked to the school's schemes of work and the National Curriculum. Tasks will usually consolidate skills learnt in class, rather than introducing new learning.
More information about our Homework policy and how parents can help their children is given in information for parent's booklet which is given to all parents.
All schools work closely with Health services, Social Services, NSPCC and the Police in aiming to ensure the physical and emotional well-being of each child in our care.
All staff working with children now have a legal responsibility to pass onto the relevant authorities any concerns or allegation that a child has been abused or harmed in any way. Usually this will be through the school's designated teacher for Child Protection, the Principal. While this may be of concern to parents, staff have a legal responsibility to disclose this to other authorities who will then investigate.
Road safety and parking
We are concerned with the safety of the children arriving and leaving the Academy. Please observe the 'school zone' around Birchfield Road and the Fieldside crossroads and do not park in this area. Parents are also asked to avoid blocking the drives of neighbouring houses and the garages.
Parents should also not park in the Academy car park which is too small to accommodate all the parents needed or turn around in Birchfield Road. It is important that delivery drivers and emergency vehicles have access at all times and disabled access is kept clear. We're sure parents will appreciate the safety of the children is of paramount importance and thank you for your cooperation.
We try our best to ensure the health and safety of all the children and staff within the school community at all times. During the school day the main entrance should be the only entrance used by visitors. The bell should be rung to gain admission. Other doors are locked.
Emergency contact details
In case of accident, emergency or illness at school, staff will take all possible steps to contact you immediately. Therefore, can you ensure that any changes in employment, address or domestic circumstances are reported to the school office so that the necessary contact details are kept up to date.
We also ask all parents to register with Parent Mail so text alerts can be sent in emergency - for example if we have to close the school due to heavy snowfall.
What if you are unhappy and you want to complain?
We can't always get it right - we are all human!
If you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact the Academy. In the first instance please talk to your child's class teacher. The Principal is always ready to meet parents to discuss any concerns. We find that most problems can be sorted out after discussion between school and parent. If the matter still hasn't been resolved, the Governing Body has adopted a complaints procedure. The policy is devised with the intention that it will:
- usually be possible to resolve problems by informal means
- be simple to use and understand
- be non-adversarial
- provide confidentiality
- allow problems to be handled swiftly
- address all the points at issue
- inform future practice so that the problem is unlikely to recur
Full details of the procedure may be obtained from the Academy Office.