A big thank you for the wonderful school trip. My son came back bursting with excitement and talked non-stop all evening about it - pond dipping with long nets, finding water snails and a caddisfly nymph, hearing lions in the wood, visiting the secret garden, seeing a marsh harrier, learning about squirrel dreys in the dry woods, finding bugs in the wet woods, listening to a talk and going on the wherry made of shiny oak that was moored up and plenty more besides. He is full of new information, vocabulary and enthusiasm. He spent the afternoon in the woods with his friends den building and hunting for more bugs inspired by their day out, then dug up the garden to create a bug trap at home. It was the first school trip for this year group, and well worth the wait!
I just wanted to say a huge thank you from all 3 of us for your care over the classes for next year. Thank you for bearing with my worries when we are just one of many families to reassure and get it 'right' for. Honestly the immense relief in our home that our son is with friends is amazing! You all assured me you'd do the best for the children and to trust your judgement; thank you for showing once again what a wonderful place GH is.
Parent Focus Group – February 2024 Supporting Children at Home with their Learning
We had a great discussion about this topic and we also appreciated the feedback that was e mailed into school and we discussed this too. Four parents attended the forum. Four parents were parents of children in Year 2 and one also has a child in Reception.
It was acknowledged by all that getting the balance of homework right is so important and every family has different amounts of time and capacity. Where homework works well it is when enough is given for parents who want to do more with their children, but not adding pressure to families who find it more difficult.
Parents were reminded that so much of what they do is helping to educate their children, without realising. Parents are children’s main educators and are the role models for children’s words, actions and life choices.
What is working well?
Parents like the support in Reception, with pouches of letter sounds/words etc for children to learn. This helps parents know how to support their child. They like the progress packs that are shared in Reception parents evening. They like Tapestry.
Parents of Year 2 children, liked it in Year 1 when options for home work choices were given at the start of a term.
Parents really appreciate the work of TAs as well as Teachers.
Parents like it how we don’t overload children with homework and appreciate they have life outside of school where they can follow their personal interests.
What can be improved?
If spellings are given for children to learn, instead of a long list, can these be chunked into smaller groups of spellings with an end goal in mind.
If homework is completed could it always be acknowledged as a lot of time and effort goes into this.
Parents would appreciate a heads up on the Maths methods we use ( eg part,part whole)
More frequent progress updates if a child is falling behind ( rather than waiting for parents evening )
More frequent progress reviews in areas other than reading.
Tapestry or similar in Year 1 and 2 – so parents can see what children are learning and add their own photos etc.
What are the main priority areas for parents to help with learning at home:
Reading, reading, reading! This doesn’t just have to be the school book. It can be a comic, cartoon book, magazine. And it can be where you take it in turns to read with your child.
Letter formation – reminders of this when children are writing.
Numbers – counting in 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s.
Play board games together such as snakes and ladders.
Great role modelling with talking to children to develop vocabulary.
Encourage children to follow their own interests and take part in clubs.
Tell us about the small and big successes and we will celebrate them.
Encourage children to rest.
Parent Focus Group July 2023 -Our Wider Offer
Discussion around clubs
Mrs Westall and Mrs Field explained that clubs will be run by teachers and TAs. We have listened to the clubs that children would like and will start some of these clubs in September.
Mrs Westall shared the list of clubs we will have on offer – this will be shared at the start of September. All curriculum areas are covered. We will prioritise Pupil Premium children and as the year goes on we prioritise children who haven’t yet attended a club. The only first come/first served club will be ones that school don’t organise and are organised by external providers.
Like the choice of clubs. Inclusive for all.
Children seem to enjoy the clubs.
More clubs would always be welcome, even if there is a cost.
Prefer clubs not to be first come first served as this is difficult for many parents.
Even though there is a good choice of clubs some children prefer to go home at the end of the day instead of attending a club.
Discussion around school trips
Mrs Westall explained that all children have taken part in a visit from Reception-Year 2 and Nursery had a visit in school. We are grateful that Friends of School funded the trips for every child. Next year Year 2 will visit the Norfolk Show in addition to another Summer Trip. This can incorporate music performances with the Norfolk Music Hub. Trips reflect what children are learning in the curriculum and these will be planned at the start of the academic year moving forwards.
Grateful for the trips.
Children enjoyed the trips.
Would like more throughout the year – suggestion of local historic places - Norwich Castle, Cathedral.
Possibly a theatre trip for every child.
Possibility of a Year 2 residential in the future ( beyond 2023 )
Discussion around Personal Development/enrichment
Mrs Westall and Mrs Field talked through the Personal Development Calendar ( see website. ) Some events can be planned but some can’t ( last year’s example of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral and King Charles’ Coronation. ) These are moments in history moving forwards for the children and we have a responsibility to help children remember these moments. We use the School Sports Partnership extensively and this forms a bulk of personal development as well as physical development. Our music offer next year will be bigger and better and we are excited about this.
Sports at school is very strong. It is great to give children opportunities to practise different sports in different venues. This helps their social skills and confidence.
The KS1 Sports report was helpful and strong. Some parents didn’t realise how well their children had achieved in sports until they saw the report.
Children like the Headteacher awards in weekly assemblies. These are very special to the children.
Parents feel children are now praised more and this is great for confidence, self esteem and enjoyment of school.
Question around how much Sports the Junior School does when they move on.
Parents liked the idea of Headteacher making links with Nightingale Infant School.
Parents would like a picnic to be organised after sports day next year, as we have done before.
Parent Focus Group November 2023 - SEND
Thank you to the parents who came along to our Parent Focus Group this week on a theme of SEND. Mrs Michael ( SENDCO ) and Mrs Westall led the discussion and it was a really powerful, thought provoking session.
The SEND provision was explained and the steps we take to identify children who need extra support, the steps we then follow and how we work as a team with outside agencies to put the right support plan in place for each child who needs a little extra something.
We then opened it up to feedback on what parents feel works well and what could be improved.
What works well
Even better if…
Next steps as a school
We are considering continuing with Tapestry into Year 1 from Sept 2024.