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Norris Bank Primary School – Tabitha Smith is the Inclusion Co-ordinator and acting Deputy Head at Norris Bank Primary School in Stockport


Introducing Working Together for Change

Last week, we held a Parents Forum meeting just for our new Reception parents. We have always held termly meetings for our parents, to give them the opportunity to ask questions and to raise concerns. However, we were very aware that new parents may have different questions and queries.

This meeting was very well attended, and the parents knew that our focus was ‘Working Together For Change’. As parents arrived, they were given two slips of green paper, and two slips of blue paper. They were asked to write down on the green slips the areas that were being successful for them and for their children.

A sample of the comments on the green slips are as follows:

  • My son seems to have settled well, enjoys school and is very happy.
  • She has settled well with growing independence.
  • He has settled in very well.
  • He seems enthusiastic about his reading books.
  • Teaching seems to be inspiring to children – in all subjects.
  • Personal relationships: i.e. (a) between children in the class, (b) between children and teachers seem to be excellent
  • We are kept very well informed.
  • My daughter has settled really well and really quickly into school.  School have made a real effort to support friendships and settle the children.
  • My daughter has settled really well and seems to be making new friends.  We are thrilled with this as she can tend to be shy and quiet.
  • School feels very inclusive and seems to really encourage the children to make friendships.
  • My daughter is loving learning and really keen to read her book time after time.
  • The numeracy and literacy into evenings – very good for confused first time parents.
  • Really happy that he is happy and confident and that education can spring from there.  So I suppose the ‘environment’ generally.
  • They love the books and reading sets. I am impressed with how early in the term books and words are being sent home.
  • Information that is given to me regarding all aspects of school life.
  • She is really enjoying her reading book/sound book and words.
  • My daughter is happy and wants to come to school.
  • Already showing development with reading.
  • Settled in really well – made friends quickly.

On the blue slips, they were asked to write down areas that were not working for them. This was a really interesting exercise, as there did not seem to be any real pattern of areas of concern. We picked up these issues in the rest of the meeting, providing answers to many varied questions.

I am going to develop this formula even further when I hold my usual Parents Forum. I will build into this the opportunity to work on coloured slips of paper, and also add the element of establishing what is important for the future.

Over the past couple of weeks we have also had the Hopes and Stars sheets being returned to us. This is now an established part of our new academic year process whereby we give parents the opportunity to tell us what they hope their child will achieve this year. These are really lovely, and are displayed in the entrance hall.

The new Home School Agreement has a high profile as well. All children have been given a beautiful full colour laminated card, detailing the School Agreements and the Golden Rules. We refer to these during assemblies, in class time and also at the end of each month; I write a summary of how we are getting on, in relation to one of the School Agreements or the Golden Rules. This summary is put into our ‘Friday Issue’. This will keep the profile high amongst pupils and parents.

The end of September update went as follows:

Each month, we will give you an update on our Golden Rules and our School Agreements. You will all have a beautiful copy of these, brought home by your children.

This month the focus is on one of the School Agreements -

‘We are confident to try new things and take risks’.

Here at Norris Bank we are determined to offer our pupils exciting and challenging learning opportunities. Our teachers are encouraged to plan for exciting and new ways into subjects. Every class has trips and visits linked to the topic. We have an exciting range of Residential visits for our junior pupils. We also know the value of extra curricular activities. This term sees the introduction of a new Street Dance session for all of our Year 3 children, as well as Karate for our oldest pupils. Our orchestra is going from strength to strength, especially now it is part of curriculum time. Establishing our garden was a big step for us, but is proving to be a valuable and enjoyable part of the school. The extra dimension that this brings is wonderful. The new sporting activities that we participate in also demonstrate our desire to try new things.

As parents, we would really appreciate it if you can encourage your children to take part in the activities offered. You play a vital role in encouraging your children to try their best, to not give up when facing something new.

Together, we will achieve great things!