Parent Questionnaire 2018
Here’s a summary of what you said we do well:
- You consistently praised the staff, stating that they are: inspiring, passionate, outstanding, positive, friendly, approachable, understanding, welcoming, enthusiastic, responsive and supportive; create a great environment for the children; encourage good behaviour and really know our children well.
- You have also complimented staff on how they have listened to concerns and supported you and your children with particular situations and needs and how this has made a big difference in helping children settle into school.
- You praise the personal relationship between the staff and the children and the parents and how staff recognise when extra help is needed.
- You made regular mention of how quickly the school takes action when the need for support is identified for example speech and language interventions and Thrive, noting that the school has good processes in place when it comes to recognising when additional help is needed and putting this in place. You also praise how we manage unacceptable behaviour, stating that concerns are dealt with quickly and efficiently.
- You complimented the standard of teaching, especially for children with special educational needs and those who speak English as a second language. You trust the teachers have the best interests of the children at heart.
- You appreciate there being somebody on the gate before and after school and are impressed by the reception and office team. You recognise the great energy and enthusiasm staff put into after school activities and school events.
- You told us of how happy, interested and enthusiastic your children are at Filton Avenue Primary School, of the excellent progress they are making and the fun they are having. You say that your children are excited to come to school and are stretched to achieve their best. You appreciate the praise and recognition your child receives when they are doing well.
- The breadth, depth and balance of learning is another aspect of the school that you are pleased with, stating that topics, activities and subjects covered are fantastic; as are the range/quality of trips and after-school clubs.
- You think the OPAL scheme is a brilliant addition to the Lockleaze Road playground, which is helping to transform the in-school play experiences of your children. The embedding of the programme will continue next year and OPAL will also be introduced at Orchard Campus. You appreciate the WOW days and special events. You like the partnerships we have (i.e. Bristol Plays Music) and the opportunities these create.
- The inclusive ethos of the school was widely praised, alongside the promotion of respect for all, through embracing differences in culture and values. You hugely enjoyed the ‘Our Heritage’ event, commenting on the importance of celebrating the diversity of the school. This will be happening again next year.
- The nurturing, caring approach to emotional needs was mentioned by a large number of you as playing a key role in the development of your children, emotionally and socially, as well as academically. Overall you say that the school is a very welcoming, safe and happy place for your children.
Here’s a summary of the things you suggested we could improve upon and some of the things we have planned to address them:
- A number of you have said you’d like more information about your child’s progress. Whilst we are not going to be adding any more parent/carer consultations to the school calendar, we will be sending home an attainment/progress update for your child for Reading, Writing and Maths, which will be generated by our new assessment tracking system, Insight. It will show you what your child has been assessed against, up to that point in time. You can also make an appointment to speak your child’s class teacher if you want to discuss their attainment and progress.
- Despite being seen as a positive by the vast majority, another concern was communications between school and home. Next year will see a number of changes with the aim to streamline our communications, including a regular newsletter, which we believe will improve this further.
- Please note that the majority of dates and events are publicised well in advance through the termly diary dates, which are sent home at the beginning of each term; these dates are also available on the school’s website. Occasionally, there are late announcements due to unavoidable circumstances, but at the very least we aim to give you two weeks warning.
- The school actively seeks the views of parents and carers, and aims to act upon them where appropriate. Ideas for improving the school can be shared on an informal basis through conversations with members of staff. More formally, we have our Community Partnership, which meets on a termly basis. We have held this on different days and times in an attempt to reach as many people as possible. Unfortunately, those meetings held during the afternoon or after school have been very poorly attended, with (on one occasion) no-one turning up at all. The most popular time has been 9am, which we are aware doesn’t suit working parents/carers, but has seen up to 25 people attend.
- Our parent/carer associations, the Friends of Filton Avenue (FFA) and Friends of Filton Avenue Orchard (FFAO), are another way you can get involved in school life. They are run by parents and carers to raise money for the school and its pupils and to organise social events to which anyone from the school community is invited. Please look out for posters and flyers around the school advertising upcoming events and meetings. Alternatively join the Facebook pages, which will keep you up to date and enable you to make contact with other parents and carers.
- Again, the provision of after-school clubs is something many of you feel is both a strength and an area for development. We would like to offer an even wider range of activities, but as a number of you recognise, these are largely reliant upon teachers giving up their time to run them. We are exploring other avenues and will keep you informed of any developments. Employing outside agencies to run after school clubs obviously means we have to pass at least some of the cost on to you, in order to make them financially viable. We are also always open to clubs being run by parents/carers (subject to the necessary checks), so if you have the time and a skill/qualification to offer please let us know.
Breakfast and After-school Clubs
- Due to popular demand, we will be increasing the capacity of these provisions at Lockleaze Road from September. We will also look at the feasibility of starting Breakfast Club earlier. At Orchard Campus these provisions will continue to be delivered by Honeytree Nursery.
- Most of you who responded felt that teaching was excellent in the school, but the curriculum was an area that a number of you are concerned about. Although you recognised that there are external pressures on the school that narrow the curriculum, we have always been committed to providing our pupils with a broad and balanced learning experience. Next year, we are making some major changes (working alongside Lighting up Learning) to help usensure that we do this even better, providing our pupils with more opportunities for immersive enquiry based learning in the wider curriculum subjects. This will be a 2 – 3 year process to have it fully embedded, but there will be noticeable differences from January onwards. We’ll keep you informed of developments as they happen.
- Another aspect of the curriculum that we are keen to develop is off-site visits. We will be looking to use the locality for trips and visits that will complement the new thematic enquiries that are introduced this year and next. As much as we would like to go further afield, the cost implications make this prohibitive on a regular basis.
- We will also be making some changes to the home learning your children receive. Please look out for more information in the new year.
- This year we have used a new attendance tracking software that has successfully supported the leadership team in tackling the issue of absence and lateness in a timely way. The school’s attendance last year was 94.0%, well below the national average of 96%, with persistent absenteeism at 16.7% against the national average of 8.3%. Neither of these figures were acceptable, which meant we had to do something about it. At the end of this year the equivalent figures are: 95.2% and 10.2%. We put this improvement down to the new system and how the leadership team are engaging with those parents and carers necessary; however, we also recognise that we have not got everything right this year, including the tone of some of the letters, i.e. those with the coloured banding descriptors on. We certainly don’t mean to upset or worry parents and carers with these communications, but they are generated for the whole-school based on pupils’ attendance at a point in time. Next year, we will look to maintain our focus on rewarding good attendance and continue to ensure we react to those with poor attendance.
Thank you very much for your support in helping us improve the school’s attendance figures. Although it’s stating the obvious, children need to be in school as much as possible.
Facilities and services
- We are as frustrated as you at the lack of development of the playground at Orchard Campus; however, as explained before this is not something we are able to change, due to the contract arrangements with the PFI site management company, BAM, which mean that the costs of any structural developments are prohibitive. There are plans to use the onsite Forest School area more often and we are liaising with staff at OSB to enable more regular use of their facilities.
- We are glad that the children are enjoying our brand new dining hall at Lockleaze Road. From next year the Year 2 children will also be eating their lunches from the dining hall. Some of you were concerned that the lunch portions were too small. We adhere to all national guidelines on portion size and will continue to audit this regularly next year.
- Naturally, as parents and carers, you feel that behaviour is one of the most important aspects of your child’s school experience. Largely, you are very happy with the behaviour of pupils at the school, although a number of you have raised some concerns. Over the last two years, we have introduced a new behaviour policy, which has significantly impacted on improving behaviour across the school. There are still occasional issues, mainly in the playground, but these are getting fewer all the time. The children tell us they feel safer than before and that the behaviour policy helps them learn and play, and helps the teachers teach. We put in a lot of effort to proactively prevent behavioural issues and have a robust system for dealing with them when they do occur, informing parents and carers of any concerns/issues at the earliest opportunity. One particular area of concern is the playground before school. The playground is not supervised before 8.30am and before this time children are the responsibility of their parents or carers. If a child’s parent/carer is not present and they are causing an issue, please report it to a member of staff who will either resolve the issue there and then, or will pass it on to a member of the leadership team. We also work with outside agencies, such as Unique Voice, North Star Outreach, the educational psychologist and SARI, to support our work, both proactively and reactively. We take the issue of bullying very seriously and look to resolve any reported incidents quickly and sensitively. Next year, our children will be fronting the Anti-bullying Alliance’s national campaign for the second year running.
- Unfortunately, there is some confusion regarding the position of OC in the school and the role of the wider leadership team in supporting the site. Filton Avenue Primary School’s Strategic Leadership Team comprises of Anne Rutherford (Executive Head Teacher), Komilla Datta (Head of School – Orchard Campus), Dan Rodeck (Head of School – Lockleaze Road) and Rosie Black (Business Manager). Komilla and Dan are largely based at their respective sites and are supported in their leadership roles, on a daily basis, by the school’s wider leadership team, i.e. the assistant head teachers and inclusion leads. Other staff may be shared and utilised across both sites and the curriculum is the same for both sets of children. As a rule, both sites benefit equally from the greater revenue brought in to the school by Lockleaze Road. Largely, if there’s an off-site trip or a visitor to the school, the children from both sites are involved. On occasions, children from one site may engage in an activity that the others don’t, e.g. the Stages Dance Performance that Lockleaze Road pupils attended and the Enabling Enterprise Competition Day that Orchard Campus pupils partook in. We are, however, always mindful that the opportunities afforded all our pupils are equitable.
What your children say about Filton Avenue Primary School:
We have also asked your children a number of questions about their own school experiences. Some of their answers can be found below. As you can see they also think very highly of the school and its staff. The percentage in brackets refers to the change from last year.
- 98% (+1%) said ‘I feel happy at school’
- 97% (+/-0%) said ‘I enjoy my learning in class’
- 96% (+/-0%) said ‘Learning is challenging and makes me think’
- 96% (+/-0%) said ‘I feel safe when I’m in school’
- 96% (+1%) said ‘Behaviour is good at my school’
- 98% (+/-0%) said ‘Adults listen to me and care about me’
- 94% (+1%) said ‘I know how well I’m doing at school’
- 97% (+1%) said ‘Adults help me to improve my learning’
- 96% (+1%) said ‘Feedback tells me what I’ve done well and how to improve my learning’
Naturally we aspire to having 100% positive responses to all these questions and will continue to strive to achieve this goal.