Priestnall School was reassessed, and granted the LPPA award for a further 3 years in January 2016. We are committed to listening to parents/carers, responding to need, working together and developing an ethos of shared involvement. Details of the reassessment report are shown below:
Commentary on the Mini-portfolio of Evidence
Jackie Evans, who is responsible for parent partnership provided a very thorough portfolio of evidence which was well organised and clearly showed the school’s progress since the school’s final verification in 2011.
- The head teacher and SLT are committed to parent partnership and have implemented a wide range of developments in the last three years
- Parent Partnership is included in the school development plan, monitored and evaluated
- The school ethos is to be inclusive and at the heart of the local community, they work closely with parents, external partners, local businesses, national companies, primary schools and nurseries to ensure this vision is met
- A vibrant Parent Forum has been established which meets half termly and includes parents from each year group evidence showed the Parent Forum have been consulted on school policies and procedures and their suggestions acted upon, with the support of the Parents Forum the school have introduced a Parental Code of Conduct
Communication with parents is very well organised and has moved to much greater use of email and web based formats which has increased the speed and volume of communication from parents and enhanced home school communication particularly around students’ learning. The new Priestnall Post weekly newsletter is popular with parents and students
- The school environment is welcoming for parents, there are clear signs throughout the buildings and direction signs used when parents visit the school have become a permanent feature as a result of requests from Y7 students
- The college system, which divides the school population into five colleges, fosters a sense of community for students. Each college covers an area of study and a physical section of the building, these areas are colour coded and have consistent displays and information making it easier to negotiate the building
- The school do regular surveys using a range of media, telephone, survey monkey and email, feedback is analysed and shared with parents, generally feedback is very positive, when identities are known individual issues are addressed people concerned to find a resolution
- There are a wide range of opportunities for parents to develop the knowledge and skills to support their own and their children’s learning. E.g. STEM evenings, year group curriculum events, careers events, Dog Handling, art shows, GCSE food tasting and charity fundraising events
- The school have an excellent induction process, they work very closely with feeder primaries and the transition process begins in year 5. Parents are provided with comprehensive information about the school, have a tour of the school and meet with staff at induction events, parents individual needs are well catered for e.g. a seat was reserved at the front for a parent who lip reads
- Home school learning is given a high priority, the science department have trailed an email home learning system where parents are send information on students homework, timings of tests and links to resources which can be used to support learning, parents can email staff with any queries and request further information. This has proved popular with parents and the results in science are better than they have ever been. This system is being rolled out to all subject areas
- Transition to further education is very well planned and starts early to give families as much information, advice and guidance as possible. In Y11 student mock interviews are held and a parent came into school to talk about interview skills prior to the event. There are bespoke plans for transition for students with additional needs and parents are well supported with visiting FE settings and making appropriate choices with their children. Last year all Y11 students had secured places in further education or training when they left Priestnall High School
The school have clear plans for their next steps in parent partnership and are eager to continue to develop their links and relationships with parents
Commentary on the tour of the school
The school was well signposted and easy to find. The entrance area was bright,pleasant and welcoming for parents with comfortable chairs, a wide range of information for parents and a plasma screen. Staff are very friendly, welcoming and professional in their approach to parents and visitors. On the day of there-assessment the adviser accompanied a family’s initial tour of the school led by the Headteacher.
The school environment was very clean and tidy with interesting displays of information and students’ work displays on the corridor walls and in the classrooms, well resourced IT areas and provided and excellent learning environment. The students were calm and on task and had good working relationships with staff. Each college area had photographs of staff and college leaders, charity notice boards and subject area information displays. The tour was very informative with the Headteacher pointing out all areas of interest, explaining the school’s systems and procedures and answering the family’s questions. The internal signage was very clear and a map of the school was provided to help parents orientate themselves. The inclusive nature of the school was apparent on the tour, the school is all on one level and specialist areas cater for individual pupils needs,a student accompanied by a staff member asked ‘who are these guys’ and was answered in a polite friendly manner by the Headteacher.
Commentary on discussions with staff, governors, parents and pupils and staff
Staff are committed to parent partnership and embrace opportunities to work with parents to enable students to reach their potential. The change to email communication has improved the quality of information exchanges between staff and parents, shortened the response times enabling issues to be dealt with on one day. Staff are proactive in their communications with parents and feel that the home school links via email in science have really improved the quality of homework done by students and enabled parents to gain a much better understanding of the work students do at home. Staff felt that the information evenings gave parents a good over view of the curriculum and the school’s expectations of their children.
Staff appreciated the work done to make the school website more interactive, they can post information from activities and events of the website to ensure all parents have access to this and gain parent feedback to support future activities. Staff are working closely with parents of children who have Education and Health Care Plans and provide specialised support at transition.Staff are keen to share current issues with parents and working hard to ensure parents understand e-safety and how they can keep their children safer on line.
The governors fully support the school in partnerships with parents. They said the standing of the school in the local community is high and felt parents were very well informed about school life. Governors highlighted the support parents of vulnerable children receive from staff. They stated that the school is extremely popular and vastly oversubscribed, which reflects the quality of relationships with parents, the local community and the showcasing of young people’s talents.
Parents’ confidence in the school is high, parents feel that the communication with school is very good and that they are well supported by school. They expressed that any concerns are dealt with quickly and that staff ensure that parents are happy with the outcomes. They appreciate e-mail communication and find it quick and easy to use. A parent whose daughter has complex needs was very impressed with how the school is working creatively and proactively with supporting her child and herself as a parent. Parents stated that the school induction process was very smooth and their children made a successful transition. They were pleased that the school acknowledged the efforts children make in their studies, extra curriculum activities and personal values and achievements.
A parent involved in the Parent Forum explained how this group works as a mechanism for parent voice to be heard, suggestions investigated and actions taken.
Parents feel well supported when their children move onto further education and praised post 16 transition.
Students from the Student Leadership Team, the mechanism for student voice, spoke to the Verifier.
The students felt their parents were well informed about school life, they were in the process of creating a link on the school website with definitions of the roles of student ambassadors, subject leaders, captains and college leaders to enable parents to have a better understanding of the roles and encourage their children to participate.
The student planners are signed by parents weekly which helps parents to monitor home school learning. Parents were invited to attend afternoon tea with their children to celebrate students helping at school events. Parents had found the information about the changes to A levels and post 16 options really useful and valued being emailed college application dates. Parents are invited to meetings when their children go on school residential. Pupils feel parents are really supported and involved in school life, they are enjoying the Priestnall Post and find the website useful.
The students really appreciated the efforts staff make to keep parents informed and involved in school life and that students are encourage to do their best and stretch themselves to take exams early if this is appropriate. They also reported that staff are very supportive of students who have additional needs and take time to work with parents to make sure the students have a good experience of school life, e.g. one parent attended the Y7 residential so that her daughter could take part.
Strengths Identified In the Review
- The school has excellent communication mechanisms with parents, they are very responsive to parents needs are continually developing communication methods to suit modern life
- The induction process is very thorough; the school has good links with feeder primaries and also meet with local nursery settings. Families are contacted by email in the summer holidays before the children start high school and meetings for parents held at the beginning of the Autumn term
- Parents are invited to join in with a wide range of events including: celebrations of learning, fund raising for charity, dog handling, curriculum information events and food tasting for GCSE food technology
- The school has an excellent transition programme which results in all students securing places at further education and training settings. Individual support is offered to families of students with additional needs and those who are vulnerable
- The school have developed the Parent Forum into a sound mechanism for parent voice, where school procedures can be discussed and improved, parents can review policies and advise of their readability and suggest developments to improve communication and involvement of parents
- Home school links are continually developing, the successful email system for sharing homework activities and information with parents is now being extended to all subject areas to support students home learning
- The school is very committed to parent partnership and considers how it communicated with parents in detail and strives for continual improvement
Areas For Development
- Continue to improve the school website to make it more interactive and user friendly
- Embed the home school subject email system in all subject areas, monitor its use and evaluate its effectiveness in improving home learning
- Continue to survey parents to gain their views of developments across a school
- Recruit new parents volunteers to the Parent Forum
Recommendation by the Adviser
That Priestnall School be awarded re-accreditation of the Leading Parent Partnership award for a period of three years
I am delighted that Priestnall School has successfully gained LPPA accreditation for a further three years, and I think that this report very accurately reflects the work that the school has done to develop our practice in this area.
Our participation in the LPPA process over the last four years has prompted us to analyse our practice in many different elements of parent/carer partnership, and there have been many whole-school improvements as a consequence. We are committed to developing further in the future, and will continue to use the LPPA framework to support this.