January 15, 2016

Reading and Forum

At Nightingale we view parental involvement as key to school improvement.  Our belief is that children with parents who are actively involved in their learning do better.  Nightingales parent forum enables parents to have a voice within the school, giving them opportunities to contribute to policy making and improving learning.  We have found excellent results by working in partnership with parents and as a result have improved the strength of our school community.

This week parents attended the half termly Nightingale Parents forum meeting.   The forum which was established in June 2015 is chaired by Head of School Miss Woodland and made up of various parents and parent governors.  Miss Woodland said: “The forum is developing really well and we always invite new parents to join the group.  It’s a fantastic way to gather regular feedback about how we can support parents in their child’s education.”

As a new school Nightingale is at an exciting stage in its development.  At previous forum meetings parents had shown a keen interest in the evolution and shaping of the school.

An area parents were keen to keep, and felt was unique to Nightingale was the open door policy, which has continued as a result of positive feedback from the forum.  Parents are welcomed and encouraged into the classroom to spend valuable time with their child, and are able to discuss their child’s progress with teachers on a more regular basis.

Building on from discussions at the parents’ forum, work was completed surrounding Nightingales vision and values, to further establish what made Nightingale unique.  The Academy motto, “going for gold” is often reiterated around the school to tie in with behaviour and learning targets for students.

A Breakfast Club and After School Club were established as a direct result of the parents’ forum.  The clubs, which are facilitated by staff, allow children to stay at school earlier and later than the hours of teaching.  The breakfast club has proven to be particularly popular and as studies have shown children eating breakfast regularly have higher levels of concentration resulting in greater achievements in school.  It is also beneficial for parents who work longer hours and have difficulty meeting the schools start and end times.

From discussions with the parent forum, requests for classes to help parents with their child’s learning at home was marked as an area for development.  As a result, this week at Nightingale Primary Academy we hosted a class for Year 1 parents to help their children with reading at home.

As a parent reading with your child at home is vital, and research shows that it is the single most important thing you can do to help your child’s education.  Books aren’t just great for reading, they also help to introduce new ideas and topics to stimulate imagination and interest.

Our Key Stage 1 teacher Ms Bellis taught the class to parents this week, which focussed on reading at home.  Ms Bellis said: “Parents were thoroughly engaged, asking lots of questions and the turn-out was fabulous.  It’s always lovely to see so many parents trying to improve their learning environment at home.”

We meet our parents’ forum half termly, and welcome suggestions for improvement in our continuing effort to develop the Academy.