Communication between school and parents/ carers
The framework for communication between home and school is out in our 'Communication between school and home' policy, which also contains our 'Home-School agreement'.
Our Home-School agreement summarises the school’s aims and values, our responsibilities towards the children, the responsibilities of parents, and what the school expects of the children. We ask parents to sign this agreement when their child starts at our school, and where appropriate, for the children to sign it too. The agreement covers the standard of education in our school, the ethos of the school, and our expectations regarding attendance, behaviour and homework.
Regarding communication, our Home-School agreement states that the school should:
- Work in partnership with parents and maintain good communication using a variety of methods
It also states that parents should:
- Make the school aware of any change in circumstances or concerns that might affect my/our child’s learning, behaviour or ability to do homework and let us know if there is any aspect that you need support with
- Always communicate with the school appropriately and politely
How the school communicates with parents/ carers
Parentmail: is our online messaging service which enables us to send letters and messages directly and quickly to you via email. You will be provided with a code so that you can connect to this system. Using Parentmail is the most effective way for you to notify us of your child's absence too. Please ensure you have downloaded the app!
Weekly Newsletter: sent to parents/ carers electronically every week throughout the year. It contains general details of school events and activities. Parents/ carers expect the newsletter, and appreciate the regularity of the contact. We send other emails/ letters of a general nature when necessary, such as:
- Letters about Educational Visits - payments, confirmation and approval
- Invitations to SEN Meetings, school performances, sporting events, assemblies etc.
- Letters regarding curriculum enrichment activities
Termly Welcome Letters: sent by all teachers to the parents/ carers of the children in their classes with details of the work to be covered during the forthcoming term.
Reading Planners: all children from Reception to Year 6 in the school have reading planners, which are sent out and returned on a daily basis. Children from Year 1 to Year 6 also receive homework on a weekly basis.
Parent Surveys: this is our primary method of receiving structured feedback from parents/ carers on how they feel the school and their child is progressing. We use a common bank of questions in our annual survey so that we can compare the results year on year.
Social Media: We use Twitter (@RoyalKentSchool) or Facebook (Royal Kent School, Oxshott) to share information about the school’s work with the wider online community.
Parent/ carers consultations: Parents/ carers are provided with the opportunity to meet their child’s teacher twice a year (autumn and spring terms) for a consultation. This gives them the opportunity to celebrate their child’s successes, and to support their child in areas where there is a particular need for improvement. Parents/ carers are able to see their child’s work during these meetings. Parents/ carers are also given information on where their child is performing in relation to age related expectations and targets which the child is currently working on in core subjects. We encourage parents/ carers to contact the school if any issues arise regarding their child’s progress or well-being at any time throughout the academic year.
When children have Special Educational Needs, or if they are making less than the expected progress, teachers may find it helpful to meet with parents/ carers more regularly. A child, whose progress is causing concern, or a child who has identified Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) will be reviewed and supported in line with the current Local Authority (LA) ‘Code of Practice’ and within school policy, protocol and procedures. Parents/ carers will be kept informed of all monitoring outcomes and educational provision made.
Annual written report to parents/ carers: Every summer we provide a written report to each child’s parents/ carers on the child’s progress in the various National Curriculum subjects. This report identifies areas of strength and areas for future development. In our school we ask the children to comment on their own progress and achievements during the year, and we ask parents/ carers to make a similar comment. Teachers are asked to report their ‘Teacher Assessment’ in Reading, Writing and Maths and we also give parents/ carers in Year 1, 2, 4 and 6 the details of their child’s performance in the national tests, and details of national comparisons.
The school aims with all parental communication to provide two weeks’ notice of events or dates where possible. Where formal meetings are arranged, the content information of the meeting and attendees are shared when known.
How parents/ carers can communicate with the school
Please make sure that you contact the most appropriate member of staff for your query.
School Office: Our Office is staffed between 8.30am – 3.30pm each day. If you call the school outside of these times your call may not be answered. Parents/ carers should contact the School Office, rather than the class teachers, for all administrative matters (i.e. absence/ payments). Please let us know of any change in contact details (especially contact phone numbers) immediately, so that we are always able to contact you in case of an emergency.
Informal Playground Discussion: Class teachers are generally able to have a quick discussion at the beginning or end of the day when you drop off/ collect your child. If you would like a longer appointment, you can make an appointment for a different time with them for a meeting or telephone call.
Email to teachers: Parents/ carers will be given their child’s class teacher’s email address at the start of the year. Class teacher check their emails regularly (i.e. at least several times per week) but not necessarily daily, so please bear this in mind when emailing. Please do not contact teachers about administrative issues via email, i.e. absence, if someone different is picking up children, as all administrative enquiries/ information should be sent to the School Office. If a child is in a year group with a job share teaching arrangement, parents/ carers should email both teachers.
As we do not expect the teachers to check their emails daily, if there is an urgent issue, it is best to talk to the teacher in person/ call the School Office and pass on a message.
Class Representatives: At RKS we have a Class Rep system. The purpose of this is:
- To foster a sense of class & school-wide community amongst parents/ carers
- To assist communication between school & home (i.e. draw attention to school notices, special days, events)
- To encourage and enhance appropriate parental support and involvement in school life (eg. PTA events, fundraising initiatives, classroom help)
Concerns or complaints: If you have a concern/ complaint we would encourage you to discuss it with the school at an early stage so that problems or worries do not fester. Most concerns or potential complaints are best settled by a discussion with the class teacher or another member of staff before reaching the complaint stage.
For further information on concerns/ complaints please refer to the Surrey CC policy available here so that you are clear about the correct procedures to follow in raising your concern.
- The school aims to respond to all communication from parents/ carers as early as possible – in most cases this will be within 3 working days, and always within 5 working days. In the case of emails, a response to acknowledge receipt of an email will be made where information needs to be sourced or the email is passed on to a member of staff for a response. Precision, clarity and brevity in email communications from both parties will enable timely responses.
- When the school is communicating with parents/ carers, we are only able to discuss their own child/ren. It is not appropriate to discuss in detail the provision, behaviour or consequences relating to other children.
- We encourage positive, respectful communication between home and school, and therefore expect that parents/ carers remain calm and polite when discussing matters with members of staff, regardless of the form of communication (i.e. in writing, over the telephone, in person). Aggression or rudeness to our staff will not be tolerated and if this occurs, the discussion will be terminated and parents/ carers will be asked to discuss the matter at another time or with another member of staff. In addition, communication should take place at an appropriate time (i.e. when the school day has started and teachers have taken charge of a class, they will not be able to discuss issues and an alternative appointment should be made).
- Should the Headteacher have any concerns about appropriate communication between home and school, a Communication Protocol may be put in place to aid appropriate communication and clarify procedures and expectations for both parties. We also reserve the right to restrict communication channels if the Headteacher feels this is appropriate.