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Minutes from our first Parent/Carer Forum

Thank you to everyone who attended or contributed to our first and very successful Parent/Carer Forum last week.  If you couldn't make it then don't worry, we intend to arrange another meeting before the end of the academic year.  Below are the minutes from the meeting.  We hope they give you an positive insight into the matters discussed at the meeting. 


Parent/Carer Forum Meeting Notes

Wednesday 3rd May at 7pm


School attendees: Mr Hornsey, Mrs Woodcock


Parent representatives: Reception Bumblebees, Reception Dragonflies, Reception Ladybirds, Y1 Squirrels, Y2 Badgers, Y3 Sparrows, Y4 Chaffinches, Y4 Nightingales, Y5 Elms, Y5 Sycamores and Y6 Cedars.


What do parents want to gain from being part of the forum?

  • ‘Learning has changed so much since we were at school so would like to know more’
  • ‘How can we best support children at home?’
  • ‘Stay up to date with teaching methods’
  • ‘How do I identify potential in my own child? You may know them better as you spend more time with them.’
  • ‘Support for new parents in terms of arriving in the middle of a school year or new to the country.’
  • ‘Learn more about the curriculum’
  • ‘How to bridge the gap between school and individuals’ lives.’
  • ‘Building a community’



Positive reflections on school life from Greswold parents:

  • ‘Grateful for support with food allergies (3 parents).  They feel that school puts their minds at rest and their anxiety is reduced.’
  • ‘Appreciation for Miss Carpenter’s support with dietary/medical conditions.’
  • ‘So supportive of children with SEND.  They leave school with the tools they need to cope in life.’
  • ‘Educational visits both residential and day. Parents especially appreciative of staff giving up their weekends for Standon Bowers.’



Reflections to consider on school life

  • ‘Would be good to have more lunchtime vegetarian options that are egg free.’
  • ‘Would really like to reinstate Dunfield’.  Parents felt communication could have been better.   When Mr Hornsey explained the reasons for removing the visit, there was a feeling that it would have been good to share these to give parents some context.
  • Parents find the wording of ‘voluntary contribution’ frustrating, especially when they receive follow up phone calls/emails. Mr Hornsey and Mrs Woodcock shared the reasoning behind the phrase, however parents asked if the way it was phrased could be changed (e.g. including it in the small print) or if school could send a communication explaining why we have to use the wording.
  • Parents really enjoyed the Y5 performance – ‘Could other year groups consider reinstating performances as the children got a lot from it?’
  • Leave of Absence requests – Further clarification was sought on decision making and the communication of decisions, especially when requests are sensitive.  Parents felt more transparency was needed which would be in keeping with the school's own values. Current guidance and policy on Leave of Absence requests is taken from Solihull Local Authority which is due for updating. It was agreed that this item would form part of the next meeting’s agenda.  




  • The main communication system used by school, the App Messaging Service was deemed to be good and Tapestry was very popular with parents with children in Early Years.
  • It was really helpful when App Message titles contain key information or words which allows parents to decide whether or when to open the message.
  • Some parents would appreciate a 'Class Dojo' type system to help build relationships with teachers, especially if they work and aren’t able to be onsite for drop off/pick up.
  • Mr Hornsey and Mrs Woodcock shared reasons for not having such a system at present in Y1-6, including the need to balance a teacher’s professional duties which prioritise the needs of the 30 different pupils in each of their classes, however they did enquire about suggested alternatives. One parent responded about being able to have direct communication with the teacher to help build the relationship.
  • Mrs Woodcock reiterated the systems already in place with regards to parent consultations and Meet the Teacher meetings but also stressed that if parents needed to speak to class teachers about something concerning or ongoing, they could ask to arrange a meeting/phone call at a mutually convenient time. It was also highlighted that class teachers are also very keen to form and maintain positive relationships with parents.
  • Parents really appreciate being able to speak to the class teacher at the end of the day.
  • It was suggested that it would be ideal for new families who start school to have an introduction to the different platforms for communication and how they work – possibly a guide on the website.
  • It was also explained the use of Tapestry ceases at the end of Year 1.
  • A few parents enquired as to whether ‘Meet the Teacher’ could be done virtually for parents who can’t attend face to face.  This instigated a discussion around safeguarding and variables out of the control of the class teacher when conducting virtual meetings with a large number of attendees.  If cameras were turned off, how would parents then communicate their questions.  This enquiry will be discussed further with Greswold's Senior Leadership team.
  • Mr Hornsey emphasised the point that one of our School Improvement Plan priorities for this year is about communication across the school and especially with parents, and so all of the matters discussed at Parent Forum have been or will be explored and addressed in detail before the end of the academic year.     



Other topics discussed and shared

School demographic and how it’s changed over the last few years

Greswold’s Curriculum offer


Adaptive teaching

Parental Workshops



Future items for Parent Forum agendas  

Leave of Absence Requests

Pupil friendships and social interaction

Home Learning

House Points




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