Coffee morning notes - May 2016

(9 PF members and approx 15-20 additional parents)
Parents were given the opportunity to write ideas, concerns and what they might be able to do to help onto post it notes which were collected. Later we were also joined by a visitor from the Department of Education seeking to understand why we had chosen this school and why it worked so well as a model of integration.
• PF agreed to look in detail at our methods of communication with parents. Making greater use of the newsletter, more coffee mornings and how we reach all parents.
• Playtimes - queries from parents about playtimes, siblings not being allowed to play together, lack of play equipment. Mrs Cohen explained how age groups are divided in the playground to protect the younger children. Mrs C to bring to senior management to see if any improvements can be made and report back.
Comments from parents:
- request for workshops for parents alongside their child to help them understand their child’s learning style and how to support them
- dodgeball for Y4 upwards
- Maths / English homework clubs
- After school clubs from Reception upwards
- better communication with parents
- extra help for children with SEN
- after school help with 11+ preparation
- after school music for all
- more variety of after school clubs

Meeting notes - February 2016

• KDRES - discussed how to encourage more parents to donate - agreed to create a box for questions from parents and for PF members to be at a table in the playground for a week to answer questions from parents - Mrs O to include item in newsletter
• Finances - how we can think more strategically about finances in the longer term - Anita to email Mrs O with details of schools who employ a business manager - outcome?
• Hope Chapel - we owe money to repair glass broken by a parent’s car. A box for donations will be placed on the KDRES table - Outcome - achieved, all money owed given to Hope Chapel.
• Safeguarding - feedback requested from reps on the new safeguarding doc
• Role of reps - discussed how we can make ourselves more visible to parents - at open evenings, parents evenings, coffee mornings. We agreed to hold a coffee morning at the start of each term.
• Nursery - positive improvements in communication with increased feedback though parents need to know to ask for it.
• World Book Day - request for support from PF
• Workshops - reps to encouarge parents to attend workshops as much as possible
• Changing facilities for Y5 children - feedback that Y5 parents are concerned that separate areas for children to change in should be available - Mrs O to explore

Parent Forum minutes 24.11.15

King David School – Parent Forum Meeting

24th November 2015


Present:Fiona Owen, Sadia Ahmed, Samira Ahmed, Summaya Siddiqui, Shantal Lawrence, Afreen Shahab, Kate Panagamuwa, Simone Bryant, Sam Bushell, Farheen Arshad, Sadia Ishaq

Apologies: Eman Elizabeth Penny, Karen Skinazi, Shahista Zamir, Asma Manir, Natali Fulford, Anita Virk

Mrs Owen offered to chair the meeting. Welcome and introductions.

1. KDRES appeal letter - various questions from parents – reps

Questions raised by parents were discussed and responses will be included in the school newsletter.

  • Some parents say they haven’t received the letter this term – this may be because they received a similar letter sent only to Jewish parents back in the spring. The letter sent this term was to all other parents. Still some non-Jewish parents hadn’t received it and we discussed the option of including a copy in school bags although noted the potential for causing confusion for those who have already received it.
  • There is also some confusion as to whether this is as well as or instead of the School Fund and whether further requests for donations will be made. Simone clarified that the School Fund has been incorporated into the KDRES pot now so that there is a single place for donations. It is not yet known whether the school may need to write again to parents asking for further donations if this appeal does not raise what is needed.
  • Parents asking whether payments can be made termly rather than monthly and some feedback from parents to say that the monthly amount, particularly for those with more than one child, is a lot. Mrs Owen explained that when she worked at a catholic school, the diocese had to contribute 20% into the school accounts. Funding to all schools is also being squeezed and therefore now more than ever, there is a need for donations from parents, particularly as King David’s School provides so much ‘extra’ to the learning experience of the children.
  • That the regular, open communication and consultation with parents, facilitated by the parent forum is very important to the school
  • That the parent forum is not the place for concerns relating to an individual child or individual complaints.
  • That the parent forum is not a fundraising forum. It is distinct from the PTA.
  • That reps for each year group are a key channel of communication between school and parents and it is their role to gather questions, ideas and concerns before meetings and be ready to communicate back to parents after meetings. Information relevant to many parents can also be included in the newsletter and on the blog on the school website.
  • Also to flag up that previous Parent Forums have had a suggestion drop box in the reception area by the school office so that parents can put their questions and ideas in there. We agreed this should be reestablished.
  • Mrs Owen explained that she is happy to take this forward and has found a charity based in Nottingham which does work of various kinds to support Syrian refugees. The Rabbi is in agreement and the charity supports all refugees regardless of faith.

ACTION: Mrs Owen to include Q & A in the newsletter& consider the option of including the letter in school bags

REPS: to go back to parents to explain what we have discussed

2. Terms of Reference – Mrs Owen

Mrs Owen handed out and talked through our terms of reference highlighting the following:

ACTION: All PF members to read the terms of reference

ACTION: we need a volunteer to make the suggestions drop box and check it before meetings…anyone?

2. Fundraising plans for the refugee crisis – Afreen

Afreen announced that, sadly, she is moving away with her family and that they will therefore be leaving the school at the end of this term. She asked therefore that someone else take over this important work.

ACTION: Mrs Owen to take forward within school.

(3. Donation for Hope Chapel – Natali – not present)

4. Nursery communication – Natali

Afreen had got an update from Anita who is nursery rep. Some children are finding the drop off difficult, particularly as they have to wait on the carpet as their parent leaves. We discussed that some children need to be handed over to an adult and that distraction by being taken somewhere else may help. Mrs Owen explained that a gate system can sometimes be effective. We discussed the importance of parents leaving the nursery quickly but the difficulty of doing this when the child is clinging to you. We also discussed nursery parents’ wish for a little daily feedback about how the child has been that day. Mrs Owen explained that there is now a communication board in nursery.

ACTION: Mrs Owen will discuss drop off and daily communication options with nursery staff.

ACTION: Nursery reps to draw parents’ attention to the communication board.

5. Golden Awards - update on plan to include them in newsletter – Afreen

Mrs Owen explained that this idea had been put to staff for their thoughts. A number of pros and cons had been considered, including: that it would be nice for those children whose parents can attend when they receive their golden award, that it may be hard for those whose parents cannot attend, that it would be a shame to lose the joy of the surprise factor when names are announced in Kiddush. A secret communication to parents of winners each week is a way around that but would cause significant additional work for school.

ACTION: we agreed that although a good idea to consider, that this should not be implemented and that Golden Awards should continue as normal. Parents are encouraged to attend Kiddush when they are able but we recognize there are many who cannot due to work or other commitments.  

6. Security and how children can be reassured – (Natali)

PF were keen to know how the school was handling matters of security without causing undue worry or distress to the children. Mrs Owen explained that the intruder drill is conducted every year so that all staff, and children are aware of what to do. The date for this year’s drill, just last week, was set up many months ago, so was NOT directly connected to the recent atrocities.Volunteers are also taught what to do. Mrs Owen explained that children have been told that it is in case a bad person comes to school, who means harm to some people. She explained that children were told that the drill was all part of how the school is looking after them and keeping them safe and that a teacher would be between them and any intruder. She explained that this is why children must tell a teacher when they leave the classroom to go to the toilet. Stay and Play have been included this year and children have been taught what to do if the alarm goes off when they are walking down a corridor as well as what to do in the classroom.

7. Review of how we work as a parent forum and pattern of meetings - Kate 

Kate clarified that Parent Forum meetings are always just for the members of the parent forum, which is the Chairs, Secretary, Staff Rep (Mrs Owen), Governor and Year Group Reps. Kate suggested that we meet once a term in the middle of the term, which leaves the first half of the term for reps to be talking to parents and gathering ideas and questions, and the second half of term following the meeting, is available to communicate back out to parents in the playground, via the newsletter etc… We have previously talked about open and closed meetings, which has been confusing. We are able to hold coffee mornings to facilitate our communication with parents and, as a way to gather feedback and give responses. But the meetings themselves are just for PF members.

8. AOB

PF display- Mrs Owen asked if anyone would be willing to give the PF display the once over. Afreen and Kate volunteered and were give the printed photos.

Thank you and farewell to Afreen - On behalf of the Parent Forum, we wish Afreen enormous luck with her move. Thank you for all you have done for the school and for the Parent Forum. You will be greatly missed.