Home School Communication
At St Mary’s we take every opportunity to work proactively with our parents / carers to ensure the very best outcomes for every student.
Staff welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with parents/carers and value information that may help to promote a student’s attainment and/or progress.
We value parent / carer input into their child’s education, and also welcome feedback on the work of the school.
We look to actively promote electronic communication but use a variety of methods to communicate accurately and efficiently with each and every parent.
Email is now used as the main form of communication with parents/carers. Letters, newsletters and general information will be sent via email.
Please ensure that the school has a record of an up to date email address and that the account is checked regularly.
Student Mail will be used when we need to get information home quickly and/or students have requested information that can be shared with parents/carers – for example when an international trip is being offered by the school. Parents/carers are asked to support students with checking their school bags regularly for letters and information that has been sent home. Parents/carers will usually be advised that a letter has been sent via student mail through an email so that parents/carers can ask for the letter.
The School website contains key information for all of our community on the work of the school. Parents/carers are requested to check the website regularly as it is updated almost daily and provides a quick reference for general information such as school term dates and exam timetables.
The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) was launched earlier in the 2014/15 Academic year to provide key learning resources and school and student information. Each student has been provided log in details that have been shared with parents/carers. A number of subjects use the VLE to set extended learning (homework) and to monitor its completion. The VLE also is a very good source of reference materials and resources to support revision and preparation for examinations.
KeepKidSafe is a system that sends messages to a mobile telephone. It is used for reminders and urgent messages for parents/carers. Please ensure that the school has the correct mobile telephone number on records.
Truancy Call is a system that sends an alert to a parent/carer if a student has not got a mark for morning school and the school is not aware of any reason for absence. The Truancy Call message is sent to a mobile phone and the message will be repeatedly sent until a response is recieved from the parent/carer.
The School Calendar can be accessed through the school website and VLE. Please refer to this regularly as it is updated throughout the school year. Please make a note of important dates such as Progress Review Days and Consultation or Subject Option Evenings. Parents/carers are encouraged to attend as many events across the school year as possible. In the event of this not always being possible however, parents/carers are asked to prioritise meetings and activities that focus on student attainment and progress.
Student Planners/Organisers provide a good source of general information about the school for parents/carers as well as providing details of extended learning (homework) that has been set. (This should be written into the planner/organiser by your child each day). Parents/carers are asked to check their child’s planner/organiser regularly and sign it at least once each week. Messages can be written to staff in the planner/organiser and staff may also write messages to parents/carers.
Progress Review Days are organised three times each year (once each term). On Progress Review Days, the timetable is suspended and parents/carers are invited in to school to meet with form tutors and their child(ren) to discuss progress and review and set targets. Students are expected to bring evidence that they have met or been working towards their targets. Members of the Inclusion Team and Key Workers will meet with parents/carers and students who have additional needs or require specific support on Progress Review Days.
Parent/Carer Consultation Evenings are organised once each academic year for Post 16 students and for Year 9 as part of their Options Evening. Parents/carers are asked to come into school during these evenings to meet with staff and discuss student progress. It is also an opportunity to ask questions however, it is not necessary to wait until a parent/carer evening to contact the school – please discuss concerns with a member of staff as early as possible.
Information Evenings are organised at the start of each academic year for the parents/carers of each year group/key stage. The aim of these evenings is to provide comprehensive information about the year ahead and discuss strategies that parents/carers could use to support their child and the work of the school. A Curriculum Booklet is given to all parents/carers that provides details about the courses that will be taught during the year ahead. These booklets are also available to view and download from this website (See under Learning /Key Stage sections)
Reports are sent home to parents/carers each term. These will provide data about progress and attitude to learning. Once each academic year a full report is prepared by staff and discussed at the Progress Review Day or parent/carer consultation evening.
Telephone contact is regularly used by school staff to provide information to parents/carers and/or to discuss matters of concern or success. Parents/carers can contact the school and ask to speak to a member of staff at any time. Our aim is to ensure that telephone calls are responded to within 24 hours (Please be patient as teaching staff may have days when they teach all day and would not be able to make telephone calls).
Appointments with Staff can be made on request to discuss any aspect of a child’s attainment, progress or personal develeopment. Parents/carers should contact their child’s form tutor in the first instance about general matters or general progress. The subejct teacher should be contacted if a parent/carer wishes to discuss a subject specific issue. Parents/carers are asked to raise issues at the earliest opportunity so that they can be addressed as soon as possible.
Head Teacher Surgeries are held several times each academic year. Parents/carers can make an appointment to meet with the Head Teacher during a surgery to discuss any asect of the school. Parents/carers who wish to speak with the Head Teacher do not need to wait until a Head Teacher Surgery but can contact the Head Teacher’s PA by emailingor ‘phoning the school.
Emergency Contact can be made with the school during opening hours using the main switchboard number 01992 629124. If a parent/carer needs to get urgent information to their child, this should be done through the school staff who will pass on information. A parent/carer who needs to take a child out of school for emergency reasons during the school day MUST contact the school and organise this with staff to support the safeguarding of all children. Parents/carers are asked NOT to contact students to organise leaving school without first advising and organising this through the School.
Parents/carers should not call their children direct as this will delay the support we can offer to the child and family. If there is an emergency situation in school such as when a child has an accident, staff will contact parent/carers using emergency contact numbers at the very earliest opportunity.
Parents/carers are asked to make sure that emergency contact numbers are regularly reviewed and that the school is advised immediately of any changes to these contact details. It is a requirement that parents/carers provide the school with a reliable emergency contact number.
Special Events are held regularly throughout each academic year. These events will include celebratory presentations evenings, competition, showcases of performing arts, textiles or other student work as well as music, dance and drama productions. Senior staff and governors will be in attendance at these events and are always available to speak to. If a parent/carer has a specific matter that requires more detailed discussion, the matter can be raised and an appointment made to discuss further.