Effective communication between school and home
Parental Communication Statement
Regular, proactive and respectful communication is essential to ensuring our students are well-supported during their time in secondary school. Every teacher has a duty to establish a positive dialogue with their students’ families. Our respective commitments are set out in the table below.
The School’s commitment
Some things to consider:
All teachers can be reached by email. School email addresses use the formula email@example.com. Therefore, form tutor Jane Smith would be JSmith@chartereastdulwich.org.uk. Tutors do not have direct phone lines but can be reached via the school main number: 020 3873 2290.
Teachers are rarely able to receive or to make phone calls during the school day, nor can they take unscheduled meetings. If you wish to speak to a teacher, it is best either to email them directly, or to leave a message or book a meeting through the main school reception.
The constraints on school resources make it essential that parents use authorised school procedures and protocols in order to avoid diverting time and attention that must be invested directly in students’ learning and wellbeing.
The School makes available many opportunities for parents to communicate proactively with teachers and school leaders, both about their own child(ren) and on more general matters that can help the whole school to improve. Som of these opportunities are listed below.
Routine communication about the school
The school recognises that ad hoc communication to the home can be confusing and difficult to follow. Therefore routine information regarding school developments, including key school events, will be included in the weekly School Bulletin which is emailed to all primary guardians every Thursday during term time. The bulletin contains essential information about the school’s operations in the week ahead as well as celebrating developments in the week passed. An archive of bulletins can be found on our school website here.
The school website also contains essential information about term dates, school uniform and key school procedures. Parents are respectfully asked to check the school newsletter and/or website for this sort of information before calling the main school reception.
The school actively seeks feedback from parents on all aspects of its operations. The school runs an annual Parents Survey through which it takes structured feedback about all aspects of your experience and your children’s experience at TCSED. Feedback received through the survey is a critical input into the school’s Development Plan and all parents are strongly encouraged to participate.
Parents Forum meetings are held once per term. These meetings are opportunities for parents to help the school address specific issues and to refine its operations. The school will, for example, present the results of its annual parents survey and its response to those results at a Parents Forum. The effectiveness of these meetings are a function of parental participation; again, parents are strongly encouraged to attend.
Routine communication about achievement
Your child’s teachers will be assessing his or her progress and attainment very regularly. We will communicate their results home in the form of a report at the end of each full term, or three times per year. This schedule exists in order to provide regular feedback to parents while also allowing enough time for students to work through a complete unit of study. The final report for the year will include the grades your child has earned in our End of Year examinations. Each report will also include important pastoral information such as your child’s attendance in school, the number of merits your child has received in the year-to-date and the number of incidents of poor behaviour recorded.
Parents can contact subject teachers by email at any time, but the best opportunity to meet with a cross-section of your child’s teachers will be during an Achievement Evening. Appointments with specific teachers can be booked using our online booking system which will be open two weeks before each achievement evening. Parents will be informed about dates for 2018-19 Achievement Evenings via the Bulletin and are strongly encouraged to attend if at all possible. Considerable educational research has shown that parents who attend Achievement Evenings at their child’s school are better able to support their progress in school.
Parents of Year 7 students will also be invited to a settling-in meeting with their child’s tutor in October.
Routine communication about student wellbeing
The school runs workshops every term for parents on issues that relate to their children’s wellbeing. Sessions focus on topics such as mindful parenting and online safety. These workshops are advertised well in advance in the School Newsletter.
Day-to-day communication about your child
Your child’s form tutor is your routine point of contact for all issues related to their wellbeing and for queries regarding their progress in general. Queries regarding your child’s progress in a specific subject are typically better directed to the relevant subject teacher.
Your child’s form tutor and subject teachers are all named in the timetable included in their school Planner.
Day-to-day communication about homework
All homework is set and much of it is submitted via Google Classroom. Students are encouraged to keep on top of their own homework schedules. However, parents can choose to remain informed about the homework set by replying to the automatic email generated to each primary guardian when a child is assigned to a teaching group. This email will provide a parent with either a running update or a weekly summary of homework being set. The school strongly recommends that parents opt to receive the weekly summary and check with students once per week regarding their completion of homework.
In almost all cases, students in need of help with their homework should communicate directly with their teacher. This can also be done via Google Classroom if it is outside of school hours.
Communicating with more senior members of staff
If you have a question or concern of a sensitive or serious nature that you feel requires help that either a tutor or subject teacher cannot provide, you should contact your child’s Head of Year. The head of KS3 is Ms S. Daly and the head of Year 9 is Ms J. Kempster. If your concern relates to your child’s safety at home or in school, you should contact our Deputy Headteacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead, Ms R. Hardy.
The Headteacher is available every Tuesday, between 08.00am-09.00am, for parent drop-in sessions, to answer any questions parents feel cannot be answered by their child’s tutor.
Communicating with school governors
The school’s Local Governing Body can be contacted directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Parents are asked to bear in mind that school governors at all schools are unpaid volunteers. It will rarely be advisable to contact the governing body about time-critical queries.