Thank you to the parents and carers who responded to the January 2019 questionnaire. Your answers and opinions have proved extremely valuable. Below, I have provided some responses and feedback.
Safe, happy and well looked after: Everyone agreed that their child feels safe, happy and well looked after at school and most felt that they strongly agreed with this statement. This is very important to us because children staying safe is absolutely paramount and we work hard to look after the children and to ensure this is always the case. We also want our children to be happy and confident young people because being happy is important but it also secures a good base for learning and greater levels of resilience which we know children benefit from.
Progress and teaching: Almost all parents felt that their child was making good or very good progress at the school, "My child has made excellent progress since moving here and the team are all fantastic", is just one of many positive comments. Two parents disagreed with these statements and one wasn't sure which is a shame. I believe the teaching in this school is outstanding and know that the teaching staff work incredibly hard to ensure learning is the very best it can be; a view which is backed up by the academy trust. Almost all parents believe that homework is appropriate for age; this is very good news and an improvement from the last survey.
Bullying and behaviour: Again almost all parents felt that this is very well managed in the school with one parents giving that box three ticks to show their support. The zero tolerance to bullying remains a strong and clear message and any undesirable behaviours that we are made aware of are dealt with swiftly. I believe this is a core part of keeping children safe and will seek to continue with this clear line.
Leadership and management: Just one parent felt this should be improved whilst all other parents felt that the leadership was well managed and has a positive impact on the school. Some parents were less sure about the impact of the Trust but this is a positive mark as we assured parents that in the short term at least, they would see no difference and there would be no changes as a result of joining the MAT. I can tell you that from a school point of view it has been hugely beneficial to be part of the BST and that all staff are enjoying the benefits that it affords. Our budget is healthier whilst training is more focused and there is a much greater level of accountability for school leaders which is motivating and leads to even greater progress for our children.
Concerns: Almost all parents felt that the school responds well to concerns that are raised with some feeling that we respond extremely well and effectively to concerns; I work hard to listen carefully to concerns and always seek to ensure a positive resolution to them - my door remains open to parents and I am always ready to listen. A few parents felt we could communicate ideas a little better which we will try hard to do. Sometimes parents would like more information about dressing up days and other school events which we can work on although we do also try to engender greater responsibility onto the children around such matters as part of helping them to develop as young people and in preparation for the next stage in their schooling.
Valuable information: Seven parents felt that they do not receive enough information about their child's progress which is the greatest area of concern for us as a result of this survey. We share with you detailed progress and attainment data in October, February and July as well as a full school report and the two parent information evenings during the year. Parents can also track progress using Mathletics and My Maths and for children using Lexia this also has a tracker. This is at least in line with most schools but parents are always very welcome to come in and talk to the class teachers about progress and ways that they can help further at home.
Finally, I am delighted to say that all but one parent would happily send their child to this school again and would recommend the school to other parents. This is excellent news and very important. We work so very hard to enable the children to be successful and confident young people when they leave us and our ASPIRE curriculum enables the children to do this.
Thank you once again for the survey responses and will close with some overarching comments from the survey:
"We absolutely love Thomas Harding and feel very happy that our children come here."
"We are very happy with all aspects of the school."
"We feel so lucky that our child has a place at Thomas Harding."
"Thomas Harding is an excellent school. (our child) finds her lessons stimulating. As parents we feel our child is happy, safe and being given the opportunity to reach her full potential."