In the hours since we announced that we would be mixing classes we have received a range of feedback from parents. As a result of this feedback we thought that this statement may be useful to help clarify some points raised.
We emailed out the consultation, after creating a designated page on the website and discussing at the Parent Forum. The Parent Forum is an open event to the whole school, currently there are 13 members signed up. The whole school consultation was emailed to parents, it was put on all of our social media accounts with reminders and added to our weekly newsletters.
The consultation results are as follows:
120 replies in total (parents, governors and staff) – for a total idea of figures there are roughly 380 children in school, fifty staff and six governors (non-staff governors).
There were 66 people who said they were “For” this idea or would do “Whatever school feels best”. 54 responses expressed reservations about the proposal.
We are disappointed by the outturn of the consultation, however, we tried to involve as many parents as possible by highlighting the proposals on the school website, in the school newsletter, by email and on both social media platforms (Twitter and Facebook).
To say that we followed the numbers blindly would belittle the whole process. There were lots of discussions, lots of looking around and analysing of comments we had received.
We have had emails to have a “re-vote”. The consultation was not a “vote”. It was a fact finding mission to gauge perception and gather comments and information. The comments made as part of this consultation were considered before a final decision was made.
Children are going to be asked for three friends. This is not the sole way we are creating new classes – it is not a popularity contest. Teachers will be selecting classes for children to go into based on their in depth knowledge of your children – including who they get on with. We will ask the children for a list of three names as we want to make sure that we haven’t overlooked any groups or that we haven’t missed out on the fact that someone might be best friends at home with a child from the other class. It is a mechanism to ensure that all avenues are addressed and to give your child a voice in the process. If your child feels uncomfortable doing this, they don’t need to do it. It is worth mentioning that there are only two classes per year group, so your child will remain with roughly 50% of their current class, with 50% of the other class. We are not out to stop friendship groups; we want to support your child make more friendship groups. Children will also remain free to play with whoever they would like at playtimes and lunchtimes.
Year 5 going into Year 6 and SATs
This was our hardest decision. We honestly feel that we would not be giving your child the skills they need for secondary school if we didn’t help them make friends with more children at this school before they go. We will not let this add extra pressure to your child for their SATs, although we fully understand your point of view. Lots of comments from parents in the consultation supported this view. We also had parents of children who had left us for secondary school who said they wished we had done it for their child as they really struggled at the beginning of secondary school.
I don’t feel school has listened to me
We are sorry if you feel this way. We read every comment and discussed them all. We are disappointed that more people did not share their opinions with us throughout the whole consultation process.
We continue to receive emails on both sides. Thank you for sending them. We are happy to discuss genuine questions about moving forward – for example, we are not going to create a “Higher ability class and a lower ability class” as has been rumoured. However, the time for consultation was made very clear and everyone was invited to have their say. We are sorry if you didn’t join the consultation but now a decision has been made. The question for us now is how to support your child for the best, moving forward.
Mr. Davison Mr Chadwick
Headteacher Deputy Headteacher
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