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Dobcroft infant school


Parent School development meeting 4.5.22

We had a school development meeting, to share our school development priorities with our parents, plus to keep them informed of all the work that we have been doing since our OFSTED in December.

We listened to the feedback from our parents and will be putting this into action shortly.

The powerpoint is at the bottom of this page.

 Parental feedback via questionnaire and school responses November 2019.

What works well:

  • Very inclusive
  • Good range of external trips
  • Transition through school years
  • Kindness awards
  • Ambassador roles
  • Child is getting much more independent
  • Very strong academically
  • Really well organised in terms of info for parents
  • The staff are motivated and genuine about wanting to create an outstanding environment for the children to thrive and learn.
  • Info evenings are held at the beginning of the year for parents to understand what the children will be learning and expectations. Parents are given info on how to support their children at home.
  • The teachers are very friendly and supportive
  • Teachers are warm and friendly and supportive of the children
  • Good teachers and support staff x 2
  • My child feels comfortable and happy within the school, it has been a very positive experience coming to DIS.
  • Really supportive teaching team and good info for new parents
  • My child’s teacher is amazing, great with children and fabulous at communicating with parents. Overall communication with parents is excellent.
  • School library
  • The school has a lovely atmosphere and I like the way you are greeted in the playground/reception by the staff each morning. The subjects and trips are good and my child feels inspired by the teachers she’s had, she loves to learn and I think it is done in a fun way.
  • Passionate teaching and great ethos
  • Excellent staff
  • Good teacher and teaching assistant. Smooth system in the morning when dropping off kids
  • My child feels safe and secure in their classroom and whole school environment which is a testimony to the hard work of the whole school team. My child is able to work and develop in a classroom that is calm and inclusive and where pupils work together as a team. It feels nice development and as parents we are thrilled to hear that attributes such as kindness and understanding are nurtured in the classroom and across the whole school. Dobcroft has a warm and welcoming feel to it and as a parent I have always felt welcome to visit and ask questions about how my child is progressing.
  • Everything, I am a fan! I think the staff treat the children as individuals and get to know them really well.  My children have and continue to thrive and are consistently enthusiastic about going in each day.
  • I often hear parents whinging about the communication and how inconsistent and poor it is. I’d just like to say I think there wrong and I think your communication is totally fine. You send out all the info necessary, in good time to action it’s requests.
  • Good communication when introducing foundation year with parent meetings and lots of regular texts/ email communication.
  • Nice graded start to foundation. Approachable staff.
  • The home visit before starting school was really helpful. Lots of communication has also been a help.
  • Friendly caring staff
  • Very strong academically and really well organised in terms of information for parents.
  • The teachers are caring and supportive and create a wonderful safe learning environment where children strive.
  • My child has fun and is treated as an individual.
  • The staff are friendly and approachable.
  • DASH. Earlier drop off, offer food, greater availability.  Consider using different company if necessary.
  • A warm and friendly environment but with high expectations of parents and pupils. Strong collegiate relationship between the school and parents – which foster a strong community feel.
  • The overall ethos of the school to teach each child individual child’s ability and provide challenge to ensure that all children fulfil their potential is evident in everything the teachers and support staff do.  The preschool children are happy , engaged and are exposed to a range of learning and social opportunities. It also appears that as the children progress through the school their learning is enriched with lots of extracurricular activities.
  • Learning is made fun through songs and themes ie Supertato book which resonates.  Lots of extra activities including violins or visits to mosques or aquarium.  Very supportive teachers which focus on social development as well as curriculum.  Additional help to ensure children progress i.e. early birds reading.  Opportunities for children to take on extra responsibilities ie e-cadets to build confidence.  I feel it is a warm school and have been very pleased.  Problems are quickly resolved.

What you would like governors to consider developing/improving?

Parent comments

School response

More areas outside that are undercover so children can play regardless of the weather

This would be ideal but we need to spend our tight budget on staffing and enhancing our current building first so this is something for the future. We would love to get a lottery bid for this if anyone has any time to support us in this area.

Large parachute in forest area

We are currently investigating with our after school forest school club funding for this.

More info on how our child is doing individually and academically

In additional to our parent evening and comprehensive reports if you feel you would like more info re how your child is developing please do speak to your child’s class teacher who would be happy to give you more information.

More info on how we can help them

Curriculum meetings are held at the start of the year and further information is put on the website.  If you would like further support with how to support your child then mention it to your child’s class teacher.  If enough parents mention this we could run a further workshop.

A parents evening at end of the  year would be beneficial to understand how my child has developed and also to help outline areas I could support my child during the summer ( not actual homework but from if my child needed just refreshing maths vocab etc)

The reports we send home in the summer term are very comprehensive so most parents do not feel the need for a parents evening in addition.  In the summer term we have an open afternoon for you to look at all the books and the teacher is available if you want to chat. However if you feel further information is required then of course speak to your child’s class teacher.

In reception children go on many trips.  In year 1 the number of trips is very limited.  I think children would benefit from more if there were more ( dependent on resources/staffing)

In Year 1 and Year 2 there are slightly less trips but there are more in school workshops which deliver first hand experiences in the way a trip can do.  For instance this term year one have had a visit by the history bus to support their history theme looking at space exploration.  We find for the older children this is as effective as trips out.

I wish the school provided more support for children where English is 2nd language

Teachers support all children in school and that includes children for whom English is an additional language.  We are always looking at developing ways to do this such as the introduction of shape coding to support writing which is useful for all children but is particularly supportive if English is not your first language.

More access to after school clubs

We run a comprehensive range of after school clubs but are limited by the use of the hall as many clubs require this larger space.  We use the classrooms where this is appropriate.

The question on send support needs re phrasing to include an option that the child doesn’t have SEN otherwise you are unable to submit the survey without clicking any option.

Good point and we will ensure future questionnaire try and put this aspect in.

More streamlined communication. We get lots of info which is good but it comes in a variety of formats.

We are currently working on a new communication policy which should make it clearer to staff and parents which communication methods will be used and when. Parents feed back to us that different methods suit different parents so we find it is tricky to please everyone but we try and do this with the majority.

Sports opportunities, only a maybe

We are always looking at new ways to support PE and sport but often PE clubs and structures in Sheffield are for slightly older children.  We attend all PE and sports events that are put on for this age of children.

Making sure that any needs are transferred to new staff/ between years eg child’s need to drink water.

Information about all children are discussed with any new teacher in a comprehensive handover process. Children who require support to drink are given this but we cannot force them to do this just encourage.

I want proper guidance for my kid and myself re the curriculum and stuff.  I am clueless about what they are studying at school if I know more I can help my child more.

Information about the curriculum is given at meetings in the first half term of the academic year and further information is placed on the website.  If you would like further guidance with this then speak to your child’s class teacher either in person or by their email..

Clearer guidance for parents on what is expected of them and the child in relation to homework: what is mandatory and what is optional. What are the deadlines for completion

Y2’s have homework policy guidance at the start of their books so maybe you have not seen this. We will add this to the website to make it clearer for all parents.

Out of schools control but definitely in need of a refurb. Possibly a wider selection of clubs including netball etc.

We will upgrade the school building as funds allow. We are always on the lookout for new clubs to widen the experiences offered but we are limited by use of the hall and space.

I would like to format any further questionnaires correctly, allowing parents to skips questions on bullying or SEN if not relevant for them for example. Also every question needs to have an other/ not applicable option for every question so you are not forced to answer yes/no/somewhat. Also you shouldn’t be able to answer yes and no to the same question

We will ensure this is built in for next time

Some questionnaire answers don’t work e.g. school has high expectations, I don’t know!

See above.

More feedback to parents, especially when starting. Could cause more pressure for children but I want to know how my child is doing so we can focus on at home to what she needs to improve.

Teachers and teaching assistants are always happy to answer any questions your have about your child’s development.

I worry that my child is not challenged or stretched sufficiently

All teachers will ensure challenge is offered to all children as appropriate.

More flexibility around preschool hours if possible

We are a preschool provider and need to arrange hours around staffing and space to ensure we are able to offer both quality but also the restrictions on funding from the government.

More information on how our children are doing individually and academically and more feedback on what we can help them with.

Teachers are happy to discuss any aspect of your child’s development.

The only thing I would like to see is healthier meals.  I know there are always heathy options but little to no effort to try and get the children to choose them.  I have no solutions as you cant force a child to eat their veggies but this is something I think about. Also more PE and more physical activity would be welcome.

Lunchtime staff always encourage children to try to choose the healthiest option possible.  All meals meet the government food standards that include certain healthy meals standards.  We cannot force children to choose the healthier option so would encourage you to support your child at home with discussion so they do this in school.  We are an active school and ensure that lessons involve movement when ever possible.  It is usual for children to receive 2 hours of PE a week. We do healthy eating education. There is also information on the website to support healthy eating at home.

Text communications need to consider who is reading through as Often find that parent whatsapp groups have to decipher the meaning between them. Also occasions of incorrect dates in both text and email  communication.

We will consider this aspect as part of our school review of communications. Our office staff work very hard to ensure all dates are correct but it is a very busy area of school and sometimes mistakes do get made for which we apologise.

Would be useful to have more communication when 1st sending home reading books, do we read them to the child/ what does the child do when no words etc.

We have developed guidance last term for these early books which we now put in the reading diary so this should already be improved.

As a family of two working parents and two young children it feels like we are really going to struggle to keep on top of all the input needed from home. Hopefully we will get better at it.

Our approach to homework is intended to recognise that families lead busy lives so homework is offered as should and extra if you want to.  Hopefully this is made clear but do speak to your child’s class teacher if you need support with any aspect of home learning.

Asking parents their views/suggestions on how they think pupil premium money could be best spent to support their child

All pupils who receive pupil premium get a structured conversation of half an hour instead of the 10 minute parent evening.  At this they are asked re aspirations an suggestions for their child’s next steps so they are part of the discussion re who this funding is spent already.


Children receive handwriting practice every week.  Some children find this aspect tricky and receive additional support

Continue to be inclusive and accepting of children as individuals.  Ensuring the options presented to boys and girls are not limited by bias of gender stereotyping eg if a boy want to be an angel and a girls a soldier in the school play make it a possibility for this to happen.

All play options are open to children of either gender and staff offer this to the children e.g. we had both boys and girls as angels.  Staff work hard to break down stereotypes which include those of gender but society presents strong images which don’t support this often.

Communications are still overwhelming for parents both the number and different forms of communicating!  Do we need so many different requests or could we be more focussed with charity days for example?  Could we streamline or weekly newsletters only and reminder texts.

This aspect will be considered as part of our communications review but please do provide feedback once we publish this in draft

Equity and social justice

We cover this aspect as part of our work as a rights respecting school.

It is not entirely clear as an incoming parent how the infant school ethos is continued through to juniors or what the relationship with the junior school is.  It would be nice if you would consider a slightly earlier start for pre-schoolers as a 9am start is difficult for work but I appreciate DASH is available.

We send a joint infant/junior school letter to parents each term and hopefully this shares much of the joint work we do.

If parents want to start pre school earlier they can use DASH but we are bound by what the government funding allows us to do hence 15 hours.

How can parents ensure there is no shortages with basic equipment?

We are due to launch an amazon wish list which parents can contribute to if this is something they would like to do in response to requests from some parents



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