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Parents Forum

Parents Forum – Wednesday 29th January 2020


Discussions from today’s meeting:


DOJO – DoJo Behaviour points was raised – some classes seem to do this and some don’t. We explained that the specific Dojo Behaviour points are used by the Junior classes only and reminded staff to be a little more consistent with the use of them.


School Plays – A parent has raised the point that at the EYFS and KS1 Christmas Concerts parents were asked not to record the play but had been allowed in previous years. It has now been decided that NO filming will be allowed at any of the concerts from now on due to many safeguarding reasons across school.


Parents were very appreciative of the photographs for sale at the EYFS and KS1 play.


Ambassador Status – Parents felt that the ‘Ambassador criteria’ needed to be clearer to the children.

This will be discussed further as a staff.


House points –The winning team for each term will now be announced on our website.


Reading partners – this is appreciated – parents like it when the older reading partners write in their reading diary so that they know when it has happened. The older child will now be asked to write the statement ‘I have read with my reading partner today’.


Accelerated Reader – Year 2 choosing an accelerated reading book can be quite hard – the children don’t always know where to pick a book from / which level to pick.

School has reminded all adults hearing children read – to check the book level children are choosing.


Gardening – this was discussed a couple of meetings ago – parents are now looking to make a start –School to ask if there are any staff members who could work alongside a parent group to help maintain it.

A couple of staff are interested in supporting the Gardening project.



Parents Forum – Tuesday 22nd October 2019 – 9.00am

Thank you to those who attended our recent Parents Forum.

 1. A parent mentioned an issue that has been on Facebook  ‘the bushes outside school need cutting back’


  • We are aware that this has been raised before and we have been in touch with the council to raise our concerns. The hedge has been trimmed but may still need cutting back further.


2. Parking is still a concern – people are parking and blocking dropped curves which is making it a hazard for parents   with pushchairs and wheelchairs etc.

  • It was suggested that we ask for the community police officer to come out again.

School will put another request on the newsletter to remind parents to park considerably.


3. Dojo was raised as a positive – parents like reminders via Dojo and find these really beneficial.


4. A suggestion was made about wet play. The children could do some form of exercise – this could be in the classrooms and led by the middays. Suggestions were GoNoodle, Cosmic Kids Yoga etc. This could be done for the last 15 mins of lunch to help the children to focus before afternoon school starts.


  • This idea is going to be raised at the next midday meeting.


5. The Friday ‘Well Done’ Assembly is lovely. Great to see a small group of children who are focussed on each week. This makes it more personal.


6. Playtime snacks. Parents felt that they would like some clarity on what can/cannot be sent into school for playtime.


  • After a discussion with Mrs Houseman we would like to clarify that children are allowed to bring any unpackaged fruit as a snack for playtime. This could include cut fruit or raisins etc. in a Tupperware tub. We have also now agreed that children may as an alternative, bring plain rice cakes or cubed cheese - again in a reusable tub. No crisps or chocolate of any kind must be bought as a playtime snack. If you have any special requirements or further questions please see you child’s class teacher.



Parent’s Forum – Wednesday 12th June 2019 – 5.00pm.
The meeting began by following through points raised last time, these included:-
 Ambassador Status –
What privileges do they get? Can sit on a chair in assembly, stay inside at lunch time with a friend, line up first, will have special treat e.g chip dinner at least once with Headteacher. May be chosen for specific activities e.g welcoming guests etc
 School Closing for elections –
A local school remained open even though they were a polling station – could Dovedale not do this. Mrs Houseman spoke about concerns over safeguarding as the school grounds would be accessible to the general public and children could get out. As this is a political occasion it was not deemed safe to have our children put at risk.
 Dojo – lots positive feedback especially now key stage one are using it. Parents like to get messages and photos to see what the children are doing. Some teachers are very good at messaging, adding stories etc. It was suggested that this could be useful with helping with EYFS transition in September as a fill in from nursery reports / diaries etc.
New Points raised at this meeting:
 The sign language school are teaching the children is excellent and a great skill for the children to have.
 EYFS – the question was asked as to who the new person was doing staff visits to nurseries with Mrs Robinson and where is Miss Standring going? It was said how nice it is to see her now rather than new in September. Mrs Houseman will be informing all parents on her weekly blog and the next newsletter about the staffing change.
 The Head teachers blog on a Friday is great.
 Uniform list is unclear on the website – It has now been updated making it clear that red polo shirts are allowed and that sandals can be worn in the summer as long as the foot is securely fastened into the sandal.
 What is the policy now on earrings? As stated on our website. The school has a strict policy on the wearing of jewellery. No jewellery should be worn with the exception of 1 pair of gold or silver small studs. These will need to be removed by the child during PE / swimming.
 EYFS new parents– please could it be made clear that children don’t need a school bag or to buy a book bag as they are given these the first week they start school. EYFS lead is aware of this and will inform at the parents meeting plus this is stated in the new parents information booklets.
 Parents are generally happier now that EYFS start school full time straight away.
 Parents are happy that the attendance party has been scrapped.
 Are year 3 going on a trip this year? Yes
 Why do our residentials cost more than other schools? Because we have been using
PGL. A change is in place for next year.
 The amount of Homework across the whole school has been much better and more
manageable this year.
 Year 6 SATS seemed to go very well, school put little pressure on the children which
helped them and the ‘chill out’ day on the Friday was a lovely touch as was the smarties
Miss Aldis and Miss Berrington sent home.
 The year one phonics club was well received by parents to give some extra support
leading up to the phonics screening.
 It was commented on what a lovely idea it is that the year 6 lead role has been split
between two children and they will play this part on one evening each.
 It was asked if the before and after school club is going to be extended as some
parents are frustrated that they can’t get place for their child / children and there
are already a few rumbles from new EYFS parents that it is full. This is
misinformation. We are taking on more staff and have places if people apply. Any new
parents who have asked have been allocated a place.
 The variety of after school clubs is good. The free Derby County football club has
been well received. Mrs Salt and Miss Austin recently ran an after school club where
all names were collected in and put in a hat – the stated number of names were then
drawn out of a hat. It was asked if this could be done for all clubs as some children /
parents fill in slips as soon as they come out of school so they always get a place but
this isn’t fair on children whose parents are at work.


Next Meeting Wednesday 12th June at 5pm


Parents Forum News 10/4/19

Thank you to those who attended our Parents Forum.  The cake went down very well! (Thank you to Mrs Bird)

Points raised/discussed:

  • Minutes and actions from the previous forum were recapped and followed up.
  • Parents asked for the hedges at the front of the school to be trimmed back by the council to make the pavement space as wide as possible. Mr Pitchfork will inform the council about this.
  • A concern was made over the safety of unsupervised older children waiting in the car park/gate area in a morning who were seen to run out into the road. Mrs Houseman is going to mention this on the next school newsletter.
  • Mrs Thraves (a parent) would like to organise an after school litter pick which is a lovely idea. Thank you.
  • Asked to continue to update the class pages, class dojo and the website calendar. Parents are pleased with the communication systems. All staff to continue using these systems.
  • Parents asked if every class can have Ambassadors including EYFS. Now we are approaching the Summer Term all staff are on the look out for those children who are going above and beyond the REACH values.
  • Curriculum Evening workshops were great. It was asked whether or not there could be a crèche in the future.
  • Parents are looking forward to the ‘Meet the Teacher ‘after school meetings towards the end of the Sumer Term. They find these very useful and informative.
  • A question was asked as to why the school doesn’t amend our Inset days to coincide with election days to minimise the impact on parents and children. Our INSET days are planned well in advance, before election days and we have to work around training providers and other schools in the Willows Academy Trust.  We are unable to use our hall/school building for training on an election day.
  • The recent interim mini report was very useful, especially the format and clear, specific child friendly targets.
  • A further question was asked about supervision during the school gates and the classrooms in the mornings.  Plenty of Teaching Assistants are always around on the paths or in the corridors in case any children fall over.
  • Parents like the REACH values and feel that they are helping Dovedale children to be even more helpful, kind, caring and respectful of everyone.


As you can see this was a very productive meeting and we value your input.

Mrs Louise Tomlinson and Mr Matt Davies.

Next Parent Forum will be in the Summer Term. Date to be confirmed.


Parents Forum News 14/11/18


Thank you to those who attended our recent Parents Forum. It was lovely to see some new faces too.

The cakes went down very well! (Thank you to Mrs Bird)

Points raised/discussed:

  • Parents asked for any changes in school meals to be continued to be texted out to them. Our cook and secretaries are more than happy to continue with this.
  • Some parents were concerned that their class pages on the website hadn’t been updated recently and said it would be useful to have the spelling lists on them as well. This has been actioned and all spelling lists to be added if not already on.
  • Parents commented how lovely the Poppy display is and how the whole school worked together to create something so wonderful and memorable for the children.
  • To carry on putting as many letters as possible on the website for parents to have easier access and to continue to give as much notice as possible about trips, residentials, special days etc.
  • Some parents queried the consistency of merit stickers across the classes towards children gaining their bronze, silver and gold certificates etc. A non-negotiables list has now been devised from EYFS up to Year 6 to include age/work appropriate reasons for rewarding a sticker plus teachers using their own professional judgement when they feel they are deserved. We all know how much praise and reward motivates.
  • EYFS parents commented how they liked the full days in September for their children starting school instead of half days as it was a lot easier for working parents.
  • Junior parents asked for planners and dojos to be used more in some classes to provide consistency across year groups. This has been reminded at a staff briefing by Mrs Houseman.
  • An idea was also suggested about putting the guidance information for schools on infection control/illnesses onto our website for all parents to be able to refer to if their child is ill. You can now find a link to this on our website under the useful links section under the Parents tab.

As you can see this was a very productive meeting and we value your input.

Mrs Louise Tomlinson

Next Parent Forum will be in the Spring Term. Date to be confirmed.