July 2019

Those Present for infant and Junior chat: Tricia Opalko, Julia Evans, Fr Liam

 Discussion Topic: Do you feel safe and are you expected to work hard.
Once the children and governors introduced themselves, Mrs Opalko explained to the children why they were there and that the governors wanted to chat to them.

Infant Children (Year 1 and 2)
Do you feel safe at school?
All the children said yes, they did feel safe. When asked why, most children responded that there were a lot of teachers around and they will help them if they ask. Some children said their friends would help them if they had a problem. The children also said Cathy Mason was someone to go to, to sort out problems. One child said that they felt safe because there were gates and locks. One year 2 pupil told us that there were rules not to escape that kept you safe!

Are you expected to work hard in school?
All children said yes. Many children said they liked to work hard. One child said, “Teachers help us work hard” and another volunteered, “If you don’t do your work you get told off by the teacher but praise you if you work hard”. Another told us that you might be kept in to catch up if you haven’t worked hard in the lesson.

Do you feel happy at school?
Again, it was rewarding to see all children said yes to this question. We asked them if there was anything they would change. Many children said no. A few who said yes suggested the following:

long break time, stop using clingfilm in packed lunches, bigger portions for the hot dinners (PO has asked the kitchen about this and bigger portions should be available from September). Another child said they would like slides in the playground. PO explained why this would not happen from a safety point of view.

Junior Children (Year 3,4,5 and 6)
Do you feel safe at school?
All 17 children said yes. The reasons they gave were because there were lots of teachers around and that the teachers look after you. There are regular fire drills.

Is there anywhere in the school you don’t feel safe?
All children said no.

Do you have to work hard in school?
All children answered yes. Some of the reasons were because the teachers encourage you to work hard but all children said that if the work was too difficult then the teacher would make it a bit easier. One pupil said “If I just do just half a page of writing then the teacher encourages me to do more”. Another said “If you find something too easy then they will give you a challenge”. One also said “Sometimes I would like to work harder”. We also discussed “Doodle maths” with the children. It is a computer based maths activity. It has games tailored to the child’s ability and gets progressively harder the more you do it and get the questions right. It tests a broad number of maths topics, including times tables. Some weren’t so keen because it was harder work than just a paper homework. Most did it regularly and seemed to enjoy it.  Lastly, a lovely comment from one child, “The teachers make you work hard because they want you to be the best you can be”.

We had a little more time to talk to the children so decided to discuss their knowledge organisers and how they were going.

The children told us what they were and that there were key facts about a topic that you had to learn. One said they weren’t sure it was a good idea as it was more work on top of homework. The children explained they had regular quizzes to test their knowledge and most had had or where going to have a big end of year quiz. These quizzes took many formats, one example we were told about was a version of “Who wants to be a millionaire”. The children enjoyed these games.  All children said they feel that they have remembered a lot more information this year.

Do you feel happy at school?
All children said yes. Most of them gave the reason that they enjoyed seeing and spending time with their friends. Some also said the reason was because they had a nice teacher. One comment from a pupil who recently joined our school was “I like this school better than my last because I get more maths’ challenges”.

What would you like to change about school if you could?
Answers included: they would like to play hard ball cricket, bigger school dinner portions (see previous response under infants), more rounders, use the PE equipment in the hall more, to have more lessons outside in the summer.

Once again, it was lovely to see that the children were happy to talk to us and so articulate and honest in their answers. The governors present were pleased to hear that all pupils present felt safe in the school environment and were expected to work hard. Equally importantly, it was gratifying to hear that the children are happy in our school.

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