Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Cherwell PTA & Parent Forum
30th October 2018
8:00-9:30 pm Training Room - North Site

Present - Cherwell School:  Chris Price (head)

Present -  Parents: Sarah Phibbs, Emma Baxter-Graf, Lana Strmecki, Jane Patton, Zoe Martin, Rosie Callaghan, Rosaleen Cunningham, Hemara Earl, Claire Venard, Michael McDonough, Alex Thomas, Massimo Ghiradani, Elsamannoudi Ihab, Halawani Laila, Milica Vezmor, Julia Drown, Rachel Hoh, Ruth Darso, Alex Cheetham, Silvia Elsner, Suke Wolton, Felice Nassar, Kim Polgreen, Becca Hodgson.


Introduction to the Evening: Purpose and Format
Sarah Phibbs outlined the format and purpose of the evening.

Action by
Chris Price (Head) introduced the history and context of the School Development Plan (SDP) which consisted of 3-year rolling plans.
Explained School Ethos – Opportunity, Responsibility & Excellence.

Key Area 1
KS3 - Encourage ‘intentionality’ to ensure appropriately specific teaching and assessment is performed.

Key Area 2
To focus on explanation. To Explain well and appropriately to the students.

Key Area 3
KS5 behaviours.  Improvement in behaviours reflects improvement in other aspects of learning.

Key Area 4
Improve student wellbeing. Biannual Survey is the key source of feedback.
Collaborate with The Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools/Leeds Beckett University.

The school is high performing in the league tables but has poor facilities. 

Table Discussions to identify key questions of common interest. Answered by Chris Price.

Communication in homework (timing and content)
Some parents felt there was too much/too little homework. All children have reading homework every day. There was a drive within the school to move towards specific valued homework rather than pointless tasks. Students were asked to do more reviewing and revision activities. Each faculty has its own homework policies and the School was working to bring all the faculties’ homework policies up to an excellent standard.

All children were taught how to use their planner to record homework.  Teachers set homework at the start of the lessons.
Apps such as ‘show my homework’ were discussed but it was suggested that this would put the onus of organising the homework onto the parents. 
Homework was being discussed in the ‘Student Impact Governors Committee’

Communication of activities (during and after school).
The current methods of communication for parents where listed.
There is a non-teaching deputy year leader who is always available by email or phone.
The school produces a weekly bulletin which specifies school activities.
The school were looking at writing “a brochure” to list all extra-curricular activities, which will be available to parents soon.

What is the School doing to combat drugs and knives at school?

Difficulties were voiced as there was a high level of drugs in Oxford - especially cannabis. Age appropriate education in social wellbeing and visits by professionals. Talks to the Six-Form.
If appropriate, the school will operate its right to search for drugs and knives.
The school works with agencies who give advice to older children.

Currently there was very little evidence of knives in school although it was acknowledged that drugs and knife crime were often linked.
The school is involved in the ‘County Lines’ project with Thames Valley Police.

The school was asked what it was doing to use younger people to help.
The school tried to use professionals from specific service providers rather than relying on teachers.  The school ran a peer listening scheme.

Chris Price emphasised that the school relied on parents to inform them if they hear anything.

The next issue of Cherwell Being was going to focus on Drugs.

What was the School doing to promote healthy eating?

Chris Price stated that he had met with the Catering Company ‘Caterlink’ who were well managed and pushing a healthy eating agenda.  There were strict rules on sugar and salt addition to food.  The School held assemblies on healthy eating and discussed the environmental impact on their food.
A purpose built canteen is needed.

Long View of Students Education
There were three key stages in Cherwell
KS 3 (years 7-9).  At the end, students make their options for GCSE.
KS4 (years 10-11) At the end students take their GCSEs
KS5 (6th Form).  2/3rds students go onto to full time education at the school while 1/3rd go onto to other educational providers or apprenticeships.
The structure was on the School Website under the curriculum links.
The Year Group Reps can be used to coordinate these queries.


Fundraising Presentation

Alex Thomas summarised that Cherwell was a high achieving school but had deficiencies in its facilities.  A sports hall, dining room study spaces were needed as well as improvements and building to create a more present environment for the Students.  He summarised similar fundraising activities in other schools.

He presented a list of vacancies in the Fundraising team and asked for volunteers to take on roles.

Parent Engagement

Hemara Earl introduced herself and the three key aspects of the PTA.  Parent Engagement was key.  She asked for volunteers for Parent Reps.

AGM Business  - Election of a new Committee - and PTA Business

·         Minutes of the 21st November 2017 – PTA AGM  - Approved
·         Accounts (2017-18)  - Approved
·         Auditor – Jo King – Approved
·         Chair – Alex Thomas – Approved
·         Treasurer – Rosie Callaghan -  Approved
·         Secretary – Becca Hodgson – Approved
·         Year Reps – Hemara Earl and Kim Polgreen – Approved

£10,000 of funds in PTA Account should move to the Development Office Account (£4,000 to remain in PTA Account) – Approved.

Next PTA Event is the 7th December – Winter Festival.

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