A very warm welcome
Welcome to CMPS. We aim to work very hard for your child and with you to ensure that they get the best start to their education that we can both give them. Please read this page carefully. It is not intended to lecture but give parents an insight to the expectations a school has and to understand how we aim to help you help your child become a successful learner. 'WE' is referred to a lot on this page and it means home and school. Together we achieve more.
We like to achieve great results at CMPS... but why? Not because of the reputation successful results gives a school, but because those children made a great start to their education and their chances of achieving well in life are higher because of the work they put in.
Helping you achieve the best for your child is what school is for. We are an essential partner in the educational journey of your child and choosing to come to CMPS means that you need to know how we approach learning. If you adopt our principles at home your child will be much more successful over this journey. Understanding that we are a partner in education is very important... We want to help you build a future for your child and We can be much more successful at school with the full support and participation of home.
Our school rules and moral compass and fantastic walking.
All schools have rules. Ours are simple and can be summed up as; be safe, be ready and be respectful. The full explanation of how we try and apply our approach is in our principles of good behaviour (download from the website). The way children experience life builds their moral compass - or what they choose to do when they have to decide how to behave. It is formed by all of the responses they have received at home and all the other settings they attend. So, children come to school with learned strategies of how to act when they struggle, experience something new, when things go wrong, when someone is mean to them. At school we take a class of children and try to teach them how to interact well together. This works best with a consistent message from home and school - so please read the behaviour policy and the principles of good behaviour and reinforce those messages. We have had a couple of years of introducing our behaviour expectations and behaviour at school is good. So, the message for this year will be 'make the right choice even when no one is watching’.
Good behaviour choices mean that children understand how to interact with others. In school we walk fantastically around school (be safe), we listen to adults (be respectful) and we get down to learning quickly (be ready). If children cannot make good choices they will have a barrier to learning that we will be talking to parents about quite quickly. We will be looking for support to develop an understanding of the need to make good choices and support children and families in understanding how to be successful at school.
Good learning behaviour is a foundation for good learning
If you take a look at what your child does at home during quiet time what do you see? Can they sit quietly and sustain interest in a task for a lengthening period of time? Do they choose to read? Can they talk to you? Are they interested in the world? Do they have a developing general knowledge? All of these behaviours and more are needed to be successful at school and in learning. How well they can manage these behaviours depends on age and experience. If a child struggles at home they will struggle at school and you may want to ask for some support in adapting a behaviour.
One factor which we are seeing having a big impact on children is screen time. While this can be a huge positive it can also be detrimental to a child’s overall development. Age appropriate choices need to be made consistently and children should be made aware of the need for a range of activities, including outdoor and physical activities, during the day. Please regulate the amount of screen time your child has.
What will make the biggest difference?
Conversation, reasoning, reading and vocabulary development are the biggest educational priorities a parent should focus on. There are lots of other activities to keep working on, but, if you concentrate on developing the big 4 with your child they will have more chance of a good education. It is also proven that good readers can take on more information and learn more effectively than children who know less words. Spending consistent quality time with your child developing these areas will also develop good learning behaviour.
Starting school... Transitions and drop offs
At any age making a transition from one situation to another is difficult. Transitions are something that happens all day long at school and children get very good at managing them. Examples of transitions are; Leaving parents in the morning, moving from morning task to English work, moving from breaktime to maths, going home at the end of the day etc.
It is normal for children to not want to make big transitions. Reception children often don't want to leave the safety of the parent at the start of school. Why would they! The parent provides the most safety. Everything else is strange. This is often true for older children as well. If your child doesn't cope well with transitions they possibly haven't had a lot of experience making them. Children who need support making morning drop off transitions need to get into a routine quickly. Parents need to model that school is a safe place to be and that they are happy to leave the child with a trusted adult. This is an act between the parent and trusted adult to build the child's confidence. Prolonging the transition by staying with the child often models the opposite, so a routine needs to be in place very quickly so the child can build their confidence over the first half term and onwards.
We come prepared...
The 'be ready' rule is very important for school and life. Being ready for school starts at home with the language and expectations of the parent. Building a positive environment for the child to succeed starts from home, develops in nursery and then into school. It's very important to build a 'growth mindset' around learning from the beginning (ideally birth!). Being prepared removes a lot of issues a child has before they walk into the school building. Issues that might make school work easier can include (for example):
having a good breakfast and a water based drink
having reading book bags or homework ready
wearing school uniform
knowing what's for lunch and having a breaktime snack ready
having a pencil case or other equipment ready to go
knowing who is picking up at the end of the day and at what time
knowing where carers are during the day
leaving home after saying a proper goodbye
having had a calm morning after leaving plenty of time to get ready for school
leaving screen time for after school
having had enough sleep the night before school
listening to positive messages from adults about learning or situations at school
No parent can cope with every eventuality in their morning! However, a good routine will deliver your child to school in the most prepared and confident way possible. This is to support the child - not the school. If you have issues or any problems you can contact your teacher or our Early Help team who can offer support and advice.
Learning expectations... making progress and what we'd expect a parent to do to help
The parent is not the teacher - and we don't expect that you are! The ideal expectation of a parent is that they model a positive approach to learning in life. Parents know how the child is learning at school or nursery and support that approach at home. They positively support the work the child does and the efforts they make - linking the language of growth mindset with the outcomes the child creates. Often this can be as simple as praising the effort and not the child. It is important not to link the 'worth' of a child to the outcome they are producing! If a child works hard this should be praised highly regardless of how right they were.
Teachers make assessments of each child's progress through school and we will report to you on this. We give the school children a report on all aspects of work at the end of each half term. There are two parents evenings and at the end of the year an annual report. All of this information is no use unless it is used positively to grow the learner. School will talk to you if the academic progress your child is making is not in line with national expectations. We then need to work together to reduce barriers to learning and make sure your child's learning is effective.
Information from teachers and school
Teachers will try and keep you up to date on the learning that is happening in your child's classroom. This is so that you can discuss topics and do some home learning in conjunction with school. Developing an interest in topic work is a proven way of increasing the value a child places on learning.
Teachers post on the school website and on ClassDojo, so keep connected to the class and you'll be kept up to date with the messages they are sending out.
We don't send out information on paper very much any more. This is mainly due to reducing budgets. You will get a message from the teachers about Class Dojo and also how to sign up for the school newsletter. If you don't connect we won't be able to keep you in touch. The new data protection rules stop us from signing up for you.
Learning happens everyday, whether you are at school or not. Recognising the importance of everyday learning in your family will help create an environment where your children will see how much you value knowledge and understanding of the world around you.
Learning at home is very important for a child's success at school and in education. If you value the work you do for school at home you show how you value learning in life.
You will know that to succeed with skills we need to practice them. In school we call this deliberative practice. If we develop an understanding that we just need to practice some skills often and with the aim of mastering the skill we will grow as learners. Reading for example is a skill that needs practice. We practice a bit at school but children need to read at home every day - if they want to be a good reader. Times tables fall into this category too, as does handwriting. Sometimes this deliberative practice isn't great fun - but we know that we need to be good at them in order to be a successful learner. If children know parents value these skills then they will too (most of the time).
The most important learning to be done at home is, of course, developing a love of knowledge and understanding of how the world works. Fostering a love of finding out, discussing events, problems, issues etc etc and communicating with each other will help grow a child's thirst for understanding. Reading and researching, practising and developing in lots of topics including and outside of school work is essential in a child's development.
Please see homelearning as an opportunity to spend quality time with your children - not a pain that has to be squeezed into your busy life. Parents want to make sure that their children are better versions of themselves - this is one of the ways you can make sure they are.
SEND and early help
Children who have a barrier to learning that cannot be met by good quality teaching and low level support in the classroom may be placed on the Special Educational Needs Register. The class teacher will work through Devon's GRADUATED RESPONSE document. They will try and identify the barrier to learning that your child is displaying and provide interventions that will meed the need. Your child, if they are on the SEND register will have a My Plan and you will be invited into school three times over the year to review that plan and discuss progress with the teacher.
Part of our approach may include a 1:1 group with a teacher or teaching assistant. For example we offer Numbers Count and Reading. These are school based interventions which are delivered 3 or 4 times a week. They also have a homelearning element. It is vital for the success of the intervention that the homelearning is done consistently. We will discuss this with you when we tell you about your child being put forward for the intervention. You’ll be asked to sign an agreement stating you are willing to do the homelearning side of the intervention to support your child.
At CMPS we have an Early Help teaching assistant. She works with children and families to support children in school. There are a lot of agencies we can refer families to if there is a problem you are encountering and it's always worth asking if we can help. She can also arrange help with the academic challenges some parents have.
Sports and Clubs
There is more to being healthy than doing well educationally. Exercise is a key component to a healthy life. Exercise is positively linked to having a good mental health and we need to ensure children are encouraged to develop their interests in sport. We run various sporting clubs through the school year and there are lots of clubs in the local area which can be accessed as well.
This year we also saw the development of gardening club and we have had art and computer based clubs to suit everyone. In a world that is increasingly screen based we need to ensure our children experience the outdoors and have plenty of exercise.
Keeping up to date with information dojo, email and social media
In all honesty, school struggles to connect with all parents - despite there being a lot of information on offer. We need you to keep up to date with the information we send out. We strive to make sure you are kept in touch with a weekly newsletter emailed to you when you sign up. We will send information out via Class Dojo - your teacher will give you information to get connected and of course we post on Twitter, Instagram and sometimes Facebook. Using all of this media would be a full time job for someone so important information is always included on the newsletter with reminders being sent via Class Dojo.
If things aren't going right for you...
From time to time things happen that you may not be happy about. Please come into school to discuss them. In the first instance a meeting with the class teacher should be arranged. You can catch them in the morning at drop off to arrange a meeting or have a quick word. Anything longer than a minute or so should be discussed in a meeting arranged outside of teaching time.
If a further meeting is needed then the teacher will arrange a meeting with the Headteacher. It is important that you see the teacher first as they are the knowledgeable person concerning your child's education.
Please remember when you express a concern at home and your child is present you are influencing their perception of education and learning. However concerned you are about school please keep adult conversations between adults and not expose children to feelings that they are not equipped to understand fully.
Delivering a positive message...
When things are going right we will let you know via Class Dojo. Teachers should be sending Dojo points on a regular basis. It’s hard to send one every day but you will get a message which tells you that your child has a dojo point. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, it's a reward for your child's efforts. Dojo points, with attendance marks, go towards House Points which are used to see who wins the George Albert Collacott Cup. Secondly, the point gives you a window into your child's learning. If, for example, you get a message saying your child was resilient today you can ask them what they were trying hard with. There are four main areas we will send a message for:
The children see the targets like this:
Please support your child by asking them specifically about their learning in the day.
We're here to help...
We hope this information helps. There is a lot of information about positive mindset and being a superlearner on the internet and on the school website. Please keep in touch with us and read the news. We are looking forward to working with you to educate your child.