A BRADFORD school has been praised for its work to engage more with the parents of its pupils.
Matthew’s CE Primary School was recently presented the prestigious Leading Parent Partnership Award by Bradford South MP Judith Cummins.
The school has worked hard over the last two years to gain the award which, among other things, will be used by St Matthew’s to show to Ofsted inspectors that the school has “an outstanding and sustainable programme for parental engagement.”
In 2015 the school gained the Engaging Families Award and has built on that to achieve LPP accreditation last year. They say engaging with parents is a “top priority for the school.
Mrs Cummins presented the award at a celebration assembly led by Assistant Headteacher James Whitehead, to which parents were invited.
She said: “It was a privilege to be invited to St Matthew’s to present their Leading Parent Partnership Award. Educating our children relies on a strong and enduring partnership between schools and parents. St Matthew’s has recognised the value of this partnership through today’s wonderful awards ceremony. The school’s hard work and commitment to engaging with parents is a beacon of good practice.”
Kay Remmer, Acting Headteacher, said: “In the last few years we have increased and improved parental engagement with all parents and also with Eastern European families who are new to English.
“Parents play a vital role in supporting their children at school and so it is important they are embraced as part of the whole school community.”
Diane Lock, the school’s Parent Liaison Co-ordinator, and Afsheen Kauser, a Parent Governor, have played a key role, alongside Mrs Remmer, in organising the parental engagement programme and developing the detailed portfolio which was part of the accreditation process.
The school has provided training courses for parents in ICT, English and maths and holds awards ceremonies at which the pupils applaud their parents for gaining qualifications. This has led to many more parents being able to help their children with homework and improve their own life chances.
Some parents have used the school courses as a stepping stone to further education or to acquire training leading to work.
During the school year, there are various events which involve parents such as the Dads in School Days, an annual communal lunch and a number of fundraising events. A popular event is held in November near Remembrance Day when families plant bulbs in the school grounds and remember deceased family members.
The school has also reached out to Eastern European families. Last year a special event was held to celebrate Eastern European culture. The half day celebration included showing a video made by the children called Great Britain. Greater with You. The video told the story of the journey the children and their families had been on to get to the UK and what the children liked about school. There were also music, dancing and stalls at which parents could receive advice and support.
During her visit, Mrs Cummins also spent time with pupils during a drama class.