Merefield School have successfully gained the LPPA award for a 2nd time in June 2019.
One of the principle criteria of the Award is the promotion of and participation in lifelong learning within school for parents and carers. Family learning can reinforce their relationships with their child and the school as well as developing their own skills and knowledge.
The LPPA offers long term benefits such as improved pupil attendance and behaviour and increased parental involvement and support. We hope to improve communication between school and home and nurture the child/parent relationships by highlighting the benefits of adult learning and the positive impact this can have on a child's own education.
This is a challenging but rewarding venture that should impact upon every child, parent, carer and member of staff at our school.
During the assessment visit the Award Verifier looked at evidence within school, spoke to pupil, parents, staff and governors and was given a full tour of the school.
Here is a summary of the final report...
In 2018, the Ofsted report stated that, “Parents said such things as: ‘I cannot praise Merefield School highly enough’ and ‘They meet the children’s needs by individually addressing them.’ Parents confirm that they receive valuable information about their children’s progress”.
The entrance is very welcoming with displays and staff photos, and there is seating for parent and other visitors. There are attractive displays both in classrooms and corridors and a parent volunteer has produced lovely art work to support Ainsdale in Bloom. The school has a very welcoming, calm positive ethos and there was evidence of very positive warm staff and pupil relationships.
The tour of the school provided opportunities to talk informally to staff that showed and explained their practice in supporting and communicating with parents, very much recognising the importance of this in supporting pupils learning and independence. There were photographs of sporting events that parents could support and of residential visits offering new experiences. There is a parent’s room and an area for medical appointments and provision. The phrase ‘…and the main thing is learning’ is consistently displayed around school.
A new adventure playground has been developed, partly funded through Friends of Mereside School (FOMS) which provides a safe, purpose built place to play that pupils, their siblings and families can enjoy outside school hours.
It was very evident from discussions in the group that there were very positive relationships between staff and parents and with parents demonstrating a high level of trust by being very open about their personal experiences. Many parents described how the school ‘is like an extended family’. There has been clear strategic engagement and management of the award led by the active involvement of the head teacher, supported by the whole staff and PSA. The continued development of an effective partnership with parents is regarded as a core principle and is included in the School Development Plan. There are clear systems to gain parent/carer perspectives and embedded good practice has been built on even further.
The new individualised, child-centred curriculum is now embedded. This holistic and life skills based curriculum centres on Personalised Learning Intention Map (PLIM) produced for each child based on their EHCP targets. Parents value this adapted curriculum, ‘each child is an individual’.
Parents are very well informed about their child’s learning and progress and how to help at home. The DOJO app makes information accessible and instantly available on their phones, ‘It is 21st century’ (staff). The DOJO facilitates information sharing as in addition to receiving photos, videos and information about their child’s learning and well-being, parents can be involved in assessments and comments through their responses.
There is evidence of an increase in activities to help parents support children’s learning and well-being. These include, in addition to the opportunities offered at transition, Sensory Processing, Sign-a-Long Training and sports sessions. Evaluations are very positive.
There have been 5 residential visits this year providing new opportunities for pupils, often for the first time away from home without family. Staff and parents value that pupils are encouraged to be independent and also value this confidence and trust between home and school.
Parents expressed confidence in the school and the support and learning accessed at the school, ‘With the right help from the right people, every child is given the potential for success at Merefield’.