Dear Parents and Carers,
We surveyed our families in September to help give us an insight in to how our students had settled back in to the school life and help us know how we might improve. I am pleased to say that the feedback was very positive, however, one key theme did emerge as an area for us to make better and that was communication. Some parents have said they wanted more notice about key events in school and also about how their child was progressing. We have looked at how we can improve communication about life in school and your child’s progress and hope that some of the steps we have taken will soon be in evidence.
How we will communicate with you
- In order to reduce our impact on the environment all letters will now be sent electronically. Therefore letters will be emailed to you via School Gateway, which will appear as an email directly to your account. If you have the School Gateway app on your phone the letters will also be available to view on this. We strongly recommend you download the app as you will also get a free alert when the letter has been sent to you. Guidance on how to download School Gateway can be found below. If you do not download the app, please check your emails regularly. There is an additional tab on our website for School Gateway, so that you can also access your account or sign up here.
- All letters will also be available on our school website under ‘Information’- Parental Information’- ‘Letters Home’. Letters will be organised into; Whole School, Grange Drive, Birch Wood Vale and Ashton House for ease of navigation. We hope this will provide a second area to check if you have missing information for any reason.
(Please let you child’s class teacher know if you still require a paper copy of letters home, so that this can be arranged through them.)
- Please ensure we have your up to date contact information including mobile number and email.
- Information about events will also be shared on Facebook
- We have been working closely with Kinteract to develop the best ways to keep parents informed about their child’s curriculum activities and academic progress. You should now be able to see photos which are linked via #hashtags to curriculum areas and EHCP outcomes. There are also descriptions about activities your child has been doing.
- Parents can expect updates on Kinteract on a daily basis for students at Grange Drive Site, twice weekly for Ashton House and once a week at Birch Wood Vale.
- Shortly we will also be adding progress graphs for students on subject specific Curriculum Pathways (some classes at Grange Drive and all students at Birch Wood Vale & Ashton House), this is designed to help you know how your child is progressing in key areas of their curriculum.
- Based on parental feedback Kinteract are also developing a parent ‘Chat’ function, which will provide a key way for parents and staff to exchange daily information Mon- Fri 8am-6pm. This will be available by January.
- There is a guide below for how to download and access Kinteract for parents who are yet to use it.
- There is also a link to Kinteract on our website
Emails and telephone
- Your child’s class teacher may also contact you directly via their school email. You can also contact staff via school email, please allow 24 hours for them to respond, responses will usually be between 8.30am- 6.00pm Mon-Fri. For urgent matters please call the school and leave a message for us to get back to you.
If you or a member of your family have tested positive for Covid please email:
Claire Wood- Assistant Head and Tom Bradley-Hewell- Assistant Head
Please also see our updated Covid Guidance on our website under ‘Whole School Letters’, this will also be in a separate Covid Information and Updates tab shortly.
For any other queries or concerns with regards to Covid19 email your child’s class teacher or form tutor in the first instance and then Tom BH and Claire.
Students at Birch Wood are on one of 3 curriculum pathways, these are outlined on our website under ‘Curriculum- ‘Curriculum Pathways’. In January 2022 we will be holding a Webinar for parents to fully explain how our pathways work and how we monitor student’s progress as they move through the school. We will write to you shortly with more details about this.
We hope all these developments will help parents feel better supported to be more involved in their child’s school life. We are open to all your suggestions and feedback and aim to continuously improve to get the best outcomes for our students. Thanks you for your continued support and collaboration.