How we communicate with our parents and carers
We do our absolute best to provide you with timely, accurate information about your child in a variety of ways. The different ways we do this are:
Emails: We send out all communications, including our weekly celebration newsletter, by email through ScholarPack. Please note that if you change your email address, you need to let the office know and change it within your iPayimpact account otherwise you will not continue to receive communications from the school. We will send all communications to the first 2 contacts held on record.
ScholarPack App: You can report your child’s absence and check your child’s attendance on the Scholarpack app, as well as update your contact information so we know we always have your correct details. We ask all parents to download the app if they have a smart phone or tablet device.
Text messages: When we need to get an urgent message to you, we may send a text message. You will not be able to reply to the message but should contact the school if requested to do so.
iPayimpact: We are a cashless school. iPayimpact is our new platform for making payments for school meals, school trips, breakfast and after school clubs and items such as water bottles and recorders. Please make sure that you have activated your account. If there is a new payment item for your child, you will be notified by email.
Newsletter: Every Friday we publish a newsletter. We use this to share information, celebrate our successes and give you an ongoing insight into life at Ark Blacklands. We also share key dates here for the coming term. A link to our newsletter will be emailed each week and saved to the school website: https://arkblacklandsprimary.org/page-strips/newsletters-2
Facebook: We have a school Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/arkbpa/ . We use this to celebrate our successes and give you an ongoing insight into life at Ark Blacklands. Sign up to stay on top of all the amazing things your child is getting up to.
Website: We use our website as a repository of key information and an entry point for prospective parents. https://arkblacklandsprimary.org/ It is not the place to see ongoing conversation from the school, although you can find the latest newsletters here and we publish key school dates on our website calendar. If you want to see details about things like school governance, our performance, our curriculum and our policies, this is the place to come.
Informal Conversations: We really value developing relationships with all our parents. We will always aim for there to be a member of senior staff available to talk to at the beginning and end of every school day. Class teachers bring children out at the end of the day and may take opportunities at this time of day to pass on information or simply share some news with you about your child.
Phone Calls: If we are unable to catch you in a playground, if we need to contact you during the school day or if we want a longer and more private conversation, we will call you. It is very important that we have up-to-date phone numbers for you. In an emergency, we will need to get in touch. If you see the school calling, please do answer.
Meetings: In a variety of situations, we may ask you to attend a meeting with school staff. We will always contact you to discuss your availability and be as flexible as possible in arranging meetings. However, especially if external agency workers are involved, our ability to be flexible may be limited. We ask parents to be flexible themselves and to please attend school meetings, on time.
Home Visits: If your child is joining us in Early Years (Reception), we will arrange a home visit with you in the summer term before your child starts school. Key staff will come to your home to meet with you and your child. We think it is very helpful for children to meet us in their own space, before they come to us and learn to make Blacklands their second home! During home visits you get to know your child's teachers and find out everything you want to know about life at school.
The Early Years Stay and Play: Before your child starts in Nursery or Reception, we will invite you and them to a ‘stay and play’. You'll get to know the space and teachers, as well as other parents and children.
Meet the Teacher: At the beginning of each new academic year, we run a meet the teacher event for parents with children in years 1 to 6. This is a chance for you to get to know the teacher, as well as find out about expectations and routines for the year ahead.
Curriculum Leaflets: Each term teachers send out a curriculum leaflet with information about what your child will be learning in the coming term. This also includes information about home learning expectations and ideas for you to enrich their learning at home which you are invited to share on Seesaw. Curriculum leaflets are also on our website.
Parent/Carer Consultations: Three times a year, we will invite you in for a meeting with your child's teacher to discuss their progress across the curriculum.
Curriculum Enrichment Letters: Any letters about education visits or visitors into school or immersion days will be sent electronically by email through ScholarPack. It is essential that we have up to date contact details so that parents/carers receive these. Any payments requested should be made via iPayimpact accounts. Teachers will also sometimes send home a last-minute paper ‘reminder slips’ (i.e. don't forget the trip tomorrow or a reminder to bring devices in) if it is felt necessary.
Seesaw Learning Platform: All pupils in school have a personal Seesaw account. In reception, teachers like to send reminders about trips or bringing things into school and the platform also allows parents to share ‘wow moments’ their children have at home. Please note, teachers cannot respond to general notes and messages on Seesaw. For pupils in year 1 to 6, weekly spellings, KIRFS (Key Instant Recall Facts for Maths) and other notes from teachers may be shared via Seesaw. Children can also use Seesaw to share with their teacher any enrichment activities they have completed at home.
Parent information/support workshops: These are arranged by teachers or subject leads at appropriate times in the academic year with the aim of informing and supporting parents. In the past, these have included ways to support your child with phonics, reading, maths, computing and e-safety. If there are other parent support workshops you would find useful, please do let us know by contacting the office email@example.com .
Learning celebrations: Each term, every year group aims to invite parents into school to celebrate an aspect of their child’s learning that term. This might be a gallery of artwork, a dance or musical performance, Digital Days or something completely different. Details of these events will be shared with as much notice as possible to enable people to attend.
End of Year Report: At the end of each academic year, we will provide you with a written summary of your child's learning and achievements.
Attendance matters: Ideally, children will be in school every day and our academy target for attendance is 97%. If your child’s attendance drops below 95% we will contact you to discuss the reasons for this. If no improvement is seen, the Attendance Officer will request an appointment with the parent or carer which we would encourage you to attend.
How you can communicate with us:
As well as outlining how we share information with you, we recognise there will be times when you need to share information with us. We support this in a number of ways:
Phone: You can call the office at any time on 01424 429279. If no one is available to take your call, you may leave a short message on the answerphone service. We will always aim to respond within 24 hours.
Start of day: Members of the Senior Leadership Team are usually available to talk to at the start and end of each day at the school entrance. An appointment can be made for a private conversation; please contact the school office. Messages can be given to Teaching Assistants at the start of the school day, they will be standing at the entrance your child uses to come into school.
End of day: Teachers are available at the end of the school day for informal chats on the playground where you collect your child. An appointment can be made for a private conversation with any class teacher; please contact the school office.
Email: Parents / carers can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and the office team will ensure it is passed on to the right person. We will always aim to respond within 48 hours.
Reading records: For non-urgent messages, some parents find writing a note in a child’s reading record useful. Please note that we cannot guarantee this will be read daily so should only be used for non-urgent messages or specific messages about reading.
Parent surveys: We run an annual parent survey and welcome your views and feedback. At times, there may be additional surveys used to gather views on more specific aspects of school life.
To report your child’s absence: Please phone our attendance & admissions line 01424 429279 Option 1 or send us a message using the ScholarPack App before 9am. Please do not use Seesaw for this purpose.