The Parent Forum is a group of volunteer parents who meet three times a year with members of the senior and pastoral team to discuss a variety of aspects to school life. The purpose of the forum is to gather parent voices, which help to steer policy within school. The meeting provides an opportunity for parents to see the school in action and have access to a variety of staff members and pupil representatives.
The meeting held in the Autumn term focused on issues surrounding the Covid-19 circuit break, anti-bullying and Sixth Form. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions the meeting was held virtually and it was fantastic to have such positive attendance from our parent group and the time to share some of the current issues.
Mr Hooper provided some feedback on the areas surrounding the circuit break that occurred early on in the term, reviewing the remote learning and how pupils were supported as they returned to school in terms of catch up learning. The various health and safety measures that have been introduced as a result of Covid-19 were also highlighted.
Mr Reed reviewed anti-bullying as part of one of our school-wide projects. School approaches used to tackle bullying effectively were discussed as well as understanding the definition of bullying and that not every mean behaviour is always classified as a bullying incident. Communication is key to resolving a situation with all parties involved, especially students and parents communicating with the school in a timely manner. Parents shared their experiences of dealing with the school over bullying situations which was extremely valuable.
A new approach to help the school community feel empowered to become an ‘up-stander’ as opposed to a bystander when they see difficult situations around school was explained. This culture is growing in school and will continue to be developed as part of the school-wide anti-bullying project. Our Anti-Bullying policy is regularly reviewed and fundamentally we will continue to take a proactive approach to combat any form of bullying at school.
Mr Simpson discussed our current Sixth Form provision, here at Arden. Offering 28 different subjects to just over 300 students makes Arden Sixth Form a busy and vibrant part of the school. The ethos of the Sixth Form is “Academic Excellence in a Caring and Supportive Environment”. Alongside the focus on trying to support the students to make the most amount of progress that they can and become qualified for the next steps beyond formal school-based education, the Sixth Form is also very proud of the provision beyond the classroom. The Tutor Programme, Enrichment and Futures opportunities, which help develop the soft skills that employers look for are a central part of the Sixth Form offer. The 1-1 mock interviews and summer careers conference are definitely something that benefit our Sixth Form students. We are very proud of our Sixth Form here at Arden.
At our next meeting we hope to have other members of the Senior Leadership Team in attendance to share ongoing work and to listen to feedback for further improvement. If you have any further suggestions or are interested in supporting us by being part of this group please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.