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School surveys show happy parents & students

Two surveys asking parent, carers and students what they think of Whitefield School have delivered overwhelmingly positive results The surveys carried out last term were designed to capture opinions on a range of issues from overall happiness to academic progress. The school uses the results to inform its development plans and spot any potential concerns.

Collecting opinions from students

The Schools used two questionnaire formats depending on what was most appropriate for each pupil and arranged support to record pupils’ views.
Questionnaire A (below) was based on the format previously used by Ofsted. 48 responses were received. The majority of pupils using this questionnaire were in the Niels Chapman Secondary School. Some pupils completed it independently and others were ‘scribed’ by classroom staff.

Questionnaire B was shorter and more appropriate for pupils at earlier levels of development. 237 responses were received, completed by and on behalf of pupils across all three schools. The nature of responses indicates that most staff had made every effort to express their pupils’ views and/or to advocate for them.


Pupils were given sheets using the ‘Communicate In Print’ symbol system to help them make their choices

On the basis of this data, pupils are very satisfied with their experience at Whitefield. An overwhelming majority like school, feel safe and are being supported to learn.
Pupils appreciate the support given by staff and like interacting with them. All pupils responding to questionnaire A said that staff were interested in their views.
They particularly enjoy creative activities and using ICT and they also like cookery and literacy activities.
Some find aspects of the school’s expectations, such as sitting still and following direction, difficult. Some dislike noisy and crowded places. Some dislike particular activities, most frequently PE and physiotherapy.

There were a range of suggestions for making school even better. Pupils would like more community visits, more access to ICT, more 1:1 attention and more time outside. They are impatient for the swimming pool to reopen Suggestions for improving the playgrounds centre around the need for more equipment and for quieter spaces with seating. The two most common suggestions for equipment were wheelchair accessible resources and swings. Pupils would also like toys and games and sensory equipment or play boards.

Making those opinions count

Based on the survey’s findings, the School’s senior leadership team will be:
Looking at options to increase community visits, particularly from Margaret Brearley School.
Following up suggestions for improving playgrounds by asking the Healthy Schools group to research options for quiet spaces with seating, sensory equipment and games. They’ll also be looking at the practicalities of adding extra swings further equipment in the Green playground.
Continue to work with the School Meals Service to improve meals and continue to have a pupil rep on the liaison group.
Continue the investment in ICT and expressive arts, reflecting the activities which pupils enjoy.

Collecting opinions from parents

192 parents returned the questionnaires (57% of the school)
Again, the results were very positive:

We received many positive comments on the school relating to:

  •     Family Support
  •     Quality of teachers and teaching assistants
  •     Child’s progress
  •     Child’s enjoyment and love of school
  •     Good communication

What we are doing next

We’re already working on improvements to address some of the other comments we received on the survey.
In particular, the Directors are looking into funding for additional speech therapy and the school continues to develop further opportunities for 16+ students and their transition into adulthood.
All parents who any raised issues have been contacted by their student’s Head of School for further discussion.