Back to top

John Gulson

What do our parents and carers think?

The views, opinions and ideas of our parent/carer community are extremely important to us. They enable the whole school team to reflect on what the parents/carers feel the strengths of the school are, but also to share their suggestions for future development. This means that the school improvement plan is truly collaborative with all of our community. Views are gathered in several ways:

  1. Our annual parent/carer survey;
  2. Regular school update meetings for parents/carers where the Senior Team share updates on progress, improvement priorities and next steps;
  3. Quick conversations on the gate!
  4. Appointments made to see the SLT;
  5. The Parent Partnership group.

 

Our most recent parent/carer survey outcomes (January 2024) are below

Parent / Carer Survey January 2024: Feedback

 

I have children in the following classes:

 

Question:

Strongly Agree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Agree+

Agree + (2023)

My child likes being at John Gulson

51%

40%

7%

2%

0%

91%

90%

Staff treat my child fairly and with respect

44%

51%

3%

2%

0%

95%

92%

I feel that my child is safe at John Gulson

55%

44%

0

1%

0%

99%

90%

The school helps my child to feel confident

33%

53%

13%

1%

0%

86%

80%

I feel the staff know my child as an individual

20%

60%

11%

7%

2%

80%

81%

My child enjoys learning experiences in school (including clubs on offer and educational visits)

36%

51%

13%

0%

0%

87%

87%

My child receives the help and support he/she needs

40%

35%

18%

5%

2%

75%

81%

My child is encouraged by the school to be healthy and take regular exercise

24%

56%

15%

5%

0%

80%

79%

The school supports my child’s emotional wellbeing

27%

47%

18%

8%

0%

74%

70%

My child is making good progress at the school

27%

58%

15%

0%

0%

85%

85%

I receive important information about my child and their progress (reports / parents meeting opportunities)

29%

45%

24%

0%

2%

74%

91%

The school provides opportunities to share how I can help my child at home e.g. workshops

29%

49%

22%

0%

0%

78%

84%

The school organises activities where my child and I can learn together

18%

47%

27%

8%

0%

65%

76%

I feel comfortable approaching school with questions, suggestions and / or a problem

33%

51%

13%

1%

1%

84%

84%

I am satisfied with the quality of teaching in the school

27%

53%

18%

2%

0%

80%

79%

The school is well led and managed

45%

48%

5%

2%

0%

93%

79%

The school encourages children to treat others with respect

40%

51%

9%

0%

0%

91%

84%

 

Question:

Strongly agree

Agree

Never experienced bullying

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Agree +

Agree + 2023

The school deals well with bullying

24%

58%

13%

4%

1%

82%

70%

 

Question:

YES

Yes (2023)

I would recommend John Gulson to other parents and carers

97%

88%

 

I think the school has the following strengths:

The class teachers are amazing and keep parents informed

Sport and exercise

 

English lessons as my son is not yet adopt to that

Good staff members

Good administration

Staff

I first chose John Gulson school as it was closer and convenient l, but my daughter enjoy her learning experience in school and is always happy about going to school which is very important for me as a parent. Even though I am fairly still new to the school, I think so far school is excelling in moving forward.

Senior leadership approachable and very friendly especially Miss Webley Homes. Mr Shebl is outstanding member of staff for both parents and children and is a credit to the school in many ways.

 

Good ideas Strong leadership Taking on board parents feedback

Staff make good relations with parents and provide helpful information

Cleanliness, good/healthy environment Academic setting etc

Values and from what the school teaching was has improved however communication between teachers is not always passed on. School menu has improved this year. Better choices for kids available

Education

Care for family, not only the students.

Very supportive and passionate staff that bring out the best in their pupils. Staff are easily approachable and are available to speak to at any time regarding concerns. Very happy with my child attending this school.

Since Ms Sumner has been the head teacher I have seen a massive difference in a good way. And she has been involved so much with the kids despite being so busy with admin work and staffing and so on. There is lots of communication with parents to and understanding them very happy.

Good management

Empathetic Encouraging Helpful Supportive

Wells trained staff and well management by head teacher

Management ,teaching, respect

Good approach with dealing problems

Getting the best from pupils Community links Communications Engaging parents Educating families Charity efforts Supporting whole families not just the child

Very informative and helpful

School has good teachers

My child is in Mrs Proud’s class, she is an excellent teacher. Mrs Proud is always happy to see children and always happy to speak to the parents. I have to say John Gulson -  all the new Receptionists are excellent . Always willing to help parents never look down on them. I am happy now that since Miss Sumner has took over the school and recruited new Receptionist is so much better. Well done Miss Sumner.

The school is very well led and managed well from all aspects. Parents are listened to and I feel it easy to approach any member of staff.

 

Good organization

Staff working well with parents and kids is really good

Friendly staff, good communication and leadership

Good organization

Caring , loving and safety of children is highly considered

Respect Inclusivity Support

Good and nice staff

Values

Good Communication skills Safe and orderly environment.

Hospitality

Their kindness

Well organised

Working Collaboratively as a team to ensure the school is successfully manage. The school is supportive towards families. Academic excellence

During the last few years John Gulson has really improved. So many areas such as children’s opportunities have really flourished. My children have thoroughly enjoyed many new clubs, events, swimming and The amazing Forest school. (Thank you Mr Nash) My children have always spoken so positively about everything they have learned in these sessions when they come home. Its great to see staff present morning and evenings and are easily approachable regarding any issues or even positive feedback we may have. Dojo is also a fantastic idea as a means of communication.

Kindness Caring,Safe environment

Respectful , friendly , helpful

School has a safe healthy environment

reading, writing ,respect to others ؍recognized good and bad

 

 

I would like to see the school develop further in the following ways:

Suggestions for improvement:

School response:

OFSTED

I would like to see next Ofsted report to be good

So would we! The last report identified that whilst we were Requires Improvement overall, we were ‘good’ in 4 out of the 5 areas of the inspection. The Ofsted team had full confidence in the direction the school was going and highlighted that due to standards (pre-2020) being so low and then the Covid lockdowns, we had not had enough time to fulfil our 3 year plan. We are now in the final year of this plan.

 

At present, the Senior staff and the Governing Body are self-evaluating the school as follows:

Quality of Education: Good

Leadership and Management: Good (with elements of outstanding)

Behaviour and Attitudes: Good

Personal Development: Outstanding

EYFS: Good

Overall effectiveness: Good

 

We are due OFSTED and so we await the next inspection to be able to demonstrate the huge progress made since the last inspection in 2022!

Teaching, Learning, Curriculum

Teaching, encouraged positively to those struggling to make improvement as rewards make learning easier by not choosing only those who are achievers give feedback to parents often so they can support at home too.

 

Good support in English and Maths

 

I want to see more learning opportunities and development regarding about my child

 

The Teachers & Teaching Assistant do a fab job but each class require more for those children that need more support.

 

 

Teaching , physical activities and others

 

IT and coding skills for younger pupils

 

Boosting academic performance

 

I would like the school to retain the teachers. My daughter unfortunately has had a lot of teachers leaving mid year. In most of her school years

 

More reading , more writing, more experimenting, swimming

 

As a parent myself, I fully understand the frustration when a member of staff leaves mid-way through the year and the potential impact this has upon the children. Unfortunately, this is largely out of my control. When staff have left, in recent years it has largely been for promotion, which shows the leaders are working hard to enable all staff to develop their skills. There is a very large recruitment problem in schools nationally at the moment, so the fact that we have been able to appoint people to start immediately shows how many people want to join the JGPS team! We always ensure that there is a full handover of information from the old to new teacher and that, where possible, the new member of staff spends time in school with their new class before they officially start.

 

We know that, in an ideal world, we would have more teachers and TAs to join our wonderful team and provide even more support for the children. However, current budget cuts mean that this just is not possible. The team are used highly effectively to make sure all children get support.

 

Academic performance increased in all year groups this year. Our Year 6 results (published in December 2023) showed huge improvement, as did the Year 2 outcomes. We have always had the approach that we want progress to be steady and sustainable. It is often easy to have one year where you put all resources into one year group and the outcomes would increase significantly. But this cannot be sustained. Slow and steady wins the race!

 

There has been a HUGE increase in activities for children to engage in – both in lessons and as additional opportunities. These have included a wide range of clubs (sports and others) as well as a development of educational visits. These will continue to be reviewed and updated regularly.

 

SEND

Send needs major improvement - more communication with parents and actually do what they say they are going to do in a timely manner and not left waiting around for months or chasing for meetings that are supposed to take place when your children are on the disability register.

 

Helping vulnerable children more gain help and support for their needs instead of excluding them from things.

 

More one to one sessions/small groups to help those struggling. Teachers need to pick up these points and address them as early as possible so as parents we can additionally help at home as I believe its not the sole responsibility of teachers to get our children to the level they need to be, communication regarding these issues would be great. Maybe sharing this information through Dojo. Some parents may wish to keep it confidential and not at classroom doors. I personally feel we have to wait quite a while in-between parents evenings to find out how our children are progressing or maybe lacking in certain areas. If we could be informed more frequently It would be beneficial. For those children who don’t particularly like certain topics and struggle to keep up. Is it noted and are there enough staff to help them and encourage them towards learning goals? I wouldn’t want it to damage their self-confidence and their abilities they do have in other topics. 

 

Individual teaching, accommodating and balanced relationship with children

 

School operates a monthly SEND coffee morning where either Mrs Webberley Holmes (SENDCo) or Mrs Nash (Deputy SENDCo) are available to speak with parents / carers about any worries / concerns. It also provides information around areas of need and support.

 

Parents / carers whose children are on the SEND register are entitled to two additional parent's meetings a year with the class teacher in addition to the current three. If you have any concerns around this, please see your child's class teacher or a member of SLT.

 

There is unfortunately nothing we can do as a school to expedite referrals for assessments to external agencies e.g. CAMHS but we do communicate what these are likely to be. We will always support you in chasing these referrals up and are here to help. We are as frustrated as you by the increase in waiting times. This is a national problem.

 

There has been an increase in Special Educational Needs both in school and nationally over the last two years; as such we have added a Deputy SENDCo to our offer to meet needs. Our policy in school is to also respond to parents / carers in a timely fashion – if you have any concerns re SEND needs, please make an appointment to meet with Mrs Webberely-Holmes or Mrs Nash.

 

The development of the Nest and Nestlings to provide support to our children with the highest levels of need have allowed them to receive more bespoke opportunities but also a higher ratio of adults to children. All of our teaching assistants lead interventions with smaller groups in the afternoons.

 

 

No child is EVER excluded from anything in school or extra-curricular. Where we have concerns over a child’s safety or wellbeing by something that may be happening in or out of class, we will speak with parents. Historically, this has meant parents accompany their child on a visit or alternative visits are offered. An example of this was at Christmas, where some of our children would not have been comfortable in a very loud pantomime environment. Instead, an alternative Christmas trip was organised.

Communication

More communication on the children’s progress etc. also parents notified weekly key things covered in the week for parents to reflect with their children at home

 

Not enough practical ways for parents to liaise with staff- at school pick ups and drop offs staff are very busy. On dojo, messages are not always being received.

 

And lastly communication on dojos with teachers about any events happening in school we always find out late if possible let parents know beforehand there has been few times mis communication please keep communicating when we need to know about our kids would appreciate it.

I will absolutely review this. I have to balance this request with the expectation placed upon me by the Department for Education about teacher workload, but I have some ideas of how we can ensure more regular opportunities for you to keep up-to-date with your child’s progress. We will also discuss this and get your ideas and the parents/carers information sessions in February.

 

New expectation from DfE means that teachers have to be in class from 8:35am every day. This limits their ability to speak with parents at drop-off. However, if you wish to make an appointment to meet with them, please do contact the office who will make an appointment for the earliest opportunity. I will reiterate to staff the need to check Dojo messages regularly, but due to teaching commitments, checking Dojo only happens before and after school hours.

To contact me / arrange to see me, please contact the office or I am often on the George Street entrance before and after school.

 

Nursery should also hold afternoon sessions

Unfortunately, due to budget implications, this is not something we are able to currently provide. However, we will continue to review it every year.

Extra-curricular

Providing more activities for children to learn during school time and do more trips and holiday clubs should be offered to all children not just people premium children, school needs more playground equipment for the kids and bring back the swimming it’s important as part of learning to swim, healthy for the kids too

 

Offering more various clubs, not only sports. It's been already started well with chess, board games, embroidery, gardening and coding (hopefully in the future coding club will be subsidized 😊)

 

Maybe more fun crafts afternoons for parents and their child or children

 

More organised trips for pupils.

 

More creativeness including Art and Textiles in all year groups.

 

We had swimming sessions not so long ago and as much as it was a fantastic experience. I would like to know if this will continue in John Gulson and what ages this will cover. How many sessions will children have et.? Many children are still not confident swimmers and still seem to have a long way to go. It appears that for them to become confident, parents need to give them additional lessons outside of school hours. I mention this also because ~ (The Wave) Swimming centre is an amazing venue for children to enjoy & with it being so local it could make a fantastic day trip for children who are not nervous of water. Its great to see some fabulous school trips. Unfortunately I find them quite expensive when parents need to bare in mind having more than one child and even children in secondary school (where those costs are even more pricey than primary school) It would be a good idea if parents could contact their local MP and ask them about school funding and are we receiving the funds we are entitled to. This could help with costs such as school trips, Even if it covered transportation costs only. Parents therefore do not have to cover the whole fee especially those who are obliged to pay in full. I noticed we can make a voluntary donation fee on school trips, Is this only for certain parents?

 

More after school club opportunities would be great. Could there be a way to log in and see available club spaces to book children on to? (A bit like Jam Coding system). I do not know if there are any available spaces this TERM for after school clubs, or if there are upcoming clubs that I should hold off and get him to wait for... Late collections from after school clubs has to be pre-arranged between parent's workplace but sometimes letters come out at short notice so my child misses out as we haven't had sufficient time.

 

This year we have concentrated on providing a wider variety of clubs for pupils to access both at lunchtime and afterschool.  These include a range of sports including football, basketball and multiskills.  We have also offered Coding club to all pupils, gardening, outdoor learning, knitting, art, board games, Science and Chess. 

Over Spring and Summer term, we plan on offering a cooking and drama club.

We would love to be able to offer free clubs for all but financially this is not viable.  The Coding club that was offered was already subsidised by us to lower the costs for families.  I will look into the booking system with our IT section – thanks for the suggestion.  In the meantime, please contact the school office to enquire about any available spaces.

 

Educational visits are planned at the beginning of the year and all pupils will get a curriculum enrichment experience every term.  We would love to offer more trips, however, again unless parents are happy to pay, we would not be able to fund these.

 

Every year group will studies either Art or Design Technology each half term.  Have a look at the curriculum overviews to see what your child is focussing on. The quality of the work produced last term was phenomenal!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We agree! The swimming pool we had on site last year was a huge success as it allows the children in KS2 to do swimming every day for a week and therefore make more progress. The pool is returning this summer! More details to follow.

Behaviour and Pastoral

Parent meetings, progress, behaviour, parents concern should be more often conducted at individual meetings not general.

 

Managing issues between peers when escalated to teachers.

 

We agree! Concerns around your child’s conduct in school should be shared with you privately – we work hard to ensure a strong parent / carer / school relationship and know you have so much to add to your child’s experience at school through knowing them best. If you are concerned about your child’s behaviour needs being communicated in a non-confidential way, please see a member of the SLT to discuss so we can ensure this is rectified.

 

We also introduced sending negative dojo’s home this year to have a quicker (and private) way to communicate with families when low level concerns begin to escalate. For more serious behaviour incidents we issue letters in a sealed envelope, and you are always very welcome to call school to discuss this further.

 

We believe in empowering our children to learn how to resolve difficulties with peers (where appropriate) and as such our Learning mentor team conduct restorative meetings between children where it is deemed appropriate. These have been very successful in allowing the children to manage conflict. If you would like more information about this please see Mrs Webberely-Holmes.

Homework

Giving homework to kids at home

 

Giving children take homework on Friday

 

Checking home tasks and giving feedbacks accordingly.

 

All children have been provided a fantastic reading diary which would be a great tool to use as liaising, even to highlight small things such as needs new reading book, or question regarding homework etc as it has space provided for this but it has not been looked at or signed by a member of staff since they were given out, therefore it seems a waste?

Homework is given on a Friday and it will alternate between the CGP books which we purchased for your children or will be an online programme.  The tasks that are chosen reflects either the work that has been learnt that week or is an area that your child needs to work on.  Last week, I conducted a review of the use of the homework/reading diaries and have fed back to staff.  The reading side is well used but I agree that the homework side could be improved on.  This is meant to be a two-way communication so please ensure that you support your child with their homework and sign their diaries and I have spoken to staff also to ensure that diaries are signed each week.

Consent forms such as for use of medication etc, should be prepared well in advance, not after if a child is unwell and call the parents to come to school and sign

Consent forms are expected to be completed by all parents/carers for each child in September every year, or when a child starts our school. This consent gives us permission to administer Calpol. However, any other medication (e.g. antibiotics) requires a separate form to be completed by parents/carers.

Health and Safety

Cleaning of the school toilets

Toilets are cleaned three times per day. Morning, lunch and after school.

Over the summer we had the Year 5 and 6 toilets completely refurbished (Years 3 and 4 were completed the year before).

Playtime / playground

More school equipment for kids and play time indoor and outdoor

 

More equipment in playground, more teachers and teaching assistants so those that are with the most needed have time spent with them and then the other children can have more staff.

 

 

New outdoor equipment has been installed in the Years 5/6 and 3/4 playgrounds. Over the next 2 years, the rest of the playgrounds will be done. As you can imagine, it is very expensive to do so we have to do it over a period of time.

 

We have also invested in more games to be used outside but also introduced a lunchtime board games / games club.

More childcare

 

We currently have breakfast club which is open to all children who attend the school. Unfortunately, we do not have enough interest in an after-school care club. We do have LOTS of after school sports and activities that the children can take part in.

More equal opportunities for pupils wanting to become school councillor, if the same pupil is being chosen to be school councillor it is not giving others a chance to develop their confidence - maybe another form of electing could be implemented? Or election process could take place again mid-year to enable others a chance? This would be good as it promotes young leadership.

All school council elections take place by a secret ballot to ensure it is fair and represents what the children themselves want.

Lunchtimes

I would like Ms Sumner to be aware of the lunchtime staff as sometimes kids do get hurt or an incident has happened and they are not aware as they seem more chilled than keeping an eye. There has been a few times where my niece or daughter have hurt themselves and not seen as they say the lunchtime staff are always ‘busy’.

I do regular walks around the site. Miss Hine and Mrs Davis also review what is happening daily. The dinner supervisors have had a very robust training plan this year and their progress is always being monitored. I will however, review these comments and share them back with the team.

Additional Comments made in this section:

  • It should become a secondary school as well so child should not have to find another school after primary
  • The school has already developed!
  • Nothing more could I add. Brilliant school, one of the best I’ve worked with!
  • Having Miss Sumner as a new headteacher the school is so much better. I have to thank all the staff in Reception for making the parents and children welcome.
  • Everything is good
  • Nothing ,everything is perfect 👌
  • I was lucky enough to be offered to assist on my child’ school trip last year to the AT7 centre to watch a Theatre performance & I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity and being part of a great group of teachers and children. I would gladly participate again if needed. Thank you JG ☺️

 

 

Parent / Carer Engagement

It is commonly acknowledged that “It takes a village to raise a child.” 

At John Gulson Primary School, parent/carer engagement is vital. We offer a variety of ways parents/carers can engage with the school.

Class Dojo is our primary method of communication. Class Story allows teachers to share photos, videos, documents and special occasions from the classroom for parents/carers to see. It also allows parents/carers to see what is being taught each half-term. There is also a messaging system within Class Dojo, which allows our families to directly message their child's class teacher.

The whole school story allows whole school letters and messages to be shared with the full school community. 

We have an open door policy. There is a member of SLT present each morning and after school, on the main gate, to liaise with parents. For something more urgent, families can make Ann appointment with the relevant staff member. 

Our weekly newsletter goes out to families every Friday. Within each newsletter, there is information fro each member of the senior leadership team; weekly attendance numbers; upcoming events; mental health and wellbeing support; photos of work; Star of the Week awards; UNICEF awards; and Reader of the Week! 

 

Twice per year, our parent/carer questionnaire goes to families to complete, allowing them an opportunity to share their views on key aspects of the school. Once the data has been analysed, the Headteacher shares the outcomes with the school community and also addresses key concerns, either providing explanation for why certain things are they way they are OR making adjustments to processes in order to address these concerns. We also allow parents/carers to share what they like about the school, to ensure we do them more often! 

Parent/Carer Workshops

sleep workshop flyer.pdf

 

Every September, we hold parent/carer information sessions for our families. Each year group has their own meeting, led by the Headteacher, senior staff and the class teachers. At these meetings, key information is shared about the year ahead, what they can expect their children to learn, key dates (class assemblies, parent/carer workshops) and it is an opportunity for our families to get to know their child's teacher over a coffee and cake! 

Each family will then be given a parent/carer information booklet containing all of the information; these also go on Dojo and the school website under the 'Children' and class tab. 

 

We offer 2 formal opportunities during the year, for parents/carers to meet with their child's class teacher. These take place in October and March. Due to the Covid pandemic, these were offered via telephone call; however, we have now returned to face-to-face sessions. At these sessions, teachers share progress and targets, as well as attendance data.

At the end of each academic year, all families receive a formal report.  

We offer many opportunities for parents/carers to come into school to work alongside their children, as well as a chance for parents/carers to develop their own knowledge and expertise. We also like to involve our families in celebratory events! Every October and November, we also offer open morning events for prospective new parents/carers. In-year admissions are met by the Family Support Worker for a tour of the school.