Dear DCIS Parents and Guardians,
It is that time of year when in a school we start to look ahead to August and the new academic year fast approaching. Budgets get agreed, action plans drawn up and contractors engaged. An important part of that process is discovering what our students make of their experiences in the year, and our student school council will represent students’ voices to the school’s senior leadership during this term. However, another very important contribution is your voice, the parents. Our parental satisfaction survey results have just arrived in school and we will be analysing them in detail in the coming weeks, however, there are some important headlines that I want to share with you to tell you what we will be working on immediately.
First, the good news. The top three statements with the highest increase since last year were:
- Satisfaction with school meals (+28%)
- Satisfaction with performing arts facilities (+20%)
- Satisfaction with school bus service (+16%)
The top three highest rated statements this year:
- My child is happy at school (94%)
- Our first contact with the school was positive and welcoming (92%)
- My child feels safe at school (92%)
So we are pleased that you have enjoyed our changes to the cafeteria service and provider, that the Juilliard programme has been so popular (wait until you see our new Music Technology suite unveiled in the new year, it will be fantastic) and that, despite the growth in the school that you have seen a real improvement in the bus service provided.
As I often say, if we can make sure the children are happy then they are in the optimal position to learn well, so I am pleased that our happiness feedback was so high this year and that the children feel safe. I am not surprised to hear that so many of you feel that the welcome to school is so good, as we have an excellent admissions team that work tirelessly for you.
Now on to what we could have done better. The top three statements with the largest decrease since last year:
- My child receives the right amount of homework (-28%)
- The school contacts me to tell me about my child’s successes outside of academic achievement (-23%)
- My child has the opportunity to participate in a wide range of trips and visits (-22%)
Top three lowest rated statements this year:
- My child has the opportunity to participate in a wide range of trips and visits (55%)
- My child receives the right amount of homework (48%)
- The school contacts me to tell me about my child’s successes outside of academic achievement (32%)
Despite what I have said about research on primary homework, many of you still feel that you would like your children to have more. Last year just under three quarters of you felt the amount of primary homework was right. Now just above half of you think that. So, we will change that and make more homework available within the primary school.
We are making significant improvements to our communication with you, but there is still more to be done and telling you about your child’s wider successes will be an important part of that.
Our school visit programme is already looking far more adventurous and exciting as we leverage the power of being part of the Nord Anglia Education global community, however, we will continue to develop that this term so that going in to the new academic year we have a dazzling range of visits and trips. We have already appointed the next year group leaders to undertake this exciting task.
Any organisation stands or falls on how it listens to its community. You have spoken and we have listened and heard. I am delighted that so much of what we have done has been noticed and affirmed. I am also pleased that you have been so clear in helping us to target those things that we must address next. I look forward to seeing next year’s review so that we can enjoy the impact that our collective focus had on the children’s experiences.
Best wishes for the final term of the year,
Dr Neil Hopkin, FRSA