Your feedback

cropped-logo-Copy1.jpg

As a parent myself, I really value the opinions and concerns of Holly Park parents. I hope that together we will take the school forward and make Holly Park the best it can be. Ann Pelham – Headteacher

There are various ways that you can give feedback to the school. 

  • You can speak directly to the class teacher about any concerns relating to your child. Teachers are in the playground at the start and end of the school day.
  • Office staff are always on duty in the foyer at the start and end of the school day to answer questions.
  • Mrs Puzey our learning mentor is in the playground at the start of a school day if you need to speak to her informally
  • The Senior Management team are in the playground at the start of each school day if you want to speak to one of us informally
  • We hold termly informal coffee mornings for parents to come along to find out more information and ask questions. We like to hear your thoughts and ideas.
  • Governors hold termly parent coffee mornings for parents to listen to feedback, ideas and questions.
  • You can contact governors by e-mail on hollyparkgovernors@yahoo.co.uk
  • Parent governors tend to be in the playground for informal chats at the start and end of the school day.
  • We run tours of the school for existing parents in the Spring term to come and look around the school and give us feedback
  • We do an annual parent questionnaire to find out parent views

You can contact the school office on - office@hollypark.barnetmail.net
You can contact the Headteacher on - head@hollypark.barnetmail.net

What do parents say about our school? Here are some recent comments: 

Comments from reports 2017

Nursery

Thank you for your lovely report and for the wonderful time our son has had in Nursery.  He has grown up so much and learnt a great deal as well as had enormous fun.

Thank you so much for our daughter’s lovely report.  We couldn’t have found a better Nursery for her – all the staff are wonderful and she’s loved it.  Our son is very excited to be joining in September and I know he’ll be in good hands.  Thank you all so much.

A huge thank you to Miss Wood and the entire Nursery team for the love and gentle encouragement you’ve given our son this year.  He loves his teachers and friends at school and comes home full of stories of the days adventures.

Reception

We are so happy that we got a place at Holly Park School.  Our daughter really enjoys coming to school every day and loved her teachers Miss Moore and Miss Klanga very much.  She has made huge progress in speaking and reading in English.  Thank you for taking such great care of our kids.  We really appreciate the work you have done.

Thank you very much for working hard with our child.  Wishing you all the best.

Thank you very much for a wonderful academic year.  Our daughter is a very happy Holly Parker and I couldn’t be more proud of her achievements … all thanks to a great team from the classroom to the office.

Year 1

Our daughter has had a wonderful year with Mrs Mir.  It has been such an enriching experience and we are so appreciative of all of Mrs Mir’s hard work and dedication.  Thank you for giving our daughter such a fab year!

I am absolutely blown away by our daughter’s glowing report!  Thank you for giving her an amazing learning experience this year.

Dear Mrs Casey, our daughter will miss you!  Thank you for guiding her for the last two years.  She enjoys learning and is enthusiastic about school.  A huge part of that is how much you enjoy being her teacher.  It means a lot to us.  We’re thrilled with her progress.

Year 2

Thank you for providing such a comprehensive report and for all the support and great teaching that Mrs Fitzpatrick has given our son this year.  His confidence has really grown alongside his academic learning and he has enjoyed this year in Rowan class.  Thank you for all the teaching staff, hard work and dedication.

Thank you for your detailed comments.  Our daughter has really enjoyed this year.

We were delighted with our daughter’s report.  Thank you for all the support and care she received this year and the thought that has gone into this reflection of her learning.

Our son has flourished this year with Mr Turner.  We really feel that he completely understood our son and got the very best out of him.  Always so calm and in control, he has been very lucky to have you as his teacher this year.

Year 3

Mr Bourne, we all chuckled reading our son’s report.  It’s been very clear to me through our conversations that you have our son pegged – bright but in a rush to be first.  Thanks for encouraging him to slow down (an impossible ask!). We’ll keep working on that too.  Thanks for a great year, he’s really enjoyed your class.

Thank you for a wonderful year.  Our daughter has really enjoyed this year because she loves Holly Park.

Our son has had a wonderful year with Mrs Mehtar and embraced a host of new learning opportunities.  He remains very enthusiastic about school and is keen to participate in a wide range of activities.  Thank you for offering him such a broad and balanced educational experience.

Year 4

We are very happy with our daughter’s progress this year.  We appreciate and thank Mrs Tsenti for the way she has taught and motivated her to improve her reading and writing.  Thank you all!

Thanks for the very informative and clear report.  It is very clear and easy to understand the weak and strong areas for our daughter.

My son has had a wonderful year at Holly Park.  He has received lots of help and support with his English and I’ve noticed his improvement in his reading and writing.  He is motivated to achieve more next year.  Thanks to all the wonderful staff who helped him to settle well in school.

Wonderful!  He’s loved his time in Year 4, had so much fun and learnt so much and really enjoyed having both Mrs Bawcombe and Mrs Cozens as his teachers – another great year!  Lovely to read all the comments, we are very proud parents and proud to be part of the Holly Park community.  A huge thank you to all the staff, and special mention to all those who helped with the sleepover, especially the SMT for staying the night, above and beyond!!

Year 5

Thanks for all your hard work and support throughout the year.  The report was helpful, and thorough.  Have a lovely summer!

We are really pleased with our son’s positive and encouraging report.  He has had a great year and never once said he didn’t want to go to school!  Thank you for all your hard work, support and encouragement.

We are very pleased with our son’s progress this year.  Big thank you to Miss Biggs for her hard work and motivation.

Year 6

The report accurately expresses the progress my son has made in his years at Holly Park.  He has had support when he needed it and I have noticed a massive improvement with his maths.  Thanks to all the wonderful staff who have helped him settle well in school.

Thank you for such a positive report for my son.  I am very pleased with the progress he has made throughout the year.  I am particularly happy with the support he has had from the staff, which is obvious to see through his growth in confidence and self-esteem.  I cannot thank you enough.

Thank you for this lovely report.  Our daughter really enjoyed Year 6, and all the experiences she’s had this year.  We’re really happy with how engaged she has been in all her learning, and with the progress she has made this year.

Thank you for the very detailed and positive report for our son and for preparing him so well for secondary school.

This is a comment from a parent whose two children have left Holly Park:

I just wanted to send a quick message of thanks to all of the staff who have played a part in my son’s education at Holly Park.  He did very well this summer in his GCSEs at Compton gaining 9 A stars and 2 A grades.

The foundation of his success was laid in Holly Park and I just wanted to thank all the staff who have taught him. The education he received with you meant that he was very much able to cope with the demands of secondary school and it was with you that he gained a positive attitude to learning. Mr Hogan gave my boys the gift of music. I am very fortunate that my boys attended Holly Park.

ARCHIVE – here are some of last year’s comments.

Y6 parents

What a wonderful school! My child was so happy here and has never once said she didn’t want to go to school – quite an achievement!

Thank you so much for looking after our daughter for all these years. You have all done a fantastic job. She is very sad to leave you all, she has very happy memories from Holly Park to take with her!

Thank you so much for all your input, hard work, encouragement and support over the years. Our son has had a FANTASTIC experience at Holly Park.

Thank you so much for helping our son from being a very shy boy into a very lovely and grown up young man!

Thank you for all the support you have afforded our son. He has improved vastly over the years.

Thank you so much for helping our son grow into such an amazing young man. We couldn’t have done it without your fantastic support.

Thank you to all the staff. You have all been amazing and our daughter has progressed really well and is more confident. Thank you for your support.

Thank you for all the care, consideration and patience you have given our son. You instilled good standards and morals in him to begin his long journey ahead.

Our son has had a fantastic time at Holly Park, he is looking forward to more challenges at secondary school thanks to all the Holly Park staff.

Y5 parents

​Our daughter has continued to thrive and enjoyed every minute of Y5.

Our daughter has thrived in Y5 it has been a special year. I’m delighted with the report.

Y4 parents

Our daughter has really enjoyed her time in Y4.

The report really does highlight our daughter’s achievements and progress this year.

Our son has had a really good year and it has been good to see him develop both academically and socially.

A lovely report. We are very happy that our daughter is doing so well.

A lovely report. Our daughter has really enjoyed Y4

Y3 parents

A great report. Our daughter has really grown into Year 3 and improved in areas she has found challenging.

She has loved being in Y3 and has gained in confidence and always wants to make her teacher proud! I have seen great progress and my daughter wanting to learn and be more independent and wanting to be part of the whole school learning environment.

I’m pleased with my child’s report this year. She is making good progress and enjoys school.

Y2 parents

What an incredibly impressive report. Our son quickly settled into his new class and we are thrilled to see how much he is enjoying school. He has enjoyed being with his teachers who have challenged him.

I’m pleased that our son’s behaviour has improved. He loves his school. A great report.

We are very happy with our son’s progress.

A really pleasing report. The school has offered so many opportunities to learn, grow and develop.

Y1 parents

Our son has loved his time in Chestnut Class. He has been allowed to be himself and express himself through fun, engaging activities.

Our daughter has made really good progress this year and is looking forward to Y2.

Our son has continued to be challenged and inspired. The teacher really had a good grasp of our son’s personality.

A very positive and thoughtfully written report. Good practical ideas about what we can work on at home.

A detailed report. We have been delighted to see our daughter’s developmment this year, she truly enjoys school.

Very helpful to have areas for development in the report to help our child extend his skills and knowledge.

Reception parents

A lovely report full of detail and interest. Our son has loved his time in Reception.

Our daughter has had a wonderful year in reception. The teacher showed her kindness and support.

I think that the standard of teaching and the individual attention given to our daughter has been outstanding.

We are thrilled with the level of teaching our son has received in order to support his reading, numeracy, writing, creativity and social and emotional development. He has had a great start!

Nursery parents

I found this report very useful and helpful to understand the progress and achievement of my child. I think the report is very accurate.

Our child has made good relationships with the teachers. She talks about her day and tells me all about the exciting activities.

We are pleased to read all the information that you provide and are happy that our daughter.

Our daughter loves nursery and that is due to the care that she gets from the staff. She has blossomed has made good progress with her development in her first year.

 We are pleased with our daughter’s report and will ensure that absences are reduced next year.

My daughter has made an amazing improvement with her confidence and shyness since being part of the Holly Park family.

How we are improving

Following on from the results of the parent questionnaires here are some of the areas that parents thought that we could do even better:

The following were the most frequently mentioned responses or concerns that parents had, and some are actual comments:

  • Water more readily available in the classroom

Every classroom has a sink in it. Every sink has tap water suitable for drinking from. There is no shortage of water available in classrooms. We also encourage children to bring in their own (named) bottle of water for the classroom. If this is empty they can refill it at the classroom sink. We have plenty of water fountains in all playgrounds. These are cleaned twice each day – at lunchtime and after school. They do occasionally go wrong or leak and we aim to repair them as soon as possible. At lunchtime jugs of water and cups are available and these are refilled when empty.

  • Road safety outside school – a continuous issue with parents parking where they aren’t supposed to.

I completely understand the problems and frustrations that parents and local residents have with this issue, however my remit is only on the school site up to my school gate. The school is not responsible for the parking outside. On the other hand, as we are part of a community I am of course concerned for the safety of our pupils near the school. So far we have already done a lot of work and communication with parents:

  • I am constantly putting messages in my newsletters about considerate parking and dangerous driving and have been doing so for the last 3 years
  • We have held coffee mornings for parents about parking and walking to school
  • Children have made and sent leaflets home to parents
  • We  have stood outside and spoken to parents who have parked inconsiderately and moved them on (not really part of our role)
  • We have called on the community PCSOs to come down to the school
  • We have made the problems clear to Barnet council
  • Many of you signed an online petition to Barnet council organised by some Holly Park parents
  • We have called in the traffic wardens to visit
  • We send reminder texts to parents
  • We have a School Travel Plan  and now some Travel Ambassadors who will be working with the school council this term as they want to improve road safety in the local area – you will hear more about this.
  • Talking to my other headteacher friends and colleagues in nearby schools and across Barnet the problem is not just outside this school.
  • I also wrote to you in a newsletter to let you know that as from some time in February, the council will be installing CCTV cameras outside the school and will send fixed penalty notices for people who pull up or park on the zig zag lines.
  • I have also recently heard that we have become a priority for 20mph signs around the school as we had highlighted this in our Travel Plan. We await further news.
  • Updating parents about what is being taught in school so that we can reinforce / support some things at home.  I would like a better understanding of what is actually being taught and at what level

We do this every term. I have mentioned this in newsletters each term. You can find all the information on the school website. At the start of the school year a plan for the whole year is put on to every class page on the website. Every term planning for that term is uploaded onto each class page. This planning is very detailed for each subject and tells you exactly what the learning objectives that will be covered are. Also if you go to the learning page of the website under curriculum you will find learning journeys. There is a learning journey for every year group. Each year group has a page for every subject and this gives the exact learning objectives to be covered. From the learning objectives you can establish what level the teaching is at.

  • School dinners should be healthy

We currently use Barnet Catering for our lunches. Barnet Catering serve over 85 primary schools in Barnet. The catering service has to comply to certain standards, provide a balanced menu and nutrition and follow certain guidelines to do with health. From April 1st 2016 Barnet Catering will transfer to a new employer which will be Cambridge Education’s subcontractor, ISS Catering. We will keep our same staff and the central staff at the NLBP will remain the same but the lunches for Holly Park and other Barnet schools will be delivered and overseen by this new company. We will see what changes this new provider implement and will see if we can arrange a tasting session for parents, particularly if the menus change.

  • Homework

Homework is always a point of discussion amongst parents and children. As we were going through the questionnaire pile one questionnaire expressed the desire for more, the next one in the pile expressed a desire for less as they felt there was too much. Homework is the biggest contentious topic between parents and everybody has differing opinions about what and how much! If parents follow our homework policy, then there is quite a lot of homework to do. I would like to remind parents that as well as the weekly homework project in KS2 or half termly in KS1, (which allows all abilities to access it at their own level, suits different kinds of learning styles, gives children opportunities to use our Learning Skills and features different subject areas each week) there is reading for half an hour every evening and also practising times tables.  It is very important that the reading and times tables are done. In addition,  in KS2 we have added the weekly Grammar work or Maths work.

  • Be invited to have a look at children’s work in school

Parents are invited in to look at their child’s work every term. It is advertised well in advance in the dates section in newsletters, in the termly dates leaflet that goes out to all parents and it is on the website. Parents are invited in to a ‘Book Look’ for either KS1 or KS2 about a week before each parent consultation session. Once all children are dismissed safely, parents and children can come back into the classroom to look at the work which is in neat piles on the tables. This is a chance for parents and children to look at books together ahead of the parent/teacher meeting. The session is between 3.45pm and 5.45pm. We are always surprised by how few parents take up the opportunity.

  • More Swimming

Swimming is part of the Curriculum along with other sports activities and it is up to each school how they manage it. Over the years we have tried doing swimming in Y1 & Y2 ( the children found the walk and the changing very hard work and it took up an extremely long time) and also in Y5 & 6 (For really good swimmers St. John’s pool is quite small and this then involved coaches to larger swimming pools and extra cost). We have found from experience that it works best for us in Y3 & 4. The walk around to swimming, the changing, the lesson itself and the walk back takes about an hour and a half per group. This is quite a lot of time out of each week. Also the adult supervision necessary is quite intensive. As a school we do not ask parents to pay for this activity but pay for it out of the school budget. Each child at Holly Park is offered one year of free swimming lessons. Due to time, supervision and cost we are not able to offer swimming to more year groups.

  • Spellings

Research has shown very clearly that learning lists of spellings each week does not improve spelling ability or the ability to spell the words correctly in written work after the test. Also, just because some other schools do weekly spelling tests does not make it the right thing to do. That does not mean to say that we are doing nothing about spelling, in fact spelling is a priority in our school improvement plan and teachers have received quite a bit of training this year from external specialists about improving spelling.  Spelling at school is taught in an investigative way exploring spelling patterns and spelling rules. Children are learning about words rather than given words to learn! This year we have introduced a new system for helping children learn and reinforce words that they have mispelt in their written work so that the spellings they are practicing are personalised to them and not just a generic list. We will shortly send out a leaflet to parents explaining how spelling is taught at school and how parents can help at home.

  • After school club

The after school club (Bellevue After School Club) is not run by the school. It has its own separate Ofsted registration and the club rents space from the school.  The club is restricted to the number of places that it can offer because of adult pupil ratios and space available. We are fortunate that the club chooses to run at our school so that children can access it easily. I am aware that it is very popular and more and more parents want to use it to help them solve the problems of after school child care. The situation is also frustrating for Caroline who runs the club. She does have a waiting list that names can be put down onto.

  • Communication

Feedback was that communication from the school is good. We do our best to send out lots of information in the newsletters and also to use our website, text and e-mail service. A few parents are concerned that they receive too many texts. I can only assure those parents that we  do limit messages and only send out to year groups concerned and only have a few people in the school who have access to the messaging service to avoid text overload. It is the nature of schools that at certain points there is a lot going on and a lot of information to deliver and then other times are quieter.

  • Please do something about the main entrance to the school

Mr Reid and I have looked at the main pedestrian path and agree that it does need some work doing to it. The money to do such work has to come from the school’s own budget and we are not paid any extra to do things like this from Barnet. As a school we have to prioritise how we want to spend our money. We only have one pot of money to cover teachers, equipment, bills, maintenance etc. At this point of the year we make a list prioritising the works around the school that need to be done and Mr Reid collects quotes. Once a new budget arrives in April each year we then see what works it is possible to do. The governors premises committee help with this priority list. We have taken on board concerns about the school path and will look into this when we have our new budget.

I hope that you have found the answers to these comments interesting and informative. As a Head I value your comments, concerns and suggestions as they are very useful to me as I reflect on how we can continue to improve as a school. We are not complacent as a school and continually try to think of how we can change things for the better.

If you feel that at any time you have any further queries or comments about the school, or your child’s experiences at Holly Park, please do speak to one of our senior members of staff or one of our parent governors. Ann Pelham – headteacher

Archive – previous surveys and comments

Following on from the results of the parent questionnaires, I would like to respond to some of the comments and questions that were asked.

The following were the most frequently mentioned responses and some are actual comments:

cropped-logo-Copy1.jpgPlease put the school dinner menu on the school website
The school lunch menu is on our website. There is a four week menu that you can see. We also aim to put up the lunch menu in one of the display boxes on the hall wall so that parents can see it there when you are in school.  Occasionally the menu does have changes to it because of stock delivery.  Please do look regularly at the website as we update it almost daily and put up most letters that go home to parents. If you lose a letter you can download it from the website.

cropped-logo-Copy1.jpgMore detail about class content, activities and daily routine
We hold a ‘Meet the Teacher ‘session at the start of the school year and at this meeting we explain routines and activities. Every term a letter goes home to parents letting you know about what will be covered in the curriculum that term. Also, every term you can go on to the website and look under the year group heading  and download a curriculum web that tells you what the children will be learning in each subject that term. You can also see photographs of class events and activities.  The Holly Park Highlights also informs you of special events that have happened. At the start of each term we now send home a date list so that you can be very well informed of activities such as class assemblies, parent evening etc. We offer regular parent coffee mornings, tours of the school and meetings so that parents can ask informal questions about anything they would like clarification.

cropped-logo-Copy1.jpgHold parent consultation evenings more often than once a term
Many primary schools hold only two parents’ evenings a year. At Holly Park we changed this to now hold three – one each term. We have added to our meetings by giving parents any test materials that their children have done to help parents be more aware of what their children are doing and to support their children at home more if they want to. We also inform parents termly about what levels their children have attained so that they can see the progress being made. In addition to parent meetings, we have also added opportunities to come in at a separate time each term to sit in the classroom and look at the children’s work.  These dates are well advertised in advance.

cropped-logo-Copy1.jpgGive more notice of things that need to be brought into school, trips, events etc
At the start of each term we now send home a date list so that you can be very well informed of activities such as class assemblies, parent evening etc. The newsletter also has a list of dates for each half term in advance. If you lose any of these pieces of paper you can always look on the website as dates are available to look at here. We always try to follow up letters with reminder text messages.

cropped-logo-Copy1.jpgPlease give more homework
Homework is always a point of discussion amongst parents and children. Just last week at a School Council meeting two children had opposite views about homework,  one saying they wanted more, another saying they had too much. As a new Head, I have made many small but hopefully effective changes and I am not going to make a change to homework this academic year. However it is under review. If parents follow our homework policy, then there is quite a lot of homework to do. I would like to remind parents that as well as the weekly homework project, (which allows all abilities to access it at their own level, suits different kinds of learning styles, gives children opportunities to use our Learning Skills and features different subject areas each week) there is weekly spelling or mental maths sheets that can be done. In addition, children should be reading for half an hour every evening and also practising times tables.  It is very important that the reading and times tables are done.

cropped-logo-Copy1.jpgSwimming for more year groups
Swimming is part of the Curriculum along with other sports activities and it is up to each school how they manage it. Over the years we have tried doing swimming in Y1 & Y2 (the children found the walk and the changing very hard work and it took an extremely long time) and also in Y5 & 6 (for really good swimmers St. John’s pool is quite small and this then involved coaches to larger swimming pools). We have found from experience that it works best for us in Y3 & 4. The walk around to swimming, the changing, the lesson itself and the walk back takes about an hour and a half per group. This is quite a lot of time out of each week. Also the adult supervision necessary is quite intensive. As a school we do not ask parents to pay for this activity but pay for it out of the school budget. Each child at Holly Park is offered one year of free swimming lessons. Due to time, supervision and cost we are not able to offer swimming to more year groups.

cropped-logo-Copy1.jpgOffer more class trips
We have made changes this year to offer more class trips. I have asked all classes from Y1-6 to plan for 2 day trips, 2 curriculum days and a visit to a place of worship each year. This will mean that there is equality across year groups. Nursery & Y1 will plan for at least one curriculum day and one main visit. In addition to this we want to develop a graduated approach leading to a final week long residential visit in Y6. So Y3 will have a day of team building at Moat Mount, Y4 will have a one night sleepover in the school hall, Y5 will have a two night residential trip not too far away and Y6 will continue with a one week residential. We also have plans in conjunction with the PTA to offer a whole school theatre trip next year. More news on this later in the year.

cropped-logo-Copy1.jpgAddress poor punctuality and attendance
Overall attendance figures for the school so far have been good. The highest attendance figures have been seen in KS2. We continue using Punctuality Parrot and Attendance Alligator in Monday assembly and these are awarded to the classes with the best punctuality and attendance for the week.  I would like to congratulate Beech, Maple, Oak, Willow and Pine Classes who have received this award several times in the Autumn Term. Ash, Beech, Willow, Pine and Oak have also recorded 100% attendance in one week during the Autumn Term. Following a governor suggestion, I have now introduced stickers each half term for individual children who have had 100% attendance. I shall be writing to families around February Half Term (half way through the academic year) if we are concerned about their child’s absence. We use the Barnet Educational Welfare Officer service for families who have persistent problems. This service will actually take families to court over attendance problems if necessary. We constantly try to think of ways to improve attendance and punctuality.

cropped-logo-Copy1.jpgMore space at concerts and shows
We cannot create more space in our school hall but this year we have reorganised our shows so that not so many children are participating in one show at once therefore meaning more parents can come. We have also added some extra performances so that more parents can come. We are trying hard to make the ticketing situation the best it can be. Unfortunately we still have to restrict the number of tickets per child to make ticketing fair and to ensure that we comply with health and safety regulations.

cropped-logo-Copy1.jpgWe need more laptops / tablets
As a school we do not need more laptops at the moment. We have an adequate supply of laptops to meet our needs. We have a separate set of laptops for the Early Years and then we have four laptop trolleys that hold 16 laptops each. One laptop trolley is shared by 3 or 4 classes, which means that each class could use the laptops for one lesson each day or for a whole day each week. The teachers are very happy with this provision. We are very excited to tell you that just last week we have purchased our first set of 20 ipads. These will be very well received and we hope to add to this set in the coming years.

I hope that you have found the answers to these comments interesting and informative. As a Head I value your comments, concerns and suggestions as they are very useful to me as I reflect on how we can continue to improve as a school. We are not complacent as a school and continually try to think of how we can change things for the better.

Ann Pelham – Headteacher 

You can give your views on our school to Ofsted by filling in this survey.