What is an Extended School?
An extended school works in strong partnership with parents, with other children’s services, and with other schools and providers to offer access to a range of services and activities which enrich the lives of children, families and the wider community. Extended schools are focused on raising standards and improving outcomes for young people and their families. We therefore aim to work with partners to develop a school system which meets the needs of every child and young person.
Rowan Tree School aims to offer a varied menu of activities and parenting support over and above the normal school curriculum and hours. All activities are supported by our Extended Schools Team of experienced staff.
Due to the extensive building work in school this academic year and the changing needs of our school population, we have only been able to offer a limited range of activities. However, we are now in a position to once again provide a fuller programme.
We have consulted with parents and carers about their views on the proposed activities to be developed as part of the Extended Schools initiative so that they can help us to put in place provision that best meets the needs of our children and their families and carers. Below is a summary of the findings from the Extended Schools Questionnaire.
Mrs L. Browne
Parent Partnership Coordinator
Summary of findings from Extended Schools Questionnaire
13 questionnaires were received back in total. (This is thought to be representative of the families who have taken up the activities on offer).
- 1 Key Stage 1
- 7 Key Stage 2
- 5 Early Learners
- Mixed response to quality of activities attended and family trips and visits but generally good or better.
- Holiday activities were rated highly by Key Stage 2 families who responded.
- Parents would like more information in advance about what is on offer to them.
- Events are not always suited to the needs of the pupils and are sometimes too busy for individuals to benefit. At the cinema, there is not always Autism Screenings at the times planned.
- Some of those who responded felt weekends were better for them than evenings.
- One parent would like more support on the trips due to having more than one child.
- One family would like to make their own way to events – this is however, an option usually given.
- After School Club Activities
- Parents would generally be interested in after school clubs and those where the family can attend.
Parents would like more information about school events and non school events and offer suggestions e.g. Lego Club, Climbing Wall visits, Play centres, Park, Museums, Donkey riding and Outdoor physical activities such as Bikes and Scooters.
Family Trips and Visits
List of suggestions include: Cooking, picnics, walks, trips to the zoo and museums.
More Autism friendly screening at the cinema, play centres, farms, parks, gardening, outdoor walks.
Parents responded very positively and are extremely interested in holiday activities.
One parent reports, this is a very difficult time for her child and she would appreciate the support.
One parent would love for these to commence as her child would really benefit.
Suggestions for events include:
Sensory Centre / Space, Swimming – both when the session is exclusive for Rowantree pupils and is therefore quieter and more appropriate.
Extended Schools Staff Evaluation
K. Bennett and M. Hayes
This year we have had reduced availability and opportunities for offering Extended Services to families due to extensive building work. However, the activities on offer have been taken up by a range of families across the key stages. The most popular events have been the Cinema trips, lunch and Kids Club offered on a Saturday. Families who responded to the questionnaire rated these trips highly. Sunday Cinema Club and the Half Term Sports event were less well attended with only half of the attendees. The Sports Trip was rated 2 and 3. The evening trip to Blackpool illuminations was also accessed by a range of families across school and the one family responding to the questionnaire about this trip gave it a 1 for Excellent.
Case Studies showing Impact of Extended Services
The family trips have offered our parents invaluable support when taking their child/children out in the community.
One parent in particular, expressed her gratitude as she did not feel confident enough to take her son out to a play area without support. By organising to visit a sensory play area that caters for children with complex needs and offering support from our staff, she now feels comfortable visiting soft play areas with less support.
Another parent was finding it difficult to pay for the whole family to attend a cinema trip. We therefore looked at ways we could support this and reduce the costs. We informed our parents of the Cinema Carer Cards that allow carers in free and we arranged to attend the Junior Club which is at a significantly reduced price and we also arranged some additional discounts for our families.
We also attended a Parent Partnership Coffee Morning this year where we outlined our Services to Parents and offered information that may be of assistance to families.
- Organise a School Council Meeting to canvas Pupil Voice.
Date: 10th June 2016. Chair person: M. Hayes.
- Share findings with parents / carers and staff.
- Plan meeting to discuss all findings after 10th June and put an Action Plan in place for Extended Schools for September 2016. Discuss Summer School opportunities with ES team, SLT and other interested staff (for this Summer 2016).