Wakefield LA Celebrate the Success of Sandal Castle Primary - May 2019
Sandal Castle VA Community Primary School have been reconfirmed as a National Centre of Excellence for Inclusion for another year. This is a prestigious position as they are one of only around 240 schools and nurseries nationwide to have their work in inclusion recognised with the status. The school work to support children and young people with special education needs, English as an additional language, SEMH (social, emotional and mental health needs), as well as helping parents, staff and other schools in areas of early help and inclusion. This is fantastic news and recognitions of the impact the school has both locally and wider – congratulations!
Inclusion Quality Mark and Centre of Excellence re accreditation - 25th April 2019
As part of the rigorous re accreditation process, a selection of parents/carers were interviewed by our assessor. Their views of our school and the curriculum on offer have been included within our final report. Here are a few extracts taken from the report. We are delighted that our parents/carers recognise and value that we are partners in children's learning and that the high standard of behaviours, exemplary attitudes to learning, quality of teaching and learning experiences observed by our assessor were then also noted by parents.
“Parents are seen as partners in their
children’s learning, giving and receiving information, talking and relating to teachers,
local community e.g. neighbouring schools, churches, charities, neighbours, we
demonstrate that we do not exist in isolation, but as part of the world.”
“The School has established a positive, holistic and caring ethos which involves looking
at pupils’ individual needs and which has excellent links to Bloom’s Taxonomy of
Learning. This can be seen in the commitment and dedication staff show in ensuring
that all pupils are appropriately cared for in relation to their basic physical and mental
well-being and is a contributory factor in the schools’ happy and friendly atmosphere
and the pupils’ high standards of behaviour.” These findings are evidenced when we
take a tour of the school, listen to the views of parents, children and staff. They readily
recount the approach taken by the school and talk about the way in which staff have
supported their children and cared for their own needs, guiding them and advising
them building their confidence and self-worth.
Parents speak positively about the care offered for children coming into school.
Transitions are well-considered, and parents talk positively about the way in which
children are transitioned into school and feel that the ‘settling in process’ is secure.
Parents, governors and staff are aware of values, policies and procedure in relation
to behaviour and inclusion.
Parents clearly value involvement with the school and the school endeavours to build
relationships from the children’s entry into school.
Parents are welcomed to a range of events during the school year. They have the
opportunity to take part in parents’ evenings, communicate and they receive an annual
report. Parents feel that their children are valued and included, know that they can ask
teachers if they have a concern or a question and they feel that they can speak to the
The school fosters trusting relationships with parents and very effective links with
other agencies to support a shared approach to children's learning and to ensure
children receive a consistent support. The school communicates in a variety of ways and
this helps the parents to feel welcome in school.
Transition Information - Place2Be - May 2019
Place2Be, the mental health charity, has some helpful information for parents to help them support their children for what can be a daunting time.
For more information: https://www.place2be.org.uk/what-we-do/parent-carer-resources/ready-for-secondaryhigh-school.aspx
Online Safety - 26th/27th March
Our recent parental voice survey focussed upon 4 key questions linked to online safety. The outcomes and our responses have been shared in our weekly newsletter (29.3.19). Online safety is a vital part of our school curriculum.
Q1 Do you feel confident that your child receives appropriate online safety support in school?
Q2 Are you aware that you
can access online safety
resources via the school
Q3 Do you know who to
speak to in school if you are
concerned about an online
Q4 Do you think school
offers enough online safety
information to help you
support your child at home?
8th March - Fairtrade Community Event
We’ve had a fabulous Fairtrade Fortnight at Sandal. The children have participated in a wide-range of curriculum enriching activities and ended on a high with the Fairtrade Community Cafe. Families were invited into school for a ‘farmer’s break’ with the children, and plenty of cake, chocolate and other treats were enjoyed! A fantastic £1223.00 was raised.
Family Forest School
On a weekly basis, families enjoying working together in our Forest School area.
Christmas Performance Week
Thank you to all parents, carers and friends of the school who have visited and enjoyed our 10 performances this week. Thank you also for your kinds words, appreciation and thanks.
Compare School Performance 13/12/18
We are delighted to be able to share the link to the .gov.uk compare school performance site to celebrate with you the fantastic KS2 outcomes of 2017/18. We are very proud of our curriculum; the breadth and depth it offers our children, the quality of teaching and the vast range of learning opportunities, commitment and dedication of the school community and partnerships with parents, which all lead to the fantastic outcomes during year 6. Let's celebrate
Festive Fun at the Christmas Light Switch On - 30th November
Another happy Sandal occasion tonight with the switch-on of the lights on the Barnsley Road Christmas tree. The plunger was pushed by Jack L, a foundation stage pupil at Sandal Castle Primary School where a family social followed the switch-on.
Parent Consultation Survey - October 2018
Parent Consultation Evenings took place on the 23rd and 24th October 2018. Our survey this term focussed on parents and children responding to which areas of the curriculum their children enjoy and which subjects/areas they talk about. Our aim of this joint activity was to focus on memory and retention of what has been taught and to confirm the powerful knowledge being retained.
|English; Reading, Writing, Grammar Punctuation and Spelling, Active Engliah||77%|
|Maths; TT Rockstars, Maths of the Day, Active Maths||79%|
|Topic: History, Geography, Science, DT||70%|
|After School Clubs||77%|
9th October 2018
Charles Waterton Workshops - Year 1
On the 9th October, our year 1 children took part in workshops led by Wakefield Museum Service on habitats, birds and Charles Waterton. Our children had a wonderful time! Olivia was so inspired by what she heard and saw that she asked her mum if they could visit the Museum this weekend. Olivia and her mum emailed the lovely message and photographs below.
Just want to send a quick email to say how lovely it has been to hear how much Olivia has enjoyed learning about Charles Waterton in Mrs Moses class. She is so interested in the topic that she asked if we could go to the museum to learn more about him.
Olivia asked if she could share some of the pictures with her class. The museum was lovely and we bought a book all about him which was available for a donation. Olivia recognised some displays at the museum as she said she had seen them when a lady came into school. Olivia can’t wait to show Mrs Moses and her friends the pictures and tell them all about what we saw.
SM- Parent of child in Year 1
As we finish the 2017/18 academic year, here are a few heartfelt comments from parents - 20th July 2018.
'' Reflecting on the last 7 years, we have to conclude what a wonderful, loving and inspirational journey (child) has been on at Sandal Castle Primary'' J and MS
'' We want to thank you so much for all you have done for (child) since she joined the school in year 1.Thank you for being you'' A and RC
''So, for us it is the end of an era. (Child) finishes Y6 with fantastic SATs results. He has learnt so much more than what can be tested in SATs. He has learnt about life and about people and how they all bring something different to the party. He has learnt that everyone deserves a chance to shine. I just want to say thank you so much for helping us bring up our (not so) little boy. You should be very proud of your (not so) little school. We definitely made the right decision!'' R and DS
'' The end of an era now and the next chapter - sad but exciting. Keep doing what you do - you make Sandal Castle what it is!'' K and SP
Inspire Morning - 10th July 2018 - 1ES
1ES had a wonderful morning making puppets with their loved ones. The children and grown ups worked together to design and create a puppet which they were proud to present to the other children in a special assembly.
Quotes from parents:
'' I thought the Inspire morning was wonderful. I have enjoyed every minute''
'' I would love to come to another event''
''Nice to spend 1-1 time with each other.''
''Had a fantastic morning spending time with Megan''
'' I loved spending time with Joseph in school doing the puppets and seeing Joseph so happy. It's such a good idea and I loved everything about today. Thank you for doing this.''
GDPR - 25th May 2018
Under data protection law, individuals have a right to be informed about how the school uses any personal data that we hold about them. We comply with this right by providing ‘privacy notices’ (sometimes called ‘fair processing notices’) to individuals where we are processing their personal data.
This privacy notice explains how we collect, store and use personal data about you.
Inspire Morning - 15th May 2018 - 1HL
Our creative Inspire morning for 1HL took place on the 15th May. Another wonderful morning demonstrating the quality of our partnership with parents and the joint working taking place. THANK YOU to all who were able to attend.
The photographs included in the link below give a flavour of the morning;
Quotes from parents;
'' I have enjoyed today. I would enjoy coming to another Inspire event. It is great to see her in her school environment and good to see she is creative in school as well as home''
''I have enjoyed seeing how Charlie gets on at school''
''I have enjoyed it very much and would definitely take part in another Inspire morning again''
''We would love another Inspire morning''
''I do hope there will be more inspire mornings to come''
Inclusion Quality Mark - Parental Voice, April 2018
Parents were asked to give their views and opinions of the school during our 2 day IQM assessment. We were notified on the 10th May that we have been successful and are now an IQM accredited school.
The following extracts are taken from our 20 page report and reflect the conversations our parents had with our assessor. The views and opinions have been captured in our report;
''Parents spoke of the school being very approachable, with numerous opportunities for
communication about children’s progress and an open door to senior leaders available.
The school leadership and governors saw support for parents being an essential part of
the role of the school. It was clear that there is much trust between the parents and the
school and this trust has been built up over many years with dedication and clarity of
''Children at the school are very understanding of others who are different. One
parent told me of how her son, who had specific needs, was supported by other
children in the group.''
''Parents described the school as being a community. They spoke highly of relationships of parents in the playground whatever the background of the parents.''
'' Parents described the school as being approachable and described numerous
opportunities for discussing and communicating regarding their child’s progress.
o Opportunities before school for parents to talk with the class teacher.
o An open-door policy for parents to meet with the Assistant Headteacher (Inclusion
o Opportunities for parents to spend 20 minutes in the classroom from 8:30am in
Foundation and KS1.
o Afternoon curriculum sessions/parent evenings that are held termly. Parents
state that the school was always willing to arrange another time should they not
be able to attend the dated session.
o An end of year report for each child. Parents described the reports as being very
personal to their child and much more than just a cut and paste activity.
o A reading comment book so that a child’s reading can be monitored at school and
''The school considers itself to be a community hub, and parents supported this view
of the school as being the centre of the community. The parents were clear that this
school community extended across all estates and to all parents and children at the
Ofsted Parent Questionnaire Outcomes - March 18
Every year we engage with parents/carers on numerous occasions asking their views and opinions on school life. The following outcomes reflect recent questionnaire responses.
In March 2018 we used the Ofsted parent view questionnaire to gather views and opinions;
Analysis of the March 2018 questionnaires and planned actions;
- 100% of parents returning their questionnaires would recommend the school to another parent. This is an increase of 0.68% since our October questionnaire.
- Over 98% of parent responses strongly agree/agree that their child feels happy, safe and is well looked after at this school. This is an increase of 0.49% since our October questionnaire.
- 100% of parents strongly agree/agree that their child makes good progress at this school with 97% stating that they receive valuable information about their child’s progress. This is an increase of 6.88% of parents responding stating that they receive valuable information since our October questionnaire.
- Over 99% of parents strongly agree/agree that their child is taught well at this school.
- Over 96% of parents strongly agree/agree that the school is well led and managed and that the school responds well to any matters raised. This is an increase of 0.37% of parents responding positively regarding leadership and management and an increase of 3.53% regarding effective communication since our October questionnaire.
- In 75% of the questions, parents are over 96% happy with the school.
Areas for Development ; Communicating externally validated accuracy of school practice and provision to stakeholders – linked to Q6, Q7, Q8
- Homework – 94.22% of parents either strongly agree or agree with the current homework set with 0% disagreeing or strongly disagreeing. However, 5.78% neither agree nor disagree with the homework set. Staff will review our current homework provision – Summer 1 and a survey will be issued to parents asking for their views. Amendments will be considered based upon the review.
- Children’s behaviour – 94.77% of parents either strongly agree or agree with the statement that school ensures that pupils are well behaved. 4.39% neither agree nor disagree with the statement with 0.87% disagreeing and 0% strongly disagreeing. External validation from; Local Authority Advisers, School Improvement Professionals/Advisers, Diocesan Advisers, SIAMs Inspection, Ofsted Inspection, Pupil Premium Review, All Saints Partnership Peer Challenge, Achievement for All adviser and numerous visitors to school, comment positively and record in their reports the excellent behaviour, manners and attitudes to learning of our children. As a school, our priority is to ensure that the accurate message of behaviour being of a high standard is disseminated to all parents and stakeholders.
‘’Pupils’ are well behaved, respectful and considerate. They are a credit to the school’’
SIA Consultant report, September 2017
School has established a positive, holistic and caring ethos which involves looking at pupils’ individual needs and which has excellent links to Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning. This can be seen in the commitment and dedication staff show in ensuring that all pupils are appropriately cared for in relation to their basic physical and mental well-being and is a contributory factor in the school’s happy and friendly atmosphere and the pupils’ high standards of behaviour.
External Pupil Premium Review, February 2018
- Dealing effectively with bullying – 91.70% of parents either strongly agree or agree with the statement that school deals effectively with bullying. 8.10% neither agree nor disagree with the statement with 0.5% disagreeing. 0% of responses strongly disagree. A number of parents noted that they have recorded a ‘neither’ response to this question due to the fact that they have no direct knowledge of bullying and have not had to discuss ‘ bullying’ with anyone in school , therefore, they have recorded a ‘neither’ response as the most accurate response for them personally.The term ‘bullying’ is a key term that we, as a school have focussed upon in our whole school equality duty, equality and diversity underpinning curriculum. Similar CPD sessions will be offered and disseminated to all parents and stakeholders in order to ensure a consistent approach and understanding as to the terminology. External validation again, supports the positive whole school culture and ethos.
‘’Pupils say that bullying rarely happens. When it does occur, they are aware of the steps they need to take. Pupils are confident that issues with bullying will be taken seriously and resolved effectively by staff. Pupils have a mature awareness of the different forms that bullying can take including racist and homophobic bullying.’’
SIA Consultant report, September 2017
In October we used a questionnaire devised by our Governing Board to gather opinions;
Preferred method of receiving school information survey
We also asked parents how they would prefer to receive information from school. We offer a range of curriculum events, evenings, drop ins, handouts etc and wanted to ensure that we were maximising the impact of parental support. The following graph evidences parental views;
Joint parent/pupil voice - Curriculum
At recent parental consultation evenings we held a joint pupil/parent voice survey asking for views on curriculum breadth and entitlement. We wanted to ascertain if children and parents recognised the wealth of opportunity on offer and to use this information to monitor if children enjoyed the subjects being taught asking them which aspects of the curriculum they enjoyed the most. The following graphs evidence our findings.
Which aspects of the curriculum would parents like to find out more about?
We also asked parents/carers which aspects of school life they would like to find out more about? The responses and actions are catalogued below.
All Aboard at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park - 10th March 2018
Programmed as part of the Arts Council Collection National Partners Programme, Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s (YSP) All Aboard programme introduces local families to works from the Collection, through supported visits and a range of family-friendly activities.
Becky Harlow, Exhibitions Engagement Coordinator at YSP works alongside school staff, children and parents to ensure that we give families from local schools the opportunity to visit YSP.
10 families from Sandal Castle Primary were invited to take part in the All Aboard Arts programme. Children, parents and grandparents had a wonderful time exploring, appreciating and celebrating 40 years of art without walls.
What has today done for you and your family?
Farrah and Paul: We liked seeing lots of different things together.
Fin and Janine : The ability to craft and build sculptures.
Connor and Sue: Made us have lots of fun.
Elliot and Mark: It has taught us how to think bigger with art. Making memories with family.
Inspire Morning - 6th March 2018
Our first Inspire morning of the Spring term was enjoyed by 1NG. Puppet design and making activities were enjoyed by the class with parents and grandparents working with their children. This was followd by refreshments and an assembly to showcase the creative talents of both children and adults. Feedback was unanimous in agreement that the Inspire morning was highly enjoyable, allowed adult/child bonding time and opportunities for 1-1 work/play without other distractions. Take a look at the gallery of photographs and parental comments below.
Quotes from parents attending the morning;
''Would take part in another morning. Whole table worked together to share ideas'' Annie and Vaughan
'' It was well organised and we all had tools needed to make the puppet'' Abdoullie
'' We really enjoyed the Inspire morning. We helped each other with ideas. The benefits was to spend time with mother and daughter and to see how creative Jessica can be. I would definitely take part in another Inspire morning.'' Lauren and Jessica
'' Benefit - Spending quality time together and working on a project. Well organised. Definitely worthwhile'' Caitlin
''Benefits-- Bonding with mum and listening to each others ideas and working together'' Lillie Mae
'' Enjoyed the morning and found it nice to spend some quality time with just Stanley. Had lots of fun. '' Stanley
2nd March 2018
A HUGE THANK YOU to all parents and carers who have taken the time to speak with staff personally, telephone or email to thank us for keeping school open during the extreme weather conditions this week. Your kind and thoughtful words are very much appreciated by all staff.
Family Fun Event 3 - Quiz Night
Our 3rd Family Fun event took place on the 16th January. Families took part in quiz rounds; Family Fortunes, Name the Celebrity, Dingbats and name the Disney film from the snippet of music.
In session 1, the best team name went to Ashley and his family with the fantastic team name,' Quizzie Rascals.'
In session 2, the best team name went to Orla and her family with the creative use of surname, 'We're all going on a Summer Halliday!'
The winners of session 1 with 33 points was ' We tried our Best!' - Well done!
The winners of session 2 with 39 points was ' Trinity Infinity!' - yes, a Wakefield supporter!
Another social community event enjoyed by all!
Watch out for our Spring 2 event...
Family Bingo Night
Our second evening of Family Fun was a Bingo Night. Fantastic participation and feedback from our families!
Responses from Parents;
''Brilliant night at the Bingo night.Hats off to the teachers at our brilliant school. Thy put so much time and effort into our kids. Well done to everyone who turned up aswell''
'' It really was great. Well thought out. Well done to all ''
'' Was a good night, great to be involved ''
'' Was a brilliant night ''
In September 2017, we held our first family fun event of the adacemic year; a treasure hunt around the local area of Sandal. Over 60 families enjoyed the walk and socialising in the school hall for refreshments.
The Christmas Tree Light Switch On took place on the 1st December. Hundreds of community members, Sandal Castle children and familiers came along to join in the festive fun, listening to the school choir and to meet Father Christmas.
A great time was had by everyone at the school Christmas Fayre.
Parental Voice impact on School Improvement
Ofsted questionnaires were used in 2016, April and October to ascertain parental views on what our school was doing well and what we needed to improve. The following graphs compare our findings;
Responses to Q4 led us to evaluate how we cascade information to parents/carers.The most recent evaluation of parental questionnaires demonstrate an 11.1% increase in satisfaction in this area increasing from 80% in October 16 to 91.1%.
The second area for development was Q5, effective communication with parents. As a school we aim to comminicate effectively and efficiently. Since April 2016, we have increased parental satisfaction in this area from 88% to 94%. The introduction of the school APP will further impact on our aim to ensure effective and timely communication.