After speaking with parents/carers and teaching staff, our Chairperson was made aware that not everyone knew or understood what the Parent Council actually did (apart from bake cakes)...this had to change!
We wanted to communicate much more easily with Parent Council Members, the wider Parent Forum, primary clusters and school staff to share our story and so that those who are unable to make it to our meetings could still feel much more involved in the life of our school.
Keen to make our image more welcoming and to celebrate moving into our fabulous new school building, we decided that Waid Academy Parent Council should create its first website.
We chose the slogan ‘Parents+Carers+Pupils+Staff all working together’ as our theme and then began to plan the layout of our website.
During a conversation between a Principal Teacher and our Chairperson regarding the USA school trip, they came up with the idea of creating a school trips section within our website...as yet we have not come across another Parent Council who has done this.
We felt it would be helpful for parents/carers/pupils to have earlier awareness of trips that our school may offer in the future and of their approximate cost. We also wanted to encourage pupils to start saving with our school for these trips (or their next blazer, or university!)
We agreed this section would have to be a work in progress and that we would build it up as and when trips were planned and then update it when they had taken place.
The Principal Teacher and Chairperson designed a template for the organiser of each trip to complete and on their return, the organiser provides photographs, stories and feedback from parents and pupils to be uploaded onto our website.
We then shared with our cluster primary schools that we have a website so that they too can follow our progress and keep up-to-date with what is going on in their secondary school - perhaps they could start saving for trips from primary age?
The Rector, Parent Council Chairperson, PT Curriculum Technology (an experienced organiser of school trips), Business Management Teacher (the Credit Union School Savings Scheme Co-ordinator) and the Parent Council were all involved in the project.
Feedback in general has been very positive regarding our website and although we are very much aware that not every pupil will be able to go on a school trip, staff and the Parent Council hope that if in the future by visiting our website, it allows even one pupil to go on a trip who may have missed out, then the time spent working on this project will have been worthwhile.
The Parent Council invited the Principal Teacher to give a presentation at a Parent Council meeting on school trips so we now have a better understanding of how much work is involved in their research, costing, planning, booking and the procedures which are all in place to ensure our children are safe when they are away from home.
Staff advised that although the cost of future trips could not realistically be reduced, what may be possible to change is the amount of time parents/carers/pupils can be given to pay for them, so smaller repayments. We have also created a ‘Saving with Waid’ link to share information on how pupils can save with Waid Academy.
We will continue with this project...because when Waid Academy Parents+ Carers Staff do work together...it really can benefit our school and its pupils!
Please check our website: waidacademyparentcouncil.wordpress.com
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