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Birchgrove Voice

Welcome to our new Birchgrove Voice - formerly the Parent Council!


Birchgrove Voice

What is the Birchgrove Voice?


This is a group of parent/carer/family member representatives who meet with school once every half term to discuss a selected issue in relation to the school.  Their role is to seek other parent/carers/community views and represent these at the meeting.  For example, at our last meeting we discussed peoples views on school clubs and pupil wellbeing.  We are mindful that many of our parents work and we try to ensure that we email the next topic up for discussion so that parents/family members/carers have the opportunity to make their views known without having to attend the meetings.   


Next meeting

Wednesday 15th of June at 2pm.


Topic up for discussion:

  • Trips and visits
  • Information on your child's progress


Unable to make the meeting?

Please email your thoughts and suggestions to the school  - these will be represented at our meeting.


The previous minutes are below - the main topics discussed were the Curriculum.


Minutes of Birchgrove Voice



Date of meeting:

27th April 2016



Les Ala, Petrina Hardy, Mai Al-Shayeb, Kerry Stone, Alya Younis, Clare Zirker.



Lucy Kirkman


Any comments from latest minutes from 23.2.16?

“Do school provide opportunities for children to undertake their homework during school time?”


Opportunities are provided at playtimes and lunchtimes for pupils to undertake homework, particularly for those families who may not have access to the internet at home.



“Could school look more closely at mathletics scores?  It can be unfair when some children whom for whatever reason are offered the opportunity to stay in doors during playtimes are offered the opportunity to go on Mathletics.  This can lead to unfairness in the scoring with them gaining a high lead on the “leader board.”  Could the points accrued in school be discounted from the total considered for the leader board?


It is not possible to discount scores accrued in school from the total, however, school wish to reassure parents/carers that we are mindful of pupils’ circumstances and that this will be taken into account when tallying for the “Leader Board.”


“The DOJO system appears to be intermittent, is this working and still being used in years 3 and 6?”

School appreciate that there are some difficulties with this system.  The DOJO system will be reset in September, hopefully these difficulties will be remedied.


“I used to have Schoop but this has stopped.  What can I do?”

One parent recommended deleting the app from your phone then re-installing it.


“Is Y3 science club offered to 3RB?  Could consent letters for all clubs be sent home rather than pupils registering their interest?”  It was felt that parents wanted the opportunity in explaining clubs more fully to their children in their attempts to widen their child’s interests.

Yes the science club was offered across Year 3.  Staff also provided an outline of the club and some description of the activities that would be undertaken.  School are keen to continue to empower children with information so that they have the opportunity to make an informed choice.  In light of this it was not deemed necessary to provide letters for parental consent.


Topic up for discussion today – the curriculum


“We love the newsletters but we feel they can be a little vague.  Can they contain more detail, be more specific? 

School endeavours to provide communication and information to parents/carers via the newsletter.  We urge all parents/carers to inform school of further requests for more specific detail.  School will endeavour to respond to these requests.


“Could you provide more information on Big Maths?  Can we have more information on how this benefits children?”

Good suggestion!  School have considered delivering this in the Autumn term of 2016.


Welsh Government tests:


“Can we have more practice questions/papers spread across the year, rather than close to the tests?”

School have developed many tasks/activities from the Welsh Government tests and undertaken these across the year.  For example, in our Rapid Reading scheme, staff have created comprehension tasks in line with the questions from the Welsh Government reading tests.  To date, limited resources on practice papers have been provided from the Welsh Government.  If you wish to seek further information and guidance please do check out the “Learning Wales” website from the Welsh Government.




  • Concerns remain with the “sporadic nature” of the DOJO system.


  • It was wondered whether links to information on additional learning needs could be made available under the “Parents” section on the school website.  Isabel Thomas to further develop information on additional learning needs during the latter part of the summer term of 2016.


  • It was wondered whether specific advice such as “how to help your child with reading difficulties” could also be made available on the school website.  There is advice on key words under “Parents Tips and Tricks.”  Links to be further developed regarding helping your child read during the latter part of the summer term 2016.



Date of next meeting:

15th June 2016



Topic for Discussion

  • Trips and visits
  • Information on your child’s progress.