We actively encourage a close relationship between parents and all staff. Sharing information gives us a deeper insight into the wellbeing and progress of each child, and our open-door policy means we’re readily available to discuss any concerns that arise.
Parents are encouraged to support their child’s learning, and the school gives guidance on how best this can be achieved. Parents are also invited to regular parents’ evenings, open mornings, sports days, concerts, class assemblies, and theatrical productions. They can also join in their child’s class to share special events or celebrate a religious festival.
At the end of each autumn term parents are invited to the school Christmas plays or concerts. In the spring or summer term the children in Form 2 and the Upper School invite their parents to see their play. The children in the Den and Lower 1 invite their parents to an assembly.
Throughout the year there are opportunities for parents to watch various sporting events. All fixtures and team lists can be viewed on the sports section of the school website. Parents of children in Forms 3 and above are invited to the Orchard House swimming galas and gymnastics displays. All parents are invited to the Sports Day held in the summer term.
From time to time other events, such as concerts and art exhibitions, take place at school and, in the hope they will be able to attend them, parents always receive information about these in plenty of time to make arrangements.
In the autumn and summer terms there are parents’ open evenings at which parents are able to visit all the classrooms in the school to observe the work on display throughout the school and to see their own child’s work.
We also hold ‘Family and Friends’ afternoons when lower school children are encouraged to bring their parents, grandparents or other members of their family to see round the school.
At the end of the summer term, two final assemblies are held, one in the Upper School (prize-giving) and one in the Lower School. Prizes are awarded to children in Year 6.
The Orchard House Parents’ Association (OHSPA)
The OHSPA is a great way to meet other parents and become better informed about issues and events affecting school life. The Association also aims to welcome and help new children and families to integrate into the school community.
All parents are automatically members. The Association does not deal with academic or curriculum aspects of the school or other matters within the prerogative of the headmaster.
The key objectives of the Association are:
- to act as a social forum for the parents and pupils of the school
- to organise social events for parents and pupils
- The OHSPA is overseen by a committee consisting of a chairman, vice chairman, treasurer, charities’ coordinator and two additional parent representatives. There is one form representative for each class who attend OHSPA meetings.
The committee and form representatives normally meet twice each term. For the agendas of forthcoming meetings, parents with an item of interest or an activity to propose may contact either their form representative or the chairman.
The OHSPA may appoint sub-committees for special purposes (eg social activities such as the autumn’s social, the quiz night and the summer fair) and the OHSPA is keen to draw on the talents and energy of as many parents as possible in its activities.
Funds raised as a result of activities of the OHSPA are allocated as follows:
- 37.5% is donated to the school’s chosen charity for that year
- 37.5% is donated to the Orchard House School Educational Trust
- 25% is retained by the Association to fund its social events and activities (including the Summer Fair), to cover its minimal running costs and to buy or fund small items or activities for the school which would not otherwise be possible.
- 100% of funds raised by certain activities, including the Harvest Festival and class fundraisers are donated to the school’s chosen charity (or charities) for that year.
Website and Parent Portal
As well as the information provided on this website, parents also have an account on the iSAMS parent portal which is a secure portal for parents. To access the portal, parents have a secure login, and all parents will be emailed when their child starts at the school with details on how to set up an account.
All circulars and copies of the Orchard Weekly are posted on the portal. At the beginning of every term an outline of the curriculum for each year group is also available on the portal.
Reports and assessment cards will be uploaded to the parent portal. The children are provided with a log in name and password to access the various sites and online learning resources. The school uses Google apps; this is a web based interactive tool. The school also subscribes to Accelerated Reader, which is an online reading website offering reading quizzes, and Mathletics, which is an online interactive numeracy website.
In the autumn and spring terms parents are invited to make individual ten minute appointments with their child’s teacher.
Appointments are booked on-line with instructions sent to parents when the booking period opens, usually about two weeks before the parent/teacher meetings week.
Parents are also able to make appointments with individual specialist subject teachers. After any formal meeting, parents will receive a comprehensive contact form outlining the discussion.
Parents receive a comprehensive contact form recording the discussions held at parents’ Evenings. At the end of the summer term all children receive a traditional, lengthy, written report on their child’s progress at the end of every school.