From the top to the bottom, staff to pupil to parent, relationships are key.
Key not only to the school community, but also in every aspect of life.
Hence why at Cransley our core School values are to Seek excellent; Nurture relationships; Venture beyond.
Cransley School has always relished its reputation as a nurturing, caring, family-style learning environment. The ethos of the school has always been for each and every member of “Team Cransley” to feel that they are part of something special. This feeling of community is not accidental. There are many ways parents, caregivers, grandparents, staff and alumni keep in touch and remain part of the Cransley family.
Good Old Fashioned Telephone and Letters
Despite these seeming archaic by modern standards, it is the personal nature of communications coming from school is most important. Letters in schoolbags, informative calls from the office and personal invitations sent through the mail about various social events are the mainstay of school communications. Ask any parent and they will tell you that these communications are vital. Receiving a personal invitation to an event from the Head seems to have the most impact on attendance levels for example.
“Receipt of a formal invitation for this year’s Fairytale Ball made me feel valued and certainly made the event stand out as one that I wanted to attend” - Senior 2 parent.
Facebook, the Twitterverse and Whats App Groups
Love them or loathe them, almost everyone now accepts that social media platforms are here to stay and are forces to be reckoned with when it comes to communication. The Cransley community is incredibly well served in this regard. With Cransley School, Friends of Cransley, The Cransley Foundation and closed groups for families and alumni all posting on Facebook regularly it is almost impossible to avoid communications with school. Our Headmaster and wonderful Deputy Head both post regularly on Twitter and keep their own blogs - insightful comments and information which are well received and rightly often prompt debate and discussion.
WhatsApp has become increasingly useful to caregivers and many chat groups have appeared for parents of specific class groups to communicate. School has encouraged this as a great way for new parents to feel immediate involvement with the school community. It is the perfect forum to ask the “stupid questions” new parents are so terrified of asking and for them to break the ice before the first day in school.
“I had chatted via Facebook messenger with some of the parents from school prior to my daughter starting school this past September. It made the first day of school so much more relaxed for both of us.”
Reception Class parent.
Friends of Cransley and the PTA Mafia
With a catchment area of over a 10 mile radius, Cransley recognises the need to support a very active parent social life. A great many events are hosted throughout the academic year including, a Christmas Fayre, Christmas at Cransley, Burns’ Night, Cransleyfest, the Summer Ball (Prom). Uptake and engagement for events is wonderfully good and with Staff regularly attending and socialising readily, this adds to the sense of community for everyone.
The Head’s Breakfasts are a regular feature, run by the FoC and attended by caregivers and staff they enable both stakeholders to engage socially and informally and to maintain the close links formed in other areas of school life. A perfect time to monopolise the Head!
Cransley is extremely proud of the events it provides - the social calendar provides an engaging mix of events that fund raise, showcase talent and just celebrate the special place that Cransley is.
Teacher / Parent
Cransley has the fortune of being a through-school from 4-16, yet the School recognises that the needs of our families differ slightly between the various phases of education and learning:
Junior Department is incredibly open. Parents are encouraged into the building with their child(ren) at either end of the school day and the term “the door is always open” in this case isn't just a hollow platitude. Staff are always welcoming, engaging, interested and knowledgeable about each child’s life.
“I feel as though I hand my children’s care over to a friend each morning” - Class 5 parent
“I know exactly what is going on in my child’s day and I’m confident school will always keep me informed” - Class 2 parent.
Termly parents evenings are very well attended and private appointments are encouraged if there is an issue that needs to be addressed in more detail. However, the ongoing contact between caregivers and school means that there are rarely any surprises. The flow of information goes both ways and parents confirm they feel confident chatting to staff about issues at home that may impact on performance or inform behaviour.
Senior Department is, by the nature of the building and the increased expectation of each child’s independence, slightly different in atmosphere to that of the Junior school. However, parents remain closely involved in communicating with school about progress and day-to-day issues. The school office is the hub and all staff provide email contact details for their pupils. Parents are made aware of whom to contact in the case of a specific problem, whether that be pastoral or subject based and all staff are helpful and accommodating.
Always keen to move forwards, and understanding that engagement and communication with parents is key, Cransley is shortly to employ an Apple and Android application - this parent hub will push out all school communications and information directly to subscribers. Timetabling, homework, social calendars, appointments, trip information and permission slips will all be accessible from this platform.
Cransley wants to make engaging with school as easy and seamless as possible. What better way than for parents to carry School around with them in their pocket?