** OCTOBER HALF-TERM. Please be aware that the school phone will not be answered during the half-term break. Messages will be picked up after 8am on Monday 2nd November 2020. **
At Walton-le-Dale we have always responded as swiftly as we can to any concerns or requests for information. Our doors have always been open for parents & carers to arrive and talk to one of us about any issues. We consider that this quality of communication is vital in the best interests of our students and their families.
The current pandemic means that having additional people on site for face to face meetings is very difficult indeed and parents & carers cannot just turn up as they may have done in the past. So we have to think carefully about the best way to make sure that we maintain our quality of communication with our community.
Contact from school to home
- We will continue to use the website as the key source of information about the school
- Our social media – Facebook and Twitter – will signpost any updates to the website.
- We will continue to use email as the main means of communicating with parents and carers
- We will, as always, use the phone when the matter is urgent (e.g. a medical issue) or when there is a need to have a more extended discussion.
- We have introduced Classcharts as the main means of communicating about awards, positive and negative behaviour and sanctions. We have begun to use Classcharts to communicate about homework, alongside our conventional paper planner.
The following apps are useful to install on parent/carer and student phones.
- School Gateway (you can find a link to download it here - https://login.schoolgateway.com/0/auth/login) – this brings together attendance, timetable, messages, reports etc… in one place
- Classcharts (you can find a link to download it here - https://www.classcharts.com/parent/login)
Contact from home to school
- Email is definitely the best way to communicate with us for non-urgent messages. The following email addresses are the best ones to use:
- firstname.lastname@example.org - for any issues brought up on Classcharts (for example relating to behaviour and sanctions),
- email@example.com - for any matters relating to students requiring support in any way,
- ICTSupport@waltonledale.lancs.sch.uk - for any matters relating to ICT access and remote learning using Teams
- firstname.lastname@example.org - for any other messages.
- These email addresses are monitored between 8.30am and 4.30pm and messages will be forwarded to the relevant member of staff to respond. The “Contact” form on the website is an alternative to email.
- Messages sent into school through the School Gateway app are free and will be monitored between 8.30am and 4.30pm and forwarded to the relevant member of staff.
- To report a student absence please ring the main school number (01772 335726) after 8am and choose the appropriate option to leave a message or send a message through the School Gateway app.
- Parentpay is the system that we use for payment for uniform, food, trips… and can be accessed through the school website.
- The school phone will be answered between 8am and 4.00pm Mon to Thurs and 8am to 3.30pm on a Friday. Messages left outside these hours will be checked between 8 and 8.30am. It will generally not be possible to speak to a particular member of staff immediately due to the fact that they will be working with our students. Messages taken will be emailed to the member of staff who will return calls when they can.
We are used to doing a lot of our communication through face to face meetings – the current pandemic means that we have to make the best use of other means of communication. Should there be ways in which we can improve our communication with parents and carers, please let us know.
Some of the recent letters (sent out by email) are below: