Letters From Parents

John DabellI trained as a primary school teacher 25 years ago, starting my career in London and then I taught in a range of schools in the Midlands. In between teaching jobs, I worked as an Ofsted inspector (no hate mail please!), national in-service provider, project… Read more about John DabellWhat do parents write to you about?We often get letters from parents and here are a collection I’ve had over the years. You might recognise some of the issues involved.Dear Mr Dabell,You said at the beginning of the term that you had an open door policy and that parents could come and see you anytime at the start or end of the school day to discuss any issues. Whenever I come to class 3 the door is always locked and you are nowhere to be seen. How can I discuss my concerns with you if you are so inaccessible?Regards,Mr D. R. DuntonDear Mr Dunton, I think I may know what the problem is. My classroom is class 8 and not number 3. Room 3 used to be a classroom but is now a resource room which explains why it is locked. I look forward to seeing you soon. We are on the second floor.Yours sincerely,Mr DabellDear Mr Dabell,Chloe tells me that on Friday you are having an insect day. Is there anything she should bring with her? She’s started collecting woodlice in a jar already and she says she wants to dress up as a caterpillar but Asda have sold out of those. Will a spider costume be okay as she got this for Halloween last year?Yours faithfully,Chelsea(Chloe’s mum)Dear Miss Baker,I think Chloe may have misheard me. Friday is an inset day and so school will be closed to the pupils as we are doing some staff training. I’m sorry if Chloe was getting excited about dressing up but perhaps Friday would be a good day to go bug-hunting in the garden or the park. She could explore and discover the bugs that live there, photograph or draw them and record her findings to share with us in show and tell next week. Just for your information, a spider is not an insect but an arachnid.  Yours sincerely,Mr Dabell  (Chloe’s teacher)Dear Mr Dabell,Ryan wasn’t in school last week because we decided to go to Centre Parcs which was a bit of last minute thing. The place was full of children which surprised us because we thought that most kids would be at school.Could you send us the work that he missed please? I’ll come and collect it in the morning. Sorry if he missed the class assembly.Regards,Jacqui.xDear Mrs Taylor, Can you please come into school on Wednesday morning at 10:30 as the Head Teacher, Mr Salmon, would like to discuss a few things with you?Yours sincerely,Mr Dabell        Dear Mr Dabell,I understand that calculators are now banned in schoo? I think this is ridiculous. My parents were always impressed by my ability to write SHELL OIL (71077345) and ESSO OIL (7100553). They were less impressed with 5318008 but I have never forgotten what fun calculators were and useful they have been to me at work.Yours sincerely,Mike McKenzie0.7734 Mr McKenzie, Until the implementation of the 2014 curriculum, children started to use calculators in Year 4. We certainly haven’t banned their use but we use them ‘minimally’ as they are no longer allowed to be used in the SATs so we don’t have to ‘train them up’ anymore. Whilst I can appreciate the cross-curricular links calculators have within literacy we have found children focus on words that tend to cause a distraction and have no educational value. Thank you for your concern though. I’ve enclosed a copy of our revised Calculator Policy for your interest.  Yours sincerely,Mr DabellDear Mr Dabell,I am confused. When James was in Miss Featherstone’s class we were told he was  a 3b for English and a 3a for maths. To be honest, it took me about 2 years to understand what this meant.Now you are telling us that James has moved from being a shallow learner in English and has reached the expected depth for his age. He has always been a good swimmer? You also say he is ‘just exceeding expected standard’ in maths ‘with emerging mastery’ despite being told last term he was a ‘rapid grasper’. His sister has been told she is W+ and came home last night saying she was the pilot of her own learning and had her own ‘flightpath’.Can you tell me what the hell is going on?Warmest regards,Stefanie HintonDear Mrs Hinton, Life without levels has presented many challenges especially since our assessment coordinator, Mrs Sims,  collapsed last term and has been on long-term sick leave ever since. As with any new system there are some initial coughs and splutters as we all adapt. However, as a school we have embraced this unique opportunity to change how children are assessed and you can rest assured that we are hugely ambitious and have an unswerving focus on progress. For the moment, all you need to know is that James is doing ‘really well’ so please tell him how proud I am of him.     Yours sincerely,Mr Dabell Dear Mr Dabell,Alex is complaining that he can’t see the whiteboard from where he is sitting. I have taken him to the optician and his eyesight was perfect. I know he can be a handful sometimes but do you think he is fibbing?Best wishes,Jack PearsonDear Mr Pearson, Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I think our teaching assistant Mrs Regan, our EAL support teacher Mr Mouhun and our volunteer class reader Mrs Gunter may not have been aware they were obstructing Alex’s view. We have now addressed this problem and Alex seems much happier.  Yours sincerely, Mr DabellRelated

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