Parent Representation

On these pages you can read the results of our latest parent/carer survey, and some responses to it.  You can also find out more about how you can be involved in the school through our PTFA and our parent rep system.  Our school parent survey is now closed but you can complete the parent view on the OFSTED portal at any time, and we encourage you to do so.

OFSTED Parent View Link

We love to have volunteers and we depend on them to be able to continue to give children a broad experience, so please do come and let us know if you can help out at all.  Speak to your child's teacher, come to the office, or e-mail volunteers@downsinf.brighton-hove.sch.uk.

Parent Survey Results

Thank you to all parents and carers who completed our recent survey. We had over 100 responses. Here are the results and some comments we hope will be helpful as a response.

98% of parents and carers would recommend the school to another parent.

"I have nothing but enormous praise for this exceptional school. The staff are wonderful, kind, caring, professional, & always go the extra mile for all of their pupils. I cannot speak highly enough of Downs Infant School."

"I wouldn't hesitate in recommending the school to other parents"

100% agree or strongly agree that their child is happy at this school.

"My child is happy, learns well and has the opportunity to take part in some fantastic extra-curricular activities (such as Let's Dance and the Children's Parade)."

"My daughter is so happy at the school and has really gained confidence."

96.1% agree or strongly agree that their child feels safe at this school (3.9% don't know).

No respondent felt that their child did not feel safe. This is a priority we continue to work on with health and safety and safeguarding both a standing item on all staff briefing agendas.

91.3% agree or strongly agree that their child makes good progress at this school (8.7% don't know).

"[My child's teacher] has struck the perfect balance of a fun, playful, cuddly atmosphere while at the same time challenging the kids intellectually and the proof is in the great progress my daughter has made already this year while still loving everyday."

97.1% agree or strongly agree that their child is well looked after at this school. 1% disagree and 1.9% don't know.

"In spite of the massive pressures put on the school due to continued under-funding by the government and the moves towards increased testing, the staff at Downs do everything they can to deliver more with less and to not turn the children into identikit copies of each other."

95.1% agree or strongly agree that their child is taught well at this school. 1% disagree and 3.9% don't know.

We believe our consistently good results speak for themselves, but we have been trying to improve our teaching of reading so that more children achieve higher than age-related expectations, and this really paid off last year. We continue to seek to improve our teaching across the curriculum. We are currently focussing on improving the number of children who reach age-related expectations in writing, in particular through a focus on handwriting.

82.3% agree or strongly agree that the school makes sure its pupils are well-behaved.  2% disagree and 15.7% don't know.

We don't believe we can MAKE children be 'well-behaved', but we work hard to help children become able to regulate their emotions and to be able to respond appropriately to those of others. Some children find this harder, and need more support, than others.  We also work hard on supporting children to have access to the curriculum in a way that means they are able to learn and focus on their learning so that they don't disrupt the learning of themselves or others. We are proud to be an inclusive school, so we include children for whom behaving in an acceptable way is a challenge. We don't think they will learn this if they are excluded from learning.  We try to do this in ways which keep everyone safe (physically and emotionally).

46% agree or strongly agree that the school deals effectively with bullying, 53% don't know, while 1% disagree.

We hope that the 53% who don't know how we deal with bullying haven't experienced this issue. We provide a leaflet for parents each November following our 'anti-bullying week' which is designed to be proactive in working with children against bullying behaviour.

91% agree or strongly agree that the school is well led and managed. 8.8% don't know, while 2% disagree.

"Downs Infants continues to be a caring, nurturing and diverse environment for my child under the wonderful leadership of Dr Mitchell and the staff team."

66% agree or strongly agree that the school responded well to concerns they raised. 4% disagree and 1% strongly disagree, while 29% don't know.

We hope that the 29% have not had to raise a concern. If you have a concern, please come and see your child's teacher in the first instance.

88% agree or strongly agree that they receive valuable information about their child's progress, with 9% disagreeing and 4% who do not know.

We have recently reviewed the information we give out to parents to include a short report at each parents' evening. We hope this helps parents and carers have more information during the year when it can be more helpful than in an end of year report.

92.1% agree or strongly agree that their child settled well into their new year group.  5.9% disagree and 2% don't know.

We know that we can improve the way we organise the transition from Reception to Year 1, following responses from parents. In other years this has been more successful so we will look at what we can learn from this.

79.4% agree or strongly agree that children at the school are treated fairly and equally.  2.9% disagree and 19.6% don't know.

"Individualism and diversity are valued at Downs, which is a very precious thing in a world of SATs tests and squeezed budgets." We are looking at how we better communicate to families the amazing work that the staff here do, especially on equalities issues so that more parents and carers know what we do.

Homework is always the subject with the most controversy!  76.7%  agree or strongly agree that their child receives appropriate homework for their age.  4.9% disagree, 1% strongly disagree and 18.4% don't know.

Research on the impact of Primary homework is rather inconclusive, but there are strong indications that, for the amount of work needed by teachers to make it effective, it is not worthwhile. There is also evidence that it can have an opposite effect and de-motivate children. We simply ask that parents support children in learning the sounds in their sound books, read with them regularly, read TO them daily, and make sure they come to school ready to learn.

Not all parents knew who to contact if they had difficulty paying a contribution for a school activity.  Mrs Mitchell in the office will always handle such queries with discretion.  

FODIS (Friends of Downs Infant School), our PTFA

For up to date information about FODIS fundraising and other activities, please look for FODIS on Facebook.  FODIS have raised money to build a school library, make improvements to the outside resources for the school, provide enrichment opportunities such as a Chinese New Year celebration and trips, and much more.

The next FODIS event is the Christmas Fair, on Sunday 15th December, 12-3pm.  All welcome!

If you can volunteer to help at any of our events, please sign up at 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdxEVdLXYYNZkzu7U6Ln6lQPqaKs11-MlY53Fpm30G62heZVw/viewform

Parent Reps

Each class has a parent representative.  Mrs Courtsley is the school link for the parent reps. 

You can find out who the parent rep for your class is by looking out for the poster on the class door, or by e-mailing Mrs Courtsley at volunteers@downsinf.brighton-hove.sch.uk

How can parent reps help you?

  • We can inform you of upcoming trips and events
  • We can show you where to find information on the website
  • We can inform you of any help needed in class
  • We can take any general queries to the teacher
  • We can try and remind you of any changes to the school day (last minute activities etc!)
  • Have copies of letters available if you lose yours!
  • We are here to help create a community feel and support everyone!

What they are not here for!

  • We don’t go on every trip! We will let you know if any helpers are needed.
  • We are not a class helper, the school still needs lots of helpers for reading/activities and we can point you in the right direction if you are interested.
  • We don’t take worries or concerns about your child’s welfare to the teacher, we support you to go to the right person.
  • We don’t collect money for trips/gifts

Every half term, the parent reps meet with Mrs Courtsley and Dr Mitchell to raise any general issues of concern.  Any issues to do with your child, or which are urgent, should be directed to your child's class teacher in the first instance.