Updates from the Parents' Forum

Please see below for the latest news from the Parents Forum.

October 2016

The Oakwood Parents Forum met this morning, with a great turn-out of 12 parents.

A representative from Space2 came to talk about their community work and passion for the arts.

Space2 believe the arts can change lives and promote art projects as part of the solution in some of Leeds’ most challenged neighbourhoods to address deep-rooted issues for communities and cities.

From learning to knit, to performance poetry, singing in a community choir and film making.  Space2 aim to build skills and confidence, experience and aspirations in a fun, non-threatening environment.  Promoting stronger social networks, better communication, and ability to access local services or simply setting and achieving small personal goals.

Space2 is looking to work with the school. Parents in the forum suggested creating an allotment area, an idea which has come out of an emerging interest in the early years.  The allotment would be created and set up by Space2 and volunteer parents and continued by staff and children.

The allotment is a popular suggestion as it will allow children to understand the process of growing, working together, eating the produce and helping to cook the produce. Including what to grow, how to grow and when to grow.

If you have any suggestions as to how Space2 could work with our school community or are interested in any more information, please contact

The group went on to discuss ESOL classes, which take place on a Monday afterschool at 3:30pm, classes are free and a free crèche is offered to children of those attending.

Reading books were also discussed and which topics interest children.

We also spoke about after school club classes, sports clubs and language classes that could be attended by parents and children together.

Some great ideas were shared today and we look forward to working with parents and the school to promote continuing change.  We always welcome new members to the forum and if you would like to attend our next meeting please contact Maeve Birdsall or Sheena Sutton.

The Oakwood Parents’ Forum has been up and running for one year now, and recently held their half-termly meeting to discuss the items on the agenda. 

The group is supported by Maeve Birdsall, Foundation Stage leader and Sheena Sutton, HLTA.   A core group of parents attend, including one parent governor and most year groups are represented. The group has implemented a variety of changes to the school.

The Academy is situated on North Farm Road which proves to be difficult around the busiest times of the school day.  One of the main concerns voiced by the forum has been unsafe parking outside the school and they have worked hard to make improvements to ensure that the road is safe. 

After discussing the problems with a local police officer, a school wide competition was launched for the students to design a banner promoting road safety.  One winning design was chosen from each class and four large banners were created as a result of the competition. They are displayed on the school gates and entrance areas promoting road safety.  Double yellow lines have also been added to areas outside the school gates which hopefully will have a positive effect on traffic soon.

The revival of school photographs was a popular change made by the Forum.  School photos hadn’t been taken for years and parents were really keen on their reinstatement.  Parents of the forum helped during the day and a healthy sum of £512.65 was raised for school funds!

Perhaps the greatest achievement, and one which promotes Oakwood’s commitment to inclusion, was the world coffee morning. 

Mrs Sutton said: “The coffee morning was a wonderful welcome and addition to the schedule for our visitors from our Mexican Partnership.  It was a great way to showcase the different cultures and wonderfully diverse community here at Oakwood.” 

Mrs Birdsall spoke of the event and said: “The world coffee morning was a big hit across the school, and the energy was amazing.  The tea went down a storm and everyone made such an effort.”  As a result of the coffee morning, there were a lot of unopened packets of food which were donated to the local parish pantry.

The forum, which has retained all original members, is keen to expand and welcomes new parents to the team. Please contact Maeve Birdsall for further information.