This report is intended to give an overview of the activities of the governing body over the last year and how these support our strategic objectives.
The Government decided to change the make-up of all governing bodies to make them more streamlined and focused and to ensure that governing bodies have the broad range of skills and experience necessary to fulfil their role. We reconstituted the governing body in March in accordance with the legal requirements.
Our role is to support the school in all that it does but also to monitor and challenge standards in all areas of school life and to check that financial resources are used to the best effect. The full governing body meets twice a term as do the two committees (Standards and Curriculum and Resources). Individual governors are appointed to monitor aspects of our Strategic Plan as well as other aspects of school work such as Special Educational Needs, More Able Child, Early Years, Health & Safety, Community Cohesion and Finance. Non-staff governors are also linked to an individual class in order to develop a working insight of the life of the school. Our main focus this year has been:
(i) restructuring the leadership of the school to ensure that the school makes best use of financial resources and to enable a more streamlined, cohesive and efficient middle management structure which will allow strong leadership to develop at all levels;
(ii) monitoring the objectives set out in the school improvement plan, focussing particularly this year on ensuring appropriate progress for all children in literacy, especially writing, and maths throughout the school and a consistent approach to teaching and learning. The standards and curriculum committee met with a number of staff who reported on teaching strategies and pupil progress, feedback marking, curriculum development, building learning power, and their experiences of moderating the work of children in other schools. Governors have visited classes and noted the consistent approach to the use of the learning environment throughout the school – including the display of learning objectives and what is expected of the children for each lesson and the use of learning walls which help the children to choose appropriate techniques in completing tasks. Governors have also looked at anonymised examples of children’s work. Our SEN governor has had regular meetings with the school’s SEN manager and has monitored the effectiveness of intervention strategies. Early years monitoring has been undertaken through meetings with the reception teacher;
(iii) two governors attended KS2 SATs tests to monitor administration of the tests and to observe that procedures were fair and in line with guidance;
(iv) the governors have been involved in the development and implementation of the school’s core Christian Values – including attending whole school and class assemblies, meetings with staff and discussions with children in pupil conferencing. The foundation governors participated in the Diocesan inspection day when they were interviewed by the Diocesan Inspector (the Diocesan Inspection Report is available on the school’s website); Elaine King-Smith gave a talk on Fair Trade to early years classes;
(v) we have carried out health and safety checks of the school environment and continue to monitor the school’s safeguarding policies and practices. We review all statutory policies and ensure that they are available on the school’s website.
Governors continue to attend appropriate training sessions, including induction, finance and promoting British Values. In January the whole governing body attended a training session on Improving Attainment in Vulnerable Groups.
The government is requiring major changes in the National Curriculum and to the way children’s progress is assessed and reported. The new provisions come into effect from the 2015/16 academic year. The staff have been busy preparing for these changes and have reported regularly to the governors on progress.
We are grateful to Mrs Stoodley and to all the staff and children who have worked incredibly hard this year. They have also had to cope with building work in the school which is providing a lovely new library, new fire doors and some refurbishment of classrooms.