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.
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 School Improvement 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.
The far-reaching changes to the curriculum and to assessment introduced by the government resulted in a significantly increased workload for all the staff especially as the government made some late changes to arrangements. In addition Yr 6 pupils have had only two years (instead of four) to work within the new curriculum which was not introduced until 2014. The new curriculum is more demanding and the new National Tests are more challenging for children. The staff have also worked hard to develop a system to track the progress of pupils in the wake of the removal of assessment levels and the introduction of “age related expectations” correlated to the National Curriculum.
The governors have kept closely in touch with the curriculum and assessment changes focussing particularly on literacy, including spelling, and maths throughout the school as well as monitoring the objectives set out in the school improvement plan.
The standards and curriculum committee met with a number of staff who reported on teaching strategies and pupil progress in maths, English, science, SEN and sports. Governors have visited classes and monitored progress through anonymised book monitoring. Our new 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 and visits to classrooms.
Other monitoring activities included:
(i) two governors attended KS2 SATs tests to monitor administration of the tests and to observe that procedures were fair and in line with guidance;
(ii) the foundation governors met with Mrs Batts to discuss the embedding of core values with pupils who have come to the school since the values were developed;
(iii) we have carried out health and safety checks of the school environment and continue to monitor the school’s safeguarding policies and practices including pupil conferencing. We review all statutory policies and ensure that they are available on the school’s website;
(iv) the chair and members of the resources committee have reviewed the school’s financial controls and insurance arrangements.
Governors have also enjoyed joining special project days such as The Vikings and The Egyptians.
Governors continue to attend appropriate training sessions, including induction, finance, health and safety and SEN. In January the whole governing body attended a training session on the Governors Role in SIP Monitoring and Governing Body Self Evaluation.
We are grateful to Mrs Stoodley and to all the staff and children who have worked incredibly hard this year. In addition to the Curriculum and Assessment changes, they have also had to cope with the disruption caused by the landscaping of the area outside the new library. The result is our lovely new Wishing Garden, opened by Jane Devonshire (MasterChef Champion 2016), which has proved popular as a theatre for impromptu drama productions at break times and as a place to sit quietly and dream.