Governors’ Report to Parents 2015-16
The Governors are pleased to be able to report on yet another busy and successful year.
We are very fortunate to have the continued commitment of a Governing Body with a wide range of skills and experience that support our school community. Our teamwork is paramount in carrying out our wide range of responsibilities for the benefit of our children, parents/carers and staff.
The governors’ role is to support and encourage the continuing development and improvement of the school by challenging the leadership team, recognising success beyond the Ofsted framework, and making the school a place where staff love to teach and children love to learn. We endeavour to operate at a strategic level leaving Mrs Opalko and the senior leadership team responsible for the operational day-to-day running of the School. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Mrs Opalko and her staff who are so committed to the children with whom they work. Daily, they demonstrate their passion and purpose in delivering their best for the children.
During the last year the governing body has had two main committees that met three times a year; Resources (finance and staffing) and Standards (attainment and progress of children). In addition, the full governing body met three times a year to; review progress of the committees, evaluate and monitor strategic plans, review safeguarding, ensure our statutory obligations are met and to undertake self-evaluation. Further details of who is on what committee can be found on the website. Overall Governors have excellent attendance at Governing Body meetings.
We are extremely proud of our schools’ achievements this year:
1) Promoting our Catholic Ethos
As the Governing Body of a Catholic school, our overarching responsibility lies in ensuring that the School is conducted in accordance with its Catholic character at all times, and this overriding duty permeates everything that we do. I hope you can see the evidence of this throughout the school building, assemblies, masses and of course in our children. The governors have observed a number of RE lessons and attended the school masses throughout the year. As you will remember we received an outstanding RE validation during the March 2015 inspection from the diocese and we continue to work on the further recommendations.
2) Maintaining the highest Standards
The governors are delighted to report that the Year 6 SATs attainment remains high above the National Average. We are very proud of our Year 6 children. More detail will be published on the website in the Autumn term.
During our meetings, we review and monitor attainment and progress of all year groups and focus separately on children receiving the pupil premium grant (details of how the grant is spent and outcomes for children are on the website). We are pleased that our results show that we continually close the educational gap between pupil premium and non-pupil premium children. It is really important to us that all the children receive the best start to their education and life. In doing this we ensure the children have a well-rounded education. As well as the focus on maths and English, the children spend time on subjects such as RE, geography, history, PE, Art, DT and music. We are delighted that so many children participate in sporting events and clubs that are provided through the school. We are grateful that so many of our teachers have sporting and music abilities and give up their spare time to take clubs after school. The governors regularly have presentations from staff on these other subject areas, such as languages, sport and humanities. The governors also come into school and observe lessons to ensure this diversity.
3) Managing Resources
Our resources committee continue to review the school budgets, ensuring the money is spent efficiently and with due diligence. We are pleased to report that in the DfE efficiency tool (available online) we rank as one of the top 5 most efficient schools against 50 of our statistical neighbours. This is a great achievement and we would like to thank Kate Foreman, our wonderful business manager, for all she does.
As you are probably aware, this year we have installed the glass double doors at the entrance to increase security to our children and staff. These have been working effectively. We continue to modernise our classrooms and the school as a whole but with ever constraining budgets this is getting tougher. As a result, your continued support to the PTA events helps the children get the extra resources they may otherwise not receive. The School Community Fund is also an important revenue source and the £30 per child per year will contribute to updating the classrooms, in particular teaching walls for Years 1 and 2 next year. If you need further information on how to make payments please speak to the office.
4) Talking to the Children
As governors, one of the highlights of the job is being able to talk to the children. We are so proud of how honest, confident and articulate the children always are. You can find the highlights of these chats on the website. This year, governors came in to observe some lessons and our G14 Learning for Sustainability summit. Their knowledge and passion on such issues as water, energy, global citizenship and recycling was inspiring. Some of the governors are also fortunate enough to assist on various school trips. We are pleased to report the varied trips are always very interesting as well as educational, and the behaviour is always exemplary.
As a governor and parent I am pleased to be part of the Eco Group. Sustainability is important to the governors and I feel fortunate to be able to be a part of such an enthusiastic team. We recently had a green flag assessor in to talk to the children about our achievements and we are thrilled that we have once again retained our green flag.
Last summer, we installed a BioMass boiler which uses wood pellets from a sustainable source instead of relying solely on oil and gas. Although this winter was a mild one, we are already seeing the benefits of installing it along with our solar panels, which many members of the community helped purchase.
This year we have aimed to improve our communications with you, our parents and carers. We hope you found the introduction letter useful at the start of the year. Earlier this year, we displayed in the entrance hall a diagram with all the governors, our roles, and our photos so you can recognise us. Please feel free to talk to any of us. In addition, it was nice that so many of you came to say hello to us at the Parent’s Evening in November. We received a number of questions and comments so it was useful for us to hear these. We plan to continue this initiative next academic year. Thank you to those of you who responded to the school questionnaire, the governors review the results and comments carefully. Lastly, I hope you find this report informative. If there is anything else you think we could be doing please email the school and your suggestions can be passed on to us.
The next academic year brings new challenges and demands and these will be detailed in our strategic plans produced each year. These look at; our curriculum development, resources and the overall education experience for our children. Our priorities next year are: smooth transition to academy, continue to monitor the budget and continue to embed and develop the new curriculum. However, with the help and support of our parents, staff and friends we feel confident we will continue to meet these challenges.
Thank you again to all the staff for all your hard work throughout the year. We would like to take this opportunity to wish Mr Corbitt and Mrs Busuttil every success in the future in their new roles and Mrs Thomas best wishes for her retirement. The governors, staff, parents, and most of all the children will miss them.
We would like to thank you, our parents and friends for all your support to the school and the children’s education. In particular those who volunteer, for example by listening to children read in school, helping with swimming and those committed to the PTA.
Lastly, but certainly not least, we would also like to wish our Year 6 children every success in their secondary school education and beyond.
Finally we would like to wish you and your children a safe and happy summer holiday.
Chair of Governors
If you have any questions regarding anything in this report, please feel free to contact any of the governors.