Governor Newsletter Issued: April 2014 The Board of Governors of Hythe Primary School Authority Governors
Rebecca Clark (Chair)
Nicky Miss Mr MitchellHopkins Houldsworth Innes (Vice Chair)
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We Need You! Vision Statement: Hythe Primary School in 4 Years’ Time As well as annual school improvement plans, every 4 years the governing body and senior leadership team work together in setting longer-term strategic goals for the school. Our review of the school’s vision statement comes at an opportune time with the introduction of the new national curriculum this year and increased floor expectations for all pupils. A key part of this process involves gaining the views of those within the school’s community. We pride ourselves at Hythe on being reflective and continually searching for ways to consolidate and build further on our successes. As a governing body we are mindful that over the last 4 years the school has made tremendous steps in delivering improved results and rates of progress for all pupils, whilst also retaining the unique ethos and caring atmosphere that we all cherish as an integral part of the school’s community. Whether you are a parent, carer, pupil, staff member, governor, member of our local community working with the school or member of the community that it serves, please complete our ‘Vision Statement Questionnaire’ online here or via the hard copy version attached to the end of this newsletter, and help us to shape an aspirational vision for Hythe over the next 4 years. Thank you! Governor Service Awards We would like to congratulate two of our governors on receiving service awards. John Gunn (Authority Governor) has now served on Hythe’s governing body for over 15 years and Mrs Pidgley (Staff Governor) has completed 4 years’ service. Congratulations and thank you to both of them for the dedication and commitment they have contributed to the school through their governing roles. National Leader of Governance appointment and further governors undertaking the NCTL Chairs of Governors’ Leadership Development Programme In January our Chair of Governors, Rebecca Clark, was appointed a National Leader of Governance (NLG) by the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL). NLGs use their skills and experience to support chairs of governors in other schools, providing coaching and support in a variety of different ways, with deployments also providing further development opportunities for the Chair and increased opportunities for benchmarking and reflection on practice here at Hythe. As part of our succession planning, two further governors, Nicky Hopkins (Vice Chair of the governing body) and Justine Harnett (Chair of Curriculum Committee), are embarking on the NCTL Chairs of Governors’ Leadership Development Programme this term, facilitated via funding received from the Chair’s NLG grant, which is paid to the school to cover deployment expenses but also to provide additional training and development opportunities for governing body members. Mangahigh.com Success Governors have really enjoyed following the children’s recent online ‘Fai–to’ competitions with other schools across the world via the school’s maths learning site Mangahigh.com. Congratulations to all the pupils who have taken part and represented the school so wonderfully. The site is jam-packed with fun learning games for all pupils to access through the year, so if your child hasn’t tried it yet, please take a look here.
Celebrating Success: DfE Primary School Performance Tables and Ofsted Data Dashboard but … please don’t forget the importance of good attendance! Since our last newsletter, both the DfE Primary School Performance Tables and our Oftsed Data Dashboard have been published. Consolidating a steady trend of strong results over recent years, Hythe is now in the top 20% of similar schools for children reaching national expectations in English grammar, punctuation and spelling, reading, writing and maths at the end of Year 6. Compared to schools nationally, we are also in the top 20% in all areas apart from maths (40% compared to schools nationally). Children making expected progress through the Juniors (Key Stage 2) is in the top 20% for similar schools in all subject areas and in the top 40% nationally. We are particularly proud that the school was in the top 2% in the County and top 5% nationally for closing the gap between disadvantaged pupils and others (use of the Pupil Premium). The only area the school does not compare well in is attendance, with last year’s figures placing the school in the lowest 40% of schools nationally. Firstly we wanted to acknowledge the accomplishments of everyone in the school community since September 2013, resulting in a significant improvement in our attendance rates so far this year, which have risen from 95% to 96.6%, however this is one area in which the school needs to consistently improve upon previous years. Governors have compared figures in our neighbouring schools, and are monitoring attendance very carefully, comparing different LA approaches to the administration of fines for unauthorised absence. Government changes to regulations mean that leave may now only be granted by the Headteacher for ’exceptional circumstances’. There is no longer any provision to grant leave for holidays in term time. We see clearly at first hand the impact of absence during term time through our regular monitoring activities and are committed to doing all we can to ensure consistently high rates of attendance across the school. The national expectation for overall school attendance is 96.5%, so in pupils’ best interests it is our aim to work further with the school in consolidating the improvements in attendance to date so far this year. Thank you for such a fantastic start to the year so far. New build update! We are looking forward to being able to share with you an artist’s impression of the new community room shortly and it is anticipated that building works for this shall be completed before the end of 2014. As well as the additional space that the room will provide for teaching and activities throughout the school day, the before and after school club potential as well as availability outside of school hours for community use, will provide a valuable additional resource for the school and bring yet more of the community into the school. Keep an eye out for more detail soon and notification of any alternative arrangements to take place during the building works. While the school has largely raised the money for this project itself through careful management over recent years of its capital funding, we are also particularly grateful to Cllr Brian Dash who also contributed to the project via his County Councillor’s Grant last year. Thank you to Brian and Hampshire County Council for assisting with the final amount required to kick start the project. Governor Visits Last term we conducted one of our half-termly governor visits around behaviour, looking at the practice behind policies in school and also chatting with children about their experiences, encompassing transition, bullying and internet safety. We have enjoyed two separate visits led by the school’s maths and English subject leaders, where we have monitored specific elements of the school improvement plan in relation to these areas. Governors monitoring Pupil Premium have conducted their annual visit, chatting with pupils in school and seeing first hand some of the interventions and experiences that they receive through this funding. A particular highlight was the fun and ‘explosive’ visit during Science Week, where we saw lots of very excited and engaged children across the school conducting 60 second chemistry experiments. One of our governors also visited the year 5/6 children during their trip to Avon Tyrrell and was very impressed by the behaviour of the children, the quality of experience and their achievements, and the dedication and enthusiasm of staff and helpers on trip. A big thank you to all those involved. PE and Sport Premium for Primary Schools The government is currently spending over £450 million on improving physical education (PE) and sport in primary schools between now and 2016. There are a range of ways in which schools can use the funding but all schools are required to publish details on their websites of how they spend the grant with detail about the impact this is having on pupils’ PE and sport participation and attainment. Initiatives at Hythe include a Change4Life club, up skilling our own staff and an increase in opportunities for pupils to take part in sporting activities and inter-school tournaments. Full details of how the school has spent its Sport Premium this year and the impact it is having can be found here: We have a link governor for PE, responsible for monitoring this area, the impact funding is having on pupils and reporting back to the full governing body. In the coming term, staff in conjunction with our link governor, will be involved in collecting and monitoring feedback from pupils on the opportunities and experiences they are enjoying as a result of the Sport Premium, to measure the impact of this year's funding and to plan for next year’s spend. Minutes, Policies and Contacting Us The most recent minutes of full governing body meetings are posted to the ‘Governors’ Board’ at the school office. A number of policies are reviewed by the governing body in its committees and at full governing body meetings each half term. Committee minutes and a timetable and copies of all policies reviewed by the governing body are available from the school office for inspection at any time. A selection of the school’s policies are also available via the policies section of the school’s website: http://www.hythe.hants.sch.uk/2113-index/2113-our-school/2113-policies.htm and the governing body can be contacted via email: email@example.com or via the school office. Please complete the vision questionnaire on the next page …
Hythe Primary School Vision Statement Questionnaire If you are online and reading this, please complete the online version here: http:// fluidsurveys.com/surveys/hpsbog/hythe-primary-school-vision-statement-survey2014/ Building on the successes of Hythe Primary School to date, we would like your input in order to plan for the next stage of Hythe's development. This questionnaire is for use by all members of our school community, as everyone's views will be invaluable in creating a new vision statement for the school. Please return all hard copy responses to the school office. Thank you in advance from the Board of Governors at Hythe Primary School. Please tick any that apply: Pupil Parent/carer Member of staff Governor Member of our local community Other (please give details) ………………………………………………………………………………………. If you thought of your ideal school, how would it compare to Hythe?
What more could Hythe do over the next 4 years to achieve this?
Do you have any further comments?
Thank you for completing this questionnaire and for being a crucial part of Hythe Primary School's ongoing development.