Governor Newsletter Report on Activities: Spring Term 2010 Issued: May 2011 Welcome to our Summer issue Governor Newsletter, reporting to you on the work we are doing within the school and its impact. We publish a newsletter at the start of each term, providing you with a summary of our key activities during the previous term.
The Governing Body of Hythe Primary School Staff Governors
Changes Congratulations to Nicky H op kins , one of ou r Community Governors, who took over as Vice Chair at the end of the Spring Term and many thanks to Phil Bidwell (our outgoing Vice Chair) for his years of service in the role. Phil will continue in his Community Governor role on the Governing Body.
Mr. S MitchellInnes (HT)
Mrs N. Shergold
Mrs A. Pidgley
Cllr Brenda Smith
We have been trialling the use of e-learning this year and also ways to reduce paper, since a lot of it is used during the course of governor meetings! Governors have been using the schoolâ€™s new notebooks and wireless network to access e-learning and meeting papers, which will cut down hopefully on paper and also allow us to experience how the children at school use their new IT resources. Skills Audits
Rebecca Clark CHAIR
Parent/Carer Questionnaires Your views are crucial in helping the school to be the best it can be so please return your questionnaires (even if you are happy!) by the Friday 6th May deadline. As always the school will report on the feedback obtained and use the information you provide to make the school even better. Thank you.
We are currently in the process of conducting our two -yearly skills audits, during which we take a snap shot of governor skills, proficiencies and availability. This helps us to plan training, deal with succession planning issues and make best use of governors talents and interests to support the school and children. Clerking Vacancy
Summer Fayre, Sausage Sizzle and New Year R Parents Evening We will be at the Sausage Sizzle, Summer Fayre and New Year R Parents Evening. Look out for us - all governors have badges so that they are easy identifiable to children, staff and parents. We will also have an information board at these events. If you have any questions or thoughts for us do please come and have a chat. Engaging with the whole school community, knowing their views and feeding them back into our work is an important part of our role.
Sadly Susan Smith our incredibly efficient and hard working Clerk of many years is stepping down. We have advertised for a replacement Clerk but should you know of anyone who may be interested in the role, please do contact the school office. A very big thank you to Sue for the great commitment and support she has given the governing body.
Academies You may have heard over recent months about the option available to ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ schools to convert to Academy status. A number of schools nationally have opted to convert and some locally are considering this. The debate has led to many fruitful avenues of research throughout the local area and a local training course and briefing is planned for the Summer Term for local governors and Headteachers. There are a great many issues surrounding Academies. The process of conversion is considerably involved for school staff and governing bodies and since it would involve commitment of a minimum of 7 years it is something that cannot be entered into lightly. As a governing body we want to let parents know that we have been examining the issues surrounding Academies with staff and outside bodies and whether or not conversion would be in the best interests of children here at Hythe. Our focus currently as a governing body is to support the school in moving from ’Good’ to ‘Outstanding’ and we would not at this point want a potentially complex academy conversion to deflect away from this emphasis on results. This is not to say however that it is off the agenda. We and the school as a whole are very pro local collaboration amongst schools and are working more and more with other schools and governing bodies locally to share knowledge and ideas for the best benefit of all of our pupils. We have instigated a trial of termly meets amongst Waterside governing bodies to further this collaboration. We will have more to report on these collaborations and Academies in general following the Summer Term training/briefing. Governor Visits There have been two further half-termly group governor visits into school. During the first Spring half term governors were looking at the teaching of writing and spelling in the school and during the second half term the focus was on mental maths skills with both visits focusing on these specific areas of the current School Improvement Plan. During the mornings governors visit each of the classes in turn, observing lessons, conducting pupil interviews and generally chatting with the children about their learning. Governors are also invited to stay for lunch with the children so that they can spend some further more informal time talking with them about school life. As a result of the visits Governors have discussed how best they might support the school as it uses interventions to assist children to progress further in Maths and English. Some of our governors already come into school to listen to readers or to assist children with ‘Maths Magic’ and we hope as a governing body to be able to provide further mentoring in the future where it is felt that this might bring benefit to children. Governors have also attended a number of school visits and workshops aimed at assisting parents in supporting their child’s learning at home and would certainly encourage parents to attend these whenever possible as they offer invaluable information and advice. Spring 2011 Successes The governing body also provides support to the school and celebrates the school’s successes. Much was achieved as a result of hard work throughout the whole school community last term, but here are some particular highlights that we were very pleased to congratulate: The School Improvement Partner visited the school during the Spring Term and the Governing Body congratulated the school on the report’s findings. In particular the good progress made since the last Ofsted inspection, highlighting in particular the comment in the report that graded the school’s capacity for sustained improvement as ‘outstanding’. The Governing Body has also seen evidence of improvement in standards and attainment through the success of new targeted interventions namely CATCHup, Acceleread and Accelerwrite. These have been particularly successful with children using the programs achieving an average increased reading age of eight months, and five and a half months in spelling. Some children have made considerably more progress. Congratulations to Miss Brenig-Jones, who achieved Advanced Skills Teacher status last term. Ian Craddock and Phil Bidwell were both presented with certificates of service from Hampshire Governor Services. Ian Craddock has completed 4 years as a Parent Governor and Phil Bidwell has now completed a total of 8 years as a governor at the school - the first 4 as a Parent Governor and most recently 4 years as a Community Governor. Both the Year 1/2 China Assembly and Year 3/4 Egyptian Production were particular highlights of last term, the latter of which was celebrated in a fantastic colour article in the Echo showing the children’s wonderful costumes. So much work went into these productions and the great enjoyment for those watching was real testament to all the effort and hard work put in by children and staff. The school received a record number of applications for Year R and was oversubscribed for this year. Well done everyone at Hythe. From the feedback received the pupil-led tours were particularly well received by prospective parents. The PTA have run many fundraising activities recently and are about to build a fantastic new outdoor stage for the children! Policy Reviews The following policies were reviewed during the Spring Term and are available on request from the school office: Curriculum & Standards Committee: Sex and Relationships, Child Protection Resources Committee: Racial Equality and Safer Recruitment Sites & Buildings Committee: Violent Incident Management and Reporting, Physical Management and Restraint Minutes, Policies and Contacting Us The most recent minutes of Full Governing Body meetings are posted to the Governors’ Board at the school office. Committee minutes and a timetable and copies of all policies routinely reviewed by the governing body are also available from the school office. The governing body can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via the school office in the normal way. Find us on
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