Governing Body Annual Statement
The Governing Body of Short Wood Primary is pleased to reflect on a very hard working and successful year. We have been fortunate in recruiting two new Parent Governors to our team this year to further strengthen our expertise and the experiences we bring to the School Leadership Team. We are ensuring that our new members receive high quality training so that together we create a strong and knowledgeable team to hold the school to account on behalf of the pupils, parents and the community.
Over the course of the year we have continued to take a full and active part in school life, maintaining an overview of the curriculum, the quality of teaching and learning as well as the pupil progress data.
We appreciate the dedication and commitment put in by all staff who work so hard to provide an exciting curriculum offer, class work that challenges and supports our children and a wealth of out of school clubs and opportunities.
The Governors and Senior Leadership are committed to providing the best possible CPD for all the staff, this has included visiting centres of excellence across Europe through successful bids from the Erasmus programme. Staff have visited Finland to study School Leadership, Italy to study the Reggio Emilia approach to Early Years education and Sweden to work in centres of excellence for Forest Schools.
How do school leaders and governors promote school improvement?
Our Governing Body is firmly committed to providing the best possible opportunities for our children as we want them to be able to develop their talents and be the best that they can be and confident to always try their best. A Governors we meet regularly with curriculum co-ordinators and year group leaders as we want to ensure that our pupils have an excellent curriculum offer which will spark their interests and enthuse learning. Detailed feedback is received from individual Governors at termly meetings and successes celebrated. We also regularly review our extra-curricular offer of after school and lunchtime clubs and holiday activities.
Last summer the Governors worked with our School Improvement Partners to review our school vision to reflect how our school has grown and developed as it approaches its 10th year anniversary. From that a group of Governors has worked with senior leaders in school to ensure that our School Development Plan reflects our aims and objectives for ongoing development.
Our school vision is – Aiming High – Growing Dreams
Our Development Plan covers 3 main areas:
Success and ambition
Promoting well being
The Governors regularly meet with staff and pupils undertaking book scrutinies and ‘pupil voice’ sessions as well as undertaking learning walks and generally try to take a full and active part in school life.
We also take an active interest in the curriculum offered to the pupils. We want all pupils to experience a range of topic and subjects that capture their interest and inspire them to learn. Governors take individual responsibilities for overseeing individual subject areas, talking to teachers and pupils and looking at the children’s work as well as attending special events.
How do we make sure our pupils are healthy, safe and well supported?
The safety and wellbeing of all our children underpins all the considerations and decisions made by the Governing Body.
The Governors actively seek the input from the pupils on the School Council.
For the third year running we are proud to say we have achieved the Sainsburys School Games Gold Mark for our commitment, engagement and delivery of competitive games. We are currently looking at improving this further to Platinum which is a new standard. Many of our school teams have been successful again this year against local schools but we have also represented Shropshire in Midland competitions. We have also been successful in the Wellington Bayley Mile with one pupil and a member of staff achieving Silver medals.
Forest School and Squirrel School alongside outdoor adventures with Arthog Outreach are embedded in our curriculum. The experiences inform and support our Literacy and Writing but they are also an opportunity to build resilience, problem solving and team work.
One of the key areas for the School Development is promoting wellbeing and we have been successful in a Lottery bid to make a real difference over the next year. As we approach the end of this current academic year we are ready to launch our ‘Brighter Minds’ project. The Governors and staff at school have been planning new initiatives and curriculum content to support positive mental health and wellbeing alongside physical health. The school is building links with other schools in the Local Authority and the National Health Service through the ‘Future in Mind’ initiative which will offer professional development for adults in school.
All the school staff and Governors are fully up to date with their safe guarding training. We have four fully trained Designated Safeguarding leads who regularly attend Local Authority training and updates.
The Schools anti bullying policy continues to be updated and reviewed annually by School Council members, teachers and a Link Governor. All pupils in school actively discuss this policy in depth and it is re launched every year.
In September last year we rebranded our Home School Agreement with the installation of our tree sculpture, every one (children, staff and governors) all have a golden leaf which we attached to the tree as we made our promise to be a positive member of our school community and be a good Short Woody. We have also adopted a school song ‘Power in Me’ which we feel reflects our school ethos.
Following our Ofsted inspection in March 2015 which stated that our spiritual, moral, social and cultural offer was outstanding, we continue as the Governing Body to ensure that we maintain this high standard.
Our School Improvement Partner has reported at the end of this year that he feels that the safeguarding and wellbeing of pupils at Short Wood is outstanding.
Following conversations with pupils the Governors have confidence that the children feel safe and happy at Short Wood and any upsets are dealt with swiftly and appropriately.
Our school has a robust vetting procedure of adults and visitors to school. This is overseen by the Chair of Governors at regular intervals.
The Governing body have played a full and active part in the recruitment process to ensure we secure the best possible teaching and support staff. We have had one new teacher join the team partway through the year to cover a maternity leave of absence and we have recruited new teachers, senior leaders and support assistants ready for the new academic year in September 2017.
The schools policy to provide Accelerated Learning Teachers is closely monitored by the Governing Body to ensure good value for money and to make sure the pupils are responding to the small group focused teaching. We want to ensure that all learning is at a good pace and is consistent across school. The children are aware of what is expected of them in every lesson and they know their targets for improvement encouraging independence and a level of responsibility for their own learning and goals.
As with previous years the Governing Body has appointed an external advisor to act as consultant during the head teacher appraisal process. This process ensures that the Governors set realistic yet rigorous targets for the head teacher. These targets have been closely monitored and we are pleased that they have been translated into positive outcomes for the children.
A key area of work this year has been the key transitions between Nursery and Reception, Reception and Year 1, Year 2 to Year3 and Year 6 to Secondary School. We have closely monitored the improvements to ensure a flow for the curriculum, the expectations and standards and communication between staff.
Our Committee Structure
The Governing Body meets twice a term for a full meeting. At the first meeting we set a full and varied action plan for the term. This enables Governors to target specific areas to review and challenge. Over the course of the term individual or groups of Governors will monitor and evaluate and report back the second meeting and further actions and improvements will be recommended.
Governors undertake training with the Local Authority and other consultants to make sure that we have the appropriate skills to support the drive for continued school improvement.
This year we have welcomed two new Parent Governors to the team Jill Cavalier whose daughter is I Year 5 and Muhammad Basharat who has a daughter in Year 4 and a son in Year 1. They both bring a breadth of knowledge and experience to our team and are keen to play an active part in school life to improve outcomes for our children.
The Governors nominate a small team of Governors with appropriate skills and experience to monitor our school budget and make strategic financial decisions. We monitor spending regularly and meet with the Local Authority School Finance Officer on a termly basis.
We are focused on matching any proposals for spending against the aims and objectives of the school. We are also proactive in supporting the school with any bids for additional funding for specific projects.
Details of Pupil Premium expenditure and the Sports and PE funding can be found on the school website.
As Governors we are always aware that a great deal of our work goes on out of sight of public view. Our team is a mixture of appointed and elected individuals with a wide range of skills and expertise to bring to the role. We all have a collective aim to see all the children at Short Wood grow and develop into happy, well rounded citizens who are keen to work hard and succeed and be equipped with life long tools.
We know as parents you all feel the same. As in previous years we would like to record our thanks to you for supporting both your children and the school over the last year.
Overall School: 95% - Every day counts!