Governing Body Annual Statement
Aiming High – Growing Dreams
“Short Wood Primary School is a strong community and relationships are exemplary across the school. Morale is high” Ofsted March 2019
The Governing Body of Short Wood Primary is pleased to reflect on a very hard working and successful year. All our Governors are committed to providing a strong and knowledgeable team to hold the school to account on behalf of the pupils, parents and the community. We ensure that we as Governors, take a full and active part in school life, we maintain an overview of the curriculum and the quality of teaching and learning including the pupil progress data.
We appreciate the dedication and commitment of all staff who work so hard to provide an exciting curriculum offer, class work that challenges and supports our children and wealth of out of school clubs and opportunities.
The Governors and Senior Leadership are committed to providing the best possible training for all the staff, this has included visiting centres of excellence across Europe, through successful bids from the Erasmus programme. Staff have visited Sweden to work in centres of excellence for Forest Schools and to look at the impact this has on positive mental health and wellbeing in schools.
Teachers have also worked closely with the Salop & Hereford Maths Hub to review the teaching of Maths, working alongside other schools…
How do school leaders and governors promote school improvement.
“The curriculum is highly effective in broadening pupils’ learning experience and giving them many opportunities to learn”. Ofsted 2019
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. As Governors we regularly meet with curriculum co-ordinators and year group leaders, 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 success celebrated. We regularly review our extra-curricular offer of afterschool and lunchtime clubs.
Governors work with senior leaders to ensure 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:
The Governors regularly meet with staff and pupils undertaking book scrutinies and ‘pupil voice’ sessions as well as undertaking learning walks. We try and 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 topics and subjects that capture their interest, inspire them to learn and have a chance to shine.
Some highlights this year have involved two of our youngest Short Woodies winning engineering awards for the Central Region, a Year 4 pupil won the Mayors Art Competition with a 3D sculpture of The Wrekin, a range of prizes from the Arts Society Wrekin competition, the school won the Peggy Harrison Poetry Competition to name a few.
We have been pleased to support the Schools Eco Committee in their endeavours, supporting the ban of single use plastic bottles by purchasing reusable bottles for all pupils. The school has achieved the Green Flag Award this year for its work on caring for the environment.
Our new blossoming partnership with The Arts Centre Telford was the stimulus for an amazing production of the Lion King. The talents of the TACT team working alongside the Short Wood teachers enables our Year 5 and 6 pupils to ‘find their talents’ in the Performing Arts.
How do we make sure our pupils are healthy, safe and well supported?
“The culture around the school of promoting pupil’s safety is excellent” Ofsted 2019
The safety and wellbeing of all of our pupils underpins all the considerations and decisions made by the Governing Body.
The Governors actively see the input from the pupils on the school council.
For the 5th year running we are proud to say we have achieved the Sainsbury’s School Games Gold Mark for our commitment, engagement and delivery of competitive games. We are currently looking at improving this further to Platinum. Many of our school teams have been successful again this year with our Year 5/6 boys football team reaching the finals at The Bucks Head Stadium.
As usual we supported the Wellington Bayley Mile with Year 5 pupils finding out about the history of the competition.
Forest School and Squirrel School alongside the outdoor adventures with Arthog Outreach are embedded in our curriculum and are part of our key offer to all pupils. The experiences inform and support our Literacy and writing but they are also an opportunity to build resilience, problem solving and teamwork. This year the children have participated in caving, rock climbing, walking the Wrekin, bush crafts, along with family walks and nature trails. The Stone Age days were particularly successful as it allowed the children to be immersed in the whole historical experience.
A key part of our school development plan is promoting health and wellbeing. We introduced the Calm Brain initiative in January 2018 working with its founder Dr Sarah Taylor on its programme. We have just won the County Award with Energize for this project and its impact on all pupils from Nursery to Year 6.
The School is building links with other school 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 school staff and Governors are fully up to date with their Safeguarding training. We have four fully trained Designated Safeguarding leads who regularly attend Local Authority training and updates.
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 schools anti-bullying policy continues to be received and updated annually by the School Council Members, teachers and a link Governor. All pupils in school actively discuss this policy in depth and it is relaunched each year.
In September 2016 we rebranded our Home School Agreement with the installation of our tree sculpture in Tim’s garden. Annually, everyone (children, staff, volunteers and Governors) all have a golden leaf which we attach to the tree as we make our promise to be a positive member of our school community and to be a good Short Woody. We have also adopted a school song ‘Power in Me’ which we feel reflects our school ethos. Please log on to the website to see the video clips of the ceremony https://short-wood-primary-school.primarysite.media/media/power-in-me-2018 We feel that it is important that we all renew our promise every year.
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.
Following our conversations with pupils and those had with the HMI, during Ofsted, the Governors have confidence that the children feel safe and happy at Short Wood and any upsets are dealt with swiftly and appropriately.
The Governing body have played a full and active part in the recruitment process to ensure that we secure the best possible teaching and support staff. We have in the main, a stable and established staff team.
Over the past year we have recruited teaching staff to cover maternity leave of absence. The leadership team also changed following the promotion of our Assistant Head. An internal candidate was the successful recipient and has given an added dimensions to the team and a new experienced Key Stage 1 Co-ordinator. Appointment of new teaching assistants has also helped strengthen the school.
These members of staff have received a focused induction to ensure they are quickly part of the team, to share ideas and expertise so that we can all grow and learn together.
As with previous years, the Governing Body has appointed an external advisor to act as a consultant during the head teacher appraisal process. This process ensures that the Governors set realistic yet vigorous 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.
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 team. 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 at 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.
We currently have 1 vacancy for a Parent Governor and will be looking for the nominations for this role in September 2019.
The School Budget
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 also used the Government Benchmarking tool to compare with other similar schools.
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 the Pupil Premium expenditure and the Sports and PE funding can be found on the school website.
We are very fortunate in having the expertise of Emma Caesar as a Parent Governor as she is a fully qualified accountant with current experience from her working life with school finance.
The school was inspected by Ofsted in March 2019 and Governors were pleased that the inspection confirmed that the school continues to be good. Many areas were better than good, for example the school community and relationships are exemplary across the school. Pupils have subscribed to the ethos of the school and all quickly become Short Woodies! Full details of the Inspectors report can be found at: https://primarysite-prod-sorted.s3.amazonaws.com/short-wood-primary-school/UploadedDocument/3725d9a751ec4dc0b9cd55e8dec3dce0/ofsted-2019.pdf
The school continues to be a safe, strong and inclusive community, providing a caring environment for all pupils and staff. Governors give freely of their time with the aim of helping the children of Short Wood to grow and develop into well rounded citizens, keen to work hard, to be successful and to be equipped with lifelong skills.
As Governors we are always aware that a great deal of our work goes on out of sight of the 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.
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. We look forward to a successful continuing partnership with you over the next school year.
Overall School: 96.6% - Every day counts!