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Governors Blog

Autumn Term 2017


I would like to take this opportunity to welcome back current learners and to welcome new pupils and their parents & carers to what I believe is the best Primary School in Stoke.  Our pupils are amazing because they really work hard to be the best that they can and of course they are supported by our staff whom are outstanding.
The results we achieved last July showed what we all can achieve when we work hard.  So last year’s Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils have set the bar for this years and I wish them all the very best.
I am always struck how nice our parents are when I meet them in the school and playground.  This reminds me that the good behaviour that we demand of your children starts in the home.  Good manners and treating others how we want to be treated starts with parents & carers.  We build on this and are delighted that almost all parents support us in this.  We want your children to enjoy school and benefit as much as is possible whilst they are with us.  So a big thank you to parents & carers for supporting the school in supporting your loved ones.
You will all notice the smart new railings we have put around the front of the school to increase the safety of pupils and staff.  We have also replaced our boiler so we will be ready for whatever winter throws at us.  Of course you will notice that we have already changed the uniform and badge ready for Academy status.
We join St Chad's Multi Academy Trust in November and we will update our signs in due course.  We are very fortunate to have had St Chad's support for the last year.  For those that do not know about St Chad's, it is the Diocese of Lichfield's education trust and is already a very successful body.  More details can be found on their website www.cecet.org.uk.
I would like to thank all the staff for the caring support they give our children.  They work extremely hard and are dedicated to ensuring the children have the very best start in life.  All have put in a lot of extra time over the summer to prepare for the new term.
It is a privilege to be Chair of Governors: other governors and staff feel it’s a privilege to support the school and to work here.  Your children could not be in better hands so please help us to help your children get the best out of their time with us.  I am always happy to meet parents and if you want to meet me please arrange this through the office or just stop me if you see me.
Kind regards

Graham Hutton, Chair of Governors, September 2017

Spring Term 2017

My name is Graham Hutton and I am the new Chair of Governors.  David Morgan has taken up the role of Deputy Chair, and I am delighted to have his continued commitment to our wonderful school.  I am always happy to meet parents and carers of our pupils and will endeavour to get to the new coffee mornings that the staff have just initiated.  I hope as many as possible use this to visit the school, ask questions, meet other parents and carers and find out a little more about our school and your place in it.

We have had quite a busy time of it in the run up to Christmas and this Spring term.  I would like to remind all those caring for our pupils that good behaviour and politeness starts in the home.  Our staff build on that.

Of course you all know we had OFSTED last term and although we were rated as requiring improvement the inspectors recognised the contextual factors that have impacted on our results.  We have detailed plans to bring our children up to the level the Government expects.  I would like to publicly thank our Multi Academy Trust (St Chads) who give us support on improving our school.

Can I say a big thank you to all those parents and carers who came in to see me about the OFSTED report and our conversion to an Academy.  I enjoyed meeting you and answering your questions.  Also a big thank you to those who responded to our questionnaire.  We would like more parent input to help us help our children.

The Department have granted us Academy status and we are in the process of changing from Stoke Council to St Chads.  This should be completed some time next term.  I'll keep you posted.

We welcome a new Parent Governor, Ume Zaidi.  Ume has two children in the school.  I have asked her to join the Finance Committee as well as the Board of Governors.  She has already undergone her initial training.

We had a Teaching and Learning Review this term and I am delighted to report that this went extremely well.  The external examiner was full of praise for our progress since the last review.  There are always going to be things we can improve on but this very good progress shows that we are getting things right for so many of our pupils, so well done the staff.

I would like to thank all our staff for the loving support they give our children.  They work extremely hard and are dedicated to ensuring our children have the very best start in life.  So don't be shy, if you see a member of staff feel free to thank them for their support of your children.

Governance Review

The school undertook in January to have a full Governance Review, conducted by Jill Wilkinson. This proved very helpful and has assisted the governors in many aspects of our role as can be seen in the Ofsted judgements.

Autumn Term 2016

Just before term started the Chair of Governors (David Morgan) was informed by the Diocese of Lichfield that the school must consider moving to become an Academy in line with the Government's wishes.  David Morgan and the Headteacher (Lynne Willis) asked the Chair of the Finance Committee (Graham Hutton) to write a report on becoming an Academy and to give a recommendation for the Governors to consider.  The new rules mean that we have to join in with other schools in a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT). 

Graham worked through September and much of October undertaking the research and interviews and wrote a paper for the governors.  The recommendation accepted by governors at an Extraordinary Governors Meeting on 19 October is that we join the Diocese MAT, St Chads.  Please see www.cecet.org.uk for further details.  The staff unanimously supported this decision and parents have generally been in favour.  Graham Hutton conducted two meetings with parents in November to explain about Academies and those that attended were very satisfied with the reasoning and decision making.  The Local Authority also approved the decision.  The school's approach on this is being held up as best practice by the Diocese School Improvement Manager.

This term also saw our OFSTED inspection.  The result is exactly as the Senior Management Team predicted.  Our Key Stage 2 results were not as good as they should have been.  We urge parents to read the report.  The inspectors found much to be cherished in the school and were clear that the school was well on the way to being a successful school.  They recognised our difficulties.  Parents can make a big difference and we urge those that do not get their children to school on time to try harder as this affects your children's education.  The OFSTED inspectors made a special note on this.

We were pleased with OFSTED's view of Governance of the school.  They said "The governance of the school is effective. The school’s governors have an accurate understanding of the school’s performance. They understand why standards have dropped, but do not present any excuses and are focused on finding solutions. To this end, they have carried out benchmarking exercises with other similar schools and sought external advice. They have identified some key levers needed for school improvement and are providing constructive challenge in order to bring about the necessary changes. There are a few vacancies on the governing body. Nevertheless, the governors in post possess a helpful set of skills and an ability to think and plan strategically. They do not shy away from tough decisions but also make sure that everyone is treated fairly. Governors are ambitious for pupils to reach higher academic standards but also value the school’s successful attention to pupils’ well-being and social development. Governors attend regular training, are outward looking and responsive to new ideas. They are alert to their responsibilities under the ‘Prevent’ duty and liaise with other agencies if need be."

Spring/Summer Term 2016

Mr Morgan has conducted a Learning Walk for RE in February.  He also carried out pupil interviews regarding Safeguarding in January.  Mr Morgan comes into school regularly to help children with their reading and has been bringing in other volunteers who are also willing to help with reading.  He has also attended a Pupil Progress Meeting with staff.  Mr Morgan meets with Mrs Willis on a weekly basis whenever possible and recently attended Parents' Evening on Wednesday 10th February to chat to parents.

Reverend Durose runs an after-school weekly Chess Club for Key Stage 2 children which has been ongoing for a number of years.  He also attended Parents' Evening on Tuesday 9th February to chat to parents.  Rev Durose also came into school to speak to our RE co-ordinator (Mrs Chubb) and attended a recent assembly on the subject of being ECO friendly.

Mrs Sheldon comes into school every week to help in the Nursery giving the children the opportunity to play games and learn the important life skills of turn-taking and sharing. She also reads with the children and carried out the Safeguarding interviews with Mr Morgan.

Mrs Sheldon and Mrs Shah joined Y6 pupils during a lesson on on-line exploitation on 21st June. With the internet becoming increasingly important in children's lives, the school believe that it is imperative to educate our children about the risks.

Safeguarding Report by Governors - May 2016