ST MATTHEW’S CE AIDED PRIMARY SCHOOL LITTLE LEVER
GOVERNORS’ IMPACT STATEMENT 2018
At the start of the academic year governors held a business meeting to discuss their roles and responsibilities for the coming year. The Chair, Mrs Pat Hallows, and Vice Chair Mrs Kathy Winterbotham, were elected and governors decided which of the various committees they would support. This sets the format for the year ahead. We welcomed back Mrs Gayle Brown, who had been re-elected as the Parent Governor, Mrs Vickly Maloney, who has been elected by the Parochial Church Council, following the resignation of Mrs Claire Wierzbicki, Mrs Linda Barton was re-elected as Diocesan Governor and Mr Simon Channell re-elected as our Local Authority Governor. We are indebted to all of the governors for their continued support of St Matthew’s School.
We were not long into the start of the school year when we received the requisite half a day’s notice that Ofsted would be coming into the school the following day. The head, deputy head, teachers, children and governors were interviewed by the inspector and, at the end of his deliberations, a meeting was held with the inspector. The head, deputy, senior leadership team and all the governors were involved with the feedback. Overall, we were deemed to be a very sound ‘good’ with some outstanding features. The inspectors comments were positive and reassuring and we offer our sincere thanks and congratulations to everyone at the school for all the hard work that is put into making St Matthew’s the happy and successful school that it is.
Following a survey to parents two years ago, about their perception of the governing board, and the results which ensued, we decided that the governors should raise their profile. An action plan was drawn up with various areas which needed to be looked at and governors proceeded to address them. Another survey was taken the following year and we are very pleased to report that this showed an improvement in the parent’s perception of the governing board. The governors continue to support the school in a variety of ways. Their attendance at class assemblies, day trips, fund raising initiatives, sports day, school concerts and making themselves known to new parents at the Reception Parent Intake Meeting. Alongside this Governors with a particular area of responsibility, will meet with the teacher responsible for that area of the curriculum, to ascertain how the children are progressing. They look at workbooks to evidence the children’s progress and the assessment and monitoring procedure. A meeting is held with the head, chair and vice chair on a monthly basis to look at data, how monitoring is maintained and to keep up to date with standards.
Over the past year the governors have gone from strength to strength in their support of the school and the governing board as a whole. They work well together as a team and support each other. Their attendance at meetings is exemplary, they contribute well by asking the appropriate questions, and they have grown in confidence with the work and responsibilities they have undertaken. Their commitment is outstanding.
We have also undertaken an audit review of the governing board and of the Chair of Governors. Both of these reviews have produced a positive outcome. It is evident that the Governors knowledge and skills have improved, and the general consensus is that the governors feel there has been a marked improvement overall since the change of the Chair.
It is the governors’ responsibility to ensure that the school’s website is compliant and is checked by Ofsted when they inspect a school. If we are found not to be compliant this could affect the result of the Ofsted inspection. The school is very rigorous in its maintenance of the school’s website. School staff regularly ensure that it is kept up to date. The Information and Technology Governor, visits the school on a regular basis, works alongside the school staff and ensures that the website is compliant.
Last year we held our first governor day, this was a very successful day which was thoroughly enjoyed by all the governors who participated. Following on from the success of last year it was agreed that we should make this a regular yearly event. Our governor day this year was held on Tuesday the 12th of June. A number of governors attended the whole school assembly, led by Mr Harding. The theme being ‘Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover’. This was a very thought provoking subject and one, I am sure, we can all associate with. Following the assembly governors visited the classrooms they enjoyed observing and sharing the lessons and also completed a learning observation in the classrooms they visited. Among the many observations which took place during the course of the day the following is a taster of what was observed. A governors looked at the children workbooks and was able to observe the quality and progression of the children’s work. Another governor joined Year 3 in in their gardening work outside. Data and monitoring was also observed and how this is recorded. The procedure for baseline assessment, when children begin school in the Reception class, was also viewed. The individual records of the Reception children was looked at and how progress is monitored. It provided the evidence of where the children started and where they have progressed to. This was a very valuable learning curve; it is evident how much work is required with children when they start school and the attention to detail in recording their progress. All this, as well as teaching the children. The same governor looked at the procedure for the Phonic Screening Test in Year 1. Observation was made of the children taking the test and how it is marked. This was a very worthwhile exercise it gave insight into how the children progress from Reception to Year 1.
A number of governors shared lunch with the children which was very enjoyable giving them the opportunity to talk to the children whilst sharing a meal with them. Following lunch the governors continued to visit the classrooms participating and enjoying spending time with the children during the course of a normal school day. They were made very welcome by all the staff and children.
After the children went home the Chair of Governors held a meeting with the chairs’ of committees followed by a separate meeting with individual governors, not those who work in school, to review the year and ascertain the governors opinion on how the year had gone. A selection of questions had been prepared which the governors responded too in a very positive way.
Questions, and suggestions were made; which will be acted upon. A rewarding and inclusive meeting where governors had the opportunity to express their views and opinions.
We completed the day with a full Governing Board Meeting. It had been a long day, but a most rewarding one, where much was achieved.
During the latter part of the Spring Term and the Summer Term, Mrs Ryding was seconded as an executive head. This is the second time Mrs Ryding has been asked to carry out this important work and we are very proud that she is held in such a high regard by the Education Authority. Mrs Ryding will be back at school full time in September.
We welcomed last September Miss Magill, a newly qualified teacher, to Year 1. Miss Magill has completed a very good probationary year and she has been offered a permanent contract, which she has accepted.
Mrs Phillips will be taking maternity leave from September; but she will be returning. We wish her well as she looks forward to the birth of her baby.
Sadly, we say goodbye to Miss Smith, the Reception Class teacher. Miss Smith is taking up another position within the Authority. We would like to pay tribute to her for the splendid work she has done over the last five years and wish her every success for the future.
It has been a very busy, happy and successful year. A great deal has been achieved but there is still much to do. We much ensure that our children continue to reach their academic potential, and equally, that we strive to ensure that their mental health is maintained. Our thanks are extended to all who work in the school for their commitment and hard work and we must continue to ensure that our children at St Matthew’s receive the best we all have to give.