Autumn Term Governor Update
We have just finalised the school plan for the coming year and so would like to take this opportunity to share a summary of our ambitions and how they link with our school aims. This is a highly summarised version and so if you would like to read more about how we plan to achieve these, there is a more detailed version available on the website. If you have any questions about the school plan, please feel free to have a conversation with Mrs Gilbertson or one of the governors. There is updated information about who the governors are on the website and more information about we do in this update.
|Area of work||School ambition||Links to school aims|
|Outcomes for pupils||Maintain higher expectations for all pupils so that almost all children reach the expected standard in all three subject areas of maths, reading and writing and increase the percentage of children working at greater depth across the school.||1. Create successful resilient learners who take responsibility for their own learning and are prepared to embark on future challenges with excitement and confidence.
5. Prepare children for life, to be responsible citizens who are able to adapt and grow as technology and society changes.
|Quality of teaching, learning and assessment||Ensure maximum progress of all pupils is sustained, in particular that reading strategies are embedded, pupils are using ambitious word choices and all pupils develop strategies to problem solve through mastery in maths.
|2. Ensure we provide innovative learning opportunities that develop the whole child, empowering pupils to explore and believe in themselves.
7. Value the importance of an effective partnership with parents and the community to encourage each child to reach their full potential.
|Personal development, behaviour and welfare||Promote deeper understanding of each other and our place in the world. Develop the ethos of the school and the school values of respect, resilience and responsibility, ensuring that these are underpinned by Christian virtues.
|3. Establish and environment where children and adults feel welcomed, valued, happy and secure, irrespective of gender, race or disability.
4. Help children understand Britain’s cultural heritage.
5. Teach children to have an awareness of their own spiritual development, and to distinguish right from wrong.
|Effectiveness of leadership and management||Curriculum leaders project high ambition across the school, reflecting on the character and effectiveness of their leadership. Governors continue to work on their strategic priorities around communication, developing links with pre-school groups and working with other schools, the Local Authority and Diocese to strengthen our schools future.||1. Create successful resilient learners who take responsibility for their own learning and are prepared to embark on future challenges with excitement and confidence.
2. Ensure we provide innovative learning opportunities that develop the whole child, empowering pupils to explore and believe in themselves.
7. Value the importance of an effective partnership with parents and the community to encourage each child to reach their full potential.
Detailed School Improvement Plan 17-18 final SIP
Governing body membership update
You may well already be aware that last term Phil Booth stood down as our Foundation Governor and Zoe Darley’s term as a Parent Governor came to an end. Phil was a governor for nine years and in that time served as both Chair and Vice Chair accumulating and sharing a vast amount of knowledge about school governance, working with communities and staying calm in all different types of situation! Zoe was chair of the Teaching, Learning and Curriculum committee for most of her term as governor, not only bringing a wealth of experience in teaching to the role but also experience of providing high quality sports provision in a primary setting. We miss their input and counsel terribly and we would like to thank them publically for their contributions.
…But it’s not all doom and gloom! Phil has been replaced as Foundation Governor by Robert Court and Zoe has been replaced as parent governor by Michael Tinker. Robert has masses of experience in education as a teacher, head teacher and school governor and Michael spends much of his working time in different schools across the County and brings an enthusiasm and commitment to school governance.
These changes are reflected in the governing body membership structure below
|Committee||Area of work||Membership|
|Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Committee||Develop, monitor and review the School Improvement Plan (SIP) on an annual basis. The effectiveness of the school plan is reviewed at the end of each school year. This review forms the basis of the development of the new SIP in the first half of the autumn term. All governors undertake regular monitoring activities throughout the school year so that the plan can be amended and developed as and when necessary.||Chair : Nicola Wright
Secretary: Hannah Morgan (temp)
Members: Mike Gilbert, Robert Court, Oona Gilbertson and Hannah Hurford
|Staffing and Pay Committee||Review and implement the teachers pay policy on an annual basis, undertake an annual review of the head teachers performance in line with activities identified through the SIP, receives and approves recommendations for pay progression for teaching staff and reviews and implement all employee relations policies applicable to staff in school.||Chair: Michael Tinker
Secretary: Hannah Morgan
Members: Barry Lomas, Nicola Wright, Andy Pritchard and Oona Gilbertson
|Finance Committee||Responsible for setting, reviewing and monitoring the Schools budget on an annual basis and maintaining a rolling 3 year forecast of income against expenditure. This committee also ensures that all transactions that take place in school adhere to relevant financial regulations and provides regular financial updates to the full governing body.||Chair: Rosalind Buckingham
Secretary: Andy Pritchard
Members: Michael Tinker, Oona Gilbertson, Kay Mason
|Premises Committee||Ensures that the school building and grounds meet health and safety standards, are maintained to an acceptable level for use and oversees the management of any improvement works that are required.||Chair: Barry Lomas
Secretary: Gordon Brimer
Members: Kay Mason, Oona Gilbertson, Richard Gilbourne
|Strategic Committee||Provides a link between resource and curriculum committees to ensure that decisions are not made in isolation. Maintains dialogue between the school, local authority and diocese and responds to any issues that may arise from that relationship.||Members: Hannah Morgan, Nicola Wright, Michael Tinker, Oona Gilbertson.|
School Self evaluation
This gives you some background as to how the Head teacher and Governors evaluate the overall progress of the school – this is compiled from looking at teaching, data, attainment, the involvement in the community and feedback from parents and pupils.
The Governors would like you read their annual report to parents which reflects both the work of the Governors, staff, pupils and the wider school community.
Plans for the current academic year 2016-17
We have a really busy year ahead. A summary of our School Improvement Plan (SIP) is on the website. It outlines our aspirations for our children’s achievements over the coming academic year and how we will make it happen. This document drives all the work we will be doing so please have a look at it.
We also have a sports action plan that forms part of our school plan. A central part of this plan is the appointment of Mrs Gaywood who has been tasked with increasing the opportunities for our children to get involved with sports either in a competitive capacity or just for fun and also to help us to use sports to enhance learning through the curriculum. This is important for lots of reasons, not least for those children who gain confidence and enjoy success away from their desks. There has been an increase in the number of opportunities for our children to take part in sporting activities and we know that this is working better for some families than for others. We will be working hard with you over the coming academic year to strike the right balance.
As well as supporting Mrs Gilbertson and the staff team to achieve the aims outlined in the School Improvement Plan, the governing body has a further three areas to focus on this academic year. The first of this is to try to stabilise pupil numbers. Falling pupil numbers and the negative impact that this has on our budget is one of the biggest obstacles to achieving our aims. It is the reason why we have complicated staffing and classroom arrangements and why this changes from year to year. We will be looking at how we can raise the profile of our school in the locality, especially building links with local pre-schools, childminders and toddler groups to work out how we can get more of these children using our facilities. We have amazing facilities for such a small school, mainly thanks to the monumental fund raising efforts of the PTA, Bonfire Committee and local community year on year and so it feels like time to shout about it!
You will also be aware of the government’s drive for all schools to become an academy by 2020. As Phil mentioned in his round up, this is not going away and even if it was we still need to have a plan for ensuring the sustainability of the school moving forward. This might be as simple as sharing resources with neighbouring schools or it might be as complicated as us needing to join a multi academy trust and convert school status. Either way, we intend to spend the next academic year building on the information and contacts that we have made so far to enable us to keep ahead of the game and keep as many options open to us as possible when that time comes.
Finally, we want to get better at communicating with the school and wider community. Hopefully this newsletter is a good start!
Summary of last academic year 2015-16
Last academic year was an interesting year for the Governors of Eyam in many ways. Mrs Gilbertson started her first full year as head teacher, the Government was pushing their desire for all schools to become academies in ever stronger terms and alongside this the government also introduced a massive change in the way assessment is carried out in schools.
For those of us who have had many years of children going through the system the old levels were familiar and easily understood territories. The new system has caused many hours of pondering and contemplation amongst Staff, Governors and Local Authority advisors alike. Now we have the first year’s results we can start to make better sense of the system. It is fair to say the results, on paper, aren’t as strong as we would have liked. With such small numbers the slightest blip can make a massive difference to the percentage results. But to quote Einstein ‘Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.’ We know how hard the children and staff worked last year and they should all be proud of what they achieved.
Hitting standards is important and there has been a real drive to up the quality of teaching. Our teachers are already dedicated and of a really high standard, with some external help and the fresh eyes of a new head we have been able to up the level even higher. I want to thank the staff personally for their unfailing energy and commitment. The governors also recognise the importance of every child reaching their full potential in more than just academic subjects. It was for this reason that we worked with Mrs Gilbertson to increase the sports provision.
The new school values of Respect, Responsibility and Resilience are also starting to be embedded across the school. As Governors we have the pleasure of being able to come in and observe the school at work. It is a happy place. I am sure we are all familiar with the grunt or ‘boring” response when asking our children about their school day, yet when in school they are always positive in their outlook and proud to talk about what they are doing.
As I hand over the reins to Hannah, and revert back to vice-chair, I know the next year is likely to be just as challenging as last. As the birth rate fluctuates year on year so does our school numbers, in a school our size this has a massive impact on our overall funding. Fortunately some careful planning by the finance committee, headed by Rosalind Buckingham, has put us in as strong a position as we could wish to be. But we have to be realistic and there are likely to be some tough decisions to be made. You can be assured they will always be made with the best interests of the children in mind.
Vice Chair Governors (previous Chair)
- has a minimum of 4 members
- has a quorum of 3
- may have associate governors as members but the majority will be full members of the governing body
- has a chair
- will write their terms of reference- based on those available on the extranet
- will arrange fixed dates for their years meetings, these will be notified to the FGB. These meetings will be timed to coincide with the necessary devolved functions of each committee according to the terms of reference.
- will list the school policies for which it is responsible and ensure time is allocated in the meetings schedule for review of these.
- will review the training needs of its members
Teaching, Learning and Community (TLCC)
- Target Setting
- Gifted & Talented
- Links with the Church
Staffing Committee (SC)
- staff appointments and review of staffing structure
- performance management reviews
- pay policies
Resource Management Committee (RMC) – Finance
Oona Gilbertson, Rosalind Buckingham (Chair), Andy Pritchard(Secretary), Kay Mason, Michael Tinker
Resource Management Committee (RMC) – Premises
- Health and Safety