This governor blog has been written by our Vice Chair – Matthew Pattison.
Many key events have take place in school in the last few weeks and the governing body feel that it’s time to share some of these with the pupils, staff, parents and friends of Whitkirk Primary.
OFSTED has been the main thing on everyone’s mind at school, and a special thank you needs to go out to all the hard work that went into it from the school staff in every role. We also wish to thank the pupils, governors and parents who got involved, as an OFSTED inspection will (and should) look at all aspects of a school. The governing body will be keeping abreast of all the work that always follows an inspection and it will certainly be a busy few weeks for everyone. One thing that came out of the inspection is how happy, safe and secure the children are at Whitkirk Primary. As a parent and as a governor I’m happy with the relationship our pupils have with each other and the staff. I’ve also been told by other parents that they value this as much as academic achievement – it’s important our children enjoy coming to school so they have the correct attitude to learning.
Following on from this, the school parent survey provided by OFSTED made interesting reading and reflected my point about happy children. The survey has encouraged us to change for format of the parent and pupil surveys this year to something similar. Watch this space for more details in the next half term.
Last week I came into school for a full day to observe classes and speak to the school leadership team. Whilst this had been booked in for a while, the OFSTED inspection made it more pertinent, and hard questions were asked specifically regarding maths. I can say I am happy with the responses from from the leadership team, and many new initiatives have already been put into place before the OFSTED inspection took place. Whilst these can be seen to be helping the pupils, they are still too new to show a real, lasting effect. I’ll be heading back into school at the end of the year to review this progress again.
A big well done to all the year 6 pupils who carried out their SATs this month. I was one of the governors who came into school to ensure the papers and examinations were carried out in the proper and secure manner. I can confirm that everything was done in a most professional manner. What struck me the most, was how calm and collected the children were as they started their exams. The pep talks, breakfasts and mock exams went a long way to ensuring the pupils knew what to expect and what was expected of them. As an individual who has to take exams throughout his career I know that going in with the right frame of mind is half the battle.
Straight after the SATs the year 6 went to their residential, which as many of you will have seen looked to be amazing (but very wet) fun. I’ve spoken to some of the pupils and the teachers. I especially liked some of the comments from children about how being away from their parents has made then ‘grow up’ and become more responsible. This has been beneficial to the children and I think it’s fair to say a good time was had by everyone. A special thanks goes to the teachers who gave up their week to help the children make the most of a great learning experience.
Finally I’ve had some interesting conversations with Mr Mitchell about modernising the school IT. I’m happy to report that Mr Mitchell is a firm believer that properly applied technology can help the children progress through school. This is something I also believe in, and there is a long term plan to change the school hardware and applications. There are also plans afoot to ensure every child has login details which allow them to communicate with teachers and other pupils within the school and share information. This is important as it helps to ensure the children are learning much needed IT skills early on, which will help them throughout their entire life.
Whilst all this has been going on, the process of merging the entire trust into an academy has been moving along in the background. Whilst this may not be immediately noticeable I can assure you that this is progressing, and most of the time is spent within the government academisation process. When key decisions have been made, or milestones have been reached we’ll be sure to pass this onto you.
All things considered it has been a very busy few weeks, which is why I thought it best to communicate to the whole school that the governing body is not simply sitting on its laurels. We’re getting involved in all aspects of the school, asking the right questions and helping to make sure the very best strategies are put into place for our children. If you’d like to ask the governing body any questions, or you’d like to get involved yourself please feel free to contact us on email@example.com