Firstly a very warm welcome to all new parents! I am confident that your child/children will be happy at Poringland and will receive the best education possible. We are proud to have a committed and talented staff, both teaching and non-teaching, who ensure that children’s needs, both academic and personal, are well cared for.
This year our focus has been the implementation of our new school vision:
‘ Happy Active Inspired Healthy Learning ‘
Governors have monitored closely the impact this is having across the curriculum and we receive regular reports on this.
A morning was spent in classrooms to see how the PATHS programme supported children’s mental health and relationships. We spoke to children and were impressed by their positive responses and how it helped them control their feelings.
We are keen to encourage children to be more active which is good not just for physical health but evidence shows that it improves academic performance as well. The PE leader came to speak about plans for extending the sports activities we offer to find something to interest all children.
We believe that if learning is more active and inspirational, then children will be more involved and motivated. Writing is one area we have looked at this year with the subject leader attending a meeting to discuss progress in this area. We particularly want to raise the number of children achieving the higher levels and saw some excellent examples.
The Nursery staff also attended a meeting to discuss their Action Plan for the younger children. They have a much-improved environment now to ‘inspire’ young minds. We agreed that new resources were also needed to support their plan for interesting activities.
The outdoor area has improved playtimes for children, and after an initial disappointment with the resurfacing of the infant playground, we now have a lovely area for children. Both of these play areas help not only to keep children active but they also provide stimulus for creative play and learning.
Governors are responsible for standards of learning. We scrutinise results throughout the year, comparing Poringland with similar schools and nationally. Poringland compares well, but we are not complacent, and we look in detail at subjects and groups of children to see where improvements can be made. We hold the headteacher to account through performance management and annual targets.
A key responsibility of the governing body is to ensure that the school manages its finances well. I am sure you are aware of the difficulties all schools are facing with regards to balancing their budgets. So far, with rising numbers, we have been able to maintain a surplus (essential for future maintenance or technology expenses), however this will not continue unless the government’s promise of increased spending comes to fruition. This, in any case, is not a commitment to continued increased funding. We, therefore, have to monitor carefully all spending and ensure that it really benefits the children. We have also prepared a building maintenance schedule which prioritises works. As part of our financial responsibility, a governor oversees the management of school assets.
We are also extremely fortunate to have an active PTA, who raise significant amounts of money for the school. Thank you to all involved in organising the various events and to parents for supporting them.
Children’s safety is a crucial consideration for a school. We have a knowledgeable governor who monitors this and it is an item on each agenda. There is now an improved system for signing in of both staff and visitors who wear appropriate identification.
The change in data protection affected schools significantly and we appreciated the complexity of this so we have bought professional support so that we can be sure that we are GDPR compliant.
As governors, we strive to ensure that coming to school is a happy experience for children, however we also want to ensure that staff and parents are happy with the school. To this end, we organise both staff and parent questionnaires, which are analysed carefully, and any issues are addressed. We recognise the important role that parents play in a child’s education and want you to feel free to ask questions. Mr Dean and the staff are always ready to listen if you have any concerns and will try to resolve any complaint quickly. The governing body can be involved should you not be satisfied. Ultimately we want to maintain the friendly, harmonious environment and this includes a positive, supportive relationship between teachers and parents for the benefit of children.
I wish all children an enjoyable and successful year.
Chair of Governors
On behalf of the Governing Body