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ST PETER’S SCHOOL GOVERNORS

 NEWSLETTER JULY/AUGUST 2017

 

ADMISSIONS NEWS

Following the admission of 60 Reception children in September 2016, we will only be admitting 45 children this year. It seems likely that this will also be the case for admissions in 2018, when there is likely to be great pressure on catchment admissions, given that there may be an increased number of sibling applications, if the usual patterns are repeated! We have had meetings with the current (2016/7) parents of children in Reception and Year 1 and have explained clearly how the children will be organised in the new Year 1 and 2 classes. These arrangements have been very much accepted by the vast majority of parents as being in the best interests of all the children. Mr Gunn and I were, therefore, very disappointed by the “Facebook frenzy” which broke out during the “York week”, given the meeting that had already been planned on the following Tuesday. However, this is now a timely opportunity to remind all parents that I am available at almost all times and am happy to discuss any issue which is of concern to parents as a whole. This would have been a good time to use that facility.

 

STAFFING DEVELOPMENTS

There is quite a lot to report here! We were very saddened that Mrs Charlesworth left in July after 5 ½ very successful years as Deputy Head. She will be very much missed but the USA will benefit! Mrs Stapleton will be Deputy Head and will only undertake part time class responsibility. We will welcome Mrs Burton and Mr Ellis at the start of the new school year in September. Mr Ellis will replace Mrs Twine in terms of a Year 4 class but Mrs Burton will take on Mrs Twine’s music responsibilities, working with Mrs Evans. Mrs D Price will move to Foundation Stage, sharing with Mrs Quant, and Miss Harries will replace her in Key Stage 2. Mrs N Price will move to Key Stage 2 also and share a class with Mrs Shoulders during Mrs Levi’s maternity leave. In order to provide the necessary continued stability, Mr Gunn will spend more time to supervise the bedding in of these changes and will thus have less time available to support other schools, at least initially this next year. This activity has earned valuable finance for the school, as well as assisting with our own recruitment processes. We are also saying goodbye to Mrs Derby who has been a superb LSA for many years and will now train as a teacher and to Mrs Marshall who has played the piano for us for many years both in school and church, who will be going to be a school office manager.

 

GOVERNOR UPDATES

 We have continued our programme of Governor Visits to monitor progress on all of our Priorities. I am delighted to report that, at the Development Evening held on March 30th, we were able to report that there was significant progress on all of these. We agreed at that time all our new Priorities for 2017/8 and I will advise on these when the Evening has been fully written up.

During the next term, we say goodbye to Jo McLachlan, who has been a fantastic support as our Clerk for the last 11 years. Her husband has a new position which means that it is very difficult for her to attend evening meetings. She will be much missed.

 

SCHOOL ASSOCIATION

My thanks to all of you who have supported the wonderful School Association in raising the funds to allow us to remain as an Outstanding school. I do not say this lightly as it is the additional funds which the Association brings to the school, which enable us to offer provision which is rich, varied and appropriate. Some recent additions include the new sheds to provide storage and the facility for “self-contained” events. There is also the new minibus, which has already been of tremendous benefit this past Summer term. It means that teams can travel without dependency on parental assistance and can arrive as a group ready to take on all comers. Those teams have been outstandingly successful this year! I must again pay tribute to the work of Vicky Dorrington (Chair) and Kim Johnson (Vice Chair) and their team during this academic year. I cannot speak highly enough of the value of the work all the parents do in supporting your children’s school so well. THANK YOU.

 

PARKING

It has been a delight for me to be able to assist and I am often cheered by the many thanks that I receive for but a small contribution but there are still far too many selfish parents who think that the strategies which assist most people are not relevant to them. In simple terms, we are fortunate to have access to the Church car park, thus avoiding many of the challenges faced by parents of children at almost all other schools. It is perhaps human nature that such provision is taken for granted and abused but sad that this should be the case at our school. I expect to be present for most morning and afternoon sessions for most of the Autumn Term and our Priest, Jane Bradbury, has also offered to assist me.  However, we still have irresponsible parking on Wigley Bush Lane, endangering the lives of our children. This is further exacerbated in the mornings, as Gerry and Brenda advise me, by people, not necessarily parents, who think that the road restriction just North of the school is an invitation to demonstrate their F1 skills. We do also have free parking at drop off and pick up at the cricket ground car park of Weald Park. Vouchers are available from the School Office and are valid until July 2018.  It is vital that parents make efforts to collect these vouchers. Please also think about using the walking bus and take note of occasions when the church is using the church car park. Particular dates to note are the fourth Thursday of each month when “Thursday at Two” meets from 2pm to 4 pm. This caters for some 25 of our older members of the congregation, who may not be entirely aware of the needs of parents. In short, please think carefully about the needs and safety of us all.

 

FINALLY – SUMMER 2017

As I write, in mid August, I am enjoying the holidays and getting my allotment in a rather more presentable state, though it won’t win the “Best Kept” prize, I fear. I can reflect, though, in the secure knowledge that your children have made this year very special for me. First, there were the quite extraordinary results achieved this year, yet again. We have averaged at the level of around 30% above the National Average across all subjects in Year 6. Similarly over 90% of pupils in Year 2 were at or above the expected levels. Secondly, the school has again been very successful across the board with their sporting achievements. Highlights include 3 District sprint champions, 2 relays and a high jump champion. We are very grateful to those who assist by coaching our successful teams, especially Mrs Mansell and Mrs Miller. Finally, there was the superb production of “Shakespeare Rocks” by Years 5 and 6. It was quite spectacular, with some very complex dialogue, involving learning some Shakespeare and also using accents, some wonderful singing and scene changes, as well as superb acting. It seems to me that a secondary school would have been very happy with the quality demonstrated. All the cast managed some very slick interchanges with great aplomb, though two performances stood out for me. First there was Charlie as Will and also Estella as the bombastic Burbage. But there were so many stunning performances from a very talented Year Group. What a show to savour. The year was delightfully, though for some (mostly parents) tearfully, rounded off with the Leavers’ evening on Monday, Summer Stars on Thursday and the usually emotional Leavers’ School Service on Friday.

I feel both very proud and very humble to have completed 9 years as Chair of Governors. It’s a wonderful school in which to be involved!

I do hope that you are enjoying/have enjoyed a restful and reflective summer break with your remarkable children!

Chris Luck

Chair of Governors

August 21st   2017

 

 

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