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ST PETER’S SCHOOL GOVERNORS

NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2018

ADMISSIONS NEWS

Following the admission of 60 Reception children in September 2016, we only admitted 45 children last year (2017). The Admissions Panel of Governors considered the applications for September 2018 at their meeting in February 2018 and noted that, if no action were taken, some 15 children living within the catchment area of the school, would not be able to gain a place. Accordingly, the decision was taken in early May to admit an additional 15 children for this current year. This means that again there are 3 Reception classes and the school roll has risen to 352. Unless there is further County support, which is unlikely, there will be only 45 places in September 2019.

 

CONGRATULATIONS

I am delighted to be able to report what were, probably, the best ever results from SATs testing. I say probably as it is difficult to make direct comparisons with previous years. However, the “Expected” levels now recorded are significantly more challenging than the former Level 4 and last year’s Year 6 achieved at a level which is likely to put us within the top schools in the Country, when all the results are analysed. We were also very successful with sporting results across the board and our thanks must again go to Mrs Mansell and Mrs Miller for their work here. Finally, an overall congratulation to all staff and children for the general demeanour of the children – and some thanks also to their parents, of course! The school year ended with the usual cascade of thrills and spills, as well as tears as we experienced the Year 5/6 Play – Robin and the Sherwood Hoodies – featuring a cameo performance by Callum, as King John, deservedly scooping the “Actor of the Year” Award. There were other notable performances – too many to mention, in fact, as this was yet another stunning overall performance, worthy of the middle years of secondary school, at least.

 

GOVERNOR UPDATES

 We have continued our programme of Governor Visits to monitor progress on all of our Priorities. We had our last School Development day on Maundy Thursday, March 29th. I met the School Council, who play a significant part in the Day, on 3 occasions and they were full of ideas! These, along with some essential Priorities, both National and School-based have been written up and I will report on them and plans for progression in my next letter.

Carole Robertson, who has been our Administrative Officer for many years, agreed last year to take on the Clerk role last September. She has done a magnificent job over the year – thanks Carole. My thanks are also owing to Lynsay and Melanie for their joint work on our Finances, which has ensured that we have been able to take on staff rather than, as many schools are doing, having to lay them off.

We lost one long-serving Governor (and Teacher) this year. Mrs Jennie Evans had been with us for more than 16 years, most of those as a Staff Governor. We wish her well in her new post as a SENCo in Romford.

 

SCHOOL ASSOCIATION (SPSWSA)

My continuing thanks to all of you who continue to support the wonderful School Association in raising the funds to allow us to remain 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. The monthly tuck shop continues to thrive and there are always new ideas for entertainment and socialising, such that we raised over £50k yet again! I must again pay tribute to the work of Vicky Dorrington and Kim Johnson 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

Matters do seem to be improving and I continue to be clear that the vast majority of parents park really sensibly – and accurately! However, there continue to be a few selfish parents who think that the strategies which assist most people are not relevant to them. It is perhaps human nature that the Church provision is taken for granted and abused but sad that this should be the case at our school.

A very recent development is the upgrade of the path alongside the church park down to the Cricket Ground at Weald Park. This should now be passable for buggies etc in all weathers. A final upgrade is planned for the weekend of September 29th. There were 20 parent helpers last weekend and the major work needed was completed in under 2 hours. That was a brilliant effort by all concerned. Additionally, Mr Stefan Reade, liaising with the Park and Mr Gunn, has the means of securing the “inner” park, so there should be space for upwards of 50 cars every morning and afternoon. Using this will significantly ease the pressures on the Church parking, as will be the scheme to have double parking in the back 2 rows in the Church – at the very back if you don’t need to rush and just in front of those if you promise to leave quickly!

Sadly, with all this space, we still have irresponsible parking on Wigley Bush Lane, endangering the lives of our children. This is further exacerbated by the fact that we are currently unable to “police” both crossings at all times. This is likely to continue. Further volunteers would be very welcome – training and a free uniform (with a very fetching hat) are provided.

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. The next one is September 27th.

In short, please think carefully about the needs and safety of us all.

 

STAFFING

There have been a large number of changes at the start of this year, which Mr Gunn reports in detail. In summary, we have 3 new teaching staff – Miss Dawson (Reception); Mrs Eyres-Scott (Y2) and Mrs Derby (Y3/4). We also have 2 teachers whose names have changed over the Summer – Miss Linney is now Mrs Peacock and Miss Harries is now Mrs Green. All of the new staff have previous experience at the school so your children continue to be in very safe and capable hands.

 

FINALLY – AUTUMN 2018 AND ON

As I write, on Monday September 17th (nearing the Autumnal Equinox!), we are still seemingly possibly emerging from the longest and hottest summer on record – and it is still close to 25o C as I write! I hope that you have all managed something of a break over the summer. I can reflect on yet another splendid year and can look forward to the varying events planned for this term, including Harvest, Light up the Night, the Christmas Fayre on December 1st and then the full Christmas celebrations, including the new Christmas Tree weekend early in December!

 

I feel both very proud and very humble to be in my 10th (and probably last) year as Chair of Governors. It’s a wonderful school in which to be involved!

 

Chris Luck Chair of Governors

September 17th   2018

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