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ST PETER’S SCHOOL GOVERNORS

 NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2018

 

THE ANNUAL PARENTAL QUESTIONNAIRE

I have not taken a recent opportunity to write to you about this. The Governors find this a very useful tool and we have a very high rate of return from you all – thank you. You will not be surprised that we analyse these returns very carefully, both in the Governing Body as a whole and also in Committee. Where we feel that a clear general point is being made consistently, then changes are put in place. Sometimes replies are “self-cancelling”. For example, one may complain that there is too much homework and another that there is too little – so we probably have this right! Sometimes issues are raised in these replies that are more of a personal nature – such as “my child is not happy”. This gives us something of a problem as the replies are, quite properly, anonymous. May I request that if any parent is feeling like that, the best place is to raise the issue with the Head, Deputy, Mrs Reynolds or myself as we don’t like to hear of unhappy children and we are helpless to act when we do not know which child. It is especially distressing for us to read such at the end of the year, of course, so please use us if you need to, as soon as a problem arises?

 

CONGRATULATIONS-AGAIN

I am delighted to be able to confirm that our Summer SATs results were, indeed, well within the top 10% in the Country, though we are still awaiting the final official analysis.

 

GOVERNOR UPDATES

 We had our last School Development Day on Maundy Thursday, March 29th, at which we established our Priorities for this current academic year I said, in my last letter, that I would report on these – so here goes!

 

  1. To ensure that pupils make at least expected Progress and 30% Accelerated, also ensuring that at least 95% reach the Expected standard. To those ends, pupils are tracked every 6 weeks and interventions are put in place where needed. Parents are advised if Progress has not been made and/or interventions are needed. If you don’t hear – your child is “on track”!
  2. That the school is GDPR compliant. Policies are in place and on the web site. One Governor is leading on compliance
  3. That Interventions maximise progress. Teachers have received specific training and use is monitored through individual Performance management ½ termly
  4. Literacy skills to be consistently taught. Training has been provided and monitored ½ termly
  5. That pupils are prepared for new Times Tables Tests. Training for maths 10 minutes given and followed up.
  6. Transitions between Phases to be monitored. Meetings in July so that all staff are briefed.
  7. Clarification for all for precision-defined “Greater Depth” – GD and clarity re Mastery approach. Staff meetings have clearly defined and plans written for each subject by each subject leader.
  8. To have a safe usable Garden, which assists spiritual development.  Garden now built and prayer board installed.
  9. To ensure that St Peter’s is a distinctly Christian school which upholds British values. Governor visits have taken place and other monitoring is in place. The Head is an Inspector for Christian values and has passed on training to staff and Governors.

 

All of our Priorities are supported by a careful Programme of Governor Visits and all Governors are involved in these. Do please contact Mr Gunn or myself if you want any further detail on our monitoring arrangements?

 

We welcome Sam Pryce as our newly elected Parent Governor and would thank all those who stood for this post. We had over 170 votes, which, I am advised, is a very high poll. Thanks to all those who stood and also those who voted.

 

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 must again pay tribute to the work of Vicky Dorrington (Chair) and Kim Johnson (Vice Chair) and their team. I am advised that over £20k was raised in the Autumn Term alone, largely aided by the wonderful Fireworks and Christmas Fayre. 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! Still some do not!

 

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 took place on the weekend of September 29th. Additionally, a parent, Mr Stefan Reade, continues to liaise with the Park and has the means of securing the “inner” park, so there is space for upwards of 50 cars every morning and afternoon. Using this will significantly ease the pressures on the Church parking, especially when there are major Church events at the same time. I will try to give parents some warning of these, such as the Thursday at 2 on the last Thursday of each month.

 

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. We have asked for additional helpers very recently. Please do consider if you could assist us?

 

Please also think about using the walking bus.

 

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

 

STAFFING

 

There were a number of changes at the start of this year. All of the new staff and the 60 new Reception children seem to have settled in very well in their first term, according to the reports which have reached me.

 

FINALLY – CHRISTMAS 2018 AND ON

 

As I write, on Saturday December 8th, I am fresh from the Infant Nativity this last Thursday. What a delight this was, fitting for the West End stage with sound and video enhancement. It was a quite extraordinary Performance by any standards but for it to come from every child, some of whom are still 4 and few are even as old as 7, was truly remarkable. I can’t wait for the DVD, as long as it does not show me with rather wet eyes during the final Whole School singing “Child in a Manger Born”! Friday was spent helping to park parents’ cars around those of people preparing for the weekend’s “Christmas Tree Festival” at the Church. It looked spectacular when I left last evening, as did the work displayed from the school. I now look forward to the usual run of Autumn Star, Christingle (16th), Carol Service (19th), Nine Lessons and Carols (23rd) and the regular Christmas services.  I hope that you will all manage something of a break over the “festive season” and be able to spend some time with your families. I can reflect on yet another splendid year.

 

It’s a wonderful school in which to be involved!

 

Chris Luck Chair of Governors

December 8th   2018

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