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ST PETER’S SCHOOL GOVERNORS

NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2019


ADMISSIONS NEWS

Following the admission of 60 Reception children in September 2018, we looked at the applications this time and concluded that, if we remained at 45, no children from new families would be admitted. Accordingly, we have again admitted 60 children. This means that again there are 3 Reception classes and the school roll has risen to 360. We now aim to be fully 2FE for the foreseeable future, in order to meet catchment needs. However, this has serious consequences, commencing immediately. In order to accommodate existing numbers, we have developed an additional classroom so that both Y2 classes are housed in “the Villa”. We now have 4 Y3/4 classes. We will need a further classroom by September 2021 when we have 105 Y5/6 children and they will also need 4 classrooms. We will need planning permission and at least £80k to provide this. We do not anticipate any additional support from the County.

 CONGRATULATIONS

I am delighted to be able to report what were, yet again, some outstanding results from SATs testing. We have received a letter from the Essex Director of Education again congratulating all concerned. 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 – Ali Baba and the Bongo Bandits – featuring a number of 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 Thursday, April 4th. 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.

 

My thanks are again owing to Carole, for her work as our Administrative Officer and Clerk, as well as 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. As a reward, during the holidays we have built an extension from Mr Gunn’s office to provide space and free up the Office Reception facilities.

 

We lost one long-serving Governor (this year. Mrs Jo Bailey has been a long-serving member of our team but now Toby has left and her term of office expired, she has said her farewells.

 

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 (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.

 

A WORD OF ADVICE PLEASE

I have previously referred to the annual parental survey which goes out in July each year. We had some 70 replies this time, almost all of them extremely positive – thank you. All of the returns are analysed by Mrs Stapleton and reported to the Governors who then make recommendations as to any changes needed. A very few parents have particular concerns and worries. It is distressing to be made aware of these at the very end of the school year. Please if you have a concern, discuss it first with your child’s teacher. If you raise the concern in your survey return, don’t do so anonymously as we can’t take any action to assist you and your child.

 

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.

 

I have also noted a few incidents of illegal parking on the markings in Wigley Bush Lane. Please do not do this. It endangers the lives of all the children and also makes things very difficult for disabled (grand)parents.

 

A development last autumn was the upgrade of the path alongside the church park down to the Cricket Ground at Weald Park. This is now passable for buggies etc in all weathers. Additionally, Mr Stefan Reade, liaising with the Park and Mr Gunn, has the means of securing the “inner” park, so there is space for upwards of 50 cars every morning and afternoon. We hope to be able to issue additional parking vouchers for the start of the Spring Term. 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 (such as staff members) and just in front of those if you promise to leave quickly!

 

I am pleased to report that we now have 2 Crossing Patrols again. Please respect their directions.

 

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 2 pm 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 this Thursday, September 26th.

 

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

 

STAFFING

There have been a relatively small number of changes at the start of this year, which Mr Gunn reports in detail. We welcome Ms Dewsall who will work with Mrs Peacock in the Y1 team. Your children continue to be in very safe and capable hands.  Miss Williams will soon be on maternity leave, we wish her all the best.

 

FINALLY – AUTUMN 2019 AND ON

As I write, on Tuesday September 24th (just after  the Autumnal Equinox!), we are still emerging from yet another long and hot summer, as well as the Autumn, though the weather has just broken! 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 November 30th 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 11th (and this time certainly last) year as Chair of Governors. It’s a wonderful school in which to be involved! I will leave it in safe hands.

 

Chris Luck Chair of Governors

September 24th 2019

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