Governors' Blog

Head Teacher: Mrs Jan Martin | Deputy Head: Miss A Prentice                          
London Road, Woolmer Green, Herts. SG3 6JP | Email: admin@woolmergreen.herts.sch.uk | Tel: 01438 813267 | Fax: 01438 815623                      

School Blogs

Blogs from St. Michael's Woolmer Green School.

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Governor News

Governors visit the school on at least one occasion every term during the school working day. These visits help us gain a greater understanding and insight into school life, learn about the aspirations of our children and to see how the school begins to meet the priorities as set out in the School Improvement Plan. This term we are planning something new, a Governor’s Open Day (well, afternoon strictly). On this occasion the pupils will ‘show case’ some of the work they have been doing this term, talk about what they have been learning and share some of the exciting learning opportunities they have day by day at St Michaels. We are all looking forward to this day enormously.  The visits will be followed by tea and cake with the staff (thanks to Emma Broughton) when we will have the chance to discuss with the staff what we have seen earlier in the day. Finally, we will hold our Full Governing Body meeting on the same evening, a little earlier than normal, and we hope that some of the staff may join us for this. We aim to work as an integral part of the school where senior leaders, staff, parents/carers value the importance of a strong Governing Body just as we, as Governors,  value the outstanding work achieved each and every day by our staff and children. At our Learning and Pupil Progress Meeting on Monday 3rd October we welcomed Stephen Long as our new Chair. Caroline Fincham agreed to act a Vice – Chair and as minute taker (thank you). This was a really positive meeting. We heard how well our Reception children have settled and about their attainment on entry. Miss Tobin is enjoying the new challenge of working with our Reception children and has ordered some new play equipment to support the work she is doing. Mr Mallon was able to present an in depth analysis of the end of Key Stage data including EYFS for both attainment and progress.  The data looks strong when compared with National and Hertfordshire for like schools. Our School Improvement Plan has been reviewed to include any new areas for development following the analysis. Miss Prentice (Deputy Head) attended the meeting and gave Governors feedback on her work so far to develop the new Maths curriculum. Work is continuing to enhance the role of subject leaders. At our Parents Consultation Evening on October 19/20th Governors were really pleased to speak with many parents/carers.  It really helps us develop our knowledge of the school when meeting and talking to you, thank you. By the time you read this your children will have returned to school following the half term break.  I do hope you had enjoyable times whether near or far. My best wishes to you all Sue Gray, Chair.

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14 Years of Thanks to Sue Roberts...

It was with sadness that we said goodbye to Sue Roberts as outgoing Vice Chair. Sue has worked tirelessly on the Governing Body for the past fourteen years.  Sue was instrumental in helping me to reorganise the Governing Body into its present form with the two Committees, Learning and Pupil Progress (LPP) and Finance and Resources (F&R). Her knowledge of the Admissions Process is second to none.  Sue has always taken part in a high level of debate challenging and supporting the school in equal measure.  She embraces the future (certainly something we are constantly required to do in Education), is clear thinking and is never afraid to move forward while negotiating with all parties when changes are necessary.  Sue's wisdom has been appreciated by all who have worked alongside her.  Our thanks go to Sue for her commitment and her contribution. She will be missed.

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Governor news...

The Full Governing Body met for the first time this year on September 26th. As is tradition the beginning of this meeting was spent electing a Chair and Vice Chair and reviewing our committee structures and our roles and responsibilities.  I agreed to act as Chair for a further year and I am very pleased to announce that Rachel Stringer agreed to act as Vice Chair. All of our Governors are linked to a specific area of school life and these roles are published on the school website. At this meeting Mr Mallon reported to the Governors a very positive picture of progress and attainment from our outgoing Year 6 pupils.  Compared with other like schools nationally we were in the top 25% which is very encouraging. Children of all abilities achieved well including those most able (a priority in the SIP 2105-16). The Draft School Improvement Plan (2016-17) was adopted by Governors. The F&R Committee met on September 19th and approved the month end reports for June, July and August. The termly return was approved.  Finances are in good shape but there is no doubt that schools will have to tighten their belts over the coming years. An analysis of the Pupil Premium and Sports Premium spending showed both making a positive impact on our pupils. These are published on the website.  The Herts County Model Child Protection Policy including the Keeping Children Safe in Education was adopted. In terms of Admissions we now have more pupils in school than last year.  In total, 198 children made up of 97 boys and 101 girls.  Five children were accepted as in year admissions. A lot of work over the summer holiday has taken place on the school buildings and site. New fire doors have been fitted, a summer clean of carpets , floors and windows with refurbishments of the Ladies and Gents cloakrooms. The school looks in excellent condition. We have the 'Friends' of the school to thank for fitting an Astro turf outside the Year 3 classroom. This area can now be enjoyed by many of our children. The school website has been updated over the summer and I encourage all of our Parents/carers to take a look at this. The end of KS results are published there. Governors are busy planning a 'Governors Day' to be held on December 5th. This will be an opportunity for children to talk about and show their work to Governors and for us to learn more about all the exciting learning opportunities that are on offer to our children. Governors will be in attendance at the Parents Consultation evening on 19/20th October.  We hope to meet as many parents/carers as we can on that evening. Please do introduce yourself and give us feedback as to your experiences of St Michaels. Wishing you all a good and successful year ahead at St Michaels. Sue Gray Chair of Governors.
 
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Governors' news...

On behalf of the Governing Body I would like to welcome you all, Parents/carers, Pupils and Staff to the start of the new term.   Many of our children will be returning to school after the summer break to a new teacher and a new classroom.  For others, they will be starting school for the very first time.  Our teachers and teaching assistants will have a new group of children to nurture and to guide in their learning. The Governors will be reconsidering their roles and responsibilities and planning to support the school in every way they can over the coming year.   A new and exciting time for us all.  The Governors have a dedicated section on the school website that clearly defines who we are, our roles and responsibilities and how we aim to support the school.  Every year we send out to parents a questionnaire to find out what you are thinking about how well the school is doing.  This is always a very positive exercise regarding the educational opportunities that are on offer at St Michaels and it helps us to plan for the future. In addition, I have made a list of when our Governing Body Meetings are planned for the coming year which can been seen on your paper copy of the September newsletter (sent home in your child's bookbag), or else on the website under 'Newsletters/2015-16/September'.  As Governors, we welcome input from parents/carers so please do feel that you can contact the Governors with suggestions and comment. Governors attend the Parent Consultation Evenings and would like to meet as many of you on these occasions as possible.  Please do make yourself known to us on these evenings. Wishing you and your children a very successful and enjoyable year at St Michaels.  Sue Gray - Chair.

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Governor News, Summer Term

Both Committees (Learning and Pupil Progress, Finance and Resources) and the Full Governing Body met during May. This is a particularly busy time of year, marking the end of the Financial Year (2015-16) where Governors Review and Approve the Year End Figures and School Accounts and then moving on to draft a budget and Improvement Plan for the next academic year (2016-17). Our LPP Committee met in early May and conducted a review of the recently collected assessment data designed to map pupil progress. St Michael’s are using the new Herts for Learning, Steps for Progress, to assess our
pupils. I am pleased to report that most of our children are achieving their age related expectations for progress and some achieving more than the age related expectations. A full programme of intervention has been introduced to meet the individual needs of any children requiring any additional input. We have recently had a visit from our Hertfordshire Improvement Partner and again I am pleased to report that she was very positive regarding the progress our current pupils are making now that the new curriculum and
assessment procedures are in place. At the LPP meeting we were also able to hear about the recent developments made by the School Council which has been led by Mrs Gloyn this year. Governors would like to thank Mrs Gloyn for her continuing work with the School Council. Children have opportunities at School Council to discuss issues important to them and to decide and plan on future activities and events. Mr Neil Gammon takes over as Governor with special responsibility for Safeguarding and has now completed his training.
In addition to checking the Year End Figures and Approving the Draft Budget, The F&R Committee were updated regarding the current Admissions. Twenty eight new Reception children are due to join us in September which is a very pleasing and healthy number.
An e-safety meeting has been arranged for Parents/carers on Monday 20th June at 2pm in the school hall. We would encourage all Parents/carers to support this event. This is always a really informative session especially when we consider all the current pressures on our young people presented by social media etc. I have written to you separately regarding the results of the parent Questionnaire via ParentMail and is communicated on our school website. Please look at the results if you can. By the end of term Mr Mallon will report to Governors on the Year 2015-16, evaluate our progress towards our school priorities (School Self Evaluation Doc.) and in conjunction with staff draft the School Improvement Plan
for 2016-17. During these last few weeks of term Governors will be making their termly visits to school. These visits are carefully planned to help Governors gain more knowledge about the day to day life of the school. It is always a delight to see the many and varied activities planned and delivered to our children and the challenge, motivation and inspiration evident throughout the school. Sue Gray, Chair of Governors.
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Governor News...

Thank you to those Parents who have returned their Questionnaires. We value your comments and Mr Mallon will share the results in due course. This month our Committees will be approving year-end figures. We will be looking at our draft Budget for 2016-17 for approval at our FGB meeting in May. In addition we have been looking at children’s progress and attainment and how pupil premium and sports premium monies are spent. Our Governors continue to visit school to challenge and support school improvement. Our recent JARV (Joint Annual Report Visit) conducted by our Hertfordshire Improvement Partner (HIP) was excellent. We look forward to another busy term and wish all our children well in their SATs in May. Best wishes Sue Gray - Chair of Governors.
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Governor news...

Our Admissions Committee have met to rank applications for Reception 2016 -17 intake. Governor visits have taken place providing opportunities to see the school in action. Governors report back to their respective committee on the work that they see and this ensures that our work continues to be relevant and targeted. Our H&S Governors have completed their termly Audit and will report on their findings at their next meeting this month. In addition, I visit the school on a weekly basis. Our Governor meetings this term are as follows:

Learning and Pupil Progress – 29th February

Finance and Resources – 7th March

Full Governing Body – 14th March

Governors will be available during the Parent Consultation Evenings to be held on 23/24th March. Please do come and speak to us raising any queries or comments. It is good to have feedback on the work we are doing. Our Parent Questionnaire will be distributed shortly. Sue Gray - Chair of Governors.

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Governor News...

The Finance and Resources Committee met on 20th January to review and approve the figures for November and December. Once again, I am pleased to report that the school is in a healthy financial position through prudent spending and therefore has been able to increase staffing for Year 6 to provide additional intervention and booster sessions for our pupils in line with the priorities set out in the School Improvement Plan. At this meeting we were also able to approve the draft of the Schools Financial Value Standard. This document is a mandatory requirement for maintained schools and provides a set of questions where Governors can discuss with the school how our finances are managed. There have been Governor visits made to the school by Dr Matt James (Chair of LPP Committee), Keith Thompson (Buildings, Health & Safety) and Emma Broughton (e-Safety & Website). Our two new Governors Neil Gammon and Rachel Stringer are booked on Governor Induction this term. The Full Governing Body met on 26th January. At this meeting, with guidance from Mathew James, we were able to follow up on the training that the Governing Body received on Understanding School Performance Data. Mr Mallon also reported to the FGB on the progress made by the school towards the School Improvement Plan. This included a plan for improving writing and provision for the Most Able. With best wishes, Sue Gray - Chair of Governors.

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Spring Term Governor News

During December the Governing Body received training from the Herts for Learning Governance Team focussing on Understanding School Performance Data. This was a really valuable session, reminding us all of our role in monitoring the progress of our pupils to ensure that none fall behind, or underachieve. Each Governor made at least one visit to the school during the Autumn term. The results of these visits are fed into committee meetings, helping to ensure that Governors have good knowledge of the school, and to enable them to use their skills and expertise often gained from ‘other walks of life’ to support and challenge in its journey forwards. Our first Full Governing Board meeting is on 26th January 2016 and, as always, I invite you to contribute to our meetings by giving feedback and/or raising issues that may help us in our work.Sue Gray, Chair of Governors.

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New Governors

We welcome two new Parent Governors to our team, Neil Gammon and Rachel Stringer to replace Penny Howes and Louise Golding. I look forward to working alongside both of them in the Learning and Pupil Progress Committee and at Full Governor meetings. They will be visiting the school for the first time in their new capacity during the Spring Term. Many of our children will see them around the school and hopefully, talk to them about what it is like to be a pupil at St Michaels!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank both Louise and Penny for their hard work on behalf of the Governors. Louise kick- started and has continued to support the development of the new website which I think we would all agree is a great asset. Penny has been involved with the school in so many ways over the years since she was first appointed as a Governor but most recently you may have seen her involved with the music of the school playing the piano both in church and during school Collective Worship. My thanks go to them both, we will miss them!

 

 

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Governor New Year wishes...

As our celebrations of Christmas settle down and become memories, may I take this opportunity to wish you and all the members of the school a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year. The school has a clear improvement plan in place for 2016. The Governors, alongside the staff, will continue to work hard to support and challenge the school to achieve the five priority areas as set out in the plan. Sue Gray, Chair of Governors.

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Governor news...

Our Finance and Resources Committee met on 9th November to review and approve the month end figures for Sept/Oct, to approve the funding provided by the Sports Premium, for Children Most Able and for the delivery of the School’s Writing Plan. I am pleased to report that the School’s finances are in good shape, that the money we receive is well spent and that resources are well managed. The school’s budget is clearly linked to the School Improvement Plan (SIP) with both Pupil Premium monies and Sports Premium impacting on the targeted pupils and the wider school respectively. These are detailed on the School’s website. The Appraisal Policy was approved and the Draft Admissions Policy (2017-18) was submitted to County for approval. 

The Full Governing Body met on November 18th where the Committee chairs reported on the work undertaken this term so far and Mr Mallon reported on progress towards the 5 school priority targets. There have been several Governor Visits to school this month.  Each visit is designed to have a focus linked to the SIP. This month there have been visits observing Most Able Provision, e-safety, safeguarding and SEND. Following each visit Governors submit a report to their sub-committee for discussion.  As a result of the safeguarding visit the Annual Report and Audit were submitted to County.

You will have seen that there are two vacancies for Parent Governors.  I would encourage any parent/carer who can offer their skills and expertise to come and join our Governing Body. We aim to be an integral part of the School joining with Senior Leaders, parents and pupils in helping to raise standards for all. A very worthy cause designed to make a direct impact on pupil progress!

Finally, the Governors welcomed the opportunity to meet many parents at the two Parent Consultation Evenings. Thank you to all who spoke to us on either of these evenings.  Your feedback helps both the Governors and the school to continue to develop.

With good wishes, Sue Gray; Chair of Governors.

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Governors' News...

The Governors are in full swing with the Learning and Pupil Progress Committee and the Finance and Resources Committee both meeting this month. We have focussed our work on the five priorities identified by the School Improvement Plan. We are reviewing our pupil progress and attainment data form 2014-15, our plans for 2015-16 and the funding and
resources to support these plans. There have been several Governor Visits into school this month focusing on a broad range of subjects from Maths, Writing, Health and Safety, Buildings to Safeguarding and SEND. Governors have been in class getting a real taste of the work our children are doing. Governors continue to review and adopt policies as and when they are due. All Governors attended one of the Parent Consultation evenings and I do hope we had an opportunity to meet you there. It has been a busy half term with our new children settling in well to school. I hope you had an enjoyable half term holiday and I look forward to meeting many of you next half term.  Sue Gray, Chair.
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Governor News...

Our first meeting of the year involved the election of Chair and Vice- Chair, and I am pleased to say that Sue Roberts agreed to continue to act as Vice–Chair and I agreed to continue as Chair. The two Committees (Learning and Pupil Progress, Finance and Resources) will meet over the next few weeks and our ‘Roles and Responsibilities’ for the coming year agreed. Janice Allen continues as Clerk to the Governors and with her help and support we hope to continue to lead the school into the next phase of our development. We welcomed Dr Stephen Long onto the Governing Body at our first meeting in September. He is to join the Learning and Pupil Progress Committee.  His experience in the field of Education and Science will be very much valued and appreciated by Governors and the School.

Our theme this year is very much about continuing to create and develop a culture sufficiently aspirational to enable pupils of all abilities to forge ahead.  To this end we have agreed on 5 Main Priorities for the Year:

  • To embed new Leadership roles to drive forward effective school improvement in the light of the national changes in education so that the school continues its journey from Good to Outstanding
  • To ensure all teaching continues to be good and increase the number of outstanding lessons
  • To enhance the provision for most able pupils from Reception year across the School. To extend opportunities for independent enriched learning
  • To ensure all pupils make substantial and sustained progress in writing by the end of the academic year
  • To continue to develop the distinctive Christian Ethos of the School.

Mr Mallon has presented to the Staff and Governors a detailed plan of how these priorities are to be achieved.  Governors will use these as our focus during the year.

 

As I write this the sun is streaming in the window and my wish is for this continue, if only in a metaphorical sense, throughout the year through the work that both the Staff and Governors do for the School.

 

Regards and best wishes, Sue Gray, Chair of Governors.

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Governor news...

The Learning and Pupil Progress Committee met on 3rd June with a full and exciting agenda to work through. Mrs Rawson updated the Governors on Literacy issues. I am pleased to say she was able to paint a very positive picture with pupils' making excellent progress with their writing. The development of writing in all classes was the School's Priority Area 2 for this year. Our progress was moderated externally and an outstanding report on pupils' attainment in writing resulted. Writing in RE books is particularly strong. Mr Mallon and Dr James reported on the progress of pupils in Numeracy. Once again, I am pleased to say that many new initiatives/resources have been put in place this year and pupil progress is good. We are expecting the SATs results for our Year 6 pupils next week and Mr Mallon will be able to provide parents with a full breakdown of these for our own pupils and how they compare with other similar schools nationally. Governors are required to scrutinise the progress data of all pupils in school to ensure that all pupils are making substantial and sustained progress (OFSTED wording!) At our meeting we agreed the best way to complete this task so that Governors can challenge and support the school in an appropriate and effective manner. I am pleased to report that our current data indicates that the majority of our pupils are making excellent progress. Parents will be aware that the Government have introduced new assessment criteria over the last year which effectively assesses pupils' deep knowledge and understanding. This is a change in emphasis from the previous assessment criteria. It was agreed at this meeting that Mr Mallon would extend his monitoring of behaviour to include the recording of good 'Behaviours for Learning' so that we can continue to build on good practice. The introduction of the core values each month have been really helpful with guiding pupil behaviour. Mrs Fincham reported to the meeting on the variety of school visits on offer. By the end of term all classes will have had the opportunity to attend a trip.  These vary from trips to: PGL (Residential for Year 6) , Fairlands Valley, Cuffley Camp, Harry Potter Studios, Bekonscot Model Village, St Albans Abbey and Knebworth House. The end of term is busy for Governors. The Learning and Pupil Progress Committee meet on June 29th, The Finance and Resources Committee on 6th July and the Full Governing Body on 13th July. Towards the end of term I will send to you the Governors Report to Parents for the Year 2014-15. Please do give me feedback on our work in/with the school. Positive comments help too!! Sue Gray, Chair Of Governors. 

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Governor news...

At our Full Governing Body meeting on 19th May we were very pleased to welcome a new Co-opted Governor, Emma Broughton, onto the Committee.  Emma brings with her a wealth of experience and many skills gained from her professional life which has largely been spent in the field of retail. Our main Agenda item at this meeting was the approval of the budget for 2015-16. Mr Mallon presented Governors with a draft budget where all new contracts and proposed staffing were accounted for. Governors were pleased to be able to approve this. The next step is for the school to evaluate the current provision for our pupils and formulate an Improvement Plan for the year 2015-16 within the constraints of the budget. This will be presented to Governors in our July meeting for approval and then to staff at the beginning of the Autumn Term. Sue Gray, Chair of Governors.
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Year 6 to PGL

Governors wish all children in Year 6 a safe and exciting trip to PGL this week. We look forward to hearing all about it upon their return.

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Contacting Governors

The Parent/carer questionnaire continues to highlight that some parents are not sure how to contact Governors. Governors attend Parent Consultation Evenings and other main school events. Our photographs are on the school noticeboard and either Mrs Allen or Mr Mallon will pass on our details if you wish to contact any of us. Mathew James is Chair of the LPP Committee, Matthew Barfield, Chair of the FRC Committee and I, undersigned, am Chair of the Full Governing Body. Each Governor has a link area best fitted to their skill and prior experience and Mrs Allen, Clerk to the Governors, will direct you in the right direction if you have a query or comment. The Governors welcome feedback from the Parent Body so please do not hesitate to contact us. The majority of parents reported that they are aware of the role the Governors play in school. We have worked hard to ensure that this is the case and will continue to do so. Sue Gray.

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Governor News Apr-May 2015

Both Governor Committees met during April and May. The Learning and Pupil Progress Committee considered, in detail, the latest pupil progress data and I am pleased to report that this indicates that, once again, we are having a very successful year with many pupils making more than expected progress over the last two terms. This is due to the hard work and outstanding skills of our teaching and support staff.  Governors would like to thank them for their hard work, skill and dedication in the classroom. 
For the first time we have been monitoring behaviour trends in school during the lunchtime break.  This monitoring process will now be developed and extended to include lesson time.  School continue to report to Governors on Attendance and Safeguarding issues. 
The Finance and Resources Committee have been focussing on a review of the Year End figures (to March 31st 2015), giving our initial consideration to a Draft Budget for next year (2015-16) and the approval of both the School Fund Accounts and the DFC Accounts (2014-15).  Mrs Allen prepared these documents for the FRC's approval at our meeting on 6th May.  Our thanks go to her for completing this task for Governors, no mean feat!
A Health and Safety Audit ( Fire Regs.) was completed for County by Keith Thompson.  Our thanks to him for a very thorough piece of work.  Actions have been identified following this review. 
We have had fantastic feedback about the new website.  This will be regularly updated to keep you informed, so keep an eye on all the 'Hot Reminders' and the Blogs! 
I continue to look forward to meeting you at school events. Please do introduce yourself! Best wishes, Sue gray.
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Governors' update...

Thank you to those Parents who have returned their Questionnaires. We value your comments and Mr Mallon will share the results in due course. This month our Committees will be approving year-end figures, and looking at our draft Budget for 2015/16 for approval at our meeting in May. We have been looking at children’s progress and attainment and how pupil premium and sports premium monies are spent. Our Governors continue to visit school to challenge and support school improvement. Our recent JARV (Joint Annual Report Visit) conducted by our Hertfordshire Improvement Partner was excellent. We look forward to another busy term and wish all our children well in their SATs in May. Best wishes, Sue Gray - Chair of Governors.
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