Image showing an Autumn poem display
Image showing an Autumn poem display
Fynamore Primary School
Fynamore Primary School

Governors' Annual Statement 2015-2016

Introduction

In broad terms a school Governing Body has three key functions. To:

  1. Determine school ethos, vision for the future, and strategic direction;
  2. Hold school leaders to account for the performance of pupils and the management of staff performance;
  3. Ensure school finances are well spent.

Fynamore’s Governing Body consists of two committees, all volunteers, who meet termly, work together with teachers, and listens to parents and pupils to ensure the school meets statutory obligations. Collectively, and with an additional termly meeting of the Full Governing Body, we oversee continuous efforts to improve the education and support provided to our young people.

 

During 2015-2016 the school faced new challenges from changes both within and from outside the school.

 

In the previous Annual Statement from Governors, the Body’s specific Improvement Aims for 2015-2016 stated:

 

The school leadership team (SLT) is constantly trying to improve and develop the school.

 

Ongoing and future areas for targeting in 2015-16 include: 

  • Induction of the new Headteacher;
  • Embedding and supporting the new leadership team;
  • Working together on developing the School Vision;
  • Developing the key behaviour principles and policies;
  • The Chair of Governors' Leadership Development Programme;
  • Governor development and creating role descriptors;
  • ICT, including developing the use of 'Yammer';
  • Researching the principles of Academy status and what this would look like for Fynamore."

Below is a summary of how Governors have addressed these aims, and sets out future aims.

 

Induction of the New Headteacher

September 2015 heralded a significant change for Fynamore Primary School with the retirement of Mrs Carolyn Maddox and the appointment of Mr Thomas Brewer as the new Headteacher. The Governing Body worked collaboratively alongside Mr Brewer and the staff to ensure that the transition went as smoothly as possible for our pupils and staff.  

The Governing Body began supporting Mr Brewer in his first year as Headteacher by ensuring that a link was set up with an experienced local Head to act as mentor and 'critical friend'. Working with the Headteacher, we also identified other external support requirements to ensure the best transition possible. We also set and monitored rigorous objectives around behaviour, outstanding teaching and learning, and the school vision.

The Governing Body also set out to support and challenge the School Improvement Plan (SIP) to ensure that it provided for the best outcomes for our pupils. This has now been transformed into a dynamic tool used across the whole school.

 

Embedding and Supporting the New Leadership Team

Another challenge faced by the Governing Body in September 2015 was new personnel on the Leadership Team. We welcomed Mr David Cook as our new Deputy Headteacher, and Mrs Legg and Mrs Hurst were appointed as Lower KS2 and Upper KS2 Team Leaders.

 

The Governing Body oversaw their induction into their new roles and ensured that the Leadership Team were given adequate non-teaching time to be able to carry out their leadership duties effectively.

 

Governors took part in classroom visits, lesson experiences and anonymous pupil work scrutinies, as part of both overall monitoring and evaluation, to ensure that there was continuity in the standards and expectations of the new Leadership Team and across the staff as a whole.

 

The Monitoring and Evaluation Committee held termly meetings with the Deputy Headteacher and Mrs Hurst to review anonymous data reflecting performance and progress of children across all years. Identified issues were challenged and any required interventions put into practice were monitored for effectiveness and outcome.

 

Working Together on Developing the School Vision

One of the first initiatives that the Governing Body supported the new Leadership Team with was the creation of a new School Vision. This involved collecting the views of the whole school community - the pupils, parents, staff and Governors – to create a shared vision of what Fynamore is striving to be. This resulted in the new School Vision:

 

Here, at Fynamore Primary School, we strive to provide a secure, stimulating environment which develops unique talents for every individual, leading to an absolute passion for limitless life-long learning! At Fynamore, we prepare children for their future, they will become independent, self-confident and exceed all expectations.

 

The creation of the School Vision was a truly collaborative affair, with everyone's voice being heard. Post-it boards were set up in the playground to collect the views of parents and pupils were consulted about what they wanted Fynamore to be and what was important to them. A board in the staffroom ensured that all members of staff could express their ideas and opinions, and Governors' views were sought at meetings. The result was a culmination of several months of work and we feel it really reflects the principles and values of all at Fynamore Primary School.

 

Once the Vision was set, the Governing Body supported the School Leadership Team in creating a logo and strapline that would reflect our values and ambitions. The pupils were set the challenge of creating this logo, with a snappy strapline. The standard of ideas submitted was extremely high. The Governing Body believe that our eye-catching new logo really promotes the fact that Fynamore is "...The School Where Pupils Shine".

 

Developing the Key Behaviour Principles and Policies 

A new school Behaviour Policy was developed, guided by behaviour principles set by Governors, including a “child speak” version created with input from School Council, to promote a shared understanding of Fynamore’s high expectations. This has resulted in a significant reduction of behaviour incidents throughout the year, and helped create a more positive learning environment for all, with further supportive initiatives continuing to be developed by school and monitored by Governors.

 

The Chair of Governors Leadership Development Programme 

It is critical that all Governors are committed to their personal development to ensure best practice and that they stay on message and focused. It is the Chair's responsibility to make sure the Governing Body is effective. To review our practices, we secured a bursary for a 15 month Chair development programme to critique all areas of leadership and governance. Through feedback and collaborative school-based activities on being a leader, working as a team and improving Governor monitoring systems, the course was successfully completed in January 2016. The impact, which was documented in full in a dissertation-like assessment, included:

  • Clearly understood and refined roles and responsibilities suited to Governor's strengths;
  • Skilled team bolstered by skills-based recruitment;
  • Greater capacity for delegated leadership and succession;
  • Greater (shared) expertise and a fairer distribution of work;
  • A focus on impact, Governor and staff understanding of improvement journey;
  • Improved transparency and communication with parents and staff

Governor Development and Creating Role Descriptors

This year saw three new Governors appointed to the Body, on the basis of skills they could bring to the two committees, including IT, finance and change management skills, with the result that the Body is now at full capacity. Governors collectively attend a number of training courses annually in order to be experts in their own field. Governors undertook a range of training courses or Continuing Professional Development (CPD) relevant to their roles in school eg. New Governor Training, Pupil Premium, British Values. etc., which enabled the provision of strong support to the Head Teacher and Senior Management Team in all the challenges the school faces, and informed Governor monitoring visits and challenge. A Role descriptor for the Pupil Premium Link Governor was provided at the start of the year, with roll out of others ongoing.   

 

ICT, Including Developing the use of “Yammer”

The School’s new “Twitter” account, approved by Governors last year, saw an increase in “followers” to 102, offering them a view of some of the special activities undertaken during the school day, for example when pupils and staff dressed up as their favourite Roald Dahl character for World Book Day, and provided commentary on pupils’ daily activities whilst away on residential trips. 

 

Governors completed an annual audit of the school’s website which ensures successful compliance with the school’s statutory obligations such as: reporting to parents on Pupil Premium and PE grant spending; giving details of provision for pupils with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND); and providing information on School Admissions, Policies and Ofsted reports.

 

Researching the Principles of Academy Status and what this would look like for Fynamore

New proposals for legislation by the Government in April/May 2016 required Governors to look again at the question of whether becoming an Academy by joining a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) could lead to better outcomes for pupils. A “task and finish” group was formed that completed an analysis of the school’s strengths and weaknesses with a view to identifying what the school should look for in a collaborative partner and what benefits such an arrangement would have for our pupils. Since then Government policy has changed again, removing the urgency of a decision on the matter, however the Governing Body continues to monitor the situation closely and actively explore options.

 

Ensuring School Finances Are Well Spent

School finances are regularly monitored and a Finance Governor has delegated responsibilities for checks, balances and benchmarking. 

 

In particular, The Physical Education Grant (PE Grant) money is spent on a variety of initiatives including employment of sports coaches during school lunch hour. Please click below for details:

 

Physical Education Grant: Actual Spend and Evaluation 2015-16

 

Pupil Premium Grant (PPG) - For the first time, the school employed a dedicated Pupil Premium Learning Mentor (PPLM) funded by PPG money to provide additional supported learning initiatives where needed in school. It became clear that one person alone would be unable to meet all current needs, so a second, part-time PPLM, specific to KS1 needs, was appointed in May.  The impact of this spending is reflected in two key areas:

  1. Anonymized progress and attainment scores for all pupils in Reading, Writing and Maths as reported to Governors, reflected similar levels of performance by pupils for whom the Grant money is claimed as for all other pupils, contrary to findings in Government reports.
  2. A variety of support initiatives aimed at addressing a range of emotional and behavioural needs has helped individual pupils feel more content at school and able to engage in lessons, and the school to create a positive learning environment for all, as evidenced by feedback from the Parent Survey issued by Governors in July.

Further details of PPG spending and impact evaluation can be found on this link:

 

Pupil Premium Review or Expenditure and Evaluation 2015-16.

 

Transparency and Engagement

At Fynamore, we welcome the views and opinions of our parents/carers, pupils and staff as it is an essential part in the school improvement process. Good, timely communication between home and school also helps us to provide the best possible education for our pupils.

In July 2016, Governors prepared a parents/carers questionnaire requesting feedback on a range of areas shaped around the Ofsted Parent View. A summary of the main findings, seen below, were shared with everyone in the New Year and the feedback we received continues to inform school improvements.


Summary of Parent Questionnaire, 2016
A record number 104 people took part in the survey with some positive results:

• 98% would recommend this school to other parents
• 96% feel their child is happy at school
• 97% feel their child is safe at school
• 91% feel their child makes good progress at school
• 95% feel their child is well looked after
• 94% feel their child is taught well
• 80% feel their child receives appropriate homework
• 85% feel the school makes sure its pupils are well behaved
• 90% feel the school is well managed
• 79% feel the school responds well to concerns that are made
• 83% feel they receive information from the school about their child’s progress
• 86% feel the school communicates well

 

Future Improvement

At Fynamore, staff and Governors are dedicated to providing and improving opportunities for all pupils to succeed, both at school and by preparing them for life-long learning, and have high aspirations for the school’s future development. Governors aim to ensure continuing progress towards the best possible outcomes for all pupils.

 

Thus the aims for Governors for 2016-2017 will include:

  • Setting relentless expectations for excellent teaching, learning and outcomes
  • Ensuring rich curriculum opportunities for pupils;
  • Supporting the Leadership team to develop whole school capacity and resilience;
  • Preparing for OFSTED by supporting and challenging the school on its journey to Outstanding;
  • Continuing to improve the Governing Body’s knowledge and familiarity of school strengths and weaknesses through a timetable of regular school visits;
  • Focusing school visits on the School Improvement Priorities;
  • Raising the visibility of Governors in school so pupils and parents know who they are, making them more approachable;
  • Strengthening Governor / staff relationships by participation in formal and informal activities (eg. attending staff training days, Calne Lantern Parade etc.);
  • Actively exploring the opportunities and risks of joining or starting a Multi Academy Trust;
  • Continuing to seek stakeholder views e.g. through attendance at School Council and parent surveys

 

PREVIOUS YEARS' ANNUAL STATEMENTS

 

You can read previous years' Annual Statements by clicking below:

 

Governors' Annual Statement 2014-2015

 

Governors' Annual Statement 2013-2014

 

Latest Newsletter

For the latest Newsletter please click here.

  • Happy Summer Holiday! Have a great break. Thanks to children, staff and parents for their support this year. See you all in September!

 

Latest News

House Cup Results

Friday, 14 July 2017: 

Weekly Cup Winners:

BOSWELL

Termly Cup Winners:

BOSWELL

Yearly Cup Winners:

HARRIS

CONGRATULATIONS!

 

Recent Events in School

Including the Award Assembly and a message from the Headteacher.

Click here for details and photos. 

 

Upcoming Events 

Tue 5 Sep: New term starts

Tue 5 Sep: YR drop-in sessions

Click here for more events.

School telephone number:

01249 810090

School address:

School Road, Calne,

Wiltshire, SN11 9UG

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