Having met twice already this term, the Governors have been busy behind the scenes, hearing about progress in the school, and making decisions which will hopefully lead to further successes and positive developments for the future.

On behalf of the Governors, I would like to welcome all the new pupils, who have joined our community across the school, and their families. Ours is a welcoming, friendly school, with a great track record, so we hope that you will all be happy here! We are lucky to have such a dynamic and dedicated staff at our school, including the head teacher, teachers, pupil support staff, teaching assistants, student teachers, administrators, caretaker and cleaners, and they all certainly deserve our thanks and appreciation, not least for accommodating all our new youngsters, but also for all the hard work they put in on a daily basis.

When I last wrote in March of this year, we predicted that there would be 185 pupils in the school. We actually have 187, so that was an accurate forecast, and you will be aware that in order to accommodate and educate the children in appropriately sized classes, we took the decision to divide the school into seven classes from Reception to Class 6 from September onwards. Our intention has always been to work towards providing seven classrooms, and whilst the division of our largest classroom into two smaller spaces has achieved this in the short term, Governors have been working hard to provide a more acceptable, longer term use of space.

As many of you are aware, we have worked closely with the Church PCC over the past year, in an effort to secure planning permission for a new temporary classroom to be erected on the site of the Church Room. This, however, did not meet with district planners’ approval, and we turned our attention to the school site itself. Economic constraints mean that we have had to think creatively in order to come up with an affordable solution, and I am pleased to tell you that, at our meeting this week, Governors voted in favour of applying to install a new, temporary classroom on the bottom playground. Whilst some play space will be sacrificed to facilitate this, it will not encroach very far, and we felt that greater benefit would be derived from appropriate classroom spaces in which the children can learn effectively. The PCC remains very supportive of our school, and we thank them firstly for their very kind offer to lease the land to us, and also for their extremely generous donation towards installing a new classroom.

In addition to discussions regarding school numbers and buildings, Governors have been busy in many other aspects of school life. In these times of economic constraints, we have needed to plan the school budget very carefully, so my thanks to the Finance Committee for that. Governors are always reviewing less obvious, but nonetheless important areas of concern, such as making necessary improvements to the toilets, and looking closely at the provision of school lunches, as well as looking at our main purpose of educating our youngsters, whilst providing a rich and rewarding curriculum. Our intention is to keep everything under review, so rest-assured that we are not complacent, and would welcome your comments and feedback on any aspect of school life.

Most parents will have attended their children’s feedback meetings with teachers this week. It is important to maintain an active dialogue between staff and families, and for information to be passed in both directions. Governors also monitor pupil progress each term and throughout the year. We are kept well-informed in terms of pupil tracking and the success or otherwise of our strategic initiatives to maintain and improve performance across the school. Parents will be aware that all staff use tracker-sheets to achieve this close monitoring, along with careful differentiation and frequent discussion among colleagues. To that end, we hope that all pupils, parents, staff and Governors feel involved in, and aware of their own performance, and the overall successes within the school.

In addition to our rich curriculum in school, our students benefit from a range of additional activities, and all pupils have the opportunity to participate in outdoor activities and trips. Many of our pupils have, for example already travelled to far-flung places to see battleships and galleons this term, as well as taking part in sailing lessons, music lessons, clubs and assemblies. I hope, therefore, that you will agree that ours is an active and exciting school, and a rewarding place to be involved in.

Victoria Laney-Hubbard

Chair of Governors