Governing Body Newsletter – Autumn 2016

School Expansion
It was with considerable pride that a week before term started in September Mrs Driver and her team took back possession of our transformed school in time for the start of the new academic year. What has been clear is that while the summer term was very hard work for everyone at the school maintaining the standards we expect in the midst of a building programme, the first half term of this year may have been in many ways just as difficult. The Governing Body wishes to express its thanks to all the staff of the school who took an empty shell on the 31 August and transformed it into a warm, safe and welcoming school by the middle of the following week. While the two new reception classrooms, six further new classrooms, the new ICT suite and the activity studio may be the most externally impressive sign of the development, the step change in appearance of the old building is just as impressive. Many thanks to everyone at the school who has worked so tirelessly for the last two years to seeing this project from inception to delivery. Wilmott Dixon are also worthy of mention. Under the site management of Jack Wells, and there is more on Jack below, WD worked to the high standards and requirements asked of them and have delivered on their promised specifications and timescales.

With 289 children currently on the school register and this forecast to rise to more than 400 children in the next six years, the pressure of expansion now needs to be accommodated in the rest of the school. The first of these next steps took place the week before and during the recent Half Term holiday when the school kitchen was gutted and re-equipped with the higher capacity catering equipment necessary to meet the needs of our growing roll of hungry children. What the redevelopment of the inside of our original building and the standards and finish of the new building have also brought into sharp relief is the external condition of the old building. The school has commissioned condition surveys of the windows, cladding and the roof of the old building and we submitted our works request to Herts County Council on the 3 October on the basis of improving the energy efficiency of the school and matching the visual appearance of the new building. If we are successful in our application, we hope that the work will be scheduled to happen next academic year.

Governor changes
Following governor elections held September, we are pleased to announce that Alison Wood and Andrew Fennemore have been elected as Parent Governors of our school. Alison is Mum to Dan (Year 3 Maple) and Joe (Year 2 Pine) and has been previously found feverishly wrapping presents with the pupils in the Secret Present room at Winter Wonderland! With a background in Secondary Education and a current advisory role at Herts for  Learning the school will no doubt benefit from her experience supporting the children, staff, parents and community of William Ransom.

Andrew is at the beginning of his relationship with our school with a son who has just started in Reception and little girl who will join the school in a few years. Having lived in Hitchin for about six years, he has seen the school grow and change over the last year and feels passionately about helping the school maintain its outstanding record and to make the most of our fabulous new facilities. As Andrew has said, “most important to me is supporting everyone who has an interest in William Ransom – children, staff and the community alike. I've got a lot to learn, but I'll approach it with enthusiasm!”

We also welcome Jack Wells as a co-opted governor to the school. As a Senior Building Manager for Wilmott Dixon and with a degree in construction management, Jack brings a wealth of experience to the Governing Body and a particular set of skills which we will find invaluable on our Premises Committee. As the Wilmott Dixon site manager of our new school extension, Jack has already forged a great working relationship with Mrs Driver and Mr Burrows and the delivery on time of the school redevelopment is in no small part due to Jack’s commitment to the project. We welcome you all to the Governing Body.

SPA – Winter Wonderland
Now that the clocks have gone back and Bonfire night is safely over for another year it is naturally time for our annual Christmas Extravaganza. This year Winter Wonderland will be held on Saturday 19 November. Santa’s helpers will be navigating the children on the Santa express to a new Grotto in our fantastic new school layout while the Secret Present Room and Gift, Craft, Games and Food stalls all offer a super opportunity to start Christmas gift shopping and to get into the festive spirit. As ever we are very grateful to the SPA who put in considerable effort to make sure Winter Wonderland is always a super day. Your Governors will be applying great craft in the art of tea making manning the tea bar. Please come and find us for something to drink alongside your purchases from the legendary cake stall or if you simply wish to meet and chat with your Governing Body.

Extra-curricular activities
Congratulations to everyone who has represented the school in any recent event. In particular well done to our Lacrosse team, English National Champions 2016, after their successes at the national finals in Sheffield at the end of last academic year.

Our thanks as always to the teachers and teaching assistants who give up their own time to organise and attend these activities and also to all the parents and supports who made the journey up to Sheffield to cheer on our team.

Our Neighbourhood
Please be mindful of our neighbours, when dropping off and collecting from school, by not blocking the pathways or parking across driveways. Thank you.

We hope this newsletter has been of interest to you. Please email us with any questions or comments at