Meetings and Training
Our meetings this term have been somewhat disrupted by the weather, with all the sub-committees having to change dates. We are though very grateful the school has only had to close in exceptional circumstances and for all the hard work which took place on those days to ensure that ‘normal service’ could be resumed as quickly as possible.
In addition to our usual meetings, all members of the Governing Body have undertaken an evening training session on preparing for an Ofsted visit. This was a useful exercise in ensuring that we can evidence the extent to which we are engaged in the school development plans, that we scrutinise and challenge the school performance and are fully engaged in supporting Mrs Driver and all her colleagues. Who knows when the next Ofsted inspection will take place, we always need to be prepared, as we will receive very little notice of a visit!
Part of our scrutiny this term has been the examination of ‘RAISEonline’ data, which provides details about the performance of children within the school. We take anonymised data and challenge Mrs Driver and the leadership team on why children in the school achieve particular results, what support is given to those who need extra help, and how those with particular talents are supported to achieve even better. The Governors undertake this role as it is no longer performed by the local authority and we believe that if we are to sustain the success of the school, then detailed analysis of this data is essential. This was a useful and constructive evening, enabling the Governors opportunity to ask detailed questions, whilst also congratulating the Leadership team on achieving such excellent results.
Supporting Children with English as an Additional Language
At our first meeting in January, we were delighted to have a presentation from Miss Khela on Supporting Children with English as an Additional Language. For the Governing Body it is not only understanding how the make up of the school is changing over time:
– Nearly a quarter of pupils on average at William Ransom are from a minority ethic group, with nearly a third in year 1
– Just over 9% do not have English as their first language with nearly 16% again in year 1
but more importantly, it is the approach the school takes to having such a diverse school population, which really matters.
Each child’s individual needs are assessed so that if there is a difference in an approach to learning, this can be supported and the work tailored to meet those needs.
The benefits for all the children can be seen in the way the school takes full advantage of the fact that, for example, all the main faith groups are represented in the school; that subjects such as modern languages, geography, music, drama and cooking are enhanced by the real life experiences of children and their parents. And the support which all the children give to those from other countries less fortunate than themselves has a new meaning.
With so many negative headlines about diversity within schools, the Governing Body completely endorse the approach the school takes to use the many unique experiences of children and families at William Ransom to best advantage, and to celebrate such diversity.
Congratulations to the school for the award of the Gold School Travel plan, awarded to schools who have shown a long term commitment to their travel plan and in their work to encourage children to walk to school.
Primary School Places
We have been watching with interest the proposed establishment of a ‘Free School’ in Hitchin, as well as the contentious decision to expand Samuel Lucas School. As we have consistently had high numbers of applicants to the school — 211 this year with only 38 places available, we are mindful of the need to consider how we fit into this picture of increasing demand for places.
Wymondley Road crossing
Please support the Wymondley Road crossing campaign!
We hope this newsletter has been of interest but please do let us know what you think by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org