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Governors Annual Report to Parents 2016 - 2017

Governors Annual Report to Parents 2016 - 2017

Our Lady’s Governing Body is made up of Foundation Governors appointed by the Diocese of Nottingham, an elected Staff Governor and two Parent Governors. Each term there is a meeting of the full Governing Body and meetings of its three committees – Finance and General Purposes, Strategic Development and Pupil and Personnel. This year saw a number of changes to the Governing Body. Judith Traynor and Sean Queally came to the end of their terms of office after serving our school as governors for 30 and 14 years respectively. We also bid farewell to Russel Donoghue, Jothy Kandiah and Fr Gerry Murphy. We have appointed a new elected parent governor this year, Ms Ruth Pender, who brings with her a wealth of HR experience. We have also appointed Fr John Martin as foundation governor with responsibility for the Catholic life of the school.

The Governing Body undertakes the organisation of admissions to the school. We were again oversubscribed with 81 applications for Reception. There were 213 pupils on roll in the main school 2016-17, a significant number from minority ethnic groups.

The governors have monitored the school through meetings, visits and from Headteacher reports and statistics. We have checked all pupil progress regularly, for example the value of the Pupil premium expenditure.

The year 2016-17 was also a time of some staffing changes. We bid farewell to Mr Andrew Rotherham who completed his first year of teaching with us and has now returned to his home town of Birmingham.

It was with great regret that we accepted the resignation of Miss Teresa Kirwin at the end of the summer term as she begins her well earned retirement. 

The Governing Body has been happy with the quality of teaching throughout the school; our aim is for it all to continue to be good or outstanding.  The governors make sure that all staff receive Safeguarding training and checks annually. The governors monitor the Single Central record regularly and the designated governor for safeguarding is Andrea Cockram. The Governing Body was pleased to observe that our Teaching Assistants were providing high quality support across the school.

The Governing Body continued to improve the school buildings and equipment.  The Finance and General purposes committee budgeted carefully and observed correct tendering procedures to enable us to undertake some building work over the summer to both the dining room and main entrance to school.

The academic achievement of all our children was very good and compared well nationally. Our KS2 results in mathematics places us in the top 10% of schools nationally and in the top 20% for writing. The governors were also pleased to hear that our former pupils have performed well in examinations at Trinity School.

The governors felt that the curriculum of the school was  exciting this year with many exciting enrichment activities planned for all classes - we were particulalry impressed with the 'Super Sonic Science Day'.  Maths was a focus for the whole school, in particular using a mastery approach to the teaching of mathematics. This has certainly paind off with 48% of our KS2 pupils attaining the higher level in the subject.

We noted that the children with EAL were struggling when they arrived at school but that they had made dramatic improvements by the end of the year. We monitored all our vulnerable groups carefully and were satisfied that the school was helping them appropriately. The care of our SEN children was outstanding.

The Governing Body was really pleased with the strengthening of our wider curriculum. Our PE provision was improved dramatically and the governors saw the value of the extra resources we had put in to the subject. The subject leader is doing an excellent job improving children’s individual fitness and activity levels and also giving the children competitive challenges. We appreciated the input of the staff into Art, Music and Drama – again resulting in competition success. We felt that our curriculum was definitely being enriched. We also have to thank the staff for the plethora of lunchtime and after school clubs which they provided, such as knitting, running, chess, art and gardening, which were open to all pupils.

The spiritual life of the school has continued to flourish and we were proud to be recognised as outstanding in all areas of RE by our Diocesan Inspection in November 2016.

The governors were particulalry impressed with the children's work to celebrate the Year of Mercy where they used the corporal acts of mercy to recognise, pray and raise money for the most needy in our communities. The links between the school and the parish community continues to be a real strength with 14 occasions on which we met to celebrate or socialise. The Peace day and the Summer Fair were excellent examples of our co-operation. The school led liturgies in the Church on several occasions such as Mothering Sunday and Harvest.

We were sad to say goodbye to our parish priest of 6 years, Fr Gerry Murphy who left us in May to take up a new parish in Buxton. However, we are sure that his successor, Fr John Martin will continue to build upon the fantastic work already achieved by Fr Gerry.

The school has worked hard to prepare our children for life in modern Britain.  Children devised Class Charters showing rights and responsibilities, and they were encouraged to be tolerant when they were introduced to different religious faiths. Judaism and Sikism were studied and everyone enjoyed a lively Cultural Diversity Day.

This school has always prided itself on the pastoral care of our children and this was evidenced again in the year 2016-17 with such activities as The Great Project, small SEAL groups, anti-bullying week, weekly circle time and transition work in class 6. The workload of our Home-school support worker was significantly increased due to an increasing number of family issues, but the governors appreciate the value of the work she does.

Our school Breakfast Club continues to be very popular with, on average, 25 children attending every morning. They had a healthy breakfast in a lovely, happy environment. Our After School Club is growing in popularity too.

Probably as a result of all this pastoral care, the behaviour of our children is outstanding. In the 12 months covered by this report there was one fixed term exclusion, no racial incidents and no incidents of bullying recorded - an excellent record.

Attendance and lateness, however, continues to be an issue that the governors are concerned about. A small minority of children were still persistently late and too many families continue to take their children out of school during term time. The governors agreed to a raft of measures being used to improve this situation such as treats  for good attendance and meetings with particular parents.

The school worked hard to encourage parental involvement with 2 parents evenings to meet their child’s class teacher as well as written reports. The Friends of the School gave parents the chance to meet each other and organised several excellent social and/or fundraising events.  The Governing Body wishes to thank all our parents for their support during the year.