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Bilingual Primary School

September newsletter from the Chair of Governors

Dear parents and carers

On behalf of all the governors I would like to welcome you all into the new school year and hope that all, children, teachers and parents alike, are able to settle into the routine after the long break in the summer.

Since I wrote to you in December last year the school has made rapid and evidenced progress. The move to our wonderful new building in February was a key moment for everyone – founding members, parents, children, staff and governors – and other relevant stakeholders. It signalled an opportunity to revisit those values and beliefs which frame our school and its ethos.

Over this period of time, as governors, we have seen children’s love of learning, their progress and achievement, and their enthusiasm for their school grow and flourish. We know this because we are closely involved with the school both formally and informally.

So I thought it might be helpful if I were to reiterate what it is we do as governors, and how we support the vision and strategic direction of the school.

The role of governors

There have been governors of schools for hundreds of years, but recently their role has become crucial in helping schools to raise standards.

A board of governors has three core strategic functions:

Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;

Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils; 

Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

In order to do this effectively, and also ensuring that we too are accountable to the DfE, we work formally through committees and through a system of monitoring visits which relate to the school’s plans for improvement.

You will see our committee structure on the governors section of the website. Through these we are able to support and drive the direction of the school. For example, the Finance, Legal and Pay Committee (FLPC) ensures strong financial management. The Community Engagement Committee (CEC) attends to matters such as liaison with parents and community partners. The Education and Admissions Committee (EAC) scrutinises the school’s performance against a range of indicators. The Full Board of Governors (FBG) oversees all aspects of governance, and is the key driver for supporting the ambition for the school as articulated in the vision statement reviewed and revised by the board during the last school year.

This important statement is now on the website. It has enabled us to jointly plan the short and long term objectives which frame the school’s work.

In order to hold Wendy and her staff to account, we conduct monitoring visits across the year. These provide us with strongly evidenced information on how the school ensures consistently good outcomes for the children. The visits help Wendy to know what is working well and where some aspects might need to be re-focussed. We conduct learning walks; we talk with children, staff and parents; we observe strategic planning. All visits are reported formally to the EAC – and the reports are available for scrutiny by the DfE and by Ofsted.

So what has been the effect of this?

We are very clear about what was achieved last year – and we know the key priorities for the school this coming year.

Here are some of the things we know:

Our scrutiny of data evidenced much good progress and attainment of the children across all year groups by the end of the school year

Spanish learning is improving within the current agreed approach

Children feel safe and happy at school

A new and very exciting curriculum was developed and is in place for this year

We all benefit from being rigorous in our challenge to Wendy and the Senior Leadership Team, as this drives improvement

We are united in our ambition for the children

Finally I would like to thank again Wendy, the teachers and all staff at the Bilingual Primary School for their commitment, positive attitude and their enthusiasm for their work. These make all the difference to the children. I also want to thank all the parents and carers, and voluntary helpers, who make an effort to enrich the children’s’ experience in the school. This is greatly appreciated by us, the children and staff.

With best wishes

 

Maggie Carroll

Chair of the Board of Governors