Current Governor Priorities:
As governors we work hard to monitor the impact of the School Improvement Plan. Most of the work we do as governors is centred around the school improvement priorities. As a governing body we want to improve the way we work so we can help to improve outcomes for pupils. Our priorities as a governing body this year are to:
- Increase governor involvement in the SIP process.
- Ensure all policies are up to date and a systematic plan is in place.
- Ensure governors are skilled in using school data to hold leaders to account.
- Monitor subject leadership work in school.
Records of Our Visits:
We value the time we spend in school and like to present what we have done to parents via our school newsletter. On top of our scheduled full governor meetings and committee meeting, we have monitoring mornings so we can see first-hand what is happening in school. Below is an overview of our most recent monitoring visits.
16th November 2022 - Governor Monitoring Morning
On Wednesday 16th November 2022, we held our first governor monitoring morning of the year. The focus of the vision was on the school improvement priority about literacy and had a particular focus on reading.
During the morning, governors spent time in lessons – watching phonics sessions, whole class reading sessions and reading interventions. They also spent time talking to staff and pupils about their views about reading at Scarcliffe. They had the chance to hold leaders to account by interviewing Mr Horton (our literacy lead).
The governors in attendance left very satisfied with what they had observed in classes and around school. They saw high levels of expectations and consistency and could see that what was should be happening was happening in lessons.
They were impressed with the strategic direction the subject leader had put in place in school and were able to see the impact that our work is having on children’s attitudes towards reading and on pupil outcomes in this area. Governors discussed strategies that were in place to ensure that every child leaves our school as confident, enthusiastic and able readers.
17th January 2022 - Governor Monitoring Morning
On Monday 17th January, the governors were invited to join us for a remote monitoring morning. We spent the first 45 minutes with The Changing Lives Team who are a service which helps to support young people with their mental health. The team explained their roles to the governors – including the work they have already carried out in school. The governors are keen to see how this work develops over the coming months. Mr Marsh shared a mental health audit with the governors following the meeting. Governors are now in a stronger position to check that school is helping to support children with their mental health.
During the second part of the visit, Mr Horton (literacy lead) presented an update of his progress in developing writing across school. The governors were shown the school improvement plan and could then monitor the actions that have taken place this year. To see this in action, they had the opportunity to look through some of our pupil’s work. The work showed that writing is being taught in an organised and progressive way across school. Governors particularly like the way slow writing teaches children how to become better writers. Mr Horton also shared a progression document to show which genres of writing are covered in each class and what is expected during these units. Governors left the meeting feeling that writing was being very well developed and recognised the hard work that Mr Horton (and other staff) had put in to this area.
15th November 2021 - Governor Monitoring Morning
On 15th November, Governors visited school to carry out a monitoring morning focussed on the curriculum and subject leadership.
Governors visited all classes during a morning walk – having an opportunity to look in books and talk to children about their learning. Governors saw evidence that our curriculum was supporting children to be ‘secondary ready’ by the time they left our school. They were particularly impressed by how well a Year 6 pupil was able to articulate her understanding of a very complex maths problem in Class 4 which involved deep understanding and multiple steps. Progression from Reception to Year 6 was very evident when we had visited all classes. Governors also saw the resilience of children in Class 2 who were completing a pre-learning task in maths. Despite not knowing all the answers, children were tackling the questions with enthusiasm and confidence. Governors saw the new phonics based spelling approach in the upper school when spending time in Class 3. Children spoke positively about the new approach and governors now have a better understanding about how this is implemented.
During subject leader interviews, governors noticed that all staff could talk confidently (and many passionately) about the areas they are leading in school. All subject leads spoke about the progression across the curriculum and how the intent document has supported this. Staff were able to talk about standards in their subject areas and where they wanted to go next. Many subject leaders spoke about the need for more formal monitoring of standards and the need to implement summative assessment in their subject area – both SIP priorities. Overall, governors reflected on the high levels of consistency in subject leadership across the school.
Governors spent some time discussing and completing skills audits in order to help us identify future training needs.
16th October 2019 - Governor Monitoring Morning
On 16th October 2019, the governors were invited in to school to complete a monitoring morning. The focus of the morning was to monitor progress against school improvement priority 1 – ensuring effective learning behaviours are in place across school. The governors saw the new Good to be Green system and spoke to the children about this. The children were very clear about the expectations in each class and were able to explain what S.H.I.N.E meant. Every child asked was also able to explain how the consequences system worked in school. Following a learning walk in classes, governors discussed the progress towards the development of a clearer curriculum intent. They discussed and added to the points developed by the parent group who had met earlier in the term.
11th June 2019 - Governor Monitoring Morning
On 11th June, governors visited school to monitor our progress towards the school improvement priorities.
During the visit they spoke to a sample group of children. The children were positive about the learning behaviours that take place in the classroom on a day-to-day basis, but they do feel that some children could still be putting in more effort in order to become the best they can be. During our learning walk, governors noticed the vast majority of pupils were both on task and engaged in their learning.
Governors also checked on the impact of the work that had taken place in school by looking at school data for SPAG and higher ability children.
The group also discussed the key priorities for the next academic year.
22nd January 2019 - Governor Monitoring Morning
On Tuesday 22nd January, a group of governors spent the morning in school monitoring the impact of the work we are doing to:
- Improve the level of challenge for our most able children.
- Improve outcomes in terms of SPAG (Spelling, punctuation and grammar).
The governors started by having a learning walk around school. They noticed that working walls were consistently in use across the school and included a clear SPAG focus. They also saw growth mindset displays in each class.
The group spent time looking at the school improvement plan, asking questions about what impact our work was having. They looked in books and spoke to children and were impressed by the level of understanding the oldest children had in relation to SPAG. Books showed that Gold, Silver and Bronze tasks are used consistently across school. Children could explain how they are able to self-select their own level of challenge and the sample of high attaining children said they like to pick the gold task.
The governors also looked at data in relation to the progress of our higher ability children as well as whole school data in relation to SPAG. Governors are reassured about projections in coming years in these areas.
20th November 2018 - Governor Monitor Morning
On 20th November, members of the governing body spent the morning in school to monitor the work that is helping to improve school. They spent time discussing learning behaviours across school and had the chance to listen to children explain what learning pits are. Children in Class 4 were very positive about the work they had done with Tim Hall about growth mindset. The governors are excited about the plans to develop growth mindset this year and to see how Forest School sessions progress.
The governors spent time talking to Ms Smith about the curriculum and were pleased by the fact that the school remains committed to offering a broad and balanced curriculum. Following discussions with children, it was clear to governors that the children enjoyed their topics and many had found the exciting topic launches this term a huge positive. The governors are looking forward to spending time with subject leaders this year to find out what their plans are to develop their own subjects within school.
20th March 2018 - Governor Monitoring Morning
Governors visited school and spent time evaluating the impact of the school improvement plan. They challenged school leaders and noted that many actions have resulted in improved outcomes for pupils. The governors explore their own action plan for the year and reviewed their progress. The governor section of the school website was also updated, including the ‘Welcome from the Chair’. An additional section has been added to the website to show current priorities for the governing body.
7th November 2017 - Governor Monitoring Morning
On Tuesday 7th November, members of the governing body came in to school to monitor our progress against our school improvement priorities. The spoke to children about safety. All pupils said they felt safe in school and told the governors they had assemblies about safety and did lessons about keeping safe on the Internet. They said they would talk to staff if they ever felt unsafe. The governors also spoke to children about maths and were delighted to hear about how so many children’s maths skills were improving. They loved the Rock Star Maths website that Class 3 are using. During the morning they also spoke to our Special Needs Co-ordinator (Mrs Baldwin) and our PE Co-ordinator (Mr Horton) about the work they were doing in school.
3rd October 2017 - Maths Monitoring Morning
Recently governors visited school to spend the morning looking at maths. Maths is a priority for school improvement this year and so it was important to find out what is happening day to day. We saw lessons, looked in books and spoke to pupils. We noticed in lessons that the new resources that have been purchased were being used to good effect and that children were well focused on learning. All children were working on learning key number skills. The books showed good progress and an increase in the amount and variety of work that children were expected to do. During pupil interviews we found out that children are positive about maths and that they were keen to take on difficult challenges.
Impact of the Governing Board on School 2017/18:
In 2017/18 we worked hard to ensure that the school developed in the areas identified as priorities - particularly in maths. We improved provision in Maths by approving spending on: systematic intervention programmes across the school, hands-on resources and a new tracking system so staff can monitor progress of pupils accurately. This spending had a positive impact on pupil outcomes. In 2017-18 we also increased the amount of time we spend in school and meeting children face-to-face.
Other priorities included supporting Mr Marsh as our new headteacher, strengthening our governing body and helping to ensure that all pupils feel safe and are emotionally supported in school.
The governing bodies actions had the following impacts in 2017-18:
- The redrafting of the school vision and values have resulted in a shift in focus at strategic level. This is already having an impact on teaching and learning as well as pupil outcomes.
- Analysis of school data resulted in a focus on maths this year. Governors then approved spending on intervention programmes as well as maths resources. The impact of this has been monitored closely in school and improvements in maths outcomes have been noticeable.
- Following a review of case studies from Y6 2016-17, pastoral support was highlighted as a school improvement priority for 2017-18. Funding has been spent on pastoral interventions (Positive Play) and day-to-day strategies are in place to address mental health issues promptly (Bubble Time). Governor open mornings focused on how effective these systems were via pupil voice. The impact of this was to refocus staff on the purpose of Bubble Time.
- Interviews for breakfast club workers revealed a need for additional staff so that breakfasts could be more active. Governors explored financial implications of additional staff then made an appointment. Children at breakfast clubs are now more active. Governors also decided to appoint an additional teaching assistant to provide additional support for our children in receipt of Pupil Premium Funding. This has resulted in additional intervention for those children, additional nurture support and increased 1:1 feedback.
- Governors have attended monitoring mornings - the impact is that the profile of governors has been raised and they have been more visible to the children.
- Governors have been proactive in supporting the new headteacher and ensuring that he has the relevant support networks in place. The impact of this has been a successful first year for the new head in which he has accessed a wide variety of training.
- Governors have approved policies to ensure that school continues to have effective practices and procedures.
- At the start of the year there were two vacancies on the governing body. The governors completed a skills audit before advertising for a new governor. The governor roles in school have now been filled and as a result they have the necessary skills to carry out their responsibilities.