Governors' Updates

   

Chair of Governors Letter - Holy Cross Catholic Primary School – Spring 2017

Dear Parents and Carers,

I am writing to update you on the work undertaken by the governing body during the Spring terms’ 2017.

We were delighted to welcome Mrs Dawn Potterton as our new Head of Learning, I attended the non-pupil day at the beginning of January when she was introduced to all the staff.

It has, as usual, been a very busy time for everyone. We have held three meetings since the beginning of January and there have been various meetings, training sessions and reviews.

The Local Governing Body reports directly to CAST and is responsible for monitoring the following area on their behalf:

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;

  2. Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and

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

We are pleased to be able to confirm that the school continues to work within the school’s budget for 2016/17 and that we are able to meet the planned requirements of the school’s development plan. We have received three very comprehensive Heads’ Reports. These enable us to monitor the School Self-Evaluation Plan, the School Development Plan, teaching and learning, pupil progress and attainment, including pupil premium and sports premium. The reports also include information on safeguarding, health and safety, attendance and behaviour, the wide range of professional development undertaken by staff and the very many and varied first hand experiences and activities provided for the children as part of the broad and balanced curriculum. Governors undertook a review of curriculum provision in the schools looking at coverage of the National Curriculum through the Thematic Approach, this has been identified as an area for further refinement and the need to review provision for MFL (Modern Foreign Languages).

We have had regular meetings and Training from CAST to review the current MAT provision.

Other training and updates have included:

Safer Recruitment, Health and Safety, SEN, Finance, Reading, Writing OFSTED Updates and RE - “The School as a Catholic Community”- Word, Welfare and Worship.

Governors regularly visit the school and we have a governor designated to visit each month.

Their visit notes always contain very positive comments which are fed back to the Senior Leadership Team and the full governing body.

Our planned admission number of 45 has meant that classes are organised differently in KS1 as from September 2016. This organisation continues to be carefully monitored by the school’s Senior Leadership Team.

Mrs England, Mrs Cooper-Smith and Mrs Hardwick have stepped down from the governing body and Mrs Potterton, Mrs Martin and Mr Driscoll have joined us.

The Spring Terms ended with a very moving Lenten Service in which the whole school participated.

It was really pleasing to see so many parents, carers and family members at the service a very fitting beginning to the weeks leading up to Easter.

The Governors would like to say a tremendous thank you to all the pupils, staff and parents who have worked so hard to make the Spring Terms so successful.

Best wishes

Marcia Wolstencroft

Chair of Governors

 

Chair of Governors Letter - Holy Cross Catholic Primary School – Autumn 2016

Dear Parents and Carers

Happy New Year!

I am writing to update you on the work undertaken by the Governing Body during the Autumn terms’ 2016. It has been a very busy time for everyone. We have held three meetings since September and there have been various meetings, training sessions and reviews.

The Local Governing Body reports directly to CAST and is responsible for monitoring the following area on their behalf:

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;

  2. Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and

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

Members of the LGB attended a CAST Conference at Buckfast Abbey on November 11th 2016 at which the outcomes of the recent CAST OFSTED and the plans for the future were outlined.

The conference was led by Bishop Mark and the new chairman of CAST, Sandy Anderson.

This was also outlined to you all in a letter from Bishop Mark.

Members of the local governing body have also attended a CAST training session on the interpretation of pupil data and preparing for school OFSTEDs.

On behalf of CAST, the school had a full financial audit in October. The auditor   considered the role of the local governing body to be of a high standard.

We are pleased to be able to confirm that the school is working within the school’s budget for 2016/17 and that we are able to meet the planned requirements of the school’s development plan. We have received three very comprehensive Heads’ Reports. These enable us to monitor teaching and learning and pupil progress and attainment across the school.

The reports also include information on attendance, the wide range of professional development undertaken by staff and the very many and varied first hand experiences and activities provided for the children as part of the broad and balanced curriculum.

We have also had very positive SEN and Early Years foundation reviews undertaken by the local authority.

One of the key areas we have been working on with both school is safeguarding. A new Safeguarding

Document was issued by the government in September 2016 - Keeping Children Safe in Education

We now have an updated Safeguarding Policy in place and training has been undertaken by staff and designated governors.

The NSPCC undertook some excellent work with children across the school in November 2016.

Mrs Marguerite Sperring is our Safeguarding Governor

Other training and updates have included:

Reviewing the School Self-Evaluation Form and Development Plan and RE-“The School as a Catholic Community”- Welcome and Witness.

The new Foundation class has very quickly adapted to routines of their primary school.

Our planned admission number, now set at of 45, has meant that classes are organised differently in KS1 as from September 2016. This organisation will be carefully monitored by the school’s Senior Leadership team.

We regularly visit the school and the Magical Christmas Jigsaw was certainly the highlight!

At last we have a wonderful hall and stage which can accommodate the whole school to great effect. It has really been worth all the tremendous effort from everyone involved!

It was very special to see all the pupils participating with such confidence and enthusiasm. Their acting and singing was wonderful. A very fitting beginning to the Christmas season. Thank you as well to the many families who joined us.

During the half-term holiday the Foundation Stage and Reception Areas were flooded and the governors would like to thank all the staff who worked so hard to ensure the school re-opened on time.

Mrs England, Mrs Cooper-Smith and Mrs Hardwick have stepped down from the governing body and Mrs Potterton, Mrs Martin and Mr Driscoll have joined us. Mrs England is now Headteacher of Keyham Barton Primary. We welcome Mrs Potterton as Head of Learning at Holy Cross and Mrs Lisa Martin as our new Parent Governor.

The Governors would like to say a tremendous thank you to all the pupils, staff and parents who have worked so hard to make the Autumn Terms so successful.

Best wishes

Marcia Wolstencroft

Chair of Governors

 

 

Chair of Governors Letter - Holy Cross 2016 - Summer 2016

Dear Parents and Carers

I am writing to update you on the work undertaken by the governing body during the summer terms 2016. We held three meetings during this time. We were pleased to be able to confirm that the school was working within the planned budget for 2015/16 and that we have been able to fully meet the planned requirements of the school’s development plan. We have also submitted a balanced budget to CAST for 2016/7.

One of the key events was the official opening of our new build at Holy Cross by Bishop Mark, it was a wonderful occasion attended by representatives of CAST and the local authority, the architects, builders, governors, former members of staff, parents and members of the local community.

In July we had a Section 48 Religious Education Inspection at Holy Cross. The RE governor and myself visited the school and met with the inspectors. We were delighted to receive such an excellent report - congratulations to all the pupils and staff!

At our meetings we receive regular training, this has recently included; Governors asking questions about the Heads’ Reports and Case Studies on the impact of Pupil Premium.

We have received three very comprehensive Heads’ Reports.

This includes anonymous data on the progress and attainment of our pupils in Foundation, Key Stage1 and Key Stage 2.

The reports also include detailed information on the wide range of professional development undertaken by staff and the very many and varied first hand experiences and activities provided for the children as part of the broad and balanced curriculum.

We would also like to thank you for taking the time to complete the parent questionnaires - a very useful tool for governors to obtain a picture of the parental perception of the schools.

We were delighted to note that the school has achieved their Gold Sports Mark Award.

We sadly said farewell to four of our long serving governors at the end of term - Del Rhodes, John Biddle, Tracy Cook and Maureen Sexton. I would like to take this opportunity to publically thank them for their dedication to the schools and the work of the governing body.

Best wishes Marcia Wolstencroft

Chair of Governors

 

        

MARY OF THE CROSS FEDERATION

Spring Terms 2016 - Governors Update - Holy Cross Catholic Primary School

Dear Parents and Carers

On behalf of our governing body, I am writing to update on the work undertaken by the governing body during the Spring Terms 2016.

At our regular meetings we received reports on Finance, our Catholic Ethos, Teaching and Learning, Safeguarding, Attendance and Sites and Buildings.

We are pleased to report that the finances are carefully monitored, well managed and we are working within our planned budgets.

The Heads’ Reports enable the governors to carefully monitor the impact of the new curriculum and the challenges faced by pupils and staff particularly in English and Mathematics and we have been able to note progress over time.

The opportunity to undertake Learning Walks across both schools has enabled governors to get a clearer picture of the work being undertaken. (The report was published on the schools’ websites.)

Governors regularly undertake visits to both schools and report back at each meeting. We also have a governor of the month. Tracy Cook is Parent Governor at Holy Cross and she is always happy to take feedback from parents and carers.

One of the main highlights at Holy Cross was the opening of the new build in the church. We now have a wonderful space for collective worship which has maintained many of the features of the church. It has provided an excellent teaching and learning facility and a community space.

One of the School Council described it to me as “awesome!”

I would like to thank you all for your patience and support whilst the building programme was being carried out.

The Acts of Worship in both schools during Holy Week were a fitting preparation for Easter. The quality of the reflection, thoughtfulness and behaviour were a credit to everyone.

With best wishes

Marcia Wolstencroft

Chair of Governors