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Governor's review of academic year 14/15

Castlewood Primary School – Governing Body

Self Review of the Year 2014/2015

1. Strengths; what are our School strengths? What are our Governance strengths?

Governor 1 response


- Supportive parents

- Dedicated staff

- Extra curricular activities offered

- Sports events attended


- Commitment

- Expertise in lots of areas

- Visits to staff in school

- Very supportive of each other

- Succession planning

- Strong chair

Governor 2 response

- A breadth of experience and knowledge in relation to governor expertise in the commercial sector and in education.

- An excellent team ethos and collaborative approach in governor meetings and in decision-making, a cohesive governing body.

- An excellent school leadership team and staff who are committed to making Castlewood outstanding for children to learn and grow.

Governor 3 response

- Strong systems in place to ensure that the school priorities are monitored on a termly basis through discussion with staff

- Good coverage of termly monitoring of SIP

- Feedback from monitoring shows that systems are in place across the whole school

- External validation through other Headteachers. It isn’t just JS saying that teaching and learning is good/outstanding through her monitoring.

- Strong knowledge of governance. Robust discussions regarding succession planning and skills we have/need over the course of this year.

- Good range of skills which are put to excellent use to support the school, e.g. finance/HR

- Excellent and proactive clerk

- Good communication between head, chairs and clerk

- Good distribution of information from WSCC briefing meetings into committee meetings rather than having these parts as extra AOB

- Carrying out our statutory duty

- Not panicking when goal posts are moved

- Good use of finances

- Good understanding of the financial situation for the school and the impact this could have over time

- Up to date with policies

- Strong leadership, committed staff and governors

- Committed people

- Great website

- Good communication with parents via website, parent mail, face to face

- Pro active with new curriculum and support for parents with changes

- Happy children who know the routines and expectations of them in the school

- Front of house with office staff

- Good exposure (but not too much) in press

- Introduction of housekeeping meeting seems successful

- Reading papers properly before the meeting to make better use of time in the meeting

Governor 4 response


Increasingly high achievement

Strong, experienced leadership that pre-empts problems

A well regarded school in the community

Quality of teaching that remains highs despite some significant staff changes


The GB is experienced and has a good skills base. The school is so smoothly run that there is really very little tricky stuff that needs a lot of GB attention. Our job now is to work out how far away from ‘outstanding’ we really are and then get there! We will be the only primary school within 30 miles to move from ‘2’ to ‘1’!!

Governor 5 response



Staffing including TA support in each year group

Continued focus on school ethos and values


Good Range of skills and experience

Commitment to governance

2. Even better if – Please explain how things could improve

Feedback from Q&S 18/6/15 - Greater engagement with children

Governor 1 response

Making staff and parents more aware of who we are

Governor 3 response

- Do we need to look at children’s books more to look at policy into practice?

- People to come forward to support with policy group - need succession planning in this area.

- Do we need to discuss meeting start times again so everyone can make it?

- Should we look at having less people sitting on each committee? Would this make us more effective?

- Looking at new Ofsted headings and pulling these sections out with the minutes as of next term.

- Bring back answering questions in meetings to check our understanding. I find this useful to check that I have the right information and amount of knowledge.

- Do we engage enough with stakeholders? Governor visibility in school with children, maybe come into assembly regularly and support more in school, use expertise if it fits in with topics.

- Start to put together paperwork for Ofsted, maybe each governor has a folder with main papers that will be needed (or put this on back end of website?)

- Continue to look at quality assurance, we’ve started to bring this up in meetings

Governor 4 response

Great to see sporting improvements benefitting the school. It would be even better if this could be extended to areas such as the arts, drama, music and MFL, which feel some way down the pecking order.

Governor 5 response

Can we make meeting time more effective?

Could we focus governor skills more effectively in school visits?

3. Review achievement/monitoring of school improvement priorities 2014/15

Priorities 2014/15

Raise standards in English – 100% of able pupils make expected progress and 45% make more than expected progress

Teaching and Learning increasingly moving from Good to Outstanding

Greater Engagement with hard to reach parents

Ø How have we done with monitoring this year?

Ø What have we found out?

Ø Have standards in English improved?

Ø Has teaching and learning increasingly moved from good to outstanding?

Ø Has there been greater engagement with hard to reach pupils/parents?

Ø How do we know this, and how can we evidence this?

Governor 2 response

I visited Miss Allen in Year R on 25.06.2014 and we discussed how greater engagement could be achieved with harder to reach parents. Miss Allen suggested a coffee morning could be a productive intervention for new parents to meet each other before their children start school. A relaxed environment may help parents share experiences, boosting the confidence of parents if this is the first time they have a child entering school in Reception and this is a new situation for the family. This early approach may help new parents feel more confident in communication with school and is a positive opportunity to engage with new parents pre start of school.

During this current academic year Miss Allen advised that she has focused time on hard to reach parents in 121 discussions particularly on how to encourage reading, she has also run phonic workshops and writing workshops where the parent turnout was positive and she has received good feedback from parents following these sessions.

Governor 3 response

- Monitoring seems to be robust. GK has done a fabulous job with the pro formas and supporting governors in this area.

- We can see from data, information given in Q&S and HT report that standards are improving. Where there are gaps, we have discussed what the issue is and what is put into place for support.

- From looking at the coaching and mentoring as a way of working this year, teaching and learning is going well. We have lessons that are either good or outstanding and this is externally validated.

- The parenting course had a good uptake. This is the area that I’m struggling with to say whether or not there has been an improvement in.

Governor 5 response

How have we done with monitoring this year? Completed the programme we outlined.

What have we found out? ... Gillian's summary of visits are very useful.

Have standards in English improved? Need to review data.

Has teaching and learning increasingly moved from good to outstanding? Observations confirm this is the case. We have evidence of joint observations between schools - is this enough?

Has there been greater engagement with hard to reach parents/pupils?How do we know this? How can we evidence this? The parenting programme has been successful. Governor visits confirm direct impact to classroom.

4. What else have we achieved this year not on the plan?

Governor 1 response

- Supporting school events

- Running crèche at parents evening

- Ran course about Pupil Premium Children

- Attended courses

Governor 3 response

- Smooth introduction of UFSM in KS1

- Reconstitution of GB

- Succession planning with Chair stepping down in Sept 15

- Moving towards using technology more for governors/back end of website

- A stable environment for staff and pupils taking into account maternity leave for various members of staff

- Very strong SLT even though there have only been 2 of them at times during the year

- Participation in a huge range of sporting activities

- Introduction of British Values

Governor 5 response

- Support to provide framework for part time working

- Ongoing development of the website

- Locality training

- Inducted new staff governor

- Governor skills audit completed and succession planning platform created

Governor's review of academic year 13/14

Castlewood Primary School – Governing Body Review of Academic Year 2013-14

Strengths: what are our school strengths? What are our governance strengths?

School strengths

· Good relationship with parents

· Hard working committed staff

· Good behaviours

Governance Strengths

· Expertise in many areas

· Friendly welcoming team

· Regular visits to school

· Good relationships with staff

· Supporting school events (e.g. Sports Day)

Governance Strengths

· Working together on projects e.g. policy review, new web site

· Some Governors very pro-active attending training, keeping up with the Government changes.

· Staff feel supported by Governors in the school and more staff know who the Governors are - profile has been raised.

· Governors are very supportive - Open evening, Sports Day etc

· Chair takes strong lead and supports Chairs of committees and clerk

· Good systems in place to induct new Governors

· Improvement in governor visits to school this year for monitoring

· Challenge and support to the school through questions

· Knowing what we need to improve related to findings from data

· Asking about PPG spending and impact this has had

· Carrying out our statutory duties as the chair and clerk are aware of these and they are cascaded down through meetings

· Range of skills on the governing body

· Well run meetings

· Good understanding of finance, secure in asking questions about budget

· Finances are well used across the school

· Chairs work well together

School – well led and managed, leadership dispersed. In a solid position (despite inevitable staffing changes) to ride the current government wave due to good systems and structures in place. Achievement good, Maths improving and the school is now better focused on pupil outcomes. This is a reliably and consistently safe, organised, high quality and pleasant environment to have a child.The school goes out of its way to provide an exciting and broad curriculum, with sports opportunities increasingly good.

GB – a core of committed people with a good range of expertise offering the right mix of challenge and support.

· Committed head teacher and staff.

· We have different governors who have expertise in different areas.

· Good team work.

Even better ifs… (Please explain how things could improve)

· Use key questions on agenda - prompts challenge/support for minutes

· CPD expectations of all Governors?

· Take on board use of questions across all meetings as of Sept 14 and support governors so they feel confident in answering them

· More governor participation in training to develop skills, not just in a locality training session

· Different people volunteering for duties

· Take ‘housekeeping’ out of meetings to use time more effectively

· Visibility of all governors across school

· Succession planning for roles-what happens when people leave?

· More feedback from SLT regarding monitoring of school priorities. Do we get enough information?

· Review governor skills do we have enough coverage of people with educational understanding, do we need more? Do we need to undertake more training in certain areas?

· Do we engage enough with parents?

· Take forward the locality collaborations from this year

· How can we build on monitoring from this year and improve even further next year?

We can be constantly focused on how to get the school from Good to Outstanding.

I am happy to come and talk with selected class groups (perhaps once or twice a term) about Christian ethics/faith/role of the church etc if necessary.

We think teaching is strong, but don’t have much externally validated evidence. (It’s not that we don’t trust the HTs view, but a second opinion or 360 chart would be helpful)

Review achievement & monitoring of School Improvement Priorities 13-14

· How have we done with monitoring this year?

· What have we found out?

· Has achievement of able pupils improved?

· Has marking improved?

· Has presentation improved? How do we know this?

· How can we evidence this?


· To further improve achievement of able pupils.

· To improve marking in all subjects.

· To further improve presentation in books.

· Sharper focus on pupil's achievement in SIP

· Probably need to look at the summary of evidence before we can comment, however the new monitoring pro-formas have helped Governors improve monitoring of objectives and the discussion about Governors monitoring the same objectives every term will also help in the future.

· Greater governor monitoring this year. Is this due to the helpful pro forma?

· Marking policy appears robust and in place across all the school

· Children respond to marking and are given time to answer questions

· Able pupils appear stretched and challenged from the answers staff gave

· Does school have a handwriting system that it follows?

· Evidence at Q&S is good for supporting governors

· HT report is interesting and gives a lot of information

· Have governors been given enough information regarding in school monitoring and findings?

· Presentation evidenced through books.

I think marking has improved. Children’s books show their hard work and learning – thanks to the teachers.

Better – more focused and better documented.

What else have we achieved this year not on the plan?

· Appoint a good clerk and LA Governor

· We have got some good new governors

· Various governors have made use of different training opportunities.

· Changing the start time of meetings seems successful

· Greater understanding of the implications of universal free school meals for KS1 and EYFS for Sept 14

· Moved towards using technology more in meetings

· Successful appointment of new clerk

· New awnings outside

· More locality contact through Head and Chair meetings

· Raised profile of the school through articles in papers/magazines

· Successful appointment of new LA governor

· Introduction of pay committee

· Good use of sports premium funding

· Aware of New Primary Curriculum and how it is being introduced across the school

· Aware of changes to SEN as of Sept 14

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