Spring 2 2022 Governor Update to Parents/Carers
As we approach the Easter holidays, as a Governing Board we wanted to reflect on the last few weeks of half term and comment on how we believe the community of Locks Heath Infant School has performed in that time. Once again it has been a challenging time for the wider world and the school community with Covid still being prevalent in the world as well as the suffering being experienced in Ukraine. Whilst these very unsettling events continue to be publicised in the media, continuity and normality is so important for the children at the school.
As parents and carers we can appreciate how tough the recent times have been for both us as adults and particularly our children. Having the world around them turned upside down is so unsettling and worrying for everyone, especially our children. The school has focussed on trying to keep everything ‘normal’ for the children as much as possible, even where the school community has had to be flexible to ensure this, for example there being three attempts for one class to have their share and celebration with the parents and carers. From our perspective this has epitomised how the school has endeavoured to ensure its children and you, the parents and carers, experience the ‘normal’ school experience at LHIS. The continued support and understanding from all our parents/carers has been invaluable throughout this term and we thank you for this.
Recently the school has experienced great challenges in ensuring no classes were moved to remote learning and that every child has the opportunity to learn in school. This has caused many logistical headaches with a number of absences due to staff illness (and unavailability of supply staff) leaving the school with lower than usual staff numbers. As we understand it, we are certainly in the minority when it comes to having the school remain fully open throughout this term. Again this is a real testament to the school community as a whole pulling together for the common goal and vision of supporting and teaching our children. All the staff at LHIS should be very proud of this achievement.
The commitment and dedication of the staff over this period has actually led us, as a Governing Board, to question whether too much is being done within the school given the circumstances the staff have faced. However the school is determined to continue to provide the best educational experience it can to the children and to support both the children and parents and carers throughout their journey through the school.
Despite any frantic logistical work going on behind the scenes, it is true to say that every morning we have all been greeted with big smiles and a friendly welcome. This is something we should all aspire to do, it truly is inspirational.
As governors we have been fortunate enough to get back into the school, both for our meetings and for focus visits. One less virtual meeting is always a positive after all. We all hope to be able to see more of you in person over the course of the summer term as we hope that more events will be able to go ahead as usual in school.
All that is left to say is a huge “thank you and well done!” to the whole community of LHIS, and to wish the whole of the school community a happy and healthy time over the Easter holidays.
Parent Governor on behalf of the Governing Body
Spring 1 2022 Governors Communication to Parents/Carers
It has been wonderful to see many of you coming into school this half of term for various events and activities. Thank you so much for your continued support of the school.
Parent Governor Election Outcome
Previous Governing Body Updates
Autumn 1 2021 Governors Communication to Parents/Carers
We would like to take this opportunity to say hello and touch base with all of the new and existing members of our school community.
Who we are
For our new parents/carers who may not know the governing body and our role at the school, we wanted to take this opportunity to share with you briefly our three core functions:
- ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school,
- holding leaders to account for the educational performance of the school and outcomes for all children and the effective and efficient performance management of the staff
- overseeing the financial performance of the school and ensuring money is well spent.
We encourage you to visit the Governor pages of the school website to learn more about us and how we work together to fulfil our role.
This term so far
It has been wonderful to see school life returning to normal and the children enjoying so many different experiences and opportunities, including;
Face to face assemblies
Sports Leaders, School Council and Eco Warriors
Parents in Lessons
Year 1 and Year 2 enjoying lunch together again and being able to play freely in all areas of the playground with their friends
Year 2 Visit from M.P Robertson
As a governing body we are delighted to have returned to face to face meetings, monitoring visits at school and very recently welcoming into the school prospective parents for September 2022.
Parent Governor Vacancy
We are currently seeking a new parent governor to join the full governing body. Details of this have been sent via email from the school and are also available here on the school website.
Communicating with our parent/carer body
We look forward to meeting many of you at various school events throughout the year.
Please also look out for our half termly communications. These are sent via email and are also available on the school website. Click here to view our previous communications and updates.
We thank you for the support and feedback that each and everyone of you continue to give to the school.
Chair of Governors
Summer 2 2021 Governors Communication to Parents/Carers
This school year has been another challenging one for everybody. A heartfelt thank you to all of you for the support, feedback and commitment you have given to the school. Furthermore, thank you for the sacrifices that you have all had to make during this year. It has not been an easy time for anybody and I know for many of you the hard work and juggling will not end yet.
Good luck to our Year 2 children as they leave us this year. We wish them all the very best as they take the next steps in their voyage of discovery. This will be the first time in a number of years that governors have not been able to join the Year 2 Leavers celebrations however from speaking to a number of parents I know that the children are having a wonderful send off.
All of our staff have shown fantastic energy and resilience throughout the year. I think you will all agree that they are simply amazing!
A huge thank you to the Friends of Locks Heath Infant School who despite not being able to run many of their planned events have still raised a significant amount of money for the school.
As a governing body we have said farewell to Liam Robinson and Sylvia Kennedy. I am extremely grateful for their commitment and hard work as members of the board. Our current governing body members are;
Mark Scoble (Associate Member for Health & Safety, effective September 2021)
Michael Stoner (Associate Member for Finance)
Mr Jump (Ex-officio by virtue of office as Headteacher)
Jane Dennett (Independent Clerk)
Click here to learn more about each member of the governing body. We are currently actively recruiting for 2 Co-opted governors from the local community.
Whatever your plans for the summer holidays I hope you are able to spend some well deserved time with friends, families and close ones. The governors and I look forward to meeting many of you when school returns in September and hopefully things are on the road to normality.
Chair of Governors
Summer 1 2021 Governors Communication to Parents/Carers
Our Curriculum Committee is made up of a small group of dedicated and passionate Governors (Kathryn Heathers, Louise O'Connor, Zoe Cunningham and Debra Burden) that strive to support and challenge Mr Jump and all school staff to ensure they provide a rich and varied curriculum that seeks to foster a life-long love of learning right from Early Years through to Year 2.
We meet as a committee four times per academic year, and regularly undertake focus visits in school to observe and monitor key outcomes linked to the School Development Plan. During our curriculum meetings we have the opportunity to hear directly from Year Group Leaders, review and sign off school policies, and celebrate and challenge pupil performance and data.
Throughout lockdown, when families were asked to support their child’s learning from home, the committee was instrumental in reviewing, challenging and supporting the school’s Remote Learning provision to ensure that every pupil, regardless if they were learning in school or at home, had the same opportunities to achieve and not be adversely impacted by the lost time within school. This included us challenging the leadership team as to next steps after reviewing the feedback received from parents/carers.
As a governing body, we challenged the school on the provision of live sessions to ensure the children at home could interact and maintain a relationship with their teacher. These went ahead and were very successful and well received by parents and the children. We were extremely grateful to all of the staff for making this happen.
We are very much looking forward to reinstating our focus visits and being more present within school from September 2021. As part of these visits we also take the time to speak to the children about their experience of school and what they are learning about. It is lovely to be able to interact with the children when we visit!
It is a privilege and a pleasure to watch our pupils engage with teachers and each other during a lesson and hear about the vision and aspirations the teachers have to improve learning within the classroom.
We would also like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated towards the rejuvenation of the woodland area following the tragic vandalism. We have literally been blown away by your generosity. Thank you!
Spring 2 2021 Governors Communication to Parents/Carers
What have the governors been up to during the covid pandemic?
Before we let you know about what it is that we have been up to during one of the most challenging times for everyone, we thought it might be nice for you to meet us all. We all have different backgrounds and skills but share the same passion - to help and support the children, staff and the school to be the best that it can possibly be.
We have a really good mix of parent, co-opted and role specific governors at the school and an experienced Chair of Governors who goes above and beyond her role. There is a finance, personnel and sites committee and a curriculum committee where different governors attend various meetings and undertake monitoring activities and audits throughout the year. We also have governors that have specific roles and responsibilities around safeguarding, wellbeing and health and safety.
As governors we continuously challenge, support, advise and help to drive forward the strategic vision of the school. Mr Jump has even stated that we are one of the best governing bodies he’s ever had the pleasure of working with!
We will give you an insight into the curriculum committee as part of our next update but really wanted to let you know how we have been supporting the school during the pandemic, specifically at the time when schools were closed to all children apart from those of key worker parents and vulnerable children.
We got involved in the covid 19 risk assessments
This has probably been one of the most crucial aspects that we have helped support the school with over the last year. Our knowledgeable health and safety lead governor MarkScoble took the lead on this and has spent hours at the school making sure that we were not only adhering to covid specific risks but he would challenge and advise where necessary to help protect our community. This monitoring and challenge is ongoing.
We helped to welcome you all back
You might remember that there were more people in high vis jackets in June and September? This was us! We enjoyed helping in welcoming the children back safely and making sure that all parents and carers were able to navigate the new one way system.
We had weekly calls with Mr Jump around safeguarding and staff wellbeing
The challenge, support, advice and just simply being at the end of the phone was essential to help Mr Jump through what has probably been one of the most challenging times of his career. Clare Georgeson (Chair) and Kat Heathers (Safeguarding lead governor) had weekly phone calls with Mr Jump to discuss and challenge everything from safeguarding to the wellbeing of the children and staff within the school and the children at home.
We all care so much about our amazing school, children, staff and parents. These phone calls gave us the opportunity to really support Mr Jump and the senior management team. We can’t physically be in the school at the moment so this was definitely the next best thing.
We raised money for the children to help them with their learning
The last year has been such an uncertain time for everyone, let alone children. They have not been able to receive the education that they would normally get. This is a fact amongst all schools, not only in the UK but across the world. Their education has been disrupted and children may not be at a level where they would normally be.
One of our governors Louise O’Connor wanted to do something to raise money and help the children at our school to catch up with their education once they were all back in the classroom. In January this year, she ran 5K everyday (a total of 397 miles!) and raised a staggering £1700! This money is going directly to help the children in some way which is amazing.
We had lots of other meetings!
Above are just some of the key things that we have been involved with over the last year of the pandemic. We also had lots of other meetings and discussions with each other, with Mr Jump and other members of staff at the school. To be honest, there probably isn’t a day that goes by where one of us isn’t involved or has had a discussion with someone at the school! We really are a dedicated and committed bunch of people and really hope that we can get to meet you properly once this is all over.
Thank you for your time reading this. We really appreciate it as we feel it is important that you know exactly what the Board do.