Governors Annual Report 2014/15
The school year 2014/15 was a busy one for the school and therefore for its governors. We continued to work with the head teacher and his staff on the exciting new developments introduced in 2013/14 and on some new initiatives to improve student performance and enrich the life of the school. We ensured that we are even better informed about student performance and wellbeing. The full governing body met once in each term and its committees, groups and panels also met regularly, usually twice a term.
We introduced ‘learning walks’ for governors, who twice a term accompany the head teacher around the school, talking to students and staff and gaining first-hand knowledge of what goes on in the classroom. It was rewarding to see the enthusiasm of students and their teachers and to see some excellent work, including the very beneficial impact of the new chromebooks. Student behaviour continued to be outstanding and we found a warm welcome on all our visits to school.
We were involved in:
- Developing the REAL strategic plan for the school
- Continuing to monitor the implementation of the school improvement plan
- Working with the head teacher to evaluate the school’s progress and areas for improvement
- Detailed analysis of the GCSE results of summer 2013, identifying success and where improvement is needed
- Seeing the way ‘The Kingsmeadow Way’ approach to planning lessons has helped staff to work closely together to improve their teaching
- Approving the new ‘Attitudes to Learning’ Policy
- Monitoring the REAL project-based learning initiative
- Monitoring the school budget, which continued to be very tight
- Reviewing the pay policy and approving staff performance-related pay increases
- Looking at developments in special needs provision within the school in response to national changes in arrangements
- Discussing how reading, writing, communication and maths are being improved across all subjects
- Talking to the Ofsted inspectors who visited the school in March 2014
- Working with the head teacher to respond to the inspection recommendations
Our annual conference in January 2014 gave us an opportunity to look in some detail at the strengths and weaknesses of the school and at the opportunities and threats ahead. We set up four groups of governors linked to the four areas of the REAL strategic plan: Relationships, Engagement, Achievement and Learning.
The behaviour and wellbeing of students continued to be a priority for us. The new pastoral system was established during the year, and now provides a comprehensive and well-structured approach. We introduced ‘achievement panels’ involving governors, on the same lines as the ‘behaviour panels’. These panels involve governors in addressing poor performance or poor behaviour by students, helping them to improve and realise their potential.
We looked at how the school integrates the ‘British values’ of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance into the curriculum. The teaching of these values is now required by the government but Kingsmeadow has long embraced them as part of its approach to the wellbeing of students. The values are integrated into the curriculum and reinforced at Learning for Life days.
We were disappointed by the overall finding of the Ofsted inspection that the school is in the ‘required improvement’ category, but were pleased by the very many positive judgements included in the inspection report. We supported the head teacher and his senior team in their efforts to improve student performance and to give the school’s hardworking teachers the tools they need to help students to improve exam performance.