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Stanbridge

Primary School

Aim High and Fly!

Our Governor Development Day - Spring 2015

Governing bodies are made up of volunteers who come from a variety of backgrounds, bringing different skills and life experiences but not necessarily any previous experience of governorship. It’s very much a case of training on the job - an unpaid, part-time job, of course - but there are lots of courses available to help you learn what you need. It is very important to know your school so three of us who joined over the last year came in for a governor development day on 27th April. First things first - we started with coffee. A couple of prepared questions soon had us chatting in pairs and broke the ice; we also shared some secrets of cake icing.
Picture 1 It's time to discuss design and stability...
Picture 2 A little fold here, or perhaps a sharp bend there.
Picture 3 it's time to put those plans into place...
Picture 4 It's amazing what a team can do with tin foil

Life isn’t all coffee and cake, however, and soon we found ourselves doing weird and wonderful things with foil.  No, we weren’t as good as Year One would have been but representing Stanbridge and its values in foil was a surprisingly good way to discuss and reinforce what we are trying to achieve. We talked about Aiming High and Flying, celebrating success, overcoming challenges, attention to detail, bridge building, even recycling; we worked together Creatively, with mutual Respect, and our Creations were certainly Unique and we were Proud of them but probably the best word for them is Curiosity!

 

Miss Bertham then led us through an update on safeguarding and its many aspects that are considered as the school looks after and educates its pupils. Next we went on what is called a “learning walk”. This is a real privilege where we walk through the school and all the classrooms, talking to children, noticing what is around us, looking at books and displays, watching how children behave and interact and above all getting a feel for the daily life of the school. Different people spot different things and provide useful fresh pairs of eyes and perspectives. We used our noses too and can report that the loos don’t smell and some small children do wash their hands without being reminded. Well done.

 

Governing is hungry work so we ate our school lunch in the staff room and talked to staff (though at Christmas we shared turkey in the halls with the children). Mr Williams then gave governors a data update. All groups of children have their progress tracked very closely and Mr Williams is the chap who gets the short straw and has to put all the figures together. Governors don’t see details of individuals but they do see the overall picture and ask questions about attainment and progress, keeping the leadership on their toes. Governors oversee the budget of the school and need to satisfy themselves that the money is being wisely spent.

 

All in all the day was a microcosm of governing and its three basic functions:  ensuring the school’s ethos and strategic direction, holding the leadership to account for educational performance and checking value for money. Thank you to Maggie Todd (Chair of Governors), Miss Bertham and Mr Williams for organising the day and to the staff and children for welcoming us.


We really enjoyed our day and seeing the school’s values in action.  Keep up the good work.

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