In November, the Governing Body formally agreed the school development plan. The plan identifies priorities for the year and is developed after careful consideration of a range of evidence, including data about children’s progress and attainment, views of senior leaders and staff, feedback from the parental questionnaire and governor visits to the school. The plan is a stepping-stone towards achieving our vision of brilliant teaching and facilities, a creative curriculum that stretches and rewards all learners, engaging parents and the wider community in the life of the school and helping all children at Morley develop the social skills they need.
Priorities for the year
- Our pupils generally do very well compared to other schools, particularly our higher attaining children. However, there are groups of children who we feel might benefit from particular attention. This year we are aiming to reduce the gap between attainment for boy and girls, further improve outcomes for children who receive pupil premium funding and continue to ensure that pupils at risk of under-achievement are identified early and given effective interventions.
- Teaching at Morley is already solidly good. We will continue to develop teachers professional skills because we know that great teaching is the key to maximising your child’s learning. Teachers are being given time to share good practice and plan collaboratively. Coaching opportunities are available to those who wish to access them and teachers will continue to develop a truly creative curriculum. Subject leaders and middle managers will be given further opportunities to develop their leadership skills.
- Behaviour at Morley is generally good but inevitably children are not always angels! We want to make sure that incidents of inappropriate behaviour are dealt with quickly and in collaboration with parents. The school has introduced a new tracking system to monitor behaviour and where appropriate, parents and staff will meet to discuss how they can work together to best to support children’s behaviour.
- We aim to give children a stronger voice in shaping their school. Over the year, pupils will have increased opportunities to say what they think should happen at Morley.
- We are also focusing on improving the school’s premises and facilities.
Click here for more information about what Morley’s school governors do.
After Christmas we will have a vacancy for a parent governor on Morley’s Governing Body. In January we will be formally asking for nominations from interested parents. An election will be held if more than one parent puts themselves forward.
The role of the Governing Body is to clarify the school’s vision, ethos and strategic direction, hold the head to account for the performance of the school and ensure the budget is well spent. Click here for more information about what governors do.
You don’t need to be an expert in education to become a governor. You need to have an interest in the school and welfare of our children and the time and willingness to get involved. We would be particularly interested to receive nominations from people who have experience of:
- premises or facilities management
- procurement / purchasing
- being a board member
- chairing a board, governing body or committee
- financial planning
- performance management
If you are interested in becoming a governor, please get in touch with Nicky Odgers, the chair of governors (firstname.lastname@example.org) for an informal chat to find out more about the role and the time commitment involved.
The Resources Committee has been busy this school year overseeing the school’s use of resources and facilities.
Good news on the school budget. The Government has introduced a new fairer funding formula that has significantly improved the amount of funding given to Cambridgeshire schools. Morley’s budget has always been well managed, but with very little flexibility. This year we will be using the additional resources to invest in teaching, including training and development.
We’re also delighted that the council is pressing ahead with the consultation on the school redevelopment plans and hope to see lots of parents at the event this coming Monday.
Finally, we’ve agreed a new approach to the parent survey this year, making it easier for you to complete. That will be opening up in the next couple of weeks and we hope all parents will take the time to complete it. Feedback from parents is really important and we’ll share the results with you before the summer break.
In the last two months, governors have taken the following actions to support schools improvement:
- Governors and senior leaders met to further clarify our vision for the school. Our aims for the school were identified after consulting with children, parents, governor and staff in 2013. We want to provide brilliant teaching and facilities, offer a creative curriculum that stretches and rewards all learners, engage all parents in their children’s learning and the wider community in the life of the school and help children develop the social skills they need to thrive. We explored what we would see happening at the school if these aims were firmly underpinned by the values identified as important by stakeholders. These values are: respect, creativity, inclusiveness, learning, relationships and community.
- Governors reviewed recent progress made towards targets identified as priorities in the school’s Raising Achievement Plan. These are: to embed and deliver the new national curriculum, to establish new assessment procedures, to develop spelling and to further develop teaching.
- Governors reviewed data showing progress, attainment and attendance of all children in the school over the Spring Term. They monitored the quality of teaching and reviewed staff sickness absence rates.
- Governors agreed the budget for the next financial year and visited the school to monitor how the school is spending pupil premium money.
- Governors have met regularly with Ms Brown, led her performance management and helped with interviewing.
For more information about what governors do, see “The role of the Governing Body” and our governor blog which appears on the front page of the website and is archived under “Governor News“. Click here to find out who the governors are and here to find out how to contact them.
Four new governors have recently been appointed to Morley’s Governing Body.
- Ruth Kershner – Ruth is a university lecturer in primary education and psychology of education at Cambridge University. She supports trainees on the Primary PGCE course, co-coordinates the Primary Masters course and teaches in the areas of primary education, inclusive education, research methods and psychology. Prior to this, Ruth worked as a primary teacher, learning support teacher and educational psychologist.
- Sarah Smalley – Sarah has recently retired. Until very recently she was chief executive of the Religious Education Council, a national education council that promotes inclusive RE teaching, ensuring it is relevant to children of all faiths and none. Sarah has considerable board and HR experience and worked for 30 years in education in teaching and advisory roles.
- Anna Robinson – Anna has a background in drama teaching and before moving to Cambridge was Head of Performing Arts at a secondary school in London. She has experience of OFSTED, performance management in schools, monitoring standard and effective staff-governor relationships. Anna has a son in Year 1.
- Marc Neesam – Marc is the Primary Education Programme Manager for the Royal Society of Chemistry and is responsible for developing their strategic plan for supporting the teaching of science across all primary schools in the UK. He is involved with developing science policy, curriculum and training opportunities for teachers. Marc is also a qualified and experienced primary teacher with particular interests in science, outdoor learning and ICT.
In the last few weeks, governors have taken the following actions to support schools improvement:
- We have approved the following policies: grievance, sex and relationships education, exclusions, collective worship, behaviour principles.
- Governors reviewed recent progress made towards targets identified as priorities in the school’s Raising Achievement Plan. These are: to embed and deliver a consistent curriculum, to establish new assessment procedures, to develop spelling and to further develop teaching. We were particularly pleased to note that the school in considering buying software that will make it easier for staff to track progress of children in their class and that phase and subject leaders are working collaboratively to developing new methods of self-evaluation and planning.
- Governors reviewed data showing progress, attainment and attendance of all children in the school over the Autumn Term.
- Governors have met weekly with Ms Brown as part of her induction.