Governor Maths Walkthrough Day
17th October 2017
Our governor walkthrough day for this term focused on the subject of maths, which had been identified from results as being an area of weakness for the children at Whittlefield and was therefore a key area for improvement this year.
We visited both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children to observe the maths being taught through the whole school. It was wonderful to see how both the staff and children accepted our presence with no real distraction to anybody, and also to see how calm and engaged they all were during the lessons. All children were firmly on task and although many said that they found maths quite tricky and that it wasn’t their favourite subject, the common factor that stood out to the governors was that nobody was giving up when they found it difficult and they were persevering with their tasks.
The governors were particularly impressed with how every teacher had provided differentiation in their class so that the more abled children were fully challenged and the children who did have difficulty with the subject were still able to achieve their own goals and then move on to the additional challenge that had been set for their group. This was so evident right through the school and is obviously a result of positive maths leadership.
We were informed by Mr Riley and many of the teaching staff that the school has recently started to use a new learning scheme called the White Rose Maths Hub rather than the Lancashire County Council scheme, although staff are still able to select teaching material from the latter if they feel it will help in certain lessons. The impact that this is having is already evident with clear indications that the children are quickly learning to understand how and why techniques work in maths. Several children communicated wonderfully how glad they were that they no longer had to use the ‘chunking’ method when doing complicated division calculations, although they did understand why they had been taught that as an initial building block!
Having spent the full morning observing the children and from our meeting with Mr Riley the governors feel confident that although maths is a current weakness for children at Whittlefield, it won’t be for long. The decision made by the senior leadership team to alternate each term between Maths and English having the extra teaching time is brilliant.
Many thanks once again to all the children and the staff at Whittlefield for making us feel so welcome.
Governors spend a day in Whittlefield.
There is nothing like spending a whole day in school to see what is really going on, to see how a school ‘works’. On the last day of January, governors were invited to spend the whole day in school to see how our children cope with maths teaching. They cope very well!!! Before the visit we had agreed to focus on how happy the children appear in school and we can say with authority that they seem very happy indeed; happy, welcoming and full of confidence.
We were thrilled to see how engaged the children were from Reception to Year 6. They were attentive and industrious in all the classes we visited; and we visited all of them! Children were well behaved and when there was an ‘issue’ it was reassuring to see how it was dealt with appropriately without disturbing the learning of others.
During the afternoon we were treated to afternoon tea by members of the School Forum. Eating sandwiches made by the children we were questioned on: ‘What are governors for?…Who are they?… What do they do?…and many more intelligent questions.
It was like a job interview!
We left the school in the late afternoon after a fun and informative day, a day full of interest and questions. We left, impressed with the quality of the teaching and the quality of your children’s learning at the School. Your children are in safe hands!
Thank you to all the children, the staff and Mrs. Kershaw for making us all so very welcome.
News from your Governors
By the time you read this your governors will have met formally in committees four times already this term. This does not include, of course, the visits to School made by individual governors talking to both Helen, your headteacher , and other members of staff; visits in which we learn more about our children’s progress and what the School is offering them.
What is the purpose of all this involvement? What are governors for?
Put simply, your Governors have a duty to:
- work with the headteacher and staff to establish the school’s vision, its purpose and its aims in serving this community of Whittlefield.
- keep an eye on and evaluates the work of the School by reviewing the performance of our headteacher.
- approve and monitor the success of the School’s Improvement Plan in meeting the needs of all our children.
At one of our most recent meetings we were presented with clear evidence of the progress being made by our children across the School. We offer our congratulations to our children and to all our staff who are working so hard to maintain this upward trend in the School.
News from your governors.
Your School Governors continue to support the whole staff to provide the highest standard of education possible for all our children at Whittlefield.
Last term governors attended school meetings for Full Governors, and committee meetings on Resources, (keeping an eye on spending), Curriculum, Standards and Effectiveness.
They visited School during Literacy Week to see how reading and writing is taught at all levels and discuss issues raised with subject leaders. They also conducted an appraisal, a performance management review of our Headteacher’s work over the past two terms.
Governors are keen to meet the demands for the future by developing their own learning by attending Lancashire County Council courses preparing for an Ofsted Inspection, exploring the primary school curriculum, governors’ roles in school finance, and training for new governors!
Paul Sandiford, our Chair of Governors is in regular contact with Headteacher Helen Kershaw by telephone, e-mail and meetings throughout the term to keep informed about the day to day issues which arise in school. In addition he met with Helen, our Headteacher, at the end of last term, to discuss preparations for an Ofsted inspection which could happen at any time now.
Governors have supported school staff in meeting the Lancashire County Council Library Service to help improve book provision. They have helped the School make links with a French school in Burnley’s twin town, Vitry-sur-Seine, close to Paris; and next term we are looking forward to our children writing to new friends in France.
All of the governor involvement outside formal meetings goes a long way to helping them gain a deeper understanding of how the school works and understand the opportunities for future development in the school as a whole.
News from your Governors
Your School Governors are totally committed to supporting the whole staff to provide the highest standard of education possible for all our children at Whittlefield.
Last term governors attended meetings in school for Full Governors, and committee meetings on Standards and Effectiveness, Curriculum, Resources and Pay. In September they shared two days with staff on in-service training. They contributed to the process of school development planning as well as attending a session on safeguarding issues. Governors visited the School’s Open Afternoon in October to visit classrooms, meet children staff and parents. During Maths Week in November, they spent a morning observing maths teaching in classrooms before having lunch with children and staff. In December they celebrated Christmas with the School from Carol services to helping on stalls and at the Christmas Fair.
Throughout the term individual governors visited school to talk with subject leaders whilst others were able to offer their professional expertise to support staff on finance and record keeping. They attended Lancashire County Council courses for new governors and preparing for an Ofsted Inspection. All of the governor involvement outside formal meetings goes a long way to helping them gain a deeper understanding of how the school works and understand the opportunities for future development in the school as a whole.