An ongoing blog of our Governor activities for this academic year...
14 June - Year R New Parents Meeting
Great to see so many new (and existing) parents at the new Year R parents evening last night. Parents received an overview of the structure of what their children will be learning from September and had the opportunity to ask any questions to staff and governors.
04 June - New Year R Taster afternoon
Staff and governors welcomed our newest school family members into Kingsnorth for the first time today.
I was able to chat informally with some parents/carers about the school and answer any questions they had. A good opportunity for governors to meet with parents.
23/25 May - Teaching Staff interviews
Governors ensure that any job offers made are based on receiving a full safeguarding check from the candidate. We will always ensure that the recruitment process is rigorous and the best candidates are chosen for our schools.
We wish those members of staff leaving us at the end of term well and welcome the new members of the team joining the schools from September.
23 May - SIAMS training/meeting
As governors we discussed the format of the inspection and the role that we will play in the process.
18th May - Pupil Progress Meetings
Governors attend these meetings to look at specific data for each class group to challenge why children are not making expected levels. Teachers are able to provide accuarate, up to date information on the actions being taken to ensure every pupil achieves the best outcome.
14-17 May - Year 6 SATS week
The statutory testing process for Year 6 was monitored by governors to ensure that school staff were following the procedures set out in the guidance.
The children were fully supported by school staff during this test week to ensure they stayed calm and were able to do their best for each test.
The Local JGB will monitor the test results for both schools to ensure the expected levels of attainment and progress are being met.
09 May - Year 2 SATS week
As a link governor for the middle school I was particularly interested in attending school to watch the testing process take place. The teachers kept the children calm and relaxed whilst ensuring that the tests were carried out correctly and to the guidelines that are set out.
21 April - Brenzett Forest School Opening
Today marked the official opening of the forest school at Brenzett school. Everyone joined together to receive a blessing for the new garden. There were parents, pupils, governors, staff members and invited Aquila members present.
The forest school is a great asset to the school and providing a stimulating learning environment for the pupils.
27 March - Interview day for FLO
The JLGB and SLT have a strong commitment to the wellbeing of our staff, children and families. We provide a safe and welcoming environment for everyone. The appointment of a new FLO will ensure that we continue to offer this support whilst strengthening the relationships with families to improve outcomes for them. The LJGB ensure that all appointments are carried out with full safeguarding checks.
We wish Hayley Jones well for the future and thank her for the hard work she put into the school.
22 March 2018 - Joint Local Governing Body
This group combines all of the various committee groups from across both Brenzett and Kingsnorth schools. At these meeting all governors have the opportunity to hear about all aspects of school work and can ask question and challenge on any subject. Reports received showed good academic progress across most areas and challenge in areas of concern or where specific actions from the schools improvement plan were still to be met. This was also the first time all of the governors had the opportunity to discuss the retirement of our Vice Chair of Governors. Aline Hicks had been a serving Governor at Kingsnorth school for over 25 years but at Christmas had decided that the time had come for her to retire from the role. Aline has over the years been both a good friend and challenging governor of the school always supporting it and encouraging the same in others, she has said she will continue to be available to the school to help if needed and the Governors and school are both grateful for this offer. One of the existing governors and current chair of the Resources group has accepted the role of Vice Chair for one year and we will look to find a permanent Vice Chair within the year.
16 March 2018 - Brenzett Learning and Development Group
This was the second full group meeting of this year and a new chair for the group was elected. The governors received reports and in year data on progress of all year groups and it could be seen that since the start of the year in most areas we have seen a significant improvement in teaching and learning, this data was validated by the schools improvement partner who acknowledged the work done so far and the plans the school has to continue to improve. The governors were also given the results of a recent parent survey, which was very encouraging not just because of the very high level of response received from parents but almost without exception the parents praised the school for it efforts, said how happy the pupils were now and encouraged the school to keep up this good work.
March 2018 - Governor Group meetings
March saw a whole series of Governor Committee and monitoring meetings. Reports from across all groups at Kingsnorth is showing very good progress in most areas and this is supported by the external improvement advisors used by the school. Any areas of concern or where performance is not at the levels we expect are being clearly focused on and pupils, staff and parents should be very proud of what they are achieving.
14 March 2018 - OFSTED Preparation training
The joint local governing body this evening received training on the protocol of an OFSTED inspection from our school advisor, who used to be an inspector himself. It was a very informative session and it will put us in a good position when the time comes.
14 March 2018 - Resources Committee Meeting
This meeting was mostly dominated with budget discussions for both Kingsnorth and Brenzett. Budgets are tight but governors are keeping a close watch on them. Both schools are in a good state at present and bids for funding are pending for new boilers at Kingsnorth and a perimeter fence at Brenzett.
07 March 2018 - Year R Mother’s Day event
I was delighted to be able to attend this event today hosted by the Year R team. Mothers/Grandmothers/carers were invited into school to spend time with their child to work on a craft project to create a special item for Mother’s Day.
As a governor, it is important for me to get the chance to talk with parents about their experiences at Kingsnorth and to ensure they understand the role of the LGB at the school. It was a very special event- thoroughly enjoyed by everyone that attended.
09 February 2018 - Health & Safety Visit
I visited the school today as H&S Governor. I had a tour from the site management team and found all to be in a very good state and well maintained. The team do a great job and I found no areas of concern. It is good to see a good safe environment for our children.
26 January 2018 - Celebration assembly
Today, I joined the whole school community for daily collective worship. The whole school congratulated their peers in their special achievements and remembered the importance of the Christian Values at Kingsnorth.
26 January 2018 - Volunteer induction meeting
I attended a meeting arranged for new parent volunteers who had agreed to give up some of their time to support the school and to help with continued improvement at Kingsnorth. It was great to see such willingness from volunteers to help the children and the school. The middle school TL and the Assistant HT ensured that the process was carried out following the guidelines in our policy
15 December 2017 - Pupil Progress Meetings.
As part of the on-going assessment of children’s progress these meetings are held once per term to analyse the specific class data for the core curriculum subjects. The class team, alongside senior leadership and governors, ensure that all children are making good progress and discuss specific interventions or support that is needed to ensure this progress is sustained throughout the year. It is crucial that this is reviewed regularly.
06 December 2017 - Year R Nativity Play
It was well attended by parents and the children did a fantastic job in the play which was greatly appreciated by all. Thanks to all the hard work of both staff and pupils it was great to see. I was particularly impressed with the pupil who despite hitting her head early on in the play but was determined to join in at the end with the singing complete with ice pack. Well done all!
06 December 2017 - Year R Nativity Play
I had the pleasure of watching the newest members of the school perform their version of the nativity story. It is a great opportunity to welcome parents/family members into the school again and to hear their views on the school so far! Personally for me, it is great to talk with some parents that I have met earlier in the year when they were choosing a school or at our inductions sessions.
06 December 2017 - Brenzett First Learning and Development Group Meeting
The first meeting of the newly formed L&D group for Brenzett took place this evening. With the addition of the 3 new governors (2 parent and 1 staff governor) the group now has 7 fully committed working governors. This meeting focused on understanding its role and responsibilities and planning for the future. The group has a good mix of experienced governors and other who are new to governance but bring with them the necessary skills and experience that will make them very effective governors.
01/02 December 2017 - PFA Christmas Fayre
I was able to support the pfa with one of their fundraising events for the school. The PFA team of volunteers work tirelessly to raise very much needed extra funds for the school. The governors fully acknowledge this extra money and truly appreciate the work that is done to organise these lovely community events.
30 November 2017 - Strategic and Resource Group meetings
The November round of meetings provided governors with the revised School Plans for the coming year, it was pleasing to have reports from several external advisors that conclude good progress is being made across both Kingsnorth and Brenzett school and that new staff have settled in very well. Resources group was able to report on the successful completion of the roof repairs at Kingsnorth and that further bids for funding was being made to change the boilers at Kingsnorth and install better fencing around Brenzett school this year. Budgets in both schools remain tight but manageable and the governors are constantly monitoring them.
28 November 2017 - Middle school link meeting
These meetings between governors and the team leader enable us to have a full review of the work that is being carried out in the middle school, Years 2-4. Today, we discussed progress data in all year groups and attainment data. We spoke about programmes that are used in reading, writing and maths and the impact that they have had so far. The structure of the middle school staffing was discussed with the additional presence of a student teacher this year and the TA team that is in place. We also heard of training that had taken place for staff and identified some ongoing training needs. The meeting is a very useful opportunity in school to really analyse up to date information.
23 November 2017 - Chair of Governors and Head Teacher Aquila meeting
Attended a Chair of Governor and Head Teacher meeting with the senior management and board representatives from Aquila at Reculver Primary School. Aquila presented more information on the progress that had been made within Aquila schools and how well the Academy Trust schools were now working and cooperating together. The data shared showed very good trends in both key stage groups with clear evidence of some outstanding practice and results in the EYS and KS1 data. The work get all schools on a single management reporting systems within SIMS was well underway and most of the initial program problems had now been addressed with some individual school still experiencing minor technical issues which are being addressed. Aquila has now started to train their own teachers with student teachers in most of the Aquila schools supported by Canterbury University. This program is intended to help train the next generation of teachers who we all hope will go on to continue to work for Aquila and the pupils that the trust educates.
20 November 2017 - Training session Along with other governors from Kingsnorth and Brenzett
I attended a training session on the subject of Coaching Into Appraisal. The training was carried out by an independent body of which all Aquila schools use. Governors are always seeking opportunities to ensure that our skills are kept up to date in order to support the JLGB to the best of our ability.
08 November 2017 - Annual open evening for prospective new year R parents
This information evening held at Kingsnorth was very well attended by parents gathering information on choosing a school for their child for September 2018. I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to engage with the community to answer their questions about the school and its future direction! We also welcomed families into the school on the mornings of 20th and 21st November to see the school during the working day. It is a great opportunity for me as a governor to spend time with school staff and meet members of the local community.
19 October/28 November 2017 - HT annual review
A panel of governors, with the support of an external advisor, carry out this statutory responsibility. We are there to review the targets set in the previous academic year and to set new targets for the year ahead.
11th October 2017 - Collective Worship
Rev Caroline was in school monitoring the Collective Worship this morning with Mrs Hardwick. Despite being stung by a wasp Mrs Sullivan led very well!
We looked at how CW is distinctively Anglican and how it can be distinctively Christian as it seeks to ask questions of the children and relate them both to faith and the Bible and their life.
Mrs Hardwick and I also visited each classroom to monitor the prayer spaces and how the school values were displayed. It was encouraging to see the children using the 'dream clouds' to think big dreams about the future, and to see how each prayer space is used differently in each classroom. I was pleased to see examples of children articulating what the school values were for themselves.
21 September 2017 - First Committee Meetings of the year
Throughout today the JLGB met in committees to discuss resources, finance, staffing, curriculum and health and safety. Minutes of every meeting are available to parents and staff to read, if they wish to, once they have been approved.
06 September 2017 - Forming the Joint Local Governing Body
This evening we met for the first time as a Joint Local Governing Body (JLGB). We welcomed the existing Brenzett Governors to join us and with the advice from Nick Morgan of Aquila we had our first meeting agreeing documentation and Terms of Reference amongst other things.
30 June 2017 - Sports Day
It was great to attend the school sports day event today. The children all seemed to have a wonderful time and enjoy participating in the events. It was nice to see so many parents spectating. Thanks to all staff who made it a successful event.
28 June 2017 - Comment from the Vice Chair of Governors
I am always interested in how we can prepare our Year 6 children in going forward into the 'big wide world' of secondary education, and I would like to relate of two events that have recently taken place for our pupils.
Today I visited the Rare Breeds centre at Woodchurch where Ashford Borough Council had arranged for all Year 6 children in the Borough to learn about various safety hazards and 'life skills'. There were stands about drugs education, keeping safe, and a whole host of other agencies but for the first time children were also advised about 'mental health and well being' issues. This afternoon our staff took Kingsnorth children to participate in this annual event. I was delighted to see how well behaved our pupils were and another Borough Councillor remarked to me how good they were.
Also I was able to arrange for our MP to come to school to talk to Y6 children about ;democracy' as part of our teaching on British Values. Year 6 children from Furley Park also came to hear what Damian Green our “deputy PM” had to say and he answered all of their questions quite honestly. I thought the best question from children was “What motived you to become interested in politics?” and the answer was that he had a good history teacher at school.
08 June 2017 - Resources group meeting
A very productive meeting today covering budgets, reviewing policies, staffing plans and discussing future school plans and projects.
08 June 2017 - Resources Group Meeting
The Resources group of governors met for the final time this year. The main topic on the agenda was the setting and approval of the school budget. After much discussion the budget was approved and signed by the Head Teacher and Chair of Governors. The school and Governors have set a tight but balanced budget this year given the financial pressures all school now face, the budget was submitted to Aquila with a caveat describing why we have done what we have. On an extremely positive note the head teacher was able to report that for September we are fully staffed with highly qualified teachers in EVERY class and also have the added support of two great student teachers who would be working with us. The Resource governors and especially the Chair of Resources have worked extremely hard this year with the school and are proud of all the school has been able to achieve.
05 June 2017 - Health and Safety Audit
As the designated Health and Safety Governor I attended a meeting with the Health and Safety representative from Aquila. The audit was conducted on behalf of Aquila by a company called Ellis Whittam who provide management services to the trust. The audit was robust and detailed over the course of the whole day and included a physical full site inspection as well as a desk audit of all associated paper work and policies. I am very pleased to report that only a few minor issues were raised most relating to signage or simple housekeeping practices. These were either address on the day or will be completed before the end of term.
26 May 2017 - Budget Meeting
The Chair of Resources, Chair of Governors and the school business manager met to go over in detail the proposed budget that needed to be finalised and submitted to the Academy Trust early in June. Given the very tight monetary constraints the school had prepared a balance budget proposal with governors that provide for the day to day operational needs and allowed for a smaller amount of money this year than in previous years towards further school improvements. The budget would be submitted to the full Governor Resources Group in early June for their approval.
23 May 2017 - Chair of Governors and Head Teacher Aquila meeting
Attended a Chair of Governor and Head Teacher meeting with the senior management and board representatives from Aquila at the Ramsgate Primary school. The meeting was the 3rd one this year and focused on the progress that had been made within Aquila schools and how well the Academy Trust schools were now working and cooperating together. All at the meeting agreed that this was a major step forward for the trust and would lead to even more progress next year.
28 April 2017 - Planning Meeting with Kingsnorth Parish Council
The Chair of Kingsnorth Parish council came to the school to discuss plans they are considering to help improve the facilities offered to the residents of Kingsnorth and ask for input from the school on what they can do to help and support us.
24 April 2017 - Progress and Impact meeting
Today I attended the meeting with all senior leaders of the school as well as the school improvement advisor appointed by Aquila to monitor and evaluate our progress. The meeting focuses on current termly data from all year groups to ensure we are on track to achieve our school targets and that all pupils are making the necessary progress. The meeting also looks at the detail of various groups to ensure that no particular group is in any way disadvantaged. The data available showed progress was on target and any pupils who were not meeting expected levels were known to teachers and action was being taken to help them.
21 April 2017 - Governor Lunch with Pupil School Council
The governors invited the pupil’s School Council to the annual lunch we hold with them. This is a great opportunity for both governors and the pupils from across all year groups to meet and hear from each other. The meeting took place in the old school building and the buffet lunch was provided by our catering company. The pupils were fantastic and ask a range of question and raised some concerns they have, all the governors who were able to attend enjoyed the event and look forward to it again next year.
02 March 2017- Resources group meeting
Today included finance review, health and safety update, staffing update, to discuss future projects and lettings. With school finances under increasing pressure we spoke about the impact it could have on our school. We acknowledged and thanked the PFA for their amazing work and support in raising essentials funds for the school.
02 March 2017- Lower School Link Meeting
The lower school link Governors received an update on data for the Lower School including an indication of the expected pass rate for the Phonics Screening Check and the measures that had been put in place to ensure the best possible outcome for the children in this test. The Governors were given an understanding of the new way in which appraisals and coaching would be carried out at the School and the benefits of these changes. Staff changes and Miss Ciantar’s forthcoming maternity leave were discussed, with regard to her role as a class teacher, the Head of Lower School and as a Governor. The Year R Mother’s Day event and the Year R trip to the library and fire station were outlined and the governors were extended an invitation.
23 February 2017 - Governor Training
I attended a SIAMS monitoring course this evening which gave a great oversight into what is expected to be seen during a SIAMS inspection. It was a good opportunity to speak to other school governors and have more in depth discussions around SIAMS.
22 February 2017 - Parents/Governors Meeting
Today we had our Annual meeting between Parents and Governors. It is a great opportunity to meet each other face to face and discuss school improvement and future projects the school has in mind. Please find the minutes attached here.