9th May 2018 – By Parent Governor – Ian Wiles
I hope that everyone had a good Bank Holiday weekend and it’s great to welcome everyone back for the rest of a busy half term. We always have a full school governors meeting at the end of term as it’s a great time to reflect and to plan the rest of the school year. As a parent Governor at Ballifield I’m part of a team whose role it’s to review progress against the school’s plan and challenge the senior leadership team. The governing board’s role is to hold the school’s leadership team to account to ensure the best possible school for our community.
It was really good to hear from Mrs Smith on the steps that we’re taking and how the new leadership team is tackling the continuous improvement challenge. There were so many positives on the academic side which is all down to the hard work of our kids and our teachers. As a parent it was also really good to see the energy around the school last term. We have seen “super hero” days and other events where our kids are learning in a creative and exciting environment. Personally, I have also found the new ParentMail app really useful and a good way for the school to update parents. If you’re not signed up yet please speak to reception.
Like all schools there has also been challenge this past term including the great British weather. Thanks to all parents for your patience during that period when we saw a ridiculous amount of snow for the time of year. One of the agenda items was to discuss the limitations that the school building has on our learning environment. This is something the leadership team are looking to work on over the next year with the reception space being the biggest priority.
The leadership team is committed to moving Ballifield from good to outstanding. We’re at the start of that journey but Governors are confident based on what we have seen and heard.
One of the items we discussed was parental engagement which is something that the school really wants to improve. There have been a number of sessions held this school year looking at the curriculum but unfortunately had a really low turnout. I thought about attending one of the sessions and reflecting I think one of the reasons is slight embarrassment around not understanding my daughters maths homework. Feedback from parents was recently collected at parent’s evening and looking at the feedback there were plenty of comments asking for support around the curriculum so they could support home learning.
This was great to see and hopefully when the next parent drop in sessions are held there will be a bigger take up. I will definitely be taking up the opportunity next time around. Please ask your child’s teacher for more information or speak to reception. Evidence from Ofsted suggests that a critical dimension of effective teaching and learning is the relationship between the teacher, their pupils and their parents. As a Governor this is clearly a priority for Mrs Smith and her team.
It’s also worth noting the outstanding PTA we have at Ballifield and all of the great fundraising it has done this year.
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