Governor Update - Summer 2017
This has been a busy year for governors and staff at Lawn Primary as we seek to develop and improve the education provision at school, whilst dealing with budget constraints and staff changes. Despite the challenges we have made good progress in the past year which is clearly demonstrated by the improvement in SAT results across the school. Full details of our strategy with progress highlights can be found below. We would like to thank all pupils, parents and staff for their support over the past year and hope you have a relaxing summer holiday.
2017 SAT Results
This summer marked the second year of tests under the new curriculum and assessment criteria. Year 6 did us proud with KS2 SAT results at or above the national average (NA) in all areas and significantly above last year. Percentages for those achieving at or above the expected level of attainment are Maths 80%, Writing 79%, Reading 75%, English, Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling 77%. Year 2 KS1 SAT results were similarly positive and we believe they will also be above the NA although we don’t yet have the national figures.
Governing Body Vacancies
The governing body consists of 13 volunteers plus our clerk, which is a part time paid position. In September there will be opportunities for new members to join us and we are also looking for a new clerk. If you or someone you know has the time and interest to join us, please register your interest with Steve Sutton (Chair of Governors) via the school office. Further details will be provided in September and information about roles and responsibilities can be found on the school website under the Community>Governors section.
As you will have read in our spring update, recent letter and possibly in the Swindon Evening Advertiser, our school budget is currently stretched and in order to keep us in the black over the next three years we are having to make some difficult decisions. We are not alone in this position and many schools across Swindon are having similar problems as costs rise, but funding remains flat. As our situation will affect staffing levels at the school, it is important that we first discuss with the impacted staff before we make any details public. This process is ongoing, but we anticipate we should be able to provide an update before the summer holidays begin. Despite the changes there will be no increase in class sizes and we expect to offer the same high standard of education in 2017/18 school year.
We will once again be running our parent questionnaire to gather your feedback and will use this to help guide our focus in 2017/18. Last year we received over 200 responses and over the year we have provided feedback on key points raised via the school and governor newsletters. Please do take the time to give us your feedback again this year and in September we will provide an overview of your feedback along with our plans to address common concerns.
Governor Vision and Strategy
Last year we communicated our 3-5 year vision and strategy for the school and below are a few highlights from the last year. We will continue to work towards further improvements over the coming year and our goals will be reflected in the School Development Plan (SDP).
Vision: Enable every child to realise their potential
1. Invest in staff - children’s education is directly affected by the quality of staff that we have and the way they are organised. Our aim is to hire, develop and keep great teaching and non-teaching staff, with the right roles, working in an efficient framework.
- Trainee staff were employed in the last year and are planned for next year to develop a pipeline of teachers for the school.
- Hired several experienced and NQT teachers following thorough interviews to ensure high quality recruitments.
- Middle management training completed for Senior Leadership Team.
- New School Improvement Partner (SIP) hired to assist and review progress.
- Succession plan in progress to enable cover for Mrs James during her forthcoming maternity leave.
2. Safety and Security for every child - Lawn Primary school has an excellent record in the area of safeguarding and child protection. We are proactive in identifying and supporting pupils and will strive relentlessly to maintain this successful approach despite a constantly increasing workload.
- Very positive feedback from parents and recent audits by SBC and our SIP of our Safeguarding provision driven by the Nurture team.
- Road traffic working party set up to monitor and improve safety around the school and governors are investigating options to improve parking with council.
- School is working towards achieving the Anti Bullying Award.
3. Be a first choice school - Our goal is to be and be seen as a top school that parents and children want to attend.
- The school has maintained a broad curriculum despite budget limitations, offering Music, Sport, Science, Trips etc and many different clubs.
- A recent moderation of our KS2 writing was highly praised and indicates we maintained our position as one of the leading local schools.
- KS2 and KS1 2017 results were all at or above National Average and showed improvement on 2016
- New policy on Homework has enabled standardisation across the school.
- Feedback from the 2016 parent questionnaire asked that we reduce the number of separate letters sent home. In response, the school newsletter now consolidates most communication.
- New IT capabilities installed to enable 9x faster broadband at 80% of the cost. A new server will complete the infrastructure modernisation over the summer and increase data security.
- New Maths scheme to be introduced in Sept 2017 with help from Friends of Lawn.
- Parentmail will be extended in 2017/18 to enable parents to pay for other items such as school trips online and direct web site access will be provided to order uniforms online.
4. Proactive collaboration - This focus area revolves around the opportunities and benefits that collaborating more closely with other schools will provide to help us achieve our aims. This might take the form of a loose alliance with local schools or a more formal partnership such as becoming an Academy and being part of a Multi Academy Trust (MAT).
- MAT/Academy working party set up. Meetings held with cluster schools and Royal Wootton Bassett academy to assess opportunity.
- Hosted local schools cluster writing moderation event and collaborated on a writing project for boys in KS1.
- Linked with various schools within the Churchfields, Commonweal and Ridgeway clusters. As a result, G&T pupils were given additional opportunities to attend specific subject related events (Years 4 – 6) and whole classes/year groups attended curriculum and experience days
5. Expansion Strategy - There are an increasing number of children in Swindon requiring primary school places and we are already significantly over-subscribed. Some will be taken by new Primary Schools, but we need to decide if and how Lawn Primary School should expand.
- Analysed, approved and implemented the integration of Lawn Preschool with Lawn Primary School enabling increased hours for children attending from Sept.
- New teacher hired to run what will be Lawn Nursery from Sept 2017.
- Hiring in progress for additional link worker for the nursery.