Governor Blog

25 September 19


Christian Distinctiveness Committee


A few of us met with Ms Birch, our RE lead to discuss what the school is doing in relation to the new SIAMS Framework.  SIAMS is “Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools”.  We are expecting this inspection in the Autumn term of 2020.


As well as looking at RE teaching over the next few months, we will be considering the Christian nature of the school overall.  We will be meeting again with Ms Birch and Miss Huggins, as well as looking at books, visiting assemblies and church services and speaking with pupils. 


This time we discussed the school’s Christian vision and how governors’ work reflects it.  We agreed to make it more explicit whilst conducting governor business.


When explaining our vision for St Andrew’s Benn to our newest governor, Rev Sheila Bridge, she said it felt to her as though the St Andrew’s Benn tree had the Christian narrative as its roots, the vision statement (Feed your mind, Achieve your best, Make a difference, Imagine the impossible, Live our values, You are love) as the trunk, and the fruit of this tree are the school values by which we live.  A visual representation of this may well follow!


Corinna Robson



25 September 19


Curriculum Afternoon


Parent governors attended an information session to better understand the new curriculum and its expectations for pupils.  There is a clear structure to the school day, with Literacy and Numeracy in the mornings and other subjects such as Science, History and Geography in the afternoons.


The new themes sound very interesting and appealing to children.  A lot of thought has gone into the planning, for example writing a Viking form of poetry when the theme is Vikings.  Texts studied might link to the theme, if appropriate.


Governors have seen that writing remains an area to improve.  We saw in the session how emphasis on quality of writing in placed over the entire curriculum, not just work carried out during Literacy sessions.


Having spent some time thinking about the Christian nature of the school, it was encouraging to hear the teachers linking behaviour to the school values; it is quite clearly second nature to all by now.


The session ended with a reminder about online safety, which of course remains very relevant to all children. 


Corinna Robson and Sarah Gorev


14 June 19

Being a Parent Governor

I became a Parent Governor four years ago, and it’s been three years since I became Chair of Governors.

I had been a teacher in a secondary school, but I had never thought about what governors do. I think I thought they came for a chat and a biscuit with the Head every now and again and that was about it. You will have seen from our blog that I was quite wrong!

I volunteer for this role mainly because I find it so interesting. I am learning new things about how schools are run every week, and I am definitely still learning. Some weeks are quieter and some weeks I can spend several hours at school or working on things at home.

I like to think that in addition to the three main objectives of school governance (overseeing the finances, holding our headteacher to account for the educational performance of the pupils and setting the vision and ethos of the school), we have been able to provide support to our Senior Leadership Team, who in turn support our staff, helping them to support all the children. I hope that along with all the other members of the school community, we are doing our bit.

I really enjoy being one of the Parent Governors, and would very much like to continue, and also continue as Chair. However, my term comes to an end this year, and any parent is entitled to stand for election. If you do wish to stand, please contact the Clerk to the Governors, Malcolm Garratt at clerk3591@welearn365.com by July 1st 2019.

More information about being a governor can be found here:
https://www.nga.org.uk/Governance-Recruitment/Be-a-school-governor-or-trustee.aspx

Corinna Robson, Chair of Governors


22 March 19

Literacy monitoring

This morning I met with Mrs Wells to discuss the progress the school is making against its targets in writing. Having seen an improvement in reading, writing was our weakest area last year.

Mrs Wells has introduced a host of initiatives to increase the children’s performance in writing. The biggest change has been the new curriculum, and this is providing many opportunities for exciting reading and writing.

It is universally accepted that good writing cannot be achieved without good reading, and Mrs Wells has been careful to maintain emphasis on reading within the school as well. It has been lovely to see the newly reopened library and the children’s book bags made for library visits.

 

Both the pupils and teachers in Y6 are working hard at their writing in preparation for SATS, and Mrs Wells is expecting a higher proportion of children to achieve both expected standard and expected progress than last year.

Corinna Robson, Literacy Link Governor


12 March 19

Governor Training

There are various training courses available to Governors to help with understanding of key issues and opportunities in school in order to be able to question and challenge our schools as appropriate. As my background is commercial rather than in education, I find this training improves my knowledge of school complexities and governance priorities. For example, I have been on various sessions in the last couple of years including Governor Induction, Using School Performance Data, Ofsted Preparation, Governor In a Church School, Pupil Premium, Safeguarding, Online Safety, GDPR and this week I went on a session run by EMTAS on English as a Foreign Language. It is also an opportunity to meet Governors from other local schools and share experience.

The EAL training this week highlighted:

  • the number of languages spoken by Warwickshire school children
  • the impact of age and previous schooling on ability and speed accessing our curriculum in English
  • the importance of involving the whole family to feel safe, settled and valued as part of the school community
  • the issues around data capture and the importance of scales used to track English progression in order to enable resources to be allocated appropriately
  • the importance of all children’s ability to access the national curriculum with their peers.

I also enjoyed meeting the people who were running the course and hearing about their positive experiences with our EAL teachers and practices in school. This training has improved my knowledge of the challenges for EAL children in our school and our ability to help with their journey.

Sarah Gorev, Parent Governor


12 March 19

GDPR

Last week we met with Mrs Gurney who talked us through her checklist to ensure the school is GDPR compliant.


Mrs Gurney has been data mapping which shows what information is shared and with whom.

She showed us the consent forms and what information is sent to parents. Governors pointed out that we have seen consent procedure being followed when staff are taking photographs of children, for example.

Mrs Gurney showed us the protocol for data breaches, her records of staff training, the new signs she has made for information around school.

She told us about the new shredders in school and we discussed the process for industrial shredding.

We will be coming back into school as Mrs Gurney prepares us for the GDPR audit at the end of term.

Many thanks to Mrs Gurney who has done a huge amount of work since the introduction of the new GDPR legislation.

Corinna Robson and Sarah Gorev, Parent Governors


28 Feb 19

Completing the Schools Financial Value Statement (SFVS)

Today, I have been into school to meet with Mrs Wilson, our Business Manager


 

to complete the Schools Financial Value Statement.

The purpose of the SFVS is to demonstrate that the Governors have a clear understanding of the school’s finances and financial procedures. We have checked that the correct policies are in place and that systems for dealing with the budget are transparent.

Thank you to Mrs Wilson for all her hard work to ensure that the school spends its money in the most efficient way possible.

Tim Markham
Chair of Resources Committee


2 Oct 18

Chair’s News – Autumn Term 2018

As a parent at St Andrew’s Benn, it was wonderful to see so many excited and happy children coming back to school at the beginning of term, and to see their teachers looking rested after a well-deserved summer break.

The Governors are already two meetings in this term and we have been particularly pleased to see data showing improved progress across the board. Progress is a very important measure because it acknowledges the children’s varying starting points.

We have been particularly impressed with the results in reading last year. We know from our literacy monitoring how much effort has gone into developing and refining how reading is taught. I also feel there is a tangible change of culture in the school and staff and parents should be congratulated on their efforts to support and encourage a love of reading.

This year, we will be beginning our monitoring by focussing on writing, with a day planned for governors to visit the school to see changes in place and the impact they will hopefully have. We are also aware that attendance continues to be lower than the national average. Miss Huggins will be reporting to us regularly and has our full support to tackle persistent absence.

I am personally particularly looking forward to seeing the impact of the new curriculum on both the children’s experience of learning and on their progress and achievement.

Our other Parent Governor, Sarah Gorev, attended the PTA AGM on our behalf, and we look forward to their events over the year. Thank you to all those who volunteer to help our school family.

Corinna Robson, Chair of Governors


21 June 18

Skillforce fun, Adventure Week and Gardens

Tracy and I enjoyed a morning with Year 4 this week watching their social action project as part of their Prince William Award with Skillforce. They chose to litter pick in the streets around school and had been planning this over a few weeks. The children worked well as a team and were good at sharing equipment and staying focussed during the task. It was nice to also hear a thank you from a couple of residents who saw us. Well done Year 4.



This week is Global Adventure Week in school and we also saw a few of these activities taking place during Thailand day. Children were making kites to then fly on the playground. It was lovely to see the years mixed together and helping one another. They were also proud of their creations. Some children told us about how much they were enjoying the activities, having already had a Japanese activity day and a Chinese activity day. We couldn’t help but follow our noses to the Sunshine Room and were rewarded with excited children making a delicious Thai vegetable curry. Children were cutting, cooking and enjoying flavours that were new to some. We tried some ourselves and were happy to find out the recipe would be tweeted later. Well done to all involved.

We also noticed how lovely the School Garden and Peace Garden are looking. Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard on it.


We look forward to cheering on pupils as they complete their sponsored Race For Life tomorrow.

Tracy Burvill and Sarah Gorev, Parent Governors


29 March 18

Online Safety and GDPR

Tracy Burvill and I visited the school to learn more about the online safety activities taking place and the school's preparation towards GDPR compliance.

Our Online Safety Ambassadors are meeting regularly to discuss ways to stay safe online and are sharing these with their classes. Children are also demonstrating an understanding of the importance of being kind to others online, understanding who to tell if they have a problem and the importance of getting consent before sharing. SAB’s Online Safety Coordinator, Mrs Gurney also updated us on the school's progress towards 360 degree safemark accreditation (click here to find out more). We have lots of evidence of activities and processes and policies in place to keep children safe online and should be ready for accreditation soon.

As well as advice regularly being posted on the school’s Twitter account (https://twitter.com/StAndrewsBenn), the school website also has links to useful help for parents regarding online safety (http://www.standrewsbennprimary.co.uk/parents). Parents and carers are welcome to contact the school if they have any concerns about their child’s online activity.

Thank you to our Online Safety Ambassadors, Online Safety Coordinators, staff, children, parents and carers for helping to keep our SAB school family safe online.

We heard about how the school is preparing for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which will apply from 25 May 2018. Mrs Gurney has had training and has been working hard to ensure the school will be GDPR compliant. The GDPR sets out principles for the collection, storage and use of individual's personal data. Written consent is therefore needed for the school to collect and store any information on individuals. Parents and staff will be aware of this as they have been filling in consent forms. Parents were also informed that they can withdraw consent at any time by writing a letter. She helped us to better understand what is required and how the school is progressing. We have since discussed GDPR at a Full Governors Meeting and we will be reviewing policies to ensure we stay compliant going forward. Thank you to Mrs Gurney for all her hard work on this.

Sarah Gorev, Online Safety Governor and Parent Governor 


28 March 18

Governor Monitoring Morning

This term, Governors joined Miss Huggins and Mrs Wells on one of their mornings monitoring classes and doing a book trawl.

We enjoyed seeing the children in Nursery learning through play at various activities including face painting themselves with a mirror and playing with cars, dolls, play farm and craft activities. Reception children were engaged in their phonics classes by learning through songs and writing on whiteboards. The rest of the school were seen working hard on their maths skills. We observed a sample of English books from all classes which demonstrated some beautiful handwriting and a variety of styles of writing.

Governors also saw the new painting on the playground to stimulate learning through games with their friends.


It was also an opportunity to appreciate the effort that has been put in by pupils and staff to the fantastic displays of topic work around school.


 

Thank you to everyone involved for helping us to have a very informative visit.

Sarah Gorev, Parent Governor


8th March 18

Numeracy monitoring

This term I met with our Numeracy Lead, Miss Mason to discuss progress in Numeracy this academic year. There is a lot of work being done to help children in our school with what can be a tricky subject to master.



It was good to hear about the progress our children are making across all the school years.

The introduction of Singapore Maths last year is clearly having an impact by improving our children’s confidence in maths nd improving their reasoning and problem-solving skills.  They do this by using apparatus and images as well as having discussions to better understand and solve problems.

Thank you to all the teaching staff at SAB who are working hard to ensure our children reach their potential in Numeracy.

Sarah Gorev, Parent Governor & Numeracy Link Governor


12 Feb 18

Church School Distinctiveness Committee Visit

The Church School Distinctiveness Committee visited St Andrew’s Benn last week. They toured the school and met members of the Leading Worship Group.


The Leading Worship Group were engaged in planning collective worship and they were evidently enjoying their session, which was being led by the Children and Family Worker from St Andrew's Church.




During a tour of the school, governors found lots of evidence of Christian values, from the newly created Memorial Garden, the Prayer and Reflection Corner, the displays and much more.

The Rev'd Imogen Nay, Rector of St Andrew's and Heather Fielding, Foundation Governor


8th Feb 18

The Cross of Nails

On 24th January member of St Andrew's Benn School visited St Andrew's Church where they received the Cross of Nails from St Oswald's. Prayers were said in the church and refreshments were enjoyed. The event is part of the Diocesan Centenary Project, celebrating 100 years since the creation of Coventry Diocese. The Cross of Nails, made from the rubble of the bombed Cathedral during the Second World War, is touring all the church schools in the diocese.

Rev'd Imogen Nay, Foundation Governor



1st Feb 18

Vision Setting

Along with overseeing St Andrew’s Benn’s financial and educational performance, a key function of the Governing Board is ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school.

You may have read in previous posts that this is something we’ve been thinking about and discussing for a while. We had a strong sense of what the school is about, but putting it into words was trickier! We all agreed that the word ‘family’ is one which comes up repeatedly when people are describing St Andrew’s Benn, and that this could be a good starting point.

Along with Miss Huggins, a group of governors eventually came up with what we hope is a clear and effective as well as pupil-friendly way of communicating the school’s vision and ethos.

Some of us joined the children, staff and parents at a special assembly on Monday where Miss Huggins shared the vision statement:


We are hoping this simple yet meaningful message will be easy to remember. The children I have spoken to have remembered most if not all of it, and I am pleased that a favourite seems to be the last one!

Miss Huggins has also composed a mission statement which is a description of how she hopes the vision can be achieved, which will also be shared. It was made clear that input from any members of the school community is very welcome.

Corinna Robson, Chair of Governors


24 Jan 18

SEND Governor Update

As SEND Governor, I visited Jeni Lane, SENCO, for our termly update.

It is very apparent that each child is cared for and seen as unique. Everything is done to give the best possible provision for each of the children.


Heather Fielding, Co-Vice Chair and Safeguarding, SEND, EAL Governor


19 Dec 17

Keeping our children safe online

As one of the Online Safety Governors, I have had training this term that brought home the importance of systems being in place to keep our children safe online. In addition, the whole Governing Body will be having training in the New Year and we will be introducing and updating policies to ensure we are doing everything we can. Safeguarding and Online Safety are discussed at every Full Governor Meeting. It is very important at SAB and we understand the potential vulnerability online.


Every class in our school has an Online Safety Ambassador and I was pleased to join these children at one of their regular meetings. During the meetings they discuss different topics on online safety and this time they were enthusiastically sharing their suggestions on rules for using the Internet at home.

They discussed the importance of checking with a responsible adult before playing something new or downloading games and apps. They understood that they may need to prompt parents to check settings. They also heard that sometimes settings don’t catch everything and if they do see something inappropriate or that upsets them that they must tell someone. The OSAs were also reminded about the worry box in the I.T. room for all children to post concerns about their own or their friend’s experiences. When they get back to class these children are given the opportunity to share what they have learnt with their classmates.


In their next meeting the Online Safety Ambassadors will be planning useful activities for the 2018 Online Safety Day. Parents and carers also play a big part in keeping our children safe online so I encourage you to look out for how you can get involved in the relevant activities in the New Year.

Parents and carers are welcome to contact school if they have any concerns about their child’s online activity. Please contact the school office, speak to a member of staff or pop in to one of the regular coffee mornings and they will make sure you are directed to the help you need.

Advice is also regularly posted on the school’s Twitter account (https://twitter.com/StAndrewsBenn) and can also be accessed through the school website (http://www.standrewsbennprimary.co.uk/parents).

Thank you to our Online Safety Ambassadors, Online Safety Coordinators, staff, children, parents and carers for working hard to keep everyone safe online.

Sarah Gorev, Online Safety Governor and Parent Governor


30 Nov 17

Skillforce Prince William Award

Sarah Gorev (Parent Governor) and I visited Year 4 this term to observe their work as part of the Prince William Award programme delivered by Skillforce. The aim of the programme is for the children to experience the impact that individuals (especially themselves) make on group performance, how groups can influence decision-making and how the character values can contribute to the quality of outcomes and the type of decisions reached. Kenny, who is ex-military, runs the session and the children clearly respect and enjoy time under his instruction.


We enjoyed joining in with a game outside aimed at improving the children’s skills in listening and speaking with confidence in a whole group situation. We also watched a team challenge to draw a blue whale to scale in chalk on the top playground. Kenny and a couple of children who were asked to lead the activity measured the area to mark out the size of the whale and each group then took a section to draw. Each group had a picture and then planned how they would complete the task. It was interesting to see their skills in teamwork developing.

The session started and ended with children filling in personal Explorer Learning Journals. They focus on their feelings for that day and reviewing whether they had achieved their goals. Many of the children reflected on the mistakes they had made and could identify how they would improve next time.

Kenny has seen progress in the group as a whole and Miss Brown was proud of individuals who had experienced success in developing key life skills including team working, confidence and leadership.

We enjoyed seeing our children develop their skills and look forward to returning in few months to see how they develop further.

Well done Year 4!

To find out more about the Skillforce Prince William Award please click here: http://www.skillforce.org/programmes/browse/prince-william-award/

Tracy Burvill, Foundation Governor and Parent Governor


22 Nov 17

Autumn Progress with Singapore Maths

This term I have met with SAB’s Numeracy Lead, Miss G Mason, to find out more about progress in this key area. We discussed her experiences of how the children are developing in their approach to maths following the introduction of Singapore Maths last year. It was great to also hear that help is being given to children who need it while those who find it easier are being given opportunities to extend their learning.

Parent curriculum sessions and handouts with key skills and suggested activities have been provided in the first half term. These should help parents understand the school’s expectations for their child’s age and how they can support their learning at home.

Maths Club has proved very popular with KS1 children this term and I was pleased to hear that a KS2 Maths Club will also be starting next term.

It was good to find out how many things have been put in place to ensure everyone can work together to improve progress in numeracy again this year.

Sarah Gorev, Parent Governor & Numeracy Link Governor


16 Nov 17

St Andrews Benn Vision Discussion

A group of governors met last week to discuss our vision for the school.  We examined what was important to us and what we would like for the St Andrew's Benn family.  While the vision statement is being finalised, we agreed that the following quote from the bible best captures our feelings about this very special school:

‘God is love, whoever lives in love, lives in God and God lives in them’

(1 John, ch 4, v16)

Rev Imogen Nay, ex-officio Governor


31 Oct 17

Monitoring Literacy

As Literacy Link Governor, I have been into school this week to monitor progress in Writing and Reading. The KS2 results this year were an improvement on last year, but continue to be below the national average. This gap is widest for Reading.

Those who know her will not be surprised to hear that our Deputy Head, Mrs Wells is an impressive force for progress! She continues to identify areas to improve with clarity and precision and is highly committed to enabling children to develop further their skills.

She has many plans afoot, from changes to how reading is taught, to new courses for TAs, a new book group for Y6 pupils and various reading in initiatives.

As always, I am appreciative of the level of commitment of the staff at St Andrew’s Benn who are constantly reflecting on the effectiveness of their teaching and exploring ways of improving pupil outcomes.

Corinna Robson, Chair of Governors and Literacy Link Governor


3rd Oct 17

Small changes, big impact

The governors’ role is not to get involved in the day to day running of the school, and neither is it to monitor or pass judgement on how staff teach lessons. We do, however, spend a considerable amount of time poring over data, looking at the progress and attainment of groups of children.

A highlight for me last term was an explanation given to the Performance and Standards Committee by Miss Fraser, the school’s Early Years lead. She described how the purchase of climbing poles in the Reception class area had had a direct impact on children’s physical development, an improvement borne out by the data we were looking at. She explained how being able to climb well would in turn lead to better fine motor skills which would help the children as they begin writing.

This to me is an excellent example of how the expertise of our classroom practitioners allows them to make changes which can have a far-reaching impact on our children, and then provide evidence to the governing board that improvements are being made.

Corinna Robson, Chair of Governors and Parent Governor


16th Sept 17

Beyond the classroom

Part of the governors’ vision for St Andrew’s Benn is thinking about how best to support children outside the classroom.

We are delighted to see the new community room up and running. It’s providing a welcoming space for the parent drop-in session twice a week and we look forward to seeing how the space evolves over the year.

Some governors visited the Make Lunch project at Oakfield School over the summer. Families were invited for a hot meal followed by fun activities for children twice a week throughout the school holidays. The governing board is interested in understanding whether such a scheme might be feasible for some of our families here at St Andrew’s Benn.

Last week, Mr Owens and I met with one our councillors, Neil Sandison, along with members of two wildlife associations in the area to explore the idea of making use of the nature area just next to the school field, perhaps in collaboration with local groups or residents. They were very enthusiastic and there are many exciting possibilities.

Miss Huggins and her team are constantly coming up with creative and intelligent ideas about how to improve and enrich the children’s experiences. We look forward to hearing them over the course of our meetings this year.

Corinna Robson, Chair of Governors and Parent Governor


19 July 17

Online Safety

Tracy and I had a good meeting with SAB’s Online Safety Coordinator, Mrs Gurney last week.

To ensure our pupils are safe online, St Andrew’s Benn has the following in place.

  • Online Safety Policy and reporting process - click here
  • Online Safety Governors - Mrs T. Burvill and Mrs S. Gorev
  • Online Safety Coordinators - Mrs A. Gurney, Mrs N. Marson and Mrs L. Hughes
  • Online Safety Ambassadors in each class

We heard about all the training that has been done and about the activities the children have been involved with in school including online safety days and activity sessions. Tracy and I have been to some of these days and were pleased to see the children so engaged in the activities taking place.

Parents have also been invited to online safety presentations and received information about how to help keep their children safe online. Parents of Year 6 children have been invited to a #mytrueselfie (click here to find out more) and social media afternoon today.

The biggest issues that are currently being experienced are with children using their mobiles outside school and specifically their use of Snapchat and Instagram. Parents can find advice regularly posted on the school’s Twitter account (@StAndrewsBenn) and through the school website (click here to see more information for parents).

The school is encouraging children to help keep their friends safe online by looking out for problems and reporting them. There are various opportunities for them to do this including speaking to Online Safety Coordinators, class Online Safety Ambassadors or staff. There is also a worry box so children can post concerns about their own or their friend’s experiences. Parents are coming in to school when they need extra help dealing with online safety issues too.

The school is working towards 360 degree safemark certification (click here to find out more) and we look forward to seeing further progress over the next academic year.

Well done to our Online Safety Coordinators, Online Safety Ambassadors, staff and children in helping keep everyone safe online.

Sarah Gorev, Online Safety Governor


26 Apr 17

Spring News - Reflecting on the SAB family

Many current and past governors attended the service at St Andrew’s Church hosted by our Vice Chair, the Reverend Imogen Nay.  It was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the school’s recent successes in the company of the entire school community, and a positive end to a long term.

A responsibility of the Governing Board is to set the school’s vision and ethos, and is something we have been considering of late.  In addition to academic achievement, we believe in the importance of nurturing and providing an education to each pupil at St Andrew’s Benn in a broader sense.  We are also committed to serving not only the children, but their families and the community.

We are thrilled that the staff of St Andrew’s Benn are finalists in this year’s Pride of Rugby Awards in the Educator of the Year category, and the comments on Twitter suggest that the parents agree!  Four parents sit on the Governing Board, which gives us further insight into how much the staff do for our children and how seriously they take their work.

The Resources Committee met yesterday to approve the school’s budget.  Despite very challenging financial conditions for all schools, our budget is balanced this year.  We began by discussing this month’s value of thankfulness and agreed that as governors we are thankful for our Headteacher who is open and cooperative, and for our Business Manager, Dawn Wilson, who works extremely hard to manage the school’s finances.  This ensures that the school can continue to provide for the children.

Corinna Robson, Chair of Governors and Parent Governor


7th April 17

A busy term for school trips

This term St Andrews Benn pupils have enjoyed a variety of school trips and some of us have been able to join the children for a few of them.

Young Voices for Nordoff Robbins

Tracy joined SAB’s choir at The Genting Arena for Young Voices 2017. The children had been rehearsing for a long time and it was great to see all their hard work pay off with a fantastic concert for parents in the evening. They were a credit to the school and their behaviour was impeccable.


Umberslade Farm Visit

Sarah and Tracy visited the farm with Nursery and Reception. Despite the cold weather, the children enjoyed a full day at the farm. They were feeding the lambs, calves and ducks, handing rabbits, guinea pigs, chicks and even rats and had a fantastic time on a tractor ride. The children demonstrated what they had learnt at school by enthusiastically asking and answering questions.


Coventry Cathedral

Tracy enjoyed a trip to Coventry Cathedral with Miss Mason’s Year 2 class for an Easter Experience. The children followed an Easter journey, starting at Lent and going all the way to Easter day. The children were interested and enthusiastic to demonstrate their R.E. knowledge that they had learnt at school. They were very respectful and it was a pleasure to join them on such a special trip.


Eastern Area Primary Choir Festival Temple Speech Rooms

The SAB choir had their first opportunity to join this festival this year. They had been rehearsing at school and performed two songs very well despite technical difficulties. Tracy enjoyed watching along with other parents.


Well done to all the children for demonstrating their interest, enthusiasm, good behaviour and team work on all their trips this term. It was a pleasure to see how much they appreciate new experiences.

Tracy Burvill, Foundation Governor and Sarah Gorev, Parent Governor


19 Jan 17

Continuing Progress In Numeracy.

I am so proud of our fantastic Head, Senior Leadership Team, staff, pupils and supportive parents at St Andrews Benn. Everyone's ability to focus during such an important inspection despite it being the last few days of school before Christmas was incredible. They managed to demonstrate to the inspectors what a caring and hard working school we have. The Ofsted rating of GOOD is well deserved and this report reflects the school’s strengths as well as identifying areas where we can all work together to improve further.

There is a real culture of continuous improvement at SAB and this was demonstrated again when I visited the school this week. With this term being so important for pupils' progress, especially on the run up to SATs, I was pleased to see that SAB’s Numeracy Lead, Miss G Mason, was driving teaching forward to accelerate pupils' progress in maths. We discussed the Singapore Maths training all the teaching staff attended on their Inset Day at the end of last term, Maths Clubs being started, Maths focussed drop-in classes for parents and the use of booster groups to make sure Year 6 are fully prepared for SATs.

There may have been a temptation to sit back and believe GOOD is good enough but not at SAB! We can still do even better and intend to!

Sarah Gorev, Parent Governor & Numeracy Link Governor


15 Dec 2016

Chair's News - Autumn Term 2016

It was more than a little daunting last summer to take over from a very experienced and knowledgeable Chair but I’ve been busy learning and am very lucky to be working with a team of skilled and enthusiastic governors.

As we mentioned in a previous post, we have been working hard to support our head teacher and the school’s improvement with regular meetings and monitoring.  Some of us have been lucky enough to come into school and see some fantastic lessons and it is always a pleasure to meet the children.

We have had a Christmas surprise this week with Ofsted’s visit, and are waiting the publication of the result in a few weeks’ time.  Three governors were interviewed by an inspector.

During the inspection we noticed how well the children were working and behaving despite it being the end of a long term.  As usual, the school was calm and purposeful.  We were particularly impressed by all the staff at the school, especially their commitment to the children’s education and wellbeing.

I would like to wish everyone at St Andrew’s Benn a very Happy Christmas and New Year, and I hope staff and children enjoy a well-earned rest!

Corinna Robson, Chair of Governors and Parent Governor


9 Dec 2016

Pupil Premium Monitoring Visit

Yesterday, I spent the morning in school monitoring the spending of the Pupil Premium money. The Government gives the school some money for each child that is entitled to pupil premium to help raise their academic performance. Some of the money is spent on learning mentors and I had an enjoyable time finding out what Steve and Rose get up to every day.

I then spent some time with Ms Huggins looking at spending plans and performance data. We have clear spending priorities for 2017-18 financial year and we have clear targets and measurable to understand if the money was well spent. The data for Autumn term attainment and progress was looking very good. Most children were at least matching their peer group and some were making incredible progress. Well done everyone, keep up the hard work.

Mrs Isabelle McKenzie, Foundation Governor


8th Dec 2016

Welcome To Our New Blog!

We have started this blog to share our experiences at St Andrew's Benn C of E Primary School and help you understand more about what we do. We hope you find it interesting.

This term we have:

  • welcomed our new Chair of Governors - Corinna Robson
  • welcomed new Governors - Jeni Lane as Staff Governor, Sarah Gorev as parent Governor and Jon Seaton as Foundation Governors
  • had two Full Governing Board meetings
  • met as a Performance & Standards Sub-Committee to look at results and the agreed priorities for improving performance in 2016/17
  • met as a Resources Sub-Committee to discuss the budget and ensure resources are available for the school to meet 2016/17 priorities
  • visited the school ten times to monitor activities
  • enjoyed informal visits that give us an insight in to the everyday running of the school, an opportunity to see dedicated staff in action and pupils behaviour
  • appointed Link Governors for specific priority areas
  • Link Governors have visited the school to work with leaders and help drive the focus on Safeguarding, SEND, Pupil Premium, Numeracy and Literacy
  • been training on Safeguarding, Governance and preparation for Ofsted
  • developed a new strategy for communicating with parents. This has resulted in us starting a blog and we have been tweeting our activities

We are looking forward to a successful 2017 at the school with each pupil being given every opportunity to achieve the best results they can, exciting trips and experiences planned and staff having the support and resources needed to achieve their targets.

Watch out for more updates from our blog soon.

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