It's been six months since my last blog so this one deserves to be a round up of what Governors have been up to since the children were back in school and the UK gradually began its COVID-19 recovery. The full annual statement can be found on the Governor pages of the school's website, but here is just a taster...
What were the significant challenges for the governing body in 2020/21?
- Wellbeing – Staff & Families
- Specialist Resource Base (SRB)
- New FGB
How were the challenges met?
- Monitoring switched to critical questioning with staff over online meetings.
- Rigorous scrutiny of risk assessments, sometimes weekly, to ensure safety of pupils and staff was assured throughout lockdown and in preparation for full school reopening.
- Liaising with LA departments relating to planning and building of the SRB. Forensic budget monitoring of SEND funding and regular updates, from the Headteacher, regarding the phase of the build.
- Extensive online training provision from Educator Solutions, available for all Drake governors. Training held as a monthly agenda item at FGB meetings.
What were the achievements of the governing body for 2020/21?
- Many governor vacancies have been filled and governor training underway.
- Monitoring the continued impact of COVID-19 on the school’s budget.
- Monitoring the school’s home learning provision, including curriculum and behaviour.
- Purchase of professional clerking service via Educator Solutions.
Future and continuous improvement
- Increased and thorough monitoring in 2021/22, aligned with SIDP objectives.
- Continued governor training, specifically relating to designated roles and monitoring/analysing data.
- Continued monthly scrutiny of the school budget and recruitment of parent/co-opted governor with financial background/expertise.
- Ensure progress and attainment in core subjects and monitoring of attainment raising strategies in identified cohorts.
- Monitoring of Achievement for all project and in relation to Pupil Premium funding.
- Implement a governance development plan to ensure the FGB remain focused on its strategic direction and continued development.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the dedicated hard work of all the staff at Drake over the most challenging 18 months of all our lifetimes, whom hopefully are sitting with their feet up as I type and post this blog! Not only have the staff strived to deliver an education to our children by delivering teaching online but behind the scenes have continued to develop the curriculum, enriching it with history and cultures seen here in Thetford and beyond, captivating the attention of pupils to ensure progress and attainment is achieved, here is some of that evidenced in the achievements the school has received recently:
- At Drake there is a passion for Arts illustrated by the school achieving a Music Mark, nominated by the Norfolk Music Hub for the school's contribution to music education. Our application for Arts Mark is well underway with the recent opening of Sophia's garden and arts week in the last week of term.
- A love and respect for the environment shown with the school being awarded the Silver Eco Schools Award and Silver food For Life Award - demonstrating locally produced, freshly prepared, organic meals are being provided for our children.
- The Museum service through Ancient House Museum has encouraged Drake to apply for the Heritage Award following an impressive focus on Thetford's history, which really inspired them.
- Drake are participating in the Our Global Neighbors project, whereby curriculum planning linking Drake with a school in Atlanta, USA is underway.
The Intent, Implementation and Impact of the delivery of a broad, exciting and fulfilling curriculum can be observed further in the curriculum pages of this website.
My thanks of course extends to the wonderfully positive and committed staff in Little Pirates, whom are still working hard and providing a fantastic early years setting for (working) parents, throughout the school holidays. Governors look forward to working more with the EYFS team to ensure that the foundation for our youngest of the Drake community maintains its high quality standards into the next academic year.
VACANCIES STILL AVAILABLE - Please be aware we still have a parent governor and co-opted governor vacancies. Please look out for further news via the school, from September.
Wishing you all a restful Summer. Stay safe & thank you for reading.
Chair of Governors