Happy New Year to you all and I hope you all enjoyed the Christmas break.
This is my first letter to you as Chair of Governors as I took up this role at the start of January having been part of the governing body for a number of years already.
I firstly wanted to take this opportunity to thank James Seddon as the previous Chair for his contribution to the governing body over the past few years.
It is fair to say that we have had challenges within the school environment over the last 2 years due to COVID with the need for blended learning, online classrooms and Teams meetings. I think all school staff have responded well to this in supporting continued learning during the various lockdowns and restrictions that have been in place and I would like to say a huge thank you to Mr Harte and the team for their dedication to the school and particularly to the children in keeping them safe whilst working within the restrictions that COVID has brought us.
The children attending the school have shown great resilience in the way they have responded to the ever-changing situations and they are able to do this due to the support they receive from you at home, with home schooling or contributing to the activities planned within the school, as well as the support provided by school staff. This demonstrates the approach we have at Leighton in working together to ensure our children have positive school experiences. Although I’m sure many of us would not want to return to home schooling any time soon!
Despite the challenges with COVID, the children have continued to be afforded many opportunities. They have been provided with outdoor learning events such as trips to the Redwoods, the churchyard and Lake Vyrnwy. These experiences will be further enhanced with the exciting developments with the Forest School plans. Special thanks to Fraser and Claire Jones for allowing us to use the land beyond the tennis courts to support with this work.
Foundation Phase have enjoyed a party with a bouncy castle and freshly made waffles and chips, whilst Key Stage 2 enjoyed a trip to the cinema and to local farms. School visitors have included Mr Phormula, circus skills and an outdoor activity day complete with canoeing as well as some football and rugby coaching.
The children have also been able to design their own Christmas cards, participate in a sports week and perform end of year performances and Christmas concerts (online for parents to see) and parties in school.
The school has continued to carry out fundraising events, raising money for charity as well as for the school. The Race for Life event raised £1500 which is fantastic.
At the end of the Summer term we said a fond farewell to our Year 6 pupils. We know that although they miss Leighton very much, they are doing well in High School and we now move on to start to prepare our next group of Year 6’s for their move.
As we start a new term in school where we hope we can continue our journey to some sort of normality, despite knowing that COVID will continue to be part of our lives for some time to come, I wanted to highlight some of the activities that the governing body are engaged in on a regular as well as an ad-hoc basis.
- School Development Plan – this is an annual plan relating to the overall school improvement and linked to the long-term strategic plan. It covers everything from curriculum matters and learning, to wellbeing and behaviour.
- Monitoring – in normal times visiting school to check on everything from health and safety and safeguarding, to lessons and teacher development. We hope to return to this monitoring in the coming weeks and months.
- Finance – we have a responsibility to monitor the budgets in place within the school and to ensure the budget is managed appropriately. As you will no doubt be aware there are many discussions on-going within the Council and therefore as a school about the budget.
- Wellbeing – During the last couple of years wellbeing has been extremely important for children but also for staff. We have a wellbeing governor to monitor this important area (see below).
- Premises and Facilities – we have a key role to play in ensuring the premises and facilities are appropriate and support the school in ensuring the right investments are made.
- Finance – we have a responsibility to monitor the budgets in place within the school and to ensure the budget is managed appropriately.
Each of the governors take on lead roles for different aspects of the school and this is detailed below.
|Name of Governor
|Mr Lyn Harte
|Cllr Linda Corfield
||Health & Safety
|Miss Kirsty Jones
||Additional Learning Needs
Science and Technology
|Mrs Lisa Hocking
Children in Care
|Mrs Claire Jones
||Minor Authority Governor
||Foundation Phase, Curriculum
|Mrs Tara Harries
|Mrs Rachael Bird
Maths & Numeracy
|Mr Paul Wragg Sykes
||Attendance & Wellbeing
Health & Well Being
|Mr Matthew Thomas
||School Performance Data
Literacy, Language and Communication
|Mrs Sharon Mead
|Ms Rachel Tibbott
I hope that this gives you a flavour of the governing body’s involvement behind the scenes. Fundamentally, the role of the governing body is a strategic one linked to helping the school to deliver on its vision and promise to support our children to develop into happy and respectful individuals. However, this cannot be done without the drive and dedication of the staff team within the school.
Please do not hesitate to contact any of the governors by emailing the clerk to the Governors, who will pass any messages on to the governors concerned – TibbottR6@hwbcymru.net, but also please make contact with any of the teachers who are also welcoming of direct contact from yourselves. They are always keen to receive feedback and strive to ensure our children receive the best possible opportunities whilst attending the school.
I wish all the children well as they return to school and that you and they have a successful term.
Chair of Governors