I’ve just spent another great morning at the second session of the Head Teachers Leading Assessment course led by Mrs Reynolds and Mr Rhodes. The focus of the session was “assessment” and as a “starter” to get everyone moving around and talking to each other we had to write on a post-it note our “guilty pleasure” and then see if we could find someone in the room with a similar one. There were quite a few, like me, who enjoyed playing games on the iPad/computer…and, of course, chocolate featured on several! Then it was down to the real work. I had been asked to explain to the participants how the Governing Body at Unsworth fulfils its role and how that role has changed over the last couple of years. Everyone was really interested in the work that we have been doing and several of the Headteachers have taken one or two of our ideas and are going to try them in their school. The second part of the morning focused on interviews with different groups in the school e.g the children, teachers, teaching assistants and the governors. Mr Howarth, Mrs Channon and I were interviewed by 3 of the head teachers…..we’re getting used to this now! All the participants were very impressed with what they heard during all the interviews and, like the last session, lots of very positive feedback has been received. The participants are learning lots that they can potentially use back in their own schools. Session 3 (the final session) follows in a few weeks. [Sheila Gaskell, Vice Chair of Governors]
Another interesting afternoon as a Governor of Unsworth Primary School. Mr Cohen, Mr Howarth and I spent the afternoon carrying out a Learning Walk looking at how the school promotes British Values. You can learn more about what this means by visiting the SMSC section of the website.
We met with Mrs Ali first and she explained to us how the school sets out to promote British Values under 5 themes: Mutual Respect, Democracy, Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs, Rule of Law and Individual Liberty. We then set out to explore how this is put into practice. We visited an RE lesson, looked at the displays in the classrooms, hall and corridors, looked at some pupils’ books from each class, checked out the website and talked to the School Council. We found lots and lots of evidence from all these activities that showed that the school is clearly very successful at putting into practice what it sets out to achieve under each of the 5 themes. We particularly liked the fact that children are encouraged to add their own personal contributions to the many displays. For example on the display “We all have dreams” one child had written “I have a dream that I will grow up to be a lovely lady and also a caring doctor”.
I also know that Mr Howarth had a great time meeting with the School Council. We will very shortly be sharing with staff a full report of the outcomes of our Learning Walk.
Thanks, once again, to all the staff and children for making us so welcome.
[Sheila Gaskell, Vice Chair of Governors]
I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the training session that Mrs Reynolds and Mr Rhodes were holding for 16 Bury Headteachers this morning in the new training room at school. The focus of the session was “assessment”. This morning’s session was the first of three and was very informative. It was extremely well received by all participants and some very good feedback has already been received…..and best of all I got the opportunity to visit classrooms again and talk to the children. During our visits to classrooms each group of Headteachers was “led” around the school extremely efficiently by five Year 4 children. As in my last learning walk in November, all the children were extremely keen to speak to us, very well behaved, articulate and clearly enjoying the learning activities that they were participating in. I particularly enjoyed playing with the “computerised” cars in Year 3; myself and my Y3 “buddy” managed to get our car to travel halfway down the mat….quite an achievement we thought. Thanks to all the children and staff for making us feel so welcome. I am looking forward to session 2 in a couple of weeks [Sheila Gaskell, Vice Chair of Governors]
Yesterday 2 Bury Headteachers visited our school to see how it works. As part of this exercise they met with 3 Governors, myself, Mr Howarth and Ms Channon. The purpose of the meeting was to find out what role the Governors play in the school….we had lots to tell them! They asked us several questions, all of which we were able to answer. It was a really useful exercise and gave us one or two ideas that we will try out. Thanks to all the staff and children and to the 2 Bury Headteachers for making it a really positive experience. We look forward to receiving the written report of the day [Sheila Gaskell, Vice Chair]
I’ve just spent a really enjoyable and fruitful couple of hours with Mr Rhodes learning how to blog, something I have never done before. If this blog appears on the website…then he has taught me well! Hopefully this will be the first of many blogs keeping you up to date with the work that the Governors do in the school. Very soon you will be able to check out the activities that we have been involved in and those that are planned on the Governors area of the website. [Sheila Gaskell – Vice Chair]