Newsletter 18 – 1st February 2013

Dear Parents

Parents AGM – report from the Chair of Governors with contributions from parents 

On a very chilly evening in January several families turned out for the Parents’ AGM. I am very grateful to those that braved the cold. I gave a short presentation during which I talked about the structure of the governing body and how, effectively, The Headteacher is the ‘managing director’ of the school. The governing body’s remit is to uphold the school’s ethos and Christian values, oversee strategy and keep a keen eye on finance.

We went on to cover the fantastic academic achievements of the children recognising the role that parents and teachers play in enabling children to fulfil their potential. We acknowledged that our school was the third best in the County. I touched on the various aspects of development the governors had overseen since converting to Academy status – including building works, staff development and reviewing National Curriculum, and we reviewed the comments of our audited accounts that showed we had managed the first full year of Academy prudently. Our full accounts and governors report is on the school website should you wish to examine the detail.

We went on to have an excellent and interactive conversation where parents were able to ask questions and contribute ideas. We explored financing aspects, how we might improve communication between parents and the school, and parents underlined their fears around the parking challenges we experience every day in school.

I’m delighted to say that out of that conversation a new Parents networking initiative emerged. You will hear more about that in coming weeks but everyone at the meeting felt that it would add richness to our school community.

Feedback from the evening was positive with one parent expressing how valuable they found the evening saying:  “The presentation from the Chair gave me a more comprehensive insight into how the school is run. As a new parent, I found meeting the governing body face-to-face was useful, also to learn about the work of each sub-group. When the forum was opened to parental questions, productive discussions arose and new ideas formulated. I left more educated about the roles of the governing body and volunteered to take on the role of parent representative in the newly formed Parents Informal Networking Group.”

 Another parent said afterwards, “The opportunity to discuss issues in a relaxed open forum was really refreshing and I felt I got the answers to some questions I’d been meaning to ask for some time. There was no ‘skirting around an issue’ and the fact that the evening lasted well over two hours indicated to me that there was a commitment to us, as parents, to take the time to consider our views.”

We had an extremely worthwhile evening and I am grateful to my fellow governors and to Mrs Henning who stayed late and contributed greatly to the discussions. I’m also very grateful to Ruth Edwards for sorting warm and welcome drinks for us all.

Half term break starts on Monday 11th February and we return to school on Monday 18th February.

PFA Film Night  Please note that the timings for the film night tonight, Friday 1st February have slightly changed ……It starts at 5pm and ends at 6.45pm.

Walksafe Children in Year 1 and Sarum class had workshops on how to be safe pedestrians, with a mock traffic light and crossing being set up in the hall for the younger children. Sarum class will have practice on the road next week, having had the “theory” input this week.

Netball tournament Children in Year 6 will take part in a netball tournament against other local schools on Monday, weather permitting.

Admissions Policy The draft admissions policy for 2014 -15 is available for consultation on our website, under the tab “The School -> Governance ->Policies”. Comments can be made until 31st March 2013. In short, it explains that places in our school are offered first to children in the designated area (the villages of Great and Little Cheverell, Erlestoke and Coulston) and then to those outside the area, first to those with siblings in the school, then those making an application on faith grounds, then all others, with the tie break being distance from the school. The policy also determines how many children we can admit each year (called the Planned Admission Number or PAN) to stay within our net capacity of 150. As a popular school, we are often oversubscribed. Families can go to appeal if we refuse them a place. An independent appeals panel will listen to their case and decide whether the school ought to offer them a place or not. Over the County, about half of the appeals heard are successful.

School website  Please consult the website for latest news, the calendar of dates, photos, information, policies, the statutory documents relating to our Academy and the parent portal log-in.

Absence May we remind you that if your child is away from school, we ask that you send a note into school on their return, stating the reason for their absence. We require a written explanation even if you have telephoned into school. Thank you for all of the recent responses that we have had to absence letters.

Pancake supper…. The Annual Pancake Supper will be held at Brounckers House, Erlestoke, on Tuesday 12th February from 6.30pm. An event not to be missed and as many pancakes as you can eat! Bring and buy and raffle. Entrance fee to cover pancakes. All welcome.

 Children’s Movie Night… Come and enjoy food, film and fun with friends, Friday 22nd February from 6-8pm in Erlestoke Church. All are welcome but children under five must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. A light supper and pudding will be provided; donations of £1 for food are gratefully accepted.



MOVIE NIGHT – Ice Age 4, Continental Drift (Cert U)

The PFA proudly presents ‘Movie Night’ tonight, Friday 1st February 5pm – 6.45pm in the School Hall Admission will be £1.50 to be paid on the door (includes savoury snack, biscuit and drink). All classes welcome and bring your bean bags! 

Best wishes,

Mercedes Henning

Comments are closed.