School improvement plan - update February 2019

Dear Parents and Carers,

We are now six months on from our OFSTED inspection and the last Parent Survey.  In the subsequent meetings I held with parents, I committed to provide periodic updates on how the school was doing and to give parents and carers the opportunity to discuss this. 

I am pleased to report on behalf of the governing board that, whilst our improvement journey continues, we have seen significant progress and improvement since June 2017.

In summary, OFSTED asked us to improve by ensuring we strengthened leadership, brought consistency to behaviour management and strengthened teaching and learning.  The governing board has put in several measures to ensure that this happens as quickly as possible, for the benefit of all of our children.  We have also put in place some measures following your feedback from the parent survey. 

By the end of the summer term, we had appointed a new interim leadership team led by Mr Johnson to start in September 2018. The team immediately set about improving behaviour management with the introduction of a new behaviour policy and merit cards.  This, combined with the positive challenge the children are receiving in lessons, has meant that the low levels of disruption identified in the OFSTED report have significantly reduced.  To address the small pockets of more challenging behaviour, the school has partnered with the Hampshire Primary Behaviour Service to get the best advice and training, and has recruited new experienced staff to work with pupils to help them get ‘Ready to Learn’.  This facility will be available after February half term.

The team also introduced a new home learning policy to help to bring consistency on how and when homework was set, but also to ensure that the amount of homework per week was appropriate to the age of the child - this was one of the issues raised by parents and carers.  We are continuing to review the implementation of this to ensure that it is working as intended and having the desired outcomes.

Mrs Greenwood took the lead as Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator (SENDCo).  The processes used by the school were comprehensively reviewed and redrafted.  Each child on the SEND register had their specific needs reviewed. Meetings were then held with parents to discuss the nature of the need and the provision for their child.  A number of training and briefing sessions for staff were held during the term to ensure the provision for those children in class met their needs. The school also invested in new SEND screening tools to help accurately identify the needs and potential needs of pupils.

The autumn term also saw the external review of the school’s use of the Pupil Premium Grant (PPG) conducted by Hampshire County Council’s lead for PPG.  As a result of this review, more focus has been put on ensuring the provision for children on the PPG register is clear in both the planning and delivery of lessons.  There are ongoing external reviews across the year to ensure that the recommendations are having the desired impact on outcomes for our children.

Improvements in teaching and learning have been delivered through an enhanced process of lesson observation, feedback, coaching, training and development.  Work to accurately assess each child to ensure that teachers know exactly what the pupils need to learn was undertaken.  This helped to ensure that teaching could be more accurately and consistently matched to the needs of the children, and so accelerate their learning.  This is an ongoing, continual process of improvement which is increasingly embedded in the teaching practice in our school.

The visibility of the leadership team has improved, with senior leaders spending time in the playground before school and holding parent meetings across a range of topics and issues since September.

The governing body recruited a very experienced educational professional in Mrs Taylor as our new Headteacher during the autumn term, and were very pleased to be able to secure a start date of 1st December 2018, ahead of plan and allowing for a comprehensive handover with Mr Johnson. 

In Mrs Taylor’s own words, “My role is to bring some stability to the school, building on the improvements already underway. One of the differences that a permanent appointment brings, is that longer term decisions can be made. So, while I can’t promise you that there won’t be further changes, including to staffing, I can promise you that decisions are being made to secure better provision for your children in the longer term.”

At Christmas, the interim management team left us and Mrs Taylor announced a number of changes in staffing including Mrs Fenton taking over as SENDCo.  Through work led by Mr Read, the school now has a model for the ‘Stanmore Lesson’ and the Stanmore Keys for Success: confidence, resilience, organisation, persistence and co-operation.

Our improvement journey is a continuous ongoing process where, day by day we make sustainable enhancements to the processes, practice and experience of everyone in our school.  Our children are increasingly experiencing excellent opportunities to learn through a rich, varied and challenging curriculum. As a governing body, we are committed to ensuring that improvements continue to be made and we will continue to invest in our positive partnerships with parents, carers, education experts and the wider community to ensure that we are the BEST that we can be.

In the spirit of open communication, we are offering parents and carers the opportunity to meet with governors at 19:00 on Wednesday, 13th February 2019 or 09:00 on Thursday, 14th February 2019 and we hope to see as many of you as possible to discuss our progress and answer any questions you may have.

Yours faithfully,

Chris Lindsay
Chair of Governors