After some challenging months, both in and out of school, it makes a lovely change when there are positive aspects of life to tell you about. The focus of the governing board since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak has been twofold – to promote as near normal learning and teaching, which in turn helps to maintain a stable and reassuring base, and to protect and promote mental health and wellbeing in these times of uncertainty and anxiety. Both priorities have focussed our minds, our discussions, and our decisions.
Of course, none of our deliberations would be possible without an outstanding staff body and we, as governors, wish to express our thanks for all the extra hard work on their part to go the extra mile. Parents and carers have been supportive of the staff efforts and we thank you for all your positive messages. The girls continue to be a credit to the school and this term’s BBC visits displayed all those positive aspects of the school. Thank you, everyone!
Governors, as mentioned, have looked at various aspects of wellbeing of staff and of students this term. We were happy to see that, despite all the issues faced, the Year 7 students settled in well. For this year and the previous three years, over 90% of Year 7 students feel they settled in well and over 95% said they made friends easily. Over 90% feel happy and well organised. 99% of students felt Covid safe in school, no doubt helped by 95% of the students feeling that staff are friendly and helpful. Throughout all the turmoil, school has remained a positive and happy learning space and the school overall has exceeded national attendance percentages during this time, which supports these results. It is unfortunate that some of their activities have had to be clipped but Year 7 students, as other year groups, have shown some amazing resilience this term.
Of course, a positive staff is key; staff have certainly been challenged this term, as last, but the headteacher and her leadership team have supported them throughout this time and the governing board has, in turn, supported the headteacher. Despite the year we are having, the staff voice is more positive than ever! 100% of staff agree or strongly agree that they are proud to be part of the school. 95% of staff believe leaders do all they can to ensure a motivated, respected, and effective staff. 97% of staff feel well supported and staff feel that leaders are considerate of their wellbeing. Their positive replies lay testament to this and include:
We, as governors, draw our evidence from a variety of sources and listening to the voices of our staff, students, families, and community is just a part – but a very telling part. As I read this newsletter, as you will, we will have more evidence of what a successful, motivated, and outstanding school we have.
Stay safe over the break!
Ms L Russell-Hayes
Chair of Governors