Parent Governor Election

This morning voting closed for the Parent Governor Election. School Councillors from Year 1 and 2 helped Mrs Rimmer open all the envelopes. Ms Pearlman and Mrs Carr our Chair and Deputy Chair of Governors were in attendance and sorted the ballot papers ready to count. Mrs Rimmer talked to the children about how to effectively count the ballot papers and it was decided a good idea was to group them into piles of 10. The vote was close and our successful candidate won by 2 votes. The children talked about why it was important to double check the counting to make sure the person with the most votes was elected. The children are familiar with the process of electing School Council members and understood that parents were voting for the person they wanted to help Mrs Rimmer and the rest of the Governors lead our school. Congratulations to Sarah Pike our new Parent Governor! Thank you to School Council for helping with the big count.      Opening the envelopes being very careful not to put any ballot papers in the rubbish bin. Counting the ballot papers into piles of...

Governors and the School Council

As part of Governors’ Day on Wednesday this week two of us met with school councillors to talk to them about road safety and parking around our school. It is a subject that we know many grown-ups have concerns about locally and we wanted to get the children’s input into how to address the issue best.   The current School Council at Bernards Heath is made up of a mix of children who walk, scoot and drive to school. Over half of the children also had an older sibling at the Junior School and we talked about how their brothers and sisters are dropped off there before their grown-ups bring them to school.   All children were aware of the dangers of busy roads, like Sandridge Road, and also spoke about how it is necessary to find somewhere safe to cross a road and to always do so with a grown-up. Some of the children talked about how it can sometimes be difficult to cross either Seymour Road, or the roads leading to our Upper Culver Road gate, due to cars being parked where they want to cross. They suggested that there should be more double yellow lines, or zigzags, to tell grown-ups not to park there.   Around our school are various posters drawn by children telling grown-ups to park considerably and to help us keep our children safe. The children felt that some grown-ups who park and drive near our school think that what the posters say is “not true” and that they ignore them. One of them suggested that they might talk to their grown up...

Governor View of the JARV (Joint Annual Review Visit)

Last month at Bernards Heath we had our JARV with our “HIP” (Hertforshire Improvement Partner). The HIP’s job is to work with schools to monitor standards across the school as well as tracke progress against our objectives and ensure we have the right priorities and the right approach. The annual visit is always a packed day. This time, our HIP carried out learning walks with English and Maths leaders, sat in on lessons, reviewed children’s learning in their books and talked to the children and staff. There is a lot to see and discuss in a day!  Our Chair of Governors then joined the senior leadership team to receive feedback. The report makes for great reading and the HIP’s comments were a ringing endorsement of what he had seen. He went as far as to call our school “a stunning environment for young children to learn in” and “What you’ve got here is gold dust, I’d like to say its typical but its not”. The report noted good progress against our priorities since the November 2016 OFSTED report, with phonics teaching well supported by the English leader and “very strong” teaching of the technical aspects of English. Teaching as a whole was described as “consistently good and some is outstanding” and recent changes that have been made, such as to the guided reading timetable and in training Teaching Assistants to support children in choosing books, also received positive comments. Staff’s behaviour management was described as “skilled and highly consistent” and the children’s excellent attitude to learning, high standards of behaviour and ability to discuss and appraise their learning with each other were all remarked upon. The report concludes...

When the Governors Met the School Council…

As Governors, we have been sharing our views of what makes Bernards Heath Infant and Nursery School special; we have been talking about our aims and our values.  The Governors were keen to seek the children’s views too, so two Governors met with School Council in December. It was wonderful to hear the children speak so positively about their school.  When asked to describe how they feel at school the children used the words “happy”, “awesome”, “safe”,” excited”, and “proud”.  They explained how the teachers made learning fun and interesting.  The children talked with enthusiasm and pride about their learning and told us about their ‘Learning Heroes’, they explained to us that they don’t give up and they keep practising.  Science, cooking, looking at books in the library and playing were some of their favourite things to do at school. Their respect for one another came across clearly, they said they expected to be treated kindly and that Bernards Heath was a very friendly school.  We heard that “If people weren’t nice it would be the worst school, but it’s not like that at all…It’s the best school in the universe!”   Mrs Secker and Mrs...

Governor Day – 18 July 2016

Monday 18th July saw the full Bernards Heath Governing Body arrive in school for the second Governor Day of the school year. Governors are regular visitors to school, but with all our meetings taking place in the evenings we don’t always get to experience the school full of children going about a normal school day. The main aim for the day is for Governors to immerse ourselves in the school and have the opportunity to see in practice some of the things that we hear and talk about in our meetings. Mrs Rimmer and Miss Wolfson had devised individual timetables for each Governor which allowed us to spend some time concentrating on our allocated Governor roles (SEN, Pupil Premium, SMSC etc) and to spend time in classes, observing lessons and meeting children and staff. Governors saw initiatives like Smart Moves and WellComm in action,  joined in with Five-a-Day, took part in Outdoor Learning, hunted for mini-beasts in the new Wild Garden and walked the perimeter with Mr Desborough. They also discussed pupil progress with members of the Senior Leadership Team and observed a year group handover meeting with teaching staff. As a Full Governing Body we also got time together to review progress on this year’s School Development Plan and talk about future plans. For Governors one of the highlights of the day is always joining the children in the hall for lunch. As on previous visits, we were all very impressed at the quality of the food served by Mrs Banahan and really enjoyed our apple crumble and ice cream. As we sat with the children they once again blew us away with their questions all about who we were...

LIV Choir Visit – a governor perspective

Having heard lots about the LIV Choir visit to Bernards Heath I was delighted to be given the opportunity to come into school on the Friday morning to see the choir perform to the whole school, and wow, what an experience it was! As the children filled the hall there was a real sense of anticipation, helped by the African music that was playing at the time. The choir walked in and you could hear the buzz as the children all noticed their bright and colourful traditional African dress, and most intriguingly the wellies that all the boys in the choir were wearing on their feet. As soon as the choir started tapping out a beat on their wellies and then singing the children all became absolutely spellbound by what was being performed. Never before have I seen over 300 children so quiet or still! Even all the staff were transfixed. After performing two songs the choir returned to the hall and performed one of the songs again, but this time whilst teaching us all how to do the accompanying dance. The children’s enthusiasm (and all that practice they get from five-a-day) was infectious and it wasn’t long before the whole school was clapping, swaying and tapping our feet. It honestly felt like a real priviledge to be involved in such a performance and the bringing together of the two cultures in the school hall was magical. Miss Passey’s passion in bringing together the two schools has to be commended as the whole LIV choir visit has given the children such a fantastic opportunity to learn about a contrasting culture. As I...

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