Tuesday 25 June saw 10 of our school governors swap their everyday routines for a day in school for our annual Governor Day. Each year we set aside one day in the school calendar for all governors to come in and get completely stuck into school life. Our normal governor meetings take place in an evening when all the pupils and the rest of the staff have gone home and whilst we all try to come into school as much as possible, nothing is quite the same as spending a whole school day here.

From starting the day on the playground with Mrs Rimmer as she greeted children and parents for all of us our feet didn’t seem to touch the ground again until we were back on the playground at the end of the school day watching a cycling showcase. In between governors saw everything that school has to offer. And it is amazing just how much does go on in school in just one day.

Before the day itself, governors worked with Mrs Rimmer and Miss Woolfson to identify certain parts of school life that they particularly wanted to see, often to fit in with their specific role on the governing body. This resulted in each governor having an individual timetable for the day, making sure that we made the most of every minute that we were here.

Between us we took part in 5 a day and mindfulness sessions with the children, attended a school assembly, listened to children read and joined in lessons, including PE, with all year groups from Heath Class to Year 2. We shared Learning Journals and school books with children, went on a Health and Safety walk around school with School Council, sat in on teachers taking children through the NSPCC talkPANTS lesson and watched children learn to ride balance bikes on the playground.

At lunchtime we all ate in the hall with the children (always a highlight of our day!) before joining them on the playground. One thing that amazed us was the huge number of activities that children have available to them at lunchtime. As well as organised games with MSAs, we saw children making use of the playground equipment that the school has invested in, have space to draw and write, and use a wide range of equipment for everything from small world role play to a newly invented tennis-football hybrid style game that some children seemed very keen on. And whilst this was going on a group of children watched with interest from the edge of the playground as builders installed some new equipment on the edge of the field area. It was certainly very different to the playtimes we remember from our school days!

It wasn’t just the children that we spent time with on Governor Day. Governors also carried out an audit of various Health and Safety records with Mr Desborough, worked on the online safety policy with Mrs Rimmer, carried out the annual safeguarding audit, led a “staff voice” session with teaching and support staff, went through FS school data with Miss Woolfson and also spoke to support staff about the work they do with SEND and Pupil Premium pupils and their families from across the school. Also in our schedule was some time for us to reflect on how we work together as a governing body and look at how we can improve further.

Governor day gives us all an amazing opportunity to see school in action. Without it it would make our roles as governors so much more difficult. In the words of one of our new governors:

“As a new governor and one who isn’t a parent at the school, Governors’ Day was a fantastic opportunity to get to know the school a little better. From the morning assembly, to CIP time with the Y1s, lunch with the children and talking PANTS in the afternoon, everyone was so welcoming. Speaking to the children, they were eager to show me their favourite things to do (mainly on the playground!) and tell me why they enjoy coming to school. Great day at school all round!”

One of the best things about being a Governor at Bernards Heath is spending time in school and seeing all the things that we talk about in governor meetings in action. We are always made to feel so welcome and for that we thank all the staff and pupils. Finally though, huge thanks for Mrs Rimmer and her SLT for coming up with our individual timetables for the day which allow us to get around and see so much of the school day.