Dear School Community,
As this term ends, all the governors at West Tytherley would like to thank you for your participation in our school community and to take a moment to celebrate some of the successes of this academic year.
I think top of the list should come the school’s sporting achievements. We have discussed at governors meetings how it is specifically at the sporting events that you see the true spirit of the West Tytherley School community; and how proud we are of our pupils who consistently exhibit a wonderful sense of teamwork- teamwork between all age groups and abilities; teamwork between pupils and staff. We are proud of the team West Tytherley is. All our staff express their passion for our West Tytherley team and Mrs Finlay should get a special mention for being a driving force in the range of sports our children in Key stage 2 have been able to do, and for securing the silver award in sport for the school. This is a fantastic achievement for a school of our size.
Our links with Queenswood Farm is a unique opportunity for children at West Tytherley. When governors come in to meet with Beech, Willow and Oak class children throughout the year, it is the first thing, across the school, that the children tell us they enjoy most in their learning at school. We are very lucky to have the support of Craig and Nikki to make this possible, and the staff who have carefully incorporated their curriculum plans into learning opportunities at the farm, and the parent volunteers who make it possible to deliver this.
From a governing perspective, it has been a challenging year with a lot of new legislation to get to grips with (you can read more about all of these areas on our school website). Such as how we keep the data on you and your children safe (GDPR). Evaluating whether our school curriculum content will meet the new Ofsted assessment requirements (is it broad and enrichening enough; how do we monitor if children are meeting age related expectations in all areas)? How we ensure safeguarding the children in our school is at the heart of everything we do (we will be updating you on this more thoroughly with termly letters, but you can read more on our website at any time) and how we monitor the quality of teaching, how we ensure our pupils’ educational outcomes are secured, and progress is made across the school. One way we do this last bit is by having an individual governor for each of our three classes who visits its teaching staff and children throughout the year, and monitors how school improvement plans are being implemented and whether they are having an impact for your child.
And the governors are thrilled with the attainment and progress all our children have made this year. The outcome data we have received at the end of the academic year is evidence of our teachers’ and pupils hard work. All teachers, teaching assistants and children should be proud of what has been achieved this year. Despite it being Mrs Gray’s first year with us, she and Mrs Bowyer have helped Year R children settle in successfully and individually develop as positive school community members. Key Stage 2 (Years 3- 6) have achieved strong results across the board, exceeding the national average in results in reading, writing and science. And particularly, Key Stage 1 children (Years 1 and 2) and their classroom staff have gone the extra mile. After a disrupted teaching year last year, they have shown fantastic progress. Year 2 have even managed to exceed the national average in their phonics results! Our thanks to all the classroom staff; Mr Warren’s leadership and our essential community volunteers who have given up their time to support our children with extra reading in the school day. Next academic year we will be specifically monitoring progress in reading, writing and maths in Key Stage 1, and maths in Key Stage 2. We have supported the headmaster and staff requests to recruit and restructure the use of teaching assistant support in these year groups in order to help this. And we look forward to welcoming a new Year R cohort of 9 children to Beech class. Despite September 2019 Year R admissions being below average across most schools in the South, we forecasted on getting 9 children and we got 9 children, hurrah!
The governing body are also very grateful to the awesome fundraising activities of our passionate and tireless PTA. This year they stepped in and ensured our children had an entirely upgraded IT suite, 30 new laptops have been purchased for children to use indoors and outdoors in support of our IT curriculum objectives. The fundraising work of the PTA is also responsible in supporting our uniquely broad curriculum: supplementing music lessons for pupils, allowing the children to enjoy the panto at Christmas time, providing educational materials in the classroom (requested by our teachers as wish list items), and purchasing library books.
Unfortunately, schools are chronically underfunded by the government and this makes retention and recruitment of pupils critical for West Tytherley. It is a priority of the governing body to make sure we safeguard the retention and recruitment of pupils for our school.
The governing body is accountable for the school finances, and despite this funding crisis we have finished this academic year in a strong financial position and are making plans for capital investment projects that include a new canopy for the Early Years outdoor learning area; playground and play equipment refurbishment; and provisional plans to upgrade the interior decoration. Mrs Furness supports us in preparing the school budget, and we thank her for her work, especially as the end of this year has been particularly hard manning the office single handed and she still never fails to greet each child into the school with a smile and welcoming word in the morning.
At the last governors meeting of this academic year, we said how if anyone wanted to see why they should send their child to West Tytherley School, the summer play and School BBQ would be all the evidence they needed. The BBQ particularly, was attended by different groups of the community, young and old (and everyone in between!), generations of ex pupils (how many schools can say that!?), current pupils and children about to start their school journey. It showed the real heartbeat of our school, and we are proud of it all, we hope you are too. Thank you for being part of it. We look forward to seeing you in September!
Have a wonderful summer holiday,
Your governors 😊