30th June – PTA Camp-over 2018 – Ruth Fain (Parent Governor)
This year my family and I attended the Farfield Camp-over in full for the first time – we’ve visited in the day before but never camped. What a truly marvellous event! Impeccable organisation, attention to detail and a huge amount of work by the PTA and their volunteers resulted in a safe and fun day outside for all age groups. The foundation stage obstacle course hour made my heart race, let alone the children throwing themselves over the giant inflatable slide with glee. It was great to see the children trying new things and feeling really proud of their achievements. The go-karts were exhilarating and the donkeys were a brilliant addition to the festivities – my two year old would not be separated from them and needed extracting from their donkey-box when they left! Feeding the chickens was a lovely calming distraction (and a lesson for me at least!) and the stalwarts of face painting, henna and glitter tattoos are always a winner. Children of all year groups (and their siblings) played together and shared experiences, and it gave the children a chance to show their parents and carers the things they have mastered ‘on their own turf’ – very empowering. I particularly liked watching the group of girls who showed me how they could chimney up the hole in the early years’ Castle and jump off the top… top work, ladies! Camping over was straightforward and the breakfast on Sunday was superb. Thanks to all involved for a wonderful event and a real highlight on the Farfield calendar.
19th April – Interviews – Ruth Fain (Parent Governor)
I attended School on Thursday 19th April as I was invited to sit on the recruitment panel for a new KS2 teacher. The process was robust: candidates interviewed with myself, the Headteacher and the Assistant Head Teacher, and then were observed leading a class and had to complete a marking exercise. It was encouraging that shortlist was strong; clearly Farfield is a school attracting good teachers. A focus on health and activity featured highly with the top candidates, alongside strength of teaching and new methods and ways to engage the children. I’m pleased to say that we have successfully filled two posts.
20th March – Ofsted inspection – Rob Heap (Chair of Governors)
I attended a number of meetings as part of the OFSTED inspection to support the leadership team in what proved to be a successful day. Thanks go also to 13 of our governors who attended the feedback session at short notice (NB we were missing some of the staff governors from the feedback as they were in parents evening)
27th March – Full Governors meeting
29th March – RAF 100 launch – Rob Heap (Chair of Governors)
I had the pleasure of attending the RAF 100 education launch at Farsley Farfield celebrating and remembering the sacrifice of the many in world war one. Our school was a WW1 airstrip. We were joined by the big ideas team from London, representatives from the RAF, Scouts, Guides, Police, Leeds Mayor and a former RAF pilot.
21st February 2018 – Teaching & Learning committee meeting (chaired by Clem Pickering)
The agenda included: Planning in the Moment – an update from Hannah Kumar; Long terms plans; A detailed SEND report; Monitoring of Teaching Standards update. 6 governors plus the head teacher and Hannah Kumar attended.
21st February 2018 – Marion Cole (PE governor)
It was a pleasure to support our school at today’s cross country event at Temple Newsam. It was great to see so many Farfield children involved and enjoying taking part in the races.
7th February 2018 – Pupil Support committee meeting (chaired by David Cooke)
The agenda included: Governor training; Behaviour in school; The results of the behaviour survey; safeguarding and the use of CPOMS. 4 governors plus the head teacher attended.
30th January 2018 – Resources committee meeting (chaired by Marion Cole)
The agenda included: the budget; the Communications Policy; Capital investment; online payment for all school payments, trips, clubs, school dinners etc. and the Health and Safety Policy. 4 governors plus the head teacher attended.
26th January 2018 – Ruth Fain – Parent Governor
My son Oliver (almost 2) and I attended the Monster Café hosted by Nursery on Friday afternoon. What an absolutely delightful event! We were directed by bright and colourful monster signs to a room full of activity and smiling faces. Tables were decorated beautifully with winter greenery and the children were eagerly waiting to show us to our seats and take our order using their specially created picture menu. Serving the cold drinks and buns created a huge buzz of excitement and empowerment for the children, and I assume resulted in plenty of contributions to the kitty. The children showed a good understanding of trading the buns for coins and particularly enjoyed helping me choose which bun to eat. I know Ollie got through about four buns (even if he does only eats the icing!) and now cannot wait for his chance to join in the fun!
23rd January 2018 – Children’s Centre committee meeting (chaired by Danusia Gardner)
The agenda included: Staffing and volunteers; Children’s Centre budget; Service Delivery Plan; Quarterly data analysis. 4 governors plus the Children’s Centre Manager and the head teacher attended.
13th January 2018 – Marion Cole (PE Governor) – Leeds Schools Cross Country
It was great to see so many Farsley Farfield Children at the KS2 cross country event this morning at Corpus Christi High School. One of the aims and objectives of the PE and Sports policy at our school is to promote extra-curricular sporting activity and competition and this morning’s event did exactly that. Now our KS2 children are regularly participating in the daily mile run at school, I think a lot of children are discovering a love for running – and that they’re pretty good at it too! Of course, cross-country running isn’t for everyone (nor is an early start on a Saturday morning!) so I’m really pleased that at Farfield there are lots of opportunities to take part in a wide variety of sports and physical activity.
12th January 2018 – Marion Cole (PE Governor) – meeting with David Cooke and Nick Little
I met with Mr Cooke and Mr Little today to discuss PE and sports.
Our meeting included the following:
- The engagement of all pupils in regular physical activity (Chief Medical Officer guidelines recommend that primary school children undertake at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day in school)
- The profile of PE and sport being raised across the school as a tool for whole school improvement
- Increased confidence, knowledge and skills of all staff in teaching PE and sport
- Broader experience of a range of sports and activities offered to all pupils
- Increased participation in competitive sport
We talked about what development needs are a priority for our school and our children; plans for the allocation of the PE funding and how the use of the PE and sports premium funding is reported. We also discussed how improvements to PE and sports provision will be sustainable in the long term.
9th January 2018 – Katy Smith (SEND Governor) – meeting with David Cooke, Amy Hutchinson and Peter Harris
This afternoon, I attended a presentation on ‘SEND (Special Educational Needs & Disability) provision at Farsley Farfield’. This was to support Miss Hutchinson who is completing her Post Graduate Certificate in SEND. As part of her studies, she is required to deliver a presentation to governors.
The presentation highlighted key strengths within the school which ensures our SEND children are well supported and considered ways of further improving this support.
29th November 2017 – Teaching and Learning sub committee – chaired by Clem Pickering
The T&L committee looked at the results of recent lesson observations and monitoring, reviewed the Pupil Premium report and considered what the Ofsted Dashboard tells us about strength and weaknesses of the school. Six governors attended.
28th November 2017 – Head Teacher Performance Management – 3 governors and the School Improvement Partner
The head teacher, three governors and the School Improvement Partner met in the early evening to review the head’s progress against targets for 2016-17 and set new targets for this cycle of his performance management.
22nd November 2017 – Pupil Support Committee – chaired by David Cooke
This sub-committee considered detailed feedback from parents in the annual survey. Six governors attended.
14th November 2017 – Resources sub-committee – chaired by Rob Heap
Resources committee looked at budget updates and projections. Four governors attended.
13th November 2017 – Katy Smith (Attendance Governor) – Meeting with Mr Harris and Mrs Sykes
It was great to see that the overall attendance since the beginning of this academic year is very good. The majority of children at Farfield have consistently high attendance.
We discussed a number of children with poor attendance and we considered how the school can support those children and their families to increase their engagement and improve attendance.
10th November 2017 – Rob Heap (Chair of Governors) – Budget Review
Today I spent the morning working through budget spreadsheets, trying to balance keeping the school the special and unique place it is with ever shrinking budgets. If government funding for education doesn’t change for the better in the next couple of years we will be forced to make some difficult decisions.
7th November 2017 – Nimisha Barai (Parent Governor) – Parents evening
I attended parents evening this week and was extremely pleased on how quickly the teacher acted on the comments raised in my meeting.
4th November 2017 Marion Cole (PE Governor) – Leeds Schools Cross Country
Well done to all the 21 Farsley Farfield runners that took part in the Leeds Schools cross country event this morning in Middleton. It was great to see Farsley Farfield children taking part – and really enjoying themselves too!
I hope the recent introduction of the daily mile will inspire even more children to get involved next time.
1st November 2017 Full Governing Body Meeting
The full governing body met for its termly two hour meeting. We considered the headteacher report, progress on the School Improvement Plan, financial regulations, Governor responsibilities and feedback from the sub committees.
October 2017 Sub Committee meetings
In September and October all the sub committees met, typically for 1-1.5 hours in the late afternoon/early evening: Resources Committee, Teaching and Learning Committee, Pupil Support Committee and Children’s Centre Committee. Governors typically serve on one or two sub committees and these tend to meet 5-6 times a year.
October 2017 – Nimisha Barai (Parent Governor), Harvest Festival
Attended the Harvest festival this morning and felt incredibly proud to be part of a school that puts so much importance on this festival.
September 2017 Rebecca Aberdein (Parent Governor) – Staff satisfaction survey
I joined the Board of Governors for Farsley Farfield in April this year and at my first Resources meeting there was some good discussion around the fact that the Governors were keen to understand how happy the teachers and staff felt about working at the school. The team were also keen to establish whether the school could make any positive changes to improve overall happiness amongst the school staff. With my HR background I was keen to help the team come up with a suitable staff survey. We identified 5 areas of focus: how staff felt about the school; their colleagues; the leadership and management in the school; their own professional development and their wellbeing.
The survey was very popular with 79% of staff completing it. The responses were managed confidentially to encourage people to be open and honest and the findings were shared with the leadership team early September. There were lots of positive comments with respect to the school in general, team-working and colleague relationships which was very encouraging. Areas for improvement included finding more opportunities to recognise staff for doing a great job; more access to the leadership team, communication and opportunities for team-building across the two buildings.
The leadership team were grateful for the support they received from me and are working hard on the findings of the survey, sharing the results and how they can respond to the feedback. I’m sure it will become an annual activity to continue to improve the school and ensure that staff are happy. After all, happy, motivated staff = happy, motivated children.