3rd October 2019 – Ruth Fain (Parent Governor)
I attended the Year 1 Harvest soup event yesterday. The whole year group were there, alongside lots of parents and carers, to enjoy vegetable soup cooked by the children earlier in the day using vegetables grown on the school farm.
Only a month into the school year, it was great to see the children looking so settled and happy in their learning environment. I spoke to several children about harvesting the vegetables, chopping and cooking, safety considerations and the taste of the soup. The kids were consistently excited and proud of their achievement, and several noted that it was ‘made by teamwork’.
Thanks to the Year 1 staff for a wonderful and unique event, and to all involved in settling the children into their new classes and learning structures. A great start to the term.
1st July 2019 – Ruth Fain (Parent Governor)
We camped-over again this year – there was no alternative, the event appears to be the high point of the social and entertainment year for my daughter (in reception) and son (hopping up and down with excitement to join Mrs Fulton’s nursery in September). And rightly so – this event is extraordinary!
From the African drumming to the water fights, from the chickens and donkeys to hair raising climbing and spinning feats in the Willows, the range of activities provided for the children is fantastic. Add to that the huge levels of logistics and organisation by the PTA, the careful (and visible) recycling, the vats of face paint and glitter and the mountains of breakfast made and consumed on Sunday and you have a truly remarkable weekend.
Camp over also provides an amazing social education for the children – ours ran around in safety with friends and introduced us to staff and new acquaintances gleefully. Finally, the sense of community spirit generated by this event in particular – the feeling that as parents we are part of the wider Farfield family – is fantastic and very welcome. It sets the school apart, I think, and camp-over is the epitome of the school ethos.
A huge thank you to all involved!
28th June 2019 – Davina Bhanabhai (Parent Governor)
I had the pleasure of being one of three S Factor judges for the morning. The judging panel consisted entirely of parents of children in school, with a background in Science.
All the children from KS1 and KS2 impressed us with their experiments and knowledge on all things chemistry and physics – the KS1 children in particular showed in depth knowledge of atoms, electrons, sound waves and chemical reactions- and very strong presentation skills, with lots of audience engagement and questioning.
Some children in KS2 were slightly apprehensive at the start of their presentations, however, they were fully supported by the teachers organising this event and soon relaxed and did brilliantly during their experiment presentations! Some KS2 experiments included liquid density and refraction.
It’s clear that these mini-scientists will one day make very positive impacts to future STEM roles! I’d like to believe so!
24th June 2019 – Resources committee meeting
A Resources committee meeting took place with 8 governors in attendance. Items discussed included:
- School premises plans
- IT strategy and expenditure
- Sustainability including composting
12th June 2019 – Full Governors meeting
A full governors meeting took place on the evening of Wednesday 12th June. Some of the items discussed included:
- Reviewing of minutes from recent sub-committee meetings
- Governor monitoring of the School Improvement Plan priorities
- Approval of the formal budget for the year 2019/20
- Review of most recent and next scheduled review dates of statutory and recommended policies
- Safeguarding and Child Protection compliance
24th May 2019 – Ruth Fain (Parent Governor)
I attended School to sit on the recruitment panel for a new out for class SENCO lead. As ever the recruitment process was robust: candidates interviewed with myself, the Head teacher and the Assistant Head Teacher, and were also required to do a data study and carry out a written reporting activity based on a fictional case study. All elements were scored and a final decision made. The candidates shortlisted were very strong, with several of them meeting our required (high!) standards. The chosen candidate stood out as being exceptionally well qualified and passionate about SEN children, and has plans to improve student welfare/calm areas throughout the school. She will join our other SEN team members in September, and I look forward to seeing the results of her work next academic year.
3rd May 2019 – Rob Heap (Chair of Governors and Resources Committee Chair)
I spent the day with the senior leaders, business manager and local authority finance officer working through the school budget over the next 3 years. This is always a tricky balance of budget, people and the broad variety of curriculum that makes Farfield special. We are able to retain the special elements of the grounds, farm and broad sports offers while also investing in the buildings for the future. I was also treated to crumble and custard at lunchtime.
29th March 2019 – Nimisha Barai (Parent Governor)
I recently attended the spring chicken event at school and loved every minute! The children were so ‘eggcited’ to show their chicken life cycle books and I was so impressed at the standard of writing and drawing. We were even treated to a chocolate bun. Great work year 1.
20th March 2019 – Cath Fulton (CLA Governor)
On 20th March I met with Mr Harris, who is the designated teacher for Children Looked After, to discuss the provision and progress of the children who are in the care of the local authority.
Some of the things we discussed:
- whether looked-after and previously looked-after children have made the expected or better levels of progress over the past twelve months in line with their peers (i.e. educational, social and emotional progress);
- whether any looked-after and previously looked-after children are identified as gifted and talented and how those needs are being met
- what impact Pupil Premium Plus (PP+) has in supporting the educational achievement of looked-after and previously looked-after children
- whether the children have a PEP (Personal Education Plan) in place and that there are regular meetings with carers
The discussion was very informative and I feel that the school takes its role as corporate parent very seriously and CLA children are well supported at Farsley Farfield.
Full Governors meeting – 6th March 2019
26th February 2019 – Ruth Fain (Governor with responsibility for Health and Safety)
As Health and Safety Governor, I undertook a walkover of the school and am pleased to say that overall, Health and Safety is good at the school. It is clear that staff and students take health and safety seriously, and this is backed up by systems and documentation required to show compliance with statutory requirements. As with any audit, there were some improvements identified and these will be actioned by the School premises team in the next weeks and months.
16th November 2018 – Ruth Fain (Parent Governor)
I attended school to watch the Foundation Stage Rock Concert for Children in Need (16 November 2018) and what a show! Absolutely brilliant singing and air guitar from all the classes, great dancing and tremendous recorder playing. Very impressive indeed! It showed of the talent of the children and dedication of the staff in equal measure. A fab idea and good way to get us parents interacting too. Thanks.
14th November 2018 – Marion Cole (PE Governor)
This morning, I met with Mr Cooke to discuss the PE and Sports Premium. The purpose of the meeting was to monitor and evaluate the work of the school in providing a quality PE and sport provision for every child.
- How the funding is invested
- Assessment of the children’s skills
- Increasing movement and activity in the standard school day
- Key achievements and areas for further improvement
- How to persuade the most inactive children to be more active and engage in some form of physical activity
- Raising the profile of sport across the school
- Boosting increased participation in competitive sport
- Encouraging children to focus on personal goals and achievements
Full Governors meeting – 7th November 2018
18th October 2018 – Ruth Fain (Parent Governor)
The reception parents’ workshop on literacy was informative and encouraging. If you are not working in the education system, the phrases and words used to describe the current teaching method (e.g. phoneme, split digraph, decoding, blending) can be hugely daunting. And don’t get me started on cursive writing! However, Mrs Kumar and Mrs Hutchinson ran an accessible and informative session which left myself and other parents feeling confident we knew what to do to support language learning (both reading and writing) at home. Thank you very much for taking the time to put this together and involve us so that we can support your work.
And the secret (at least in my untrained opinion)..? It’s not all that different to when we learnt to read and write – just things have more important sounding names now! The most important thing is still practice and encouragement and – as far as you can – sticking to what the school is teaching. My printing in capitals gets in the way a bit (!) but I do make an effort to try and join in the communication book at least.
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.
Full Governors meeting – 12th June 2018
19th April 2018 – 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 2018 – 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 2018 – Full Governors meeting
29th March 2018 – 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.