Letter from Chair of Governors July 2017

Dear Parents and Carers

So we come to the end of another academic year. And what a year it’s been for Garsington School. We have made a momentous move from being a local authority maintained school to joining the River Learning Trust multi academy trust. We completed our move on the 1st May and the impact so far has been behind the scenes with new financial and operational systems to use. I know that Mrs Turner and Mrs Wadforth have worked incredibly hard to bed down the new systems on top of their usual workload and I would like to thank them for this; efficiency exemplified. They are together one of the wonders of the world.

The school also had its long awaited Ofsted inspection and report in January. For the second inspection running, the school has been rated ‘Good’; an excellent achievement in the context of ever increasing expectations and complexity of providing education under increasing pressure of diminishing resources. In short we have to do more for less. Our January Ofsted report sum up well where the school is at. Specifically, the report commented on the leadership of our fabulous Headteacher, Ms d’Archambaud;

‘Since taking up your position in September 2015, you have built effectively on the school’s many strengths. You and your team are passionate in your ambition to continue to improve the school.’

This is an accurate reflection of the enormous time that our Headteacher and our team of teachers and teaching assistants (and volunteers) put in to your school. Much of Ms d’Archambaud’s work is unseen, but she still finds time to be highly visible and on behalf of the governing body and the school, I would to thank her and the whole teaching team; you are much appreciated and valued.

One of the key developments Ms d’Archambaud has introduced is a clear structure to hang child and educational development on – our Red Kite values.

Ofsted reported,

‘You have developed a very positive culture for learning. Staff and pupils understand and uphold the school’s values. One of these values is determination. Pupils say that they are encouraged daily to demonstrate determination by not giving up when their learning seems hard.’

And despite that focus on determination and hard work, it is not all noses to the grindstone;

‘The school is a vibrant and happy community. One parent summed up the views of many when they said: ‘The school takes the time to understand each child and their particular learning needs. When my child comes home they are always excited about what they have done that day.’

So over the year we have developed a clear way for children to grow and develop into rising stars, but we continue to look at what else we can do to be better. The whole school has a growth mindset of challenging ourselves and that includes your governing body.

As you go on your summer break, please continue to remind your children of what they learnt over the year and prepare them for the next year. Give them opportunities to open their minds, question what goes on around them and develop their skills; be Red Kite Learners 24/7.

Lastly, as debates rage about pay, please #ShoutOutForTeachers and recognise the key role they have, coupled with your essential role in supporting them, in giving your child the best start in life. That’s teamwork.

Happy holidays.

Eddy McDowall

Chair of Governors