Mosaic Jewish Primary School – Governors’ Report to Parents 2013-14
This annual report for parents and carers outlines some of the wide range of activities and achievements of 2013-14. The year has been quite extraordinary – from the detailed planning for opening to the amazing morning when our first pupils came through the gate to be welcomed by Mrs Baum, the Head teacher, Miss Barton, the Reception teacher, and myself.
The governors and the Head teacher want to promote good communication with parents and provide opportunities for dialogue. One of the characteristics of good and outstanding schools is the feeling of inclusion that all members of the school community have in furthering the success of the school. If you wish to contact a school governor, please use the school’s email address email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and the school will ensure the appropriate governor receives your email. The list of current governors is on the school web-website: www.mjps.org.uk During 2014-15 you will see new faces added to our already well-established.
Governors’ Roles and Responsibilities
The Governors of our Free school are also Directors of the SLJPS Trust.
The full Governing Body meets 4 times each year but Governors discharge their responsibilities largely via the committees – Resources (Finance, Premises, Personnel) Curriculum and Achievement (C and A) and Children, Families and Community. (CFC)
The principal role of the committees is to look in more detail at the work of the school by being analytical, creative and supportive of the Head teacher and staff. The committees regularly scrutinise the school’s strengths and areas for development and in particular how any identified weaknesses are being addressed. Governors set the strategic direction for the school, formulating policies and development plans in discussion with staff. Details of the aims and responsibilities of each of these committees are on the school web site under Governance.
Building on the very positive DfE monitoring visits during our first year is the school’s main priority. The Department for Education (DfE) and the EFA (Education Funding Agency) are acutely aware of the importance of ensuring new schools are set up to be successful and sustainable. This exactly coincides with our view and we have welcomed the support and guidance offered by both the DfE and the EFA representatives.
Our expansion into a two-form entry school will begin as we recruit for pupils to attend our permanent school at 170 Roehampton Lane.
Pupils’ Progress and Attainment
It is clear from the work that is seen in the classrooms, how much all the children have made progress in particular in their reading and writing.
Accepting the limitations of a snapshot report, Governors highlight the following:
The children already understand that MJPS is a Jewish school which values people with different backgrounds and celebrates those differences. The school has made good links with a number of other schools and organisations and the children have benefitted from these. The Head teacher, the Chair of governors and the Chair of Curriculum and Achievement have been invited to make presentations to three national and international conferences because of external approval of the vision and innovative strategies being employed at MJPS. In particular there is much interest in our inclusive, integrated approach to teaching children about Judaism while respecting and learning about other traditions.
The children in Reception established themselves as enthusiastic learners who can read, write count and solve problems as they enter Year 1. They have shown their creativity in so many ways not least through multi-media productions including the production of an animated story working together to write and tell the story as well as produce the moving characters. They have been on many visits including the Horniman Museum, a local Catholic church and Buddist temple but to name a few.
We have planning approval for our exciting new school on Roehampton Lane and have made links with local communities and organisations which will assist us in realising our dream of a true community school.
Pupils’ Progress and Attainment
It is clear from the work that is seen in the classrooms and captured in photographs and videos just how much all the children have made progress in particular in their reading and writing.
Resources Committee have got to grips with the EFA requirements, budget and funding arrangements and we have now appointed a full-time business manager to help steer us through the mammoth task of equipping a brand new school. This will be exciting and challenging given the rise in labour and materials in the building industry in the last 18 months!
We have appointed an Assistant Head teacher who will teach Year 1 and expand the Senior Leadership team by 100%!
The Curriculum and Achievement Committee have made significant progress in developing a secure understanding of the plans for our growing school and monitoring the ways in which the planning by Miss Barton and Mrs Baum is not only broad and balanced but adds value because of plans for children to have many varied opportunities to learn.
Governors take their monitoring and challenging role very seriously and by asking searching questions on many occasions they develop a deep understanding of the way the school is being set up. New systems for monitoring teaching and learning have been put in place and shared with governors so that they too can participate fully in this important aspect of promoting learning.
The CFC Committee has welcomed Mark Cooper, parent governor as a member and they are also linking with the newly formed Friends of Mosaic.
We are all finding our feet but our combined experience of life and work add richness to the discussions and debates. The tireless efforts of Kate Baum, her team and the completely committed Governing body are all part of the mosaic of MJPS which is wGoverning Bodyorking to provide Wandsworth with another very successful school in the future.
Our ambition over the coming academic year is to improve our awareness of all aspects of the school. Our aim is to ensure that each pupil and staff member feels valued, and that each pupil develops the self-confidence to achieve their potential, both academically and through extra-curricular activities.
Governors are committed to ensuring that the facilities in our new school match the aspirations of staff, pupils and parents and, to that end, the School Development Plan recognises that funding for some extra facilities will need to be sought from other sources.
The school website is proving very popular, both from a marketing perspective as well
as a means of communicating with parents. We know parents like the weekly newsletter and in the next year we are hoping there will also be access to a managed learning area of the web-site where children will be able to access and share their learning with parents at home.
It is therefore important that parents check the site on regularly to ensure they are fully informed.
At the end of our first year of operation we have undertaken a thorough review of the way our Governing Body (GB) is operating and have identified priorities for 2014-15. The GB action points are linked to the School Development plan and Ofsted’s criteria for inspection. The head teacher reports to the full GB regularly and to the committees so that her vision for the school to become an excellent school can be supported. This vision is about helping each child to fulfill their potential by providing a broad and balanced education based on our three principles of ‘Inspire, Respect and Excel. The governors have a responsibility for ensuring the strategic direction of the school is true to our ethos.
Governors visit the school regularly sometimes with a particular focus linked to the School Development Plan. However governors are often in school getting to know the children and to experience the running of the school at first hand.
The GB has agreed a number of actions for 2014-15. Governors will continue their training programme and ensure they keep up to date with national and local initiatives.
The priorities for the coming year are to continue to evaluate everything we do:
Monitor the school development plan to ensure all aspects of the school are working towards achieving challenging objectives
The GB wants to strengthen the Governing Body further
Recruit additional governors – 1 community and 1 parent
With committee set up and working well and the school growing the GB needs to
Further develop governors’ school links
Monitoring the children’s progress and the implementation of the Key Stage 1 curriculum
As the school grows the GB needs to develop a deeper understanding of how well the school is doing, what it needs to work on, how the new National Curriculum will be introduced and how the data generated can assist in this.
All new schools are inspected in their second year. The Governing Body is part of the Leadership and Management of the school
Prepare thoroughly for Ofsted by raising awareness of the inspection process and ensuring governors understand the criteria for judging leadership and management and teaching and learning
Gradually MJPS, an inclusive faith school for our times, is becoming better known and we are all looking forward to welcoming our second cohort of pupils this term.
We are a school committed to self-evaluation. We want to involve parents in this so please respond to the survey you have been sent as your feedback is important to us.
In conclusion it is very pleasing to report on a first very successful year for the school and we look forward to our second year in 2014-15.
Shirley Lee – Chair of the Governing Body
Governing Body 2014-15 (See web-site for more information)
Chair: Shirley Lee
Vice-chair: David Kelin
Chair of Resources: David Kelin
Chair of Finance: David Kane
Leading Human Resources: Marianne Cohen
Leading Premises: Steve Bower
Chair of Curriculum and Achievement: Judith Ish Horowicz MBE
Chair of Children, Families and Community: Naomi Reiniger
Parent governor: Mark Cooper
Staff governor: Carina Fernades
Head teacher: Kate Baum
New governors for 2014-15:
Additional parent governor to be appointed in October
Proposed new governor form the community: Vicky Williams