Head Teachers report to governors

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					                Head Teacher’s report to governors

                          Autumn Term 08

     (Presented to governors on Monday 17th November 2008)


1)   Head Teacher’s general comments
2)   Progress towards school improvement priorities
3)   Performance management and self evaluation
4)   Premises update
5)   Hearing impaired unit update
6)   Attendance and punctuality
7)   Whole school events since summer 08
8)   Staffing issues-update
9)   Exclusions

1) Head Teacher’s general comments:
I have great pleasure in reporting on the progress and events at
Coopers Lane School since the last governing body meeting in June 08.

I would like to start with the fabulous results we achieved in all
tested areas from Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2 last
year. We were immensely delighted to record the best Foundation and
Key Stage 1 scores the school has ever achieved and to continue the
upward trend of improvement in almost all areas of the school. We
also improved the numbers of children achieving a Level 3 in KS 1 and a
Level 5 in KS 2. This was a priority for school improvement.

In the Foundation Stage we achieved 100% national average in 3 key
areas that are tested including social development, knowledge and
understanding of the world, physical development and creative
development. Almost all of the Foundation Stage results were above
National and Lewisham averages and writing was only 0.1% under
national benchmark. Thanks to the hard work, dedication and
commitment of the whole Foundation team and their Manager, Lesley
Ann Brown.

   We have been commended by the LA for being amongst only 10 schools
   who achieved 90%+ Level 2 in writing in Lewisham, amongst only 16
   schools in the borough who achieved 90%+ in reading and one of 26
   schools who achieved 90%+ in maths last year. These are amazing
   results and thanks to the hard work, commitment and dedication of all
   the KS 1 staff and their Manager, Liz Simmons.

   At Key Stage 2 there is still work to do but the picture here is again
   an improving one with more children achieving Level 4+ for writing this
   year and an improved numbers of children achieving Level 5 in both
   Science and Maths. English showed an improvement of children
   achieving level 4+ of 7% with 81% achieving Level 4+. Again a big thank
   you to Sheila Arden the KS Manager and her KS2 team who are
   working flat out to ensure that the picture of improved success is
   reflected right from the start to the end of a child’s experience at
   Coopers Lane School.

   We have since had our School Achievement Review with the School
   Improvement Partner, Alison Tucker and she has also praised our
   results and the improvements the school continues to make (Please see
   the summary enclosed from her)

   Of course the challenge now is to maintain and sustain this
   improvement across the school and we are confident that, even with
   some very challenging issues emerging in present Year 5 and some in
   Year 6, we can continue to do well.

   2) Progress towards school improvement priorities:
   We continue to make good progress towards achieving the targets set
   in the improvement/development plan under the following areas;
   -Achievements and standards
   -Learning and teaching
   -Leadership and management
   -Personal development and well being

    (i)Achievement and standards:
In summary we have seen a big rise in children achieving National average
in both the reading and writing related areas of the Foundation Stage
Early Learning Goals and we are now for the second year running closing
the gap here on National and local averages. At Key Stage 1 we are
achieving 90%+ in the numbers of children attaining Level 2+ in reading

and writing and at KS 2 we achieved an improvement in overall English
scores at Level 4+ last year.

The improvement in maths at KS 1 and 2 was sustained last year and we
believe that the new approach to the organisation of maths learning and
teaching at the school is having the desired effect. Indeed there was
also improvement in the Early Years too as we achieved above national
average in all areas tested for maths on the Early Learning goals.

(ii)Learning and teaching:
We continue to embed and evaluate the creative curriculum but this is
not shaping the learning as much as we would have hoped by this point and
so we do have plans to reinforce this with further inset and training for
staff. Currently we are working with a visual arts specialist who is
providing professional development in this area for all staff.

Communication with parents and engagement with parents is an ongoing
target and we continue to work hard at this. Recently we held a writing
workshop for all parents in the evening. The dads group continues to go
from strength to strength with more males visible in school now, such as
those who help run the maths booster classes for Year 5.

The creative learning Journey toolkit is now fully in use and embedded in
classes and both KS 1 and 2 as well as Foundation have the planning
materials for this and are using these to implement the creative

   (iii)Leadership and management:
Career professional development is now more closely linked with the
Performance Management processes taking place in the school. Key Stage
Managers are taking the lead here. So much so, that in our recent School
Achievement Review the SIP commended us on the good level of
distributive leadership that has been created and that exists in the

Assessment data is now more accessible to ALL staff and not just leaders
or managers in the school so this enables class teachers to have more
information regarding underachieving children and we can target support
for children earlier and much more effectively now.

Governors are also now more informed as this report regularly updates
them on progress being made against the priorities set.

   (iv)Personal development and well-being:
School dinner numbers are at an all time high as the new cook has made a
huge impact on the standard of service and indeed the food on offer.

Children and staff have all had access to the philosophy training from
SAGE and this has impacted on children seeing themselves as independent
learners and staff realising the importance of this in the classroom

The Values themes that are discussed in group and whole school
assemblies are also now planned for in the PHSE lessons that take place in
each class throughout the week.

Attendance and punctuality continues to be a tough nut to crack and we
have set ourselves challenging targets to achieve here in the next two
years. Strategies such as phone calls 15 mins after school starts to
obtain reasons for absence, rewards systems such as Argos vouchers for
parents who get their children to school for 100% of the year and class
champion certificates and stickers for those children who attend for
100% of a term etc are all weapons to be used in the fight against
persistent absenteeism.

   3) performance management and self evaluation:
We are now at the end of the first year of a new cycle of performance
management and I am delighted to report that the process has been
almost fully successful with all PM Managers executing the process with
their teams very effectively indeed. It has focused us in terms of looking
at the whole school issues. For example all teachers were asked to set a
PM target concerning the underachievement of white free school meal
children in writing which is a serious issue for us at the moment. In the
PM reviews and assessment analysis that has taken place in the Autumn
we can see that there is beginning to be movement towards addressing

Professional development and succession planning is now much clearer and
transparent as teachers identify where they think their careers should
be heading and how they see themselves getting there. This has led to

some high level training courses being undertaken with the national
College for School leadership etc.

This helps us to have a clear management and succession plan in place for
the future and to anticipate change in terms of staffing much more

All observations carried out on the learning and teaching are given an
Ofsted grading and those where the teacher is deemed to be
satisfactory are verified. Another observation is then planned in order
for that teacher to show that she can gain a minimum of good and not
just satisfactory. This has led to there being only good or outstanding
teachers in all areas of the school, therefore improving the standard of
teaching and learning since we were last inspected in 2006.

The school’s SEF form, which governors now have complete electronic
access to, clearly indicates that we are continually self evaluating and this
has been praised by our SIP in her recent report which governors will
have this evening. I am about to conduct the usual Autumn survey of
children’s views on how they evaluate the progress being made by the
school and in the Spring term I will be canvassing parental views on this.

    4) Premises Update:
-The school house project is currently behind schedule and is due for
completion around the end of the Spring term 09. This is mainly due to
the delay in planning and slight changes to what was required on the site
by the user group. However, I am delighted to say that the contractors
are pulling out all the stops and working hard to get this project
-The library has moved upstairs so the Year 5 children can be housed in a
larger classroom downstairs. This is something that the estate manager
pointed out would be good practice and indeed this switch has been very
-The nursery pirate ship was launched in the summer term and the
children have been enjoying it since then. This was purchased with monies
gained from the Area 3 Early Years team.
-We need to consider as future developments the following:
i) Outdoor toilet block demolition and replacement with outdoor sheltered
play area complete with table football, table tennis tables etc so children
can have sheltered play areas in infant playground.

ii) Decoration and repairs to classrooms and especially the nursery after
the movement of the building caused major cracks etc.
iii) Repairs to the nursery building
iv) Last remaining windows that are not double glazed will need to be

   5) Hearing Impaired Unit update:
I am delighted to report that David Buchanan, our teacher of the deaf
has been shortlisted for a Lewisham Pride award. Whether he is
successful or not will be decided at the end of November.

The Unit staff and our SENCO, Clare Franklin have been busy gaining the
statement documentation for all the children in the HIU and this is now
starting to come through. This is important especially when parents are
making choices about secondary provision later on.

David and the HIU staff have set up new signing classes for all the KS 2
children who are interested and this has been hugely popular with a large
take up. These take place at lunchtimes.

   6) Attendance and punctuality:
I am currently happy at progress being made in this area as we are
showing well below 4% for authorised absence (3.59%) this term so far
and 0.59% unauthorised absence. I am less happy with the figure of 1.6%
for late arrivals and this is something I have spoken to targeted parents
about. These figures are currently well within our overall target of 95%
attendance rate.

   7) Some of the key school events since the last governing body
      meeting have included:
-Our annual trip to Broadstairs
-Summer Sports day
-Year 6 school journey to the Isle of Wight
-Year 6 graduation and performance
-Year 2 graduation ceremony
-Year 6 BBQ and disco
-Parents open evening in July
-Parents target setting day in October
-Harvest festival
-Black history month held in October

-Members of staff visited Dalton schools in Holland with SAGE
educational trust
-Year 4 school journey to Marchants Hill
-Writing workshops for parents of all ages over two nights

   8) Staffing issues-update:
Since the last governing body meeting we have welcomed a new child to
the HIU who came with financial provision in the form of a full statement.
This has meant appointing a new Communication Support Worker in the
HIU and advertising for a TA to work in the HIU. Owing to an internal
appointment to the latter we then had to advertise and appoint a TA for
a Year 6 class.

We have also appointed a new meal time meals supervisor to work
essentially in the Key Stage 2 playground.

In addition to the staffing changes, Karen Cromwell in her new role as
Acting Assistant Head Teacher has been helping Karen Handley in the
office to rationalise all support staff hours and pay and conditions. This
has now been completed successfully. It was a long and arduous task but
one that was essential, as now these roles are equitable and school has
ensured that staff are being paid for the correct hours they work which
is better value for money.

A summary of newly appointed staff:
-CSW in the HIU-Simone King
-TA in the HIU-Sam Miller
-TA in Year 6-Sue Williams
-midday meals supervisor-Julie McCabe

Again I am delighted to report that there have been no fixed term
exclusions to report since the last governing body meeting although I
have asked one year 5 child to be kept at home for a day because he was
refusing to come into school and was in a distressed state. This is not the
first time we have had problems getting this child to attend school on a
regular basis. This situation is being monitored and supported both by
school and external agencies and since this latest incident he has
attended school without any further problems.

As a footnote to this section I would add that we do have serious
concerns about some of the children’s behaviour in Year 5 and we are
employing strict strategies and sanctions with this cohort. However, I do
not envisage excluding any of these children although I will not rule this
out as a strategy but only as a last resort.


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