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Parent - School - Governors

 "Governance is first rate. Governors are closely involved in all that the school does. They are highly knowledgeable. They use their expertise extremely well to support the school’s keen focus on high achievement within a Christian framework." ( OFSTED, November 2012).

 

St Benedict’s governing body aims to give strategic and critical support to the school. Governors come from all walks of life – financial services, the building trade, administration, teaching, journalism, marketing, parenting – bringing their skills and expertise to bear. The parish priest and monks from Ampleforth Abbey are also governors.
In order to manage the great amount of work that today’s governors are required to do by Government, St Benedicts has divided the task between three strategic sub-committees:

Educational development –responsible for the nature of the curriculum, school achievement and special educational needs.

Catholic nature – responsible for the school’s ethos, it’s liturgical life, relationships with its immediate community and with the wider world

Governance – responsible for all issues relating to the management of the school and support of the headteacher including financial matters; professional development of staff; performance management of staff; staff appointments and disciplinary issues. The sub-committees meet at least half termly to audit and discuss work-in-progress and outstanding targets. The full governing body meets twice a term.

In our mission statement we declare that parents are the first and foremost educators of their children and that the school’s duty is to support them in this God-given task. Therefore we regard a partnership with parents as essential to children achieving their full potential in what we hope is a rich and varied learning experience.

St Benedict’s operates an open door policy to parents. If parents have problems or queries on any aspect of their child’s schooling then both teachers and governors are prepared to respond and give advice and support at any time. Parents are encouraged to come into the school in the morning when they bring their children or when they collect them in the afternoon, to see the work that has been accomplished.

In addition to this general, day-to-day contact, teachers will also make appointments with parents if an issue needs to be discussed at any length. Teachers also hold a formal one-to-one meeting with parents in the autumn and spring term to report on their child’s progress. Parents are given a formal written report about their child’s progress at the end of every year.

Governors too, wish to maintain a lively and open relationship with parents. We have meetings with parents regularly throughout the year. We see these as an opportunity to explain the work that we do and to enable frank exchanges of opinion, but also to celebrate with parents the extent of the very real achievements of pupils and staff and the exciting curriculum we offer. These meetings are always well attended and enjoyable. Parents played a part in appointing our new Headteacher who started in September 2011.

St Benedict’s has drawn up a home/school agreement which we send out and ask parents to reaffirm on an annual basis. It is a useful way of reminding us all of our responsibilities in supporting our children through their learning. We also send out a monthly newsletter which keeps parents up-to-date with events, achievements and issues.

Curriculum evenings, where teachers explain to groups of parents the nature of the school’s numeracy or literacy strategy, activities in science, the content of personal social and health education or RE, are also appreciated and give parents and teachers an additional opportunity to talk things through.

St Benedict’s also conducts an annual audit of parents’ skills for those who wish to help in school. Over the years parents have given support in many ways: with languages; creative arts; IT; sport; geography; science; as an additional adult presence on school trips. There are many ways parents can contribute and the audit enables St Benedict’s to draw on this generosity whenever the need arises.

Parents also provide greatly appreciated support in fund-raising, and our fund-raising committee has always been very active, providing cash for much-needed extras.

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