Redland Green School

RGS Bristol

Governors' Blog

Governors' Welcome to 2016 - 2017

This year seems the most exciting yet in the life of Redland Green School.  Our results are excellent and not just continuing the trend but with marked improvements for our Pupil Premium students.  All groups did very well from HAPs straight through.  It is such a proud testimony to our mission that every child is developed to progress and achieve to their individual best.  Governors have monitored groups closely and these are the outcomes we aimed for.

Governors were pleased to hear the new and innovative CPD plans for the year as Redland Green moves more into digital assisted learning and teaching.  To hear the whole school commitment to maintaining high standards of progress and achievement and never giving up on any student.  We listened to the most touching stories about outstanding progress in students that teachers encouraged to the last post.  Our new ‘G’ Block opened this year and has the most amazing skyline views across Bristol plus 360-degree air flow through the open windows.  As Governors we were aware of the educational functionalities, but these are added bonuses to the learning environment, which more children can now enjoy with the increased intake.

A first this year, was the introduction of Enrichment Wednesday Afternoons, a project that governors have worked with teachers, parents and students to develop over the past 3 years.  It was such a joy to see the year 7s racing through the school with big smiles doing orienting.  A busy Deputy Head stopped to explain to me that they were searching for school grounds clues to match geographical locations around the world.

Wacky golf drew peals of laughter from a group on a grassy mound.  I later learnt it was the outcome of a recycling project as they foraged through the peace garden for found objects that could be put to clever use.  A stick became a golf club and with a bottle added a putting green hole.

Busy Lindsay from year nine was wondering around searching through bushes and wild flowers with her smart phone.  I asked her what she was doing.  She explained she was doing a bee hunt: finding and photographing bees to identify species.  She had found several and had her species identity chart to hand.  Lindsay told me how much she was enjoying her bee survey and that she had never done anything like it before.  She did not know which subject she liked best so I figured they were all too good for her to choose.

 

 

We saw children and teachers all engaged in a world of games, joy, laughter and learning as we have never seen before as governors.  And no child was excluded, every child was actively involved in something.  Plans discussed at governor meetings for three years had been brought to life, and children were in the happy, safe, learning environment that as governors we work hard to maintain.  Teachers were having as much fun, de-stressing and teaching all in one go.

On behalf of all governors a big thank you to all the staff, all the students and to our Headteacher Sarah Baker for their courage to take risks like these to make Redland Green school the special place that it is today.

Welcome back everybody and especially to our new teachers and students. We are happy to have you join us on an outstanding journey.

Lawayne Jefferson, Chair of Governors


 

Half-Year Report, March 2016

It has been a very engaging and busy year so far for Governors. We appointed three new Community Governors to replace those who retired after long years of service and also to acquire the skills we needed in the ever-changing world of school governance and learning. We want to be sure that we can provide the best support possible for our students, parents, teachers, other staff and the community of Bristol. So, welcome to Ciara Campfield, Fiona Hallworth and Sarah Everett-Cox, who have hit the ground running.

Governors have had numerous meetings with teachers, students and parents covering a range of activities and events. We exchange and gather information to support the entire school family in planning. Highlights of only the main visits are covered in this report. There are many others that support our work. Some are at RGS and others are with other schools and organisations across Bristol.

We attended the Annual International Day Food Festival and saw the enthusiasm of the students as they prepared and sold delicious food from all over the world, to raise money for their India trip, in addition to showing off their cooking and business skills, promoting diversity and having fun whilst doing it! Governors enjoyed the feast and so did everybody else as staff eagerly queued to buy, buy, buy!

Governors took part in the Public Consultation on the new build. The evening instilled great pride in the development plans for the RGS site: all the wonderful projects successfully done and the others to come. The biodiversity of the wild flower garden that has become a habitat for many insect and bird species for students to observe, study and enjoy. The creative plans for cricket, making clever use of an unused space. The pleasant chats with our neighbours from the allotments and houses around, who have grown closer to the school over the years and have embraced a growing supportive and family spirit. Particularly charming was their offer to collect balls straying onto the allotment and return them to the school.

Governors attended the ‘Musical Celebration’ and witnessed the range of talent among the students and the outstanding work being done in music and performance to build confidence and support learning. Governors also attended the annual staff pantomime (not to be missed; immensely enjoyed by all the children including those from Claremont School) and the staff appreciation end of year lunch. 

In January Governors went back to school for a day. This is known as our annual ‘Governor Development Day’. We spent the entire day at RGS visiting classes, talking to teachers, staff and students and having a look around, which included lunch with students. And what a day of learning and enlightenment it was. Students talked about their mocks and what they would do to improve their learning. They talked about their roles as leaders and plans for further studies and careers. They spoke with pride about behaviour. Common themes were that they would rather be at Redland Green than any another school, they were happy and they felt safe. 

The main focus of these visits is for Governors to observe the school at work and see the strategic vision and plans that we lay down converted into actions and outcomes. We seek to find out first-hand how the students and staff are all getting on with all of these plans and to see what may need changing going forward, to get the best outcomes for our students. 

On behalf of all the Governors many thanks to the students who spoke so well and knowledgeably about themselves and the school and who were so polite when we wandered around their classes and looked at their experiments. Many thanks to the students who take our new Governors on tours of the school. The message I hear over and over is that everyone at RGS is treated in the same way regardless of who they are and the students embrace this. The feedback that I get from the community and other schools from which students have come is how happy the children are and how comfortable they feel at school.

Teachers, Support Staff, the Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) and finally to our Headteacher, many thanks.

Lawayne Jefferson

Chair of Governors


Governors' Overview of the School Year, September 2015

Governors were delighted to join the Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) and staff on their first INSET day of the new school year, to discuss GCSE, AS and A2 exam results in relation to Strategic School Development Plans (SSDP), whilst reflecting on the past year.  Once again the results were brilliant and the entire Governing Body would like to say well done and congratulations to students and staff for all the hard work they put in to make it happen; further narrowing gaps and placing some of our most vulnerable groups of students above the national average.

As Governors we celebrate the success of all students but we want to acknowledge the exceptional performance of our Pupil Premium (PP) students, particularly in English and Mathematics. We have followed the planning, the discussions, the many interventions and strategies that teachers, mentors, support staff and the whole school have pulled together to support these achievements for our PP students through their Driving Improvement Group (DIG) work.  Much of this we discussed at Governing Body meetings, faculty reviews, various Committee meetings, SSDP planning days, and in meetings with staff and student groups. We also saw a lot of the practice in action during classroom visits and book scrutiny, particularly during our full day of development activities at the school.

These results and the 3 levels of progress our PP students made in English and Mathematics are some of the outcomes and best rewards we could ask for. We welcome the plans discussed on 1st September to drive student achievement even further, and not just for our PP students but for all students. At RGS every child counts. Nonetheless a performance executive group of specialists is in place to work with PP students over the next year.

At RGS we have long adopted the whole school approach to learning and have been pushing ahead with building resilience, confidence and ambitious aspirations in our students through a number of programmes.  Governors have discussed and heard from teaching and support staff about their creative planning and teaching of British values on academic and personal development levels by linking relevant topics into APEX, mentor time, RE, LV (life, values and society), assembly and other areas.

On the INSET day Governors were pleased to share in the positive outcomes and further initiatives to take these to the next level. These included appointing an extra-curricular coordinator and tracking systems for student participation in extra-curricular activities, and the formalising of PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) as a timetabled subject with a specially trained subject leader and expanded career guidance.

New focus measures for Key Stage 3 (KS3) will also feature over the next year; they say the best finish begins with a good start!  At RGS we will be upping our start game for our KS3 students with structured base line assessments on the concept of core, combined and creative learning and beyond to ensure that our students have the right early and appropriate interventions. To expand our involvement in the wider community for the benefit of our learners and the many others in Bristol, Governors and school leaders signed a Memorandum of Understanding with 23 partner schools in the north of Bristol forming an 'NW 24 Learning & Teaching Partnership' including both primary and secondary schools. This group will function as a support and self-improving system for us all. It will strengthen collaboration on the whole school-life approach to learning from KS1 to Post 16 and help to narrow gaps.

At RGS these actions will continue closing gaps and drive our achievements higher.  RGS continues to be a popular choice for many students and in response to the demand, the SLT and Governors have worked to expand to 8 forms of entry as of  2016/2017. All hands are on deck for another year of hard work and dedication ensuring that our children are happy, safe and successful.

To Governors and staff who we said goodbye to over the year, we say a big thank you and best wishes. To new staff we say welcome and thanks for joining our hardworking team led by our relentless Headteacher, Sarah Baker, her SLT and full staff corps. We look forward to another great year.

 

Lawayne Jefferson

Chair of Governors