Link Governor News

Link Governor Visits:


We regularly visit school as link governors to ensure we are fully aware of the work of the school around key areas. On our visits we meet with school leaders, visit classrooms and speak to the children about their opinions about things. These visits give us the opportunity to challenge and support the school to further improve.


Our link governor roles for 2018 are to be reviewed and responsibilities approved at our full LGB meeting in November 2018.


Mr Darlingto has visited school and reviewed our work related to the key priority of improving attendance. He reviewed our current attendance for the school and specific groups within this and is pleased with the improvements we have made. He discussed with Mrs Steele how we are supporting children and their families who stll have attendnace below the expected levels. Mr Darlington has agreed to attend further attendnace panels in school to offer our support and challnege when it is required. He also suggeted that Mrs Steele produces a document for the school website each week for attendnace.


Mr Phiilips spent the morning working in Otter Class. Following our whole training on equality and diversity, Mr Phillips was interested in talking to the children to guage their understanding. The children were able to talk about tolerance and celebrating difference. They could talk about some different religions, race and identified differences that exist such as gender. They were able to talk about poverty and gender stereotypes following their recent topic work and they believe taht everybody should be treated equally. Interestingly, within their mixed age class, the children did not see anything but 'Otter Class' rather than Y3 or Y4!


Mr Ponzini met with Mrs Jones and a H&S officer from KMBC to review current H&S procedures within school.

A tour of school was completed and key areas were reviewed and discussed. The H&S audit review was analysed to identify actions taken by school since the last audit.

Actions have been developed for school to take and feedback to Governors during the remainder of the school year.


Mr Ponzini came to school to speak with Mr Cooper to evaluate how we are spending our Pupil Premium funding and to discuss how this is effective impacting on outcomes for our children.

He focused on how we are using this funding to improve outcomes in Y1 phonics and he recognised that we are having success in this area but we want to work with small groups of children to improve even more. He also questioned staff on how are children are doing in Y2 and he will be reviewing this further after we have data for the Spring term so we can see the impact of our work.

He is also concerned about our PA figures for groups of children and he wanted to challenge us about how we have tackled attendance issues and what impact this is having.

Finally, he reviewed some of the interventions in school and has now asked Mr Cooper to complete further key actions for governors regarding Pupil Premium spending and the impact it is having in school.


Katie Mannion and Len Marlow (safeguarding link) visited school to conduct a review on our online safety work and provision.

They initially met with Miss Caldwell and a representative from the LA team who manage our school sytsems and network. They feel assured that the school filtering systems are secure and prevent and monitor online usage and keep the children safe from accessing inappropriate materials. They also are happy that all requirements around staff laptops are appropriate.

Miss Caldwell was able to outline the school approach to teaching online safety and members of the online safety pupil team answered questions they had- demonstrating their maturity, knowldege and skills. A tour of school was also completed to ensure the emphasis on online safety across school is evident in all classes through the use of high value displays as reminders and information points for children.

They also both attended our online safety performance by Altru Drama and enjoyed the show. They commented that this was a valuable experience for the children and thought the follow up workshops enabled the children to further develop their understanding.


The Standards Committee loved seeing the children's learning in the floor books last night at their meeting. They are really impressed with the thought process behind the learning in the topic based work and even more with how the children have a clear role in the direction their learning takes. Our work using the Sustainable Development Goals within the curriculum is developing the citizens of the future we all want to see. Learning from the heart...'At the Heart of Learning'




Mr Marlow completed his termly visit and met with both Miss Watkins and Mrs Jones to discuss key elements of safeguarding.

Mr Marlow looked at the section 175 audit with Miss Watkins and the Single Central Record with Mrs Jones. He was also keen to discover how we directly teach the children to keep themselves safe in a number of potential situations.

He also asked about the school filtering and blocking systems and about encryption of staff laptops.


Mr Graham Phillips visited school and spent a morning in LKS2. He visted Cheetah and Shark Class and was impressed by the attitudes to learning the children demonstrated. He was impressed with the growing independence the children were showing and the children were very clear in their explanations to him. Mr Phillips recognised how the children were engaged by a number of different strategies including the use of visual stimulus and ICT. The provision and support provided in both classes for the children struggling with the tasks was of high quality and resulted in good results by the end of the sessions.

Mr Phillips also asked children form both classes about ONLINE SAFETY. The children had a good understanding and could expalin a number of ways to keep themselves safe online.


Mr Ponzini visted school and as always he was pleased with the provision the children with SEND receive in our school.  He asked  the SEN team about identification of needs within school children, the actions being taken and the use of external agencies to support some of our children.

Mr Ponzini also queried how we monitor proivision for our SEN children and he looked at the work produced by some of our children with Mrs Hennessey. He has asked Mrs Hennessey to work with our Writing Leader to review interventions to help support some children.

Mr Ponzini also challenged Mrs Hennessey regarding attendance of our SEN children and he asked how we are challenged persistent absence for our SEN children.

He was also impressed with the planned whole school CPD linked to SPLD that would offer staff guidance and support in identifying potential issues earlier.


Miss Hathaway visited school for the first time in her role as link governor for attendance with the intention of raising her own awareness of the work that is being completed in school to improve attendance as this is a key priority and also to use her own experience (as a teacher in a primary school who have improved attendance significantly) to offer suggestions and further developments.

Miss Hathaway reviewed daily procedures that are conducted around absence and she was impressed with the rigour of the system to monitor and check daily absence. The first response sytems were robust.

The approaches to improving attendance have worked and the improved attendance data was evident from the spring term. It was suggested that we should also meet with nursery and reception parents this term to raise the profile and importnace of good attendance evene from the earliest age. Another suggested approach was to set up specific morning clubs to engage children with lowest attendance on key target days of the week and also to conduct individual target setting interveiew with children and families. A final suggestion was to work with the School Council to develop an attendance 'strapline' that emphasises the importance of excellent attendance.


Mr Phillips spent a morning in Y3 and Y4 observing teaching and learning and focusing on how school is supporting children with SEND and what additional uses of the Pupil Premium Grant made for children in Y3 and Y4.

Mr Phillips was impressed with the work that Shark Class were completing in their 'Reciprocal Reading' sessions. The children all took on different roles in the session when reading and analysing the book being studied and supported and challenged each other to understand the text fully.

In Cheetah Calss, the practical nature of the learning was evident and the children worked well to solve time problems within the lesson. Mr Phillips noted the improvements individual children had made in terms of their engagement in their learning since his last visit to the class whilst they were in Y3.

In both classes, Mr Phillips identified that children with SEND are well supported and challenged. The work that the SENCO has completed across school to support provision is evident. Support seen in class encourages independence for the children and encourages them to be focused and engaged in their learning through skilful questioning and prompting.


Mr Bunnett spent a full morning with Lion (Y6) and Fox Class (Y5/6)  to observe teaching and learning in UKS2. He was impressed by the attitudes of the children to their learning and he felt a real buzz to the learning in Fox Class. Mr Bunnett was able to see first hand a number of the initiatives that have been brought into school to improve writing and reading. He was able to see the impact of Teaching and learning over a unit of writing work through looking at how pupil outcomes had improved between  hot and cold tasks. In reading the use of ERIC time (Explain, Retrieve, Interpret, Choice) was evident and the value of being able to focus on key reading skills was clear to see.

Mr Bunnett also met with Mrs Pender, our KS2 Phase Leader, and he raised some points with her regarding attendance of our Y5 children, the consistent use of purple pens, the emotional impact of tests on our children and how vulnerable groups of children are monitored and supported. Mrs Pender was able to provide detailed information about how these areas of concern are being tackled currently at school.


Mr Ponzini completed a 'Learning Walk' with Mrs Hennessey (SENCO) to review provision for SENd children within KS2. It was clear thet the children are well supported well, receive differentiated work that still does provide challenge and are motivated to improve their learning.

When questioning Mrs Hennessey, Mr Ponzini discussed the processes and activities used in school to identify the needs of individual children, provide appropriate levels of support, how school works closely with external partners to ensure accurate diagnosis is reached for children and the implications this then places on school to meet these needs. Mr Ponzini was pleased to see the passion and dedication all the staff have to ensuring we meet the needs of all our children in school.


It is clear that the hard work from last academic year has continued and it was excellent to see the children fully engaged in the challenge of learning in both Nursery and Reception. The confidence of a large number of children is amazing to see and they were very keen to share their learning.

The environment continues to be developed but we know this is a longer term project to reach the point we want both inside and outside.

The next steps for EYFS were discussed with the EYFS lead and the priorities are improving outcomes for boys and disadvantaged children across the phase in addition to developing communication in Nursery. Find My Voice Project for Nursery in Spring term will help us to develop skills in this area.

We are aware of the lower numbers in Nursery so far this year and as governors we need



Mr Marlow visited the classes in Key Stage 1 this week to gain a more in depth view of the way the school morning is organised and to ask questions of teaching staff, leaders and the children.

First of all, Mr Marlow wanted to see how we were improving reading in KS1 and he saw how DERIC time was used to help the children improve key reading skills (Decode, Explain, Retrieve,Interpret, Choice). He was impressed by the children's effort and clear understanding of the concepts involved in this process. He also saw some Phonics sessions and agian was impressed with the involvement of the children in developing their knowledge and understanding.

Mr Marlow also scrutinised maths books and posed questions to Mrs Baxendale about marking and provision for the most able learners in maths lessons.


Safeguarding Link Governor visit. (October 2016)

Mr Marlow visited school and spent time with our Safeguarding Team in school. He reviewed policy documents, our section 175 audit and he also reviewed our Single Central Record.


Mr Ponzini recently visited school to look at our provision for children with SEND. He met with Mrs Hennessey our SENCO, observed intervention groups, spoke to children and also reviewed paperwork.

The amount of paperwork and research that the SEND team complete to ensure the best provision possible was a strength that was identified: recognising the determination of the team to understand complex needs and meet the needs of all our children.

Mr Ponzini was impressed by the interventions that he saw and was pleased to see that school was making effective use of TA staff  especially following reports from the Education Endowment Fund reports on 'Making the best use of Teaching Assistants.'

In his meeting with Mrs Hennessey, a format for the annual SEND report for governors was discussed to ensure that all governors have a full understanding of the school provision for children with SEND.

Health and Safety Governor Visit. (April 2016)

Mr Armstrong visited school last week to review our fire drill procedures. He observed a fire drill in the KS2 building and was impressed by the speed the building was evacuated. He recognised how sensible the children were and how the systems in place worked smoothly. Mr Armstrong was pleased to see our new 'Early Detection' and 'Emergency Lighting' systems now in place in the KS1 building.

He will be visiting again in the next few weeks to monitor a fire drill in the KS1 building.

Link Governor visit- Lower KS2 (February 2016)

Mr Phillips visited our school and spent some time in Puffin, Giraffe and Cheetah classes. He commented that the display work and visual aids to the children are vibrant and eye catching.

He also noticed that the children were all working independently and were very conscientious and eager to learn. He was impressed by the initiative the children showed when they came across a problem in their learning when they used the 'help desk' resources to solve the problems they faced. He saw the children using learning ladders to understand what they needed to do to achieve well in the lesson and feels that this is a great way to develop independence.

Mr Phillips was impressed by the use of the I Pads in class and he particularly liked the way he saw in Cheetah class a piece of work being photographed and then displayed on the class interactive panel to be marked together ; providing high quality feedback to the learners.

This was Mr Phillips first visit to school as a link governor  and he was really impressed with the brilliant behaviour and attitudes to learning he saw in Puffin, Giraffe and Cheetah class. Well done.


Link Governor visit KS1 (December 2015)

Ms Morris visited school and spent some time in Bear class, Monkey class and Tiger class. She also spent time speaking to Mrs Baxendale our KS1 Leader.

This was her first visit as link governor and the first thing that she noticed was the warm welcome she received from the children and staff.

Ms Morris spoke to Mrs Baxendale about how our learning environment should reflect our ethos and the high expectations we should have for our children. Before she visited any classroom, Ms Morris wanted to know what she should expect to see in every classroom to make sure things were being consistent.

When Ms Morris visited the classrooms, she was able to see a consistent approach to a number of displays including working walls,  help desks, behaviour systems and celebration of learning. She noted that the classrooms appear to be bright and in general well organised.

Ms Morris has asked us to continue to work on certain areas of the three classrooms to ensure they are less cluttered. This is something we have been working on since September and will continue to develop.

Ms Morris commented that parts of the building look tired and in need of some redecoration and repair and that this is something that the governing body and Mr Cooper need to discuss and develop a plan for improvements to the building.

Contact the school

Call and speak to either

Mrs Joyce Jones

on 0151 477 8270

Whiston Willis Community

Primary School, Milton Avenue

Prescot, L35 2XY

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