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Holly Hill Church School, Birmingham

Annual Statement

Holly Hill Infant School Governors Annual Statement 2020-2021

Holly Hill governors have the job of supporting Miss Taylor in her role as Head Teacher at Holly Hill and in holding the school to account in three areas, finance, educational performance of the children and ensuring the Christian values, ethos and vision of the school are met. During the 2020-2021 year, after a full consultation, we have changed the way the Governing Board works to reduce the workload for the Head Teacher and to make the board more efficient. A Governor has been allocated to each of the key areas and works with the school to produce an annual report which is presented to the Full Governing Board. This has been very successful. Extracts from some of the reports are included as part of this statement.

Finance                                                                                                                                                   

In the Autumn term we look closely at school finance to make sure that the money received by the school is well spent. The Board were satisfied that the school is currently in a sound financial position at the moment. However, there is concern that there are spaces in most of the classes and a falling number of infant school aged children in the area. There are some difficult decisions that need to be made in the future. This is one of the reasons that the Head Teacher, staff and governors have been investigating the possibility of joining an Academy. After some research, the one which we believe fits best with the ethos of the school is The Epworth Trust. Meetings have been held with staff and Trust leaders and parents have been informed. More discussion about the way forward will be held during the next academic year.                                                                                                                                               

The Governing Board have looked at the use of money given for Pupil Premium children and for Covid catch up and are confident that it is being used wisely to allow for high quality teaching staff, additional specialist support, especially for speech and language, and for increased use of teaching assistants. Additional responsibilities have been given to teachers on a higher pay scale to enhance the curriculum and support the leadership team.

Educational performance                                                                                                                       

In Autumn 2021 the Governing Board looked at achievement and progress from the previous year. Teacher assessment indicates that end of year outcomes are in line with or above 2019 NA which demonstrates the high quality teaching and learning and effective closing of gaps in learning due to Covid. The impact of the Covid is still affecting the school especially in Nursery where the children are several months behind expected level of development for their age. The school are aware of this and have action plans in place to support the children as identified above.                                                                                                                                        

Key Stage 1 have achieved well due to quality home learning during lockdown, accurate assessment informing teaching on return and a prioritised curriculum in response to core skills.

Reception children now begin a new curriculum and due to the fantastic support they have received they are more ready to access this curriculum.

Our bespoke curriculum is becoming embedded thus meeting the needs of the children. It is aligned with Holly Hill’s vision, the OFSTED Outstanding grade descriptors and SIAMS Framework.

Attendance has remained at a similar level to last year in an environment where attendance nationally has been poor. The autumn term showed that attendance was above NA for all but one week. The school are to be commended on the effort made to support families in making this happen. The school is reducing persistent absence and lateness over time. The board recognise the work done by staff to enable the high number of SEND children to flourish and to support staff where there is a high turnover of children during the school year.

Ethos and vision of the school                                                                                                         

The Christian values and ethos at the school are evident from before you enter the school and are clear from the behaviour of the children and their excellent understanding and application of the values. The values are also well evidenced through the school website. The website is an excellent support for parents too. They are able to view assemblies, view the values and “big question” for the week and watch videos on how to support their children with reading.                                                                                                                                     

There has been an increased awareness of the importance of the mental health of pupils, staff and families. A dedicated governor report into this included the following comments:                   

The Head teacher and Deputy Head Teacher meet the children and parents/carers in the playground each morning. Every child has an emotional `check in` each morning with staff identifying children daily for any problems they may have.                                              

Learning Mentors work with specifically identified children and families.                                               

The school website has a dedicated page for mental health and wellbeing.                                                          

Every class uses the Heart Smart programme to support children’s awareness of their mental health.     

Regular contact with parents/carers takes place.                                                                                               

A member of staff is designated to supporting staff mental health and staff workload has been reduced through high quality, relevant and comprehensive medium and long planning    The whole school ethos is geared to ensuring the children, parents/carers and staff are happy and supported in a way that is individual and appropriate for the person.                 

The school should continue to invest in the staff team to train staff on mental health and wellbeing.                  

A Governor report into what the children think about school is very positive. The children however have missed the whole school assemblies and would like more PE.

Holly Hill staff have continued their work in supporting other schools this year and Miss Taylor has been working with MAST (The Methodist Academies and Schools Trust ).

We believe that the board has been able to support the school through prayer and in decisions made in all areas, to help it to fulfil its mission of “life in all its fullness” recognising the importance of education and the school environment for our children and their families.