In October I was fortunate enough to be elected a parent governor. I put myself forward because I’m committed to supporting children and young people as they transition from childhood to adolescence (and beyond), and because I wish to contribute something meaningful to the Halterworth community. Being a governor felt like good fit.
In all honesty I didn’t really know what I was signing up for!
Six months later, I’m slowly getting a fuller picture – but am advised by more seasoned colleagues that it takes a full academic year to really ‘get it’ – so there’s a way to go.
Governor meetings have opened an extraordinary door onto the work, performance and achievement of Halterworth children – from a local, to a regional and also national context. We review how our children are doing, and where there might be difficulties. We hear about measures Halterworth is putting into place to support those children who struggle with aspects of learning or are perhaps more vulnerable. We also hear about how children are challenged to stretch themselves and how the staff team support the implementation of the Growth Mindset and other strategies to promote children’s development.
Whilst there’s a huge amount of data to absorb and understand, the school’s senior leadership has a clear passion for ensuring our pupils are enabled and encouraged – and this shows in their determination to keep one step ahead of the DfE’s sometimes wayward curriculum and standards demands!
In addition to meetings, I’ve been linked to a subject area (Science – which I love!) and have taken part in a mentoring project for older pupils. Being a subject link allows me to have a better understanding of how Science is taught across year groups, how it integrates with other core curriculum areas such as English and Maths, and how as a school Halterworth takes its responsibilities seriously when it comes to encouraging the continuing interest of girls in science (there are startling stats on how early girls lose interest in Science once they move up to secondary school…).
Half-way through my first year as a parent governor I’ve learned an incredible amount about the functioning of the school, the role of the governor, the complexities of how national policies affect what happens in our children’s classrooms, and the pressures of achievement and how we measure progress. What will the next six months bring? More learning, I’m sure! And a continued sense of pride that we and our children are part of an extraordinarily committed school.