Just before Christmas, I was asked if I would come into school to help Year 4 to make Anglo Saxon Bread which was linked to their History and DT topics for the half term. I had previously carried this activity out with the children prior to becoming a governor and was more than happy to help out with this once again.
Over a 3 week period Mrs Harrison and myself took 2 groups a week into the kitchen part of the family room and supported them to make a individual flat bread. The children were very well behaved and asked lots of questions, which was great to see. They loved getting their hands dirty when mixing the dough and they were extremely eager to try the bread they had made, despite it not being to everyone's taste.
Once again these visits was extremely enjoyable and it was great to see how much the children enjoyed and learnt in these practical sessions. I look forward to hopefully being able to visit school again very soon.
I was delighted to be asked into school as DT Governor to help Year 6 prepare and make a three course meal. The children were split into 3 groups each making 1 of the courses over a 3 week period. The first week I helped the children to prepare a Greek feta cheese stuffed pepper starter and in the second week I helped them to prepare a salmon main course. Unfortunately due to Covid restrictions being tighten visitors were unable to go into school by the third week of the task which meant that I was unable to help them make the final course.
Virtual Governors Meetings during the Coronavirus Pandemic
The Governors wanted to reassure Parents and Carers that they have continued to meet during the Coronavirus pandemic to ensure the smooth and safe running of the school for both the staff and children during this extremely challenging time.
AYF Ugandan Band Visit
It was incredible to see the AYF band of Uganda back with us at Christ Church Primary school. The children enjoyed it so much and they learned some amazing songs about faith and also learned about music and dance from the African continent. Even the teachers got involved with the singing and dancing! But not only this, they taught the children through song about how faith can help in difficult times, that when difficult times come, if you have faith, you have the strength inside you and the encouragement inside you to get you through to the other side. This really reinforced what the children have been learning about through the ‘Heart Smart’ framework and ‘”No way through” isn’t true!’. A truly fun, exciting and inspiring afternoon. It was a privilege to be a part of it.
SLT Book Scrutiny
The Senior Leadership team were doing a book scrutiny and reviewing curriculum planning when I visited school on Friday 18th October. Looking at books from every year group it was possible to see how the curriculum has been developed throughout school and how children’s learning is built on from one year to the next. It was clearly visible how staff were implementing the curriculum, and how differentiations were made for lower ability learners, either through different tasks for lower ability learners or completion of the same tasks, but with different expectations for outcomes. Comparison of the schools curriculum plans to the National Curriculum framework satisfied me that the school is teaching to the National Curriculum requirements.
I was also able to meet with Mrs Monaghan, lead for Literacy and English. We discussed the implementation of the new SoundsWrite Intervention. This aims to improve phonics and therefore reading skills in children. In Key Stage 1 children are taught phonics using Read Write Inc (RWI), however for a small minority of children who fail to complete it by the beginning of Key Stage 2, it continues to be taught. SoundsWrite is now being used with some children in Key Stage 2 right up to a Year 6, who have completed RWI in Key Stage 1, but are still struggling with their spelling and retention of sounds and therefore need to continue to develop their phonics. It is important to continue to support the learning of phonics into Key Stage 2 for those pupils who require it as this will help improve their reading, writing and comprehension across all subjects.
A review is currently being carried out of the reading books that are sent home across both key stages, as staff understand the importance of books providing just the right level of challenge for pupils. School will be asking parents to comment on how their children find reading a book. Whilst a book may appear sometimes easy for a child, it is important that pupils develop confidence in reading books that develop the sound formations they are learning.
In reviewing some exercise books, it was noted that children participate in lots of different types of writing: diary entries, creative entries, biographical etc. However, lacking from English books was scientific writing. It was noted that scientific writing was taking place, but that this was often in science books only. We set a target for teachers to include more scientific writing as part of English. This will ensure that children understand this as a type of writing, and not just science.
It was encouraging to hear how children are engaging with some of the new resources such as Spelling Shed. Staff are able to reinforce classwork and key words by setting children targeted spellings in Spelling Shed. This will help to improve children’s vocabulary and their ability to spell, which in turn will also help them with reading and comprehension.
I was pleased to see that Mrs Monaghan has hit the ground running as lead for English, using her usual enthusiasm and passion to inspire and support staff in this key subject.
Chair of Governors
Physical Education and Sports
As the Governor with responsibility for PE and Sports, I would like to bring to parents' attention the wide and varied schedule of sporting events that have been arranged by the school.
The school believes that physical activity and sporting participation can bring a range of benefits to your children's development and health. It can also contribute to higher achievement in the classroom.
Staff Inset Day
I had the pleasure of spending some time with the staff on INSET day. The senior leadership team were reflecting on the previous year of school and looking forward to how this year will shape out. This year a real focus will be put on reading, writing and spelling. There will be some new learning programmes used in school, as well as new after-school clubs to support children with their learning.
In the staff meeting,it was interested to hear about a new way that staff will be recording when your child has achieved a learning objective. It will be easier for them to identify and monitor your child’s progress and also any gaps in their learning. They will be able to be more proactive in supporting your child to meet all their learning goals.
Another focus for this coming year will be Well-being, both staff well-being and child well-being. Staff well-being is at the heart of a healthy school; for a school to be effective the staff must first have good well-being, only then can they support the children. Staff were encouraged to write down what is done well in school and what could be improved. They were then asked to consider how well we deliver well-being for children in school. All this information will be used to create a well-being action plan to be implemented over the next year.
As governors we will be carrying out a series of school visits this term to observe the work the staff are doing in each of the curriculum areas to ensure that your child is receiving a full and varied curriculum.
It is encouraging to see all the positive changes that have taken place in school over the last year, and those that are planned.
Chair of Governors
Reception Visit to Ellesmere Port Boat Museum
Firstly, thank you to Mrs Gornall and Reception for inviting me on their school visit to Ellesmere Port Boat Museum, as part of their Heritage Project week.
On arrival the children were greeted by two volunteers from the Boat Museum who were very knowledgeable about how the Boat people lived their lives in the late 1800's.
During the morning the children dressed up as 5 families from various eras 1870's, 1890's, 1910's, 1930's and 1950's, they visited the boats and houses that they lived in from those time periods and then the stories of each of these families were shared with them.
In the afternoon the children explored the remaining areas within the museum which included; The Island Warehouse, the Locks, the Stables, the Blacksmiths and the Power House where they learnt about narrowboat art, how to operate a lock and what it was like to work around the docks over 100 years ago.
The children really enjoyed looking at the different historical artefacts and playing with old fashioned toys on the cobbles.
This visit covered the ELG for Understanding the World.
I thoroughly enjoyed this trip and the children were a credit to the school in their attitude to learning and behaviour throughout the day.
Year 3 School Visit to Blackpool
Thank you Mrs Evans for your invite to Blackpool. On the visit the children went to the top of the tower to experience an aerial view for themselves. By taking the Skywalk, they were able to see the surrounding area from a very great height! Some children needed a bit of encouragement from Mrs Evans to step out.
Inside the workshop, they were able to identify physical and human features of Blackpool, identifying the main trade and economy. They looked at maps of the regions to help them create their own land use map of the town.
The children conducted themselves extremely well when they interviewed the public to find out why they had come to visit Blackpool. Mrs Evans said they were going to compare this to similar work they had carried out in Leigh.
Thank you to the children and staff for a great insight into the Geography curriculum.
Recently, Mr Bayatti and I visited the school to undertake an audit of safeguarding. We spoke to a number of staff (teaching staff, teaching assistants, welfare staff and supply staff) to find out what they knew about safeguarding. Some examples of what we talked to them about are:
● The indicators of abuse and neglect that they should be aware of that may identify children in need of help and protection
● How they would make a referral if they were concerned about a child
● The safeguarding training they receive, such as referral and social service procedures, FGM, Prevent; and how often they receive training
The good news is that Christ Church staff are very familiar with safeguarding procedures. We fed back to Mrs Hill on our findings and she has already updated some of the policies in school and arranged for some additional topic based training.
The main Safeguarding training for the school takes place for all staff every 2 years to ensure they stay up to date. The school’s safeguarding policy is available on this website: https://www.christchurchprimaryschool.co.uk/our-team/key-information-1
Chair of Governors
Are you aware of the huge impact that the school Ethos Group are having at church?
Each month at our all-age family service members of the Ethos Group come and help. They lead creative prayers, give notices – in the style of a news broadcast, they welcome people, lead action songs, and help us get the message of God’s love across even more effectively! So, a huge THANK YOU as they are making a big difference to these services – as a result of their participation we’re seeing new growth with more children encouraged to enjoy church and being joined by their families to support them. After each service, many families stay on to enjoy a family lunch together with fun and games for all ages!
Rev Alan Saunders
Wider Ops Music
There are few more joyful experiences in life than the experience of playing music. I’ve been a trumpet player all my life and began playing aged 9 at primary school, it’s given me a huge amount of pleasure and purpose. Perhaps most significant is that my family were not at all musical at the time when I started playing, it was a completely new experience and totally down to the initiative of the
school in offering the opportunity to learn an instrument.
So, it will be no surprise to know that I was thrilled to be invited to listen to a performance by the Year 4 ‘Wider Opportunities’ group. The children were clearly enjoying the experience. The expert guidance and enthusiasm of their teachers helping encourage active participation by every child in the class. I was particularly impressed with the performance by one child who clearly has developed a little further than the others and is showing potential to go further as a budding guitarist.
Music is so important to our development – it helps link-up the rational and creative sides of our brain, improves concentration, promotes confidence and creativity, and even helps with reading and numeracy. I would strongly commend to you the opportunity to encourage and support any child to develop a love of music.
Rev Alan Saunders
Year 1 & 2 School Visit to Quarry Bank Mill
On Monday 11th March, I was invited as governor to attend the Year 1 and 2 trip to Quarry Bank Mill. The visit was aimed at teaching the children about local history. Whilst we were there the children gained hands on experience of what life was like working as an apprentice in the Victorian era and were given the opportunity to handle real artefacts from the era including live leeches!! Whilst on our way home, I took the opportunity to talk to the children about their day and what they had learnt. One child said "I have learnt lots today, I wouldn't want to work 12 hours in the workhouse and then have to do school work."
Sports Hall Athletics
In my role as a governor, I was asked to attend the Sports Hall Athletics at Lowton High School with the children in Year 3 and 4. Competing against children from several other Wigan schools, the children had the opportunity to try a range of different athletic events that they may not have tried before e.g. a standing vertical jump, mixed relays.
I have to say I had a wonderful afternoon. The children worked extremely well as a team and were a credit to our school, both in their behaviour and sportsmanship.
Hi, my name’s Helen and I wanted to introduce myself to you as the new Chair of Governors at Christ Church Pennington CE Primary School. My partner and I live in Leigh and worship at Christ Church Pennington. We have 3 daughters between us, my adopted daughter who is 12 and his twin daughters who are 9. I work in Children’s Services at another Greater Manchester local authority and my partner is a software developer. I have previously been a governor at a special school in Wigan prior to becoming a governor here at Christ Church about 18 months ago.
It’s a really exciting time for the school and it’s a real privilege to be the Chair of Governors here. As Mrs Hill and myself are both new to our roles we are learning together and have lots of ideas to help make Christ Church an even better place for your children to learn, and to follow on from the brilliant work that that was done by Mrs Rigby, the previous Headteacher, and Mrs Fisher, the previous Chair of Governors. .
During the recent Ofsted inspection we retained our ‘good’ status as a school, but Ofsted did pick up on a couple of things that needed a little improvement and so they have told us they will be back in about 12-18 months to see how we are doing. This is a really exciting opportunity for us to provide new opportunities and experiences for your children; and to develop the incredible staff team we have here. It won’t be an easy year and everyone will be working really hard, but when Ofsted come back we want them to see what a great school Christ Church Pennington CE Primary School is.
I came to school last Monday for a meeting with Mrs Hill and caught the end of assembly where the children were all wearing odd socks for anti-bullying week. It was great to see them all so enthusiastic to be a part of the school community and enjoying standing together to fight against bullying.
Thank you all for the support to the school that you give as parents we really do appreciate it.
Chair of Governors
On Tuesday 5th June, I had the pleasure of going into school to watch the two assemblies led by the five young people from the Message Trust.
The first assembly was for the older children and after introducing themselves the Message people asked the pupils’ questions about love, who they loved and about Gods love for them. They then taught everyone a song with actions ‘Our God is a great big God’. Some of the children knew the song as it is one that we sing at Church, but soon everyone was joining in with the words and actions.
Next it was the turn of the younger children and in their assembly they were given paper on which they drew around their hands. It was explained to them that everyone’s fingerprints are different and no matter what differences we all have, that God loves us all the same. Then we all made a big circle, children, staff, visitors (including myself) to play a game of Simon says which taught the children that they should always listen carefully.
I left then, but the group from the Message Trust spent the rest of the day with the children and staff, going into the classrooms, and having lunch with everyone.
It was a lovely experience having the five young people in school and one which I’m sure that the children enjoyed, and I hope that the time that they spent at Lowton High School was also a great experience for the students and staff at the school.
Mrs Mavis McLean
March 2018 visit to Christ Church Pennington
As Chair of Governors I was on a routine visit to school to check the Child Protection procedures and the content of the website. This is to ensure they both fulfilled the statutory requirements demanded by Government. This business done with, my eyes were drawn to the displays around school – I went to look further.
As Governors we have been informed about the school’s focus on reading in this academic year. Indeed Mrs Percy and Mrs Monaghan have already made a presentation to The Governing Body about how everyone in school has worked hard to make this a priority.
On my walk around school I saw some beautiful displays including one called, “ 100 books to read before you leave Christ Church, “ and another very funny one, “ When your teachers were young,” now those photographs were hilarious – I never knew Mr Hudson could be so sweet! The book choices were great as well.
What were particularly interesting were the recent Book in a Box entries – so numerous I’m told that the hall space was completely taken over by them – well done children and parents. They were truly amazing.
I know that our school, like others, has also celebrated World Book Day – regardless of the extremely low temperatures experienced on that day.
I noticed that all reading materials in school are very well cared for and stored appropriately so that the children can have easy access to them. It is a real credit to school that they maintain the quality of these resources so that they will be attractive to children. I am confident that our children will become Life Long Readers as a result of this investment.
If you have chance please go and have a look – you know you will always be welcome.
Chair of Governors
Last evening, 28 March 2017, I was in school attending a parents and carers “Calculation” event. The idea was to bring us adults up to speed with the way that maths is taught in the new curriculum.
The first thing to say is a huge thank you to the large number of staff (and pupils) who gave up their time to give us, hands on, demonstrations of how it is done. Their efforts were rewarded by a magnificent turnout of grownups who packed the hall.
It’s not usually a good idea to single individuals out but in this case and exception is OK. Because of a technical hitch two KS1 children had to demonstrate how they use physical aids to do sums and at the same time describe it to a hall full of parents and careers. They were exceptional and were given a huge round of applause.
After a short introductory presentation we all dispersed to classrooms. Sue and I went to Y5 where 4 or 5 children were showing (very capably) how they do addition and subtraction. We learned what a “placeholder “is and all about “exchanging”. I came away with a much better understanding.
The atmosphere in school was comfortable and friendly and the children of all ages displayed the customary air of polite Christ Church confidence.
Well done everyone!
Mr Gareth Cheesman
Associate Member of the Governing Body
As Chair of Governors I have been privileged to take part in the life of our school. It is so pleasing to see the strong links which exist between the school and church.
Hellos and Goodbyes :
Last year we had to say our goodbyes to Rev Tony Butterworth, who had been a very loyal and hardworking member of the Governing Body for many years. We also wished Mrs Doyle a happy retirement after teaching here for over 32 years. Her love of the job shone through in all that she did.
In November we of course welcomed our new vicar Rev Alan Saunders and Mavis McLean, Foundation governor, who now both sit on the Governing Body. We are now saying a very fond goodbye to Rev Lloyd Lee, who has been curate for several years, and also been a member of The Governing Body. His worship times in school were described as, “inspirational,” – our loss is Vancouver’s gain.
Christ Church has been oversubscribed for several years – this is no surprise to the Governors as we acknowledge the quality of education offered to its learners, regardless of their ability or status. The school’s profile is classed as 1A by the Local Authority – the highest category which can be reached. The school’s results are consistently above the local and national average – well done to ALL who work so hard to have achieved this!
Last year the school focused on Mathematics teaching. Currently it is part way through its,” Year of Reading.” There have been many exciting activities designed to embed a love of reading in every child. There are so many things going on in school it would be too much to list them all but I would pick out just a few – The Community Carol Service and lantern parade, The wonderful Nativity we watched, the taking part in Young Voices at the Manchester Arena, the numerous trips and outings including residentials to Hinning House and Robinwood and many sporting events throughout the year. Some of you may remember an appearance on National Television as an ex pupil had developed an Internet Safety App – so important in these days of increasing social media.
As well as the school supporting different charities, The Friends of the School always support the school both in terms of social and fundraising events – school is very grateful for this!
We, as Governors, are justifiably proud of Christ Church and will continue to serve it in whatever way we can.
Chair of Governors
Dear Mrs Rigby and all the staff and children at Christ Church.
A huge thank you to you all for the refreshments provided before my last Governor's meeting last week and the FABULOUS framed photograph of all the children which was taken in our church.
It has been a privilege both as a parent and a governor to witness the commitment and dedication of all the staff and pupils in such a fantastic school.
I wish you all the best for the future
Retiring Deputy Chair
On Wednesday 24th February 2016 all members of the Governing Body attended a full and interesting day in school. Marguerite Murphy from our LLG consortia spoke to us about the structure of the most recent OFSTED framework and its implications and then reminded us what to look for when undertaking a learning walk around school.
The remainder of the morning we walked around school and went into all classes. This must have been very daunting for the staff, but they certainly welcomed us warmly. We were able to see the children engaged in their learning and although very busy some of them did have a chat with us.
A more informal chat took place as we enjoyed lunch with the children- how school dinners have changed - select your own on screen and visit the salad bar!!
After lunch we discussed our findings from the walk around school. The day concluded with worship led by Rev Butterworth. A busy, tiring but very fulfilling day. Thank you to all in school for making it worthwhile.
Mrs Gill Fisher
Chair of Governors
Mrs Margaret Atkinson
One of the great joys of being a school governor is the opportunity to share some of the wonderful activities that children, from our school, experience.
On 4th March 2015 the school choir took part in Young Voices, a concert in which our pupils performed as part of a 7000 strong (yes seven thousand) ensemble choir involving perhaps 200 schools. It filled half of the seats in the venue.
Just to hear the chatter of that many children in the Manchester Arena before the start was extraordinary but when they started to sing I defy anyone not to have a lump in their throat. It was beautiful, joyful and emotional and the children’s raw energy just filled the vast space to bursting point.
The whole thing was a tribute to the dedication of all children and teachers involved but I’m almost sure I could hear the Christ Church school choir singing the best of all.
I’m sure every child will remember the day they sang in a choir of 7000 children.
Mr Gareth Cheesman
Associate Member of the Governing Body
Friday 13 June was in no way unlucky for me, nor three fellow “Dragons”.
On behalf of the Friends of School we spent an invigorating morning assessing pitches made by teams from each class and deciding whether Friends should invest in their proposed business venture. We considered whether the proposal would add to the pleasure of visitors to the Summer Fayre and if it would add to the funds available for Friends to spend on behalf of pupils.
The other Dragons were, Mark Willis the proprietor of World of Wicker, Kathleen Howarth, better known as Kathleen Atherton of the eponymous Leigh dance school and Sue Cheesman (Friends Treasurer) who kindly stood in at short notice to cover for a Dragon absent because of illness.
Dragons were unanimous in their praise for each of the class presentations, all of which gained the investment they sought and one got extra funding to help with an issue identified in discussion with Dragons. The professionalism and confidence of the teams was of huge credit to the individuals and the school.
Dragons’ Den is an established part of the school year and provides direct experience of planning developing and launching a business. It requires pupils to bring to bear all the skills that any business start-up requires and they do so with great energy and skill. It is wonderful experience and very competitive.
Mr Gareth Cheesman
Associate Member of the Governing Body
I must apologise for those of you who have been 'watching this space' for my follow up blog on my visit to the 'After School Blogging Club' but I have been busy recently and I haven't even been 'blogging'!!!!
So one Friday after achool Mrs Rigby took me to meet Mr Hudson and his fellow bloggers, there were aproximately eight to ten children in the club that afternoon. After Mr Hudson gave me a brief overview of what exactly 'blogging' was I sat with the children who were paired up together. The object of that afternoon's club was to blog about what they had planned to do that particular weekend. Lots of sport and shopping was involved and some children even if nothing was planned had some ingenious ideas about what they would like to do. All the children were very enthusiastic, willing to talk and show me their blog and how it could be shared with their friends.
Overall an excellent way for the children involved to develop and engage their literacy skills in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Thank you Mr Hudson and his 'bloggers' for letting me share this time with you.
Mrs Margaret Atkinson
On 8th March 2014 Mrs Hayden, Mrs Rigby and myself attended the Governors' Conference 2014 at Leigh Sports Village along with approximately 140 other governors from across the Wigan borough. The conference provides governing bodies with information and fresh ideas to improve school performance, not just on an educational level but on a practical one as well. As usual the conference was very informative and gave us plenty to think about. One item which we wanted to consider was a 'Governors' Blog' to inform some of the items and issues that our School Governing Body encounters to parents and carers. As I personally have never 'blogged' in my life, I thought I would turn to the experts and visit the children who stay behind on a Friday in our very own blogging club. So as they say 'watch this space'.
Mrs Margaret Atkinson