Congratulations to Round Diamond School from Herts for Learning lead strategist, Patrick McAteer!
Zoe Phillips received a wonderful letter early in January from Herts for Learning’s Patrick McAteer saying “Well done!” to her and to all the staff and pupils at Round Diamond School for the “truly outstanding” Key Stage 2 progress measures for 2015. KS2 pupils have reached and exceeded the national levels of progress in all the three areas of reading, writing and maths. He says that this “significant achievement reflects the good to outstanding teaching that the children are enjoying” at our school. Patrick congratulates Zoe on the significant role she plays as head of the school saying that her leadership at Round Diamond is the biggest factor determining success for the children and he praises her for her “resilience and determination in ensuring that our children at Round Diamond receive the very best educational start we can possibly give them.”
I have been a governor here at Round Diamond for nearly 8 years and I have seen the school go through many changes. This letter shows what excellent progress we have made over recent years under Zoe’s headship. You should all be very proud of yourselves to have achieved so much. Thank you to everyone for their hard work and dedication (especially the children) and thank you, Zoe, for all you do for us.
Sue Hardwidge (Governor for Inclusion and The Arts)
I was really pleased and proud earlier this term, when the governors met with Mrs Phillips as part of our regular meetings, and learned about the SAT’s outcomes the children achieved at the end of the Summer this year. Some of the results are amongst the best I’ve ever seen at the school, with improvements not, just in once area, but across subjects, year groups and classes.
To emphasize the level of improvement made in recent years, is the letter you can see here from Nick Gibb MP from the Government Education Department received last week, formally recognising Round Diamond for being in the top 5% of all schools in the country for phonics achievement. This is a fantastic result and shows just how far we have come.
In my opinion, the school is now Outstanding in terms of its quality of leadership, teaching, and the improvement in personal development of all the children over the last 3 years, and the behaviour and welfare of pupils at the school. The governors and I will continue to support and challenge the school as we continue to build on this achievement.
In other news, the Governors now have a Facebook page, so we can engage further with parents, so please check that out, and give us feedback on what we do.
Chair of Governors
As member of the governing body at Round Diamond, at the beginning of 2015 I was assigned with the role of “Pupil Premium link”. Since then, I have visited the school once per term to look and monitor how the school is carefully spending the government funding for the benefit of the designated children.
The visits have included different activities with the intention of ensuring that the school has clearly identified the relevant pupils, that the school has put in place initiatives aiming to improve achievement and attainment of PP children (“close the gap”) and that the school is able to provide evidence of the results and progress achieved.
I have been taking the opportunity to observe activities belonging to the different Waves of intervention (1-3) provided by the school: group phonics, one-on-one better reading partnership, targeted SPAG lessons, in- lesson support (Maths, Science), to mention some. I also had spoken to PP children about the support they receive and they have been very open to express the benefits of the special attention they receive.
Specific (anonymous) case studies have been scrutinised and evidence of specific teacher or therapeutic interventions have been demonstrated. The school has explained the system in place that provides the children with opportunities to help them overcome the barriers they may have to learning.
The overview of the latest results (where the school as a whole has done extremely well) for the disadvantage pupils allowed me to have a better appreciation of the impact the different initiatives have had with a clear trend of improvement over the last three years. The high percentage of PP children in the school makes the task more challenging.
My personal perception is thus far that the school is implementing the available resources adequately to increase the level of attainment and achievement with special attention to the PP children as required.
Special acknowledgement goes to Mrs. L. Evans (Assistant Head for Inclusion) who oversees all aspects related to Pupil Premium activities and to whom I am very grateful to have as a main point of contact for this important aspect of the school management.
Dr. Cesar Ramirez Molina
Round Diamond School Governor
T&L committee member; Pupil Premium, Science and Assessment Link.
Governor Strategy Day
June 5th 2015
On Friday 5th June the governors held their Annual Strategy Day. The day was held in school giving governors the chance to spend time with staff and to meet some of the children.
During the day the governors spent time discussing this current year, planning objectives of 2015/16 as well as agreeing the governing body structure for the next academic year.
The highlight of the day was the governor,s attendance at the celebration assembly. All of the classes were asked to think about a question that they would like to ask the governing body.
We had some great questions; this is a selection below –
From year 5 – “Where do you think that Governors have the most impact in school?”
From year 6 – “Does being a governor affect your family life?”
From year 1 – “Do the governors know the poem ‘on the Ning nang nong’?”
From year 3 – “What school did the governors go to learn to do their other jobs?”
From Year 4 – “What inspired you to become a governor?”
Our particular favourite came from year 2 – “If you were an animal what would it be?”
Throughout the day it was lovely to see the children enjoying their time at school, and wanting to share their experiences and interact with the governors in such a positive way.
Vice Chair of Governors