Message from Jess Smart, Chair of Governors

It really doesn’t seem that long since the Governing Body met in September 2015, for the first time this academic year, welcoming new members and outlining the year ahead.

Here we are now over halfway through that year and time seems to be going faster than ever! Whilst the staff continue to be entirely focused on the children’s learning and imbedding the new curriculum, it is the roll of the Governing Body to think longer term and it is at this time of year that governor’s begin planning the strategic priorities for the next academic year and beyond.

I always find this an exciting prospect and seeing the development of the building work at Rectory Gardens it already seems very real this time round. Planning for the future in school’s not only involves budgets, understanding staffing levels and pupil numbers, overseeing the implementation of changes to the curriculum and monitoring those changes, but also keeping abreast of political and legal decisions that impact upon how schools are run. With the Mayoral elections round the corner and the EU referendum fast approaching there will undoubtedly be unforeseen challenges ahead.

The Governing Body will take these in their stride but, as ever, if anyone has any concerns, ideas or suggestions please do approach us and we will be glad to chat!

…what are the Committees focusing on this term?

Curriculum & Achievement – Chair: Janet Allen

This year the Curriculum & Achievement Committee is focused on the implementa@on of the Assertive Mentoring system. Nursery and Recep@on have adopted
their own approach to observing the children learning, often through play, with Tapestry. This is an exciting development, in particular for how it keeps
in touch with families through the Tapestry Ap.

As ever, the learning environment is alive with fantastic work done by our children. Displays of beautiful writing, stories and pictures are everywhere and the washing line of ‘Pants’ in year 1 is a wonder to behold. Each classroom has a newly designed book corner. There is also a free library, held in the playground on Friday after school, for everyone and a book club for Yrs. 2 and 6 to share a love of reading with each other. So many lovely initiatives to inspire a love of reading in our children.

Children, Families & Community – Chair: Stuart Goldberg

Our focus at the moment is communication and how St Mary’s can be even better at keeping everyone up to speed without informa@on overload. Hopefully, you’ve already noticed our glorious website just got better again (thanks to the hard work of Thandi Viljoen!). And we love the new Tapestry app that Nursery and Reception are using. But as our world gets increasingly connected, we’re keen to make sure St Mary’s is doing its best to take advantage and to strengthen the school’s ties with families. For our school to be the best, we know we need to be outstanding at sharing information, listening to you and fittng in with your busy lives. So expect plenty more improvements in the coming terms.

Resources – Chair: Fr Bruce Batstone

The Resources committee over these past months have been keeping abreast of the building works, keeping a close eye on how things develop, supporting your children, Fran and the staff through this process. We are now looking forward to building works beginning at Church Lane over Easter and supporting the children and staff through the improvements in that part of the school. We have overseen the latest bid to the Greig Trust which supports the school each year financially bringing all sorts of unique opportunities to St Mary’s as a principal.

Don’t forget to vote in the current Parent Governor elections. Polls close at 9.15 am on Thursday 24th March!!

Ian Blaney: Parochial Church Council Foundation Governor

Father Bruce asked me to put myself forward as a Governor because of my professional experience as a solicitor with Lee Bolton Monier-Williams working with Church of England schools, and the council of St Mary’s church approved my appointment last autumn. I am a regular member of the worshiping congregation at St Mary’s and have seen how both the school and the church play a significant role in community life in the Hornsey area. Despite doing a lot of work for schools in my work life, it is still a real challenge to grapple with the number and variety of issues that any primary school needs to deal with, especially as Government policy does not sit still. It is rare for a month to go by without some new initiative or guidance being announced.

I am very impressed with the work of the headteacher, the staff of the school and the governors in running a successful and motivated learning environment and am glad to have a role in the coming years, especially through the Resources and Finance Committee, as the school continues to flourish.

Dr Feyisa Demie: LDBS FoundaDon Governor

I work as Head of Research and Adviser for School Self-evaluation as part my day to day work. I have over 25 years’ experience working in education. I am a passionate champion of school self-evaluation and an advocate of using data and research as a tool for supporting school improvement. I run bespoke school focused training programmes and a national school improvement conference at UCL Institute of Education (IOE) to share good practice into what works in schools.
More importantly, I have an interest in all children’s future and a strong desire to make a difference in the community and the school. As a local resident, I would like to contribute to the school objectives of forging links to its culturally and linguistically rich community.

I have worked as a school governor both in primary and secondary schools. At present I am a member of Curriculum and Achievement Committee and link governor for pupil premium and disadvantaged pupils. I am very impressed with the work of the headteacher and staff in improving the performance of school the last four years and would like to continue supporting the school on its aim of moving from good to outstanding in any future Ofsted Inspection.

You can catch up with the minutes of all the Full Governing Body meeDngs
on the St Mary’s website at