23.11.20 Lesley Lyon, Chair of Governors

Meeting with Joy Buttress – English Lead

During monitoring week, Teeny Reid (staff governor) and I met with Joy Buttress, English Lead.

The discussion focussed upon the progress made since the Deep Dive into reading in January 2019, the gaps the school needs to close since the partial closure of the school in the Spring and Summer Terms and the interventions put in place to address the gaps. The following discussion points arose:

  • There has been a big emphasis on the teaching of phonics across the school with training provided by ‘Letters and Sounds’ training. This is also being rolled out to staff new to the school since September. Mrs Buttress and other members of SLT have observed lessons with this focus and are very happy with the progress made by all staff in the quality of teaching. This is going to be checked by our independent School Advisor, Liz White on December 4th 2020 when she observes lessons in all year groups. I will be taking part in this activity.
  • Base line assessments have been done or all children and the picture at Mellers reflects the National picture which shows gaps in the following areas: stamina in reading (the children having regressed in the ability to read lengthy texts), the ability to produced lengthier pieces of writing and particularly the holding of pencils and their posture in writing, skills in speaking and listening (particularly evident in children working towards greater depth whose verbal skills and vocabulary use had not progressed as well as if they were in school. Mrs Buttress shared with us a very comprehensive plan of how these areas were going to be addressed in the coming months and we will be looking at progress with them in the next Monitoring Week in March.
  • Some of the interventions we discussed were for children new to English and an emphasis on spelling particularly at KS 2. Mellers has applied to become one of the new Reading Hub Schools rolled out by Voice 21 and a big part of the plan is the development of Oracy.

We were really pleased to hear that all members of staff had been given the gift of a reading for pleasure children’s book to enjoy over the Summer. The aim of this was to increase the profile of reading for pleasure and also to introduce staff to the latest high-quality children’s literature which they would be able to share with pupils.

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