Governors' Blogs 2013/2014

The School Year - 17 July 2014 - Janet Myers

The school year is drawing to a close and this is our last blog before September.  What a year it’s been!  It started with the dancing, music and artwork of the Festival of Cultures and that set expectations high for the rest of the year.  We have not been disappointed!  The focus on the arts has continued through the year.  In the performing arts, there have been the Christmas nativity productions, Mr Humbug Sees the Light, Macbeth and the Year 6 play, Let Loose!  Music has included Young Voices and Music for Life with brass instruments, guitar and samba.  The Brazil fortnight included Capoeira lessons and making Mardi Gras masks and carnival headdresses, creating Brazilian street art, and painting rainforests.  The children have also participated in community events such as the Winter and Midsummer Watch parades and even taken part in the filming of a CBeebies show.  It’s no wonder that the school was awarded the Artsmark this year! 

Many of the children have been away on residentials this year, with Year 6 going to the Conwy Centre, Years 3 and 4 going to Kingswood and Year 2 to Tattenhall.  As part of their topic on Dreams, Aspirations and the Future, Years 5 and 6 visited Chester University, attended a careers convention and were inspired by Action Jackson.  Years 5 and 6 have also hosted a visitor from the Yemen and presented to MP Stephen Mosley about fair and equal rights for all children.   

The children have raised money for many charities including a coffee morning in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support , wearing something spotty to support Children in Need, and getting active for Sport Relief.  Year 2 also visited Boughton Hall retirement village to sing carols and songs. 

Sport participation has been strong this year with children attending football tournaments, basketball competitions, netball and rounders matches, and the annual schools athletics competition.  Maths has become competitive too with the times table challenge and the school coming first in the Cheshire West and Cheshire Sumdog Maths challenge.    

Parents have continued to be welcomed into school with the Meet the Teacher evening, weekly sharing assemblies, sports days, dramatic productions, coffee mornings and parents’ evenings in addition to the opportunities for volunteers to assist with reading and other activities in the classroom.  Communication with parents has been modernised with the introduction of texts and e-mails through Parentmail.  In addition, the PTA has entertained us whilst raising large sums of money at events such as the Christmas Fair, Band Night and the fabulous summer fair. 

The building and grounds look even better this year; Reception and nursery have been refurbished, the PTA have provided the popular new play equipment on the field, the upstairs cloakroom and intervention space have been remodelled and decorated and of course the wonderful global garden has been created in partnership between the Early Years staff and parents.

We have welcomed some new faces this year and they have already become an important part of school life.  It seems like Mrs Artist has been with us for much longer than a year, and Miss  Caroline Jones and Mrs Cowpar have made a big impact in the short time that they have been with us.  We are saying good bye to Miss Anders, Mrs Emma Jones, Miss Schulze, Mrs Simioni and Mr Stark.  They have been at Cherry Grove for between four and 16 years and have each made significant contributions to the life of the school.   Mr Stark has also been a staff governor for the last four years and during that time has served on the Curriculum and Standards committee and more recently on the Finance and Staffing committee.  Jai will be missed in so many ways around school, but as a governor, I particularly appreciate his dry sense of humour and his technical knowledge!  Another governor is also leaving our number at the end of term.  Liz Pendlebury has been a Community Governor since March 2012 and during that time has served on the Premises and Community committee as well as being the link governor for Religious Education and Physical Education and one of our Safeguarding Governors.  Liz is a warm and funny person who has brought a real sense of the outside community to our governing body.  We thank both of them for the time that they have given freely to the school and hope that they will continue their links with Cherry Grove. 

After such a busy year, the staff and children thoroughly deserve a break.  Good luck to those children and members of staff who are moving on and I wish you all an enjoyable and safe summer holiday.

Janet Myers

Chair of Governors

You can reply to this blog by e-mailing: chair@cherrygrove.cheshire.sch.uk


Recruitment - 10 July 2014 - Alex Makinson

At the end of this term Cherry Grove will sadly be losing one of its most renowned and familiar faces, as Mr Stark joins a new team over at JH Godwin as their Deputy Head. I’m sure there will be many tears and sad goodbyes from the children and staff alike.

Mr Stark has been with the school for many years and it would seem like Cherry Grove has helped nurture and grow him over those years, very much as he does every day for each of his pupils. Whilst losing a great teacher is always difficult, it is quite common in schools, as ambition and career progression often leads to a different path at another school.

I’m going to quote something I heard when the news first broke ‘’Jai is a huge success story for the school, it just goes to show what quality teachers we have here, they are highly prized and sought after by other schools’’. I thought that comment really summarised everything about both Mr Stark and the school.

A few weeks ago a recruitment panel was put together and we had the unnerving task of appointing a replacement, with the candidates having some very big shoes to fill. I have been lucky to be party to many recruitments in the past during my career however I can honestly say that recruitment in schools is one of the most rigorous processes I have ever seen.

I thought it would be interesting and maybe a little enlightening to mention briefly what the candidates had to endure during this process.

It all started a few weeks ago when the panel met to review each applicants CV and covering letter, this enabled us to whittle the list down to a selective choice of five individuals to progress to the next stage.

The next stage of the process was split into two parts:

  1. A visit to their current school, to inspect their classroom, speak to the children about their teacher and observe a lesson.
  2. A day of joy at the hands of our recruitment panel at Cherry Grove.

If having some strangers in your classroom observing your lessons wasn’t unnerving enough, the day we had planned a Cherry Grove really would be a challenge for any one.

The interview day comprised of a number of thought-provoking and probing tasks none of which the applicants had any forewarning. These included presenting ideas for Key Stage 1 to the whole group, answering fellow candidate’s questions on your presentation, right through to the rigors of the formal interview and obligatory letter to parents, if appointed.

It would however seem that the most daunting part of the whole process was that of the children’s interviews! A small number of children were given the opportunity to interview the candidates (with some pre-prepared questions). They rated and commented on every one and I must add that the feedback was wonderful, the children loved it, as did the applicants and most importantly they did a really thorough job.

At the end of the day the panel had a difficult decision to make. Do we recruit or not, and if so whom. I always find it encouraging when you’re happy to recruit but find it extremely difficult to choose between the candidates. We were fortunate that this was no exception, it was a testament to the calibre of all those who applied.

After much deliberation, a decision was made and Mrs Jenny Smith will be joining us.  She is currently the Deputy Headteacher of Whitley village school and a highly experienced teacher.  We look forward to working with her in September.

Finally, it is worth remembering why we were recruiting and I am sure you will join me in wishing Mr Stark all the best and a very successful future at JH Godwin. Mr Stark may be leaving Cherry Grove but he leaves behind a legacy for all.

Alex Makinson

Vice Chair of Governors

You can reply to this blog by e-mailing: chair@cherrygrove.cheshire.sch.uk



New Parents' Evening - 02 July 2014 - Debbie Tomkinson

As I am sure many regular readers will be aware Thursdays are the day when governors hold their meetings.  My visit to the school last Thursday evening was a little different because I attended the annual Parents’ Evening for parents whose children are due to start Reception in September.

 I don’t propose to go through the information we were given on the evening as I am sure you are all well versed in what the school hours are and where to pick up your children at the end of the day.  For us new parents, however, the evening did provide reassurance as to what will happen come the beginning of September.  With this in mind I would like to say a huge thanks to all of the staff who made the evening so informative but relaxed.  I would also like to thank the pupils of Cherry Grove for the film they produced detailing much of the important information that us new parents need.  It seems we have a few budding Kate Adies in the school (I am probably showing my age there).

 There were, however, some areas of the evening that I feel are of relevance (and hopefully interest) to the whole school and this is the focus of this week’s blog.  At the start of the evening Mr Bousfield had a very important point to make about the new policy of providing a free hot meal for all children in Reception and years one and two.  My own personal point of view is that this is to be welcomed (and more so after sampling  the school menu, more of which later) but, as Mr Bousfield pointed out, there is some concern that this may affect additional funding the school receives through the Pupil Premium.  Briefly, the Pupil Premium is a sum of money given to the school for every child who would have previously been eligible for Free School Meals.  Obviously, now that a larger number of pupils can receive lunch without charge there is some concern that those families who would have been eligible will feel it is not necessary to make any claim.  Mr Bousfield stressed just how important it is that this additional funding is claimed. For every primary school child who is eligible for the Pupil Premium the school will receive £1300 per pupil.  This money cannot be spent on school expenses and has to be spent on improving educational outcomes for Pupil Premium children.  The governors receive regular reports from Mrs Priddey detailing how the money is spent in achieving outcomes for children.  I would, therefore, reiterate Mr Bousfield’s plea to ensure that a claim is made – we have seen that this money has enhanced children’s educational experience and we need to make sure any money that can be claimed is claimed to ensure the good work continues.

 In a similar vein Mr Jones, HLTA at the school and also current chair of the PTA, talked to us about the just as vital role the PTA plays in helping the school.  I am sure many of us had a great time at the recent Summer Fair which raised £2500 in three hours thanks to the PTA and, of course, all the fantastic work by all those who gave up their time to make the day such a fun-filled event.  All of the money raised will go to help the school and provide facilities and activities that may not have been provided without this additional support.  Mr Jones cited the example of the purchase of Galaxy Tab tablets so that children’s progress can be recorded in the EYFS giving a more comprehensive and interactive insight into the progress the children are making.  The success of the PTA is even more remarkable given that as a group it is relatively small with around seven or eight members.  Mr Jones asked parents to consider giving some time to the PTA to ensure this vital work can continue. For anybody interested in learning more about this there will be a PTA meeting at the beginning of September and I am sure you will receive a very warm welcome.

 At the end of the evening we were all invited to sample some of the school meals on offer.  I have to say that it dispelled any myths about school dinners, they were really very good.  Indeed, I would have gone back for seconds if I’d been able! I do, however, have one slight reservation about school food.  Until now, my little food critic at home has deemed my food to be edible – well he eats it at least.  Come September I am not sure he will be quite so happy with my offerings after his healthy and very tasty lunches.

 Finally, as I am sure we are all aware the Summer holidays will soon be here and so, in case I don’t speak to you before, I would like to wish you all a great Summer. For those pupils and staff who will be off to pastures new I would like to wish you good luck and all the best.  I sincerely I hope you have happy memories of your time in Cherry Grove.  For my part I am looking forward to beginning my Cherry Grove memory collection and for those of you returning in September, see you then. 

Debbie Tomkinson

Local Authority Governor



Brazil - 26 June 2014 - Beth Hacking

For the last two weeks, Cherry Grove children have been immersed in learning about Brazil and the World Cup. We wanted to bring a flavour of South America to our school and decided to host a two week celebration in the form of a mini, cross-curricular unit. This tied in perfectly with Geography Awareness Week (23rd June-27th June) and gave each of the Key Stage teams an opportunity to embed key geographical skills. We also linked these to several areas of learning such as science, art, music, RE, PHSCE, maths and literacy.

In addition to engaging our pupils through a celebration of this global event, this was an opportunity for all staff to look ahead to September and the adoption of the new National Curriculum. Teachers worked in their Key Stage teams to plan learning, and to incorporate themes from the curriculum in a new planning format. This has given us an excellent development opportunity to truly understand the new requirements and ensures we are fully ready with all our plans for the Autumn term.

Children have been involved in a wide variety of learning, all linked to key questions such as ‘What is life like for a child in Brazil?’ or ‘Why is the Rainforest filled with so many plant and animal species?’

We kicked off the celebration with a whole school assembly, where we looked at the geography of Brazil and found out some fascinating facts about the World Cup. This was followed by a Capoeira display where our Brazilian dancer, Raphael, showed us some moves to a samba beat. We did encourage Mr Bousfield to join him on stage but unfortunately he hadn’t brought the right outfit! Here are just a few examples of the learning children have been involved with, and the visitors we’ve been lucky enough to receive into school:


  • Capoeira Taster Workshops
  • A ‘Mystery Suitcase’ activity with geography specialist Chris Trevor
  • Workshops with Chester Zoo to review ‘Bugs’ in the Amazon (KS1) and to look at Rainforest deforestation or lifecycles (KS2)
  • Understanding the Favelas found in Brazil and what life is like there, then building a model to create a large favela community in school.
  • Debating why some people don’t agree with the World Cup being hosted in Brazil.
  • Using Tom Palmer’s fantastic football stories to inspire literacy and daily writing based on tournament events from the previous day.
  • Live football commentary.
  • Reviewing children’s rights in Brazil and understanding the differences between our lives and those less fortunate.
  • Campaigning to ‘Send my friend to School’ to ask that all children have a right to education, no matter what their background (with the help of Heather Swainston from CDEC)
  • Exploring Barnaby Bear’s travels to Brazil.
  • Creating Brazilian street art/graffiti
  • Making masks and creating detailed Rainforest paintings and illustrations
  • Writing to persuade owners of logging camps to stop deforestation
  • Tourist Guides to Brazil
  • Tasting food from South America
  • Making carnival headdresses 


On Friday, we will be completing the topic with a carnival inspired parade around the field from 1.45pm. Please join us as each class shows something they have made or something they have been working on during the celebration. We will also be hosting local MP Stephen Mossley, who will be hearing short presentations from our oldest children about why we believe education is important for all children. We are hoping to prompt David Cameron into action!

 As you can see, it has been an action -packed two weeks! The feedback from the children has been wonderful and it is lovely to see them develop into real global thinkers.


Mrs Beth Hacking - Staff Governor

You can reply to this blog by e-mailing: chair@cherrygrove.cheshire.sch.uk



The School Fair - 18 June 2014 - Beth Hacking

Last Saturday it was the Cherry Grove annual Summer Fair, and judging by the effusive feedback it was a day enjoyed by all! When I arrived at 11am for the start of the Fair, the field was buzzing with activity and it already had a fantastic community feel. Of course, we were lucky with gorgeous, sunny weather and that just made the day an even better day out. Plenty of people that I spoke with mentioned how they ended up staying much longer than intended as they were enjoying themselves so much!

It is testament to the strong PTA and wider Cherry Grove community that the day was such a success. Children, parents, teachers, staff and friends of the school turned up in force to support the day and I was astounded when the total amount raised was announced…over £2500! The PTA welcomes new members at any time, and it’s up to you how much time and commitment you can give. If you are interested in joining up, please get in touch with school.

Governor blogs are usually written in full by a member of the governing body. For this week, I thought I’d hand over to some ‘mini-governors’ and ask our Junior Leadership Team (JLT) to report back on the day. An open invite to all JLT members was sent out, and they were very enthusiastic to give up their time on Monday lunchtime to write mini reports on our computers. As the governing body is currently undergoing reconstitution, I think we have some strong contenders for new governors amongst this industrious group!

Mrs B Hacking - Staff Governor


The following JLT members took part in this report: Ellen McGuigan, Emily Burchett, Tom Hickey, James Lloyd, David Toma, Will Lloyd, Beth Cooper and Betty McGarva.


Ellen and Emily reported:

The summer fair was smashing, and the stalls at the summer fair were brilliant! There was the Rainbow Loom stall where some year 6 girls sold bracelets made of rubber bands. They also taught you how to make them yourself, which was really helpful. There was also the Coconut Shy were you had try and knock all the coconuts off their stands. If managed to knock all the coconuts off you won £1! One of our favourite stands was ‘Splat the Teacher!’ where you had to throw a wet sponge at a teacher in stocks. The brave teachers were Mr Stark, Mrs Artist and Mr Jones, and it was really funny seeing them get so wet!


Beth and Betty reported:

The Summer Fair was really fun, and it was great seeing our teachers there! We think the kids did most of the work though because they ran lots of the stalls, and helped sort all the money out. Well, our maths is better!! There were also lots of yummy food stalls too, like the cake stall and BBQ which was packed with tasty hot dogs and burgers.


Will and David reported:

Mr Stark did all the DJing, and Mr Jones did lots of running around! There were loads of amazing stalls like the Teddy Tombola and the Penalty Shoot-out. The Teddy Tombola was totally addictive because we kept winning! Some people had a few problems with the Coconut Shy because the coconuts kept blowing off, that was pretty funny though! In our opinion the Teddy Tombola was the best stall and we spent most of our money on that… Lots of people also liked the Duel stand too, where you had to try and knock your friend off the bouncy stage.


Tom and James reported:

At the Summer Fair there was so much to do it was great! There were games, food stalls, tombolas, craft stalls and much, much more… One of the most popular stalls was where people got to sponge the teacher. Mr Stark, Mrs Artist and Mr Jones were all on there for ages so it’s good it was a hot day! We really liked the ‘Pick an Envelope’ game because we kept winning, I (Tom) got loads of prizes so I kept going back!

You can reply to this blog by e-mailing: chair@cherrygrove.cheshire.sch.uk




Watching Films Is Good For You - 12 June 2014 - Lata Oakley

There have been over 100 years of cinema so there is a huge range of films people can choose to watch, and how to watch them. Watching suitable films is good for children because it enables them to quickly access stories, it is fun and exciting. Engaging children with learning about the world about them is how we help them to make sense of it. Films offer a wide range of genres from science fiction to period drama, and it's funny how people who enjoy science also enjoy science-fiction. There are also different eras and styles of films made over to 100 years from silent black and white, musicals and computer animation. 

Trailers offer a quick window into what the story is about and we all watch them to see if it is a story we would enjoy and get excited about seeing. When you have seen a few films you start developing your own tastes and make decisions about what films you would like to see next and of course these vary in you can grow out of liking a certain type of film and start liking another. 

Film also creates a space where you can lose yourself for a while and escape into someone else’s story and this can lead to being inspired to living your life differently or seeing more how other people live their lives. 

Accessing films has become easier in some ways- i.e. you can stream or download them. Some ways have become harder, with Chester having no cinema or video rental shops left. I feel it is important that children have a wide range of films to watch and have started a monthly cinema club at the Hoole Community Centre, aiming to engage children with a broader range of films. 

Here are a selection of films that I think every young child should watch:

Dumbo (1941)

Alice in Wonderland (1951)

101 Dalmations (1961)

Mary Poppins (1964)

The Jungle Book (1967)

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Swallows and Amazons (1974)

Star Wars (1977)

ET (1982)

Toy Story (1995)

Wallace & Gromit – The Curse of the Were Rabbit (2005)

Fantastic Mr Fox (2009)

Winnie the Pooh (2011)

Frozen (2013)


You may have your own thoughts about what else should be included on this list and that is all part of the fun. Talking and writing about films is a good way for children to improve literacy and communication. So watch more films, get your kids to watch different types of films and maybe just maybe they will read the book to films are based on.

Lata Oakley

Parent Governor

You can reply to this blog by e-mailing: chair@cherrygrove.cheshire.sch.uk




A Big Decision - 05 June 2014 - Janet Myers

Welcome back to the last half term of the academic year.  Many of us have missed the traditional second week of half term, but hopefully the earlier start to the summer holidays will make up for it.  The school building has benefited from the holiday – the staircase and upstairs cloakroom area have been redecorated and are much brighter and tidier. 

The governing body had some major decisions to make in our May meeting.  New Department of Education regulations require every school that has not already done so to reconstitute before 31st August 2015.  The crux of the reconstitution guidance is that governing bodies should be no bigger than necessary to secure the range of skills they need.  The governing body must not be smaller than seven members and must include at least two parent governors, the headteacher, one, and only one, staff governor and one, and only one, local authority governor.  In addition, the governing body may appoint as many additional co-opted governors as they consider necessary.  This is a potentially a big change for us.  We currently have 15 governors – the headteacher, two staff governors, three local authority governors, four community governors and five parent governors.  One of the parent governor positions is vacant and we will have a staff governor vacancy in September when Mr Stark moves to be Deputy Head at J H Godwin Primary School. 

Despite analysing the roles on the governing body and the hours required from each governor, it’s very difficult to work out the minimum number of governors required as the amount of time that a governor has available to devote to their role can vary hugely depending on the circumstances of the individual.  We therefore started our discussions by considering the structure of the governing body.  For as long as I have been a governor, we have had three committees focussing on premises, finance and staffing, and curriculum and standards.  However, there is no requirement for a governing body to have these committees or even any committees at all and structures of governing bodies can vary considerably.  After much discussion, we have decided to make a radical change.  From September, our governing body will no longer have committees and we will instead have one full governing body meeting a month.  This will avoid the current repetition between meetings, allow decisions to be made immediately rather than having to be passed through several committees and ensure that every governor has an understanding of the full range of governing body responsibilities. 

There is some ground work to do before implementing this new structure, principally reorganising our schedule of work to decide what business will be discussed in each of the twelve meetings.  There is also more work to consider the minimum number of governors required to operate the governing body under this new structure.  Fortunately, we have more than a year before we need to reconstitute so we can try the new structure with our full complement of governors and see how it works.  Our governing body is made up of a group of knowledgeable, dedicated people with many different skills and experiences and we certainly don’t want to lose any of them unnecessarily. 

I’m very excited about the possibilities that this change offers and am looking forward to implementing the new structure. 

Janet Myers

Chair of Governors

You can reply to this blog by e-mailing: chair@cherrygrove.cheshire.sch.uk



Enrichment - 23 May 2014 - Janet Myers

On Wednesday, one of my friends posted on Facebook about the great things that her daughter was doing at Cherry Gove.  On the day in question, this lucky 7 year old was going to Tesco’s to put jam into doughnuts and the next day she was going to dress up as a pirate and go to the media studios in Salford to be part of the audience for a CBeebies programme.  As my friend said, “Kids do cool school stuff nowadays!”. 

There’s a fancy term for doing cool stuff at school – enrichment.  Last night in the Full Governors’ Meeting, Mr Bousfield’s report to governors included information on enrichment at Cherry Grove.  Reading through the list took me back over a year of fun activities at school, many of which have involved parents and some of which have featured in the governors’ blog.  Highlights for me include:


  • the Festival of Cultures with the great dancing and the fabulous mural that still takes pride of place at the front of the hall
  • the Young Voices concert  - what an uplifting experience!
  • the Times Table challenge – it’s great to think of children cheering each other for showing Maths prowess
  • the year 5 and 6 focus on “Dreams, Aspirations and the Future” with a visit to Chester University, a talk from Action Jackson and the careers convention
  • the visit from a Chester Zoo ranger to support the Rainforest topic – who wouldn’t love to be a zoo keeper?


This is just a selection of the enrichment activities that have taken place this academic year.  Some of them have very obvious academic value, but others might make you consider what they have to do with the business of reading, writing and maths.  The great thing is that the children don’t always see the connection either!  Enrichment activities allow them to expand their learning in ways that are different to the ones that are usually used during the school day.  These activities can inspire their writing, inform their reading, give them practical applications for their maths and make them more rounded, confident people with a better understanding of the world around them.

In her blog on 24 April, Kirsty Pine talks about the joint staff and governor meeting which focused on excellent practice in the classroom.  What became clear as each key stage presented their activities to governors is that enrichment is just the tip of the iceberg.  The staff at Cherry Grove go to enormous efforts to provide our children with unique, memorable learning opportunities every day.  In the Early Years Foundation Stage, the children’s interest in worms inspired a whole topic which included looking after real worms (thank you, Mrs Rees for digging them up from the school field!), measuring string worms, hearing a story about worms, writing about worms, tasting worm inspired food (nicer than it sounds!), pretending to be worms… you get the picture!  In Key Stage 1, the children have learned about the effect of heat and cold using chocolate and how to make 3D shapes using marshmallows.  In lower Key Stage 2, children played Angly birds to learn about angles and were immersed in Macbeth through drama, writing, art and history, culminating in their wonderful performance for parents.  In upper Key Stage 2, children worked on Theme Park Maths to apply different mathematical concepts.

As a parent and governor, I was struck by how many of these activities had also offered opportunities for us to be involved by watching performances, taking part in the careers convention and helping on school trips.  It’s not just the children who benefit – I also feel enriched by my association with Cherry Grove.

Janet Myers

Chair of Governors

You can reply to this blog by e-mailing: chair@cherrygrove.cheshire.sch.uk



Attendance - 16 May 2014 - Janet Myers

The governing body is legally obliged to have an attendance policy and we review it once a year in September.  Along with all the statutory school policies, it is then published on the school website so that it can be accessed by parents, staff and other members of the school community.  You can read it at: http://clc2.uniservity.com/GroupDownloadFile.asp?GroupID=20172099&ResourceId=3668011.  Yesterday was the last Curriculum and Standards committee meeting of the school year and we asked Mr Bousfield to update us on the effectiveness of the attendance policy. 

Attendance has been a focus of our school development plan since 2011/12; children cannot benefit from teaching if they do not attend.  It might sound OK that a child attends school 90% of the time, however this means they are missing half a day of school per week.  Over one year, this equates to a child missing 4 weeks of school.  During the course of their education, half a year of schooling would be lost and research suggests that a year 11 pupil who misses 17 days during their school year, will get one grade less at GCSE.

Fortunately, attendance at Cherry Grove is a rapidly improving picture.  Our school improvement advisor told us that it is a significant achievement to improve attendance by even 0.1%, so we were delighted when attendance improved from 95% in 2010/11 to 95.2% in 2011/12.  The government’s policy on removing the head teacher’s right to approve up to 10 days of unauthorised absence a year (other than in exceptional circumstances) has further boosted attendance and it is currently running at 96.5% for 2013/14. 

When you dig deeper into those numbers, there are other very positive trends.  In 2010/11 there was a 4% gap in attendance between children who were eligible for Free School Meals (at 92.4%) and those who weren’t (at 96.4%).    Figures so far for this year suggest that the gap has now reduced to 1.4%, with both groups improving their attendance – 95.3% for children who are eligible for Free School Meals and 96.7% for those who aren’t.  This is a fantastic result.  It is testament to the work put in by Mr Bousfield and his team and something that we can all be proud of. 

Whilst significant improvements have been achieved in attendance, punctuality is proving a more difficult problem to solve.  As mentioned in the last Ofsted report, most pupils are punctual in the mornings, but a few arrive late without good reason.  For 2013/14 the figures show that 1.7% of children who are eligible for Free School Meals and 0.5% of children who are not eligible are up to 30 minutes late for school.  This is an area that all of us as parents can help with.  I fully understand the difficulties of eliciting co-operation from children and getting them to school on time, and I often career into the playground at the last minute, but we all need to commit to having our children in the playground at 8.50am ready to line up and start school.   If you think a change of morning routine might help, the school partners with Badges to offer a breakfast club from 8am – you can get the details here:http://clc2.uniservity.com/GroupDownloadFile.asp?GroupID=20240673&ResourceId=3670183

Janet Myers

Chair of Governors

You can reply to this blog by e-mailing: chair@cherrygrove.cheshire.sch.uk



The school grounds in pictures - 09 May 2014 - Janet Myers

It's a year since the volunteers from Lloyds came to help us transform the flower beds at school, and the Global Garden is on page 58 of this week's Chester Chronicle, so I'd like to share with you some photos of our much improved and colourful school grounds.  
The flower beds that were planted by the volunteers from Lloyds Bank look great and we've managed to maintain them and add to them.


The Global Garden looks every bit as good in real life as it did in the Chronicle and is a real testament to the teamwork of the whole school community.




The play equipment and benches were chosen by the children and most of the funding came from the PTA.  


A huge thank you to the children, members of staff, parents, governors and other community members who have helped us to realise this transformation.  There's still more to come.  As soon as the weather improves, the Global Garden will have a colourful playground surface showing a map of the world, and once sufficient funds have been raised, the long term vision is to provide a Multi Use Games Area to keep ball games contained.  
Janet Myers

Chair of Governors

You can reply to this blog by e-mailing: chair@cherrygrove.cheshire.sch.uk



Our passion for nurturing individuality and respect for the rights of everyone enables members of our community to achieve their potential and be outstanding local and global citizens.


We are proud to hold the UNICEF GOLD Right respecting school award for 2020.

Cherry Grove Primary School

Chapel Lane


Chester, CH3 5EN

01244 478316




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