Friday, 16 May 2014

Governor Visit Day 2

It was back to school for members of the Board of Governors on Wednesday for the second Visit Day of this academic year. Last time we concentrated on visiting lessons so we could gauge our students' behaviour for learning. And very good it was too. This time we wanted to spend more time speaking to students themselves about how they are getting on at Matravers. 

I'm linked to the Humanities Super Faculty (well, the History, Geography and Religious Studies bits) and spoke to a lively panel of  students from Years 7-10. They were full of opinions on what they liked and disliked about Matravers and what the governors should do to make things better. I was pleased to note that all were aware of their target grades and what they needed to do to achieve them. They thought that  lessons were enjoyable and thought-provoking, and that behaviour in the school was pretty good. There was an almost universal demand for more trips.

A report containing the findings of all Student Voice Q&As will be considered by our Every Child Matters committee. We will listen carefully to what pupils had to say and try to ensure that their concerns are addressed. Speaking to fellow governors at the end of the day, we were all deeply impressed by our students and their articulate, thoughtful and honest contributions to the discussion times. We want to make sure that Matravers offers them a top class education that is driven by strong values and results in the best possible academic achievements for every pupil. How could we settle for anything less?

We also sampled some lessons, which was very enjoyable and informative. It was strictly board, chalk and talk when I was in school. No interactive white boards back then. No computers as far as I recall. How things have changed. In one lesson I was fascinated to see students using a clicky thing (possibly not the right technical term) to take part in a History Quiz. I'm not revealing how many answers I would have got right had they let me loose with a clicky thing of my own. Probably for the best that they didn't. Would have been wrong of me to have showed off. 'Yeah, right.' I hear you say. How would you have done (see here)?

Governors were made to feel very welcome by staff and students. Students said they liked having an opportunity to speak with us about their views on the school. They even requested that we visit more often. As Arnie might say, 'We'll be back.'