BELMONT PRIMARY SCHOOL
215 Belmont Road Belfast BT4 2AG
Annual Report of the Board of Governors
for the school year September 2016 - August 2017
The Department of Education has now stated that schools no longer need to hold an AGM to discuss the annual report. However, if there are any issues in this report that parents would like more information on, please contact the school to arrange a meeting or put remarks in writing to the Board of Governors through
Mrs O McIlroy, Secretary to the Board of Governors.
MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD OF GOVERNORS FOR SCHOOL YEAR 2015/2016
BELFAST EDUCATION AND LIBRARY BOARD REPRESENTATIVES
Mrs G McDougall (Chair)
Mr C Dowling (Vice Chair)
Rev J Auchmuty
Mrs L Martin
Mrs H Gourley
Mrs R McCrea
Mrs A Morris
Mrs H McKittrick
Secretary to the Board of Governors
Mrs O McIlroy (Principal)
Membership of Finance and Salaries Sub Committee
Mrs G McDougall (Chair)
Mr C Dowling
Mrs R McCrea
Mrs L Martin
Rev J Auchmuty
Rev J Auchmuty
Mrs A Morris
Mrs H Gourley
Mrs A Morris
Mrs H McKittrick
Mrs G McDougall
Mrs L Martin
Mr C Dowling
Members are appointed or elected to serve on the Board of Governors for a period of four years. The term of office of the current governors runs from 2014-2018. Towards the end of this term of office the school will organise elections for new parent governors. All parents with parental responsibility have the opportunity to stand for election and /or to vote. Governors are responsible for the following :-
· the delegated budget
· admissions of pupils
· appointments of staff
· maintenance and safety of premises
· oversight of the curriculum
Boards of Governors are required to meet once per term or more often as required. In the year 2016-2017 the governors met on 7 occasions, including sub-committee meetings. Governors attended a number of training sessions.
The governors aim to enrich each child’s experience at Belmont by providing varied activities inside and outside the classroom. In this respect we are grateful to the many parents who have helped the school by making their expertise available to us. Every year the PTA has made a valuable contribution to our school funds and at this time of stress in the school’s budget we appreciate the generosity of the PTA in their fundraising efforts.
Finance Committee Report
It is the role of this committee to monitor the budget on behalf of the Board of Governors and report to them at each board meeting. The committee may also make recommendations for consideration by the full board. During 2016/2017 the committee monitored the school budget of £748,709, advising the board when it was necessary to make adjustments under various budget headings. The school took steps to make savings where possible but ensured that these steps were not detrimental to pupils. The budget position at the end of March was £32,310 in credit. Details are as follows:-
Salaries and Wages for all teaching and non-teaching staff £692,483
Premises, fixed plant and grounds £ 22,154
Operating Costs £ 10,889
Other recurrent expenses, Non Capital Purchases £ 1,264
Capital Expenditure £ 10, 031
Income from letting of facilities and other income £20,422
Security of Pupils and Staff/Accessibility
The Board of Governors sought to ensure the safety of all the pupils and staff in the school. The excellent safety features incorporated in the school have contributed to this ie
· a door entry system with cameras and monitors
· increased CCTV cameras for the exterior of the school building
· individual external doors to classrooms which can only be opened from the inside or externally with a key
· an advanced fire alarm system, fire extinguishers and fire doors which are regularly checked
· clear exit signs
· an intruder alarm system
· Fingershields fitted to high and medium risk doors
· Two sets of gates erected on the school site.
The pupils were encouraged to move safely inside the school and in the playground. All cleaning materials were stored out of reach of the pupils and all equipment and systems were checked regularly.
There was a high level of supervision of children at all times by the principal, the teaching staff, classroom assistants and 9 supervisory assistants.
Maintenance and Safety of Premises
During 2016/2017 only essential maintenance was carried out due to financial constraints. A new posi-flush system was installed to decrease water usage in the school. The governors continue to report any problems or recommendations to EA - B regarding the school’s facilities.
Ethos and Pastoral Care Policy
The school’s ethos statement outlined the approaches taken to develop and sustain a positive ethos in which the children could develop and learn with confidence. The anti-bullying policy highlighted the school’s ongoing commitment to the prevention of bullying through positive means. Children were encouraged to care about each other and their teachers and kind actions and words were praised and rewarded. There was a high level of supervision and swift intervention when situations showed any sign of deterioration. The staff were pleased to report that relationships were good, self esteem high and only a few minor incidents were noted. Parents were encouraged to discuss any concerns they had at an early stage so that action could be taken quickly.
Enrolment and Admissions
85 pupils were admitted to Primary 1 with a total enrolment of 255 pupils.
Child Protection Statement
Governors adhered to the Child Protection Guidance set out in the DENI publication “Pastoral Care In Schools - Child Protection”. A policy is in place. This was updated in November 2016 and copies were made available to all parents. A full copy was given to parents of P1 children and a summary sheet was distributed to all other parents. The child protection policy is available for inspection in the policy file in the entrance hall of the school and on the school website. All staff and several governors have been trained in child protection procedures. The school’s designated teacher was the principal Mrs O McIlroy and the deputy designated teacher Mrs J Campbell.
STAFF AT BELMONT PRIMARY SCHOOL - 2016/2017
Principal: Mrs O F McIlroy
P1 Mrs M Campbell Mrs L Wilson Classroom Assistant
P1 Mrs J Campbell Miss Phillips Classroom Assistant
P1 Mrs L Jackson Mrs J Shields Classroom Assistant
P2 Miss L Boyce Mrs A Calvert Classroom Assistant
P2 Mrs G Scholes Mrs P Murray Classroom Assistant
Ms R Hammond Classroom Assistant (Special Needs)
P2 Mrs D Graham Mrs D Quinn Classroom Assistant
Mrs M Black Classroom Assistant (Special Needs)
P3 Mrs H McKittrick/Mrs Coulter Miss C Murray Classroom Assistant (Special Needs)
P3 Miss J Gorman
P3 Mrs J Sandikli
Special Needs Teacher Mrs L Caithness
School Secretary Mrs H Harrison/Mrs N Ferguson
Clerical Officer (Part-Time) Mrs G Dowling
Building Supervisor Mr B Keenan
School Cleaners Mr W Tanner, Mrs J Hegarty
Supervisory Assistants (Lunchtime) Mrs M McCallum Mrs G McKay Miss J Phillips
Mrs C Watkins Mrs S Sweet, Mrs Quinn, Mrs Calvert, Mrs Pettigrew, Mrs Grummitt
Belmont Primary School aims to provide a broad and balanced curriculum in line with the Education (NI) Order 2006. Pupils are taught Literacy, Numeracy, the World Around Us (Science, History and Geography), the Arts (Art, Music and Drama), Personal Development, RE and Physical Movement. ICT is used across the curriculum. Standardised test scores in Literacy and Numeracy showed that many of our children were achieving excellent or above average standards. Teachers plan their work in year groups on a half-termly and weekly basis. Each area of study is supported by a designated co-ordinator. The principal and management team take overall responsibility for curriculum decisions.
The school’s curricular development is set out in a 3-year development plan which covers 2015-2018. The areas highlighted for further development in 2016/2017 were using Maths, using Literacy and using ICT across the curriculum, including play and activity based learning. Work continued on effective strategies to assist children with barriers to learning and on those underachieving in literacy or numeracy. The children’s learning was facilitated through class, group and individual teaching. Small groups were supported in early mathematical development and in the extension of reading skills. A small number of children benefited from extra reading practice from Harberton Outreach. All classroom assistants received updated ASD training from Oakwood.
We continued our focus on healthy lifestyles by encouraging healthy breaks and exercise. Sponsored healthy breaks were organised and a walking bus initiative again took place. A Healthy Living Roadshow, led by Miss Boyce, visited all classes. We also continued to focus on environmental issues. The pupils took part in an environmental workshop. Our Eco Committee, consisting of pupils, parents and staff, met once per month and was extremely successful.
Last year we contributed to the ongoing professional development of teachers and classroom assistants by providing training placements. In 2016/2017 we had 2 PGCE students from Stranmillis University College. We also hosted 2 exchange students from a North/South initiative 3 weeks and had weekly visits from students at Strathearn School.
Pupils were admitted to Primary One from fourteen different settings. Most settings sent written assessments of the stage of the pupil’s learning. The principal contacted the major providers ie those who sent a large group of pupils and discussed the children’s progress with them. Nursery teachers and one playgroup leader visited the school.
Links with Strandtown continued with regular liaison between P3 and P4 staff to exchange verbal and written information. The P3 pupils walked to Strandtown for a visit in June. The majority of pupils transferred to Strandtown. Parents were invited to Strandtown for a general information evening and to meet their child’s next teacher. Whole school curricular links continued to develop with Literacy, Numeracy, WAU, ICT and Special Needs clusters meeting during the year.
Evaluations of current practice took place at many levels. Teachers and non-teaching staff evaluated pupil progress and curricular activities on a regular basis. Data collected by teacher generated and by commercial assessments hightlighted the very high level of progress made by our pupils. Parents were given the opportunity to respond in parent questionnaires.
Activities and Visits
Once again all pupils had opportunities to benefit from educational visits and visitors to their classrooms. These were all connected to their class topics and to a range of curricular areas.
Primary 1 had several visitors to support their “People Who Help Us” topic and had 5 visits from Jump, Jiggle and Jive. They visited Streamvale Farm in June.
Primary 2 walked to Belmont Park, and Belmont Road shops. They visited Tesco in January and Exploris in May. They had a visit from Hedgehog Rescue, Vets 4 Pets and Cats Protection. They also had weekly IFA coaching.
Primary 3 went to Victoria Park, Belmont Park, the Ulster Folk Museum, Pizza Express and Mount Stewart. They had visits from Ulster Wildlife Trust, Konflux Theatre and Zoolab. They also had a number of Dance Drama sessions.
Performances for all pupils included “Robin Hood”, Blackberry Farm and Energy Fitness. There were annual visits from the School Nurse, local clergy and our photographer. Parents and children visited our Book Fair and bought books together. A dads’ reading week was also organised.
The children participated regularly in Assemblies sharing their work with the other classes.
Primary 3 pupils began Spanish during school time from November and also learned to play the recorder. Tennis, Football Art and Golf were provided for P2 and P3 pupils after school one day per week. After school clubs for Games, Dance, Earth and Healthy Eating were well attended by Primary 3 pupils. Some of our pupils had the opportunity to perform in the Belfast Board’s Dance Festival. Some of our pupils performed in the Ulster Hall with Fitness Freddy in June. All pupils also attended a Quantum Theatre Maths Show.
Primary 1 parents had an interview in Term 1 as part of the school’s baseline procedures. There was a further verbal report on progress to P1 parents in February and a written progress report (pupil profile) in June 2016.
Primary 2 and 3 parents had two consultations with teachers in September and February. A written report giving details of progress was sent to parents in June 2017. Special Needs interviews with Mrs Caithness also took place in September, February and June. Parents were aware that further appointments were available to see Mrs McIlroy, Mrs Caithness or the class teacher for further discussion if required. Each parent was givern the opportunity to fill in a questionnaire to inform future practices.
There were a number of opportunities for parents to come in to school to support their children and get to know the school better.
· Parents were invited for a cup of tea or coffee as they settled their child into P1
· Information sessions for each year group took place in September
· The children invited their parents to visit their classrooms before Christmas to see their art and design work and have refreshments afterwards.
· Parents ran a three day Book Fair in March and a large number of parents attended with their children.
· P1 pupils shared their Animal performance with their parents in June.
· P2 pupils shared their Nativity performance with parents during their Christmas classroom visit.
· The P3 prizegiving was very well attended as usual. Each child received a book and a bookmark for working hard. The children sang in Spanish, played recorder, danced and presented a drama for their parents. Everyone enjoyed this annual event.
Parents helped us in many ways during the year:-
· accompanying children on school trips
· supporting work in the classroom on a regular basis
· organising the school library
· running the Book Fair
· serving on our school ECO committee and assisting with environmental initiatives
· talking to pupils about their work eg doctor, theatre nurse
· providing art and design opportunities
· bringing pets for topic work and/or clubs
· providing extra reading opportunities
· Many parents also made a substantial addition to the school’s finances through a voluntary contribution of £25 per family ( a total of £4,169 was donated during the school year).
The school circulated booklets for each of the three year groups to parents to explain and advise on ways to help children with literacy and numeracy skills.
Through the social and fundraising events of the PTA and with the generosity of its supporters £9,300 was raised during 2016/2017. This money, raised entirely through voluntary contribution, goes directly towards satisfying specific needs of the pupils at the school and allows the teachers to identify areas of need which may not normally be addressed through the statutory funding arrangements.
In 2016/2017 the PTA paid for 3 Activ Panels in our P3 classrooms and also a defibrillator for the school. P3 books for Prize Day were also provided.
Events organised included the Annual Fair, Christmas activity afternoons, Opera House Pantomime Outing, an Energy Fitness morning, a Kildare Shopping Trip, P3 Year Books, the annual family Barbecue, cinema nights, a pyjama party and a table quiz. Cash for Clobber collections were also arranged. We are extremely grateful to all those members of the PTA who organised these events and also assisted the school in many other ways. The PTA remains an effective way of engendering healthy parent/teacher relations and allowing parents to take an active role in raising much needed funds for the education of their children.
The school continued to sponsor a school in Ghana – Pelungu Primary School, sending £250 to Link Community Development. By holding a charity day in June, £2,337 was raised for Childrens Heartbeat Trust. Money was also collected for the Poppy collection and for our visitors from Kenya..
Special Educational Needs
Staff worked closely with the special needs co-ordinator/ teacher to implement the Code of Practice. Children were supported within their own classes through differentiated work. Those who needed further help had a planned programme of work outside the classroom which was linked to the programme within the classroom. Mrs Caithness worked with groups of children on areas of literacy. Parents were offered regular interviews to discuss progress towards individually set targets. There was in school support for pupils for whom English is an Additional Language. Outreach support was given by Harberton Special School.
Target maths activities were also carried out by the P2 classroom assistants to enable children to develop confidence and accuracy working with numbers. Maths Recovery sessions were also organised for small groups of P3 pupils to assist with numeracy skills.
All children received activities to challenge them at the level of their ability.
Pupils attended well throughout the year. The average attendance was 97.4%. The attendance of a few children was erratic and this was discussed by the principal with the Education Welfare Officer at regular meetings.
We received support from our school nurse who prepared Action Plans for children with nut allergies. All staff received their annual training in the management of this condition in school. She also conducted P1/2 health checks and offered advice to parents on a number of early years health issues. Flu jabs were offered to all pupils.
The school website includes many useful dates, policies and information. The website address is www.belmontprimary.org.