Strange times or the new normal….?

Well, that’s tricky to gauge isn’t it but I’m sure the one thing that many of us can agree on is that one way or another, life has to go on and we have to do the best we can!

But well done on many many weeks of coping with a whole new routine, with kids at home when you weren’t expecting them to be – with home learning for many and for dropping off you child at school when you could because you had to go off and be a key worker. We’ve learned a whole new language as well as a way of life…lockdown, social distancing, masks, testing, isolation. All of them in the context of the pandemic take on a new meaning….

And then there’s the children. Let’s not forget about them! And I can assure you that Mrs Ledingham and the entire team at our school absolutely haven’t. Not once.

I’ve had plenty of conversations with Mrs L about bubbles, one way systems, fall back positions, how to sort meal times and break times ohh yes and ‘learning. Because of course, there was always a point at which schools had to go back – when the learning and socialising had to start again.

Brandesburton Primary School has gone the extra mile to make sure that the development and needs of our children are being met right now. Of course the situation will probably change again in the coming six months but the team at the school will bend and flex along with your help to keep the children at the heart of what it’s doing.

So. For now – thanks. Thanks for all the time you’ve put into making the new school term a success. We’re all here for you (school team and governors alike) and if you think that any of us can help in any way, just give us a call.

Take care…

Strange times….

Strange times indeed. And unsettling for people no matter what their age and where they are in their life.

Mrs Ledingham and the team at Brandesburton Primary School look after our children’s health and well-being for so much of the year and I can tell you (because I see it, week in week out) that the staff don’t just switch off at 5 o’clock or at the weekend. Their own personal duty of care to education and development goes way beyond office hours – and yes, they’ll have their own children and families to think about in the coming weeks – but your kids, your grandchildren will be on their minds too.

As you’ll be aware, the school will be closed to most children after tomorrow but we hope it’s not too long before this whole Corona virus episode is over and the team can welcome everybody back to enjoy more top quality education and development!

Take care – and speak to you soon!

All good with you then?

Hello! And Happy Autumn to you.

As Governors, we get together ‘formally’ a couple of times a term for meetings and one of those recently really highlighted just how quickly the team at school pick up the pace once a new academic year is underway.

We started our meeting in Class 3 but ended the gathering by walking the school to admire just how much colourful learning has already made it on to classroom walls (and into the corridors too). And the school really does look terrific right now. If you’re looking for evidence of just how much progress the children make, the walls are a good place to start!

From excellent art work (you should see the dancing giraffes!) to wonderful interpretations of life in the stone age to memory joggers for Maths and English, each class is already filling up with creativity. And that same sense of ‘joy at learning’ is on show from FS right through to year 6.

Next time you’re in the school yourself, take a couple of minutes to look at the walls. And smile! Because for all the stuff going on in our lives, in the country, in the world…it’s good to know that Brandesburton Primary School provides a safe and inspiring environment that can get the best out of our kids!

If you want to know more about the work that school Governors do and how we offer support to Mrs Ledingham and the team, pop into the school office and leave a name and a number and I’ll be happy to give you a call.


Phil W

Oh my. It’s been along time since my last post!

Hello – and Happy New Spring to you. I know that’s not a traditional greeting as such but it was the first day of spring this week and didn’t you notice an almost instant improvement in the weather? I hope you and yours are well and that Brandesburton Primary School continues to serve you and your children well. At least ’well’ actually – in most cases, I would hope your treatment is excellent.

As Governors, we get a real insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes to make it all happen. You’ll be familiar with the analogy of the fast paddling swan…and at times Mrs Ledingham and her team are like that. Serene and floating gracefully on the surface but under that surface, they’re working their socks off to make a difference. I know – I mixed my metaphors there but you get my drift!

In addition to all the support you give the school one way or another, can I just add my weight to the appeal for your consideration over term time holidays? This is really not a PC thing to say as Chair of Governors but Mrs L and the team really have been handed the mucky end of the stick on this one. They have to monitor and enforce a national policy which is frankly unenforceable. You might have read in the papers this week (or heard on the radio!) that the number of children taking term-time holidays has risen dramatically. We know that’s the case at our school too…in fact we’re already slightly ahead of last years figures, with one whole school term yet to go.

We would all love Brandesburton Primary School to be judged by Ofsted as ‘Outstanding’. The Children, the teachers and all of the staff that work at the school deserve that. Our school attendance figures though are one of the factors we’re assessed on…and it could be one of the factors that stops the school getting the recognition it fully deserves. Enough said…

Other than that! Onwards and upwards and if there’s anything the governing body can do to help you at all, do get in touch via the school office!

….and before you knows it….

….we’re having to worry about sun cream, floppy hats – and what on earth we’re going to do with the kids across late July and August.

Like pretty much everybody I talk to, I can’t believe we’re almost at ‘the longest day of the year’. Sorry there’s not been an update here for a while but there’s certainly been plenty going on.

The Governors have a regular termly ‘formal’ gathering and there’s one other group meeting a term which tends to take a specific aspect of what’s happening in the school and look at that in more depth. For example, identifying a pupils strengths at an early point in their schooling – how does that happen?  How do we help individual pupils develop to their full potential in that area. Equally, to an experienced teaching team like the one we’re lucky enough to have, areas which might need extra support can be picked up quickly and a plan can be put in place.

Governors will pop in and out of school to catch up with individual classes or areas of interest – I see Mrs Ledingham at least weekly to keep up with an overview of the school’s progress…and we’ll all make an effort to support (for example) the forthcoming summer fair or the brilliant celebrations the school hosted around its 175th anniversary.

The 175th provided great opportunities for learning, for singing and dancing and for the school to throw open the doors to Brandesburton and the surrounding areas to welcome back former pupils and members of staff to share photos, memories and cups of tea.

I was proud to be a part of the 175th ‘moment in history’. Mrs Ledingham and the team, all the boys and girls (right across the school, from the youngest to the oldest) put so much effort into making the three days a success. They really do deserve our thanks and congratulations.

…and next? Well SATS results is the next biggie in terms of official feedback but between you and me? Plans are well in place for September onwards. Have a lovely summer – you can contact the governors via the school office if you need to and we’re always around in the village so do stop us for a chat if there’s something school related on your mind.

It’s beginning to look a lot like….

….well. Christmas came and went in a flash, didn’t it? The Governors would like to take this opportunity to wish you ‘all the best’ for 2018. Certainly the team at school isn’t messing about, I can tell you – only a couple of days back and what was going to be a quick catch up for me today with Mrs Ledingham turned out to be much longer than either of us anticipated – but only because there was so much good stuff to see and hear about!

The children have come back to school full of enthusiasm for learning (so thank you mums, dads, grandmas, grandpas and other guardians!) I’ve seen some excellent art work and heard tales of wonderful things happening in Maths and English as everybody pushes on with the new term. It’s a short term, of course, so there’s loads to get in – not least of all the planning for the schools 175th Birthday celebrations in early May.

I know – one hundred and seventy five years! That’s something to celebrate! You’ll hear about the plans pretty soon and we all hope that you and everybody in Brandesburton will come together to celebrate what is a VERY long standing part of our lives. We’d be interested to hear just how many generations of one family have been to the school. We’ve certainly got children with us now, whose mum or and dad who went to Brandesburton Primary….have we got any mums and dads whose own parents or grand parents went to the school? What about photos of school life from the 1950s or 60s – perhaps a school sports day or class photo? The School would be delighted to hear any tales you have!


We have a couple of Governors meetings coming up at school in the next few weeks so if there’s anything you’d like bringing up at a meeting, do drop in at the school office and leave your phone number and I’ll happily give you a call back. Otherwise – have a splendid January and I’ll blog again soon.


So there you are!

And what a busy couple of weeks that’s been for everybody but I do hope that you’ve got through it!

At the school, Mrs Ledingham and her team have a lot to be getting on with one way or another. There are new children to welcome – returning pupils to settle into a new class environment – indeed in most cases a new teacher to meet. Then there’s the on-going assessment of pretty much everything in the school…making the rooms and the corridors look fab…there’s learning to be done, sport to be played and did I mention FUN yet? Yep – all of this at Brandesburton Primary School is delivered with a huge sense of fun and creativity

Well done then to the children and the staff at the school for such a brilliant start to the year and well done to you too mum, dad, grandma, grandpa. They and we couldn’t do it without your support so thank you!

The Governors are always here to listen to your feedback and if you would like to grab 20 minutes sometime to talk about becoming a school governor then drop in to the school office and we’ll get that sorted for you. You don’t need teaching experience by the way, just an enthusiasm to support our school with whatever experiences you do have is just fine.

This term will of course fly by. Then we know what happens, don’t we! Still. Let’s not talk about tinsel and baubles yet, eh.

Meteorological spring is in the air!

Hello and I hope 2017 is treating you well. I know we’re not out of the weather woods yet but there’s a bit more light around during the day and the school grounds are playing host to what could be a bumper crop of daffs! That’s certainly reason for optimism, I think.

The children are working hard. I can say this with some confidence not just because Mrs Ledingham tells me they are in our weekly catch-up – but also because the Governors pay regular visits to the school to cross check that everything is going according to plan! Recently we’ve had superb report-backs about our Foundation classes for example and also about ‘maths’ in school. We have governors who have great experience in English and science…and a couple of us are interested in Sport so we’re always keen to see how the table tennis, football, netball and athletics is going. And the hockey, golf and benchball too!

…you see, as governors, we get data and feedback from a variety of sources which indicate how our children are performing against our own expectations and against national bench-marking. In our experience Mrs Ledingham and her seem to be able to anticipate that feedback well in advance of ‘the official data’ but our own visits combined with information from independent sources does mean that the governors can ask appropriate questions and offer our services as a critical friend.

If you’d like to know more about being a school governor, I’d be happy to answer any questions that you may have. Just drop in at the school office and leave your phone number and I’ll give you a call.