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Governing Board

Welcome from the Governing Board

As a governing board we are very proud of our school, staff and pupils who have continued to grow and thrive over what has been the most challenging couple of years in our 40 year history.

We continue to offer our young people a safe and nurturing learning environment, both in school, and at times from home. The new “normal” has seen much resilience in our entire community, and for that we thank each and every one of you.

We continue to be oversubscribed in our admissions, being one of the highest waiting listings in all of West Berkshire and have had some very positive feedback in particular for our early years foundation stage which is growing from strength to strength. More recently we have had an external independent reviewer assess this provision and we are extremely pleased with his very complimentary remarks.

Whilst statutory testing has been on pause since July 2019 due to the pandemic, our 2019 statutory assessments showed that we were above national in all areas (EYFS Good Level of Development, Year 1 phonics, Year 2 SATs and Year 6 SATs) and in the highest 20% of all schools for reading. 

We have seen the return of sporting events, clubs and trips for all year groups with the lockdown easing. In particular we welcome back lunchtime football, Kwik Cricket, Cross Country, Netball, Street Dance, Judo, Homework club. We are also delighted that the return for residential visits – Year 4 Ufton Court and Year 6 Kingswood (Isle of Wight) have allowed our young people to grow and develop their independence and individuality for the years to come.

The investment in the school still remains and I ‘m hoping that all the children have taken advantage, where safe to do so, of the new gym equipment in the main play area and more recently the new playground (sticks and tunnel) for the younger cohort. We constantly look for ways to engage and encourage our pupils to participate in both academic and social achievements.

We value the Arts at Downsway and our children enthusiastically participate in productions; in 2019 “Mystery at Magpie Manor” performed by Year 3 and 4 children and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” performed by Year 6. Other past Y6 performances include Hamlet, and a parody of Macbeth written by the children. In July, despite the constraints of Covid, Y6 were able to put on a very successful production of ‘Oliver’. The school calendar for 2021-22 promises further productions in December, March and July

Our caring and nurturing ethos is based on our distinctive values and a belief that every child can be successful, as encapsulated in our strap line, "Challenging Minds. Changing Futures”.

We are certainly all being challenged by the difficult times, some behind, and others maybe yet to come, but we thank you all for the continued support you show all of our staff and ask that this same care and compassion be continued

As a governing body we are very proud of where we are as a school, the excellent quality within our staff, curriculum and buildings and the dedication of our children to overcome all adversities. We are always ambitious for our pupils and school and believe that together we can move beyond our current Ofsted rating of ‘Good’ to even higher things.

Thanks for being part of our amazing journey…

Chair of Governors - Paul Barter-Walsh

November 2021