I would like to start this report in reverse chronological order as in the last few days we have received our fantastic SATs (Statutory Assessment Tests) for Key Stage 2 results which confirms Upminster Junior School as the top Junior School locally (in Cranham & Upminster). More detail of these results will follow in due course but I would like to thank firstly the Year 6 teachers and Teaching Assistants (TAs) for their hard work throughout the year and the school Senior Leadership Team for their drive and enthusiasm. I must not forget the whole school approach to learning as this did not just happen overnight so congratulations to all staff for their efforts over many years. Lastly, well done all Year 6 Pupils for their willingness to take on the new style SATs and achieve great results. I wish them all every success in Year 7 at their new schools.
Turning the clock back now to where we started in September 2015, two Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) joined us for their first year in teaching, Miss Southgate in Year 5 and Miss Zweistra in Year 4. They have both done exceptionally well and hope they found it an enjoyable experience and stay with us for many years.
The transition from Year 2 in the Infant School to Year 3 in the Junior School was expertly handled by the year leaders, Mrs Gunthorpe and Mrs Mordew who share the responsibility with adequate backing from Miss Nelson and Mrs Clarke and outstanding support from their TAs. Educational trips out included visits to Colchester Castle and Colchester Zoo.
Year 4 found themselves without their leader, Miss Latheron for a long period of time due to her hospitalisation for a hip operation but Miss Zweistra and Mrs Jones showed great calmness throughout and got on with the job. It was good to see Miss Latheron return for the second half of the summer term and well on the way to complete recovery. Educational trips out included Tower of London, Kentwell Hall and Belhus Woods.
Year 5 led by Mrs Zweistra, with Miss Southgate and Miss Begiri in support, attended the residential trip to Bushey in Hertfordshire for the 1940’s experience. They thoroughly enjoyed a unique learning experience about life at home in London during World War II. These trips are successful due to the support during the week by TAs and parents; therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Mrs Emes, Mrs Fitzgerald, Mrs Gulvin, Mr Lee, Mr Haley, Mr Lawrence, Mrs Wilson and Mrs Sillett for making it a pleasant week for all the Pupils in attendance. Year 5 should also be praised for being outstanding ambassadors for Upminster Junior School. Other educational visits included Go Run for Fun at the Olympic Park, Transport Museum, Science Museum, River Ingrebourne with Essex Wildlife Trust, The Old Chapel opposite the Upminster Windmill, the National Gallery, Leeds Castle and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Mrs Riches again led Year 6, ably assisted by Mr Waskett and Mrs Pedder. Mr Waskett will be leaving at the end of the summer term to further his career at another local school in Hornchurch. He has been an exceptional teacher at Upminster Junior School for the past six years and he will be missed but we wish him well for the future. Apart from the SATs the highlight of the year, as always, is the residential visit to PGL in June for all Year 6 Pupils who wish to go. Again it was a successful venture where they get to participate in all sorts of outdoor pursuits. Other educational visits throughout the year included the British Museum, orienteering at James Oglethorpe School, the National Gallery, a Mosque and Groovy Greeks in Southend.
Once again, all the trips for the year groups listed above would not happen without support from our Teachers, TAs and parents and again I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of them for their dedication to our pupils’ learning experience. We also must not forget the work performed by our Midday Supervisors whose day to day work with pupils epitomise our core values of self belief, trust, compassion, creative and resilience.
At the end of the Autumn Term, Mrs Boyes our SENCo (Special Educational Needs & Disabilities Co-ordinator) left to progress her career at another school. UJS welcomes Mrs Puirseil who will take over the role at the start of September.
Our Sports Co-ordinator, Mr Stanley, has done an outstanding job and introduced a whole range of new sports to the school. I believe the School is the top performing Primary in Havering, if not the whole of London, as was proven by our success in the London Youth games. Throughout the year the School has won many other competitions locally in Havering at all sports. Mr Stanley’s pride and joy is the creation of our “QuadKids”.
[“QuadKids Schools is the preferred athletics format for the School Games, including level 1 inter (whole school), level 2 intra school events, Schools Games qualifying rounds and level 3 County / School Games finals. This easy to run athletics format encourages participation for all ages and abilities and has been widely used throughout the UK for many years”.]
Special congratulations to Mr Stanley for achieving a “1st Class” Honours Degree this year. He will complete his teacher training during the next two terms at Upminster Junior School.
Our Choir and Orchestra continues to go from strength to strength under the stewardship of Mrs Foan and Mrs Riches with support from many peripatetic music teachers. The summer term culminated in yet another magnificent performance by the whole school at St Luke’s in Cranham and this time even the staff managed to play a star role by singing with the choir!
The Parents Association (PA) continues to raise money for the school as it has for many years and this year Mrs Wright stood down and Mrs Horne took over as Chair. We owe an awful lot to Mrs Wright and she went out on a high when the PA donated £50,000 towards the school adventure playground which was officially opened in the Autumn by the Mayor of Havering, Councillor Brian Eagling. Funds were raised by the PA through various events such as Christmas bazaar, summer fete, discos, film nights and quiz nights. A very successful tuck shop runs every Friday afternoon which has proved popular with both the pupils and parents. The biggest event of the year and one that has been running for decades is the Upminster Firework Display. Over the years this has helped to establish a link for both the PA and the school within the community and become very popular and successful.
The School Council which consists of one pupil from each class elected by their peers, has also had a successful year. They conduct themselves in a democratic fashion and when they have an idea, they consult with their individual classes before bringing it back to committee for decision. One of their favourite projects this year was to “adopt” a school pet and they are well on the way to achieving that. When the School Governors had decided on their final two candidates for the position of Headteacher following Mr Woodford’s decision to move on, they played a major role interviewing each candidate over a half hour session Both candidates admitted afterwards that the session had been the hardest part of the interview process.
In April this year, the School Council had an opportunity to visit the Mayor of Havering, Councillor Brian Eagling, at the Town Hall in Romford and enjoyed asking him many questions about the work of Havering Council. They also got the chance to wear the mayoral robes and hold the Mace which again they thoroughly enjoyed. Mr Ansell, our Deputy Headteacher, deserves our thanks for encouraging and guiding the School Council to achieve their success.
The school Eco Council worked on an air-pollution project with Sustrans. They attached eight perspex tubes to various locations near St Mary’s Lane in front of the school. Sadly, four tubes went missing. The remaining four tubes were sent for analysis. Results show that the nearer the tubes were to the road, the more polluted the air was. In two tubes, the Nitrous Oxide level exceeded the safe levels set by Europe. Thanks as well to the Digital Leaders who are trusted pupils responsible for supporting, promoting and developing, alongside the computing co-ordinator, Miss Nelson and Mr Welch our ICT System Administrator, the technology that is used within our school. We are massively grateful to all of them.
A huge contribution during 2015/16 has again been made by the Parents’ Council which can be considered a “scrutiny” committee when it comes to new ideas but they also come forward with new suggestions and information to improve the school.
My appreciation for the efforts of the School’s Governing Body must not go without mention. We meet officially at least three times each term but that is not all. Each Governor has responsibility for a year group plus a curriculum subject and is expected to liaise with their classes and their subject lead and report back at the full Governors’ meeting each term. Governors also assist by attending educational visits with their year group or class. To meet their statutory obligations, Governors are also expected to attend training sessions regularly to keep abreast of changes in education law from time to time. All Governors are doing the job voluntarily without any remuneration.
On the 19 April 2016, the school was reviewed by an external independent team. This was applied in the form of a one day Ofsted inspection and was a very thorough process. It was extremely useful in assessing the position of the school and was also conducted fairly.
The outcomes of the review were:
Ofsted Category Grade - Overall effectiveness Good
· The effectiveness of leadership and management - Good
· The quality of teaching, learning and assessment - Good
· Personal development, welfare and behaviour - Good
· Outcomes of pupils and learners - Good
A few of the judgements require “actions” to ensure that the school is secure. Personal development, welfare and behaviour was said to be very effective and on the cusp of Outstanding.
Our Business Manager (Mr Brown), the Office Team (Mrs Clarke, Mrs Cooper and Mrs Rowe) and Site Team (Mr Fitzgerald and Mr Rowden) are very much in the “front line” and deal with pupils and parents from day to day in all sorts of circumstances. Their dedication and loyalty to Upminster Junior School can often be taken for granted but without them, it would a massive impact on the smooth running of the school.
Headteacher Mr Tim Woodford must be made at this point as he will be leaving us at the end of the summer term 2016 to take up a Headteacher post in Hampshire. He has been at Upminster Junior School since 2009 when he joined as Deputy Headteacher to Miss Field. He took over as acting Headteacher in January 2014 when Miss Field moved on and was appointed as Headteacher in the summer term of 2014.
In June 2016, Mr Woodford and his wife had baby Charlotte. They had already given great thought to when the baby was born and made their decision to move back to the New Forest area to be closer to their families. We wish the family our best wishes for the future and Mr Woodford every success at his new school.
Chair of Governors
Upminster Junior School
12th July 2016