Honley JI&N School has existed for a full year now – how time has flown - and we as Governors have been reflecting on that first year. The school has achieved so much in that time – not all of it visible from the outside. Honley School Daycare has been well and truly established in less than a year. We have involved the whole school community in the school’s vision and values. The school has received excellent feedback in a number of external audits. The budgets have been consolidated; and the benefits of being one school from a financial perspective are starting to be seen. And the education, activities & rewards for the children have continued uninterrupted.
Being a Governor at Honley JI&N has been an education for all of us in so many ways. There are times when we are tested by the figures and the constant challenge to make budgets and resources meet to accommodate the needs of the school and the children, or understanding statistics, or the government’s approach to assessment. However, the biggest learning for many of us has been the greater awareness of the sheer amount of work that goes on ‘behind the scenes’ to ensure the needs of every child are met.
These needs frequently go beyond the academic, with the children’s welfare always the first priority. Every decision made is challenged by the staff and governors with the question – ‘how will that impact the children?’ Teaching the children to be ‘good people’, part of the school (and wider) community and supporting each other are all important and fit with the school values: respect, trust, resilience, responsibility and kindness.
These values are currently being challenged in our own village and community. We are currently struggling with incidents of unsociable behaviour and social media raises our awareness of what’s happening in our village. It’s hard to see our young people being aggressive and vandalising the lovely environment we live in – a small minority spoiling it for the majority. The school works closely with the police and other agencies to help prevent these incidents, not just vandalism on school premises, but also in the wider community and supports families and children where they can. But the school can only do so much – from a resource point of view, and also their area of expertise.
There is an old African saying “it takes a village to raise a child”. Honley has developed so much in the last few years, with businesses and residents coming together. New businesses coming into the village and volunteers working hard to put on community events and make the place look beautiful. Strength in numbers and all pulling together can perhaps help us in dealing with this difficult behaviour too as there isn’t one magic answer.
The police are keen that as residents, if we see or experience unsociable behaviour it is reported. There are already numerous activities & groups for our young people, to keep them occupied and maybe to get more involved in village life - but to sustain this needs volunteers to run these groups on a regular basis. Research shows that getting the young people to feel part of the community rather than excluded or on the fringe can have an impact.
Often when there are difficulties in any environment – families, businesses, communities - there can develop a sense of ‘them and us’ when the answer often lies in pulling together. As a village we all have a responsibility to ‘bring up’ our children, reminding them of what’s right and wrong – about respect for our environment and each other. As Governors we are committed to continuing to volunteer and play our part in this.
Previous Governor Blogs
Chair - Victoria Ward
Vice-Chair - Rebecca Johnstone
Paul Lomas (Chair)
Kirsty James (Chair)