Serving our School community, together in Christian fellowship.
I am really looking forward to getting to know Farnworth C of E Primary School better, from the perspective as a new Parent Governor, but also as a parent new to the school.
Our son Isaac is currently in reception class and appears to be enjoying his time in school with all the activities on offer and lots of new friends to make. Our daughter Henrietta is two years younger and will hopefully follow her big brother to Farnworth in 2022. For now, she is making do with listening to Isaac’s school tales at home, with stories of Fred the frog, shooting stars, thinking clouds, outdoor adventures, singing songs and the all-important snack time.
Having been a parent board member at our previous nursery in Liverpool, and seeing first-hand the benefits that a committed governing board can bring to an educational setting, I’m keen to bring my experiences, skills, commitment and enthusiasm to the role of Parent Governor at Farnworth. I will work with the school in ensuring that every single child gets the attention they need to thrive in a healthy, happy, safe, supportive and inclusive learning environment, whilst offering a representative view as a parent on the governing body.
I am a scientist by background, completing my biochemistry degree in Oxford and gastroenterology PhD in Liverpool. This was followed by a period as a research scientist studying human diseases. As a result, I am passionate about creative STEM education across all age groups. Being a scientist by training means I have a keen attention to detail, I’m a critical and lateral thinker, and I’m able to analyse situations objectively, ask the right questions, and generally identify balanced, fair and reasonable outcomes for all.
Following my research career, I moved into a management role at the University of Liverpool. I have worked across various functions covering research management, business and partnership development, process change and innovation, fundraising, financial management and more latterly, strategy and policy development and implementation. This gives me an adaptable and varied skillset which I will bring to the role of School Governor.
To be a member of the Farnworth team that supports the school and its staff to continually improve, challenge, develop, innovate, embed best practice and make our school the best that it can be really is both a privilege and an honour.
I am a lifelong resident of Widnes and a past pupil of the school. Following a 30 year career in primary teaching, school leadership and school improvement I am currently a freelance education consultant and trainer.
Over the past 10 years I have served on a number of governing boards and very much enjoy this voluntary role. I am currently a member of two governing boards: Farnworth CE and Hallwood Park Primary School, Runcorn.
I am passionate about school improvement and am proud to serve Farnworth School and its community. As a governor I am fully committed to the promotion of the school’s Christian values of love, peace, faithfulness, joy, goodness, gentleness, patience, self-control and kindness. When I visit the school it is a joy to see the Fruits of the Spirit reflected in the way that children and adults behave towards each other.
My key role as a member of the Board is to make strategic decisions to deliver the school’s vision including holding the headteacher and senior leaders to account for pupil outcomes. Through the work of the Board I contribute to strategic decisions to ensure the best use of the school’s resources and provide both support and challenge for the school’s leadership team. At all times I am mindful of the impact of those decisions upon achieving our school vision to ensure that: Children develop a love of learning in a nurturing and inclusive environment. They experience a broad and meaningful learning journey which celebrates their individuality, whilst challenging and inspiring them to be the best that they can be.
I have enormous pride in the work of Farnworth School and value its contribution to developing children’s personal, social and academic skills.
I have been involved with our school since 1994 as a parent, Friend of Farnworth (PTA), current staff member and governor.
I feel a strong emotional connection with our school - my children enjoyed a happy, safe and successful time here which helped to launch them into the world as resilient, enthusiastic, well rounded young men.
I want to ensure all of our children enjoy the same experience. We make a place for each child here both in our hearts and in our classrooms.
One of my roles in school is coordinating the School Council alongside a colleague; this gives our children a voice that can be heard and often acted upon. I take great pride in what we achieve. Alongside all our fundraising activities, environmental awareness campaigns and general school business, our focus this year is wellbeing, not just for our pupils but parents and staff - we truly are community minded.
My role as link governor for Forest School enables me to become further involved with helping children to enjoy access to a different way of learning, embedding life skills which will equip them both now and in the future - team building, inclusiveness, resilience, positive 'can do' attitudes, environmental awareness, rules and choices - the list goes on. Forest school allows this in a wonderful environment which our school is privileged to possess.
My dedication and enthusiasm for our school grows year on year. I feel privileged to work alongside so many dedicated, like minded, caring, decent people both in school and within the wider community and I hope to continue to be involved for many more years to come.
I have had the privilege of supporting Farnworth School as a Parent Governor for the past two years. During this time, I have had an insight into the dedication and hard work of Mrs Stillings, the teachers and my fellow Governors headed by Angela Murray.
At the time of writing, both my children attend the school, Jack is now in his final year and Ava is in year 2. I was always intrigued on listening to the wonderful stories Jack and Ava told me from the supportive and helpful teachers to Mrs Stillings’ assemblies and how much the school preaches ( and practices) its core values in Christianity whilst teaching the children a love of learning.
My children have benefited immensely from the school’s ethos coupled with the dedicated support of the teachers allowing them to develop in a safe enjoyable learning environment.
My background is in finance; I am qualified accountant and currently head the commercial finance team for Suttons Tankers in Widnes. Once I was aware the school required somebody with my skill set to support the current Governing body I had no hesitation in applying.
I had a very different childhood to most in that I lived in Sierra Leone, West Africa from the age of one years old returning to the UK after my father’s death at the age of 10. School was very different in West Africa; there was no funding, the school was dilapidated with a leaking roof and bullet holes in the walls from recent civil wars. If it rained, the school would not open and this was a real shame as most children used to have to walk for miles to attend.
My early education taught me values and experiences that will remain with me for life. The children saw education as a gift and were at their happiest when listening to the teachers. Some children were missing arms and legs from the brutal wars but this did not deter them – a 12-mile walk on one leg was worth it as they were the lucky ones who had the opportunity of being able to read and write.
Whilst the stories may seem sad, the teachers and children inspired me. Before we left for the UK, we managed to fix the roof and leave the children a supply of books – this was in 1976 and I am told they still use the books and the roof is still ok.
My daughter wanted to send her old school dresses over to Africa and my son contributed with his Liverpool kits. We got pictures back of the girls dancing with delight of their new uniforms and Mrs Stillings kindly recorded this with the pictures in the schools weekly newsletter – Mr Monteith also gave me the opportunity to come to school to talk about how schools are very different in Africa as part of the school’s topic.
I do not use the word privilege lightly. Nevertheless, this is what it is to represent and support Farnworth, its children and dedicated staff as your school Governor. I believe and support the school's values and strategy vision and will endeavour, in working closely with the school, fellow Governors and parents, to deliver and uphold the strategy and our core values without compromise.