Hello, my name is Julia Kelly and I am Chair of Governors at Shire Oak.
I am a Parent Governor with two children, Theo who is now at high school but attended Shire Oak and Felicity (Yr 5) still in Shire Oak, and I also chair the Teaching and Learning Committee.
As Chair of Governors my role is to ensure the smooth running of the work of the Governing Body over the school year and to help lead the team in shaping the strategic direction of the school.I have worked in universities and museums as a lecturer and researcher in art history for over 15 years, and bring my experience of a changing and evolving educational climate to the Governing Body.
I also have voluntary experience running music and movement playgroups for pre-school children.I originally studied languages at college, and I believe strongly in their importance as a means to understand other cultures and ways of thinking. I love art and music, and am also a big fan of maths: for me arts, humanities and sciences come together in an overall learning experience, which is something this school does really well. Shire Oak Primary is a unique school with a special atmosphere, and I am very proud to help the children of this school continue to thrive today and in the future.
Hello, I am Gill Eastabrook, a Co-opted Governor. I am the Inclusion Governor as well as being on the main Governing Body.
Until I joined the governors a couple of years ago, after I retired from paid work, I had no formal links with the school but I have lived in Headingley for over 20 years. I know how important Shire Oak (and before that St Michael's and Headingley Primary) has been to families I know. I value that local identity and proximity to the local amenities - including green space on Woodhouse Ridge - helping our children to be safe and happy so they can learn well.
I used to work as a statistician and use those skills to help the school leadership team work out what we can learn by comparing our data with other schools'. The aim is to understand what we already do well and where and how we can improve by finding out what others do.
As well as this I like getting involved in all sorts of activities where the main thing I have to offer is being free during the school day! It was good to help with the process for appointing Mrs Maver as our new Deputy Head. I also enjoyed going to Leeds University with Year 3 to participate in the Philosophy Celebration.
Hi, I am Sally Dyster. I have been a school Governor since my youngest was in Year 1 at St Michael’s and he is now doing his GCSEs. It has been so interesting and rewarding seeing Shire Oak grow from the initial idea of it happening to the current wonderful school that it is – it certainly has come a very long way. As well as being on the full Governing Body, I also sit on the Resources committee and previously chaired it.
By training I am an industrial chemist and worked in various industries, primarily printing but also de-inking and paper manufacturing. Latterly I have worked as a consultant in the IT industry on a large Government Program. I am currently enjoying semi/early retirement!
My name is Tony Whatmough, and I’m the priest in charge of St. Michael’s Church which has had long links with Shire Oak School.
I’ve been a vicar for over 30 years, and I’ve always been involved in education. I’ve been a school governor in many schools, from Early Years, Primary and Secondary schools, and I’ve also been a teacher myself.
I love coming into school and seeing what everyone is doing, the things they are learning and I’ve even been on a few school trips!
Apart from these things, I love walking my dog – you may have seen me walking her past school, - visiting the beautiful parts of this area of England, and music making – I play the violin very badly!
If you see me around, stop me to say hello!
Hello, my name is Ann Dudzinski. I am associate governor who represents our local church, St Michael’s. I joined the governing body here a long time ago – my son was in year 3 at that time, and he is now 23 years old!
Being a governor is very interesting indeed. It is wonderful to watch Shire Oak School grow and develop, and it is very satisfying to play a part in that development, as a governor.
Because Shire Oak School is a church school, it is very important that we have good links with our local church. Part of my role as a governor is to help those links to develop and grow. It’s lovely to see the pupils and staff and parents from Shire Oak when they come over to St Michael’s church for the Christmas carol service each year, and also for the service in July which marks the end of the school year. I try to come to along to at least one assembly at school each term, and always enjoy seeing and hearing about the achievements of all the pupils.
One of the most important jobs that governors do is to be part of the appointment process for new members of staff. This is very challenging - we want to find the best possible teachers and staff for our school. It is very rewarding to work with such an excellent team of staff as we have here, and it is a privilege to be part of that team, as a governor
Hi, my name is Dick Killington. I was co-opted as a Governor in 2015 and am a member of the Teaching and Learning Committee. Since retiring four years ago I have worked in two primary schools as a volunteer (two of them in Shire Oak) helping with group and one-to-one activities in the areas of reading, phonics, maths and some science. Before retiring I was Professor of Virology, Pro-Dean for Learning and Teaching, and Head of School at the University of Leeds. For 31 years I was the Warden of a very large block of undergraduate student flats, with responsibility for discipline and pastoral care. I am married with three children and four granddaughters, all of whom are at primary school.
I have come to love Shire Oak and will do my best to help the School and to enhance the experience of both its staff and its pupils.
Hello, my name is Sadie Alton, and I am a Parent Governor at Shire Oak.
I have lived in Headingley for nearly 20 years and love the area for its sense of community and diversity.
I have two boys, one of whom attends Shire Oak, and so am pleased to be able to get involved in the running of the school and hopefully make a difference to the children who come here.
I am an accountant and work for myself. I am looking forward to helping the school with its funding.
My name is Sapna Gadaria, and I have a son at Shire Oak primary school. I am also a member of FOSOPS. I work as a counsellor in private practice with children and adults, as a primary school counsellor and a young persons’ counsellor for a company called GIPSIL. I also work as a supervisor. I have lived in Meanwood for 9 years. I hope to provide my mental health experience to the school.
My name is Anna Swinburn and I have been a Parent Governor since 2015. I have two children at Shire Oak: Lia who is in Year 5, and Sam who is in Year 3. They are particularly fond of the opportunities for outdoor learning and the caring atmosphere created by the school.
I am a secondary school teacher at a school in Bradford and I have many years of experience teaching children from a broad range of backgrounds, albeit a little older. My subject is Design and Technology, which is essentially about problem solving and creativity; I hope to be able to bring these two skills to the role in helping the school to develop and move forward.
I look forward to being more involved in a school which seems to have found the balance between nurturing a love of learning and caring for the whole child with academic achievement, the former of which can all too easily get sacrificed at the expense of the latter.
I am Antonia Nicholls and my two boys, James and Benji, attend Shire Oak. I have been a Governor since 2017. My background is in Human Resources and I currently run my own Consultancy, which is perfect to flex my time between working and family life. My business works with local SME businesses and charities supporting all their HR needs from recruitment, contracts, management, employment law, training and restructures, and I love the variety this gives me!
Helen Woodley represents the Teaching Staff on the Governing Body.