Our Current Governors
Dennis Wright – Foundation Governor
I have been a foundation governor of Beetham Primary School for two years and it has certainly been an interesting and rewarding experience. Having lived in Beetham since 1980, having two grandsons educated at the School and my family having previously owned the Wheatsheaf for 37 years, it has been a rewarding experience giving up some time to get involved with Beetham Primary School. Two of the most recent highlights for me were the children’s visit to the Strickland Farm Experience and also to the Leighton Moss Bird Reserve, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. The children, as usual, were impeccably behaved and these were two marvellous educational days for both children and governors, organised by the brilliant teaching staff at Beetham School.
Sarah Easton – Associate Governor
What an amazing year – I have learnt about Roman mosaics, the artist Kandinsky and the tallest mountain on each continent…… my Thursday afternoons have been spent supporting Art and DT sessions with years 3, 4, 5 and 6. It has been a wonderful way to learn about education in its widest sense and also to observe a curriculum area in fine detail. Being a Governor is not all about balance sheets and Head Teacher reports!
Wendy Nicholas – Headteacher
I have been at Beetham for 15 years and am very proud of our small but very special school. Each year brings new children, new staff and new challenges which ensures that our school is continually changing, improving and building for the future. My role on the Governing Body is to provide the governors with up to date and relevant information about everything that happens at school from Pupil Progress to Health and Safety, Teaching and Learning to Safeguarding. Governors receive this information in the form of a termly report prior to our Full Governing Body meeting. This information enables governors to ask searching and challenging questions, request more detail where necessary, make suggestions for improvements and offer practical support if needed.
Over the last academic year there have been many changes at school: We have appointed new staff, had a fantastic new classroom installed in our garden, begun to develop our new school field and increased our nursery provision to 30 hours per week. Governors have been involved in all of these changes in many different ways either using their areas of professional expertise or by providing hands on practical support. I feel very privileged to work with such a dedicated, enthusiastic and supportive group of governors and staff. Together we keep the education and happiness of the children at Beetham at the heart of everything we do and this makes our school a happy and exciting place to learn and a great place for everyone to make friends and have fun.
Kirsty Klijn – Staff Governor
I have worked at Beetham C E Primary School as a part time Key Stage 2 teacher for 8 years now but began my teaching career over 25 years ago. I was born and brought up in Surrey and moved to Cumbria in 1990 when I went to teacher training college in Ambleside. I have had the pleasure of being on the governing body for over 4 years now as a staff governor; serving on the Curriculum and Staffing committee. My role includes representing the staff views and helping answer questions regarding curriculum, teaching and learning. It is a pleasure to work alongside such a supportive team of governors who do everything possible to help ensure the school continues to thrive.
Father Andrew Norman – Ex officio Priest in Charge
The Reverend Andrew Bryan Norman has been the Priest in Charge of the parishes of St Michael and All Angels, Beetham and St James, Arnside with Storth since July 2019, before that he was the Assistant Curate of the Cartmel Peninsula Team Ministry serving nine parishes in the south of the Diocese of Carlisle.
Andrew serves at the moment as ex-officio Foundation Governor here in Beetham as well as at the Church of England Primary Schools in Arnside and Storth. In the wider church, Andrew serves on a number of committees including the Bishop’s Council and the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the care of church buildings as well as serving an Assistant Diocesan Director of Ordinands supporting candidates exploring a call to ordained ministry.
Andrew was an undergraduate at Selwyn College, Cambridge where he studied History after which he completed a Theology degree at the University of Oxford whilst undertaking his theological training for the priesthood at Ripon College Cuddesdon. Andrew is a native Cumbrian, born and brought up on Solway Firth in the village of Abbey Town, and enjoys good quality television, exploring, reading, learning new things, a wide range of music, and laughing.
Viv Stirrup – Foundation Governor
I am a Licensed Lay Minister for St. Michael & All Angels and have been a Foundation Governor for Beetham Primary School for over four years. I am also the Chair of the Staffing and
Curriculum Committee. Church links with the school are strong and this is an important relationship which will continue into the future. With a background in further and higher education, I find it a joy and a privilege to work alongside staff in our joint aim of maximising the fullest potential in every child.
John Lomax – Foundation Governor
I’ve been a Governor for some years now and am currently Chair. My background was as a secondary schoolteacher and Headmaster (in the previous century!) so to be involved in Primary education has been a new and pleasurable experience. The Governors are all delightful people to work with and our meetings get the important business done in an open happy atmosphere which makes for inventive problem-solving – yet always with plenty of time for laughter! Despite being born and bred in the London area, I’ve lived in Beetham for 33 years now. In all that time, the sense of community in the village and School has never seemed to me as vibrant as it is now!
Brian Smalley – Local Authority Governor
Following a working life as a secondary schoolteacher, I have been a governor in C of E Schools for over 20 years. I am currently chair of the Community and Welfare Committee, looking to continue and develop the existing strong links between the school, church, and the wider community. My highlight of the year has to be the school’s contribution to the commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the 1918 Armistice. The Celebration Assembly held in church that week gave us the opportunity to unveil one of our ‘There But Not There’ figures, representing all those who had left their homes and families to answer their country’s call. Pupils helped to place the figure directly in front of their own commemorative display, and ‘Poppy Wall’, and designated that figure, ‘The Beetham School Tommy’. A visit of the Royal Lancashire Fusiliers to lay a wreath at the War Memorial and gave the pupils the opportunity to talk directly to the old soldiers. The enthusiasm, knowledge and politeness of our pupils so impressed the Fusiliers that we later received a very complimentary letter of thanks from their leader. And then, on the Sunday evening, the performance of ‘We Will Remember Them’ by a large group of pupils during our service of ‘Remembrance, Reflection and Reconciliation’ crowned a glorious weekend during which the close links between the school, the church and the wider community were highlighted and strengthened.
Christos Christou – Parent Governor
I am part of the Board of Governors and I currently chair the Finance Committee. I am also Chairman of a North West property group, The Lakeside Hotel & Spa and YMCA Fylde Coast (which includes YMCA Lakeside). I have taken great pleasure and pride in being able to assist in the development of the school by seeing the acquisition of the Sports Field, the development of the Beehive, the Lodge and more recently the soon to be front access lobby area (must come up with a better name for this – proposals on a postcard to the editor please!). I have the staff at the school and my fellow governors to thank in helping the school to achieve these improvements while maintaining a sustainable balance sheet! I am very excited when I consider what improvements the next few years bring.
Tess Rowlands – Foundation Governor
My name is Tess Rowlands and I am very proud to be a Foundation Governor at Beetham C of E Primary School. I have had many years experience as a parent governor and a co-opted governor, at both primary and secondary schools. There is a great deal for me to learn about Beetham school as it is very different from the schools I have been involved with before, but it clearly is a very special place indeed.
Dawn Shepherd – Parent Governor
I became a Parent Governor at the start of 2020 and I have two children attending Beetham School. As a secondary MFL teacher since 2004, I have a keen interest in education, and I am interested to learn more about the priorities of primary education. My main motivation for taking on this new opportunity, however, was due to my own experience of Beetham School. Both of my children love going to school and I would therefore like the opportunity to contribute more to school life. I am looking forward to finding out more about the workings of the governing body and how we support staff, pupils and parents within the school.
Rachel Wray – Foundation Governor
I am a parent to Morgan Wray (aged 11, who has just spent an amazing 7 years at Beetham School) and his brother Arthur Wray (Year 4). I am a full time Solicitor Advocate, prosecuting for the Police. During my spare time I love spending time with my children, making lots of memories outdoors in the Lakes and doing different activities as a family. Since my children entered Beetham School, I have been incredibly impressed with the education and support they have received and the progress they have been able to make. As such, I am extremely keen to give something back to the school who have given so much to my children.
As a Foundation Governor I have the added responsibilities of acting as the GDPR compliance officer and curriculum review for Physical Education, including swimming. In the past I have assisted in various fund-raising events for the school.