I moved to Medstead from London with my husband and 10 month old daughter ten years ago looking for a nice house near a great local school. Medstead School was perfect - a short walk across the village from our cottage, a school with lots of outside space, not too big and not too small. We haven't looked back. Our two children have pretty much bounced into school every day since. have been keen to join in as many of the events and activities they have been involved in as I can, was Class Representative several times and came in for a year to do extra reading with some of the classes, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Now my daughter is in Year 6 and about to leave, our son has a few more years to go. felt it was time to give back to the school which has served us so well.
My life has been full of travel. As a child, my parents worked abroad and I moved countries every four or five years. As a result I went to boarding school and then I studied Classical Studies at Newcastle University. After that I moved to London into a career in Television. Over the last 25 years I have gained a wealth of experience and knowledge travelling the world making documentaries for Channel Four, the BBC, Channel 5 and National Geographic. As well as running budgets, co-ordinating crews, my work meant meeting and interviewing people from all walks of life - from spies to scientists, architects to eskimos. I learned how to use a camera and researched and wrote many scripts on topics I knew nothing about at the start but became a temporary “expert” in by the end. It was fascinating, I met extraordinary people and hope that I can pass on my love of learning and interest in the world to my children …. and any other children that are willing to read, watch and listen.
Having grown-up in Alton, I am very fond of the brilliant education I was provided with locally, which helped me to achieve a 1st at university and I feel indebted to help maintain and further enhance excellent standards of education for our children to enjoy as well.
Life has given me two passions, education and weather. My professional career started off in education and I very much enjoyed teaching maths at a couple of local secondary schools, my career path then took me from being a teacher to becoming a Meteorologist and now for the past two years, having been a Chief Meteorologist (Weather Man) for many years, I’ve established two businesses – working part-time on both ventures to enable me to work from home and spend more time with my children.
I have three children, Noah (eldest) is in year 3 at Medstead Primary School, and two daughters under school age, although our eldest daughter Sara is due in Year R this September. Sara has Down’s Syndrome and it has really opened my eyes to the fact that every single child has unique needs, different desires and thus requires/needs different things from the school and I feel well placed to provide valuable insight into inclusion and helping every child meet their best potential. I believe it’s of upmost importance that we don’t lose a child’s personality or uniqueness as we strive to deliver the best for them academically but to also have inclusion where every child feels they are part of and contributing to the school. I am very pleased (also the reason for picking this school for my kids) that the school holds the personal development and well-being of its pupils in the highest regard forming the background of the school motto: ‘Together we Learn’ and it’s my goal to make sure Medstead Primary School continues to fulfil a child’s every need.
Local Authority Governor
I started my career at BP in the Exploration Department. During this time I was based in London but worked in various places including North Sea platforms and in Libya on geological and geophysical surveys. As computers were being used more and more I moved on to concentrate on developing computer systems and was part of a team that developed an early information retrieval system, not nearly as sophisticated as current ones. I then travelled the world (Europe, Asia, Australia and South America) training people in its use.
When my husband, Simon, was relocated to Aberdeen I did some freelance work, both in oil exploration and developing computer systems. We were in Aberdeen for nearly nine years during which time our 2 children were born. When we moved south again as my husband worked away a lot I didn’t continue in full-time employment as I wanted to be around for the children without complicated childcare arrangements. Once they were both at school I worked as a Teaching Assistant at Medstead. I had planned to move on once my children were older but enjoyed working at the school and seeing children develop and achieve in so many different ways.
I’ve been a governor for over 23 years, starting as a parent governor at my children’s primary school in Alton. In 2001 the Local Authority asked me to become a governor at a local secondary school following an issue which resulted in the resignation of the governing body. For a while I continued with both schools but eventually gave up the primary school. After retiring from Medstead, the then Head Teacher asked if I’d be a governor, as there were a number of new inexperienced governors. It was not my intention to be Chair of Governors in both schools but the Medstead’s Chair left and....... (the rest, as they say, is history). I resigned from the secondary school governing body in December 2015. I am no longer the chair at Medstead but I still serve on the governing body.
Since becoming a Governor at Medstead in 2009, I have served a number of roles within the school, including Link Governor for the English, Outdoor Learning, Pupil Progress, Special Educational Needs, Assessment, Curriculum and Early Years
I am currently the Safeguarding Governor, Link Governor for pupils with Special Education Needs and Disabilities, including the Hearing Impaired Resourced Provision and sit on the Finance and General Purposes and Pay Committees. I also represent the governors at the Local Governors Forum meetings.
I try to support the school in as many ways as possible meeting regularly with the Headteacher, and working with other governors and the leadership team to ensure that the strategic direction of the school will enable all children to enjoy school and learning, achieve well and be well prepared for their future.
In my spare time I walk, read, garden, play tennis, paint (watercolour and acrylic), holiday and enjoy life.
With over 25 years of experience in the service sector, including 10 building and running my own successful hospitality business, I have a solid understanding of the importance of having a sound strategy in place that supports the growth of an organisation, an outlook which I feel has helped me as a Governor. My time is now spent advising small and medium size businesses on how to grow and retain their staff and clients as well as undertaking business mentoring which I find exceptionally rewarding. The past three years have also seen me progress a catering consultancy business, which I hope will become a greater part of my working life in the future.
A personal interest in sustainability and environmental issues as well as a commitment to supporting suppliers local to Medstead is an aspect of my life that I believe serves me well as a Governor. My background in catering and facilities also means I am equipped to support the school in specialist areas relating to children’s food, dietary wellbeing and the environment in which they study.
Professionally, I was Chairman of the Association of Catering Excellence, a not-for-profit voluntary organisation that promotes excellence in the hospitality industry, between 2007 and 2009.
Locally, I am a member of the Medstead Tennis Club and a keen follower of all sport but particularly golf and rugby and during my playing days I was a qualified under 14’s RFU coach. I now coach the under 10’s mini rugby teams at Alton Rugby Club.
Since becoming a Governor in 2010, I have served a number of roles within the school, and try very hard to support the life of the school in as many facets as possible. Responsibilities include;
· Link Governor for the Creative Arts until Sept 2013
· Link Governor for Physical Education current until Sept 2016
· Finance and General Purposes Committee current
I am an active member of the Governing Body and a regular visitor to the school. I work closely with fellow Governors, Staff and the Headteacher to ensure that the strategic direction of the school will enable all children to excel and enjoy their time at Medstead.
Since Isabella started school as the youngest child in Oak Class last year, I've been extremely keen to be involved in the school as much as I can. When we moved to Medstead nearly 4 years ago it was very apparent how important the school is both within the village itself and the local community - a real focal point. I have spent the past year or so on the FOMS committee, a group of parent who's dedication and hard work bring so much fun and additional experience to the children's time at school.
With an Italian husband and a degree in International Business I am keen to assist in developing the children's links and understanding of the wider world and the fascinating cultures and places that they can explore both during and after their time at Medstead school.
When not in school I can be found looking after our younger daughter, Alessia, or continuing my career of 17 years within the spirits industry working in brand development for Bacardi rum.
I was born in Mombasa, Kenya where I lived until the age of 6. I spent my early years on the beach or in a pool! We moved to Nairobi when I started school and I lived there until I moved to the UK for A-Levels at Cranleigh School.
I will never forget my first winter in the UK - snow meant sport was cancelled, a stark contrast to school being cancelled due to a rhino on the playing fields – a regular occurrence given it was next door to the Nairobi National Park.
Sport has always played a huge part in my life, whether it be rugby, golf, tennis or hockey but my real passion has always been cricket. I was lucky enough to play international cricket for Kenya in the U19 World Cup and then for the full team between 2004 and 2007.
The lessons I have learned from sport – Leadership, Teamwork, the will to win and determination, I believe have stood me in great stead and been a great influence on where I am today.
In my professional life, I have been at the forefront of technology and transformational change. I began my career as an Energy Broker in the city, as it shifted from floor to screen based trading. In 2004, I made the leap into Digital (Sports) marketing when I joined Cricinfo.com – which at the time was the World’s Largest Single Sport Website. My role was to scale the business across new international markets resulting in acquisition by ESPN in 2007 – at the time the World’s largest sports media business and a Walt Disney Company. Following the acquisition, I set up ESPN Digital Media Europe and was exposed so some extraordinary training – from mentoring & coaching to Leadership courses and Negotiation training from a former CIA hostage negotiator!
These experiences set me up for the rigours of the next chapter in my career at US ad technology start-up RadiumOne. Then, in 2015 I was headhunted to join Eagle Eye – one of former Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy’s investments - as Chief Revenue Officer. This role provided a different set of learning experiences, but one that also solidified my desire to take the leap into setting up my own business. Earlier this year I launched Volando - a business accelerator for start-ups and high growth companies. I have learnt more in the last 5 months than in any other role – lessons that I can hopefully bring to my role as Governor.
I moved to Four Marks from Twickenham 3 ½ years ago, with my wife Alex and two children Ella and Zac. My eldest Ella, is in year 1 at Medstead Primary School. She is absolutely loving every second of school life and is thriving on the experiences and in the caring environment the school offers.
Zac is an Early Learner at Medstead Pre-school and cannot wait to start his journey at school next year.
We moved from Twickenham for the quality of life and fantastic schools that Hampshire offers - both Alex and I striving for Ella and Zac’s upbringing to be more akin to what we experienced in Kenya and North Devon. We are thoroughly enjoying life outside of London – throwing ourselves into the local community and everything a more rural lifestyle offers. Having come out of retirement for the 3rd time, I can be found most Saturdays in the summer at Jubilee Fields playing cricket for Alton 1st XI!
When I got involved at Medstead School, I was struck by the happiness and enjoyment that exuded from both staff and children alike. I feel it is our responsibility as governors to nurture this environment for exceptional learning. I look forward to bringing my experiences to my role as governor and contributing to the future success of our fantastic school.
A Governor at one of my schools used to say I have Germanic precision and Italian flair, and while a bit clichéd I think this is a fairly true analysis of me! Solutions driven yet creative.
Medstead is my third headship, having led one school in very challenging circumstances and secured significant improvement in many areas, and taken another to Outstanding. I have also worked as a School Improvement Advisor and Consultant Headteacher, drawing on my Ofsted and Local Leader for Education training.
I come from Huddersfield and have taught across seven counties, starting in Portsmouth when it was still part of Hampshire, so this is officially my second time working in the county (!), moving to Cornwall then Kent, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Surrey and working in some West Sussex schools. Although I originally went into teaching so I could go abroad and teach, I’ve never made it that far afield! I guess teaching’s in my blood, my Dad did an Open University degree when I was seven and then a PGCE. I remember him telling me about his teaching practices. I started teaching horse riding at a local stables when I was eleven and as a teenager worked on summer schools for foreign students learning English.
I’ve had some time out of teaching running a small business designing, making and marketing high quality wooden toys at home and abroad. My work out of school, particularly while a student in a pub in Portsmouth, delivering Christmas post and in a roller blind factory, I believe equipped me to empathise and communicate effectively with a range of people across different walks of life.
Being a parent leads to a new perspective on education, I am mum to Gus, 8 and Ralf, 7. We have two puppies and are enjoying all the fun they have brought to our family. Gus and Ralf's Dad also works in education as a Consultant , visiting schools across the country.
I still ride horses although I no longer event my ex-racehorse. My interests are music and reading, which I bring into school. I love kayaking and hope one day to meet a kingfisher on the water. My children kayak with me so I feel the kingfisher scenario may be some way off as they are never quiet unless they're asleep! My ambition – thus far unrealised – is to be a dolphin trainer. My aim at Medstead is to equip pupils with the ambition and resilience to seek out challenges through life. From the cards and messages of gratitude I've received over the last few years here I think, as a team, we are achieving this for the children entrusted to us by their parents.
Revd. Canon Ed Pruen
Foundation Governor (ex-Officio)
Hello, as a School Governor I am passionate about enabling children to have the very best start in life. Schools play a vital role to achieve this by encouraging children to make friends, learn of the wider world, and discover who they are able to become.
For 16 years I was the full-time Chaplain for the Treloar School and College in Alton. Since then I was a member of the Southwell & Nottingham Diocesan Board of Education supporting over 70 church schools. At the same time I was the Canon for Education and Learning for the Cathedral and Chaplain for the Minster School, a large secondary school with 400 pupils in the sixth form. More recently, I have been a school governor for two primary schools within a multi-academy trust in Cornwall. As the world of education changes there is always so much more to learn and at Medstead I am privileged to serve the school community as your parish priest. (Rhubarb, my dog will be helping too!) I live in Medstead with my wife Margaret, who is a special needs paediatric nurse.
Becoming a School Governor is my first voluntary role, and is one that I’m sure I’ll enjoy.
I’ve always lived in Hampshire, and my first job after leaving school was as an apprentice in Portsmouth Naval Base, where I trained and worked as a Joiner. Working in a Naval Dockyard was a fantastic experience; it was steeped in history and tradition, and the camaraderie was great. I met my wife Louise in HMS Nelson (which is more or less part of the dockyard), which coincidentally, was where my Grandfather and Grandmother met more than six decades earlier.
After ten years on the tools, I embarked on a Management career with Amey Plc, working mostly in their Facility Management division, but also in one of its Justice focused joint ventures. I committed to a lot of education whilst working there, and took every opportunity I could to develop my career. Within a few years I was running large Facility Management contracts for some really interesting customers like the Police in London, The National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, and QinetiQ, which took me to some of the most beautiful and remote parts of the UK. My last few years at Amey were mainly spent working in an executive, strategic capacity, developing new market interests.
I really enjoyed working at Amey, the people were fantastic, and I was frequently given opportunities to develop, that included education at Warwick Business School, and the University of Navarra in Madrid. I was also lucky enough to be a regular member of their yacht racing team, which was incredibly successful, winning many regattas.
These days I co-own and run a learning and development company, which I’ve recently opened up to shared ownership. Apart from it being a great job, it gives me something very special, and that’s plenty of flexibility and time with my family. Getting my children ready in the mornings and doing the school runs is something I wouldn’t be able to do in the corporate rat race, so I consider myself very lucky.
I enjoy a few different sports, but my passion is Boxing. It’s been a while since I put a pair of gloves on, but even so, the whole sport is something I am completely captivated by.
Being part of the Four Marks and Medstead community is great, we enjoy amazing relationships with other parents at the school, and feel very privileged that our children Evie and Florence can grow up in such a lovely place.
Click here for more information.