Sugar Hill Primary School

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Sheraton Road, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, DL5 5NU


Sugar Hill Primary School

'Learning and Growing Together'

Our Governing Body

Achievement and Standards:              Mrs A French, Mr G Hamblin, Mrs K Legge, Mrs P O'Rourke, Mrs D Raine

Appeals:                                                     Mr G Hamblin, Mr R Gibson 

First/Pay Review:                                     Mrs A French, Mr R Gibson, Mrs P O'Rourke, Mrs D Raine, Mrs E Williams

Headteacher's Performance:               Mrs A French, Mrs D Raine

Personnel:                                                  Mr R Gibson, Mrs P O'Rourke, Mrs D Raine, Mrs K Snaith

Resources:                                                 Mrs A French, Mrs D Raine, Mrs P O'Rourke, Mrs K Snaith, Mrs E Williams

Children, School and Community:      Mrs M Alderson, Mrs K Legge,  Mrs D Raine, Mrs S Woodhead, Mr R Gibson, Mrs E Williams

Meet the Governors

Our Governing Body is made up of 7 co-opted governors, 1 authority governor and 1 staff governor, and the Headteacher.  Governors serve a four-year term and work to a Code of Conduct. We invite specialists to work with us, for example David Grimes, the school’s Education Development Partner, supports us with school improvement and professional development activities. We work closely with Phillipa Ollerhead from PJO Education Ltd. 

       Special Interest Governors                              

Denise Raine – Chair of Governors

Having recently retired from a career that focused totally on child care and education I felt that I would like to continue my involvement in the development of children’s futures by becoming a School Governor. Sugar Hill Primary School has been a large focus for me throughout my life and I feel had a positive influence on the person I am today, as well as that of my children and grandchildren. I attended the school, a time I remember with great fondness and where I was taught to explore my environment, to question, to experiment, be independent and confident as well as the academic curriculum.

I joined the nursery team on a temporary basis for a year to cover long term sickness of a member of the teaching team. This was a very special part of my return to work after having my children and gave me a lot of new skills that prepared me for my future career development.

My three children and many of my nieces and nephews also attended, currently my youngest grandson attends Sugar Hill and is developing a real quest for learning. His twin brothers spent their primary years at Sugar Hill too. They are now attending Woodham Academy which I feel Sugar Hill prepared them for very well, giving the groundwork of education to enable them to be in the higher achievers in their year.

I have been lucky enough as a Governor to see, first hand, the hard work and dedication of the whole staff team to creating the most conducive environment for children’s learning.

Anne French – Vice Chair of Governors

 I’ve been a Governor at Sugar Hill since 1993. My children and grandchildren attended the school and I continue to have strong ties with the school and the local community through my role as a governor. I have spent much of my working life in Finance, and bring this knowledge to my role as Special Interest Governor for maths. I really enjoy visiting the school, following how teaching and learning in maths is developing, and most of all working with children in classrooms

Paula O'Rourke –  Head Teacher

I have been Head teacher since September 2013, first in a shared headship and solo since September 2014. I love my job! I came here in 2008 as Assistant Head Teacher and teacher in Nursery, and have watched the school change and develop into our amazing, outstanding school. 

Before I came here I worked in many schools, in a variety of roles and with all age groups, and I can safely say  we are the best! The staff are all dedicated to the school and do the very best they can to ensure all children have the start in life they deserve. We make life in Sugar Hill  exciting and motivating, always encouraging the children to challenge themselves in all that they do.

The Governors support us to make the school what it is. Governors play a very active role in school life working with the School Leadership Team, staff and children. 

As long as I am Head Teacher, Sugar Hill will remain my passion.

Kathryn Legge –  Associate Governor

When I first worked at Sugar Hill Primary in the Spring of 2012 as an Advisory Teacher, the children I worked with were so enthusiastic to learn, it was not long before I looked forward to my weekly visits as much as they did! I soon realised the 'Sugar Hill Family' is so supportive of all children, staff and families and strong teamwork is at the heart of the school. As a visiting teacher I never dreamed I would be working here three days a week as Special Educational Needs Coordinator by September of that year, Assistant Head in just over a year and then full time as Deputy Head teacher by September 2014. Day in, day out, I witness first hand Sugar Hill's dedicated and hard working staff working tirelessly to make each child's 'Sugar Hill Journey' an outstanding success. I am so incredibly proud to be Deputy Head teacher at Sugar Hill working with Mrs O'Rourke, School Leaders, Governors, staff, parents and carers to inspire all our children to develop a love of lifelong learning from foundations built on high expectations and achievement for all.


 Kathryn Snaith –  Co-opted Governor

I have worked at Sugar Hill for 16 years and they have been very happy years. I thoroughly enjoy working with the children here, especially seeing them grow in confidence and preparing them for their future in secondary school. Being a governor allows me to have a say in important decisions about our school and I value that.

Gareth Hamblin - Community Governor

I was a primary school teacher for 5 years, with the majority of my classroom teacher experience being in EYFS. I left my teaching position to join Go Well (formerly Sedgefield School Sport Partnership) in 2016. As part of my role I am fortunate enough to work in schools across the North East of England and North Yorkshire. My role is extremely varied, from supporting the delivery of PE in Primary Schools, upskilling teachers, to tutoring teaching assistant apprentices. In my role I have also created an EYFS physical development programme called 'Move with Max' and deliver a physical activity and mental wellbeing programme called 'Team Up'.
I am passionate about educating our future generation and supporting children to achieve their potential, as well as developing resilient individuals that have a love of life long learning. I fully support the vision and core values of Sugar Hill Primary School and I'm very happy to have been given the opportunity to become a governor for this fantastic school. I know that my experiences and areas of interest,  benefit both the staff and children alike.
In my free time I enjoy keeping active and play a variety of sports, as well as exploring the countryside and climbing mountains. I also enjoy riding my motorbikes and reading (but not at the same time!)

Emma Williams - Parent Governor

I've been a parent governor at Sugar Hill since 2019 and both my daughters attend Sugar Hill.  I’m the Owner and Dance Principal of Aycliffe Dance Academy which is a local dance school based in Newton Aycliffe. ADA has been established for over 13 years offering professional dance training to the local community. With over 19 years experience of working with children I bring my business knowledge, my performing arts background as well as previous experiences to the Sugar Hill community. 

I am committed to working alongside staff providing additional opportunities for children, leading dance and performing arts workshops to support not only physical health but also mental wellbeing. 

I regularly attend meetings and visit classes across school talking with the children about their curriculum and experiences.  Sugar Hill really is an outstanding school and I’m proud to be a governor.

I regularly attend the Kindness Cafe on a Thursday morning and look forward to seeing more parents, carers and staff there over the coming weeks. 

 Sarah Woodhead - Safeguarding Governor.   

My name is Sarah Woodhead and I have been a Parent Governor since early 2021. 

I have worked in Early Years since 2015, firstly as a childminder assistant and then I started my own childminding business in 2019.  

Being a mam to three boys, as well as a childminder, I am constantly surrounded with children. I love to see them grow, progress and thrive and be a part of their development.  

As a parent and a governor, I can definitely say Sugar Hill is an OUTSTANDING school and I feel very proud and honoured to be involved.  

I have been so impressed with the new curriculum at Sugar Hill and seeing how much the children are engaging, the work they are producing, how much they are learning and the confidence it is giving them. 

I work closely with Mrs Legge, Deputy Head Teacher and Safeguarding and Online Safety Lead, looking at ways in which school promotes safeguarding for all children and families.

I often attend the Kindness Café that is held in school every Thursday morning and would love to see more parents and carers attending this event. It is a great start to the day!  

Russell Gibson - Parent Governor

 I am a local, business man with currently one child at Sugar Hill Primary School.I have previously served as a Governor at another primary school and have experienced the transition of that school fromrequires improvement to good.I am very interested in the education of my children and am very invested in the quality and standard of education and pastoral care offered at Sugar Hill.I regularly visit school and engage in lessons as well as observing. l also take part in extra activities offered by school like the Kindness Cafe.I feel I bring to the Governors not only my business skills but my who, what, why and when approach.


Les Dunn - Parent Governor

I have lived in Newton Aycliffe for the past 20 yearsMy daughter has just started her education at Sugar Hill, this was our first choice for her after seeing the curriculum and the setting the school offers.

As a Parent Governor I am looking to support the hardworking team and dedicated staff with the skill set I have built over the past 30 years in a management role.

 Michelle Alderson –  Staff Governor

My name is Michelle Alderson and I am currently a Year 4 teacher. Becoming a governor was something I felt I could do to help by bringing by extensive knowledge of the school, staff and children to our meetings.  I have taught at Sugar Hill Primary School for 16 years and have experienced every year group in Key Stage 2 in that time.  I graduated from Sunderland University and chose to specialise in Key Stage 2, Maths and Design and Technology. Currently, I am the lead teacher for Geography across the whole of the school. I really enjoy this aspect of learning because it impacts on every other area of the curriculum and current affairs, which I feel are paramount in today’s ever-changing world.  For the last few years, I have run the school book shop to ensure our children have easy access to affordable books, which is another area I'm passionate about.