Our Governing Body
Achievement and Standards: Mrs A French, Mr G Hamblin, Mrs K Legge, Mrs P O'Rourke, Mrs D Raine, Mrs S Russell
Appeals: Mr G Hamblin, Mrs L Peart
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 S Russell, 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 L Peart, Mrs D Raine, Mrs S Russell, 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 Janet Bennett, the school’s Education Development Partner, supports us with school improvement and professional development activities.
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.
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
Anne French – Vice Chair of Governors
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 what it is now, a good school with outstanding features.
Before I came here I worked in many schools, in a variety of roles and with all age groups, and I can safely say this is one of 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 endeavour to make life in Sugar Hill as exciting and motivating as we can while at the same time encouraging the children to challenge themselves in all that they do.
The Governors help us to make the school what it is. We encourage Governors to come into school as often as they can, not just for meetings but to see the children working and appreciate what the children and staff do on a daily basis.
As long as I am Head Teacher, Sugar Hill will remain my passion.
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' a 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.
I lead Working Parties in school and would be delighted to hear from any parent/carer who may like to become involved in shaping new initiatives across school.
Kathy Legge – Associate Governor
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.
Mr G Hamblin - Community Governor
Mrs E Williams - Parent Governor
My name is Emma Williams and 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 10 years offering professional dance training to our dancers. The Academy boasts over 250 students ranging from the ages of 2 and a half right up to adults! It is a family friendly dance school which is well known as the ADA Family due to its community spirit values.
I’m a qualified Associate Member of the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA). As well as this, I’m a fully licensed chaperone for Children In Entertainment with Durham County Council. With over 16 years experience of working with children I feel that I can bring my business knowledge, my dance background as well as previous experiences to Sugar Hill.
My daughter joined Sugar Hill’s pre-school back in 2018 and since then I’ve been really keen to get involved with the school and hopefully help towards making a difference. I’ve volunteered my time during career days and have held some fun dance workshops for the children too. I’m currently working with members of the teaching faculty to produce a special performance with Sugar Hill pupils based on the subject of self esteem. I strongly believe in the children and staff at Sugar Hill and will continue to support the school with everything they do. I look forward to bringing my skills and knowledge as well as my experience of being a parent at Sugar Hill to the governing body team. Sugar Hill really is an outstanding school and I’m proud that I’m apart of their journey.
Sharon Russell – Parent Governor
Mrs L Peart - Parent Governor
I am a parent governor at Sugar Hill Primary School, both my children attended the school and one of my grandchildren is starting her journey through the school. My interest in education has lead me onto wanting to learn more about the learning environment and share my knowledge and experience of working with individuals who have special educational needs. Within my professional role l am a trained Mental Health Nurse & a Social Worker l currently work as a Care Co-ordinator within a community learning disabilities team. This knowledge will help support my role as a Governor in particularly around Safeguarding and Special Educational Needs and Disability. I am really looking forward to engaging with the pupils, parents and staff within this new exciting role.
Mr R Gibson - Parent Governor
Michelle Alderson – Staff Governor
My name is Michelle Alderson and I’ve been a Staff Governor for just over a year. 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.