Chair: Nania Poulson, Co-opted Governor
We are lucky to have a great school at the heart of our community and the role the governors play in supporting the school to set strategic goals and to help the head, the staff and the school to achieve those goals is an important one. I am a new Chair of the governors at Avenue Junior School and I see my role trying to ensure that all the governors have a chance to express their views, challenge the school appropriately and use their skills to support the school.
Over the past 5 years I have found that the more I am involved in school life the more I learn and the more I enjoy it and I would urge all parents to get involved in school in some way if they can!
I have two boys, one at Avenue Junior and one at CNS, we live on Earlham Road and feel very lucky to be at the heart of our local and school communities. I juggle a busy work life (like most people) running a graphic design studio with my husband half the week and small catering company the other half! I also love cooking and eating for leisure and pleasure, and run regularly to counteract the calories.
Resources Committee Members:
Vice Chair and Chair of Resources: Mike Grimble, Co-opted Governor
My previous involvement with Avenue Junior Schools was as a student. I was very pleased to be asked to join the governing body to take on the governor responsibility for finance.
I worked in investment management as Chief Economist and Investment Strategist and since have developed an understanding of school finance through training and as a governor representative on Norfolk Schools Forum. The Forum develops the formula which distributes government funding as fairly as possible across all schools in Norfolk.
I also serve on the Norfolk Education Challenge Board which is helping to bring about improved outcomes for all Norfolk pupils. My participation in these and other bodies allows me to bring some insight into the latest developments in education in Norfolk to the governing body of Avenue Junior School.
Interests outside school governance mainly revolve around music, walking and cycling.
Wendy Cleary, Local Authority Governor
I’ve been a governor at Avenue Junior School since 1999, first as a Parent Governor and later as a Local Authority Governor. Both of my children attended Avenues and I’d been involved in the PTA, but wanted to support the school and its pupils in a more formal way.
In my view, the best way a Governing Body can improve outcomes for our pupils is by working effectively as a team, together with the school.
Outside of school I work for some of the year at CNS, helping to set up and run exams. I’m always pleased to see ex AJS pupils there as it gives me the chance to see how they’re doing after they leave us. I also volunteer in our local community at the Plantation Garden on Earlham Road – baking cakes, serving teas and helping to run events.
Nicola Teasdale, Co-opted Governor
I have been a co-opted member of the Governing Body for four years and have worked at Avenue Junior School for ten years. I am currently the head of Year 3 and responsible for RE and SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) development within the school.
As a member of staff at the school, I bring my knowledge and expertise of teaching and the school curriculum to enable me to contribute to the Teaching, Learning and Pupil Wellbeing committee. I am able to assist in the writing of policies and giving the views and opinions of a member of staff. I enjoy being a part of the Governing Body and having the chance to make positive decisions that can improve education and opportunities for all our pupils.
Outside teaching, I enjoy running and regularly attend Parkrun in Eaton Park, which is a wonderful community event. I also write children’s fiction, and was shortlisted for the Montegrappa Scholastic New Children’s Writer prize in 2014.
Teaching Learning And Pupil Well-Being (TLP) Committee Members:
Chair of TLP Sian Jones, Co-opted Governor
I joined the school's governing body in 2013 not just because it's my children's Junior school, but because I wanted to be part of a team that helps shape the emotional, intellectual and physical well-being of our school. I was attracted to the concept that Governors are required to support the school in the role of (in education-speak) a "critical friend". The lively dialogue that sparks across the meetings is testimony to the diversity of skills and intellectual robustness of a healthy governing body. Some members can juggle complex accounting data, standing on one leg, blind-folded; some can conjure up viable calculations for a new classroom or pirate ship on the back of an envelope: I can do neither of these. But I do have a passion for supporting a well-rounded education, with a particular interest in learning and feeling happy though outside play, creative writing and music. Out of school, I work as a documentary film director/series producer. Recent films include "Country Strife: Abz on the Farm" for BBC 2 and "How the Wild West was won with Ray Mears" for BBC 4. I also work as a tutor in GCSE and A-Level French.
Toby Whalen, Parent Governor
I've been a parent governor at Avenue Junior School for just over 3 years with my daughter currently in Y5. My son who also attended the school until last year thrived and grew from the great teaching and nurturing he received.
I work as a deputy head at Mile Cross Primary School. My professional understanding of how schools work give me the opportunity accurately both to support and question the school. However it is very much a two way process due to the innovative practice and vision of the head and staff team.
I feel very privileged to work with such a hard working and dedicated Governing Body whose sole intention is to enrich and improve the lives of all the children at Avenue Junior.