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Steph Youle

17 December 2018

Dear Parents

As governors we are always keen to engage with parents in a variety of ways and we decided it would be helpful if you knew a little bit about each one of us. I would like to introduce myself to those of you who don’t know me. My name is Steph Youle and I have lived in this village for the last 22 years. Now retired, I enjoy having more time for my family, especially visiting my 9 grandchildren when I can. I love music, theatre, reading and walking and contributing to the village community and the church.

It has been my great privilege to be a governor at Eastling School for almost 10 years, for five of which I was Chair of Governors. Currently, I have a particular responsibility for Safeguarding and Child Protection and am a member of the Standards, Learning and Teaching group. I spent my working life as a teacher and part of the management team in a school of 1600 pupils. You can imagine how fascinating it is to be involved in a school of just 95 pupils where every pupil’s name is known to every member of the teaching staff including the Headteacher, Mrs Dale.

It seems hardly possible that we are almost at the end of term two. It has been such a busy, successful time. Part of our role as governors is to visit the school as a ‘critical friend’ so that we understand the work that is going on and how well the school is functioning. I have visited the school on a number of occasions including taking assemblies; taking ‘learning walks’ with Mrs Dale, attending productions; talking to children and teachers about their work. The displays throughout the school are excellent, both in the classrooms and in general areas. I particularly liked the winter display in the long corridor, showing interesting, imaginative work at all levels. The pupil involvement in developing the library has been important so that it is now a lovely place which is run by the children where they can sit and read and explore books and ideas. This sense of everyone, both pupils and staff, working together is very strong.

My proudest moment this year so far was on the occasion of the opening of the Peace Garden and subsequent whole school celebration of the end of WW1. The children were perfectly behaved, their singing was excellent and their respect for the occasion was impressive. There are few schools where 2 minutes silence could be achieved with every child in the school. The art work in the Peace Garden, a collaborative effort across the school, is stunning. It was a real community event with parents, grandparents and villagers taking part.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank parents and staff for the numerous occasions when they ‘go the extra mile’ to contribute both physically and financially for the sake of the school. The amount of money that FOES has raised for us over the years is impressive as are the events they arrange for the children. I know that FOES would always be glad of extra volunteers if you have a little time to spare.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy and successful 2019 as we all continue to work together to make this school such a very special place with your children at its centre.


Steph Youle

Eastling School Governor