Share page 
You are here: Home Church schools Church School News

Church School News


New Headteacher for Yardley Gobion Church of England Primary School


Yardley Gobion CE School and the wider village community joined together on Thursday 20th September to officially welcome Mrs. Val Griffiths as the new Head Teacher. Mrs. Griffiths joined the school in April but waited for the new academic year to have her official Commissioning Service at St. Leonard’s Church.


The Commissioning Service, officiated by the Bishop of Brixworth, Bishop John, asks the pupils, staff, parents and church to work together to support the new head in their role after the she has committed to work to achieve the best for the pupils in the schools care. The Bishop was aided in the service by Bible readings and prayers from the children and affirmations of support from representatives form the Governing Body, Reverend Diane Whittaker, the parish priest and Peter Cantley, the Director of Education for the Diocese of Peterborough.


Mrs. Griffiths said, “the service was incredibly special, for me and the whole school, and we were so delighted to welcome Bishop John and Peter as our special guests. I have been made to feel so welcome by the parents and wider community since I arrived, this really is a lovely way to make it official”.


The service saw the official presentation of the keys of the school to Mrs Griffiths, alongside lots of singing and laughter. Mrs Griffiths was also presented with a Bible from the Diocese.


“This gathering really represents the family feel of this wonderful school. I am very proud to be leading such an amazing group of staff and pupils and look forward to welcoming new children and families for years to come.”


Headteacher Conference 21st March 2019 Kettering Conference Centre, Thurston Drive, Kettering


8.45am Coffee or tea with pastries and registration

9.15am Opening worship – Transformational leadership; the transformation of a nation through forgiveness, reconciliation and renewal – the story of South Africa, through the influence of significant Christian leaders such as Caesar Molebatsi and Nelson Mandela – Peter Cantley, Diocesan Director of Education will lead us in worship with members of the Education Team, Rev Doug Spenceley, Rev Peter French, Liz Youngman and Alex Benoy

9.45am Transformational Church of England school leadership expectations in the new SIAMS schedule

Liz Youngman, Assistant Diocesan Director of Education, is a very experienced SIAMS inspector and has completed the new SIAMS inspector training.  She will be sharing insights gained from the first SIAMS inspections under the new schedule, and will be focusing in her presentation on the standards all Church of England Headteachers are expected to fulfil, as well as the standards expected of leaders at all levels in Church of England schools.

10.15am Transformational leadership of the curriculum - leading a creative approach to curriculum development, through a bespoke Day 10:10 curriculum and collaborative working with other schools

Sandy Ettridge, Co-Headteacher of Brigstock Latham’s CE Primary School, writes … ‘With such a high focus placed on SATs data within Primary Schools there has been concern that the curriculum in primary schools has been ‘narrowed’, and this has been recognised within the new Ofsted framework. In Brigstock Primary School, our ‘Day 10:10 Curriculum’ has given us the opportunity to design creative units of work that focus on key areas that we have identified as needing further development.

Each unit lasts for a term, and includes seven activity sessions led by staff and TAs, with the children working in cross-phase, mixed age groups. We involve our parents and wider community in the planning stages and always include a sharing of outcomes with our school and village community. We believe this way of working has enriched the educational experience of our children, and has added breadth, depth and creativity to our curriculum, enabling the children to embrace ‘Life in all its fullness’(John 10:10).

We have planned units of work linked to the Arts, Young Enterprise, Creative Christianity, Our Global Community…and many others. Our Christian ethos is never more apparent than during our ‘Day 10:10 Curriculum’; some units have an explicitly Christian focus, and all encourage our children to work together in different ways, to support each other in their learning and to become more aware of our own community and the wider world.  In our most recent unit, entitled ‘Remembering’, we were excited to work collaboratively with Titchmarsh and Warmington Schools, and we also established a positive link with Bishop Stopford Secondary School that has led to many exciting and meaningful outcomes for our children.’

11.00am Coffee or tea with pastries and fruit

11.15am Transformational leadership of collaborative cross-sector school learning partnerships – the OPEN Learning Partnership involving Oundle School and Oundle CE Primary School, together with a number of other local schools

Gordon Montgomery, Head of Community Partnerships at Oundle School, and Janet McMurdo, Headteacher of Oundle CE Primary School, have been involved in leading the OPEN Learning Partnership.  Launched in 2018, Oundle CE Primary School joined with 5 other schools to form the Oundle, Peterborough and East Northants Learning Partnership. Built on existing links between the School and its neighbours at Oundle School, this extended local network seeks to provide opportunities to share resources, expertise and opportunity between the schools. Both Janet and Gordon have been instrumental in gathering the schools together and establishing the foundations for this socially and academically beneficial project, which has included Maths Conferences, a Science Week, and joint CPD and service opportunities; in the last year over 1500 pupils and staff have accessed the opportunities offered by the OPEN Learning Partnership schools.

11.30am Transformational leadership of relationships education – a creative new approach to delivering the PSHE curriculum, devised by HeartSmart, to build character, emotional health and resilience in children 

Pete Hay, Director of HeartSmart, writes… ‘The heart of transformation is often the matter of the heart.  Instilling life, hope and love in the hearts of children transforms relationships, wellbeing and achievement.  HeartSmart provides you with the tools and training that enable you to equip children with the required foundational principles, skills, habits and mindset.’  We would encourage you to take a look at the HeartSmart website ahead of Pete’s session; more details can be found at  The Diocesan Schools Consultants met with Pete last term and were very impressed with his presentation; so, Pete’s work comes highly recommended and we’re sure you will find there is a great deal to take away from this session to help build the character, emotional health and resilience of the children in your school(s).

12.15pm Lunch and networking

1.00pm Transformational leadership of international education - a journey towards developing an international link with one of the Watoto schools in Kampala, Uganda

Joanne Lloyd-Williams, Headteacher of Finedon Infant School and Finedon Mulso CE Junior School writes…  ‘A link with one of the Watoto schools in Kampala, Uganda has been in existence since 2012, when two members of staff were part of a volunteering party visiting Uganda. Since then, various members of staff have been part of three subsequent visits and have been able to teach in the schools and share the work of pupils from our school. Teachers have been able to feedback to our children during worship, bringing to life the needs of the orphans and the way that Watoto provides for them. To further strengthen this link, the Watoto children’s choir have visited our school on four occasions, during their UK tours, followed up by a visit to the Parish Church for members of the wider School community and Finedon. Our children have also gained a greater understanding of the life of the orphans from Uganda and have been able to interact with them by sharing a meal and playtime in the playground.’

1.15pm Transformational leadership of social justice education - ending modern slavery through empowering children

Phil Knight, Founder of Just Enough UK, will be speaking to us.  Phil was told the story of a young girl trafficked from Moldova. It blew Phil away and was the catalyst for him to try and help in the only way he knew how.  Phil spent a year planning an event he called 'Drum For Life'.  His plan was to drum for four and a half days in Leicester Square to 1800 songs and break a world record in aid of the Helen Bamber Foundation. After four and a half tough days with no sleep, he completed his mission. You can read more about Phil at  Phil then decided to set up a charity that could spread the message further to the younger generation.   Now the charity educates thousands of children every year through presenters working across the UK.  So far, the charity has educated 75,000 children in 904 schools around the UK.  They have received 100% satisfaction from teachers, with 100% saying they would recommend the charity to a colleague and 95% children rating the workshops excellent or good.

2.00pm Coffee or tea with cake

2.15pm Transformational leadership of marketing and pupil recruitment on a shoe-string – a practical approach to improving marketing and pupil recruitment on a very limited budget

Nicola Fountain, Headteacher of Rothersthorpe CE Primary School, a small village primary school of around 96 pupils, writes … ‘In our current financial climate of funding cuts and high costs, we are even more reliant on pupil numbers. Small schools are particularly vulnerable.  How can we promote our schools to increase pupil numbers on a limited budget?  I will share with you some ways in which we are currently marketing our school and how we are gradually seeing positive results.’

2.30pm Transformational leadership of governance – a practical approach to getting your governing body in shape, so that they can help provide outstanding school leadership

Peter French, Deputy Diocesan Director of Education, is a National leader of Governance and this session will give you pointers as to how to ensure your governors work with you and support you in transforming the leadership of your school. This session will outline the role of governors and how you can support it, and also give tips and ideas around ensuring governors use their full potential for the benefit of the school and its Christian ethos. Peter will also look at dealing with difficult and challenging governors, to ensure they work for the school, and how to make the most of willing governors who don’t understand the role of a governor.