The Archway Federation
On 1st September 2021, The Archway Federation was formed. The Federation comprises of Vane Road Primary School and Woodham Burn Community Primary School and Nursery. This is an exciting development for both schools and brings together the excellent care and educational practice in both schools. There is one Governing Body for the Federation ensuring that the schools are the very best for the unique communities they serve.
In the formation of the Federation, Mr Kieran Pavey, was appointed as Executive Head Teacher with Mrs Gemma Sim appointed the Head of School for Vane Road and Mr Damian Sparrow, the Head of School for Woodham Burn.
The Federation shares the same key principles:
1. We place the child at the centre of everything we do;
2. We want Excellence for all:
Excellence in Safeguarding;
Excellence in Education;
Excellence in Leadership
Excellence in Community.
The principles direct all our work across the Federation and are central to ensuring that our schools are the best possible places for our children.
Executive Head Teacher Welcome
It is an absolute honour to be the Executive Head Teacher of The Archway Federation. Whilst we are in the very early days of the Federation, we are making rapid progress to ensure that the challenges of the past 18 months are put behind us and our children will have a bright future. The schools sharing of the same key principles enables us to share the very best of practice, align this at the same time as enabling both schools to be unique in supporting the individual needs of their communities.
In April 2008, I was appointed Head Teacher at Deaf Hill Primary and Nursery School, Trimdon Station, Durham, spending 5 happy years there. With a small but dedicated team, we secured two Ofsted Good judgements for the school are worked hard to ensure the school was the focal point of the community.
In September 2013, I moved to Vane Road Primary School, as Head Teacher. Whilst Vane Road is a much larger school than Deaf Hill, I was determined to ensure that same drive for high standards alongside the 'small school' family approach was carried with me from Deaf Hill. We had many successes, not least, securing a new school building under the PBSP 2, funded by the Dfe which we moved in to in September 2018. The school was judged as Good by Ofsted in 2017. The numbers of pupils has increased rapidly with 326 children in September 2013 and 421 pupils in September 2021 however we continue to put every child at the heart of our school and every child is taught that they are the most important part of our school.
In January 2020, the Local Authority, requested that I support Woodham Burn Community Primary School and Nursery for a short period of time while the school was without a substantive Head Teacher. Due to multiple factors, the 'short period' was extended a number of times. Since joining Woodham Burn, we have managed to develop the same ethos as that we established at Vane Road and Woodham Burn now places each child at the heart of everything it does, providing excellent care and education for all children. The speed and progress of this journey has been somewhat hindered by the pandemic but the school is a much changed place from January 2020.
Such was the success of the temporary leadership arrangement for both schools, both Governing Bodies agreed to form a Federation which formally started in September 2021. Key to the continued success of the joint leadership arrangement has been the successful recruitment of Heads of School and Deputy Heads for both schools who are responsible for the day to day running of the school whilst supporting my role in driving the strategic direction of both schools.
We teach the children that they are the most important part of the school and the teachers are here for them. We believe that the one thing that makes us all the same is that we are different and so we celebrate the array of difference that we have in our school communities and the wider world.
As a parent of two girls myself, I know how challenging parenthood is and how much we adore our children. In leading The Archway Federation, I always strive to provide the children here with what I would want for my own children. The best is only good enough for them so that is what we will strive for at this school.
I hope that you enjoy browsing through our website and I would encourage all prospective parents/carers to look at both schools when choosing a school for their most precious of gifts. I can assure you of if your child attends either school they will be extremely happy and achieve their very best.