Executive Headteacher - The Federation of Middleham VA and
Spennithorne VC CE Primary Schools
Thank you for taking the time to find out more about our opportunity of Executive Headteacher at The Federation of Middleham VA and Spennithorne VC CE Primary Schools. We have gathered together a great deal of useful information to help you understand the schools, their culture and our children. We believe that the position is one in which you can make a lasting difference to the lives of our children, their families and our staff, alongside developing your own career.
We promote a warm, caring and supportive family atmosphere and place great emphasis on working in partnership with parents/carers, children, stakeholders and our communities. We aim to achieve our vision by providing quality education in a safe and caring environment, where our pupils enjoy their learning and social experience.
Our two schools federated in September 2018 and from September 2019, children from both schools are taught in three classes across the two sites; EYFS/Y1 and Y5/6 at Middleham and Y2/3/4 at Spennithorne. We provide transport from the child's registered school to their teaching school at the beginning and end of each day.
We have one governing body across both schools and we have seen many benefits of firstly, collaboration and more recently, federation. We want to continue to work as a Federation to bring the greatest benefits to the children of both communities.
Situated in the beautiful countryside of North Yorkshire, the schools have close contacts with their communities as well as the local churches. We are well supported by both our North Yorkshire County Council Senior Education Advisor and the Diocese of Leeds.
We are always looking for ways to improve. We want your skills as an impassioned leader to make a difference, to enhance teaching and learning across the curriculum, to enrich the personal and social development of our children and to join with everyone - staff, governors and pupils - to promote our Christian ethos and further develop the vision for our schools.
It is important to all at Middleham and Spennithorne that our new Executive Headteacher has a cheerful, outgoing personality with a positive outlook, respects difference and is dedicated to enabling all learners to aim high and achieve their potential. We want our children to leave Year 6 well equipped for the next stage of their learning and life.
For an informal, confidential conversation about the role please call Julie Crichton on 07581 143421 or email email@example.com. Julie has been engaged to support us with recruitment to this key role.
At this time, unfortunately, we are not able to offer school visits, we would therefore encourage applicants to have a look at the schools websites , Spennithorne and Middleham to get a feel for our schools.
On behalf of the governing body, thank you again for your interest in The Federation of Middleham VA and Spennithorne VC CE Primary Schools and we look forward to receiving your application.
Chair of Governors
The future of our schools requires a strong leader with a clear vision, with the ability to communicate that vision to others to make an instant impact. This opportunity gives a new leader scope to shape how the schools move forward.
Our new leader will be able to:
- Model the school values and demonstrate a commitment to the Christian ethos
- Consider and shape how we can adapt our practices innovatively to promote and enhance the wellbeing of our staff team.
- Show practical knowledge and experience in raising standards
- Inspire others to develop their full potential and work as a team player
- Be an enabler who is not afraid to allow others to develop in leadership and who leads by example
- Develop a more distributed leadership through nurturing opportunities for all staff to learn and grow.
- Be a strategic thinker and have the ability to plan in the long, medium and short term
- Further develop the relationships we have with parents and how they can contribute to school life. This also includes opportunities to bring the wider community into the school.
- Grow our relationships with local communities to ensure strong communication are maintained and developed.
- Within our financial resources to look at how we invest in our school, for example in staffing, resources or through development of our learning spaces.
With a relatively small team, the leader needs to be confident with children, staff and parents. Peer support may be more distant than in an urban context so the leader needs to be self-motivated and able to work alone as well as making good use of any available peer support and networking opportunities
An understanding of and thoughtful approach to the significance of a thriving school in rural communities is needed. Rural communities are generally fragile and lack young families. A thriving school can be their beating heart and its success or otherwise affects the wider community.
Middleham is a small township two miles from the bigger market town of Leyburn. It is a centre for the horse racing industry and has over a dozen racing stables in and around the town. There is planning in place for 50 new homes in Middleham, including affordable housing. Middleham has four pubs (2 with restaurant facilities), a castle run by English Heritage and linked to Richard III, a thriving general store as well as gift/antique shops. It is a popular starting point for walkers in the summer.
Spennithorne is a village which, though facing Middleham on the opposite bank of the Ure, requires a journey of three miles on the back road (part over narrow bridge/country lane) or four miles on the main road via Middleham Bridge and outskirts of Leyburn to reach Middleham. The schools own a minibus, which is used for some of the transport between the two. Spennithorne has a pub and a parish council but no shops.
Our schools are in different CofE parishes. Both sites have a parish church within walking distance of the school and there are strong links with their church and wider local communities. Both schools are regarded as happy and cheerful places and the children are, in the main, respectful and polite. Behaviour around and outside of school is good and has improved markedly in recent times especially on visits and to other schools, for example for sport, where it is exemplary. Pupils take responsibility and are keen to serve on the student council across the school. There is a culture of the older children looking after the younger ones. Pupil voice feedback indicates that children enjoy school and attendance is good.
As a federation, we have children from both schools taught across both sites. From September 2021, there will be 4 classes across the 2 schools as our rolls increase.
Although our schools are small, our children perform well in the local sporting competitions. Both schools have excellent outdoor space, Middleham’s field being particularly large.
Our pupils are white British and mostly from settled communities that are predominantly working/lower middle class, although Middleham has more mobility because of the horse racing industry. Many children are from rural/farming backgrounds.
The Governing Body Role
All the governors actively support our schools and take their link responsibilities seriously. During Covid, they have continued these virtually with a focus on staff well-being. Governors are involved in the local community in different roles, which brings a breadth of skill and knowledge to the table. They seek to challenge, question at a strategic level, and are keen to develop their knowledge and keep their training up to date.
The Foundation governors are fully involved in the Christian life of the school – in helping to lead collective worship and in leading the Christian after school club.
The Chair of Governors meets fortnightly with the Executive Headteacher and this again has continued online during lockdowns.
Our staff are our greatest resource and are incredibly committed, loyal and dedicated. They always have the best interests of the pupils at heart and are determined to find something at which every child can shine. Staff get to know the children in the school very well and use this information to personalise opportunities for learning.
‘Staff effectively support pupils’ emotional well-being. This is particularly evident in the way that older pupils care for, and look after, their younger friends. Pupils demonstrate respect by listening to each other in lessons and through positive play at breaktimes’ – Ofsted January 2019
2021 - Currently 3 classes across both sites:
Spennithorne class are called Foxes and at Middleham they are Rabbits and Badgers:
- Middleham site - Reception/Year 1
- Spennithorne site - Year 2/3/4
- Middleham site - Year 5/6
2021/2022 – The current proposal is to move to 4 classes;
- Year 1/2
- Year 3/4
- Year 5/6
Staff structure 20/21
- Executive Headteacher - is the SENCo, EVC and the DSL
- Two Base Leaders
- EYFS/Y1 – Teacher 1.0 FTE - GTA FT (22 pupils)
- Y2/3/4 Plus 0.5FTE For Y2 – Teacher 1.0FTE + 0.5FTE - (MAT Leave)( base leader) 0.4 +0.6 Teachers - GTA FT (35 pupils)
- Y5/6 – Teacher 1.0FTE ( base leader) GTA 16.5 Hours Per Week (18 pupils)
- 2 FTE Teacher covering some PPA and Subject Leadership ( MAT Leave)
- 2 deputy DSLs
- The school uses peripatetic music teaching and PE specialist teaching
- All staff have curriculum leadership roles
- Both school sites have an administrator, the main business administrator is based at Middleham (the budgets of the two schools are now joined)
- Cook, Middleham based, and a kitchen assistant at Spennithorne
- 3 Midday supervisors (2 at Middleham and one at Spennithorne)
- 1 caretaker employed across the two sites
Our schools have worked hard on our vision, ethos and values. A consultation with parents, children and governors took place with regard to choosing four key values: Friendship, Trust, Forgiveness and Endurance, they are common to both schools and mutual respect is at the heart of our school values.
The RESPECT code is also very important within both schools and is key for the children.
Our SIAMS ethos statement overriding bible verse is:
Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you EPHESIANS 4:32
And the Statement continues
‘We are here to grow our children to be dynamic citizens of a multi-cultural tomorrow; to have a love of learning, to be articulate, resilient, nurturing, spiritual, open, to be inspired by and believe in themselves, others and the teaching of the Bible and grow to be the best that God created them to be.’
Our aim for our schools is to be a place of inspiration where we work to set the foundation for a lifetime of achievement, encouraging each child to do their best and contribute to their own learning goals.
We aim to provide for the spiritual, emotional, physical, mental and social development of the whole child; this includes a growth in knowledge and understanding of themselves and the world in which they live. We seek to foster in our children self-esteem and a sense of responsibility to others and to the world around them.
In all that we do, we endeavour to provide a high quality of education within a creative environment where children are enabled to develop the skills they require to take their place as responsible and caring citizens in our ever changing world.
Monitoring visit at Middleham - Took place in January 2020
Middleham – Ofsted Inspection - Requires Improvement – January 2019
OFSTED recognised ‘The high quality of displays evident around school, such as in art, reflects leaders’ efforts to create a very positive and welcoming environment. Displays also evidence the school’s commitment to teach a wide range of subjects and the importance placed on pupils’ spiritual moral, social and cultural development’ – Ofsted January 2019
OFSTED recognised ‘Leaders have developed a culture where pupils’ spiritual, moral, cultural and social development is at the heart of the curriculum. Pupils show respect to one another and have curiosity for cultures beyond their own’ – Ofsted January 2019
Middleham – SIAMS Inspection - Good - March 2016
‘Collective worship expands upon and deepens pupils understanding of the three core values of creativity, compassion and community through the thematic exploration of concepts such as forgiveness. Pupils link these themes to the way that they behave and relate to one another both at school and at home and this has a positive impact on their attitudes toward others’ – SIAMS March 2016
Spennithorne - Ofsted Inspection - Requires Improvement - May 2019
OFSTED recognised ‘Spennithorne is a caring school and is an integral part of the local community. Staff know the pupils and their families well. As a result, the school responds quickly to their needs, whether of a pastoral or practical nature. This ensures that pupils are well supported in school’ – Ofsted May 2019
OFSTED recognised ‘The behaviour of the pupils is good. Pupils have positive attitudes to learning and are enthusiastic about what they have learned. They are happy to help each other and they cooperate effectively when engaged in learning activities. In lessons, they focus on their work and rise to a challenge when it is presented’ – Ofsted May 2019
Spennithorne – SIAMS Inspection - SIAMS October 2016
‘The school ensures a high standard of educational achievement for its pupils and recent national test results are in line or better than national averages. With small numbers of pupils statistical analysis is difficult; the school has developed case studies that demonstrate the support pupils have to ensure the good academic progress of each individual’ – SIAMS October 2016
Current areas identified for improvement:
- Overall priority is to ensure that our schools are judged ‘good’ (in line with self-evaluation) by OFSTED
- To improve outcomes in reading, writing and mathematics across the school.
- To improve attainment and progress in EYFS to ensure an excellent grounding in the first year of school.
- To develop confidence and fluency in reading.
- To plan and deliver catch-up in such a way so as to maximise impact and close the gaps caused by the disruption of the last year.
- Despite being supported effectively data tells us that our SEN pupils are not closing the gap enough, as yet, to achieve age related expectations
- Parental engagement with a small number of parents
- Spelling is improving but still needs further development.
- Middle leaders to be equipped; governors to be able to hold school leadership more assiduously to account in terms of focussed targets.
Current School Strengths
- Excellent committed staff team, who work incredibly hard
- Good engagement and delivery of online learning during current situation.
- Good parental feedback - a happy place to learn.
- Active and supportive governing body
- Now self-evaluation as good – improving picture
- Reading is consistently being monitored and is progressing across both schools
- Phonics is now being embedded consistently across the age groups, across both schools
- Wider range of genres now being accessed through LTP, investment in phonic books and books in general
- Tracking is now closely linked in all foundation subjects to NC objectives
- Word of the week is improving vocabulary in all pupils
- Behaviour across both schools is excellent
- Sports, residential and educational visits
- Communication (letters, email, social media.)
- Staff training
- Excellent outdoor facilities, including large playing fields
Current levels of pupil achievement, attainment and progress:
- EYFS all pupils (11) secure at phase 2 (expected level for end of autumn term)
- Y1 1/4 pupils secure at phase 4 (expected level for end of autumn term)
- Y2 9/11 pupils secure at phase 5+ (expected level for end of autumn term)
- Y1 late phonics screening in Dec 20 for Y2 pupils – 9/11 achieved expected level
- Children making good progress from starting points (evidence in books shows progress) Children in Y6 last year making good progress from KS1 data. The current Y6 cohort from SP have made good progress in the main with children in some curriculum areas making better than expected progress.
School Improvement Plan and Key Priorities - Current SDP Priorities Report
All children are confident mathematicians therefore raising achievement and attainment in maths
- Ensure quality first teaching is being delivered throughout the Federation
- Ensure assessment is accurate and used to inform planning and move learning forward.
- Ensure opportunities for applying number skills in EYFS
- Develop Maths Subject Leadership across the Federation
- Promote parental engagement
All children are confident and fluent readers and writers therefore raising achievement and attainment in English
- To continue to improve outcomes for children in reading, writing and phonics
- To ensure our school is judged ‘good’ (in line with self-evaluation) by OFSTED
To improve achievement and attainment in EYFS so that all pupils in EYFS years are given the best grounding in their first year of education
- High quality teaching, linked to ages and stages ensures accelerated progress from baseline
- Ensure reading and writing is integral in both the inside and outside learning environment to promote learning
- Planning to have fourth class in 2020-2021 which will require an additional teacher: this is due to increase in pupil numbers.
- Our admissions have increased year on year and this means that the class structure will need to be reconsidered in 22/23
- Early stages of discussion regarding further partnership working
- Future academisation needs further exploration/consideration
Shrewd financial management means the budgets, which have been merged between both schools, are looking healthy and we are able to afford a 4th Teacher.
The two schools are central to their communities. Many parents and older residents attended the schools themselves and continue to support them. It is in this way that all are able to feel active participants in the functioning and development of the School, which can only have positive implications for the children.
Since the Federation of the two schools’, the PTAs have joined together to create School fairs, sports days, church services and regular fund-raising events, which are well-attended and the Schools are regularly featured in the parish magazines.
Our children are encouraged to think of others and give back to their community for example: carol-singing for the elderly at the community lunch club; harvest food bank collection; Christmas play; designing posters in a local competition to encouraging the community to keep the rural area clean.
Church events and Church services across both school’s catchment areas encourage community attendance. The schools have also reached out to the wider community with carol singing, local activity days and their charity fundraising supports both local, national and international charities.
Pre - Covid: Open for Collective Worship, Fortnightly ‘Open the Book’ at both sites, church assemblies at both sites; end of term/ year services in church/ Harvest/ Christmas/ Easter.
Middleham Sports and Community Wellbeing Association is establishing links with the schools through the community garden / wild nature play area. Middleham Town Council have supported the school with funds in the past and have already offered further funding towards EYFS outdoor area too.
Associated Teaching School Alliance and relationship
Member of Swaledale Alliance – large cluster offering training and support and facilitates teaching training ( although is not now a TSA).
Wensleydale Schools Cluster – which offers networking and collaborative activities for its pupils (Participating schools – Hawes, Leyburn, BAWB).
Working together, the local schools support each others training and networking needs (Participating schools are Hackforth and Hornby, Aiskew Leeming Bar, Burneston, North & South Cowton and Melsonby)
Relationship with the Diocese
There is in place a supportive relationship with the Diocese of Leeds which we are seeking to strenghten . Critical friend visits, performance management and training offered by the Diocese are all accessed.
Local Authority and School Improvement
We have strong relationships with our contacts at the LA and are able to access support. Staff are also made aware of training opportunities through the LA and our leaders and designated safeguarding lead attend LA organised meetings/training/networking sessions.
Middleham is a small English market town and civil parish in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire. It lies in Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales, on the south side of the valley, upstream from the junction of the River Ure and River Cover. There has been a settlement there since Roman times. It was recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as Medelai, meaning "middle ham or village".
Today the town is a centre of horse racing and home to Middleham Trainers' Association. The first racehorse trainer at Middleham was Isaac Cape in 1765. Today there are several, including Mark Johnston, Jedd O'Keefe, James Bethell, and Ben Haslam. Racing is the foremost employer in the town and tourism the second. The castle is a ruin, having been dismantled in 1646, but the keep, built by Robert Fitz Ralph in the 1170s, survives, as do the 13th-century chapel and 14th-century gatehouse.
Spennithorne is a village and civil parish in lower Wensleydale in North Yorkshire, England. The village is situated 2 miles (3.2 km) south-east of the market town Leyburn, on a slight elevation above the River Ure, which forms the southern boundary of the parish. The village is overlooked by the steeple of St. Michael's Church.
Spennithorne is approximately 4 miles (6 km) east from Yorkshire Dales National Park containing a range of wildlife habitats.
Leyburn is a market town and civil parish in the district of Richmondshire, North Yorkshire, England, sitting above the northern bank of the River Ure in Wensleydale. Historically in the North Riding of Yorkshire, the name was derived from 'Ley' or 'Le', and 'burn', meaning clearing by the stream.
North Yorkshire is England's largest county and one of the most rural. The area comprises the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors, three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a stunning coastline around Scarborough and Whitby. There are ruined castles and abbeys, serene gardens, unique breweries, thrilling rides and industrial heritage. The area hosted the phenomenal Tour de France ‘Grand Depart’ in 2014 and has since created the Tour de Yorkshire, an annual event with global recognition. Success in supporting these events led to Harrogate hosting the UCI Cycling World Championships in 2019.
North Yorkshire has plenty to offer the outdoor enthusiast. From the hard gritstone of Almscliff and Brimham rocks to the limestone of Malham, Gordale and Kilnsey climbing venues are in abundance. The Yorkshire Dales is the premier area for caving and for mountain biking; there are the bridleways of the Dales and North York Moors as well as the renowned trail centre at Dalby Forest. There are a small number of sailing clubs on reservoirs around the county and fantastic surfsport venues and sea kayaking on the east coast.
While the county is rightly known for its wide-open spaces, it also incorporates attractive market towns including Pickering and Helmsley, traditional seaside towns, the Spa town of Harrogate and the ancient city of York - the most visited city outside of London. There are a wide range of shopping, leisure and cultural facilities as well as excellent schools, universities, road and rail links. There really is everything to offer you and your family as a place to work, live and enjoy!
Travelling further afield we have convenient connectivity, with close proximity to metropolitan cities of Leeds and Newcastle and with a little over two hours commute on the main train line to London. We border the Lake District, Lancashire, County Durham, and Yorkshire & Humber regions with all they have to offer.
The Federation of Middleham VA and Spennithorne VC CE Primary Schools, Leyburn, North Yorkshire
Post: Executive Headteacher
Number on Roll: 75
Commencing: September 2021
Contract Type: Full Time
Salary: L10 - L16
Contract Term: Permanent
The Middleham & Spennithorne Federation are happy, caring and supportive schools with an incredible warmth and a welcoming family atmosphere. Our pupils are wonderful, respectful and accepting of each other. We place a great emphasis on working in partnership with pupils, parents/carers, governors and the communities that we serve.
We are a friendly, welcoming, child-centred, Church of England federation of two primary schools located near Leyburn, in the stunning North Yorkshire Countryside. We provide a nurturing environment, based on Christian values, where all individuals are treated with fairness, respect and equality and where the interests of our fantastic pupils are paramount.
Our schools are focussed on the development of the individual child, enabling each pupil to achieve their potential in relation to academic and personal development within a supportive, Christian, family orientated environment where everyone cares for the well-being of each individual in the community.
We are looking for a new leader who is passionate and committed to inspiring teachers to be aspirational for themselves and their pupils; someone who is able to communicate their vision, commitment and enthusiasm to staff, parents, pupils, partners, stakeholders and someone who leads the way to new possibilities.
This is a rewarding Executive headship; you will be able to lead our rural schools on to the next stage of their journeys to achieve Ofsted ‘good or outstanding’, and to understand what that journey might look like. You must exhibit confidence, empathy and a clear focus on continuing to build a healthy workplace culture to benefit the wellbeing of both staff and pupils.
It is an exciting opportunity for the new Executive Headteacher to develop and implement effective strategies to raise standards and continually improve pupil attainment and progress. With a meticulous eye for detail, you must be able to support the diverse needs of pupils, their progress and attainment and the provision that each individual requires, whilst maintaining the ability to balance budgetary constraints.
While we have many strengths, we know that we must improve too. We need to continue to build a school wide love of reading, improve outcomes in writing and mathematics across the school. Further to this we need maintain and build on the quality of teaching and our expectations of the capabilities of our children as well as further developing our staff team towards reaching their full potential.
In particular, we are looking for an Executive Headteacher who will;
- Be an inspirational leader who is committed to delivering the Schools vision for the children, staff and community we serve.
- Lead by example, actively modelling and embedding into all areas of school life, the Christian vision and core Christian values of the school ensuring school life, in all its fullness for all.
- Promote and enhance the wellbeing of the team, developing a distributed leadership, nurturing opportunities for all staff to learn and grow to their full potential.
- Further develop relationships with our families and the wider community to enhance the contribution to school life and outcomes and opportunities for children.
- Deliver and ensure an enriched and high-quality curriculum which delivers high standards, expectations and outcomes for all pupils.
- Understand the significance that a thriving school can be the beating heart of a rural community and its success or otherwise affects the wider community.
We can offer you:
- A happy, caring and supportive school, with delightful children who respect each other and have a thirst for learning.
- A Governing Body committed to providing support on all matters including more sensitive or difficult issues - this includes the wellbeing of all staff members. A Governing Body who are experienced, committed and passionate about our school and ensuring our children reach their potential.
- A culture which allows all staff to thrive and develop.
- An opportunity to see the huge potential that exists and the time to make our School a beacon of excellence in primary education.
- Support from the Local Authority, Governing Body and a dedicated staff team.
- An ambitious curriculum which aims to give every child a love for learning and enriching opportunities.
If you feel ready to be our next Executive Headteacher and you can bring your experience, enthusiasm, commitment and energy to deliver our vision for our delightful children and young people and motivated staff, we would love to hear from you.
For an informal, confidential conversation about the role please call Julie Crichton on 07581 143421 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Julie has been engaged to support us with recruitment to this key role.
- Application closing date: Midnight, Sunday 21st March
- Shortlisting: Thursday, 25th March
- Interviews: Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st April
When applying please take into account the following:
The supporting information section of your application should clearly evidence your ability to meet the requirements we have outlined in the person specification (see campaign site). This will be used to shortlist applicants for this role and therefore it is imperative that you provide evidence as requested.
When completing your application, please provide two employment references.
Our school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. This post will be subject to undertaking an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check.