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CHRISTMAS JUMPER DAY THIS FRIDAY 10 DECEMBER - ALL PROCEEDS TO SAVE THE CHILDREN                             
 Julie Medhurst  
Category of governor Co-opted SEND Governor
Term of office  4 years- commencing July 2020
Work 
I trained as a Junior School teacher in Leeds at Trinity and All Saints College and gained a B.ED (hons) in English Literature in 1986. I have had a varied career in Teaching as a class teacher, SENCO, LA Support Teacher and Specialist Teacher (Dyslexia). Previously, I was employed by Medway Council as Manager of the Learning Support Service, delivering specialist teaching, training, advice, and support to schools. Since 2016, I have been an independent tutor, Specialist Teacher (Dyslexia) and gained additional training as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language. I have provided workshops on Dyslexia and Dyscalculia as part of Medway Council’s NQT training programme. Since 2019, I’ve been studying for a Masters Degree in Special Educational and Additional Learning Needs, completing Modules relating to Inclusion, Dyslexia and Literacy, Exceptionally Able learners and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Governance experience This is my first year in the role of school governor. I hope to use my knowledge and experience to
-support the school in fulfilling the potential of pupils with SEND and ALN, including the exceptionally able
-monitor the impact of assessment across Key Stages
-contribute to the work of the Teaching and Learning Committee in monitoring and supporting the development of the curriculum
Hobbies and interests
I’m an avid reader and enjoy discussing and swapping books with students and friends. Music is a passion- I have singing lessons with a local Bel Canto singing coach and I’ve sung with the local Big Sing choir. I listen to my vinyl record collection and go to live music events, local pub gigs and large stadium concerts as often as I can. My most memorable concerts have to include The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac and Prince… I’m a movie fan, so indulge in regular trips to the local cinema with my Unlimited Card. Occasionally, I’ll abandon the housework and sneak off to watch three films back- to-back with a late lunch in-between at one of the local ‘eateries’ I go walking locally during fine weather- we’re so spoilt in Kent, with country lanes, beautiful countryside and coastal areas. I enjoy taking photographs while I’m out walking, as there’s so much to miss when driving. I’m a National Trust and English Heritage Member- I love visiting local places of interests and we have so many treasures in and around Kent. I’m a regular pub quizzer- a fun way to keep the brain active and meet up with friends. I love sewing and dressmaking- Despite sewing since my teens, I’d still class myself as an enthusiastic novice, but this is one of my creative, expressive and therapeutic outlets. I make clothes, toys and accessories. I belong to a busy Sewing group on Facebook and I’m glued to the Great British Sewing Bee every year! I relax with cross stitch and knitting – Honestly, you don’t have to be an ‘old granny’ to love knitting and sewing! I discovered origami a few years ago while I was teaching. Through paper-folding, I learnedhow to empower children through the simple act of transforming a flat piece of paper into something three-dimensional. It’s a wonderful moment to watch a child who rarely completes their work in class hold a completed model in their hand and see the beaming smile on their face. I’ve challenged myself to learn new skills: Despite an irrational fear of cold, deep water, I achieved my Level 2 Royal Yachting Association Sailing qualification at Bewl Water in 2012- now all I need is my own boat and a crew! I took up recreational archery a few years ago at Bedgebury and discovered that I’m a pretty good shot with a recurve bow and a set of arrows. I’ve got my own bow and hope to find a local recreational club to ‘keep my eye in’. I’m a regular visitor to Cyprus to see my parents who have lived there for over 10 years, I love the Mediterranean pace of life, the traditional cuisine, culture and history, sunshine, palm trees, azure blue seas, mountains and the sound of cicadas - something I never grow tired of!
Links to the school/area I was born in London in 1961. I’m half-Polish, half-Irish and a quarter-Ukrainian. So, celebration of cultural diversity, pride in my family background and cultural traditions- history, customs, language, art, music, literature and cuisine have been important in my life. I’ve lived in Medway since 1974, since I was a teenager. I went to school in Medway, went to Leeds to do teacher training in 1982, came back to teach in Kent, married and lived in Wigmore for nearly 20 years. I have a grown-up son who went to school locally. I’ve lived in Parkwood since 2008, within walking distance of the Parkwood Junior and Infant Schools. Formerly, I visited the Junior school for several years as a Support Teacher and I’m excited about the prospect of developing a completely different connection with the school.
Why did you become a governor?  I’ve been a teacher for more than 30 years and see an opportunity to use my knowledge, skills and experience in a different role and in a way that a school might value. I’m passionate about the importance of education. I love my dual role as teacher and tutor, but I miss interacting with other teachers. I was delighted to be invited to apply for the post of governor in a school that I knew well already, especially as it was close to my home, so I was pleased to be appointed to the Board.
 OFONIMEH UMOH ABUDU
Category of governor Co-opted governor
Term of office 26 / 5 / 2021 – 25 / 5 / 2025
Work
I was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2001 and cross qualified as a solicitor in 2007. Prior to joining the civil service, I spent 12+ years in private practice and was appointed a Director within a very large national law firm. Duties included managing a department (both human and financial resources) and related management decisions including amongst other things designed / delivered training to a cross section of variedly qualified and non-qualified members of staff. I chaired disciplinary panels as part of my role. Whilst in private practice, I represented clients before the various levels of the tribunals / courts. I have also sat on steering committees (both in the past and currently) whose decisions have influenced and effected change. In my current role, I advise a central government department on policy and legislation to support the government to govern well within the rule of law.
 
 
Governance experience This is my first experience as a Governor. I serve as a trustee director to a small charity. Due to the size of the board, all trustees are required to feed into all decisions taken. This experience will lend itself fully to my role as a co-opted governor. Additionally, the exposure that I have had as part of the leadership team in private practice will support my transition into this role.
Hobbies and interests
I enjoy music and from an early age, I began to nurture this interest. I have led teams comprising singers and musicians for decades leading from the voice only. As part of this focus and to develop myself in 2015, I began to learn how to play the guitar. I currently sing and play the guitar for a church group in a denominational church with over 107 different nationalities. I have travelled to several countries in Africa and Europe leading bands and singers to audiences of over a thousand plus. I currently lead a team of both musicians and singers and serve as part of the senior leadership team at my current church heading up the department. I am looking to write and produce my own material and hope to publish this in due course. I enjoy words and would like to own a blog one day soon but between now and then, I enjoy penning down a word or two as I feel led or inspired. I also enjoy reading and listening to inspirational audio books. I really enjoy mentoring and coaching individuals and seeing them blossom in their chosen careers or achieving goals that they have set themselves. I also have an interest in travelling and would like to see the wonders of this world.
 
Links to the school/area
I recently moved to the area from London. However, I have had a longstanding desire to serve my community as a governor, wherever that community might be.
 
 
 
Why did you become a governor? 
I want to take a proactive part in supporting development and helping schools to do what they do best. A couple of things have influenced this decision including a few very close family and good friends who are teachers. This has provided first-hand insight both to the profession and the system in which they work. I understand how good governance can be extremely influential for schools and being a key part of the team to deliver this is interesting to me. I desire to be part of the team that will ensure that children from Parkwood Primary leave school inspired and equipped for the wider world.
 
 
 Terry Wildman  
Category of governor Local Authority Governor
Term of office  4 years. Ends on April 18th 2022
Work 
Wedding and Portrait Photographer (self-employed)
 
I was previously in retail management with Sainsbury’s, having started on the shop floor in 1980. I worked my way up to Deputy Store Manager, then stepped down a level in 2014 to have a better work/life balance.
 
I took early retirement in 2017 to look after my Mum and my Father-in-Law.
Governance experience First time around, I started in about 1998 as a Parent Governor at Arden Junior School, then moved on to a co-opted role after my four-year term ended and was Vice Chair when I finished in around 2006. I returned to Governance in 2018 after I retired from Sainsbury’s and could give it the focus and attention it needed.
Hobbies and interests
Photography (obviously!), and I love to walk in the country with my camera. I play guitar and keyboards and enjoy writing and recording my own songs as well as covering others. Love live music and can’t wait to get back to it. I read a fair bit, mainly sci-fi, spy thrillers and political autobiographies. I enjoy travelling and plan to visit Canada to see relatives in 2023, Nashville in 2024, and Florida in 2025.
 
I’m married with two daughters and 2 grandsons, who are my joy! My wife and both my daughters work in education
Links to the school/area
I lived in Gillingham from 1985-2003, and now live just outside Sittingbourne. My last store with Sainsbury’s was Hempstead Valley, and some of my ex-colleagues have children/grandchildren at Parkwood.
 
When I was first a governor, we appointed Mr Moir to his first Deputy Headship.
 
He saw that I’d retired and asked if I’d like to get “back on the horse”.
 
Once I’d visited the school and seen how wonderfully inclusive and welcoming it was, I had to be part of it. Somehow, I’m now Chair of Governors, and I’m still not quite sure how that happened!
Why did you become a governor? 
I was born in Clapham, London and raised in Wandsworth and Battersea. I came from the “wrong side of the tracks”, grew up with nothing and very little expectation of being able to achieve much. My school changed that and made me realise that I could be anything I wanted to, if I worked hard enough for it. School was my platform to learn the skills I needed for life, despite not being particularly academic. Just as importantly, it was the “safe place” that was my shelter and stability.
 
I was so grateful to find a school for our girls that nurtured the whole child, not just the exam results.A school that valued their abilities in music and drama as much as it did their more traditional academic skills.I wanted to give something back to that school as they had done such a brilliant job giving them to best chance possible to have a fulfilled life. Thanks to my career, I’d developed a set of business skills that transferred across nicely.
 
I love seeing children learn and being a very small part of the process that allows that to happen. I feel I owe the education system a lot, and this is my chance to put something back in.
 Steve Pollard  
Category of governor Co-opted
Term of office  4 Years – Ends 20 November 2022
Work 
Retired early  in 2017. 
 
I previously worked for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office for 36 years. Most of my career was spent in HR roles, specializing in Pay & Reward. My final role was in Health & Wellbeing, where I introduced numerous strategies and approaches to support for work-place stress in particular around postings to Iraq and Afghanistan, plus Missions affected by terror attacks, and displaced families.  I was awarded an MBE in the Queens Birthday Honours 2015 for that work
Governance experience I first became a Parent Governor at Richmond Infant and Arden Junior School in Gillingham in 1996. I moved to a co-opted role for Arden Junior School in 1998. I was Chair of Governors from 2001 to 2005. I was Chair of the Governor panel for the amalgamation of the schools in 2005 and part of the Governor team that opened  the newly built Burnt Oak Primary School in 2006. I was Chair of Governors at Burnt Oak from 2010 to 2012. During my time as a Governor, in addition to spending many hours in school and classrooms, I have been involved in appointing 3 Headteachers and 2 Deputy Headteachers, including Mr Moir.
Hobbies and interests
I enjoy gardening and working on my allotment growing a variety of fruit and vegetables. I like attending the theatre, visiting gardens and National Trust houses. My wife and I enjoy travelling.
I am a volunteer for the RHS at Chelsea and Hampton Court flower show. I have also worked for 2 nurseries at the Chelsea show and have been part of a team that has won 3 Chelsea gold medals.
I am married with two children who both live in Medway and have 2 grandchildren
Links to the school/area I first moved to Gillingham in 1998 where my 2 children went to school. I moved to Lordswood in 2008. I was persuaded to return to school governance roles by Mr Moir and Mr Wildman to bring my experience to Parkwood in 2018. Upon meeting Mr Moir and Mrs Emson in school I was impressed by the inclusive approach and the desire to give all children a chance with an education philosophy of inclusion and creativity to unlock potential.
Why did you become a governor?  I believe in the power of education. Children get one chance and that education needs to be good, creative and inspiring. Every child is good at something and good teachers help children find their skills and voice. A good enriched education is the key to unlock the future for all children. I want to be able to contribute to the work of those teachers so that children are given every opportunity to make a success of their lives.
 Avi Sen  
Category of governor Co-Opted Governor
Term of office  4 years. Ends 21st October 2024
Work 
Financial Audit Manager for a Large Accountancy Firm
 
Numbers have been my passion for a while, and I thought I would put this to good use in a profession such as Accountancy. I qualified 2 years ago as a chartered accountant working with a variety of clients. Talking to different people is the best part of my job.
Governance experience This is my first foray into being a Governor. I was appointed in 2020, so still learning the ropes, but it has been an exciting and fulfilling journey!
Hobbies and interests
When I am not crunching numbers, I am munching through some of London and Kent’s finest restaurants (which has sadly taken a hit of late!). I have a Blogging site and Instagram for my restaurant blog, Essen.
 
I also mentor underprivileged children aged 16-24 via 2 large charities, offering any array of academic and professional advice. Been mentoring for 5 years and I have the same passion and drive to help as I did on Day 1.
 
My other main hobby is travelling. Been fortunate to travel to over 30 countries with my latest trip being in December 2020 to Antigua and Barbuda. I loved it and cannot wait to go back to the Caribbean this year. The most amazing experience I had was going on safari in Kenya.
Links to the school/area
I was born in London and in the year 1999, my family decided to relocate to Medway. I have lived in Rainham ever since. My mother was a supply teacher and she taught for a time at Parkwood, and spoke highly of the school’s teaching staff and culture. That is what encouraged me to apply for the governorship once I knew a vacancy came up.
Why did you become a governor? 
Giving back to the community is something that I have always strived to do and I felt the next step up from my mentoring role was to effect change at a governance level. The minds of young children are like a sponge, and it is at the early years one can best set up children for future success. The joy I get from seeing the children directly benefit from the small part governors play in the decisions made is immeasurable.
 
It is not only about the children. I had great admiration for the teachers at school and I fully credit a lot of my success today to the great education I received in my formative years. Knowing that I can also play a small part in making a difference to the teachers that do such an amazing job is very fulfilling.
Rev’d Patricia M Lenton de Dickin (Pat Dickin)  
Category of governor Co-Opted Governor
Term of office 
Work 
Vicar (priest)
 
Appointed to Parkwood church in the Parish of South Gillingham in December 2019, with a particular focus on supporting the ministry among Children, Young people and families in the local community.I’ve been a priest since 2009.Prior to that I worked in a variety of jobs in South America, from classroom teacher in a bilingual school, to librarian restorer repairing historic books.I have worked since I was 13 years old when I started teaching music and English from the front room of the house.
Governance experience
I was very briefly a Community Governor at Stamford Green School in Epsom when I started my curacy (first part of ministry after ordination).My curacy was then transferred to another church and I had to stop that role.Although I have worked closely with churches (both voluntary aided church schools and community schools) I haven’t had the opportunity to become a governor and was delighted to be invited to support Mr Moir and the Governors at Parkwood School.
 
My particular interest is in holistic education which encourages the whole spectrum of art, music and sports, as well as spiritual and moral education to develop well rounded children who can each find their own strengths.
Hobbies and interests
Outside of the church I volunteer with “Conversation Spanish” in a secondary school in Rochester supporting children as they prepared for GCSE exams (not happening during pandemic).
 
I volunteer in the 17th Tonbridge Marching Band ( http://17th.org.uk/) teaching new members to learn how to read music, play instruments (all brass & woodwind) and particularly supporting 1-2-1 children who have additional educational needs to help them fully integrate into the Band.I am a piano teacher by training and began teaching when I was 13 years old.
 
I have recently completed an MA in Peacebuilding and Reconciliation and believe that peacebuilding is an important aspect to rebuilding communities after the pandemic in which every sector and every age has a role to play, and particularly schools and faith settings who are the focus in many communities.
 
I love gardening, and all manner of crafts from knitting and cross-stitch to pyrography and oil painting.
Links to the school/area
As the local priest I have a keen interest in seeing every child and every family flourish, finding the resources to care for the needs to the best of our abilities, which includes education, peripatetic formation, external activities and linking up with other community organization to ensure that every child and their family have a place to feel safe, welcomed and to flourish.
 
I come from South America where I spent the first 30 years of my life, so cannot claim any links to the local area.
Why did you become a governor? 
 
 
I grew up with great poverty where I and all my friends knew that education was the only way out.We had to do our best effort and take every opportunity we could to thrive.This eventually took me places that none of my family had been, representing Latin America for the World Council of Churches in Africa and in Canada, studying a year at a university in Georgia (USA) on an academic scholarship to foster international understanding.It was all down to education and the opportunities I was given.
 
I am acutely aware of how much I benefited and grew through those opportunities and would love every child to have the opportunity to travel and meet other cultures.
 
What I didn’t know until much later in life (only a couple of years ago) was that my cohort at primary school was part of an experimental educational project which would eventually win awards: it focused not just on the academics, but through quality art, music and an enrichment program it broadened our horizons and lifted us out of poverty. Looking at where my friends from primary school have ended up, and what they have achieved, I know that this educational approach worked.None of my cohort turned to crime despite the poverty and social predictions.I believe that a holistic education that doesn’t just focus on academic achievement forms responsible citizens.
 
I have a passion to see every child have opportunities to lift them, expand their horizons and life a fulfilled life.
 Craig Smith  
Category of governor Parent Governor and Chair of the Business and Finance Committee
Term of office  Current Term Ends July 2025
Work 
I have been working in Financial Services for 20 years, my current role is a Senior Manager for a Private Bank in London. I really enjoy my job, every day is different and challenging. Ordinarily I work in the City but due to the pandemic I have been working from home but looking to return to the office later in the year.
 
 
Governance experience I have been a governor at Parkwood since 2018. This is my first experience and I have found the support from the school leadership team and my fellow governors invaluable. I try to use my professional experience to add value to the governing body especially using my financial services and strategic background to support the Business and Finance Committee.
Hobbies and interests
I am married to Louisa and have 2 sons Harry who is 12 and George who is 9. I like most sports (watching not playing anymore!) but I do like to cycle when I can.
 
Links to the school/area
I grew up in Parkwood and attended Deanwood and The Howard School and I live in Rainham. My eldest son Harry attended Parkwood and left for secondary school last year and George my youngest is currently in Year 5’s Jaguar Class!
 
 
 
Why did you become a governor? 
I don’t have any experience in education, but I know that schools are under immense pressure and play such an important part in our lives. I didn’t really know how I could help and then I saw a request for a new governor in one of the school newsletters, I applied and met with Terry the Chair of Governors and Mr Moir. Their passion for the school was infectious and they let me know how my personal and professional experience could bring some added value to the governing body. I have enjoyed my time so far and it’s really satisfying to know you are making a small difference for the school. I would be happy to share my experience and chat through what’s involved to anyone who is thinking of becoming a governor.
 
 
 
Alex Moir (Headteacher)
Governor Profile I have the privilege of being the Headteacher of Parkwood. My role on the Governing Body is to keep them informed, involved and hopefully, inspired, by what is happening in the school. I have been lucky enough to work with many governors over the years but the group of people Mr Wildman has put together is incredibly experienced, diverse and knowledgeable. I have spent been involved in education since 1995. I worked in Early Years Settings as a Nursery Assistant, before becoming a Teaching Assistant whilst I trained at University. I spent much of those years learning and working with children with specific learning needs. I trained as a teacher in 1998, before becoming a head of year two years later and a Deputy Headteacher, in Gillingham, in 2003. A second Deputy Headship followed in Maidstone in 2006, before I became Headteacher of Parkwood in 2009. Seeing the schools Federate, Join and Amalgamate, is one of the things I feel proudest of. I have also loved seeing members of staff develop, grow as professionals and often go on to promotion. Most of all, I like seeing the children inspired. I like seeing great lessons and great learning. Being a Headteacher is a unique job and experience. And (most of the time) a fantastic one. My hobbies include long distance walking, cooking, reading, listening to old records (especially Bob Dylan, The Beatles and Elvis) and following the fortunes of Liverpool Football Club and the England Cricket Team. Most of all I like to spend time with Mrs Moir and my four children (although one is now an adult) as being a Dad and part of our family, has brought me incredible happiness.

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CONTACT US


Parkwood Primary School
Deanwood Drive
Rainham
Gillingham
Kent
ME8 9LP
 
Telephone: 01634 234699
For all queries from parents or members of the public please contact;
Office Manager: Mrs K Russell 
SENCO: Mrs H Collins 

Email us at office@parkwoodprimary.org.uk  or go to the contact page and fill out the form 
 
PLEASE NOTE THAT PAPER COPIES OF INFORMATION ON THE WEBSITE ARE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST, VIA THE SCHOOL OFFICE.