Meet Our Governors

  • Mrs Fiona Pearce


  • Dr Tamsin Ross

    Chair of Governors/Safeguarding Governor

    I am a mum to two boys at Orchard Vale, Ezra in Nursery and Ernest in Year 3. I am a Clinical Psychologist and have worked for the NHS for 18 years. I have a passion for teaching and learning and throughout my educational and working life I have represented the views of others.

    My boys enjoy the variety of activities on offer at school and particularly the library facilities. I have been very impressed by the creativity that the staff at Orchard Vale employ in their teaching methods and how this inspires the children, shown in the exciting and colourful classroom displays which help us as parents to understand at a glance what the children are working on. Staff demonstrate great care towards the pupils and are welcoming towards parents. The enthusiasm of the staff is reflected in many ways, the most recent and memorable being their full involvement in the Christmas time entertainment and their commitment to ensure that the children are involved in all aspects of the productions.

    Forest School is helping our children to develop an appreciation for the environment and understanding sustainability, which will be so important for their futures.

    I am committed to ensuring that the school continues to support the pupils to reach high standards and to build on this. Well-being is as important as educational attainment and I would encourage this by ensuring the pupils and staff feel part of the school and wider community.

    My professional work shares many parallels with school governance, such as developing procedures to meet standards, engaging with change and providing high-quality services with limited resources or finances, which is particularly relevant given the funding challenges announced recently. These require many skills, including the ability to understand different perspectives and to be flexible in problem solving.

  • Mrs Samantha Clarke

    Health and Safety Governor/Vice-Chair

    I live and work in Whiddon Valley, and love the strong feeling of community. The residents, school and local businesses are all striving to get the best out of the area and focussing for a positive future. Our future is the young people who attend Orchard Vale, and since my daughter began school, I have been impressed at every turn by the high standards, commitment and passion from all at the school. I feel that being a school governor would be a perfect opportunity for me to give back to the school and community as well as being a privilege.

    My husband and I have lived in Whiddon Valley for 14 years and have two young children who both attend Orchard Vale, in year 1 and nursery. I work at Actavis, and my husband owns a heavy plant and groundworks company in Bideford.

    At 13 I joined the Army Cadet Force, became an adult volunteer instructor at 18, was commissioned as an officer at 22, and left in 2014 to focus on my family. The Army Cadet Force has a strong focus on developing young people, teaching life skills and building confidence. Through this I earned various outdoor pursuits qualifications such as Sailing, Mountain Biking, Walking and Archery, as well as First Aid, safeguarding and data protection.

    I feel that my interest in the school and community, along with my strong background in a major youth organisation, will make me an effective and beneficial member of the School Governor team.

  • Mr Paul Cooper

    Co-Opted Governor/ SEND Governor

    I was invited to become a school governor in 2012 shortly after retiring from the job of Chief Pharmacist at NDDH, a post I had held since 1979.

    I am fortunate to be the governor with a special responsibility for those with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). It is both a joy and a privilege to see how with the necessary extra support children can be helped to achieve their full potential.

    From class visits I am always impressed at how everyone's energies are focused on the children and their education and how well behaved and attentive the children are.

  • Dr Alan Bosley

    Co-opted Governor

    Local consultant paediatrician for 28 years but now retired. Loved the work and the people. I am of West Country stock, born in Minehead, Somerset just a few weeks before Bevan set up the NHS. Have a great love affair with Exmoor and West Somerset and North Devon. Enjoy the sea, the countryside and my own woodland. Also love old machinery, old cars and tractors. Just a boy at heart really.

    Asked to join LGB in 2010, and now realise what a privilege that was. Proud to have been a governor of such a happy unit and LGB with a range of skills. I have seen the school change from LEA control to become part of an academy trust. I am sure that we had to move this way and the recent election shows that the political direction has not changed. There are pros and cons I guess but the support of the PAT can be evidenced and be a benefit to pupils.

    My own family is now adult and working, my son an equine vet and my daughter an anaesthetist in Hampshire. I am lucky to have seen them do well and now be independent.

  • Pastor Kay

    Community Governor

    After 10 years in the Royal Air Force and 20 years in the NHS teaching Nurses, my wife and I moved to Barnstaple when I was appointed the Minister of Whiddon Valley Evangelical Church, in 1993. We have 4 grown up children and 14 grandchildren.
    I have served as a governor for 22 years firstly at another Primary School in the area. In 1999 I was asked to lead and Chair a Temporary Governing Body to oversee and support the beginnings of Orchard Vale. Foundations were laid both physical and community and the ethos that continues today was inaugurated.

    It has been a privilege and delight to be involved and watch as the school community was born, grew and developed.

    As the minister of the Church on the estate I have been delighted to observed the high standards set and maintained amongst all who work in the school, the parents and the children. And I have been welcomed not only as a Governor but also as a friend and Pastoral helper to the School community.

  • Mrs Louise Gordon

    Staff Governor

    I have been a Governor since 2010 and have been fortunate enough to hold a number of roles within the Local Governing Body. I have two children at Orchard Vale, and as a parent I felt that I'd like to give something back to the school, however, with work constraints at the time, my days were busy so I put my name forward to become a Parent Governor. It has always been very important to me as a parent, to know that my children are both happy and enjoying their learning whilst at school and being a Governor has not only given me a fantastic insight as to what happens at OV, but I also feel that I can help with making good decisions to ensure all the children at Orchard Vale have a positive primary education.
    I then became Chair of the LGB in 2013, a role which I enjoyed, and led to me applying for a vacancy within the school at the beginning of 2015. I began as a Teaching Assistant in Reception shortly after this and am now happily working alongside my colleagues in the Staff Governor Role.

    I moved to Devon from Corby, Northamptonshire in 2002 after meeting my husband. I had a career in Retail Management focusing on Personnel, which then led into Pharmaceutical Sales. I then decided to take a break so that I could be with my children in their younger years and in this time I retrained as a Swimming Instructor which I enjoyed, as it fitted in with my family. I really enjoyed working with children which led to more retraining which has led to my current job in the school. I enjoy music, holidays and love Formula One motor racing.

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