Meet Our Governors
Mrs Fiona Pearce
Dr Tamsin Ross
Chair of Governors/Safeguarding Governor
I have three children, my eldest, Ernest started in year one and is now at secondary school whilst my two youngest, Ezra and Gwendoline attend Orchard Vale. I am a Clinical Psychologist and have worked in the NHS for over 20 years. I have a passion for teaching and learning and throughout my educational and working life I have represented the views of others.
My children enjoy the variety of activities on offer at Orchard Vale and particularly Forest School. It has been exciting to watch this develop over the years to become an integral part of the school routine. It is helping our children to develop an appreciation for the environment and understanding sustainability, which will be so important for their futures.
I have been 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. The staff demonstrate genuine care towards the pupils and are welcoming towards parents. The enthusiasm of the staff is reflected in many ways, from meeting the challenges of covid to organising Christmas time entertainment; they are fully committed in these endeavours and ensuring that the children are valued and involved in all aspects.
I am committed to ensuring that the school continues to support the pupils to reach high standards and to build on this. I have always felt that well-being is as important as educational attainment in educational settings and I am pleased to see mental health initiatives have been introduced, including involving local services. The pupils and staff should 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 ongoing funding challenges. 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 have lived and worked in the Whiddon Valley area for 20 years, and love the strong feeling of community. The residents, school and local businesses are all striving to get the best out of the area for a positive future. Our future is the young people who attend Orchard Vale, and ever since my daughters first day at OV, 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 is a perfect opportunity for me to give back to the school and community as well as being a privilege.
I am currently a Staff Governor; my role within the school is as a Teaching Assistant in Key Stage 1, and I have a BA (Hons) in Professional Practice (Education) and Foundation Degree in Teaching and Learning. Prior to working in education, I spent 16 years working in pharmaceutical manufacturing. I was also an officer and detachment commander in Devon Army Cadets in my spare time, a youth organisation for 12-18 year olds, instructing various outdoor pursuits.
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.
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 Julie Hunt
Mrs Clare Green