Governor Pen Portraits
Clifford Robertson (Chair of Governors)
I was appointed as a parent governor in June 2017 and took up the role of Chair in September 2018. This is my first time being a governor. I jumped at the chance to work with a school with a great reputation and that is at the heart of the community. I have a love of the school as my wife is currently a teaching assistant there and I have two children enrolled who love their education. I want to be able to continue to help the school meet its goals and continue to deliver a very high standard of education for all pupils.
I work as a mortgage adviser to help people to get better interest rates for their mortgages, life cover and funeral plans at Freeman Financial Services in Pontefract.
Outside of work I love spending time with my family riding bikes and going to the park. I also volunteer at a local church.
Sue Gardiner (Headteacher)
I am proud to say that I have spent my whole teaching career at Half Acres. When I joined the school as an NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher), in 1991 , it was a first school. Since then it has undergone many changes including becoming an infant and junior school, federating with Ackton Pastures and, most recently, becoming a two form entry school and joining the Inspire Partnership Multi Academy Trust. During my time as a class teacher, I enjoyed teaching both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 classes and I still love spending time in the classroom or teaching groups. As Assistant Head I took responsibility for developing the curriculum in order to tailor it to the needs of our children and when the Head and Deputy moved to Ackton Pastures I became acting Deputy Head, a post that became permanent a year later. In 2012, when Half Acres federated with Ackton Pastures, I was appointed as Head of School. In 2017 I was appointed a Local Leader of Education, which involves working with other schools within Wakefield.
- Susan Green (Co-Opted Governor)
- I was appointed as a co-opted governor in 2017. I qualified as a teacher in 1976 and have since worked in several local primary schools. I retired three years ago having worked at my last school for 25 years, the last few years as head of Key Stage 1.
During those years, I was always keen to involve parents as much as possible in their children’s learning. One aspect of this involved weekly workshops where parents came into school to experience a literacy lesson alongside their child. Because of these workshops, several parents gained the confidence to become helpers and paid teaching assistants within school.
Since retirement, I became a voluntary helper at Half Acres and am currently enjoying helping in Key Stage 1. As a governor, I hope to draw on my skills and experience to support and assist the school, its staff and children in any way possible.
Michael Green (Co-Opted Governor)
I was appointed as a co-opted governor in 2017 after many years of involvement with the school. I am a retired police officer but had associations with the school through my work as far back as 1983. During those early years, I visited the school regularly for both educational and advisory reasons. I was also fortunate enough to assist on school visits including several, which were residential.
I became reacquainted with the school when my older grandchildren attended as pupils. Both have now moved on to Castleford Academy but I remain committed to the school and its community.
I am hoping to make the best use of my past experience and life skills to benefit the school.
Christine McDowall (Staff Governor)
I have worked at Half Acres Primary Academy School for 18 wonderful years. I began my life at Half Acres volunteering when my daughter started school. Luckily, I had previously obtained qualifications and experience in childcare, which helped me gain a job here in 2001. Over my time working here, I have grown and developed in ways I never thought possible.
Currently, I am an HLTA working in Year 5. In addition to this, I also run a guitar club and teach Early Birds. I am passionate about teaching all subjects, particularly computing and music.
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with family and friends: whether it's enjoying my favourite city breaks or discovering new places.
After 16 years, I made the decision to become a governor. I already endeavour to have a strong rapport with the families of Half Acres and it is my goal to utilise my governorship in order to evoke continued progress for generations of children to come. The children of Castleford deserve the best and I will help in any way to ensure that the highest standard is achieved.
Bev Riley (Vice Chair, Co-opted Governor)
I was appointed as a Governor in May 2013 and continue to support the school on its new journey. I have 16 years’ experience in EYFS and have a good knowledge of standards and resources. I am currently Chair of Governors at an Ossett Primary School where I have been a governor since 2001 and Chair of Governors at Ackton Pastures Primary Academy. I initially became a Governor to support the children (and my own), find out more about their education and provide a voice for parents. I enjoy using my knowledge and experience as a Governor to support schools to make a difference to children’s education.
I have just undertaken a career change to work for the Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust and in my spare time I can be found busy in Ossett as I am a Director of Building Ossett Better CIC where we organise community events to enhance the social, economic and cultural wellbeing of our town.
Karen England Butterfield (Parent Governor)
I was appointed as a parent governor in September 2018 soon after one of my two children joined the school. I applied for the role of parent governor as I would like to be involved in helping to shape children's education and feel I have a lot to contribute. I would like to help the school maintain its current high standards and enhance the already good links between parents and the school. I currently work for a national charity, which supports adults with learning disabilities in all aspects of their lives, managing a team of fourteen people. I am extremely passionate about my role and find it very rewarding as I love to be involved in improving people's lives and developing social inclusion. Prior to this, I have worked for other charities, supporting people who are socially excluded from society.
I am a dedicated parent of two children and spend most of my free time with my children and my husband. I enjoy meeting with my friends, cooking, going out for meals, going to concerts and travelling.
Nigel Stockton (Co-opted Governor)
My Granddaughter has started at Half Acres this year, she is thoroughly enjoying her first year at school and I have been really impressed with what I have seen of the school so far.
I am delighted to be appointed as a Co-opted governor. I’m really looking forward to making a difference and contributing to the school governor team. I have 35 years experience in the Financial Services Industry, 15 of which have been at Board level. I have significant experience of providing strategic and operational leadership to teams and helping them to achieve great results. I have managed stakeholder relationships and acted as a consultant to a large outsourced contact centre organisation.
I am used to making strategic decisions, working in teams that develop and implement strategies, and holding teams accountable for their performance.
I am really interested in helping people to develop to their full potential and really think that we have a great opportunity to help children at the school embark on a life of learning.
I have a Masters Degree in Business Administration.
In my spare time I love football (I am a season ticket holder at West Bromwich Albion) and cricket and I am a keen squash player. I also love music, reading, travelling and gardening. Spending time with friends and family is also very important to me.
- Anthony Walker (Co-opted Governor)
I was appointed as a Governor at Half Acres in October 2017. I currently work as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Creative Technologies at Leeds Beckett University, acting as Course Leader for our Photographic and Digital Journalism undergraduate degrees. Prior to this, I worked for the BBC as a journalist.
I have lived in Castleford for over 10 years and hope to use my knowledge and experience within the education sector to make a positive and worthwhile contribution to the school and its pupils.
In my spare time, I enjoy watching sport (Leeds United, for my sins!), going to the cinema and running. I also play the guitar and piano.