A warm welcome to you all!
I am delighted to welcome you to Our Lady Catholic Primary School.
Our school is a small and inclusive place of learning which has been based in the heart of the Woodhall community in Welwyn Garden City since 1953. With a single intake for each school year from reception to year 6, and with an attached nursery, we number around 220 children and 15 teaching staff.
We are all very proud of our school and its children. Our mission statement is that ‘we learn to love and love to learn with Jesus’. Our Lady’s is a place for our children to learn, foster friendships and be safe. It is important to us that we help each and every child reach his or her greatest potential.
During a recent review from Ofsted inspectors noted that:
Pupils enjoy school and make a positive contribution to their school community and to the wider community;
The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the pupils is good, often arising from a commitment to make the school’s catholic faith a living reality;
The school has good links with parents and carers and has established a range of very good partnerships which are effective in supporting good practice;
Teachers show good subject knowledge and form positive relationships with their pupils
Under the leadership of Mr. Richard Curry, who was appointed in September 2018, the school continues to not just educate its children, but also to build a strong sense of mutual respect, with confidence and ability to begin to make their own way in the world
We are dedicated to Our Lady, the mother of Jesus Christ, the mother of God. Our faith is strengthened through very close relationships to the local churches of Our Lady Queen of Apostles and of St. Bonaventure. Our school does not however simply offer an education for Catholics but a Catholic education, welcoming children of all faiths and beliefs who are ready to embrace our values.
I extend a warm invitation to you and your family to come and learn a little more about our school, and to see for yourselves what makes it such a special place.
Chair of the Governing Body
There are many aspects to the work your governing body does at the school. Please follow the links below to learn more:
Paraic McKenna (Chair)
Role / Committees: Chair of the Governing Body (& ‘de facto’ member of Admissions, Resources & Learning Committees). A Foundation Governor since 2007, appointed as Chair in 2009. Linked Governor to IT.
Background: Management Accountant with roles in Banking since 2004, currently Business Manager at HSBC
Personal Statement: I have a deep connection with Our Ladys – our three children were schooled there & received the most wonderful start to their education. I am passionate about ensuring the school helps each child achieve his / her maximum potential, working professionally with the leadership team and listening closely to parents & advisers. I believe our school is unique in embedding the joy of Catholic values / beliefs with the potential that learning & friendship can bring.
JESSICA WALL (Deputy Chair)
Role / Committees: Deputy Chair of the Governing Body & Chair of the Resources Committee. A Foundation Governor since 2007, appointed as Deputy Chair in 2010. Linked Governor to Maths.
Background: Tutor, teacher and trainer in various areas of education spanning all ages, currently working with Herts County Council amongst others.
Personal Statement: Having had both of my children go through Our Lady, I feel very strongly that every child should benefit from the same love, care and spiritual education which my children received. Helping the school and senior leaders to ensure that balance of a nurturing environment whilst continuing to strive for academic excellence is what makes Governing a rewarding role for me.
Role / Committees: Head-teacher at the school (& ‘de facto’ member of Admissions, Resources & Learning Committees).
Background: I have been in teaching since 2001, most recently as Head-teacher at St Pauls Catholic Primary School in Wood Green. My ‘quality time’ is with my wife & two young daughters. I am passionate about sport (& Spurs) & I have a keen interest in history.
Personal Statement: Being a Headteacher is a huge responsibility and an awesome privilege. Everything, therefore, should be geared to driving standards forwards in a community centred on our faith – God is at the heart of all we do. I want to strive through hard work & integrity (& a dash of humour) to develop the staffing team necessary for the fulfilment of the school’s mission statement. My overall goal is simple – to ensure that each and every child, in Christ’s image, develops their full potential to become the very best that they can be.
Role / Committees: A parent governor since 2018 & governor linked to Early Years & Health & Safety. Member of the Resources Committee.
Background: A background in finance & Branch Manager at Nationwide
Personal Statement: I have been a parent at the school since 2013 when my eldest of 3 daughters started nursery. I now have 2 children at the school and am keen to see our children thrive, reach their own individual potential and to have a wonderful environment to do this in. Being a parent governor gives you an invaluable insight into the different aspects of the school and also a voice to ensure parents views are represented on the governing body.
Role / Committees: A Foundation governor since 2005 & governor linked to RE. Member of the Resources, Learning & Admissions Committee.
Background: Gas, pluming & heating specialist. David runs his own company.
Personal Statement: Both my girls have attended Our Ladys & my wife & I retain very close links with the school – and the Parish. I am a long-standing Parent Governor & have, in that time, been able to see & support the school develop with changes in staff & the curriculum.
FATHER NORBERT FENANDES
Role / Committees: A Foundation governor since 2008 & member of the Resources Committee. Designated Safeguarding Governor.
Background: Parish Priest for Welwyn Garden City since 2008.
Personal Statement: A vibrant living & loving Christ is at the centre of our life, & I see his love & guidance throughout the school. I spend much time at the school, with the children & the staff – promoting the links to the Parish & working to ensure the highest standards of Pastoral care.
Role / Committees: Staff Governor since September 2018. Member of both Resources & Learning Committees
Background: I have taught in both Key Stage 1 & 2. I have been Acting Deputy Head-teacher since Sep-2018. Currently I teach two days a week in Year 6 with my other days on management & RE co-ordinator work.
Personal Statement: : I have been involved with Our Lady Catholic Primary School since 2000 when my eldest son joined this wonderful school community. My other two children followed and I became a member of the teaching staff in September 2007.
Role / Committees: A Parent Governor since 2018 & a member of the Resources Committee. I am passionate about Science & am an active linked governor to that subject.
Background: I am a Food Technologist – born in the most famous town for pizza (Napoli!!)> Food is my passion (although you will never see me on TV as a celebrity chef). I am married (also to a European, a Hungarian) and we have four children: two boys attend Our Lady school & two (super-energetic) twin toddlers. I am also a volunteer in the Children’s Liturgy in Our Lady.
Personal Statement: Since my youth I have always been involved in volunteering, putting my skills and gifts at the service of the community. I feel honoured to serve our children school as a parent governor. With my connections to Italy & Hungary I am most keen to ensure that the varied backgrounds of the children at the school are understood & supported.
Role / Committees: Foundation Parent Governor. Linked Governor for English.
Background: I am a secondary school English teacher with over 20 years academic & pastoral experience in Head of Year & Head of Department roles, teaching mainly in Catholic schools.
Personal Statement: My little girl has recently moved from Nursery into Reception class. I currently lead on KS2 into KS3 transition so I understand where our children are headed. I value our Catholic ethos & I want to support our children in their journey to thrive & learn with Jesus.
Role / Committees: Foundation Parent Governor.
Background: A Chartered Accounted involved in tax, accounting & compliance.
Personal Statement: Our connection with the school started many years ago with my husband attended 'many moons' ago… Our time now is spent nurturing our 2 energetic young boys Aidan & Ethan who now attend the school. It is rewarding to have a role in a school which is part of our past, present & future.
Role / Committees: Parent Governor
Background: I have worked for the NHS for 15 years & am currently a full-time Research Manager & previously worked for the Metropolitan Police as a Special Constable.
Personal Statement: I have a son in Year 2 & believe in school being at the heart of the community. I have a passion for Science & education, & am keen to play a role on the Governing Body to support the school's strong community ethos.