2020 - 2021
Rob Thomas – Chair of Governors
Having grown up in Caerphilly and attended St Helens School I am very proud to have been a governor here for over 20 years. My 5 Children have all attended the school and are now all thriving in their chosen careers. I enjoy watching sport - rugby and cricket being my favourite and I am an enthusiastic supporter of my teams. I am a Project Manager with over 30 years’ experience in the Railway industry.
Amy Jenner - Vice chair of Governors
I'm thrilled to hold the role as Parent Governor for St Helen's School. Being a a past pupil and now have a daughter in St Helen's I have a huge passion for this school, and always have done. It was very important for me to continue the Catholic Education for my daughter, whilst giving her the best education she can and feeling safe and happy within the school and parish environment.
I work for Welsh Triathlon the National Governing Body for Triathlon in Wales as Workforce officer which means I lead of the coach education programme and volunteer workforce across Wales. Along side this I am the Safeguarding lead and Equality and Diversity lead.for the organisation, and UK Anti Doping Educator.
My most recent project has seen me be involved in creating a Physical literacy multi-sport course for school teachers to deliver multi-sport sessions in PE time underpinned by Physical Literacy. I hope i am able to use my skill set and experience to help support the Governing body drive the school forward towards the new curriculum.
Outside of work I am a founding member, Chair and coach of Caerphilly Tri-ers triathlon club which has over 140 members. So when i'm not doing the school run, after school clubs or homework, you'll find me usually in the pool, on my bike or running around the streets of Caerphilly.
Sophie Sanchez - Headteacher
I am delighted to be the Headteacher of this wonderful school. St Helen’s is an incredibly unique school with wonderful outdoor provision, high expectations and ample opportunities to develop confidence and teamwork with Christ at the forefront. My vision for education is where children’s well-being and happiness are at the heart of all decision making. As a mother myself, I am passionate about children’s happiness and providing them with opportunities to shine in a variety of arenas.
Amanda Smith - Foundation Governor
I have a long and happy association with St Helen’s School community as a parishioner, parent, teacher, grandparent and more recently in the role of Foundation Governor.
I taught at St Helen’s for almost 20 years, where I was a class teacher and Additional Learning Needs coordinator. During this time I also provided specialist teaching support for pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia) and supported children with various Additional Learning Needs.
I enjoyed teaching in the Foundation Phase, particularly in the Nursery, where I was privileged to see the children grow and develop as they began their educational journey.
I have a love of outdoor activities and believe that St Helen’s is unique in its commitment to Outdoor Learning. The school offers pupils a range of opportunities and experiences in the extensive, well developed grounds.
I hope to continue to use my experience at St Helen’s to support the governing body in the future.
Ceri Evans - Local Authority Governor
I am a busy working mum of two lovely boys who attend St Helens, and the head of a primary phase in a Caerphilly school. I am passionate about foundation phase pedagody, inclusion, and the new curriculum for Wales. I have a wide experience and knowledge to share with the school and am delighted to be on the schools governors team to support the exciting future of St Helens.
Canon John Kelly - Foundation Governor, Parish Priest
The Catholic School is central to the work and mission of the Parish, and so one of my main responsibilities. As I pointed out to the Archbishop at the 50th Anniversary of the School, Saint Helen is unique among the schools in the Diocese: Whereas most schools were set up by the Diocese as the seed-bed of a new Parish and so predate the parish church, Saint Helen’s School was founded, organised, and formed by the Parishioners, for the education of our children in the faith, to ensure the future of our Parish community.
I recognise being a governor as a duty, and find great help, encouragement, and support from the able and committed team of the Governing Body. With them, I seek to tie the school into the life of the Parish, and bring our children, indeed the whole school, teachers and staff, parents and governors, to grow in the love and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, share in the Communion of his Body and Blood Sunday by Sunday, and so build up the Kingdom of God in Caerphilly and its surrounds.
Kath Jones - Foundation Governor
I’m delighted to support St. Helen’s School as a Foundation Governor. My son was a pupil and it gave him a wonderful start to his education, nurturing his love of learning (and competitive athletics!) and he is now at university. I’ve been part of St. Helen’s Parish since I moved here 30 years ago, I’m part of the CAFOD group and read at Mass.
I work for the NHS as an Occupational Therapist in a Rehabilitation Centre. As well as treating patients my role involves staff recruitment and this has been useful in my role on the Staffing sub committee. I’m also a trustee of a charity I helped to set up which provides equipment and social events for our patients.
Martyn Western - Foundation Governor
Age: 65 years; Husband: 43 years; Father of 3: 38 years; Grandfather of 2: 2 years.
Foundation Governor at St Helen’s Primary: 30 years (20 years as Chair of Governors)
I have both a long and very happy association with St Helen’s Primary School, having served as a governor with all the school’s four headteachers. My style of governorship is particularly hands on, paying weekly visits to the school and accompanying groups of pupils on trips to France, Holland, Belgium, PGL Tregoyd and even to far flung Caerphilly Castle! I am keen to see that the school offers the broadest of educational experiences to all our pupils within a setting that reflects Jesus’ Gospel teachings.
I am particularly interested in the delivery of lessons in the external environment having been involved with Forest Schools since its inception at our school.
Taking early retirement in 2010 has enabled me to devote more time to my personal interests of: hiking, photography, wildlife, music, theatre, travel and of course my ever-growing family.
Nick Trodd - Foundation governor
Hello. I’m Nick Trodd and I’ve been a Foundation Governor in St Helen’s since 2012. I started in the Civil Service in 1988 and have undertaken administration, investigation, managerial and project delivery roles. I’m Roman Catholic and was a pupil at St Helen’s during the 1970’s when the founding Headteacher Gerry Phenis led the school with the three R’s as he saw them – Running, Rugby and Religion!
When I returned to Caerphilly in the early 2000’s I was delighted to see the school thriving, the original three R’s were strongly in evidence and with excellent leadership, great teachers, really supportive parents and Church community, good pastoral care; pupils had a happy, pleasant place to learn and develop - achieving impressive academic and sport results. All three of my own children have attended St Helen’s.
The school leads on innovations such as Green places to learn around the school, care of the environment, and reaching out to communities both local and international. As one of the Governors of the school I hope to maintain and build on the school’s successes.
Peter Belson – Foundation Governor
I have been a governor at St Helen’s since 1998 – missing Michael Owen’s wonder goal against Argentina because I was attending my 1st governors meeting. All 3 of my children attended St Helen’s and my wife is an LSA at the school. I work in finance and use my knowledge in this area to assist the school in any way that I can.
I always enjoy my visits to the school and have participated in many school events and trips. Outside of work and school commitments I am a keen player of board games and D&D, making Lego Star Wars models and much to my wife and others annoyance listening to very loud music.
Kelly Belson - Foundation Governor
My name is Kelly Belson and I have been a Governor at St Helen's for almost 4 years. I am a Learning Support Assistant in the Foundation Phase and have worked at our school for almost 18 years. I have 3 children, now all adults, who attended St Helen's.
My husband, Peter, has been a Governor of our wonderful school for 22 years. Together we have seen many changes take place but one of the things that has remained the same is our school family - what a wonderful thing to be a part of. Ensuring our school remains this wonderful place takes hard work and dedication from the children and staff and I am able to see this taking place every school day. I feel very privileged to have my job and be a governor.
Jo Daniels - Teacher Governor
I am proud and privileged to have been a teacher, and the teacher-governor, at St Helen’s since 2008. Being from ‘down West’, it’s testament to how special the school and it’s community are that the daily journey continues to be completely worth it - even now that my baby boy Edison is sharing my world!
As a passionate teacher and governor, I try to ensure a strong connectivity between the governing body and the teaching & learning at St Helen’s. I believe wholeheartedly in providing the children at St. Helens’s with a fun and happy education both indoors and out which provides them with the best possible start in life.
Angela Jones – Foundation Phase Governor