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Husthwaite and Sessay C E Federation


“Achieving more together




Summary – Husthwaite and Sessay C E Federation

Husthwaite – 59 split over three classes (N-Y6)

Sessay – 82 children split over three classes (R-Y6)


Description of Federation

The Husthwaite and Sessay Church of England Federation comprises Husthwaite Church of England Primary School and Apple Tree Nursery and Sessay Church of England Primary School. There is an overwhelming sense of community in the Federation, even though the two schools are five miles apart. Each school has a catchment area covering several small villages. Both schools are voluntary-controlled Church schools seeking to serve the needs of our communities. Christian values are at the heart of school life and a collective vision and strong leadership have raised the profile of the Christian character of the schools, which is evident in the impact on both the community and children’s lives and progress.

Husthwaite and Sessay schools began sharing a headteacher in 2014. Following a successful trial period, we moved to full federation in October 2016. Children enjoy Husthwaite and Sessay CE Primary Schools and this is reflected in the pride parents feel for both schools.


The Schools

Husthwaite C of E Primary School and Nursery

Our school is situated in the village of Husthwaite close to the market town of Easingwold. It is a well maintained building which was established in 1974 following the amalgamation of two village schools.  The school is set in amazing extensive grounds that include an orchard, wildlife area, outdoor classroom, sports pitches, 2 playgrounds, open spaces for play and learning experiences. It is also fortunate to be located next to the village play area and MUGA which the school can access. The EYFS classroom has free flow access to a large outdoor area. We think our children are bright, caring, enthusiastic, confident and well-balanced individuals who work together towards common goals. We believe it is vital to fully extend our pupils’ capabilities, igniting an enthusiasm for learning that will stay with them for life. Each child is welcomed into our school and is nurtured as an individual to enable them to reach their full potential.

What do we offer extra? A nursery, taking children from rising 3 through to school age, regular toddler mornings open to the community. Our newest venture is a breakfast club.

Sports focus – Gold award

The school benefits from 1 day per week of specialist PE teaching, funded jointly with other members of the cluster using Sports Premium.

School business manager and admin support

From a recent parent survey: “we could not be happier with the supportive nurturing learning environment that Husthwaite Primary School provides”


Sessay C of E Primary School

What do we offer extra? Wrap-around care – breakfast club and after-school

Wide variety of extra-curricular activities on a rolling program, including pottery, choir, football, multi-sports, cookery, dance, drama, swimming, French club

Sports: Gold award

Specialist PE teacher 1 afternoon per week.

School business manager

At Sessay School we are committed to providing an inclusive, stimulating education based upon distinct values by encouraging children to ask questions and develop enquiring and creative minds. We endeavour to establish a trusting relationship between children and staff, trying wherever possible to make school an extension of home and the community within a sustainable environment.

Our school is situated in the attractive village of Sessay close to the market town of Thirsk. It consists of a beautiful old building dating back to 1848 which contains the school office and four brand new classrooms set in the grounds. There is also a playground, school field and a special Early years outdoor area which is accessible all year round, a wild life area and a beautiful quiet garden area. Our school is a Church of England School with a distinctive ethos and close links to the village church St Cuthbert’s which is right next door to the school. We aim to provide an exciting and stimulating place for our children to learn within a happy, caring Christian community that will give our pupils a fantastic foundation for the rest of their lives.

From the 2017 Parent Survey

“My children have never been happier. A great little school where everyone is accepted and celebrated.”


Values and Ethos

Ethos Husthwaite:

Sowing Seeds, Bearing Fruit, Harvesting Potential



Growing together in love and learning




Our values are symbolised by the six apples on the school logo.

  • Community

  • Respect

  • Challenge

  • Enjoyment

  • Caring and Sharing

  • Christian Roots


  • Challenge – never giving up

  • Trust

  • Responsibility

  • Enjoyment

  • Respect

  • Friendship


Husthwaite is currently rated as Good by Ofsted, is due an inspection in the near future and is expecting Good once again. Following a recent inspection at Sessay, although rated as Good in some areas, its overall rating was Requires Improvement. Lessons have been learned as a result of that inspection and action plans are well underway to address the findings.

The new Headteacher will need to continue to drive improvement, while maintaining the strengths of both schools.


Quotes from Sias/Siams

Pupils make good progress in lessons and develop well socially in such an encouraging environment.



SIAMS 2017

Ofsted 2013


Sessay provides an inclusive, caring and safe environment where pupils feel secure and happy.


SIAMS 2013

Ofsted 2017



Being a newly formed Federation, the main priority will be to ensure that the ethos both schools share is maintained while retaining the unique aspects of each school. However, there are clear longer term priorities to improve results and ensuring the provision of comprehensive offerings across the Federation including a nursery at Sessay, before and after school clubs at Husthwaite and extra-curricular activities.

The schools will also need to continue to work closely with their respective clusters (Easingwold and Thirsk) and collaborate with local schools.

As the schools are both small, the new headteacher will need to be mindful of budgetary pressures, the need to fully embed the Federation and ensure the continued integration of relatively new staff at Husthwaite.


Wider Relationships

The schools have good, strong links with their local churches and communities. In both cases, there is a desire to extend participation in local activities. Engagement with parents is also strong as evidenced by a number of positive comments in recent parent surveys. The schools have a Local Authority Schools Improvement Advisor with a minimum of a termly visit specifically geared towards the schools requirements. We also have a Standard Level Agreement with the Diocese.

The schools have very good relationships with the Easingwold and Thirsk clusters. They arrange and access a wide range of staff development programmes and activities. We are also a member of North Star Alliance.



Both schools operate 3 classes and staff are experienced at managing mixed age classes. The staff in both schools have experienced a good deal of change in the last few years. Most are experienced though two of the staff at Husthwaite are relatively new to the school.  The schools have a strong, highly skilled team of support staff who impact upon children’s learning.  There are senior lead teachers at both schools and all teaching staff have curriculum responsibilities.


Summary of what the Governors are looking for in an Executive Headteacher

We hope to appoint a leader who will continue to drive our schools forward. As a priority this means consolidating both schools as ‘good’ and ultimately moving towards ‘outstanding’. Building the effectiveness of the federation and working strongly together will be a key to achieving this.


What we offer

The Diocese and School Inspector Advisor will appoint a mentor. Support will come through the local clusters and the North Star Teaching Alliance. Governors take an active role in supporting the schools.


What are the opportunities to develop your leadership?

Placement students from North Star Teaching Alliance, building up middle leaders to take on greater roles in the schools, further developing the Federation and continuing to explore the possibilities of developing formal and informal partnerships with other schools.


What our pupils are looking for in an Executive Headteacher

We asked different groups of pupils what they want their new headteacher to be. There were a wide variety of responses. How many of these challenges can you rise to?

Someone who is:

  • Firm but fair, fair and just

  • A nice friendly head teacher

  • If something is tricky, they would help

  • I want them to understand people

  • I want someone who will encourage people to be themselves and be unique

  • Someone who will laugh at my jokes

  • Spends time with children in classes

  • Joins in with fancy dress and activities

  • Keen on sport, trips and likes activity days

  • We want our school to have individuality

  • Kind and thoughtful

  • Strict when needed

  • Encourages teachers to use the outdoor classroom and wildlife area

  • Respect teachers and children’s views

  • Has good humour and is funny as well as being able to do magic tricks!


What our staff members are looking for in an Executive Headteacher

  • A good communicator and good listener

  • Someone who can build the team, support staff and help the federation thrive

  • Straight-talking and honest. Can say ‘no’ when needed.

  • Someone who will lead collective worship regularly

  • Approachable and friendly and able to engage parents in their children’s learning

  • Most of all someone with a passion for children and teaching, who can be hands-on in the classroom as well as being inspiring, vibrant and fun!


Our Diocese

York Diocesan Board of Education supports 127 Church of England schools and academies in the area from the Humber to the Tees. We have a dedicated team of professionals who offer a wide range of expertise and can help schools access further assistance.

The Education team aims to:

  • Be available as a ‘one-stop shop’ for pastoral and professional support;

  • Work with a range of agencies to promote school improvement;

  • Promote excellence and Christian distinctiveness;

  • Provide and facilitate professional development and governor training;

  • Help schools and academies network, collaborate together and share best practice;

  • Offer a Total Property Management scheme in association with DBE Services Ltd;

  • Guide schools on matters concerning trusts;

  • Work with schools exploring Academy conversion;

  • Advise in the appointment of staff, especially Headteachers;

  • Support Headteacher appraisal;

  • Represent Church of England education to the wider church community and more widely to the public;

  • Maintain contact with the local authorities and the Regional Schools Commissioners.


The Rt Revd Paul Ferguson, Bishop of Whitby and Chair of the Diocesan Board of Education, said: “Our schools and academies are a vital part of the mission of the Church of England in the Diocese of York. Staff and governors are strongly committed to their communities, and in many cases the influence of church schools can only be described as transformative. We strive to offer our young people the very best in every aspect of education, including encouraging them to mature spiritually and to understand how faith informs good relationships and responsible citizenship. We aim for our schools to be places where the love of God in Christ is truly reflected. If these aims and values resonate with you, we hope that you will consider applying to come to Husthwaite and Sessay CE Federation to lead these schools into the next phase of their life”.

Andrew Smith, Diocesan Director of Education, said: ”As a diocese, we are here to help celebrate and strengthen the Christian ethos in our schools. We understand that each school is unique and our aim is to get to know our schools on an individual basis in order to foster the local parish and community links as far as possible. As such, our Education Team offers a range of support to our headteachers from both a school distinctiveness and effectiveness point of view, as well as providing a range of training and development opportunities for staff and governors to access over the course of each year. In a rapidly changing educational landscape, we are more and more involved in wider school development, particularly as schools change from one school status to another. I do hope that you feel able to apply for the position of Executive Headteacher of Husthwaite and Sessay CE Federation and we would look forward to welcoming you as part of our diocesan family here in the Diocese of York”.

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