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St Mary's Farnham Royal Church of England Primary School

Founded in Faith focused on Family and fulfilling Future potential

Staff

The Senior Leadership Team

HeadteacherMrs Vania Eaglenoffice@smfr.co.uk
Deputy Headteacher / Pastoral Support LeaderMr James Farmerpsl@smfr.co.uk
Key Stage 2 LeaderMiss Linda Baileyoffice@smfr.co.uk
Key Stage 1 LeaderMr Shane McCannoffice@smfr.co.uk
Acting Early Years Foundation Stage LeaderMiss Cathryn Mooreoffice@smfr.co.uk
School Business ManagerMiss Mani Jaga

sbm@smfr.co.uk

 

 Non Teaching Team

SENDCO

Miss Claire Johnsonsendco@smfr.co.uk
CaretakerMr Rod Whitecaretaker@smfr.co.uk
Finance AssistantMrs Geraldine Manleyfinance@smfr.co.uk
Office AssistantMiss Kate Lewisoffice@smfr.co.uk
   

Farnham's Magazine Article July 2022

 

The SMFR Spirit: why St Mary’s Farnham Royal is more than just a school.  Vania Eaglen tells all…

 

Since 2010, Vania Eaglen has been Headteacher of the hidden gem that is St Mary’s Farnham Royal CE School, tucked away in Church Road.  The school celebrated its 200th birthday this year, so I chatted to Vania about what makes the school so special and why she has stayed there for the last 14 years.

 

“We are a small family-oriented school, classes that only have 25, where everybody knows each other, and everybody cares about each other.  And that’s children, staff and parents alike.  And it’s a traditional school: this is how I went to school…everybody knew me at school, it was a small, little community place”.  Vania is most proud of the journey the school has been on.  The vision and the ethos have taken the school from special measures to being an OFSTED “Good” school.

The school is very diverse: there are 13 different nations represented with many different languages and faiths, bringing a real taste of multicultural Britain to our doorstep. “We are still able to maintain a Christian ethos and still be able to be all-inclusive.  We are still very much a family-feel school, yet we are so diverse”.  The school also has children from many different social groups: 30% are “pupil premium” but many children are from more affluent backgrounds.

Resilience of the children has been something Vania has been astonished by and very proud of, especially post-pandemic.  “The children have bounced back”.

 

She reaclls, it was the “toughest challenge for all teachers and schools, going through Covid and keeping everybody safe and happy.”

 

Many positive changes have come about as a result, for instance, coming in ready changed in PE kit, then the introduction of PE uniform.  Report writing and issuing.  Changing the way church services are held.  This review seems to have taken the pressure off many things by questioning why they have been done a certain way for years. 

 

But the best thing has been improved communication “I think it brought the staff and parents closer together most because we opened up those communications, with a shared experience. We know a lot more parents now, personally…they also understand we are more than just a school…that we are there to support them as a whole”.  Vania’s Deputy Head, James Farmer, spent much time seeing families during the pandemic, directing them to food banks, supporting with donations.  Vania tells me: We know parents on a more personal level now way more than we ever had done before.” 

 

As a role model to many hundreds of children, who is Vania’s?  Her Dad is her role model.  “He taught me patience, love and kindness”.  And a love of teaching came from being inspired by teachers at her school, especially her history teacher.

Fossil hunting is a new passion of Vania’s: “In Wales and I’m going to Devon in the summer to do it, because of my nieces and nephews.  I love spending time outdoors.  I also like card-making and crafting at home to relax”.

The success of the children is what Vania loves most about her job “watching the children flourish.”

 

How can children get round Mrs Eaglen then?  “I love tea.  All kinds of tea.”  Better get the kettle on then kids to avoid that detention!

 

As told to Liz Glover

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