Basingstoke Civil Service Retirement Fellowship 05/22


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After the usual tea, coffee and biscuits, the Chairman, David Cowling, opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and on behalf of the members congratulated the Secretary and Treasurer, Tony and June Brazier on their upcoming Golden Wedding Anniversary. In thanking everyone Tony asked that people helped themselves to a crème egg and then gave details of the next trips.


School BuildingThe speaker this month was Daniel Cowling who is Headteacher at Oak Wood School in Uxbridge where he took up his position in April 2020.  He had titled his talk “Getting to Good – A School’s Journey” and went on to explain that when he arrived at the school it was OFSTED rated as ‘Requires Improvement’.  It is an 11–18 mixed comprehensive Foundation School with at present 1094 pupils, including 84 Sixth Form Students, and nearly 200 staff.

He gave an outline of his own journey to becoming a Headteacher and then gave details of the measures being taken to ensure that at the next OFSTED inspection the school would receive a ‘Good’ rating.  After giving an insight of the problems faced from having a diverse catchment area, with a higher than average number of children having special needs or not having English as their first language, he explained the challenges that were faced in introducing these measures.

After two years progress was being made with better pupil behaviour and attitude, an improved curriculum and a fully committed teaching staff.   All of this was being done with the aim of providing the best possible education to the children to equip them with the skills and ambition to succeed in life through the school motto “We Dream, We Learn, We Grow.”


Hatfield HouseThamesThe group’s next outing will be to Hatfield House on Thursday 19th May and then on Thursday 14th June there is a Cruise on the Thames from Runnymede with, lunch included, followed on Thursday 14th July by a visit to Hever Castle.


A collection at the meeting raised £206 for the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal

Next Meeting

The next meeting is on 4th May when the speaker will be Terri Reid with a talk titled “Putting Your Best Foot Forward.”

The group meets on the first Wednesday of each month at Brookvale Village Hall from 10am to 12 noon and all retired Civil Servants, their relatives and friends are welcome.  Further details about the group and information about our trips can be obtained by contacting –

— David Cowling

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