The Woodland Federation of Peak District Schools initially came into being on the 1st January 2018 after a period of leadership collaboration between Peak Forest CE Primary School and Great Hucklow CE Primary School since September 2016. In September 2019, a new collaboration was formed with Stoney Middleton CE Primary School.
As each school joined the federation, they were interested in a new model of leadership that was better suited to the current landscape of education and that best prepared the schools for the future, allowing staff development and children's experiences to benefit greatly. In 2016, the governing bodies of Peak Forest and Great Hucklow agreed that Peak Forest's headteacher would take on the role at both schools for a fixed period so that everyone would have a chance to review the success of the project before moving into a formal federation. Peak Forest and Great Hucklow schools are just 5 miles apart and have a very similar rural catchment. The formal collaboration was a great success and so a decision was made to formall pursue the model of federation. This decision was supported by parents, the Local Authority and the Derby Diocese.
The inclusion of the third school, Stoney Middleton, as a formal collaboration, developed for reasons similar to the initial collaboration.
The headteacher and deputy headteacher shares time between the three schools and the staff have shared inset days, meetings and professional development. The children have lots of shared experiences together which greatly enhances their time at school. There have been many occasions when the children have worked together but to give you a flavour.... the children from the schools do sporting activities together, they attend educational visits together and attend annual residential trips together. Children have also benefited from passionate teachers with the Maths and English teacher swap programme, which sees Mrs Keyes teach Maths at both Peak Forest and Great Hucklow and Mrs O'Reilly teach English.
The children love getting together and have fed back to governors that they would like to meet up more. The staff are also benefitting from a larger staff team who can share planning and resources and who can share experience and advice.