I am delighted to be The Executive Head of West Hill. I have been teaching for over twenty years, having enjoyed a wide range of experiences in that time. I began my career in inner-city Liverpool, followed by teaching roles in Jordan and Qatar. I was then a Deputy Head in Canterbury before becoming the Deputy Head of The British School in Tokyo. On my return to the UK, I became a Head of a school in Sittingbourne, before opening Oakfield Primary as a new school in September 2008. Working across Oakfield, Temple Hill and West Hill reinforces my belief that every child, regardless of background, deserves the very best education - and that is what I strive for every day.
My teaching career started quite late in life following 9 years in the Derivatives world within the City of London. Realising that stocks and shares were not for me, I enrolled onto a BEd course at Southbank University. I spent my first few months as a supply teacher working in a variety of schools including a school for children with profound and multiple needs - this led to my interest in everything SEN.
Following three years York Road Junior (now known as Dartford Primary) School, I felt ready for the challenge of an inner city school and ended up teaching at my own primary school on a South East London estate. I was employed as a class teacher and took on my first role here as a SENCo. During my time at this school, I learnt the value of relationships. Every child deserves someone to believe in them, listen to them and tell them that they matter. I saw children from the toughest backgrounds learn, succeed and feel proud of their achievements. In 2004, I joined the wonderful Temple Hill Team. Little did I know that 13 years later, I would have undertaken the roles of SENCo, Deputy Head Teacher and then Head of School. I have learnt so much from the children and families of Temple Hill and from the staff around me. I am now in my second school within The Trust, West Hill, and I continue to feel privileged to be leading such a wonderful school full of potential and possibility.
Education is constantly changing and evolving; the climate can at times be uncertain. Despite this, children deserve the best. Each child is unique, each child is different, each child is special. We have a huge responsibility to ensure that every child achieves to their academic best, but also comes to school happy, motivated and safe.
‘I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. It's impossible to put down.’ This simple play on words best describes my view of modern education. Education should be about learning from books as well as the ever increasing range of information available but it should also be fun. It should be presented to engage and it should challenge and provoke deeper thinking. I feel very privileged to have been involved in the education of many young children of Britain since 1999. Before this time I was living in Australia, attending University and working in a variety of jobs, including sales and services. Growing up in Australia has made me appreciate that you can do anything you want if you only put your mind to it. I am most inspired by the many people that don’t use excuses. I was going to end with a chemistry joke but I knew I wouldn’t get a reaction.
I joined West Hill in January 2016 and I am the Assistant Headteacher for Curriculum. Since qualifying as a primary school teacher in 2005, I have taught across all year groups but I am currently enjoying teaching our Year 1 and 2 children.
I started working at West Hill Primary in 2002 as an NQT and have taught in all years across Key Stage 2 as well as some experience in Key Stage 1. As any primary school teacher will tell you, there is never a dull moment and no class is ever the same. This has meant that I have kept my love of teaching and helping the children in my care reach their full potential. I have been lucky enough to have had so many different roles in my time working at our school: from MFL co-ordinator to being a Maths leading teacher for Dartford. I am currently Assistant Head Teacher for English and am enjoying the challenges and opportunities that this role brings. West Hill is definitely in my blood and I enjoy being a part of our school community.
My role involves providing home support. I have vast experience in a variety of areas with a specialism in working with children with disabilities and child or adult mental health. I also provide advice to parents and teachers to better understand the specific needs of children with complex behavioural or emotional difficulties. I am also a Designated Safeguarding Lead.
I started my teaching career at Temple Hill in 2006 and have thoroughly enjoyed working there for many years. I have also worked in other schools in Bexley, Essex, and also at Oakfield, as I like a change and a new challenge every now and again! So when West Hill joined The Galaxy Trust, I jumped at the chance to experience another school and I am really enjoying working in this lovely school filled with lovely children!
Teaching is an amazing job and I spend a lot of my time thinking about what I will do with the children I teach, but when I am not here you will most likely find me in another country exploring the world - I love going on holiday!
Assistant Headteacher (Inclusion)
I started teaching twelve years ago. During my career I have taught children ranging from Year One to Year Five. I have always had a keen interest in teaching and supporting children with special educational needs. As many of you know I was the SENCo at Temple Hill for a number of years before leaving in 2010. After leaving Temple Hill I went on to work as the Lead Teacher at a resourced provision for children with severe speech and language difficulties, in Deptford, South East London. During this time I was lucky enough to become a Specialist Leader of Education which enabled me to support school staff in Lewisham and across the country in order to improve the quality of provision for children with SEN.
I am very much looking forward to a busy and challenging year ahead! I am also a Designated Safeguarding Lead.
I have been teaching for many years both in London and Kent. I have taught Nursery, Reception and Year 1 and really enjoy working with the younger children. They learn new things every day and it is great to be at the start of their amazing learning journey. As the Early Years Foundation Stage Leader the best part of my job is being able to watch the children develop and grow during their first year in school where foundations are laid for children to become life long learners.
I am also a Designated Safeguarding Lead.