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Specialist Leaders of Education

Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) are middle and senior leaders from within our Alliance that have particular areas of expertise.  If you are interested in support from SCTSA LLE's please email sussexcoasttsa@benfield.brighton-hove.sch.uk.

  • Jo Badley - Benfield Primary School - Maths lead

    Mathematics has always been a real passion of mine and I have continued to develop my career and love of this subject.  Within my own school, I thrive to make sure that Maths is something that all children can enjoy, become confident and achieve.  I have been the maths lead at my school for over 12 years and have experienced a real change with the curriculum and the teaching of maths.  I currently work in a Year 2 class but I have experience of both key stages so I have a deep understanding of the maths curriculum and the progression.  I have had a range of opportunities including: supporting colleagues with planning and teaching; supporting teaching assistants with intervention programmes; delivering new initiatives through INSETs; subject knowledge PDMs and analysing data.

    In my early maths lead career, I had the opportunity to become a lead teacher and supported a number of B&H schools with new initiatives, planning, interventions, raising attainment and data analysis. 

    I became a MaST specialist in 2012 and have continued to develop my skills with new initiatives.  I have led a lesson study model within my school to develop subject knowledge and teaching with a focus on the use of resources and this is something that I feel very passionately about and have seen a huge impact within my school.  

    We have recently started the mastery journey which I am looking forward to developing more within my school over the next few years.  

    I am looking forward to the new opportunities that being a SLE will give me and being able to offer support and guidance for those in the wider community.

  • Russell Brentnall - West Blatchington Primary & Nursery School - Assistant Head Teacher, KS1 & EYFS lead

    As an inclusive primary practitioner, I value the importance of high standards to enable all children to achieve their potential. I am committed to ensuring that children are provided with inspiring learning experiences which allow them to progress and achieve.

    As a role model within my school, I am highly motivated and enjoy collaborating with colleagues to improve the outcomes for children within my own class, my year group and the wider school community. I also have experience of working with other schools to help train and build leadership capacity.

    Having been part of a leadership that has moved a school from RI to Good with Outstanding features, I have developed my leadership knowledge and skills as well as developing my understanding of successful strategic leadership.

    As an outstanding practitioner, I have led both English and Maths on a whole school level, driving whole school approaches to improve the attainment and progress in both of these core subjects. I am currently an English lead for my school, with a focus on KS1 and phonics. I have also been trained as a KS1 moderator.

    I am currently involved with our local Schools Partnership Programme as an Improvement Champion, whereby I liaise with schools to tailor CPD, linked to the school’s improvement plans.

  • Chris Buckley - Maidenbower Junior School - Leader of Learning

    I have been working in SEN education for eleven years in the capacity of teacher, tutor, subject leader and senior leader. I have worked in a range of contexts having started out my career as a teacher in a further education provision in Brighton for young adults with complex, multiple diagnoses. My work as a senior leader for an independent residential specialist school gave me unique opportunities to develop my practice in leadership and work with a wide age range from primary through to secondary and sixth form.

    I am interested in behaviours for learning, autism approaches and differentiating for children with SEN. I have worked with a range of educational and therapy professionals to analyse behaviours and support individuals and groups of children to develop the ability to access learning and make progress.

    I am currently leading an autism unit in a large junior school. I work with the wider staff team to integrate children with autism into mainstream classes and provide specialist support in the unit. I have recently led on a whole-school initiative with resulted in the school being awarded the Autism Aware Award (accredited by the Autism Education Trust). I am especially interested in collaborative, multi-disciplinary working that enables children with additional needs to reach their full potential allied with the development of staff expertise, skills and knowledge.

  • Lauren Clowes - Downs Junior School - Maths Coordinator. MaST trained, Mastery Specialist, SLE.

    Whilst developing the mastery approach to maths teaching, I have led training on bar models; the CPA approach and conceptual understanding; making the calculations simpler through the distributive and associative laws; ‘Active Maths’; lesson structures and tasks, including ‘anchor tasks’; variation theory; mental calculation strategies;and the effective use of stem sentences, maths journals and live working walls in supporting the mastery approach.  I provide planning support to teachers to ensure lessons are in line with the 5 big ideas on mastery.

    As part of cohort three of the NCETM maths hubs Primary Mastery Specialist Programme, I lead a Teaching for Mastery Work Group for Sussex Maths Hub. This involves leading regular Teacher Research Group meetings, carrying out termly support visits to each of my link schools to observe teaching, support in-school TRGs, and work with the lead teachers and head teacher.

  • Richard Dargavel - Hangleton Primary School - Early Years Coordinator

    I have been an Early Years teacher for for 7 years, five of which have been as a Coordinator. I have worked in both small and large settings, so I have had to adapt what I do and how I have led teams at different points in my career.

    I have also developed a range of experience as an NQT mentor, student mentor and a PE coordinator.  I have worked alongside colleagues and students in both coaching and mentoring roles, enabling them to learn, grow and develop into the teachers that they want to be.

    My understanding of the EYFS curriculum is strong and I am always looking at new ways of getting the best out of the children in my setting. I like to research areas of the curriculum that are changing and am already looking at how to develop planning to ensure we are ready for the curriculum change in September 2020. 

    My journey from NQT to Coordinator has been both challenging and varied.  I worked in a school that moved from special measures to a good school by consistent and sustained improvement .  I have also recently lead my team through an OFSTED inspection.  These experiences have enabled me to see the lows and highs from different perspectives. 

    I am looking forward to my new role as an SLE, it will allow me to work alongside others and pass on what I have learnt.  I hope to be able to continue supporting and coaching teachers through a wide variety of situations with successful outcomes. 

  • Luke Earley - St Mary's RC Primary School - Assessment & Mathematics lead

    I am a teacher because I am passionate about improving educational experiences for all children. I feel that it is through effective leadership that the most significant impact can be had on children’s attainment and progress. I promote ambitious standards for pupils and staff and always keep teaching and learning at the forefront of all that I do.

    I am Mathematics and Assessment lead at St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School. Through these leadership roles, I have analysed whole-school data and been involved in creating a clear vision and sense of direction for the school. I have led Pupil Progress meetings with teachers and subject leaders and have created and monitored action plans to improve and accelerate the attainment and progress of children across the school.

    As Mathematics Lead, I strive to ensure that teachers are equipped to deliver outstanding maths lessons, so that children develop a love for the subject. To this end, I have led CPD on good teaching practice and changes in approaches to teaching maths. I have also successfully introduced an assessment system, which has helped teachers to use effective assessment to drive forward teaching and learning across the school.

    In my role, I have driven the strategic leadership of mathematics and helped to empower all pupils and staff to excel. I have monitored teaching across the school, through learning walks, book scrutinies, pupil conferencing and data analysis. I have worked with teachers to plan and deliver outstanding lessons in different year groups. Through use of coaching, I have worked with teachers to develop their own capabilities and reflect on their areas of development.

    I also have experience of leading a Financial Education programme at my school. This included developing a detailed FinEd curriculum and sharing these resources with other schools. This achievement was recognised when St Mary’s was awarded the status of Centre of Excellence for Financial Education.

  • Kim Fryer - Benfield Primary School - English specialist

    My role as a year 6 teacher, English Curriculum lead, Mentor and NQT Induction Tutor has equipped me with expertise in assessment, feedback and coaching, including training for newly and recently qualified teachers.

    I have a strong understanding of the end of Key Stage expectations, particularly KS2, including the moderation of writing. I have enormous passion for the teaching and learning of writing and reading and harnessing children’s enthusiasm for developing these skills.

    I consider reading for pleasure as a cornerstone for developing children’s innate love of language and that stories, storytelling, performing and oracy, is central to children becoming confident speakers and writers.

    Our school’s journey from a Special Measures category towards Outstanding and ‘Teaching School’ status, over the last few years means that I understand the huge challenges a school and a teaching staff can go through when looking to illicit change on a big scale.

    My biggest motivation is, above all, the children themselves, who in my current school often come from disadvantaged backgrounds; offering them the best possible opportunities to progress as learners and as individuals is something that is inherent to my teaching philosophy.

    I am excited that my role as an SLE will allow me to have a greater opportunity to influence this on a wider scale, to empower each other collectively and to ultimately enhance our children’s life chances.

  • Emma Gale - Coldean Primary School - Assistant Headteacher/Mastery Specialist Teacher/NCETM PD lead

    As a key leader within a National Support School and a Mastery Specialist Teacher, I have been fortunate enough to support many schools/teachers in different settings and regularly deliver professional development through staff meetings, INSET days, twilights, team-teaching and leading Teacher Research Groups (TRGs) throughout Sussex.

    I have experience of embedding robust assessment procedures and curriculum mapping. Further experiences have included:

    • A mastery approach to teaching mathematics – embedding the ‘5 Big Ideas’
    • Differentiation through support and challenge
    • Maths subject knowledge enhancement
    • Concrete -Pictorial – Abstract (CPA) approach – use of key concrete apparatus and structures including part-part whole, bar model and tens frames to enable children to construct a deep understanding of mathematical concepts.
    • Intervention – Timely, effective intervention, including the delivery of a successful ‘Same Day Intervention’ approach.
    • Subject leader development – aiding new leaders in developing specific curriculum areas and successfully driving sustainable change within their setting. 
    • Experience in EYFS/KS1/KS2

    My enthusiasm and drive has been commented on by every colleague I have been fortunate enough to work with.
    I am wholly committed to raising standards in education.  I look forward to working with schools in the Sussex Coast Teaching School Alliance.

  • Jo-Anne Gibson - St Andrew's CE Primary School - Early Years Specialist

    I have been teaching in Brighton and Hove for fourteen years after completing a BA Hons in Primary Education at Brighton University. I have predominantly taught in Early Years working across the Foundation Stage in both nursery and reception classes. I have been a senior leader for ten years working both at my current school; St Andrew’s Primary School and previously at Bevendean Primary School as the Early Years leader. I have extensive experience in leading and managing improvements resulting in rising trends in progress and attainment.

    I have supported schools across the city and within our Deanery partnership by working alongside the Early Years leaders and teachers to reflect on and develop aspects of practice ranging from teaching, timetabling, provision, tracking and end of year assessments.  

    I have worked as a local authority moderator for the past four years. This has involved working with Early Years staff in selected schools to check consistency and approach in end of year judgements to ensure they are in line with national exemplification. I have also worked with Brighton and Hove Early Years team to deliver support to targeted schools to raise progress and attainment in EYFSP scores. This involved supporting the schools with literacy planning and provision as well as analysing school data and the impact of targeted interventions.

    I have worked with children from a broad range of backgrounds, ethnicities and special education needs. I have extensive experience working with families and carers as well as planning and delivering family learning sessions and targeted workshops. I have worked alongside a multitude of agencies to support children’s learning at all levels.

    I am an outstanding, passionate and caring Early Years teacher and I am keen to share my wealth of experience with others as well as continually gaining new knowledge for my own practice along the way.

  • Kate Gray - Stanford Infant School - Early Years Leader

    I have been Early Years Leader at Stanford Infant School since 2012. Previously I have worked in Key Stage 1 and Early Years in a variety of schools.

    When I became Early Years Leader the revised Early Years Framework was being introduced into Reception Classes and it was my responsibility to oversee its introduction, design a new curriculum and ensure there was consistency across our classes. I also needed to ensure that our curriculum continually evolved, reacting and responding to the differing needs of our cohorts. I have also been Year 1 Leader for a year in order to help establish continuous provision to support the Year 1 curriculum, which has since been embedded and developed by my Year 1 colleagues.

    I have jointly led training for Early Years Leaders and have supported Early Years colleagues from other schools, helping them to reflect on their settings and supporting them to improve. In 2017, I became an Early Years Profile moderator for the LA supporting colleagues to ensure their end of year judgements were consistent and in line with EYFSP.   I have also successfully participated in the NPQSL programme and am currently involved in the Schools Partnership Programme as an Improvement Champion.

    I strongly believe if a child has a good experience of school at the start of their school life this will influence the whole of their journey through the education system. I look forward to sharing my expertise with others.

  • Alastair Jamieson - St. Andrew's CE Primary School - KS2 Lead & English Lead

    As English Lead, both at St Andrew's and my previous school, I have developed considerable experience in creating a rich and engaging English curriculum which is predicated on promoting a love of reading and language. I believe, that by immersing children in carefully chosen core texts, often closely matched to topic learning, children can become masters of language, whether as readers or writers and across all areas of the curriculum.

    At my previous school, being a juniors, this approach was designed to promote higher levels of progress and attainment in KS2. However, I have recently implemented the pedagogy in my new school, a primary, and have seen immediate improvement in children's attitude to learning and academic attainment from EYFS all the way through to Year 6. 

    Key components in implementing this English pedagogy are:

    • Whole class reading sessions
    • Embedding grammatical learning through discussions around texts and making links into writing
    • Providing regular writing sessions that allow children to ‘master’ language
    • Writing across the curriculum
    • Choosing high quality texts
    • Using high-level vocabulary from texts to inspire
    • Creating learning environments that promote a love of English learning
    • Building a reading community throughout schools

    I am passionate about ensuring English is taught in a holistic way and thrive on working with teachers and staff to facilitate improvements in the subject. When the subject is taught using this pedagogy, pupil voice has clearly shown increased love of learning, and improved progress and attainment has followed.

  • Rachel Jeffers - Hove Junior School - Assistant Headteacher, Leader for English & Assessment Coordinator

    I am the strategic leader for English at Hove Junior School, Assessment Coordinator and Assistant Head Teacher. These roles have enabled me to gather experience in all areas of the English curriculum at a senior leadership level. Throughout my career, I have always been an active member of the English team at the schools I have taught at and I am passionate about developing English provision in my current school and supporting other schools to do the same.

    During the last academic year, my school had a successful Ofsted inspection and this experience taught me a lot about how to be an effective subject leader to support improvement in English. I have confidently supported new subject leaders and have a clear vision for successful subject leadership in English to drive improvement. I have a strong understanding of the end of Key Stage expectations from my experience as a year 6 leader and have worked with local secondary schools to improve transition and highlight the high standards of provision in year 6.

    I believe in the use of high quality core texts to support the teaching and learning in English and the power of using these texts for teaching reading, grammar and writing skills. Over the years, I have developed a clear understanding of what excellent practice in English looks like and what is necessary in order to share and implement this vision across a large school. I have led many staff meetings and inset training days linked to reading, grammar, writing, greater depth provision and assessment for learning and have seen the impact of this across the whole school.   

    I am excited that my role as an SLE will allow me to have a greater opportunity to influence subject leadership and the teaching of English in a wider range of schools.

  • Amy McCardie - Hangleton Primary School - Writing Lead & Year Group Leader

    I am passionate about instilling a love of English language and literature, through an engaging and exciting curriculum. I have taught in three different schools, have fifteen years of teaching experience and seven years in management. Over the years, I have developed a clear understanding of what excellent practice in English looks like, and what is necessary in order to share and implement this vision across a school.  

    Communication and relationships are key to my success over the years. I have mentored many students, NQTs and NQT+1s and have had an excellent record for developing their understanding and giving them the tools to become successful practitioners. I am a role model in my school and have led staff meetings and worked closely with Year Group Leaders to raise standards and impart my knowledge.

    Recently, I have been part of the Leadership team preparing for and successfully navigating an OFSTED inspection. Our leadership was rated outstanding due to the excellent communication and structures we had in place to improve our data from RI to good.

    Currently, I am attending a course at the CLPE in London, on ‘Raising Achievement in Writing’. This has been an inspiring opportunity and given me an excellent model for developing Grammar, Spelling and writing opportunities that engage and inspire the young people. In particular, how to use digital media and graphic novels as vehicles to teach the key elements of writing, in a medium that engages and excites them.

    As an SLE I am excited about the opportunity to work with a wider range of schools, allowing me to share my experience and expertise to develop an exciting English curriculum that engages the children and creates a community of enthusiastic writers and readers. This in turn, will raise standards and equip children to progress confidently through the key objectives.

  • Emma Pallot - Benfield Primary School - KS1 Literacy/ Specialist Teacher

    My particular interest is English and I have leadership experience across EYFS, KS1 And KS2. I have worked within both Benfield and Stanford Infant Schools in a range of ways – leading on new initiatives, supporting particular year groups and delivering INSET. As Assistant Head at Benfield, I collaborated with another professional tutor to develop an effective professional studies programme that student teachers from both schools could access. I have always enjoyed the opportunity to work with other schools; both delivering INSET and in a supporting role. As a lead literacy teacher for the local authority I also worked with local foster carers.

    I continue to be interested in early literacy and literacy difficulties, and on completion of my MA in SpLD (dyslexia) this summer, will be working as a specialist literacy teacher at Hangleton and Benfield Schools. My course has given me deeper understanding of how children learn to read and write and, crucially, what we can do to facilitate this process for all children.

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