Adam Littleboy

Specialisms: Science; leadership of curriculum

I am the Director of Science at Wellsway School. Since taking up the post I have led my team to develop the science curriculum, and resources within, so that it reflects the demands and rigor expected of students to support overall improvements in terms of student outcomes. In doing this, we have developed and embedded shared strategies to improve teaching and learning; such as increasing the quality and consistency of differentiation. 

Rebecca Ward

Specialisms: History; leadership of curriculum

I have been involved in completing outreach curriculum development within History teams across the MAT with a clear focus on improving student progress and refining the quality of teaching and learning. I have led the development and implementation of new specifications at KS4 and KS5, facilitating improved assessment opportunities and criteria. I have also worked with teams to enrich their KS3 Humanities curriculum fulfilling the new criteria analysing the intent, implementation and impact of curriculum maps and assessment objectives.

Chris Cooke

Specialisms: Leadership of curriculum; assessment; leadership of CPD; attendance; SEN; ITT and NQT development

I am Director of Inclusion at Wellsway School and have worked within pastoral and SEN for most of my teaching career. Following my appointment into my current role I have developed a modern Inclusion team and have also promoted and developed inclusive teaching in my school. My passion is ensuring that every student is given the opportunity and tools to thrive and access learning.

Courtney Mitchell

Specialisms: Maths; leadership of curriculum

I am the Director of Maths and Computing at Wellsway School and have had previous experience with leading KS5, intervention and assessment within mathematics. I have previously taken an active role in supporting NQT and ITT students and also supported colleagues in a range of schools within the Wellsway Multi Academy Trust. I have run several CPD sessions on topics such as questioning, numeracy across the curriculum, differentiation and schemes of learning. I am also really passionate about supporting staff progress into middle leadership and run training each year with advice and guidance on how to make this transition.

Sophie Francis

Specialisms: Leadership of CPD; support of the most able; English; ITT and NQT development

As Vice Principal: Teaching and Learning at Wellsway School, my main strategic responsibilities include improving the quality of teaching and learning across the school and developing the school’s practitioner led and career stage appropriate CPLD Programme that links directly to appraisal and self-evaluation. I have led the school’s Curriculum Directors since the restructure of middle leadership in September 2017 and lead the WMAT’s aspiring middle leader programme, Leading from the Middle.

Previously, I was Assistant Head at Gordano and facilitated the Olevi OTP and ITP programmes and helped plan and deliver various leadership programmes for the SSAT’s Leading Edge Programme and for the North Somerset Teaching School Alliance.

Veryan Cranston

Specialisms: Early years; SEN; behaviour; ITT and NQT development

I teach at Threeways school across both Early Years and Key Stage 1 and my areas of expertise are SEND. I lead on play across the school as a whole (ages 4-19), with a particular focus on supporting practitioners in developing high quality engaging play opportunities characterised by high levels of adult engagement and reflective observations. I worked for many years as an Early Years Advisory Teacher in Tower Hamlets and Early Years, and have  a particular passion for developing meaningful relationships with parents and families in both SEND and mainstream contexts.

Dr Sue Wise

Specialisms: The Voices of Pupils with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties was shortlisted for a NASEN/TES award. SEN; behaviour; attendance

I have over 30 years of experience in a wide range of educational settings. My career has focussed on the education of children with Special Educational Needs, in particular those with Social Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, removing barriers to their learning and supporting inclusive practices in schools. I have worked in mainstream, special and alternative settings both in the UK and the USA, successfully undertaking a range of teaching, leadership and consultancy roles. I also have higher education experience as a lecturer and consultant. I have a number of academic publications and my book Listen To Me!

Cat Hayes

Specialism: Early years

I am a Reception class teacher and EYFS and assessment leader at Chandag Infant School. I have taught across the primary sector for 15 years, specialising in EYFS since 2008. I am interested in the research behind how children learn, prioritising developmentally appropriate practice and neuro-scientific evidence. I have a proven background of raising outcomes for children and developing strong teams. I have worked with many schools locally and further afield, advising on improving teaching and learning. I passionately believe that the impact of effective teaching in the Early Years lasts throughout a child’s time in school.

Jon Gallop

Specialisms: Early years; SEN; behaviour; ITT and NQT development

I am Director of English and have worked in senior leadership teams and within English and the Arts for over 30 years. I have also designed transition materials recognised as best practice by Ofsted and groups of schools throughout the South West.

I am an experienced leadership coach and recent work has involved an accredited Student Leadership course involving 16 schools across Bristol.

Elizabeth Alexander

Specialisms: English; leadership of curriculum

I am the Head of English at Bedminster Down School in South Bristol and have four years of experience as a curriculum leader. I am passionate about improving student outcomes and strongly believe that literacy plays a crucial role in overcoming barriers to success. My role has involved the development of teaching and learning, curriculum design, assessment and tracking systems and raising attainment. More recently, I have been involved in the development of whole school literacy strategies, such as oracy, reading programmes and the explicit teaching of vocabulary.

Gareth Banks

Specialism: Science

As a successful Head of Science for 14 years, I have gained invaluable experience of reacting to and implementing curriculum changes. I am passionate about ensuring all science teachers can teach interesting and engaging lessons. I have worked with many other Heads of Science, the IOP, the University of Bristol and charitable organisations like the Ogden Trust. This experience has enabled the improvement of teacher expertise, richness of pupil experience and improving pupil outcomes.

Rachel Edmunds

Specialisms: Leadership of assessment; leadership of CPD, closing the gap

I have been a senior leader for four years across two secondary schools. In this time, I have lead on whole school teaching, learning and assessment, curriculum, CPD and raising standards. I have also been champion for disadvantaged learners. I am passionate about empowering teachers to improve classroom practice in order to ensure all students achieve the best learning possible at all times. I am now also leading on behaviour and attitudes and developing this across my current school.

James Rossiter

Specialism: Maths

I am Director of Maths at SBL Academy and have led significant improvements in student progress and outcomes through the embedding of challenging schemes of learning, based around deep, retained and applied learning. This has been enhanced through the introduction of a new apporach to marking and assessment based on regular, prompt and substantial ‘improvement work’ opportunities.

Sonia Mainstone-Cotton

Specialisms: Early Years; PHSE; behaviour; SEN

I work as a nurture consultant with Brighter Futures supporting 4 yr olds in school who have social, emotional and mental health needs. This role involves supporting the child; while also supporting and advising teachers and teaching assistants on how to provide the best wellbeing for the child and supporting the staff in their own wellbeing. I have 30 years’ experience of working within early years through a mix of direct practice, consultancy and delivering training. I am the author of several books including Promoting young children’s emotional health and wellbeing, Promoting emotional wellbeing in early years staff, Listening to young children in early years settings.

Hannah Smyth

Specialisms: Leadership of curriculum; English; Primary

I am Deputy Head and Year 6 teacher at Widcombe Junior School. My subject specialism is English, especially the teaching of writing and grammar. My role has also given me expertise in developing curriculum and creating whole-school systems and processes to have a positive impact on teaching and learning.

Lucy Knibb

Specialisms: Leadership of CPD; Art, SEN; PSHE; behaviour

I am a specialist in Special Educational Needs, Nurture Based Approaches, Challenging Behaviour and Creativity. In support of this I have a wide knowledge base in ASD and SCD, Attachment Disorder, whole school behaviour policy and interventions, whole school Thrive and community based creative collaborations. My 14 years working in the field of SEN has fine-tuned a vast knowledge base regarding SEN diagnosis, curriculum and provision. I trained in Secondary Art and Design and continue to lead whole school Art and PSHE. I have 10 years’ experience of strategic interventions and whole school coaching and support as a member of the Three Ways Senior Leadership Team. I am a creative and inspiring leader.

Tina Tabor

Specialisms: Maths; ITT and NQT development

I have been an Assistant Principal for 16 years and have had a huge variety of different responsibilities during this time. I love working with middle leaders to support them to develop their leadership capacity and to improve student experience and outcomes. I am a passionate Maths teacher and believe that there is nothing more rewarding than seeing the eyes of students when they understand a new concept. I have had the privilege of leading the programme for NQTs and ITT trainees and see this as a crucially important role within the training and recruiting of the next generation of teachers and supporting teachers to be outstanding mentors.

Joanna Powell

Specialisms: Leadership of CPD; leadership of curriculum, Maths; Primary; SEN

I am Assistant Headteacher, Maths Leader and SENCo at St Johns C of E Primary School in Keynsham.  I have worked widely within school to develop the curriculum and create whole school processes that positively impact teaching and learning, such as developing the mastery approach in maths.   

I am experienced in working alongside colleagues to develop and enhance practice in order to improve outcomes.  I have a track record of raising standards and passionately believe that every child can achieve.  As a leader I am interested in the research and evidence around teaching and learning and using this to ensure best possible opportunities and outcomes for the children.

Christopher Nesbitt

Specialisms: English; Maths; Primary; ICT; ITT and NQT development; behaviour

I work within the Wellsway Multi Academy Trust at Wansdyke Primary School. I have taught in both Key Stage one and two. I am passionate about people and believe in their ability to inspire a generation of children. My leadership journey to date as afforded me a range of experiences through the completion of the NPQML and NPQSL. I am committed to ensuring that children are provided with inspiring learning experiences which allow them to progress and achieve. I am highly motivated and enjoy collaborating with colleagues to improve the outcomes for children within my own class and school community. I am passionate about primary education and offer support with the computing curriculum and using ICT to enhance teaching/learning. It is imperative we offer an exciting, engaging computing curriculum to prepare our children for a world in which digital literacy is essential.

Claire Hobbs

Since joining Bedminster Down School in 2001, I have been Head of Maths, Head of Science, Assistant Head Teacher (Curriculum, Data and Assessment), Assistant Head teacher (Teaching and Learning) and acting Deputy Head,  I am currently lead practitioner.  I have considerable experience in working alongside colleagues in my own school and in other schools, challenging them to improve the outcomes for young people.  This has included working with individuals to improve their classroom practice, working with leaders to improve their leadership capacity and working across departments and schools to maximise the impact on young people.  

My work on a new form of marking is the cornerstone of the revolutionary Assess, Plan, Teach approach at Bedminster Down.  I have run a wide variety of INSET for both primary and secondary colleagues and has served on the governing body of two secondary schools and one primary school. I am emotionally intelligent and empathetic; I am able to look at a situation and quickly analyse the areas that have contributed to its current strengths and the areas which, if developed appropriately, will lead to improved processes and hence improved outcomes for all in the organisation. 

Specialisms: Maths; Science; leadership of curriculum, assessment, Leadership of CPD

Megan Arnold

Specialisms: Maths; ITT and NQT development; assessment

I have been a teacher of Maths for eight years in Bristol including roles as Numeracy Co-ordinator, Second in Maths, and Professional Mentor. Through these roles I supported the professional development of teachers in all phases of their career in terms of curriculum and subject knowledge, pedagogy and leadership. I am currently Associate Assistant Head Teacher – Teaching and Learning/CPD at Bedminster Down School. In this role I have worked extensively developing an innovative whole school Assessment and Feedback model and an alternative CPD strategy, whilst working alongside colleagues to implement a robust system for the monitoring and evaluation of teaching and learning.

Trish Nethercott

Specialisms:  MFL; leadership of the curriculum; ITT and NQT development.

I am a class teacher at Saltford Primary School.  I have 20 years of teaching experience, 10 of which have been in a leadership position as LKS2 lead and MFL curriculum leader. 

I am motivated by a genuine belief in education as a powerful tool for change and a commitment to all children deserving equality of educational experience.

I believe language learning is integrated with education for global citizenship, and forms an essential part of children’s developing cultural awareness and respect for others.

In addition to this I have been involved in ITT with Bath Spa University. I have successfully mentored Bath Spa students for the last 10 years, fostering my passion for teacher recruitment and retention.

Elizabeth Spincer

Specialisms: ITT and NQT support, Primary Assessment, Pupil Voice and Closing the Gap.

I have been the Deputy Head at Saltford C of E Primary School since 2013 and before that have undertaken a wide variety of leadership responsibilities, both as a phase leader and across the curriculum. I have spent many years teaching in both KS1 and 2 and currently have a class in LKS2.

I lead the WMAT Cluster for Primary Bath Spa Teachers (liaising with the university and coordinating and leading some of the training for students and their mentors) and have had the privilege of working for many years with trainee teachers and NQTs.

I am the Assessment Lead and was involved in setting up and piloting the template for the use of the Insight Tracking System used by many primary schools in the WMAT. This has provided the staff in our school with a straightforward tool to track children’s progress and help us as we continue to strive to raise attainment and give all our children the opportunities they deserve.

I also coordinate the School Council, allowing the pupils in our school to make a contribution to decision making about issues that affect them.

As a Founding Member of the Chartered College of Teaching, I’m really interested in research-informed practice and I have an M. Ed in Educational Management and Policy.

David Burston

Specialisms: Physical Education, Leadership of CPD

I have been the Development Manager for the B&NES School Sport Partnership since 2004. Prior to this I taught secondary Physical Education for 10 years and completed an MSc in Exercise and Health Science at the University of Bristol.

Within the Partnership we are focussed upon improving the quality of teaching and learning within Physical Education. In addition we deliver a variety of sport and physical activity programmes to further enhance the experience of young people and encourage a healthy lifestyle. The Partnership effectively shares good practice and promotes new initiatives across an established and effective network of schools.

As part of my role I have delivered a wide variety of CPD opportunities, developing and supporting subject leaders and teachers in Physical Education. Furthermore, I was tutor and lead assessor on the Level 5 Certificate in Primary School PE Specialism. I have also contributed to a number of national programmes and initiatives within school sport.

I passionately believe that Physical Education can provide a unique context for learning, raise aspiration and positively impact the lives of all young people.

SLE case studies and testimonials:

Our Secondary History SLE:

Working as an SLE supporting the development of History in two partner schools has allowed cross collaboration with teams to progress and enrich the curriculum. My role has involved coaching subject leads and meeting stakeholders to ensure the transition into new specifications for GCSE and A-Level has been supportive, whilst encouraging challenge and resilience, with appropriate guidance and resources. Assessment and curriculum models have been designed and mapped with a focus on ensuring there is a link between substantive and disciplinary knowledge and integrating the new OFSTED framework. Resources have been enriched to provide consistency; encouraging the opportunity to differentiate and share pedagogical material for LAPs, MAPs and HAPs students with teachers who have experience in teaching students from diverse learning environments. Standardisation and moderating have been achieved across these schools, with new data tracking initiatives and intervention methods designed. Revision programmes, materials and knowledge organisers have been introduced to support home learning and underpin appropriate intervention. 


Your History SLE has been indispensable with regards to the amount of support and guidance she has given me. Any questions that I have regarding the specification or the content of the course, she answers them with clarity and without delay. She shares resources that we have used to guide our feedback and teaching strategies so that we can best support students who take History in our school. Her knowledge, experience and work ethic is beyond anything I could’ve wished for, and I’m ever so grateful for the support she’s provided for me as a Curriculum Lead for History. (Bedminster Down School, Bristol)

The help and support offered has made the transition to a new GCSE and A-Level very smooth. We have been able to set up a GCSE and A-Level relatively quickly and dramatically reduced our work load for example in making resources and so we have been able to work with our own strengths and helping each other. It has also offered us all reassurance that we are on the correct pathway and also a named contact to email if anything arises or we are unsure of something. It has enabled us to bounce off ideas and solve issues as well as working with people’s strengths, for example setting up a more detailed tracking process, but this is just one example of many. (SBL Academy, Oldland Common)