Kathryn started her extensive and diverse teaching career in Greenwich where she taught in Reception and Years 3 and 4 before moving to Bromley to an Infant School and then on to Croydon where her passion for inclusion and supporting children with additional needs and their families became her focus.
As an Inclusion Advisory Teacher for Early Years, she supported practitioners in Day Nurseries, Pre-Schools, and Maintained Nurseries with their understanding of additional needs and their ability to support all children and create inclusive environments. Her love for practitioner development and engaging with families was further developed when she moved to a Family and Children Centre in Lambeth as Head of Early Years. A Family and Children’s Centre is at the heart of any community and Kathryn created a place where all families were welcomed and supported to be their best.
Kathryn joined the Woodland Academy Trust in 2019 and became Deputy Head for Inclusion at Peareswood Primary. She thrived in the nurturing environment where she continued to use her leadership skills to develop inclusive practice throughout the school. During this time Kathryn completed a master’s qualification with NCE in Educational Based Leadership securing a Merit and cementing the leadership skills required for Headship.
Kathryn is excited to join Knockhall Primary School as their Headteacher. She believes in fostering a community where kindness is at the core of everything that we do. That a school is not just a place for academic growth; it is a place where we nurture compassion, empathy, and understanding. Kathryn is committed to creating an environment where every individual feels valued and respected.
Through her own experiences with dyslexia, Kathryn understands that every child learns in their own unique way and that the curriculum should inspire them to be inquisitive lifelong learners. She believes that inclusion is a cornerstone of any educational philosophy and that by celebrating the uniqueness of each student and by recognising that our differences make us stronger, then we can create a learning space where everyone feels seen, heard, and appreciated.
Kathryn is excited to work with the Knockhall community to continue to develop the school and in ensuring that the school is a place where children and their families thrive, where mistakes are made in a nurturing environment and where success is celebrated and shared. Kathryn believes that a school is more than just a building; it is a community of learners, educators, and families working together towards a common goal – ‘the success and well-being of our students’.
Education is Claire’s second career following success as a Wish Coordinator for a children’s charity, which granted wishes to terminally ill children. This role involved meeting with children and their families and inspired her to pursue a teaching career so that she could continue giving children wonderful memories of their time in school, whilst preparing them academically and socially/emotionally for their futures.
Claire started her teaching journey in 2005 at Northend Primary (now known as Peareswood Primary) and has had the opportunity to teach children across EYFS, KS1 and KS2. During her teaching career, she developed her leadership experience, specialising as an ‘Every Child Counts Teacher’ and a ‘Making Good Progress’ tutor as well as taking on the role of SENDCo. Claire also led inclusion across the trust and played a significant role in improving outcomes at Northend in her roles as an Assistant and Deputy Headteacher. Claire has also provided leadership at Willow Bank Primary ensuring leadership capacity was developed and that the best outcomes were achieved for all children. She has successfully completed the NPQEL (National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership) as well as being accredited with the National Award for SEN Co-ordination.
In her role as Executive Headteacher, Claire worked in partnership with the Director of Education to support and lead on the Trust’s vision for education. Her main focus was developing leadership capacity, improving teaching and learning and ensuring the best possible curriculum opportunities are in place for all the children.
She is committed and passionate about the communities that the trust serve – children, parents and colleagues alike, and strongly believes that she has stayed true to her initial dream of being someone that can work with a fantastic team to make a difference to the lives of children that we teach.
Claire is now excited to be our Headteacher for Lime Wood Primary which opens in September 2023.
Dora has had an extensive teaching career over 25 years and various locations including Southwark, Lewisham, Medway and now Bexley. Over the years, Dora has taught across all key stages and during this time has been a local authority senior consultant, Director of Teaching, Head of Primary, Headteacher and Regional Leader. Dora joined the Woodland Academy Trust in June 2023 as the Headteacher of Northumberland Heath Primary School and is really looking forward to being a part of their journey to excellence.
Dora is a visible, values driven and passionate leader who wants the best outcomes for all children; every decision made is with children at the heart. Building positive relationships within the community is something that Dora really strives for so that school and parents work together. She has high expectations and aspirations for all children and celebrates their differences. Dora believes that kindness and compassion are core values to ensure children have the support and challenge to feel safe, secure and to thrive both educationally and emotionally.
As Headteacher, Dora believes that it is important to lead with integrity to ensure we can all make a positive difference to children’s lives and to provide a broad and balanced curriculum in order to equip children to be lifelong learners and valued citizens of an ever-developing world. Dora wants Northumberland Heath Primary to be the centre of support for the community they serve with strong relationships between children, parents/carers and staff. Working in partnership with parents will be key to ensuring the school continues its journey towards excellence.
Throughout her extensive years of teaching experience, Carla has had had the privilege to serve children and families within the London Boroughs of Newham, Greenwich and Bexley. She joined our trust in September 2016 having previously been in curriculum and key stage lead roles and as a senior leader responsible for inclusion. Starting her journey at Woodland Academy Trust as Deputy Headteacher responsible for inclusion, she became the Headteacher of Peareswood Primary School in 2018.
Carla is a firm believer that kindness is a core value to be embodied by the whole school community and in providing children a place to develop and grow within a secure and nurturing environment, where differences are celebrated and mistakes are utilised as a tool for learning. She has high aspirations for all learners and that all children have the potential to achieve through support and challenge. She is particularly passionate about inclusion and the removal of barriers to learning through: early identification, tailored provision and an evaluative approach to all support provided.
As Headteacher, she is principled in making a positive difference to the lives of the children that the trust serve and providing them with lifelong skills and experiences. She values the importance of a broad and balanced curriculum which supports to empower children through new found knowledge and equip them with skills to continue their learning journey in future years.
She also values community partnerships and the positive role parents and carers, school staff and the wider community play in the development of children. A shared, cohesive vision is fundamental and all stakeholders need to be involved for the benefit of the children. Through this shared vision comes the creation of an environment where everyone’s input is valued and shared goals are collaboratively achieved. She is also passionate about wellbeing and the importance of good mental health and Peareswood Primary actively promote this within their school community.
Primary school plays a significant role in the life of a child, and Carla and her Peareswood Primary School team strive to cultivate positive experiences and memories for both children, parents and carers and school staff to cherish in future years.
Abigail has had an extensive teaching career spanning just over 25 years to date, teaching in various locations from the Isle of Wight and Cornwall to Greenwich and Croydon. During this time, she has taught across all key stages, and been a SENCo, Deputy Headteacher, Head of School and Headteacher. Abigail joined the Woodland Academy Trust in February 2022, as Headteacher of Willow Bank Primary School and is really looking forward to working within her own local community.
Abigail has a passion for education and is relentless in her drive to ensure all children receive high quality teaching and learning and are educated in a safe, happy and stimulating learning environment. She is a visible, values driven leader and works hard to build positive relationships within the communities she serves to establish a sense of belonging and pride for all stakeholders. Abigail has a passion for teaching and learning and the creative arts and is keen to ensure children at Willow Bank Primary School are immersed in a curriculum in which they can develop their own interests and develop a lifelong love of learning that will equip them to become valued citizens in an ever-changing world.
Abigail works hard to build strong links with the school community to enable schools to become centres of inspiration and support for the families they serve. She will lead Willow Bank Primary School with kindness and integrity, supported by the dedicated staff and children, to build upon its strengths and continue its exciting journey of improvement.