SLE profiles

Ben Reading – Special Educational Needs Specialism

Having worked in special schools in Belfast and Cambridge, Ben came to Cheshire West and Chester as a specialist teacher for their Autism Team. He was appointed Assistant Headteacher at Hinderton School in Ellesmere Port (an outstanding specialist primary school for children with autism and additional needs) in January 2014, combining the roles of Assessment Co-ordinator, Outreach Co-ordinator and a teaching commitment in key stage 2. Ben has a particular interest in supporting pupils with challenging behaviour and has a Masters degree in in Applied Behaviour Analysis.

Sharon Littler – Early Years Specialism

Sharon is an Assistant Head and Early Years Leader at Wolverham Primary and Nursery School. She has worked in Early Years in Cheshire West and Chester for the past 11 years and has helped to develop the Foundation Stage provision at Wolverham (an Outstanding Primary School) from a Reception class of around 15 pupils to a 60 place Maintained Nursery and is currently developing a Nursery provision for 2 year olds at Wolverham. Sharon has also worked as a leading Early Years teacher and a Teacher Moderator for the Local Authority. She has supported a number of colleagues from other schools with assessment, planning, learning environments and timetabling. Sharon is also the Literacy Subject leader and NQT mentor.

Tracy Birch – Behaviour Specialism

Tracy has worked in special needs for over 15 years within the area of social and emotional difficulties. She is a fully certified instructor with the Crisis Prevention Institute in the Management of Actual or Potential Aggression, including advanced physical skills and emergency holding techniques. She has led whole school training in de-escalation and physical intervention techniques for over 4 years in both primary and secondary settings. Tracy enjoys working with teams to develop skills that underpin behaviour management approaches.

Stephanie Causer – Maths Specialism

Steph has been a teacher at Rivacre Valley Primary School for over six years and has taught across Key Stages One and Two. Her specialism is Maths and she has recently completed a MaST qualification at Edge Hill. This has provided her with valuable insight about how children learn mathematical concepts and the important tools they need to progress, including teaching strategies to support learners who are struggling and addressing common misconceptions. In her role as Professional Mentor for Associate Teachers and NQTs, she has supported colleagues in various settings, including those in challenging circumstances.

Tom Wallace  – Assessment Specialism

Over the last four years, Tom has worked with Dylan William and Shirley Clarke, two internationally leading professionals in the field of formative assessment. He is passionate about using technology to enhance classroom practice and has developed varied innovative approaches both in the classroom and with leadership teams he has worked with to great effect. Through his use of coaching and technology he has developed some exciting approaches and systems to managing and improving behaviour within the school setting.

Alex Kozyra – Literacy Specialism

Alex has worked at Meadow primary school as the literacy lead and Year Six teacher since 2012, prior to this he worked in the East Riding of Yorkshire as a lower key stage two teacher for two years. During Alex’s time at Meadow his passion for Literacy has created a successful whole school approach to this subject which has led to significant improvements in the standards of Literacy across the curriculum.
A recent Ofsted for Meadow in May 2015 recognises Alex’s work, alongside other middle leaders at the school, as having had a profound impact in moving the school forward to its current outstanding judgement. Alex now leads the Year Six writing moderation for the Whitby cluster and has worked alongside other schools in the area to lead and assist in cross moderation of writing.

Vicky Marsland – EYFS Specialism

Vicky has been a primary teacher for 12 years and currently works at Whitby Heath primary school. Her experience ranges from EYFS to year 6. Vicky was head of EYFS for 2 years and head of key stage 1 for 4 years, at Whitby Heath, a two form entry school.

Vicky is a busy working mum of 3 children.  In school she also teaches netball club to years 5 & 6, but her great passion is reading and Vicky actively promotes this throughout the whole school and particularly EYFS and KS1.   Vicky is looking forward to new challenges as an SLE and the opportunity of working together with teachers from other schools and finding strategies to help.

Gareth Coyne – Maths Specialism

Gareth is the Deputy Headteacher of two small schools – Utkinton and Huxley C.E. Primary Schools. He has worked in Cheshire West and Chester for the past 10 years as a Year 5 and 6 teacher and has been a member of the SLT across both schools for the past 6 years.

Gareth’s specialism is maths and he has been responsible for successfully establishing the Singapore Maths approach across a number of schools. His work has involved working alongside school leadership teams, as well as staff from across all Key Stages, supporting them in establishing their teaching structures, providing whole school/individual staff training and ensuring effective systems are in place to monitor impact. Gareth has a significant amount of experience working in small schools, therefore understands the unique nature of these environments.

Gareth also holds NPQH/NPQSL leadership qualifications and is assessment co-ordinator and an NQT mentor.

Richard Harley – English Specialism

Richard has worked in primary education for over 20 years across a range of schools in Cheshire, Manchester and Bolton. He has experience as a Deputy Headteacher in two Cheshire West schools and, more recently, as Headteacher of Tilston Parochial CE Primary School. In the school’s most recent Ofsted inspection in 2017, his ‘inspirational’ leadership was recognised as one of the school’s many strengths. He has extensive experience of subject leadership in English and ICT and his other areas of specialism include assessment, behaviour management and music. Richard also enjoys finding opportunities to develop leadership capacity in colleagues and mentor newly and recently qualified teachers. Alongside his SLE role, Richard is currently working as an Assistant Headteacher at Woodlands Primary School while also studying for a Master’s degree in Educational Practice.

Carole Christian – EYFS & SEND Specialism

Carole is currently the EYFS lead at Hinderton Primary School (an Outstanding Special School for children with Autism). She has worked in special education at Hinderton for over 7 years but prior to this she had many years of experience as an  EYFS teacher in  mainstream schools in Halton. Carole is fully trained in Attention Autism therapy, a programme designed to develop attention , communication and early learning skills in young children with additional needs. She has worked successfully with many local mainstream schools and nurseries to embed this programme into their EYFS practice. She is also part of the outreach team at Hinderton and she enjoys working with EYFS settings so that children with Autism can have the very best start to their education. Carole is also a mum to two children with Autism so she offers a unique perspective on the challenges faced by both schools and families.

Kayleigh Phillips – Maths Specialism

Kayleigh has been teaching for 8 years. She is currently working at Davenham Church of England Primary School. She joined this school three years ago in post as the Key Stage One leader. Within this school she teaches a mixed age class of Year 1 and Year 2. She uses the ‘Talk 4 Writing’ and Kagan approaches within her classroom and enjoys seeing the children busy in their learning. Most of her experience has been within Year 1 – 3, however, she does work closely with her KS2 lead. She is the school maths lead and is currently raising the profile of maths throughout her school by organising visitors and theme days. For the last 5 years she has been the NQT and student mentor, this has been very rewarding for her as she enjoys working alongside others and providing training opportunities. Kayleigh supported the ‘Foster Carers Education Conference’ this year by training social workers and families in how to support with maths in the home for children aged 3 – 12. Kayleigh now works with CWAC as the Year 2 maths and English moderator and has worked alongside her link schools to lead and assist in cross moderation of writing.

Natalie Grimster – KS1 English & Phonics Specialism

Natalie is an Assistant Head, SENCO and Year 2 teacher at Christ Church CofE Primary School. She has worked there for 9 years and taught across EYFS and KS1 to build a solid foundation of knowledge within this key stage. Her specialism is in KS1 literacy and phonics and she feels this underpins her teaching values of ensuring all children achieve their potential. Natalie has also been SENCO for the last 2 years and has just completed her SENDCO qualification at Edge Hill University. This role also enables her to be part of interventions to support children too.

Natalie is a busy dance and football mum of 2 and is excited to be starting a new challenge as an SLE and supporting others and creating teaching strategies together to help all children.

Nikki Bailey – SEND and Teacher Training Specialisms

Nikki has a wealth of teaching experience, teaching across all year groups from FS2 to Y6 in Cheshire. She has been SENDCo at Oldfield Primary School for 10 years and has been acting Deputy Headteacher for the past year.

Nikki has led an in-school project with the Autism Service which resulted in Oldfield being awarded the Social and Communication Kite mark. Nikki has secured two Lottery Grants for school recently, enabling Oldfield to set up a Quiet Place nurturing room and to enhance the school environment with an improved entrance area to school.  

 Alongside her roles at Oldfield, Nikki works for the University of Chester. She is QA (Quality Assurance) Lead for the Chester area, overseeing ITE (Initial Teacher Education) and working  with University Link Tutors (ULTs) to monitor the entitlement and progress of ATs (Associate Teachers) and to quality assure the provision across all cluster schools.

 Nikki was part of the first cohort to achieve the National SENCO Award and has subsequently been a mentor to other SENCOs working towards this award. She is currently studying for an MA in SEND and is completing her final dissertation project which is linked to the impact of a maths intervention on attention and focus.

She has a passion for seeing others grow and develop and is experienced at working with colleagues, in her own school and in schools further afield, collaboratively to develop their skill-sets and to improve outcomes for pupils.

Bev Arrowsmith – Maths Specialism

Bev has been at Eccleston CE Primary for 8 years and joined when the school required improvement in all areas, but particularly maths, so was asked to become the maths lead.  She was part of the first cohort for the MaST programme at Edge Hill, which enabled her to not only improve her own mathematical knowledge but also support staff at Eccleston in maths through quality INSET.  Bev has taught across KS1 and 2 in various settings, but currently teaches Y2/3 and Yr6 maths each week. She is now Assistant Head and also leads PSHE.

As well as introducing Mastery at Eccleston, including looking at planning for mixed-age classes, Bev has worked alongside colleagues and maths leaders from other local schools,  looking at planning, reasoning and problem solving, the use of resources and assessment.

Cerri Morris – Maths specialism

Cerri has worked at Barnton Community Nursery and Primary School for
8 years and has worked in the Foundation Stage, KS1 and KS2. After
working in the role of Upper Key Stage 2 Phase Leader for two years,
she became the Acting Deputy Headteacher. During her time on the
leadership team, she has supported staff in assessing the way in which
reading, writing, maths and science is taught in school, and has worked
with colleagues to implement Talk for Writing in English, a child centered
approach to Science, and the Mastery approach in maths.

For the past 5 years, Cerri has enjoyed leading Maths and has
completed the MaST programme at Edge Hill University, which enables
her to look at the pedagogy of different areas of maths and evaluate
what works well. She is particularly interested in questioning, and how
different types of uestions impact upon progress and attainment.
Cerri has also worked as an NQT mentor and supported colleagues in
making the change from being a Teaching Assistant to a teacher, on the
Straight to Teach programme.

Sam Olubodun – SMSC/PSHE/Global Learning specialism.

Having moved into teaching in 2004 from a background working with Asylum Seekers and Refugees, Sam has worked to highlight the importance of relevant and meaningful SMSC provision within the primary school setting, with an emphasis on incorporating Global Citizenship through a critical thinking approach.

Throughout her career in Education, Sam has striven to analyse and develop her approach to SMSC provision. Building on her Sociology degree, she has achieved a Post-Graduate Certification in PSHE, recruited and trained a network of teachers as a Global Learning Programme Expert Centre and secured SSAT accreditation as a lead practitioner in Global Learning.

Whilst working at Meadow Primary School, Sam has been able to develop approaches to threading SMSC/Global/PSHE themes throughout the curriculum. She has also delivered ‘More In Common’ workshops for Ignite, and taken a lead in the recent Citizenship Project which used film-making as a medium to explore local and global citizenship, social justice and maximising learning potential through social engagement.

With a dedication to preparing pupils to take an active role in modern Britain, Sam is excited about using coaching, alongside mapping tools, to examine what we are doing well in our area, and exciting opportunities for development.

Elinor Bowler- Early Years Specialism

Elinor is the Early Years Leader at St Martin’s Academy Chester. She has worked in the Early Years for the past 3 years and has helped to design and implement outstanding practice of both teaching and provision within the Foundation Stage. Elinor has lead the Foundation Stage at St Martin’s and has maintained the very highest of standards ensuring the outcomes for the children she teaches are amongst the highest nationally.

She has supported colleagues in their development and well as working closely with other Early Years practitioners in the local area as well as the North West Academy Trust. She is passionate about teaching children in the early phase of their learning journey, is quick to identify individual needs and is eager to share her practice with others. Elinor has worked with a range of children with different barriers to their learning including those with EAL (notably Polish, Spanish, Russian and French) and children with EHCPs in place.

Michelle Panayi – Early Years, KS1 and phonics Specialism

Michelle is a non-teaching Deputy Headteacher, SENCO and leads on Teaching and Learning, Curriculum, Pupil Premium and NQT/Student mentor at St Clement’s Catholic Primary School. She has worked there for 18 years and taught across EYs and KS1. Michelle is passionate about teaching, is quick to identify individual needs and has a passion for seeing others grow and develop.

Alongside her roles at St Clement’s, Michelle works for Halton Local Authority as a Phonics specialist teacher. She has worked with over 14 schools in a range of contexts during the last 2 ½ years. Michelle has also worked for the Local Authority as an Early Years Moderator for 4 years as well as supporting new to EYs colleagues in other local primary schools to develop their knowledge and understanding of the EYs curriculum.

Her specialisms are in teaching and learning across KS1 & KS2, developing the curriculum, leadership development, Early Years, phonics and mentoring NQT’s. Michelle is enthusiastic about using her leadership skills in different context schools to inspire, motivate and develop and work with others to bring about change effectively.