Our teaching staff
Mrs Carla Whelan
I have the greatest privilege in the world by being a head. I am able to help mould the education of our children and ensure they get the opportunity to develop life long learning skills. I was once told by a teacher that I might never do any good in life, because I constantly asked too many questions! So it was then and there I decided to teach, so no child felt like I did that day!
My career started in Newham, East London in a school full of 950 pupils! It was a huge Victorian building, with no fields for miles. This is why looking out at our beautiful facilities at Oakmeadow makes me grateful. I then travelled south west to Plymouth, as I married a sailor! After four fabulous years I returned to my hometown and worked for two years at secondary, before returning to primary and pursuing senior leadership. Every year I have spent in education I feel grateful for, it’s a pleasure to work with children and I’ve never met a teacher who isn’t committed and passionate about what they do.
So it’s my experiences of being a ‘questioner’ and my complete dedication to doing my best, giving my best that I bring every day to Bayston Hill. This is why I promote the asking of questions, I encourage all the pupils and the community to be a part of your school and never let anyone make you feel you cannot achieve!
Mrs Lisa Jones
As a teenager, I received some valuable advice from my Dad, ‘Stay in education as long as you can,’ he said. Well I took his advice quite literally and have never left it! I’ve been a pupil, a student, a teacher and now a deputy head teacher. I love my job and never get bored of it, as no day is ever the same. Children never cease to amaze and inspire me. I feel it is a privilege to be a part of the lives of your children and strive to do my best, as that is what I also ask of them. I’m sure my Dad will also be proud that I listened to some of the advice he gave me as a teenager!
Mrs Samantha Hill
Assistant Headteacher: English Coordinator
I am lucky enough to be a person who loves their job! I get up in the morning and (early mornings aside) I look forward to coming to work at Oakmeadow – we have wonderful children at our school. Our pupils are bright, kind and they challenge us everyday with their curiosity. I have been fortunate enough to work with a range of year groups throughout my teaching career, although I have developed a real passion for Upper Key Stage 2. I love working with this age group – watching them piece together all that they have learned over their six years and mature into responsible children who support their younger schoolmates. I like seeing Year 6 through their tests and supporting them through the transition to secondary school – it is always sad to see them go though! I am particularly enjoying this year in my wider role as Assistant Head – no two days are ever the same, and the opportunity to support with whole school development is incredibly rewarding.
Mrs Helen Morris
Y3/4 Teacher: Assistant Headteacher, SEND Coordinatoradmin@oakmeadowprimary.co.uk
This will be my 11th year in teaching. In a previous life, I worked as a Personnel Officer within the car manufacturing industry. Following the birth of our third child, I decided to change my career direction completely. I returned to University to undertake a PGCE , qualifying in 2008 before accepting my first teaching job in Telford. I’ve been a member of the teaching team at Oakmeadow since September 2014. To work alongside such a dedicated team is a huge privilege and I can't imagine working anywhere else! We have fabulous children and a wonderful learning environment.
I thoroughly enjoy teaching in Key Stage Two. The first eight years of my teaching career were actually spent in Key Stage One. Understanding where the children have come from has been hugely beneficial, especially in the early days of transition into a new Key Stage.
As well as being Hedgehogs class teacher, I have recently been appointed to Assistant Head alongside Miss Taylor and am looking forward to the opportunity of working within the Senior Leadership Team, contributing to the further development of Oakmeadow.
Being the school's SENCO, gives me the unique opportunity to work with a range of children and families across the entire school everyday. I am passionate about all children deserving and receiving the same opportunities to make progress and achieve. In this role, I can help to make that difference and work with our dedicated, experienced SEN team and teachers to ensure Oakmeadow strives to provide an outstanding inclusive education for all.
Every year with Mrs Gurden, I lead 'Young Voices' and thoroughly enjoy sharing the experience of seeing the children perform in a huge arena in front of hundreds of people.
As all the children I have taught know; I’m a keen sports fan. As well as rugby, I enjoy watching football, cricket and athletics. I support Tottenham Hotspur to my family’s disgust; who are all Manchester United fans. I am starting to take up running again and hoping that one day I’ll get to complete a marathon. The 5K Park Run will do for now though.
Mr Sam Ostermeyer
Y6 Teacher; Computing and Physical Education Lead
This year will be my 8th year in teaching, of which this will be my 6th year teaching in year 6. Originally hailing from Stafford, I studied History and Philosophy as my undergraduate degree at the University of Leeds. I then moved into business and commerce, working at a quantity surveyor in the construction industry, before deciding that I wanted to try my hand at teaching. I returned to the University of Leeds to undertake my PGCE in 5-11 Primary Education, qualifying in 2011 before accepting my first teaching job in Telford. I moved to Oakmeadow Primary for the start of the 2015-16 academic year, and haven't looked back since. I really enjoy the challenge of leading and developing two large subjects like Computing and Physical Education, and am excited by what we have achieved so far in my tenure, as well as the journey that remains ahead as we look to further develop an active and innovative curriculum that will equip our children for life in the 21st century!
Mrs Leonie Clarkson
Yr 5 Teacher, Global Learning and MFL Lead
I was born and raised in Manchester before undertaking my teacher training in the beautiful Lake District then starting my teaching career on the other side of Shrewsbury. I have been lucky enough to be part of the education of the children of Bayston Hill for over 20 years now. It has been a privilege to see the children that I have worked with grow up and move on to successful lives and careers and feel that I have played a small part in that success. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the families of Bayston Hill and being part of their lives.
The children here are a delight to work with and along with a supportive and friendly staff team, this makes Oakmeadow a great place to work. In teaching every day is different which is what makes it such an interesting and stimulating job.
Outside school, I enjoy taking photographs, living in the beautiful Shropshire countryside, spending time with my family and running round taking my daughter to and from her various activities!
Mrs Caroline Clode
Y1 Teacher & Maths Support & NASUWT TU Representative
When I became a teacher I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would be teaching at my old primary school. I was the same age as the children in my class when I moved here with my parents from Sheffield. The school was called Longmeadow then and the Headteacher was Mr Beddoes. It was here where my fascination and passion for maths began and still remains, which I enjoy sharing daily with the children.
There have been many changes since then but the enthusiasm of the children and the support from the parents in Bayston Hill remains as positive as ever, it is a real pleasure to live and work in our community.
My favourite part of the day is 8:50 am when 30 smiling ‘caterpillars’ come through the door eager to learn, some even ask if they can come on a Saturday and Sunday too !
When I am not ‘being a teacher’ I love travelling and visiting my own children who are ‘all grown up’. This summer I am off to China to visit my son, who is currently living there, and I am looking forward to seeing the Great Wall, the Terracotta Army and the pandas at Chengdu.
Mrs Jo Griffiths
I came into teaching later than most having had a career as a criminal solicitor for 14 years. It was the birth of my youngest child, Alfie that made me reassess my life. He was born with a fused skull that required major surgery and his future was uncertain. He is now thankfully making good progress at Oakmeadow. My other two children have gone through Oakmeadow and have moved on to secondary school.
I am often asked if I have any regrets about my career change, and I can honestly say no. It is a privilege to come to work with children who are all wonderful and inspiring in their own unique way. Working in EYFS gives me the opportunity to apply my love for outdoor learning in our amazing area that we are continuing to enhance and develop. It is the children’s passion for learning that makes me constantly strive to improve my own teaching.
The unrelenting support and consistency that Mrs Patterson gives us is invaluable and together we work to make a happy, exciting and inspiring learning environment for our children of whom we are immensely proud.
Mrs Jennifer Gurden
Y3/4 teacher and science Lead
I am lucky enough to have taught in England and in Nairobi, Kenya. My time in Kenya gave me a wealth of experiences both in my teaching practice and in life. I was lucky enough to work with children from over one hundred different nationalities and discover many new cultures. I have experience of working in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 and love the different challenges and rewards each of these provide. I have always loved learning and want to promote being a life-long learner to children. In my spare time, I love to travel the world. I also enjoy cooking, meeting my friends and travelling around Europe in my campervan with my husband and cockapoo dog, Jarvis.
Mr David Hughes
As the newest member of the Oakmeadow teaching staff I'm delighted to be able to begin my teaching career in a school that has been so important to me both in my younger days as a pupil and more recently as a trainee teacher. I have a background in secondary school education with a focus on P.E and I will be aiming to offer as much of my sporting experience as I can to help create a healthier and more active school day for the children of Oakmeadow.
My grandparents, parents and brother are all teachers so its fair to say I was encouraged into other areas of employment from an early age, however, teaching seems to be in the Hughes DNA and after spending some time developing my behavior management skills at a high school in Wrexham I made the decision to study for my PGCE in primary education. After a whirlwind year of studying, travelling hundreds of miles a day and my fiance giving birth to our first son my PGCE year ended and I was offered the opportunity to become a member of this fantastic school.
I'm looking forward to the year ahead and enjoying developing my teaching practice every day.
When not teaching, I'm normally back in Chester spending as much time as I can with my young family and attempting to master the art of changing nappies with a baby who gets more mobile every week!
Mrs Julie Kirby
Y2 Teacher, RE Lead and Worship Link
At fifteen, through a school community service project, I did a year of volunteer work in a special school. It was this experience that set me on the path to being a teacher. I have spent 19 years working with children in Bayston Hill, the last 13 years as a teacher. It is a great privilege to be part of the children’s education and to watch them grow and develop throughout their school life.
Teaching is a busy, exciting and stimulating career where no two days are ever the same! I feel lucky to work within a great team of friendly and supportive staff here at Oakmeadow. Teaching is such a part of my family that my son has also got the bug and is a teacher in London!
When not being very busy with school work I enjoy relaxing at home and spending time my family.
Mrs Julie Marston
Y5 Teacher & music Lead
I am delighted to join the Oakmeadow team this term, and am very excited about our year ahead in Badgers class. My teaching career started in Hampshire, a few years before my husband and I returned to our home county of Shropshire in 2005. Our daughters have both attended Oakmeadow, and I also attended both Longmeadow and Oakland School as a child, so it feels very special to now be teaching here.
My teaching career has seen me develop my passion for maths; I have led maths in previous teaching roles, have studied for a MA in Specialist Primary Mathematics and I also work for the Salop and Herefordshire Maths Hub as a ‘Teaching for Mastery’ Specialist. This allows me to support other schools to implement ideas and strategies used in countries which consistently achieve highly in maths. This time last year, I was privileged to have the amazing opportunity to go to China to find out more about the way they teach. This is a fascinating role and one which from which I continue to learn and strive to find new and exciting ways to inspire the pupils I teach.
I also enjoy music both in the classroom and as a hobby through playing the piano. I love to spend time outdoors with my family (including our dog) and walking, travelling and exploring new places.
Mrs Rhiannon Reece
Reception Teacher & Art/DT Lead
Firstly, I have been a member of Bayston Hill community for the whole of my teaching career. It has been a pleasure to have made my contribution to the academic and social development of many of the children in the village over the years. Seeing them grow and mature into young adults is a wonder and I can’t believe how quickly time passes. It is amazing to see their achievements.
When I began my career, I specialised in Early Years Foundation Stage, where the focus was centred on providing each child with their own pathway to learning based around an investigative, practical but structured approach. Although I did not stay in Early Years for long, no matter where I have worked within the school Y ear2 -Year 6, I have maintained these three key approaches at the core of my teaching. I hope to inspire and enthuse the children by teaching to look closely, play and experiment and then apply practically what they have learnt.
I love being a teacher, it allows me to be a key lead on developing the pupils curiosity.
Miss Jasmin Taylor
Y2 teacher, Assistiant Head of Reception & KS1, Maths Lead & Curriculum Coordinator
We have such wonderful children at Oakmeadow, they are a delight to work with, and they have a really positive attitude to learning.
Becoming a teacher is the best decision I have made, although it is not really a job, it’s a way of life. I remember my primary days so clearly and how my teachers created an atmosphere of support and warmth. I’ve been deeply inspired by my own experience at school and wanted to offer a positive experience back to education. Often you here negative stories about education – I want the children I teach to have positive experiences about their education. I want to help them reach their full potential and to make a real significant difference. I really enjoy watching the change in the pupils over the year, you watch them grow in confidence and self-belief. However, it is always hard to hand them over to the next teacher at the end of the year.
I have always been passionate about maths and initially thought about training to become a secondary maths teacher. However, after spending time in both primary and secondary schools, I immediately knew where my passion was – primary education. I have a real passion to make children succeed in maths and to become good problem solvers. I really want children to see maths as a meaningful subject and to make connections to everyday life.
Miss Emma White
Y1 Teacher, PSHE and Curriculum Enrichment Lead
Mrs Polly Williamson
Nursery & Phonics Lead
I was fortunate enough to complete my teacher training here at Oakmeadow and having taught in a Year One class in Telford, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to return as part of the Foundation Stage team two years ago.
I adore working in the Early Years. It truly is an absolute privilege to be part of a committed supportive team who work so hard to provide a learning environment where our children can open their minds to new concepts and ideas.
Our young children have such potential and it never ceases to amaze me how quickly they develop in all areas of learning. We work hard but we also have lots of fun in the process!
However, I am very aware of my responsibility to be the very best I can be so that the children in my care develop into confident and motivated and independent learners.