Mrs Carla Whelan
Head Teacher and Director of Primary Education for Marches Academy TrustHead@oakmeadowprimary.co.uk
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 Samantha Hill
Head Of Schoolsamantha.email@example.com
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 here and to have developed my skills within school to support our children on a wider scale. I am particularly enjoying this year in my role as Head Of School – no two days are ever the same, and the opportunity to support with whole school development is incredibly rewarding.
I have been involved with initiatives over recent years which have considerably developed my knowledge and skill base which I use to bring back to enhance the offer our children receive here at Oakmeadow. I am a Key stage 2 writing moderator and through this, as well as my role as an SLE for The English Hub, I have the privilege of visiting other settings to observe and support with practise elsewhere. I like nothing more than coming back to Oakmeadow though, to work with our wonderful committed staff and pupils.
Miss Jasmin Taylor
Year 2 Teacher - Assistant Head (Teaching and Learning) & Maths Lead
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 hear 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.
Mrs Helen Morris
Year 5 Teacher - Assistant Head (Behaviour, Attitudes and Personal Development), SEND Coordinator
I’ve been a member of the teaching team at Oakmeadow since September 2014. To work alongside such a dedicated team of teachers and staff has been a huge privilege. We have a such a wonderful learning environment, in which the children can thrive both academically as well as socially and emotionally. I really can't imagine working anywhere else!
Being Assistant Head of Key Stage Two is a huge honour, although the first eight years of my teaching career were actually spent in Key Stage One. Understanding where the children have come from is hugely beneficial, especially following transition into a new Key Stage. Now having the opportunity to teach in year 5, is giving me the opportunity of teaching and preparing the children, I have taught previously, for the latter part of their learning adventure at 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.
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.
Mrs Polly Williamson
Nursery & Phonics/Early Reading 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.
Miss Rhiannon Reece
Reception Teacher and Senior Leader and Head of EYFS/ KS1. Art and D&T 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.
Mrs Jo Griffiths
Senior Leader and Head of Key Stage2 & Outdoor Learning Coordinator
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. Their passion for learning makes me constantly strive to improve my own teaching. Having worked in EYFS and KS1 I am excited to now be in year 3 and heading up the fantastic KS2 team. My love for outdoor learning continues and we have plans to develop our KS2 outdoor spaces to help facilitate outdoor learning further across the curriculum.
Mrs Caroline Clode
Year 1 Teacher - Phonics tracking & 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 Laura Davis
Year 1 Teacher & MFL
Having worked with children and young people since leaving school at the age of 16 I couldn’t imagine doing anything else, no two days are the same and I look forward to each new day with 30 eager, happy children in my class. I was lucky enough to complete my PGCE at Oakmeadow in 2017 and have taught in nursery, reception and now in year one. Oakmeadow is a great school to work at and I continue to learn here every day from colleagues, parents and of course the children themselves. I love getting to know the individual children and their families and learning alongside them, watching them grow whilst making learning fun.
Miss Jessica Allan
Year 1 Teacher & PSHE
I am a member of the Bayston Hill community, and am thrilled to be now teaching these special pupils in the village since 2018. I have been teaching for 5 years, previously in a junior school, but absolutely love the challenge and thrill of teaching younger children. No two days are the same, and I relish the new opportunities and experiences the children bring each and every day. I am very fortunate to be part of such a supportive and close knit school community, where developing the ‘whole child’ is paramount. The children in our school are hard-working, healthy and most importantly, happy! I enjoy getting to know the families from the community and supporting them in their child’s development.
Mrs Julie Kirby
Year 2 Teacher - RE Lead & 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.
Miss Naomi Lewis
Year 3 Teacher and PSHE
Unlike the majority of the team here at Oakmeadow, it will be my first year of teaching. I feel unbelievably privileged to be given the opportunity to start my career in such a wonderful school, where a unit of staff and children strive to go above and beyond each and every day. Prior to this, you may have seen me in KS1 where I worked alongside Mrs Clode and Mrs Brooks in Caterpillars on my final professional practice - witnessing a wealth of knowledge and experience from both. I thoroughly enjoyed this time and it gave me the chance to start making those vital relationships with the children at Oakmeadow. I’m so excited to get started with my new lovely class of Foxes! Over the summer holidays, I have spent time giving our classroom some TLC and creating an exciting reading corner. Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my family, finding quaint little coffee shops, and exercising my much-loved horses. I love taking part in competitions with them involving dressage and show jumping and have done since four years old.
Mrs Julie Marston
Reception Teacher & Music Lead
I am delighted to be a member of the Oakmeadow team this term, and am very excited about our year ahead in Grasshopper 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 Leonie Clarkson
Year 4 Teacher - Geography & Global Learning 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!
Miss Charlotte Gries
Year 4 Teacher
Having wanted to be a teacher since a young girl, I am finally over the moon to say that my dream has come true! Having recently passed my teacher training I am excited and looking forward to completing my NQT year, here at Oak Meadow.
I began my career working within safeguarding and spent 1 year working with the NSPCC. During this time, I realised that my passion was to be able to make a difference to children and young people, and to be able to fill their daily life with positivity.
Miss Lyndsey Connell
Year 6 Teacher & History Lead
I am new to the Oakmeadow team! This will be my 12th year of teaching and I have been lucky to have had the experience of teaching in several different schools around the country. I grew up in Oswestry and have recently moved back to the area after teaching for 7 years in Greater London. I have worked in several year groups – but mainly KS2. I enjoy the challenge of teaching and love that every day brings something new – no two days are the same!
I have a busy life outside of teaching and am enjoying living closer to my friends and family. I like being outdoors and regularly go on walks with my family, to explore the beautiful countryside. It definitely beats living in grey London! During the holidays, I like to travel to new places and explore different cultures and meet new people. I recently went on a longer trip and explored several countries including: India, Vietnam, New Zealand and Australia. I love to keep active and play in a netball team every week. I am also a bit of a book worm and enjoy reading new books, as well as old favourites.
Mr Sam Ostermeyer
Year 6 Teacher - Computing & Physical Education Lead
This year will be my 9th year in teaching, of which this will be my 7th 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!