Noctua School Alliance

Member Area

Meet Our SLE Team

Daniel Beech

SLE for ICT, Design and Technology and Assessment


I trained in Leeds and have worked at Tranmere since joining as an NQT. During my time here, I have worked in the 3/4 and 5/6 phases and am currently subject leader for Computing. For the last 2 years I have held a TLR for ICT and Network management in school and am also responsible for the school website.

Over the last few years, I have developed and delivered a range of CPD both within my own school and as a guest at events in other settings covering a variety of subject areas. This has culminated in my becoming an accredited SLE trainer and being responsible for the training of SLEs within the Noctua Teaching School Alliance. A further aspect of my role is the oversight of SLE deployment for Noctua. My main expertise is the application of technology in education. This is not limited to use of technology within the classroom but includes all uses of technology by staff to fulfil wider professional responsibilities, for example, assessment.

One of my major recent projects has been taking the lead, along with our Assessment Coordinator, on implementing ClassTrack as an assessment system within our school - particularly looking after the technical side of the deployment and training staff with a focus on sharing best practice to all staff members. Now that this is in place across school, my involvement has switched to demonstrating this system to visiting headteachers and helping fine tune the system to ensure we are getting the best value for money.

Alongside my work with Noctua, I have also become an accredited Lead Practitioner with the Schools, Students and Teachers Network (SSAT). Through my involvement with their 'Smarter Spaces' project - a joint undertaking with Dulux - I have had the opportunity to be involved in all stages of the design and delivery of a new ICT suite within our school. As part of this project, and 2 others run by the MathsHubs and the SSAT, I have been involved with research in education looking at the impact of changes made in a variety of areas.

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Sarah Alderson

SLE for Early Years


I am an experienced EYFS Leader, Assistant Head and EYFS SLE, working in a larger than average Primary School.

I have twenty years of experience working as a class teacher.  During this time I have also led on Arts and Design throughout school, projects linked to the creative curriculum and graduate teacher training in EYFS, The Arts and Phonics.  

My experiences enable me to provide strategic support to ensure the principles of effective Early Years practice are successfully embedded.  This includes completing EYFS audits, developing action plans linked to data; successfully interpreting data, reviewing school trends and National and local comparisons, using this information to inform short and long term actions. 

With twenty years class teacher experience, my role can be practical, supporting the development of everyday provision and practice, focused clearly on raising standards.  

I have considerable experience working with changing teams of staff in EYFS, building capacity amongst all staff, developing provision inside and outdoors and developing strong links with parents and carers in order to improve outcomes for children.  I have a passion for learning outdoors, having developed outdoor classrooms across EYFS in locations which often pose some challenging features.

I plan and deliver EYFS training to graduate teachers, NQTs and teachers working in schools in Leeds and Bradford.  I am a trained coach and appraiser throughout school.  These roles combined with experience as a tutor and mentor for graduate teachers and trainer to qualified teachers, enable me to work with teachers at different points in their career, identifying and putting into action personalised targets and training.   I thoroughly enjoy the challenges that go with supporting others and equally the rewards that go with working collaboratively and being highly reflective. 

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Andy Patrick

SLE for Early Years


Having had the opportunity to work in a large, outstanding, mixed Nursery / Reception unit for the past five years, I have been immersed within a culture of reflection and challenge, working within a team that is determined to deliver the very best practice. As part of my role, I have supported a wide range of students including: work experience, child care students and PGCE students.

My pedagogy is fundamentally Regio inspired and focussed on following the interests of children. I am a huge advocate of promoting creativity within the EY curriculum and passionate about facilitating child directed project work.

Through my teaching approach I try to engender an inviting, collaborative exchange of ideas via a democratic approach between myself and my students. Where possible, I position myself as a sounding board; recycling their ideas, providing time and resources for them to explore new concepts and revisit familiar ones.

I am a reflective practitioner with strength in communication and making learning visible. My behaviour management is centred around restorative practice, high expectation and a determination to ensure all children have access to whatever they need in order to make progress.
I am an advocate of age appropriate risk and consider it an important and respectful facet of EY education. To this end I regularly take my students to explore woodland environments and support the independent use of real tools in woodwork and cooking.
As a member of the schools ICT team, I thoroughly enjoy working with technology to extend learning and to share our work with parents via various different communication platforms.

This year I have taken on the role of maths lead within EY with a specific focus on implementing a new mastery approach with the Nursery and Reception children. This is in line with our whole school approach.

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Paula Allaway

SLE for Maths


I currently work at Scholes (Elmet) Primary School, part of Sphere Federation, where I am a very enthusiastic Y1/2 teacher, maths leader and key stage 1 phase leader. I have extensive experience of teaching across the full primary age range, mostly in mixed age classes.

My key area of expertise is in maths. For a number of years, I have been involved in sharing good practice within the schools in which I work, as well as with teachers and leaders in other schools. I am an NCETM Primary Maths Mastery Specialist teacher, working closely with the White Rose Maths Hub, and an NCETM accredited PD Lead. I have a clear understanding of the principles of teaching maths for mastery and have deep subject knowledge of primary maths. The mastery programme was inspirational and I am passionate about disseminating mastery pedagogy and practices to other leaders. As well as working with colleagues in my own school, I have also worked with colleagues across several Leeds schools, supporting teaching, planning and assessment in order to effectively support children in developing a deep and sustainable understanding of maths. This has involved a variety of approaches including team teaching, modelling, coaching and mentoring.

I have successfully delivered a number of CDP sessions to large groups of colleagues within our federation, and more recently in other schools, inspiring and enthusing colleagues to implement new approaches to teaching maths. CPD sessions have included developing conceptual understanding and fluency in multiplication, bar modelling as a problem solving tool, and progression in fractions, including part-whole relationships, ordering and calculating.

I am excited to support effective practice and provision that secure long-term impact for the children we teach.

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Angelique O'Garo

SLE for English


I began teaching in 2003 and since then I have worked in a variety of schools across Leeds where I have gained experience in a range of different contexts. I am currently LKS2 Phase Leader (teaching in Year 4) and Literacy Leader at Carr Manor Primary but prior to this, I led UKS2, taught in Y6 and was the ICT Leader. For the last four years, I have been leading whole school Literacy and it is a role that I really enjoy. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to promote standards linked to our school improvement priorities, support teachers with planning and monitor teaching and learning, whilst taking great satisfaction in helping children to develop their enthusiasm for learning. I aim is to always promote positive working relationships within my team and ensure that all members of staff are effectively supported.

Leadership has enabled me to develop the strong communication, interpersonal and organisational skills I need to fulfil my roles with success and reinforce the school’s ethos, standards and policies. I have developed action plans to raise standards through identifying and prioritising areas for development. I have undertaken regular monitoring of teaching and learning, moderation and work scrutiny, pupil interviews, learning walks, pupil progress meetings and data analysis, confidently leading many aspects of CPD within school.

I have good knowledge and understanding of the curriculum expectations and I have taken part in high quality moderation with other schools. I developed a series of staff meetings focused on understanding the key components of reading and worked with staff to redevelop teaching strategies which have had a positive impact on learning across school. I implemented the systematic teaching of reading using whole class and guided group approaches and supported staff to develop their year group curriculum with a focus on using quality texts. I regularly work with colleagues to develop our reading culture and build a reading community across school. In addition to this, I collaborate with colleagues to develop our writing curriculum and support teachers to make meaningful, embedded links with grammar. I am currently working with other members of staff to develop and refine our approach to writing and our understanding of the assessment criteria.

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Angharad Jones

SLE for Science, Music


I studied science at Birmingham University as my first degree, and have also worked in laboratories at both Birmingham University and St James’ Hospital, Leeds, so I have industry experience in scientific fields. Prior to going into primary teaching I also worked at Newcastle University (2008-2010) in Science Outreach, liaising and working with teachers from both primary and secondary schools in the North East region and also from around the country, running workshops and events to support science teaching in their schools.

Since moving into primary education, I have taught across all key stages and year groups, from EYFS to Year 6 and in 2015 undertook a secondment to a local school as Phase Leader.

I have been Science Curriculum Lead Teacher for 5 years, English Leader for one and am currently Music Curriculum Lead teacher. As Science Lead, working closely with all teaching staff in school, I achieved the Silver Primary Science Quality Mark for Tranmere Park Primary School. It was a challenging but beneficial path and has aided the staff team to evaluate, strengthen and celebrate science provision throughout school. Following this, at the inaugural Leeds Primary Science Conference, I presented about PSQM in one of the workshop sessions and subsequently supported a number of Science Subject Leaders around Leeds.

I have worked with the ‘Leading Innovation in Primary Science’ course at the National Science Learning Centre in York. I led a group of primary science leaders from around the country, looking at best practice in science, sharing ideas, successes and looking at the practicalities of taking it back into their own schools.

I am currently leading the Groove Generation Project, a multi-school project in the Guiseley area, with the aim of bringing rich inclusive musical opportunities to primary school children. I manage three music practitioners who run the sessions at three hub schools in the local area.

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Amy Brealey

SLE for Early Years


I trained as a teacher in 2007 and have since worked at Shakespeare Primary School, Leeds, where I am now in the role of Assistant Head Teacher and Early Years Leader. I have excellent knowledge of the EYFS, having taught in both Nursery and Reception classes and more recently have had the responsibility of planning, recruiting, setting up and running a two year old school Nursery. I understand the key principles in providing children with quality early learning experiences through indoor provision, outdoor learning and collaboration with parents.

I have vast experience in developing large staff teams with varying knowledge and expertise. I currently appraise a large team of practitioners, including setting personal development targets, carrying out observations and providing tailored training sessions. I have experience in coaching colleagues in becoming leaders themselves by taking on additional teaching and learning responsibilities within the school. I find collaborative work highly rewarding; I have discovered that through the development of others, I find new ways in which to improve my own leadership.

As well as staff development, leading a phase has allowed me to develop my own reflective practice and become solution-focused in rapidly identifying areas for improvement. I am knowledgeable in writing clear and concise action plans that are focused on raising standards through achievable methods. In addition to this, I am fully experienced in the monitoring of development plans collaboratively with other leaders in order to meet success criteria and develop targeted areas.

I am passionate about providing all children, no matter their personal circumstances, in having the best start through high quality early education. This includes knowledge of how to best utilise Pupil Premium funding and the Free Early Education Entitlement to diminish the difference in outcomes for vulnerable children. I have a personal interest in the importance of early talk and currently work with other senior leaders in developing oracy across the school. As well as my role in Early Years, I also have experience in curriculum development and currently coordinate a team of subject leaders to have whole school impact in raising achievement through the Arts.

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Liz Willis

SLE for Early Years


I have been a teacher in the Early Years since 1989. I am now Deputy Head at Allerton CE Primary, leading and teaching in the Foundation Stage. We were one of the first schools in Leeds to set up a 2 Year Old Nursery and we have a thriving 3 Year old Nursery and 60 Reception children. I am also an Early Years moderator for the local authority.

I am passionate about making a difference for young children and enjoy sharing my experiences with other teachers so that together we can plan and deliver the best possible provision for the children in our care.

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Helen Drew

SLE for Phonics


I have been teaching for 14 years and I have had experience of teaching in a variety of schools, in a variety of areas across Leeds. I started my teaching career in a school in Dewsbury. During this time I taught in foundation stage, key stage one and I also spent a term teaching in a resourced provision unit where children had both learning and behavioural difficulties. This gave me valuable experience that I have implemented across my teaching career. From there I moved to be a phase leader of a school in south Leeds, where I lead a foundation unit for four years, teaching in both nursery and reception, before moving to be a key phase leader in KS1 in a year one class for a further two years. During my time as a foundation stage leader, I worked alongside an early years consultant to deliver training across Leeds on effective foundation stage practise. This experience resulted in me taking a keen interest in supporting and mentoring teachers.

I now teach at Shakespeare Primary school, which is an inner city school in Leeds and I have been teaching there for nearly 3 years. I am the assistant head teacher and I teach in year 2. I lead KS1 and phonics and I am the pupil premium and EAL champion in school.

During my teaching career, I have developed a passion for teaching reading, phonics and writing. I have developed my knowledge of phonics through my years of teaching from nursery through to year two, which has supported me to have a thorough knowledge and understanding of phonics across school. My extensive knowledge of phonics allows me to support teachers across school to quickly identify and address gaps. Over the past 3 years I have shared good practise with staff in my own school and others. This has been through staff meetings, modelling of lessons and sharing good practise to ensure the best possible phonics teaching across school. I am constantly learning and updating my own knowledge of phonics to ensure that I provide the best possible teaching and learning experiences for children in phonics.

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Joy Johnston

SLE for English and the Visual Arts


Initially an Early Years practitioner, I took the hooks and the experiences into Key Stage 1 and then Key Stage 2. Over the past twenty-two years, I have therefore taught in Reception, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 5 and Year 6. I am the English and Arts lead at Allerton CE Primary where my current role brings in all this experience as I deliver an 'Arts and English' fortnight, with every class (Y6-Nursery) throughout the academic year. This involves team teaching with the class teacher and accumulates with a parent celebration on the final Friday afternoon. Running alongside the experience is dance and drama; the overarching goal is to 'unlock the mystery of learning for the children we are concerned about' (Creative Learning without limits p:85) so that barriers are removed and confidence gained. It is intense, relational and visual for all involved. As the fortnight develops, the art studio is transformed to reflect and celebrate the learning. A 'workshop feel' on the Friday celebration allows the children to share the skills they have grappled with and achieved.

Helping children to make the connections and the links in the theme/story/moment in history to their world today, as well as pupils owning their learning is what drives the 'Arts and English' fortnight and my practice. The aim is to immerse our young people in the subject matter, so that by the end of their learning journey, they have greater passion, empathy, understanding, knowledge and appreciation. This happens through creating the space, bringing in the necessary props and ensuring that the planning purposefully weaves together the English, Arts and other curriculum areas to be explored, experienced and referred to. The planning is fluid as reflections with pupils and colleagues from that day will determine the course for the next. However, there is always rigour. Through high challenge and high support the young people are expected to engage fully in the curriculum. It is often those pupils who 'achieve' in the 3R's that find themselves outside their comfort zones; the others appreciate the practical drenching, visual prompts and creativity. However, belief breeds confidence. Over the fortnight, you can tangibly feel their mind-sets shift from that of 'I can't to that of I can!' Increased co-operation and collaboration, communication and perseverance are the learning attributes that are often voiced when reflecting on their learning over the two weeks.

I am also a Fellow in my second year on an Ambition School Leadership program. Their sound bite is what I believe: Every child. Every school. Same opportunity.

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David Owen

SLE for English, Maths and Assessment


I lead English, Humanities and Assessment at Moortown Primary, and currently teach Y4. Prior to this, I led Maths and Assessment, as well as teaching Y5 and Y6 for several years. My role involves developing teaching and learning across our federation of schools, leading CPD on a variety of subjects and developing assessments.

Having spent a few years in other industries, I realised that teaching was for me while doing some work experience in a primary school because I love helping children learn. Those moments when you can see the penny drop are the reason I got into teaching. I feel lucky to have such a varied and interesting job with all its challenges and characters.

I’m a bit of a self-professed data geek and love a good spreadsheet, having designed assessment tracking systems that are used over a number of schools now. I enjoy researching new approaches and monitoring their effectiveness both in my class and across the school, choosing the most effective to become common practice. Recent projects have involved developing reading, rolling out a mastery approach in maths and implementing a new approach to the way we assess.

For a number of years now, I’ve supported teachers and support staff across different schools to develop their practice in Maths, English and Assessment. I’ve mentored students and NQTs across our teaching school alliance and have a passion for sharing best practice – we can all learn so much from each other.

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Paul Wilks

SLE for KS1


I work at Moortown Primary School, part of the Sphere Federation, where I am the STEM leader and Year 2 teacher. In my time at Moortown, I’ve gained experience working across both key stages and have a broad experience of leading change across a school.

As curriculum leader at Moortown Primary School, I’ve been responsible for implementing new curriculum planning and assessment procedures for Science and the foundation subjects. This involved creating a set of age-related expectations for all year groups in all subjects for teachers to use as the starting point for planning and the criteria for assessments. This policy was developed over time, requiring strong vision, constant communication, collaboration and an ability to reflect and adapt.

As a subject leader for a number of years, I’ve been responsible for developing teaching and learning in a variety of subjects by writing clear and realistic action plans, leading CPD, modelling best practice and conducting monitoring to evaluate impact. I really enjoy the cyclical nature of school improvement.

Having been mentored and supported by great teachers early in my career, I really enjoy developing teaching across our federation as well as mentoring NQTs and student teachers. This year, I’ve also been jointly responsible for leading Noctua’s NQT programme, drawing on the experience, skills and strengths of teachers and leaders from across the teaching to school to demonstrate best practice in a range of curriculum areas.

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Tracy Booth

SLE for Key Stage One, Phonics, Assessment and Moderation


I currently work at Pudsey Waterloo Primary School as Assistant Head with responsibility for Early Years and Key Stage One. As part of this role I teach 2 days a week in a Year 2 class. I am also a KS1 moderator for Bradford LA and have done this role for 5 years. As part of this role I work in other schools alongside their year 2 team to offer advice and to support them with making their end of year teacher assessment judgements.

I have a lot of teaching and leadership experience within Key Stage One as I have previously worked in a large 3 form entry school in Bradford where I was Key Stage One leader for 7 years. A few years ago, after returning from maternity leave I taught in Year 4 and led year 1, 2, 3 and 4 with a focus on the Year 2/3 transition. One of my other roles, whilst working in Year 4 was to raise the standards of phonics within Key Stage 2 using a whole class approach with targeted intervention and catch up sessions.

Before moving to Leeds and teaching in Bradford, I worked in a school in Darlington (one of my placement schools from my SCITT course) with an attached autistic unit for Key Stage One and Key Stage Two. I ran the Key Stage One autistic unit having had experience of working with children with autism whilst undertaking my degree in psychology and having been trained in America with the use of Son-Rise and Growing Minds programs.

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Victoria Goodall

SLE for Maths, curriculum and assessment


I am currently the maths leader at Pudsey Waterloo Primary school alongside teaching in year 4. Prior to this, I taught in year 2, implementing the change of the curriculum and interim framework as well as leading PE throughout the whole school. For the past two years, I have been co-ordinating maths, a subject that I thoroughly enjoy leading and teaching. This role allows me to promote a key area of the school’s improvement priorities, supporting teachers in planning, feedback and assessment, whilst also encouraging a love for the subject to both staff and pupils. I have a good understanding of the mastery approach in maths and work closely with the White Rose Hub to ensure my knowledge is up to date. In line with the new curriculum and creating a mastery approach, I promote the use of concrete – pictorial and abstract models and images to support and deepen children’s learning. I promote a range of images such as the bar model, numicon, tens frames and part – whole models to name a few, as this gives children varied fluency.

Over the past three years, I have completed my Masters in Education, specialising in Leadership and Management. This has allowed me to research and develop a range of coaching and mentoring skills. As maths leader, I have had the opportunity to develop these leadership styles, knowing that each individual needs supporting in different ways. I also have experience of working within changing teams, promoting a shared vision and working together to develop relationships between staff and parents alongside improving outcomes for pupils.

I plan and deliver a range of maths training to student teachers across a consortium of school in Bradford and Leeds, training to NQT’s and teachers working in schools. As well as this, I am an NQT mentor and schools direct mentor; these roles allow me to work alongside a range of teachers at different points in their career, setting targets and supporting professional development.

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Alison Robson

SLE for Maths, ITT and Leadership


I have taught in Leeds for over 20 years and I have been Deputy Head at Carr Manor Primary School for 7 years. During my career I have taught in all KS2 year groups and have been a phase leader, led Numeracy, Gifted and Talented and Arooj (EAL) projects across school. I support the Head teacher in ensuring data analysis and assessment is used effectively to support appropriate progress. I work closely with the Head to promote standards linked to our school improvement priorities, support teachers with planning and monitor teaching and learning. In addition, as ITT lead, I have supported Leeds Beckett University delivering focus into practice days for years. I feel privileged to work in such a diverse and vibrant school and believe the opportunities I have encountered have enabled me to be develop strong communication, interpersonal and organisational skills. In addition, I have worked in schools across the city to support leaders with maths and Deputy Heads new to post. I have also led the move in school towards Mastery maths and supported the implementation of the ‘Maths No Problem’ text books. I fully understand the steps and careful planning involved, including the need for detailed research, fully planned and funded CPD, peer support and the honest evaluation required.

I have had vast experience of devising, implementing and evaluating action plans with clear focused outcomes. I have worked to develop and support teachers in every stage of their teaching career from trainees and NQT’s to middle leaders implementing significant curriculum change. I have carried out many appraisals, observations and feedback and have always strived to ensure teachers reach their full potential ensuring appropriate and tailored support is implemented.

I believe that positive team work is fundamental in driving forward successful improvement and have found collaborative work highly rewarding, providing me with personal insight and having helped me to develop my leadership skills further.

As Deputy I have a good understanding of the strategical running of a school and understand how important clear communication needs to be in a large team. I have good knowledge and understanding of the curriculum expectations across all phases and I have taken part in high quality moderation with other schools.

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Claire Ranshaw

SLE for Inclusion, SEN and Behaviour


I have been the Inclusion Manager at Carr Manor Primary School for seven years. During this time I have also been Upper KS2 phase leader for three years and taught in Year 6. Prior to this, I was an Inclusion Manager at Meridian Primary School (Greenwich; London) for three years and for one year at Middlestown Primary School (Wakefield). I am no longer class based, but I have experience of teaching across all year groups including teaching literacy to children with a high level of ability.

I have successfully shared and implemented my vision for inclusion across the schools I have worked in. I have made significant changes to the way provision is delivered and to the understanding of inclusion within the settings I have worked. I passionately share my knowledge and understanding of SEND through regular staff meetings, assemblies and INSETs. The key areas that I am currently delivering training on are: colourful semantics, differentiation, reading interventions, dyslexia and autism. I am also putting evidence together to show that we meet the criteria for ‘The Dyslexia Friendly Mark’. This is something I have been central to achieving in my previous school. More recently, I have been working with children, who have a diagnosis of dyslexia and autism, to ensure that there is a whole school understanding from their point of view.

I completed a Post Graduate Certificate in ‘Providing Effective Provision for Children with SEN’ during my third year of teaching. Since then, I have been putting provision maps and interventions in place across the schools I have worked in. I regularly evaluate, review and change how we support our children outside of the classroom. My key focus and training around all interventions has been the generalisation of the skills learnt. Within the classroom, I have recently delivered whole school training on differentiation - focusing particularly on how we can enable children to be as independent as possible.

I’m a reflective practitioner with big ambitions for all children. A central part of my role is ensuring that adults and children understand each other’s differences. With this understanding, our children are able to take ownership of their differences and are developing - and sharing - positive mind-sets enabling them to overcome the key barriers to their learning. I also provide a platform for children to show their strengths through talent shows, lunch time clubs and work around ‘dyslexia advantage’.

There are plenty of challenges that come with this role, but I really love it. I can not imagine doing anything else.

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Daniel White

SLE for Teaching and Learning, KS2 and Assessment


I trained and had my first teaching job in east London. After a few years there, I moved to Leeds to teach at Farsley Springbank, where I was History and Geography leader, Behaviour Leader, Child protection officer and member of SLT and then to St Augustine’s Primary in Harehills take the job of KS2 leader. Since September 2016, I have been Assistant Headteacher and KS2 leader at Pudsey Waterloo Primary. My teaching experience has mainly been in years 5 and 6 (currently teaching 2 and a half days a week in year 5), but also have three years’ experience teaching in lower KS2.

I am committed to improving outcomes for children of all backgrounds through fostering a growth mindset in the children, improving their learning behaviours and creating a curriculum that is both exciting and challenging for all pupils.

Throughout my time in leadership, I have worked to develop and implement rigorous assessment systems, analysed data to evaluate the effectiveness of practice and created action plans closely linked to quantifiable outcomes.

I aim to create a happy, positive team that feels empowered to improve their own practice and am proud of the success I’ve had in developing good and outstanding teaching and learning with NQTs, RQTs and experienced members of staff.

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Lucy Joyce

SLE for KS2 Phase Leader, Literacy Leader and member of the Middle Leadership


I have been a teacher since 2007 and have had the opportunity to work in different Key Stages within my current school and been lucky enough to work within other schools supporting fellow teachers. Before becoming a teacher, I was a HLTA at a KS4 pupil referral unit in Leeds, which gave me a good grounding in how to deal with the most challenging of children and inspired me to enter the profession. I am currently UKS2 Phase Leader (teaching in Year 6) as well Literacy Leader and member of the Middle Leadership Team at Pudsey Primrose Hill Primary School. Prior to this position, I taught in Years 1, 3 and 4 and for the last 3 years I have been leading whole school Literacy, which is a role I feel really passionate about. My various roles enable me to support other teachers in their planning and teaching methods, inspire young minds, engender enthusiasm in the children and help promote the school’s prime objectives. My team is forged from excellent teachers and strengthened by positive working relationships, where everybody is supported in all that they do.

Helping to develop staff whilst leading a phase has allowed me to develop my own practice; aiding me in becoming more reflective and able to step back and identify areas for improvement. I create clear and concise action plans that are focused on raising standards through achievable methods. In addition to this, I am experienced in meeting targets and fulfilling criteria through the monitoring of development plans with other teachers. I undertake regular monitoring of both teaching and learning, as well as moderation, learning walks, pupil progress meetings and completing data analysis. Furthermore, being part of the MLT for the last 4 years has enabled me to develop the strong communication, interpersonal and organisational skills needed to fulfil my roles with success and reinforce the school’s ethos, standards and policies.

I created and led an initiative within school to change the way we teach reading by underlining the key components of whole class reading. By delivering whole staff training and monitoring, I implemented the systematic teaching of reading using the whole class reading sessions. I have also redeveloped our writing curriculum and focussed on real-life learning experiences. Both of these initiatives have led to an improvement in progress measures of all groups of children. With these and other new strategies, I have always supported staff to develop their year group curriculum with a focus on using quality texts. I regularly work with colleagues to develop our reading culture and build a reading community across school.

As well as delivering training ‘in-house’, I have also planned and delivered training for graduate teachers for both Leeds and Bradford. This roles, combined with experience as a tutor and mentor for graduate teachers, enable me to work with teachers at different points in their careers; identifying and putting into action personalised targets and training.

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Dan Kelly

SLE for Early Years Phase Leader, Creative Arts Leader and Geography.


I am a passionate teacher with enjoyment and creativity at the heart of my ethos. I have been part of an outstanding EYFS team for the past 6 years. I began my teaching journey as a GTP student in the same team and am now the Early Years Phase leader. I also lead a team of teachers who design and implement the creative curriculum within school.

I am a firm believer that Early Years practitioners need to understand the way in which each child in their class learns and to what their interests and enjoyments are. Early years pedagogy works at its best when environments are exciting and challenging and when children have the opportunity to explore, question, try out and reflect. This is the heart of Early Years teaching and what enables children to become resilient, independent and focused in their learning. I am a reflective practitioner who constantly reflects and changes approaches to teaching in response to children and expectations.

I am excited to have the opportunity to work collaboratively with teachers across Leeds. I have experience in supporting NQTs, delivering training to School Direct and PGCE students and delivering CPD to Early Years teachers. Having this experience has enabled me to work with a range of teachers at different points in their teaching career. I enjoy seeing the best in teachers and working alongside them, encouraging and helping them to achieve their full potential.

Within my school I am part of a middle leadership team working to raise standards in phonics and reading across school. We have designed a new reading approach and delivered training to teachers that has been positively received and significantly improved standards in reading. I have also been part of a team more recently who has changed the approach to maths teaching with a focus on mastery in the EYFS.

I am really looking forward to fulfilling my role as an SLE and sharing good practice and exciting learning amongst passionate teachers. I really believe that through sharing we learn so much from each other.

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Sara Westlake

SLE for Key Stage One and English lead and Year 2 teacher


I began my teaching training in 2005 at Chester University, where I completed a Bachelor of Education. I qualified in 2009 and worked in a school in South Leeds for 8 years. During this time, I was part of the SLT, LKS2 leader, English leader and mentor to student teachers. In 2015, I completed a Master in Education at Leeds Trinity University, where the focus of my research project was developing reading for pleasure in Primary Schools. I am currently working at Weetwood Primary School where I am Acting Assistant Head Teacher, Key Stage One and English lead and Year 2 teacher.

I am enthusiastic about everything I teach but the teaching of reading has always been a passion of mine, I have always strived for the highest standards and tried to pass on my enthusiasm to the children I teach. Working in Year 2 for a considerable period I have always ensured that the children are given the opportunities to succeed to the best of their ability and enjoy reading. I have worked at Weetwood for nearly 2 Years, I have introduced whole class reading as the main teaching method and have seen results improve in a short amount of time. Throughout this process, I have enjoyed supporting colleagues on their journey to teaching reading, developing planning and resources and ensuring rigorous assessment is in place. I have also made changes to the way in which writing is assessed in school ensuring a consistent assessment system in place. I have been moderated on two separate occasions. This experience has given me confidence in the judgements I have made and has helped me develop

I pride myself on building positive working relationships with all colleagues. I have been the student mentor in both schools which I have worked at. I find this role very rewarding and enjoy helping other people to succeed whilst sharing my love of teaching and learning.

Having been part of the SLT for over 7 years I have developed my communication skills, have analysed data, recognised trends and acted upon them. I am always keen to develop my own CPD and believe that something can be learnt from every school/teacher.

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Emma Digby

SLE for Key Stage 2 leader and literacy leader


A teacher with 12 years’ experience, I am the Key Stage 2 leader and literacy leader at Park Spring Primary in Bramley. At Park Spring I have been the lead on several successful projects including:

• Growth Mind Set project – the language of learning.
• Developing writing – shared writing and editing with focus.
• Developing reading – focusing on the 3 key areas of reading through active reading.
• RIC reading project – Noctua project for 4 classes and 100 children.

The above projects have impacted upon the school’s development and have been successful due to:

• Careful planning and involvement of several stakeholders.
• Using data to back up the direction of change.
• Research from a range of sources.
• Focused trialling of ideas to measure their efficacy.
• CPD for teachers and TAs with clear key priorities to achieve.
• Providing resources to support teachers.
• Having professional conversations regularly in order to support new initiatives.
• Keeping ideas current and celebrating achievement.

I am really enthused about all aspects of literacy and I am always developing myself as well as others.
I can be found on Twitter – @lobster_1

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Amy Walsh

SLE for English, Music and KS2


I am currently English Leader at Valley View Community Primary School alongside teaching Year 5. Throughout my career, I have also taught in a range of year groups across KS2 including Year 6 for several years. My undergraduate degree is in Psychology and during this I completed a range of modules including the Psychology of Language and Developmental Disorders of Communication. My undergraduate dissertation centred around the investigation of reading comprehension in children and the impact that early language skills have on subsequent comprehension development. As part of a wider longitudinal study, I collected and analysed data from a large cohort of primary aged children. In my role of English Leader, I enjoy developing new teaching strategies that build on educational research in language development. I believe it is important to continuously evaluate and update teaching pedagogy. Most recently, in my role of English Leader, I have been looking at ways to improve the teaching of spelling and ways to engage and excite reluctant learners with writing.

After my PGCE, I continued my academic study in Education and was awarded an MA in Teaching with Distinction from the University of Leeds in 2015. During my Masters degree, I developed my skills in educational research and completed two modules, ‘Noticing and Observing for Professional Practice and Learning’ and ‘Promoting and Assessing Learning in the Classroom’, along with my own critical study in my third year. This study combined my psychological background with my career in education to look at differences in children’s learning attitudes, how learning attitudes are formed and whether they can be changed. I was subsequently involved in work back at school to promote a ‘growth mindset’ amongst our children.

Prior to my role as English Leader, I held a TLR for leading the Arts and Music across a large three-form entry primary school. As a musician myself, I was responsible for ensuring high-quality music teaching across the school, along with coordinating additional music lessons, groups, projects and workshops.

In addition to mentoring a number of trainee teachers, I have also planned and delivered training for trainee teachers and NQTs from the Westerton School Direct Partnership and Leeds Trinity University. I have enjoyed working with colleagues in the early stages of their career and am excited by the opportunities that school-to-school support can bring.

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Marie Byrne

SLE for English


I qualified as a teacher after studying for my PGCE through the Open University in 1997. Since qualifying, I have been teaching in Leeds, first in an inner-city school in Middleton, before moving to St Marys in Horsforth in 2008. I have taught throughout key stage 2, holding management responsibilities for phase leader and English lead.

As English lead, I have contributed to the school self-evaluation document and whole school development plan. This has fed into my own subject action plan to raise standards in reading and writing. I have carried out monitoring of teaching and learning through moderation and work scrutiny; pupil interviews; learning walks; pupil progress meetings and data analysis. I have also confidently lead many aspects of CPD training to staff within school.

As an SLE for English, working with St Mary’s Teaching School, I have led subject leader meetings across the Academy Trust – sharing best practise and offering school to school support as required. I have also worked with several schools outside the Academy Trust, providing valuable knowledge and support to new English leads. More recently I have provided training to St Mary’s teaching school students around the delivery of spellings, punctuation and grammar and the journey from reading through to writing, promoting the use of quality texts to teach the primary English curriculum.

For the last three years I have been employed by the Local authority as a key stage 2 writing moderator. This is a role that I have fully enjoyed and feel privileged to have been involved with – working alongside fantastic teachers, offering support and advice to raise standards even further.

My new role at Noctua is one where I can share my experiences teaching English, offer effective strategies for improvement in children’s attainment and monitor and support schools in the delivery of such strategies. I am really excited about joining a growing, successful team of dedicated and hardworking individuals.

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Louise Hannon

SLE for reading


I have taught for over twelve years from early years through to Year 6 (but probably most at home in Year One!) in four different inner city primary schools in Leeds, Oxford and London. I am a trained reading recovery teacher, have a masters in literacy education from the UCL Institute of education and also masters accreditation from a year long english leaders course at the CLPE (centre for literacy in primary education) in London. I am passionate about every child leaving school as a reader, regardless of background and during my time as English leader I initiated a number of whole school reading for pleasure projects. I have also implemented layered literacy interventions based on reading recovery principles. I have delivered a number of training and inset sessions to a range of schools. These have included training on reading comprehension skills, developing the school library and engaging parents in reading and whole class guided reading. I really enjoy working with different school teams and supporting teachers and school leaders.

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Robert Winstanley

SLE for KS1, Maths and Strategic Systems Implementation


Following an undergraduate degree in Childhood, Culture and Education and a PGCE at the University of Leeds, I have been working as a teacher and school leader across Leeds and Bradford for the last 8 years. I have worked in a variety of schools covering years 1 to 6. I am currently based at Primrose Hill Primary School, where I am employed as a Year 2 teacher and Assistant Headteacher for KS1 and Maths, as well as being a Lead Practitioner for the Owlcotes Multi-academy trust.

As a Phase Leader, I work closely with a small team on a day to day basis and pride myself on my ability to communicate effectively with the people I work with, in order to get the very best of the team. This role allows me to support teachers with various levels of experience and expertise in the classroom as well as ensuring that the phase runs efficiently and effectively.

I also lead on mathematics for the whole school. This is very rewarding as I am able to see the full learning journey of our pupils. I have enjoyed working extensively with the West Yorkshire Maths Hub to implement a mastery curriculum at my school, that we are constantly seeking to develop and improve. I also recently completed an NPQSL which focussed on effective strategies for teaching Key instant Recall Facts. As the maths leader, I regularly lead whole-school CPD and have developed a strong understanding of how to implement and manage change within the subject.

I have a passion for developing and implementing effective school systems, such as introducing a new assessment system cto my current setting. Recently, I have been involved in the migration of our computer system to Google. This involved liaising regularly with external tech support as well as training all staff in how the system works and then managing the complex migration of the schools data from our previous system in a, ​hopefully​ , seamless way!

I am very much looking forward to working with other schools and look forward to sharing my experience as well finding out about all of the ways different settings attempt to provide for their pupils.

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Lauren Daniels

SLE for English


For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a teacher and wanted to share my love and enjoyment of learning with others. I have been a teacher in UKS2 since 2015 and am currently the Year 6 teacher, KS2 and English lead at Primley Wood Primary School. In my time at Primley Wood, I have been given fantastic opportunities to work with SLEs myself which proved invaluable to my practice. I've also been able to grow as a teacher and a leader and have mentored and coached others. This has really inspired me to want to become an SLE myself.

I studied Primary Education at university and during this time, chose English as my subject specialism. I absolutely love all things reading and writing and feel that it's so important to promote these subjects positively throughout school as they are skills that will be used forever. Everyone can fall in love with reading and writing, they just need to be shown how! This is why I am passionate about making a difference and changing attitudes for young children and enjoy sharing my experiences with other teachers so that together, we can influence these changes.

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Sarah Smith

SLE for English and Designated Safeguard Lead


Deputy Head, Year 6 Teacher, English Lead and Designated Safeguard Lead.

I have worked as a primary school teacher in Leeds for more than 20 years. Most of this experience has been in Key Stage 2 primarily in Year 6.

I worked as a SENCO/Inclusion Manager in an inner city school for a long time working closely with parents, agencies and local community groups. Part of this role allowed me to work closely with a SILC to integrate children with complex needs into mainstream primary classrooms where possible. After that, I worked as Maths lead in another local primary school . In this role I worked on SLT helping to move the school from RI to Good. This role enabled me to plan for and make strategic changes and put systems and procedures in place to ensure consistency in standards across the whole school.

My current role allows me to manage Key Stage 2 , lead Literacy and work as a Deputy whilst teaching Year 6. I have developed non-negotiables in Writing, ensured that a breadth of reading opportunities are planned for and raised the profile of poetry across school. Part of this role has enabled me to work across our MAT to resource high quality non-fiction books linked to History, Geography and Science topics. Leading Year 6 for such a long time has given me invaluable knowledge about where the children need to be at the end of primary school, high expectations, the ability to deliver high quality effective intervention and assess accurately.

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Kate Thompson

SLE for Science


Coming soon.

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