Oak Wood School

Staff Profiles

Miss A Bott, English teacher

“After 7 years as a financial analyst I wanted to use my transferable skills in a completely different environment. I was excited at the chance to potentially make a difference every day and help young people reach their full potential.

I have been at Oak Wood School for just over 3 months and I cannot praise the school enough for its welcoming and supportive staff. I believe our students enjoy coming to Oak Wood because of the exceptional facilities, particularly for sports, drama and music, and because of the inclusive community where staff ensure students are made to feel welcome and valued.”

Miss A Hindmarch, PE teacher

“I started my journey at Oak Wood School at the same time it was transitioning to its new state-of-the-art facilities and welcoming its first cohort girls. I loved that this meant that I had the opportunity to develop alongside the school. 

I was attracted to a career in teaching because of the unique feeling you get when you know you are positively impacting a young person’s life. I also love that no day is ever the same! As the only female P.E teacher at Oak Wood, I hope to develop the curriculum further for our young girls, providing them with positive experiences and ensuring they develop a positive mind-set towards sport and physical activity.”

Mrs A Hare, Office Manager

“I have been a member of staff at Oak Wood for 23 years, and thanks to the enthusiastic staff and energetic students there is never a dull day. I enjoy the daily challenges that the school brings ensuring every day is different.

I have not only seen myself develop from working part-time in the school library to becoming Office Manager, but I have seen the school develop too. The new school building has made an enormous difference; the enrichment programme is continuously expanding; and our students are being taught important life skills. I believe our students appreciate the efforts we put in to ensuring they leave here as well-rounded individuals.”

Mr B Jane, Assistant Headteacher

“It was my own positive school experience that inspired my decision to teach; I wanted to support students’ development and interest in PE and maths, to improve their life chances and make a real impact on their outcomes. I was attracted to teaching at Oak Wood School because of its community spirit, supportive environment and vision to of continual improvement – I could see this school was an exciting project and wanted to be a part of it.

I have a range of responsibilities as Assistant Headteacher, working with staff and students from across the school. I enjoy being part of an educational setting which opens doors for young people to go on and achieve success; but the best thing about working here has to be the students, they are our greatest asset and make it exciting to come to work every day.”

Mrs B Simon, MFL teacher

“I started my career within a primary school but decided to take a leap of faith and move to the secondary environment when the MFL teaching role within Oak Wood School came up. I have always been interested in languages and am passionate about providing young adults with the opportunity to speak another language and experience another culture.

Working at Oak Wood is fantastic because I’m surrounded by colleagues who are supportive and approachable. I joined only four months ago but the welcoming atmosphere made the transition easy and enjoyable. What’s more the facilities are extraordinary; the bright and spacious classrooms, with lovely views, create a calming environment in which to learn.”

Mr C Comissiong, IT teacher

“During my job search, Oak Wood School really caught my eye as an opportunity to help build a strong IT department which will be a shining light for the school. I enjoy the freedom to be creative in my lessons and the support that is given from the Senior Leadership Team and staff members to achieve my fullest potential.  I have really enjoyed the encouragement that I have been given to take hold of extra side projects to enhance my practice.  My ambition for the near future is to develop an A level course that we can offer here at Oak Wood.

Our students enjoy coming to the school because Oak Wood really does care about inclusion; ensures lessons are engaging; and provides a range of extra-curricular activities to enrich the student experience.”

Mr H Aslam, Head of Mathematics

“One of the reasons I was attracted into a career in teaching was my desire to apply my trade and share subject knowledge to improve the life chances of young learners. I loved that I could keep my subject knowledge of mathematics after leaving university.

I enjoy teaching high level mathematics to keen and enthusiastic students which is what I get to do here at Oak Wood.  I love the staff I work with and the environment I work in; and look forward to coming to work every day to make a difference to the students I teach.

Since taking on my role I have set about making the department and as vibrant and engaging as possible. With future ambitions to be a Headteacher, I want to ensure I leave a positive legacy to my successor so that they have a solid foundation to continue the good work in the mathematics department.”

Ms N Rowland-Simms, English NQT

“I have been at Oak Wood for just over a year, and one thing I have loved about teaching here is the supportive network of staff and their determination and drive to encourage the best from our students. Every child deserves the opportunity to reach and exceed their potential, no matter their background; this is fundamental to the ethos here at Oak Wood – positive encouragement is and should be offered to everyone.

I have been able to observe some outstanding teacher practice, which has influenced and inspired my own. I love the open door policy, where teachers are encouraged to observe each other and create a community of supportive and creative teachers. It has given me the confidence to try new things in my classroom, which I may not have previously.

Students at Oak Wood are far more critically engaged with the world than I feel I ever was at such a young age, and this is such an incredible thing to witness. I am humbled by how passionate and switched on so many young people are – it creates a classroom full of ideas and possibilities, which I feel so grateful to witness and facilitate. I am excited to be a part of the positive growth of Oak Wood, and to contribute towards an aspirational learning environment for all our current and future students.”

Miss N Weldon, SEN Support Officer

“Each student is unique and so no two lessons are the same. I constantly have to rethink the best strategies for certain classes, and the social dynamics keep me on my toes. This keeps each class tailored to the students’ specific needs, and also keeps me more inventive when planning my lessons!” 

“I have been working at Oak Wood for 6 years and this is without a doubt the best job I have ever had. Supporting students from when they start in Year 7 to when they leave in Year 13, a crucial time in a young person’s life, is a real honour.

What is unique about my role is that I get to help individual students with SEN and mainstream needs; covering admin, assisting in lessons and running a nurturing parenting group. I love the job satisfaction of helping students from all walks of life who want to achieve and succeed.”

Mr P Wheatley, Head of Year

“I was attracted into a career in teaching because I wanted to pass on my knowledge and creativity and to inspire new minds and develop confidence. I was attracted to Oak Wood because of the exiting journey the school was embarking on; I wanted to be part of a team with a clear vision.

My favourite aspect of the job is that each day is different; you never have an opportunity to be bored. As Head of Year 7, I have the opportunity to oversee a whole year group, supporting their transition from primary to secondary and their development, both academically and pastorally.

In the future, I would like to see myself part of the school’s Senior Leadership Team. I hope to establish a successful year team and have a clear vision and goal for all tutors and students alike.”

Mr T Rice, Head of Year

“I love working with young adults, seeing them develop and progress as a contribution of my teaching pedagogy is very rewarding. It’s quite a unique career, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! 

The school has changed a lot since I started in 2010; we now have a new brand, building and co-educational offer. At Oak Wood, we have such a variety of students and having the chance to nurture them in such multifaceted ways is challenging but very worthwhile.

Throughout my time at the school I feel that there is a real sense of support and encouragement between staff, which creates a fantastic atmosphere to work in.”