Jonathan Robinson has been teaching Modern Foreign Languages for 19 years and is a professional mentor for ITT. He graduated with a First with Distinction in German and Spanish from the University of Wales and has taught English in Germany and lectured in Education and Linguistics in China. He has led over 30 international educational study visits and exchanges and has run many extra-curricular clubs from the Arsenal Double Club for younger linguists to Linguistics for Beginners and German Cultural History for A Level students.
Jonathan currently teaches German and Spanish to A level, but has also taught Latin, Mandarin and Portuguese. He has a Masters with distinction in Leading Learning from Hertfordshire University. Jonathan has held many posts in school including subject and departmental leadership, and is currently on the senior leadership team with accountability for driving the Advanced Learning Alliance as well as promoting the Single Equality Duty at Dame Alice Owen’s School and is the Professional Mentor for Initial Teacher Training. Jonathan has been a teacher tutor for MFL at Hertfordshire University for several years and works closely with the university on the delivery of their school-led PGCE.
He is a well-respected CPD trainer, resource developer and consultant in languages, an experienced leadership coach and a champion for tackling homophobia in school.
Ian Cooksey is the Headteacher of Watford Grammar School for Boys, which is a partially-selective comprehensive school. During his career to date, he has led a great variety of schools, including single sex (boys and girls), mixed, comprehensive and selective, representing schools in every Ofsted category. He joined a comprehensive school in Special Measures in 2010 as Head of School and helped to lift it out of that category in one year.
‘Not all schools need to change so much, so quickly, but all schools have a duty to their students to ensure that they do not stand still. Even outstanding schools need to change, for ‘outstanding’ is a relative term. Whilst it is true that all change does not lead to improvement, all improvement requires change.’
Ian has led CPD in several different schools to support the development of exceptional teaching and learning across the educational system. He has also supported schools seeking to enhance their self-evaluation frameworks and their approach to strategic planning. Having led one of the most financially efficient schools in the country, he has also developed some expertise in managing financial constraints, without adversely affecting outcomes – a challenge that many schools are being required to engage with in the current climate.
Most recently, Ian has been involved in the development and opening of a new Free School in the London Borough of Barnet.
Designated specialisms : External Reviews of Governance
Peter has been Chair of Governors at Dame Alice Owen’s School since 2009, having first become a Foundation governor in 2001. The first old boy of the school and non-brewer to become Chair since the school’s foundation in 1613, he studied Medieval and Modern Languages at Worcester College, Oxford. He is also a Trustee of the Agora Learning Partnership, a multi-academy-trust in Hertfordshire.
He spent his career in finance with Lloyds Banking Group, mainly in UK retail banking but with secondments to South Africa and Germany. On behalf of the Group he had P&L and operational responsibility for major parts of the bank’s business, inter alia as Regional Director of Business Banking for London and the South-East, Director of Cash Management, Chairman and Managing Director of Merchant Acquiring, ATM Director, Chairman and Managing Director of Goldfish and Director of Credit Cards for the Group. In particular, he developed considerable expertise in turning round under-performing businesses; improving processes, restructuring, revitalising and restoring them to profitability. Outside Lloyds Banking Group he was also General Manager responsible for setting up a merchant acquiring joint venture based in Mumbai, between a major Indian bank and a global US payments processing company. Peter was also a Director of Link, Business Link London and the London Enterprise Agency, and was also Vice-Chairman of the Switch debit card scheme, a Director of MasterCard UK and MasterCard Europe.
Designated specialisms: Leadership of CPD, PE, ITT and NQT development. Based at Dame Alice Owen's School.
Adam has been teaching physical education for 18 years, has been a head of department for 10 & an AST for 7. He is also now Head of the House System at DAOS. He has a passion for all things teaching & learning, & in particular engaging learners, his specialist area being PE at exam level.
It is in the area of Engaging Learners that Adam has delivered INSET to over 20 schools both in Hertfordshire & further afield. Adam was invited to speak at the Sports Colleges National Conference in 2010 & for 5 years led the Advanced Practice Seminars programme for the Youth Sports Trust across the whole of England.
As a county AST Adam has provided INSET as part of the NQT programme on topics such as classroom practice, literacy & Outdoor Education. He also works with individual departments on developing practice and has also worked one-to-one with teachers in Hertfordshire.
At DAOS, one of Adam’s main roles is the sharing of good practice, through INSET - the PE department meet weekly for an INSET session - coaching & providing a toolkit of resources for teachers to use in the classroom.
Adam still displays his passion for teaching all facets of PE, curricular & extra-curricular. He has coached a National Cup winning football team, was invited to be a selector for England U18 Schoolboys, and has organised football competitions in the county for 20 years.
Based at Dame Alice Owen's School
Amanda has been teaching Design Technology for 34 years, having been a head of a very large successful department for 20 years and she was the first advanced skills teacher in England (June 1998). Recently she has been promoted to a Lead Practitioner specialising in teaching & learning. She has a real passion for her subject and can advise in the teaching and management for all specialisms in this subject. She enjoys all things related to teaching and learning, particularly assessment for learning, progress and planning in DT.
Amanda has previously worked at St Michaels (3 years); Garston and Mill Hill County High school for (24 years), and outreach work in a variety of Barnet schools.
Amanda has supported several schools with teaching and learning needs in DT across the county. Amanda has qualifications in coaching, through working with London Challenge and many years of coaching teachers in school and through her outreach work. She has attended most schools in Barnet and has a reputation for having excellent knowledge of the DT curriculum, advises on refurbishments, recruitment interviews, health and safety and has vast experience in observing and supporting teachers across the authority. She has assisted several primary schools in supporting the delivery of new Scheme of Learning in DT.
As a local authority AST Amanda has provided twilight networking events and INSET. She has been part of the NQT & middle leaders programmes. She also works with individual departments on developing good to outstanding practice and has worked one-to-one with teachers in several schools. She has advised head teachers on curricular developments, staffing abilities, writing of bids related to school specialism and sponsorships. Amanda has created school partnerships with Middlesex University and more recently Goldsmiths and encouraging close links within the STEM subjects throughout schools. Her students have successfully won several national design competitions, including The London Design Museum, Design Ventura Teacher of the Year 2016, STEM competitions and National Technology Challenges.
Designated specialisms: Geography. Based at Watford Grammar School for Boys.
I am a dynamic teacher of Geography, with experience of working within my own department, at a whole school level and with colleagues from various schools in the local area.
As Head of Geography, I have experience of leading a successful and forward-thinking department. I have responsibility for the coordination and monitoring of teaching and learning across key stages 3, 4 and 5. I have worked as part of a team of external examiners for the GCSE Geography course and therefore I have a developed understanding of what is required for examination success. I am passionate about promoting the place and importance of Geography in the school curriculum and I have an MA in Geography Education. I am an effective manager of a team of specialist teachers and enjoy taking opportunities to share our department’s good practice with other schools and educators.
A particular interest of mine is the increasingly important role of Geographical Information Systems in school Geography. I am currently conducting research in to the benefits of using technology for learning in geography and how this is relevant to the new GCSE and A-level examination specifications. As a department, we are working on the introduction of ArcGIS software in to our schemes of work across all key stages and, in the next academic year, I intend to lead a ‘GIS in Geography’ support workshop for local geography teachers.
In 2016 I was awarded the Certificate of Teacher Leadership by the HertsCam network. I conducted a project about the use of growth mindset theory in schools and the role that this can play in ensuring effective feedback to pupils. This work has implemented new marking and assessment systems within my own department but also informed feedback policies both at a whole school level and across other schools in the area.
I have mentored several trainee teachers, some outside of the subject specialism. I understand how to support colleagues new to the profession and how to improve their teaching to maximise student progress. In addition to this, I work closely with a range of middle and senior leaders as part of various initiatives.
I am an enthusiastic and dedicated teacher and I am excited by the work that I may undertake as a Specialist Leader of Education.
Robyn Gibson – SLE
Designated specialism: Curriculum Development and Sociology. Based at Yavneh College.
I completed a degree in Psychology before completing my Secondary PGCE in Social Sciences at the Institute of Education. In 2014 I completed the Early Professional Development Course with the University of Hertfordshire and the Middle Leader’s course with the Advanced Learning Alliance.
I have had a passion for teaching and learning since being an NQT. I strive to stay up to date with innovative new practices. I have run whole school CPD sessions on implementing the flipped classroom, using Twitter, motivating students, strategies for teaching sixth form and delivering outstanding lessons.
After successfully establishing Sociology at Yavneh College as one of the most popular and successful A Level subjects, I worked as the Assistant Head of Humanities. I have helped to strengthen the teaching across the department by providing support to members across all key stages.
Keen to encourage team work, sharing ideas and to help teachers cope with changes to the new A Level specifications, I formed the Sociology Alliance in 2015. The initial event was attended by 20 sociology teachers from across the country. It was very successful. The second annual conference took place in June 2016 and follow up meetings have been held since then. I have worked as an examiner for AQA Sociology for several years.
In 2017 I took up a pastoral role as Deputy Head of Sixth Form.
Designated specialisms: Leadership of CPD, History, ITT and NQT development. Based at Rickmansworth School
My commitment to driving up standards of teaching and learning not only in my own classroom but across the whole school is demonstrated by the variety of leadership roles I have had over the past ten years. I have been a strategic lead for student voice, a Head of History and an Advanced Lead Teacher. More recently, I have taken on the role of Assistant Headteacher at Rickmansworth School with responsibility for teaching and learning and staff development.
Through providing quality training to staff such as designing and facilitating a good to outstanding in-house programme, launching a coaching initiative, creating a group of Lead Teachers and developing an effective staff led INSET programme, my commitment to empowering staff to be outstanding practitioners has been highlighted. As lead on appraisal systems, I have re-designed the School system to make it fit for purpose and written the School's pay policy.
I am a TLDW tutor for the HertsCam network which promotes collaborative learning and the sharing of good practice. Outside of the School, I am an examiner for Edexcel and I work closely with the Alban TSA to provide training for History NQTs throughout Hertfordshire. I am also an accredited SLE for the Advanced Learning Alliance and am working towards completing my training as an Ofsted Inspector.
Designated specialisms: Leadership of CPD and Science. Based at Dame Alice Owen's School
I am an experienced and enthusiastic physics teacher and have worked as head of physics and an AST/SLE for over 10 years.
I love teaching physics and am always keen to discover new ways of teaching a topic or interesting practicals to engage students’ interest. My main areas of expertise in teaching and learning are: diagnostic marking (formative assessment), using ICT effectively for learning, google classroom and writing effective schemes of work.
Since September 2015 I have delivered a successful physics subject knowledge enhancement course which continues to run each year at Dame Alice Owen’s School. I also support physics teaching in other schools as part of the Institute of Physics Stimulating Physics network which involves delivering INSET for non-specialist physics teachers in their own schools. I have delivered a wide range of other INSET including: using interactive whiteboards, google classroom, differentiation, ideas for developing written explanations, visualisers, interactive voting handsets, 20th century learning... I have also overseen the setting up of a peer observation system for teachers and contributed to the development of a range of school policies. In addition I am experienced at working one to one with other teachers to move their teaching to the next level. In my role as head of physics I have overseen a considerable improvement in the departmental results at both GCSE and A-Level which are now some of the best in the school. Before teaching at Dame Alice Owen’s School in Potters Bar, I taught for two and a half years as a VSO volunteer (Voluntary Service Overseas) in a school in a rural town in Ethiopia which gave me useful experience in a very different context.
Designated specialism: MfL. Based at Rickmansworth School.
Designated specialisms - MFL KS2 and KS3. Katharine is deployed through our strategic partner The Transformative Learning Alliance.
Based at Dame Alice Owen's School
I am a very experienced modern foreign languages teacher and am passionate about encouraging and disseminating innovative practice to raise standards in MFL across both Secondary and Primary schools. I have, unusually, substantial teaching experience both in Secondary and Primary schools having spent many successful years working as the Primary Languages Coordinator at Dame Alice Owen’s School, working with all the primary schools in Potters Bar. In this role I was able to support schools by leading INSET sessions, creating and developing resources and helping them to organise language-themed events. I also taught Primary classes on a regular basis, modelling good practice and mentoring individual staff and subject leaders in order to promote high standards and a life-long love of languages. I have worked regionally and nationally with both CfBT and CILT and our local authority advisors, developing initiatives to disseminate best practice at local and national level. I have a focus on embedding creativity into language lessons, as well as using cross-curricular links to enhance and support language learning across the whole school. The introduction of languages in all Primary schools in the UK provides exciting opportunities for all our pupils, and I look forward to working with colleagues to ensure that all are confidently ready to meet the challenges both of delivering high quality language lessons within the Primary School classroom and also of ensuring successful transition to language learning at Secondary School.
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