What our staff say
Discover why our passionate members of staff love working at Kanes Hill Primary School…
Katie O’Grady, Head of School:
I have always wanted to be a teacher - even when I was a child I used to play ‘schools’ with my teddy bears. With every choice made in my own education I always had this aspiration at the forefront of my mind.
Our ultimate goal at Kanes Hill Primary School is to help every single child be successful. Having been at the school for 17 years, I have witnessed its evolution into a truly incredible learning environment, one which does truly encourage every pupil to aspire to greatness.
It still gives me great pleasure welcoming every child and their family in the morning and I take pride in knowing them all by name. It’s important to all staff that children feel appreciated because we want them to feel like they belong. In our eyes, we are their second family.
The best indication of my regard for the school is that if I had children of my own, I would not hesitate to send them to Kanes Hill. I might be a little biased, but I genuinely think that we have the most wonderful and extraordinary children in the world!
Sarah Ellis, Assistant Head:
In my childhood I was surrounded by excellent role models – my mother, aunt and uncle were all teachers. I could always sense the passion they had for their job from the way they spoke so passionately and positively about the children that they taught. It was this enthusiasm that inspired me to teach and make a difference to children’s lives.
At Kanes Hill we talk about ‘believe, achieve and succeed’. The whole team is united in this ethos and it is this camaraderie that gives the school its warm, welcoming and friendly atmosphere. We are all committed to supporting one another, and bringing joy, fun and passion to children’s learning.
Our pupils love the ‘WOW!’ moments that their teachers provide. They keep them engaged and motivated to develop personally, socially and academically.
Suzanne Hicks, Assistant Head:
As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, it is a privilege to have the opportunity to make a difference to people’s lives. We never want to stand still and our shared vision for the school’s future drives to seek continuous improvement. After almost 30 years, I am still motivated by working with a team who share the same values and bring our school to life each day. Our staff are so respectful of one another, and this helps to create a community where everyone feels part of the Kanes Hill family.
Alex Mount, Subject Leader:
Teaching very much runs in the family, and I follow in the footsteps of my mum and grandmother who also spent their careers in the classroom. I love learning and I am passionate about inspiring the children I teach. In my role of subject leader for History I get to do just this because I am given the chance to mould the curriculum in a way that engages pupils. They are so appreciative of the staff at Kanes Hill because they know everyone cares about them becoming the best version of themselves.
Cheryl Seagrave, Teaching Assistant:
Kanes Hill is unique because it is a nurturing environment where the staff care deeply for not only the children, but for one another too. It is like one big family! I never feel alone because there is always someone to support me if I need it. You will hear it said in other schools, but we really are a team at Kanes Hill. Our teamwork is built around being kind to one another, and this positively impacts the children. Their excitement for learning is infectious!
Debra Munday, Teaching Assistant:
Kanes Hill is a big family with a lot of heart. It helps children in every way it can.
Eleanor Ball, Classroom Teacher:
At Kanes Hill, we are driven to make our best pupils and staff even better. This in itself might not be unique, but the enthusiasm and open-mindedness to achieve this is. Since joining the school I have developed professionally thanks to the extremely beneficial training. As a result I have been given the opportunity to lead the Science department. I fully intend to make the most of this opportunity and eventually share my experience in further leadership roles.
I love that I get to teach children from numerous walks of life each year. Each child is able to teach me something special about themselves and the world. We are all constantly learning and growing together.
Karen Winstanley, Speech and Language Assistant:
I love everything about working with our children. They make you smile and laugh, and every step forward they make is so lovely to see.
Louise Newman, Office Manager:
This is more than just a job, no two days are the same and it is such a fantastic team to be a part of. I was given the freedom to develop my role and the procedures in school to support both staff and pupils – I feel that is pretty unique! I hope to build an even stronger team in the future.
Paula Woodcock, Teaching Assistant:
Children thrive at Kanes Hill because they are provided confidence and stability by the adults that support them each day. I have worked at the school for 20 years and I can honestly say that we have always had a great team. Working with motivated and quality people really keeps you focused on constantly trying to be better. This has such a positive impact on the pupils and there’s nothing more enjoyable than the sense of achievement when you see them doing so well.
Samantha Clarkson, Year 5 Teacher:
We are a school that shows compassion and empathy, and we weave our core values into every lesson. As we say, we want to deliver high quality learning to transform, enhance and build futures for our children. Their ‘lightbulb moments’, mistakes, laughter and excitement are a constant delight to me. This enthusiasm for learning stems from so many factors; they are allowed to have a voice in the classroom, the curriculum is relevant to their lives and they are immersed in meaningful, rewarding experiences, to name but a few.
Sandy Ainslie, Family Support Worker:
My job is to support families in any way I can, from home visits through to providing a friendly face over a cup of coffee. Whatever your role is at Kanes Hill, you will be valued because of what you bring to our family. Everybody is important and respected. The school works hard to enhance the life experiences of everyone, both adults and children alike.
Thomas Baker, Classroom Teacher:
I was inspired to take up a career in education by one of my own teachers, who gave me self-belief. Why Kanes Hill? Put simply, because of the incredible sense of community. It’s like an oasis, where children have a safe place to grow in confidence, learn kindness and have some fun! As I cover classes, I am fortunate to see this every day because I teach and work with nearly everyone in the school.
Emma Purdy, Classroom Teacher:
Kanes Hill is an incredible school because we accept pupils for who they are. We do not make them ‘fit’ because we acknowledge that everyone is different. This diversity is embraced and celebrated. I have worked in numerous schools but never felt as valued as I do here. We are given time and trust to build great relationships with children and families, allowing us to make pupils’ learning bespoke to their needs.
Jen Wade, EYFS Class Teacher:
I can honestly say I have never worked anywhere like Kanes Hill. There is a real sense of partnership between staff, children and parents, and a sense that together we can really make a difference to people’s lives. Another reason I enjoy working at the school is that I am given the flexibility to work part-time, meaning I can still be the best mum to my children.
Leah Adams, Teaching Assistant:
The children are the heart of the school. They are kind, caring and amazing, always with smiles on their faces and so much passion for learning. It might sound cliché, but Kanes Hill genuinely feels like a home from home. That’s why it’s a magnet for talent and people who love what they do. There is such positivity amongst the staff and it is a great atmosphere to work in.
Lindsay Cornwall, EYFS Teaching Assistant:
Even after 25 years I am still learning new things! No two days are the same and that’s why I enjoy coming to work every day at Kanes Hill.
Louise Harry, Teaching Assistant:
I love the honesty and innocence of our young children, and the way they are just so comfortable to speak their mind. You’re never bored working with Reception pupils! At Kanes Hill I genuinely feel that I am making a difference to their lives. We really understand the importance of knowing each child individually and celebrating their uniqueness. The school has been incredible at supporting my career aspirations and one day soon, I hope to have a class of my own.
Matthew Hartley, Teaching Assistant:
I love seeing the smiles on children’s faces when they overcome a challenge. Their progress is underpinned by the team spirit we have as a staff body. Being supported, challenged and part of such an aspirational staff body is inspiring. This whole team approach means that no pupil gets left behind at Kanes Hill – we provide a safe space where children of all abilities can become the best versions of themselves.
Rachel Hopkins, Speech and Language Assistant:
Kanes Hill is unique because of the sense of family. Staff are wonderful, dedicated and truly caring.
Sarah Lloyd, Teacher and Music Leader:
Music is at the heart of our school, allowing children the opportunity to express themselves and develop a life-long love of music. The school’s investment in my department has been wonderful and I am overwhelmed by the opportunities that senior leaders allow me to give our children. I value the trust they have put in me to lead and develop music in a creative and unique way that suits our school and pupils.
My role is very special - I cannot think of another school where this role exists! I develop staff to successfully share music sessions with their children whilst also supporting staff in other schools through training. My week involves a lot of singing, organising and running enrichment opportunities, liaising with the music hub, running the In2music project as well as teaching weekly music lessons. It is a fantastic job!
Trudy Hanley, ELSA:
We are passionate about children’s futures, working together to make sure they and their families have the best experience. As an ELSA it is so rewarding to see the children make so much progress in Emotional Literacy and always appreciate what I do for them. Working with them 1:1 is the best feeling seeing children settle in so quickly and feel they belong.
Vanessa Tyrrell, Teaching Assistant:
I want to become a teacher so I was searching for a primary school that would support my own development while still being able to make a real difference to children. I chose Kanes Hill because it has a fantastic reputation in the local community for offering strong values, a commitment to all pupils and its great progression pathway. I definitely made the right choice.