We are privileged to have so many great course leaders committed to ensuring great teaching practise is passed on to new and upcoming middle and senior school leaders. Below is a list of the course leaders for this year, with short biographies.
Heather was a Primary Headteacher for 11 years before becoming a Local Authority Adviser andsubsequently a Senior Adviser in Buckinghamshire. She became Head of School Improvement in Harrow and then Director of Schools and this role she developed a systematic approach to school improvement support, setting clear criteria for assessing schools capacity and effective processes of support and challenge. She has established her own consultancy to deliver school improvement services both directly to schools and in partnership with a range of national organisations. She has developed CPD Programmes, delivered NCSL Programmes, developed an Outstanding Teaching Programme and a School Self Evaluation Toolkit. She also developed the Exceptional Schools Award. She is currently working with a number of Headteachers providing school leadership advice and runs supported school reviews in Newham, Barking and Dagenham, Slough and Oxfordshire. Most recently she has published a ‘What is Good Leadership?’ Toolkit for Primary schools and is working on a similar model for secondary schools and leadership guidance for Governors.
Sharon Cromie was appointed as the Headteacher of Wycombe High School in 2009. Whilst improving results at Wycombe High Schools, Sharon has led Wycombe High School to take a very outward-facing approach, supporting the development of other schools nationally. Having established Wycombe High School Academies Trust in September 2014, Sharon became an Executive Headteacher of the Trust, sponsoring another local secondary school in special measures. Wycombe High School was designated by Ofsted as ‘outstanding’ in 2012 and more recently has been designated as a Maths Hub, Teaching School and National Support School. Sharon became a National Leader of Education in 2013. Prior to joining Wycombe High School, Sharon worked at a range of other schools and colleges and has experience of selective, non-selective, F.E and H.E institutions. Sharon graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with an honours degree in Law and worked as a Management Consultant with Accenture before retraining as a teacher in the early 1990s. She is a committee member of the Association of State Girls Schools and an Ofsted inspector.
Lucy has extensive experience in working with young adults with disabilities and worked within the Social Care sector for a number of years before joining Wycombe High School. She has a particular interest in the social and emotional aspects of learning and is a trained Emotional Resiliency Instructor. Lucy completed a Masters in Health Psychology at UCL where she developed a particular interest in the use of a mixed methods approach to conducting research and she has experienced the world of research first-hand through working as a research assistant at the Neuroimaging Laboratory at Harvard University. Lucy currently teaches Psychology and Sociology at Wycombe High School and has been able to continue her passion for research by completing an Action Research Module through Brunel University. Lucy has worked as an Action Research Coach helping to support a number of colleagues with the design and implementation of their action research projects and is currently supporting Karen Lloyd in co-leading the implementation of action research projects across a collaboration of local schools in the area.
Vikki has been teaching for 10 years, and has a keen interest in Arts subjects and how cross-curricular work can benefit the student. At her last school she was the Arts College co-ordinator, where she successfully ran the extra-curricular programme and led on community work in primary schools and with young offenders. She is currently the Subject Leader for Art and Drama at Wycombe High School. Vikki is in the final stages of her Masters in Education, which has had a particular focus on creative teaching and extra-curricular participation in the Arts. Her recent work on flipped teaching has been rolled out by the school, and is being used by Edge Hill University to inform practice.
Robin is a behaviour management expert. He has been a teacher for 15 years and has taught in a variety of settings, both secondary and primary. He was part of the school improvement team in Hillingdon, leading on English. He currently shares his time between delivering behaviour management training for teachers, designing and running thinking skills programmes for families with children at risk of exclusion, and working as a behaviour consultant at a Pupil Referral Unit. In the little time that’s left over, he is a keen writer on all things to do with behaviour management. He is a regular contributor to national teaching publications and is currently writing a textbook on effective behaviour management strategies. Prior to becoming a teacher, Robin trained as a psychodynamic counsellor and psychiatric nurse. He also worked for over a decade in the Prison Service, where his role included the training of prison officers in the skills of behaviour management.
Bradley Taylor is Executive Headteacher at Chiltern Gate and Maplewood Schools, two special schools in the High Wycombe area. He has worked in a variety of special school and mainstream environments. Bradley has successfully led both schools out of special measures to good gradings, and was recently commended by HMI as one of the first three 'Exceptional Leaders' recognised by Sir Michael Wilshaw. Bradley is now supporting the amalgamation of the two schools and is key to future special school development within the Wycombe area and Buckinghamshire. He has extensive experience of OFSTED and HMI having been inspected 13 times in the last 3 academic years, and is part of a Headteacher Reference Group for HMI, representing schools in the South East of the country.
Natalie is always keen to seek and develop innovative practice in learning and teaching and is currently employed as Director of Teaching at Wycombe High School. She was recently awarded Distinction for her MA in Education.
Natalie Reece has wide-ranging experience of teaching English across the ability range with over 15 years’ teaching experience in a range of secondary schools. She has worked with all exam boards such as AQA, EDEXCEL, OCR and WJEC and has proven success in English Language, English Literature and Media Studies at Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. Natalie has previously been a Head of English in an 11-18 comprehensive school, during which time her experiences included preparing and leading the English Department through a five day Ofsted Inspection; Natalie was described as “dedicated to ensuring the highest possible standards” and her leadership/management of the English Department was rated “excellent.”
In addition to working at Wycombe High School, Natalie works alongside Senior Leaders within a wide range of schools, as a consultant. Natalie conducts Literacy Reviews, evaluating schools’ current provision of literacy and assessing how they can develop outstanding practice in order to maximise its impact on raising pupil achievement. She also works with Heads of English and English departments across the UK, and internationally, to develop outstanding English provision and raise pupil achievement. In addition, Natalie has considerable experience of delivering INSET courses to teachers as well as revision workshops for students, to help them maximise their performance in both GCSE and A Level examinations.
Natalie is an accredited facilitator with the National College for School Leadership (NCSL); she writes materials for and delivers the Middle Leadership Development Programme to a wide range of Middle Leaders within primary, secondary and special schools. She has also successfully completed an Online Facilitation and Tutoring Programme which allows her to further engage with, and support, her Middle Leaders in the online community through online facilitation.
Sophie has over six years' teaching experience and specialises in Sociology A Level. She also teaches A Level Psychology and has delivered an emotional resilience curriculum. Rated as an outstanding practitioner, Sophie delivers training to newly qualified teachers and mentors staff. Sophie excels in delivering outstanding examination results and as such, completed an Action Research Module through Brunel University to investigate independent learning to improve A Level results. Sophie was appointed Senior Examiner for an AS unit for A Level Sociology, writing mark schemes, setting the standard for assessment bands and moderating examiners. She is currently completing a masters degree in Human Resource Management, covering strategic and legal aspects of human resources.
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