Richard Dunne – Headteacher
I have been Headteacher at Ashley Church of England Primary School for over 11 years now. It only seems like yesterday that I started, but things have changed a lot during that time as we have grown from a one-form entry school of 210 children to a two-form entry school of soon to be 420 children.
Every day is different in my role as Headteacher and it is never boring! I love leading the school, challenging and supporting staff and children to be the best they can be. We have a great team of teachers and support staff at Ashley and I think the children are very lucky to be in such a happy, achieving school.
As many of you will know, I am passionate about sustainability and I am very proud that this school is seen as a role model of best practice in areas such as energy management and food growing. What I like best is the fact that it is the children who are responsible for leading these exciting projects of learning.
I also really value our fantastic school community with lots of our parents and governors giving great support to what we do. Their commitment to the school really does make a big difference.
More than anything though, it is the success of every child in this school that makes my job as Headteacher such a rewarding one.
And finally, when I am not at school….. I enjoy travelling, photography and spending time with my family.
Charlotte Apsitis – Reception, Squirrel Class
I started my teaching career at Ashley School, where I taught in Year 2 for three years. I now have the privilege of teaching the children in Reception, Squirrel Class and really enjoy seeing the children grow and progress throughout their first year at school. I take pleasure in getting to know the different personalities in my class and encouraging children to become passionate about their learning.
I believe that Ashley School is a happy place to be as we promote the well-being of each individual child and that makes this school a great place to work in. I am currently responsible for the PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education) and ‘Healthy Schools’ aspects throughout the school.
I have a passion for dance and as well as pursuing this outside of school, I enjoy running dance clubs with children across the school. I am also currently a member of the Ashley School Cupcake Team along with several mums from across the school. The team make and sell cupcakes at the school’s Christmas Bazaar and Summer Fete.
Katharine Scott – Reception, Hedgehog Class
I am in my fifth year of teaching at Ashley School and teach Hedgehog Class which is one of our Reception classes. One thing I love about teaching is that it is never dull! I enjoy the opportunity to think and work creatively and to see the children express their learning in so many different ways. It’s always wonderful to see the ways the children grow throughout a school year, both in their learning and their character.
I have responsibility for coordinating RE and the Values Education in the school. I believe that nurturing the ‘whole’ child includes nurturing and developing their spirituality and at Ashley School we place great importance in allowing for moments of reflection and providing opportunities for children to express their awe, wonder and questions about themselves, the world around them and about God.
I run The Christmas Club and Springtime Club for children in Year 2, after school clubs where children make seasonal crafts.
Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my husband, family and friends and I’m very good at shopping and frequenting coffee shops!
Alison Wilde – Year 1, Dragonfly Class
I have been teaching for 17 years, beginning my teaching career at Ashley School in 1995 and being so happy I have never wanted to leave! When I started here, the school was a two form entry infant school so I have seen many changes over the years. Most of my teaching has been in year 1, although I have also spent some years in year 2 as well. I have been music subject leader for the whole of my time at Ashley and have also spent some time as Literacy and R.E. subject leaders as well. Not surprisingly these are also the subjects I most enjoy teaching.
I live in Cobham with my husband, Simon, and our two children, Amelia aged 8 and William aged 6. In my time away from the classroom I enjoy being with my children, helping them with their homework, teaching them to play the piano and ferrying them about to all their different clubs and activities. As a family we enjoy going into London to the art galleries, theatre and concerts. I also enjoy yoga and helping to run the youth group at our church.
Gemma Sargeant – Year 1, Dragonfly Class
I joined Ashley School in April 2012, having previously worked at a primary school in the Kingston borough. There I taught Year 4 followed by Year 1 for two years. It was a hard and emotional decision to leave, but I am delighted that I made the move, with staff, parents and children alike all being incredibly warm and welcoming.
I work in Dragonfly class three days a week, from Wednesday to Friday, allowing me to spend time with my two year old daughter Poppy on a Monday and Tuesday. I currently job share with Alison Wilde and feel that we compliment one another’s teaching styles extremely well, as well as provide a happy and consistent environment for all of the children in our class.
Katy Luxford – Year 1, Frog Class
This is my first year in teaching and I am delighted to be starting my career in Ashley School. I’m very privileged to be teaching Frog class in Year 1 who have helped me to settle in and to feel very much a part of the school community.
I have a big passion for Drama and the Arts and have facilitated many workshops for children, young adults and those with special needs and I look forward to sharing my passion with the children that I teach!
Outside of school I enjoy meeting up with friends and going to the gym and my favourite sporting hobby is skiing. I am only a novice but I love zooming around the Swiss Alps with family and friends!
Claire Goodfellow – Year 2, Otter Class
I started my teaching career in a small village school in Hilmarton, Wiltshire where I taught a mixed Reception/Year One class. After three years I moved to Surrey and was Key Stage One Leader and ICT Leader at Grovelands Infant School for six years, teaching Years One and Two. Then in September 2011 I joined Ashley School as Infant Leader and Year Two teacher. What attracted me to Ashley is that it is a primary school and I love the community feel and how the children across the school look out for each other. I feel very privileged to work in such a dynamic school that always provides the best for children’s education and well-being.
At Ashley my curriculum role is ICT which I love to teach as it engages children in other areas of the curriculum that they may not be interested in. I am going to run a computer club this year focusing on children who may not have easy access to a computer at home to help develop their passion for ICT and build on their skills. I also hope to run a country dancing club again in the spring and summer terms as it brings back good childhood memories of taking part in displays in our local village fayres. I hope that the children will also look back in years to come with that same feeling of fondness and that we can take part in a festival with other schools next year.
Having just come back from maternity leave I now have a beautiful baby girl called Elsie who you will see around and about at school. I am now working part time in Otter Class and love the balance of doing the job I love and spending time with my daughter. Outside of my school life I also love to volunteer and have been helping to run 1st Oatlands Brownies pack for the past six years. I enjoy taking the girls on pack holiday and taking them to Church and other community events. I love to be busy and enjoy eating out with friends, going to the theatre or cinema and skiing, though these activities take place far less now that we have a baby!!
Debbie Niven – Year 2, Otter Class
I am very excited and privileged to be joining Ashley School this term; getting to know the Year 2 children in Otter class and sharing the week with Mrs Goodfellow, with whom I have had the pleasure of working with before. Although I now live in Pyrford near Woking, my husband and I lived in Walton when our daughter was born 13 years ago, so I am quite familiar with my surroundings already!
I enjoy creative activities immensely and I am looking forward to running Friday’s Art Club with Mrs Atkinson before she departs on her maternity leave, when I will be taking the reins until her return. It is a calming but stimulating end to a busy week of learning! My other responsibility in school is KS1 Subject Leader for Maths and I am delighted to be maintaining and developing this core area of learning.
Alice Easun – Year 2, Rabbit Class
I joined Ashley in 2012 having completed my teacher training in July 2011. Prior to completing my teacher training I studied an undergraduate psychology degree and in my third year I opted to focus on child development, allowing me to further explore my interest in how we develop physically, socially, academically and spiritually. I spent a lot of time in schools while completing my dissertation and it was this experience, coupled with time spent in a Venezuelan orphanage that captivated me and left me with a desire to teach.
I feel very fortunate that while training I have taught across the primary curriculum, teaching year 1 and year 6 classes. Since then, I have been teaching year 4 in a Dorking Primary School and I am now delighted to be teaching year 2 at Ashley.
My teaching practice centres round the belief that children learn in a caring, creative and fun-filled environment where they are given the opportunity to learn by ‘doing.’ Teaching is a varied and exhilarating career of which I feel very privileged to be a part.
What attracted me to Ashley was the strong community feeling that resonates wherever you are in school. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a school that felt like part of my extended family and I cherished the memories I made there. Ashley is a school full of happiness and laughter and one that provides treasured learning experiences for each child and teacher!
Outside of school I enjoy travelling and have been lucky enough to spend eight weeks in South America where I walked the Inca Trail, white water rafted in Peru, trekked in the Amazon jungle and visited the Angel Falls in Venezuela. I love keeping active and enjoy walking, zumba, horse riding and tennis. On top of all this, I have a love of musical theatre and when not able to tread the boards myself I enjoy immersing myself in many West End Musicals.
Gill Hood – Year 3, Fox Class
I have been teaching at Ashley School for 15 years! In that time I have taught all the year groups in the juniors. I now teach year 3 and love watching them grow in confidence and independence as they settle into the first year of the junior school. I thoroughly enjoy going on the residential trip to Sayers Croft which is great fun, though exhausting! I have responsibility for numeracy across KS2, as well as assessment and student teachers.
I enjoy music, singing and dancing and have loved coordinating the Junior Christmas Production for the past few years. I also love science and have tried to share this passion through science clubs and Funky Friday activities.
Alex Somerville – Year 3, Badger Class
I joined the Ashley team as a Newly Qualified Teacher in January 2012 and am currently the Year 3 class teacher in Badger Class. I am excited to be part of such a vibrant school community which regards all aspects of a child’s life as important to their learning. Before coming to Ashley I had been a professional storyteller and had run my own storytelling business since 2001.
I have been working in the field of education since 1995 as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), a Teaching Assistant, a Special Needs Assistant and as a storyteller running workshops in primary and secondary schools.
I live with my partner and my daughter who was born in 2008. I currently live in Esher and feel fortunate to be able to cycle to school every day. I like cycling, walking and spending time with my family. I play the guitar and sing and find the best place to do that around a campfire as well as telling stories. I like to read and have a particular interest in historical fiction and travel writing.
I have been very lucky to have travelled extensively to Northeast Brazil, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, and Montana, U.S.A, as well as parts of Europe.
I feel privileged to be part of the Ashley school community and feel that it extends my experience of creating and running the Small Festival for six years and the Surrey Storytellers Guild for three years. I like to think that my learning and my experience of learning can inspire and motivate the children at Ashley to feel empowered through education.
Juliet Goymer – Year 4, Kingfisher Class
I am very excited to be in my third year of teaching at Ashley Primary School in Year 4 alongside Sarah Slight. I have the responsibility of coordinating Geography and History in the school. I am looking after the organisation of clubs this year and will be helping with the Sports Council. As I studied Drama and Theatre Arts at University I incorporate lots of practical elements in my lessons so don’t be surprised if you hear a lot of noise coming from Kingfisher classroom! We endeavour to have plenty of learning outside the classroom so you may spot Year 4 children acting out the Battle of Bosworth on the playground or searching the school for triangles.
We work together closely in Year 4 to ensure a positive and safe learning environment for the children. A high expectation of the children is a priority of ours and we strive to enable them to achieve their full potential. I thoroughly enjoy the topic based learning we have at Ashley which enables me to be creative with the curriculum to provide a relevant yet fun learning experience for the children.
Out of school I enjoy going to yoga and exercise classes when I have the time, to help me keep up with the children! I am fascinated with history and try to get as much use out of my National Trust membership as I can.
I’m looking forward to contributing to the future of Ashley Primary as we grow, and to develop my teaching career in this outstanding school.
Sarah Slight – Year 4, Swan Class
I joined Ashley School in September 2011 and teach Swan class, in Year 4. Ashley School has a supportive and welcoming community and I am very much looking forward to developing my teaching career here. Our Year 4 topics are exciting and interesting to teach and I look forward to continuing my own learning journey alongside the children. It is wonderful to see my class grow, progress and enjoy their learning throughout the year.
As a French Graduate, I am able to share my passion for languages by coordinating the teaching of French in Key Stage Two. I particularly enjoy teaching languages as it allows children to improve their communication skills, confidence whilst learning about the culture and traditions of others. I am also responsible for Science at Ashley and look forward to developing this exciting area of learning. I believe that as well as providing challenging and thought-provoking learning opportunities, Science should be as hands-on and fun as possible!
Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, travelling, reading, trying out new recipes and going to the gym.
Jackie Stevens – Deputy Head & Year 5, Owl Class
Ashley Primary School is the third school that I have worked at since starting my teaching career. In my last school I held an Advanced Skills Teacher post and was fortunate to have worked in a number of Richmond schools advising and supporting other teachers in the expressive arts. I also worked as a consultant for a short time before joining Ashley School as Deputy Head. I am now in my fifth year here and have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside the dedicated and happy staff.
No two days in school are ever the same, and watching the children grow and flourish and become passionate about their learning is a joy to be involved in. I teach in Year 5 (Owl Class) together with Mrs Morgan, I am also English and Art & Design subject leader. My passion is in the arts and I will take every opportunity to embed the arts in my teaching and find ways of making the classroom environment and my lessons stimulating and exciting.
My interests outside school include photography, swimming, badminton, pilates and cooking. I enjoy running a sewing club and in the past have run dance clubs where the children have been able to display their talents at the RichDance Festival. I enjoy looking for ways to enhance the school environment and in particular the display areas around the school.
I have recently had the opportunity to attend the Design for Change conference in Ahmedabad India. The experience was fabulous, particularly as I had never been to India before. Past students from the school accompanied me on the trip to share their recent project. I am now going to try and encourage other schools to be involved in DFC projects and hopefully run a conference later in the school year.
Emilie Martin – Year 5, Kestrel Class
This is my first year teaching at Ashley and I’m very much enjoying myself so far! Before moving back to Surrey with my family this summer, I taught in Year 5 in a maintained school in Lewisham in South East London, where I was International Education Co-Ordinator – a role I’ve now taken on at Ashley.
Prior to starting a career in education, I worked as a magazine journalist for nine years, writing about consumer rights, environmental issues and technology. It will come as no surprise to learn, then, that I love teaching English and, in particular, creative writing.
At the weekends I can be found feeding the ducks by the river with my husband and 10-month old son, pottering about on my allotment or doing some experimental cooking with whatever vegetables we’ve harvested that day.
Tash Morgan – Year 5, Owl Class
I have been teaching at Ashley School since January 2010. I began teaching 1:1 and then moved back into the classroom teaching Year 5, Owl Class as part of a job-share two days a week. My career started in Richmond Borough in 1999: I taught Year 3 through to Year 6 in two schools. I knew from a really young age that I wanted to become a teacher, playing ‘schools’ often! Teaching is exciting and no two days are the same! I particularly enjoy teaching lessons that are part of a creative curriculum, providing stimulating and engaging learning opportunities. The children in Year 5 make me smile every day!
I am currently responsible for ICT in KS2. I have a passion for music and run a recorder group which will be up and running again in the Spring term for children in lower KS2.
I live locally and enjoy the fact that I can walk to school and I really feel part of the school, church and the wider community. I love being close to the river, which reminds me of my home in Cornwall. I am married with three children, aged 4, 7 and 9. All three of my children attend Ashley School. Outside of school I love to spend as much time with my family as I can, swimming, watching them play tennis, exploring National Trust properties and helping them with their school work! When I have time for myself I run, attend Pilates classes and go to the gym. I also enjoy spending time with my friends going into London and doing something cultural and to shop!
Daniel Cadman – Year 6, Eagle Class
I started teaching in 2004, working in nursery, primary and middle schools in rural Japan for three years. Following that, I lived in Peru for a year, teaching years five and six in a British international school. I am now in my second year teaching year six at Ashley and loving every moment.
Within the school I am currently coordinator for More Able provision and Sustainability, facilitating the Eco Council meetings. I also help run our Funky Fridays with Mrs Slight. This year I have taken on the role of football coach and expect great things from our players. I take great pleasure in helping our school become more sustainable, be it by weeding with the children on the field or attending a school event that brings our community closer together. I believe Ashley is an exceptional school because we instill responsibilities and values in the children, which supports them to be caring and understanding individuals and members of society, who genuinely care about the world around them and want to make a difference.
My three passions in life are surfing, travelling and sustainability. I have spent recent summers travelling the UK, working on organic farms and also finding the time to explore our coastline and its many surf breaks. Fortunately, working at Ashley allows me to pursue my passion for our environment and world every day.
Lisa Atkinson – Teacher’s Planning Time Cover
I have taught Squirrel Class at Ashley for the past two years and have very much enjoyed being part of the Reception Team. This year I begin a new chapter in my life and will shortly be going on maternity leave. My baby is due in early November and I’m looking forward to being back at work later in this school year. My role at the moment is to teach in various classes across the year groups covering the main teacher’s planning time.
I feel very fortunate to be spending my days teaching such enthusiastic and fun young people, and am thankful every day that I love my job. My favourite moments are those that are normally not planned; the fancy dancing to the tidy up music, the reading aloud to the teddies and the awe and wonder of discovering something new.
I co-ordinate Design Technology and KS1 Literacy and I am the teaching staff governor. I am also a member of the infamous ‘Ashley School Cupcake Team’ along with some staff and parents.
My background is in art and I have brought this interest into school by starting ‘Ashley Art Club’ which is a great opportunity to meet children from other year groups.
Ashley School is a happy place to be and I am proud to be part of the team.
Maggie Rebbeck – (SENCo) Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator
My main role at Ashley School is as Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator. I am responsible for collaborating with teachers, teaching assistants and parents to support children who may have additional or different needs to the rest of their peer group.
As SENCo, I also work with many outside professionals who come in to work with staff and pupils in our school. It is a really special role as I have the privilege of working with children across the school.
To further my understanding of the role of SENCo, I’m undertaking a specialist qualification at Reading University outside school. Recently I had the opportunity to listen to an address by Michael Gove!
One of my passions is Art and Design, and I really enjoy running an Art club for Key Stage 2 children. I worked in Gloucestershire as an Advanced Skills teacher before moving to Surrey, and amongst other roles taught and advised on Art in schools.
Phil Cramp – PE Coordinator
This is my 6th year teaching at Ashley School. I am very lucky to work with all Year groups, teaching P.E and games. I feel I have the best job in the world, as I wake up every morning and look forward to getting to Ashley School to coach, encourage and develop the children in all key stages.
I am the joint PE Coordinator with Mrs Rich, helping organise sporting events, overseeing the Sports Council, conducting extra-curricular activities and refereeing netball and football fixtures against local schools.
The favourite part of my job is seeing the children develop in their sporting life. I love seeing children playing sport with a smile on their face, as I believe that when children are comfortable in their surroundings, they progress at a much quicker pace. I look forward to sports day at the end of the summer term as I get a great sense of achievement seeing all the children participating in sport and cheering their fellow pupils on.
I am trained to coach many sports throughout the PE curriculum, and have recently found myself organising a very popular after school skipping club.
Outside of my school life I have two passions, my family and sport. I am very lucky to have three beautiful children and a very supportive wife. I have played semi professional football for Walton & Hersham, Tonbridge Angels and Metropolitan Police FC. I am currently Assistant Manager of Metropolitan Police FC who play in the Ryman Premier League, only six leagues away from the Premier League! In my spare time, I enjoy running, going to the gym, playing tennis and spending time with my family.
Sami Rich – Maternity Leave
I was the Hedgehog Reception Class Teacher and PE Coordinator at Ashley School. I am currently on maternity leave as I had a beautiful baby boy in the summer holidays called Teddy. He was born on Sunday 5th August 2012. Teddy arrived two weeks early which caught everyone by surprise but it could be due to his mummy’s excitement whilst watching the Olympics! I had a water birth and so I really hope Teddy grows up to be a brilliant swimmer!
It is ironic that Teddy was born during the Olympics as my passion is sport and throughout my pregnancy I continued to keep fit by walking, swimming and I even continued with my Bikram yoga classes. Whilst I have been on maternity I continue to enjoy my sports and I have returned to running every day which I really missed when I was pregnant.
I hope to return to school before the end of the school year where I am really looking forward to getting involved with the sport at school and working with Mr Phil as PE Coordinator. My favourite time of year is the summer term when athletics club starts and I enjoy the preparation and build up to the District Sports. District Sports is a fantastic event because the children take part in individual events but we enter as one big, supportive Ashley team. I love working with the juniors and supporting them with their skills in individual sports and watch them grow into young athletes. It brings back lovely memories of the events I used to take part in when I was at primary school.
I am also looking forward to helping to run sports day for the school. Last year’s sports day was a great success and had a strong theme of the Olympics. I hope the achievement and the passion of sport through the Olympics has inspired the children to all get involved in sport.