Principal - Mrs Diana Maine
We are delighted to be welcoming Mrs Diana Maine as our Principal. Diana’s career in education spans 37 years. Her last position was as Headmistress of Thomas’s Kensington prep school for 11 years. During that time, Diana led the expansion of the school from operating on one site to three, including managing playtime with limited space. Throughout her tenure, the school was consistently rated ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED.
Diana has a BEd and an MA in Educational Psychology from London University and has gained the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH). She is a governor of a primary school in Notting Hill and a Trustee of the Arts Educational Schools in Chiswick. Diana has also worked as a freelance writer for Dorling Kindersley on a variety of non-fiction books. She is a keen gardener, traveller, theatre-goer and speaks Cantonese. We believe that her experience will be invaluable in establishing and leading Thomson House in its first year.
Reception teacher - Ms Diane Black
Diane graduated from the University of St Andrews with an MA (hons) in Management Studies with International Relations.
She then went on to study for a Postgraduate Diploma in publishing and was awarded several further professional qualifications during her successful career in educational publishing and marketing.
In recent years she has studied to become a teacher and has worked mainly with Early Years, including as a ‘stay and play’ support worker, based in children's centres in Richmond. She undertook focused training in Early Years Foundation Stage, including safeguarding and integrated working whilst in these roles. During her PGCE training she worked in local schools and has lived and worked in this area for over 10 years, bringing up her own two children here.
Diane has a particular passion for literacy and how children communicate with their peers and with others around them, and will be encouraging children to develop a love of stories and poetry through her enthusiasm for the subject. She is passionate in providing positive outcomes for children that encompass and extend beyond academic achievement. She has great warmth and affection for children and pays close attention to each individual, drawing out their unique talents and strengths by listening to them and extending their learning through careful questioning and talk. She has a clear understanding of how children learn and uses exciting teaching strategies and games to excite the children and capture their imaginations.
Reception teacher - Miss Katie McCombe
Katie McCombe graduated from Newcastle University with a first class honours degree in Geography and continued her studies there gaining a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, Primary with French.
Up to July 2013 she was employed as a Reception Teacher at West Walker primary school in Newcastle Upon Tyne where her teaching was rated outstanding by OFSTED. Prior to that she taught as a Year 5 class teacher in an independent school, in Spain, The British School of Valencia. She speaks French and Spanish and is keen to teach languages to the children.
Katie is an enthusiastic, caring educator who believes that all children can learn and thrive in a learning environment that is stimulating, safe and individually appropriate to meet their needs. Her strengths lie in her ability to form positive relationships with the children that she works with. Katie believes in the success of every pupil in her class. She is a firm believer that extra-curricular activities such as sports, art and languages create an inspiring and motivating factor for all children. Katie says "I loved primary school myself and still love it every day now, especially being in Reception. The rapid progress the children make is so rewarding and I am so very proud of their developing talents and of them achieving their goals".
Teaching Assistant - Miss Avneet Khaira
Avneet has recently graduated from St Mary's
University College with a BSc (Joint hons) in Education & Social Science and Psychology.
She has previously worked as a teaching assistant within both a EYFS and KS1 setting. The personal rewards gained from having worked with young people have influenced and shaped Avneets career goals as since then her passion for teaching has grown.
Avneet is now looking forward to doing her PGCE to become a fully qualified primary school teacher.
Teaching Assistant - Ms Jennifer Stone
Jennie has returned to the classroom after a very restful career break during which she had 2 children of her own. She qualified as a teacher in 2006 and in her previous school was Head of Literacy and a Beacon teacher of Literacy in the Borough.
She previously completed a year long course in creative approaches to teaching English and is particularly interested in developing the skills of emergent readers and writers.
She is delighted to be back at work and immersed in school life once again, building a rapport with the children and being part of the team that builds Thomson House School from scratch.
Music Teacher/Teaching Assistant - Mrs Isabel Saunders
Later, Isabel became involved with music at St James Independent School, Kensington/Olympia, giving music workshops for Reception, interactive whole school music assemblies of songs from around the world and teaching the cello.
In 2010, Isabel did a year’s maternity cover for the primary school music teacher at The Harrodian School; during which, she also initiated percussion clubs for Yrs 2 and 3. Isabel then stayed on to take recorder classes for Yrs 2 and 3, continue the Yr3 percussion club and assist with Yr4 music.
Isabel is an inspiring, energetic and creative music teacher. She uses Kodaly methods combined with elements of Dalcroze Eurhythmics to keep the classroom alive; also taking inspiration from Carl Orff for percussion with children.
Isabel brings a passion for music and a commitment to bringing out the best in all the students she works with. She is very happy to be working at Thomson House School and is excited about helping to build a vibrant music department.