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Teaching Team

Headmistress - Mrs Amanda Letch

We are delighted to be welcoming Mrs Amanda Letch as our new Headmistress from the Summer Term 2014.  Amanda is a graduate in Economics and Economic History and spent many years working in the corporate sector as an Investor Relations consultant. She has had a meteoric rise since entering the teaching profession eight years ago. In her most recent Ofsted inspection  she was part of a leadership team at Grove Park Primary School which was graded outstanding in all four areas - teaching & learning; behaviour & safety; leadership and management and attainment.

Amanda was awarded the post graduate Diploma in SEN two years ago through Edgehill University. She worked as SenCo in her last school for two years before moving on to lead assessment and data. As assessment coordinator she was responsible for ensuring that data was accurately recorded, analysed and presented to stakeholders in an easily understandable format. Amanda was also responsible for leading and improving teaching and learning.

Amanda has also experienced other aspects of primary education as she has four children of her own and has been Chair of Governors at a Church of England school in Hammersmith. She is married and lives in Chiswick.

Amanda believes that, given the right learning environment and excellent teaching, every child can and will fulfil their potential. She understands that children learn best in a safe and stimulating environment with fun and laughter just around the corner.

 

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

Isabel graduated from Trinity College of Music (London) with a BMus (Hons), her main instrument being the cello. Since having two children of her own, she developed a career in making music with children; first at home and then at her children’s nurseries. During this period, her family also lived in New Zealand (Auckland), for a year, where she continued working with nursery children as well as taking music classes for Reception at an independent school called The Ficino School.  Back in England, Isabel went on to run her own successful business called ‘Music for the Young’ for 7 years in Chelsea and Fulham (classes for 6mths-6yrs).

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.

 

Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO) - Mrs Claudia Seddon 
 
Claudia is a qualified primary school teacher with specialist skills in working with children with communicational, learning, social, behavioural and emotional difficulties. She is also a qualified clinical psychologist specialising in children.  Claudia received her psychology training in her home country, Chile.  Whilst there she worked for six months in one of the main children’s hospitals in Santiago with children with behavioural, social and emotional difficulties. She developed the skills necessary to communicate with young children and their families.
 
In 2006 Claudia finished her PGCE in Primary Education at Roehampton University. After qualifying as a teacher she worked for fours years as a Reception and Year 2 class teacher for children with autism. During this time she developed particular skills in enhancing children’s attention, communication and language.

Claudia has three children aged five, three and seven months. Being a mother is an amazing learning experience and has allowed her to empathise with young children and their parents.