Headmistress & SENDCO - Mrs Amanda Letch
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 and Early Years Coordinator - 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".
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.
Year 1 teacher - 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.
Year 1 Teacher - Miss Vicky Amor
Vicky Amor graduated from the University of Liverpool with a honours degree in Sociology and Criminology. She continued her studies in Winchester gaining a Post Graduate Certificate in Education.
After teaching in both Key Stage 1 and 2 in Reading, Vicky has spent the last two years teaching at the British School of Chicago. She greatly enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to teach in an international setting and is keen to bring what she has learnt from this experience to Thomson House School.
"As a Year One class teacher I feel my primary aim is to instill in children a love of learning and an enjoyment in coming to school each day. I am so excited to be joining the Thomson House team and look forward to getting to know each and every child in my care".
Year 1 Teacher (Part-time) - Mrs Mary-Ann Baghaei
Mary-Ann graduated from King's College London with a BA Hons in French. She went on to study for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Westminster and spent several years working as a journalist in the legal sector before taking up the post of Press Officer for the French Trade Commission in London.
She gained her Post Graduate Certificate in Education in Primary French from the Institute of Education and began teaching in Year 1 at the Harrodian School in Barnes. After having her first baby and following maternity leave, Mary-Ann will join Thomson House as a part-time Year 1 teacher.
"I am thrilled to be joining Thomson House. I look forward to creating a happy and engaging classroom environment where each child feels valued and excited to learn."
Music Teacher (Part-time) - 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.
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.
Higher Level Teaching Assistant - Miss Sian Akehurst
Sian recently completed a Primary Education degree at Kingston University and is looking forward to working with the staff and children at Thomson House School. Sian will be working as an HLTA
Sian is passionate about the environment and wildlife and as a consequence is completing a Level 3 Forest School Leader qualification which she looks to use at Thomson House. Sian loves reading and will look to inspire the children and assist them with their phonics.
Sian believe all children should be treated equally, listened to and given the opportunity to share their ideas and thoughts. She is extremely excited about growing and developing alongside the school.
Teaching Assistant - Mrs Laura Marin
Laura has a degree in Speech and Language Therapy and Audiologist from Universidad Museo Social in Argentina. After her graduation, and following post-graduate training and coursework, she acquired extensive experience as a SLT working with children.
While working for several public and private institutions, she helped children with different degrees of special needs, from minor to severe. Laura relocated to the UK in 2003, and after raising her two sons, she become extremely interested in applying her skill-set on an educational setting.
Her goal is to help children during the first stages of their education by contributing to their well-being and by making the process into a positive experience. While working towards achieving this goal, Laura has been a teaching assistant for children with special needs, and a foreign language teaching assistant for secondary school students.
Higher Level Teaching Assistant - Mrs Kate Street
Kate joins us as a HLTA in Caterpillar Class in the mornings and Ladybirds in the afternoons.
She had a long varied career in fashion, most recently as a lecturer at the Fashion Retail Academy and has also worked extensively as a freelance journalist.
Kate has qualified teacher status with a B.Ed in Drama and English and is really looking forward to working alongside our Literacy expert Jennie Stone to extend these areas at Thomson House. Additionally Kate is passionate about arts and crafts and anyone who saw her in action as a volunteer during Arts Week last year won't argue with her own description of herself as the Queen of Glitter!
Learning Support Assistant - Miss Estefanía Izquierdo Gaspar
She is currently studying a degree (via the International University of La Rioja, Spain (distance learning)) in Primary School Teaching and is looking forward to qualifying next year.
Estefania came to London motivated by curiosity to learn different and better ways to teach. She teaches Spanish in her own company called “Hola London Academy of Languages” in Sheen and Richmond.
Nick Ford (Part-time) - PE Specialist