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Meet our Prep School Team

Prep School Teaching Team

Gavin Bunker
Head of Prep School
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Gavin Bunker
Head of Prep School

Gavin’s path to teaching began 16 years ago when he was a youth worker and a Community Sport Coordinator for the local authority. Here he realised his passion for teaching Sport and PE. He studied Business and Sport Studies at university and took extra modules in Sport Science. He then completed his PGCE at the University of East London.

Stephanie Edmunds
Deputy Head Prep School - Academic
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Stephanie Edmunds
Deputy Head Prep School - Academic

Stephanie studied Biology and Maths at the University of London (Goldsmiths College). She was a manager of clinical trials within the pharmaceutical industry before retraining to become a teacher.

I decided to become a teacher because I love learning and being with children. No day is ever the same and there are always opportunities to make a difference. I teach Maths, but have also taught IT, Biology and Games.

Celia Ackerley
Deputy Head Prep School - Progress Lead
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Celia Ackerley
Deputy Head Prep School - Progress Lead

Celia Ackerley has been teaching for 20 years. She started out with a degree in Zoology from Liverpool University before trying out nursing. However, after realising she was too squeamish to make that a career she started working in challenging schools in London, Sheffield and East Sussex.

I became a teacher as I wanted to help people and be challenged. I particularly like working with young people as they make make my day fun and two days are never the same.

Dan Brownbill
Head of Outdoor Learning Faculty
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Dan Brownbill
Head of Outdoor Learning Faculty

Dan qualified at Brighton University (Chelsea College, Eastbourne) with a BA(QTS) in Physical Education and has taught English, Maths, History, Geography, RE, DT, PE and Games. Dan has been teaching for 36 years.

I actually became a teacher by accident! I came to Claremont at 18 years old to do a gap year and liked it so much I decided to stay on.

Nicky Glendinning
Head of English and Humanities Faculty
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Nicky Glendinning
Head of English and Humanities Faculty

Nicky has been teaching since she was seven! Her parents put blackboard paint on a wall at the back of our conservatory, and she would teach her teddies and dolls very patiently in the garden. From there she went on to the Purcell School of Music and learned the clarinet and piano, as well as singing in the choir. She went on to read English at King’s College, London followed by a semester spent in Perpignan to immerse herself in French language and culture. Her career started in publishing, at Random House Children’s Books. After having her two boys, she took the NCTJ news preliminary exams and worked as a freelance feature writer before undertaking teacher training. Nicky did her PGCE in MFL (secondary French) at CCCU.

Some of my favourite memories of school are the concerts. We did a whole school performance of Handel’s Messiah and Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, among other works; it was exciting to be part of it.

Franki Pena
Head of Creative Faculty
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Franki Pena
Head of Creative Faculty

Franki studied for her Drama degree at the University of Essex before going on to complete her PGCE at Birmingham City University.  Franki has been teaching for 6 years and although she currently teaches Drama and English she has also taught Dance and History.

I became a teacher because I love seeing the world through children’s eyes and as a child I used to love playing ‘schools’ with my sister.

If you weren’t a teacher, what job would you be doing instead?  A fitness instructor

What are you currently ‘getting better’ at? Running

David Slattery
Head of STEM Faculty
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David Slattery
Head of STEM Faculty

David’s career path has been eclectic. He completed a degree in English Literature before sitting an aptitude test that indicated he would be a good computer programmer, so he pursued that for some years after university.

I then spent almost 10 years teaching overseas before realising I would like to return to the UK and pass on my knowledge of technology to young minds in a British classroom setting. Claremont gives me that opportunity.

Michael Cook
Progress Lead Year 3, 4 & 5 and Sports Teacher
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Michael Cook
Progress Lead Year 3, 4 & 5 and Sports Teacher

Michael went to Bexhill College and the Open University where he studied Sports, Fitness, Coaching Development and Management. Before coming to Claremont, he coached football and had an ambition to coach football full time.  Michael has been teaching for 9 years.

At Claremont I started to teach other sports and found it was not only football I enjoyed, but also working with young people and supporting them to reach their potential, regardless of ability. That being said I still think the football season is too short!

Stuart Ware
Progress Lead Year 6, 7 & 8 and Maths Teacher
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Stuart Ware
Progress Lead Year 6, 7 & 8 and Maths Teacher

Stuart gained his degree and two post graduate diplomas in Architecture and BRS prior to qualifying as an architect.  He later retrained and gained Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in 2013. Stuart has been teaching ever since.

A phrase or saying that inspires you.The mirror is a worthless invention. The only way to truly see yourself is in the reflection of someone else’s eyes’.  Voltaire

If you could go back in time to your own school days, what advice would you give your younger self? Everything that seemed a challenge then has shaped your character in ways you will not even begin to realise.

If you weren’t a teacher, what job would you be doing instead? Architect – still – or as a rather left field alternative butcher.

What has being a teacher taught YOU? To add a further quote – ‘Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid’.  Albert Einstein

What are you currently ‘getting better’ at? Perfecting my ice cream recipes.

Lorraine Barry
Director of Music
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Lorraine Barry
Director of Music

Lorraine has a BA hons in Performing Arts with Classical Voice major and has been teaching music for 22 years. When she is not  teaching, Lorraine is a choral director and musical director.

A phrase or saying that inspires you.Everyone is a musician in my classroom‘.

If you weren’t a teacher, what job would you be doing instead? I’d be a musician.

Barbara Darlington
Head of Art
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Barbara Darlington
Head of Art

Barbara has been teaching for 29 years. She studied at Falmouth School of Fine Art and at the University of Greenwich.

A phrase or saying that inspires you. Art Makes Children Powerful

If you could go back in time to your own school days, what advice would you give your younger self? It’s all a journey of learning and personal growth

Tell us something about yourself not a lot of people would know. I was brought up in Latin America

If you weren’t a teacher, what job would you be doing instead? A Fine Art printmaker

What has being a teacher taught YOU? That there are many paths to success.

What are you currently ‘getting better’ at? Investing more time to reflect and identify creative possibilities.

Jayne Francis
Head of Geography
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Jayne Francis
Head of Geography

Jayne has been teaching for 17 years. She studied Geography and Sociology at the University of Keele and before becoming a teacher, spent 10 years in Local Government, in Contingency Planning for Civil Emergencies and as an Information Officer, producing Labour Market reports.

What phrase or saying inspires you? ‘Take only memories, leave only footprints’ – Chief Seattle

What has being a teacher taught you? You are never too old to learn something new!

What are you currently ‘getting better’ at? Technology

Georgina Osborne
Head of Modern Foreign Languages
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Georgina Osborne
Head of Modern Foreign Languages

Georgina has been teaching for 20 years. She started out teaching in Spain and France. The university where she gained her Masters in French had a link with a UK university and that is how she ended up back in England, teaching French and Spanish. She has had a career involving learning support, business and management, but it’s her passion for languages that takes precedent.

I have been lucky enough to teach Claremont children both in the Prep school and the Senior school. I am proud to be a part of their language learning journey.

Jack Richardson
Head of Science
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Jack Richardson
Head of Science

Jack grew up in Hastings and went to University in Norwich (UEA). He studied Environmental Science and Biology, UEA is the centre for climate change research. He decided to train to become an educator after teaching a trial Science lesson to Year 7 students at Robertsbridge Community College.

My mum was a teacher for 35 years and has always inspired me.

Kate West
Head of Drama & LAMDA Coordinator
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Kate West
Head of Drama & LAMDA Coordinator

Kate earned her my Drama Degree from the Nene College, Northampton, which was affiliated with the University of Leicester and my PGCE from Middlesex University.

 

Teaching runs in my family and despite the pull of a career in theatre, teaching drama was always my first choice.

Kate Alexander
English and History teacher
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Kate Alexander
English and History teacher

Kate has been teaching for 37 years. She has also worked for a film company and has run her own import/export business.

A phrase or saying that inspires you.If you care about something you have to protect it – If you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.’ ― John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany

Margaret Perry
Science and Maths Teacher
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Margaret Perry
Science and Maths Teacher

Margaret studied for her degree in Environmental Studies with Human Geography at Kingston University.  After taking up a job with the World Wildlife Fund in Godalming, she moved to the south east coast.  Margaret has been teaching for 26 years, having gained her PGCE from the Open University whilst training in three different state schools.

I decided to become a teacher because I believe that education is empowering and is the key to a better life for all.

Dan Sutherland
English, History and R&P Teacher
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Dan Sutherland
English, History and R&P Teacher

Dan has been teaching for 12 years. He studied Comparative American Studies at Warwick University, which allowed him to further his interest in History and Literature, as well as spend a year in Argentina. He has taught every subject during his career, but specialises in English.

My own experiences of school influenced my desire to replicate the feelings of wonder and possibility that learning inspired in me, and to make the classroom a place of excitement and aspiration.

Rachel Holmes
Forest School Lead
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Rachel Holmes
Forest School Lead

Rachel has been teaching for 25 years. She was inspired to become an educator by her own PE teacher at school. She studied at The University of Brighton in Eastbourne.

It was a beautiful place to learn. I have remained in Eastbourne ever since!

Marie Patel
Year 4 Tutor and French Teacher
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Marie Patel
Year 4 Tutor and French Teacher

Marie was born in Normandy and is French native speaker.  After gaining two degrees (English and French linguistics) from the University of Rouen,  Marie came to England to study for her teaching qualification at the University of Southampton.  She then began teaching modern foreign languages in various Secondary schools in Sussex, before later training to teach early French to pre school and Primary school children.

It all probably started with me teaching my dolls and teddies when I was little.

If you could go back in time to your own school days, what advice would you give your younger self? Don’t worry!
Emily Chaffer
Year 3 Teacher
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Emily Chaffer
Year 3 Teacher

Emily has been teaching for 5 years. After studying a Sports Science degree, she decided to begin the path to teaching by completing a primary PGCE at the University of Manchester. She then taught in London for five years before making the move down to Sussex to begin the next chapter of her teaching career at Claremont.

I became a teacher as I enjoy making a positive impact in peoples lives and I believe that inspiring children to realise their full potential is one of the biggest impacts I can make.

Marty Dornan
School Nurse
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Marty Dornan
School Nurse
Marty was born in Dublin and grew up in Boston Massachusetts. After studying at Catholic Charities College Boston Mass, Marty went on to volunteer for the American Red Cross in disaster relief.  He has also held the post of human rights officer for vulnerable young children in Plymouth Massachusetts .
Working at Claremont has given me the opportunity to watch children grow and develop from nursery to senior school and helping them with their ailments is truly a gift for me.

Claremont School
Nursery & Prep

Ebdens Hill, Baldslow, St. Leonards-on-Sea
East Sussex, TN37 7PW
01424 751555

Claremont School
Senior and Sixth Form

Bodiam, Nr. Robertsbridge,
East Sussex, TN32 5UJ
01580 830396

Claremont School
Clyde House

Clyde Ho/258 Sedlescombe Road North,
St Leonards-on-sea TN37 7JL
01424 233000

Claremont School
Pyke House

Claremont Boarding House Upper Lake,
Battle, East Sussex, TN33 0AN
01424 775332

Claremont School
French Study Centre

La Maison Claremont,
14 rue de l'arbalete,
62500, St Omer

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