Meet our Senior School and Sixth Form Team

Ed Dickie
Head of Senior School
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Ed Dickie
Head of Senior School

Ed’s passion for Politics led him to a postgraduate Masters in International Relations at SOAS University of London. As well as teaching History and Politics Ed has served as a Head of Sixth Form, Head of Department and Housemaster at Bedes School before joining the Claremont Project in 2013. He has been teaching for 21 years and has been Headteacher since 2018.

I never considered teaching until, as a 19 year old, I worked as a builder’s labourer on a School’s facilities team. The Headteacher urged me to apply for University and taught me the transforming power of education. Having completed a History degree at Edinburgh University he then persuaded me to apply to train as a teacher before offering me my first job. I live in Battle with four children and a growing collection of hats! I have always really wanted to be Indiana Jones, am suspicious of helicopters & snakes and Bruce Springsteen would be my specialist subject if I ever was on Mastermind

Lea Owen
Deputy Headteacher -Senior School and Assistant Designated Safeguarding Lead
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Lea Owen
Deputy Headteacher -Senior School and Assistant Designated Safeguarding Lead

Lea studied Human Biology at Loughborough University, during which she spent a year working at a Pharmaceutical company in the market research team. After graduating, the allure of a company car and a mobile phone (‘it was the early 1990s so it was big deal then‘ Lea reminisces), pulled her away from a nagging thought she had about becoming a teacher. Lea went on to work in industry for the next 20 years in sales and marketing roles until the draw of becoming a teaching caught up with her once again.  Lea has been teaching now for 10 years.

Teaching gets me out of bed in the morning. Every day is different and I love the thought of helping all the future hotshots in jobs we don’t even know exist yet!

Victoria Liggett
Director of Sixth Form
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Victoria Liggett
Director of Sixth Form

Victoria has been teaching for 10 years.  She studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University before training as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse Coopers. Victoria then worked in investment banking in the city of London, specialising in UK mergers and acquisitions.

Once I had my family, I decided on a career change to allow me to work more locally and to find a new challenge to utilise my skills. I teach Economics and Business, and very much enjoy working with our students in advising on their future destinations, and helping them see all the opportunities available to today’s school leavers.

Claire Martin
Assistant Head (Teaching and Learning - Senior School)
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Claire Martin
Assistant Head (Teaching and Learning - Senior School)

Claire studied Chemistry at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford University before working in Database Management for 15 years mostly with the Reference Laboratory Services Divisions of what is now Public Health England. After having her children, Claire and her family moved to Kent where she retrained as a Chemistry teacher and before joining Claremont Senior School in its third year since opening.

Francoise Armstrong
Assistant Head - Senior School (International) & Director of Boarding
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Francoise Armstrong
Assistant Head - Senior School (International) & Director of Boarding

Francoise spent her youth in sunny Marseilles and graduated from Aix-en-Provence University with a BA in Philosophy and an MA in English Literature.  She has dedicated her whole career to education working with students of all ages, from Nursery to adult learners on her teacher training programme.  Francoise taught in a range of large London based comprehensive schools running language faculties before coming to Claremont a year after the school first opened in 2011.  Francoise has worked as an education consultant for a range of national organisations and for our international students provides a crucial bridge between their school experience and life in the boarding house.

Rebecca Hurton
Assistant Head - Senior School (Student Welfare) and Designated Safeguarding Lead
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Rebecca Hurton
Assistant Head - Senior School (Student Welfare) and Designated Safeguarding Lead

Rebecca studied Anthropology at Southampton University and has been teaching for 10 years.

I went straight to university straight from school at 18 with a very narrow view of the world. It was the most informative three years of my life, where I discovered activism, and a world of different people and experiences. When I left university I worked as a teaching assistant in a challenging school. I realised I wasn’t yet ready for the rigour, and routine of the 9-5 so I travelled for a year across India and Nepal, working for six months with the Tibetan community in exile in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. When I came home I was ready to return to University and completed a PGCE at Brighton.

Sinead Hemsley
Head of Communications Faculty
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Sinead Hemsley
Head of Communications Faculty

Sinead teachers English Language and Literature and Media BTEC and has been teaching for 20 years.

I read English Literature at Edinburgh University and then worked for five years producing media products and latterly, websites for charities, banks and insurance companies in London before deciding to train as a teacher. I completed my English PGCE at the Institute of Education which is part of University College London. I went into teaching because I love my subject and wanted to share that passion with young people.

Zoe Ovenden
Head of Humanities Faculty and History teacher
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Zoe Ovenden
Head of Humanities Faculty and History teacher

Zoe went to Lancaster University to study History specialising in modern history and politics and has been teaching for 3 years.

I loved and still love learning about revolutions and the social, economic and political side of history. I have had a variety of different jobs but wanted to become a teacher because I wanted (as cheesy as it sounds) to make a difference and make others passionate about history.

Victoria Stewart
Head of the Creative Faculty and Head of Art and Photography
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Victoria Stewart
Head of the Creative Faculty and Head of Art and Photography

Victoria comes from a creative family of Art teachers and furniture designers so it is no surprise she followed suit and went down the creative career avenue.  She has been teaching for 11 years of which 9 have been at Claremont Senior School.

I fell in love with art and all things creative from nursery age! I studied Fine Art and Graphic design at GCSE, then A level Fine Art and Photography, followed by an Art Foundation course. I then went on to study a degree in Illustration at the University of Brighton before gaining invaluable experience as a visual merchandiser working at Selfridges in London. Designing the window displays and interior shop displays was a great way to develop my Illustrative skills with colour and texture. My final creative qualification was then studying for my PGCE teacher training qualification at Goldsmiths University in London. This lead me to my first teaching position at Cheam High School in Sutton which was, dare I say, energetic! My final destination was Claremont where I became the Head of Art. I had the exciting opportunity to grow my very own Art department from scratch and now 8 years later here I still am!

Jon Underwood
Head of Science Faculty
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Jon Underwood
Head of Science Faculty

Jon went to the University of Leeds and studied Medical Sciences (BSc) – which consisted of a combination of Biology, Pharmacology, Chemistry, Neuroscience and Physiology.  He has been teaching for 11 years.

I decided to become a teacher because I wanted to inspire others with Science and help to develop the next generation of Doctors, Nurses, Vets, Dentists, Scientists etc.

Mark Wood
Head of Enterprise Faculty, Head of Mathematics & Duke of Edinburgh Award Manager
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Mark Wood
Head of Enterprise Faculty, Head of Mathematics & Duke of Edinburgh Award Manager

I was fortunate to have been taught by many good teachers all the way back to Primary School and hoped that by becoming a teacher, I too could inspire young people. I have always loved Mathematics and was good at it so it was a no brainer to study for a degree in the subject at Sussex University, and to become a Mathematics teacher.  I have been teaching for 17 years.

Sarah Cakebread
Director of Performing Arts
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Sarah Cakebread
Director of Performing Arts

Sarah studied her craft at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Manchester Met University and has been teaching now for 20 years.

Teaching Drama to young people allows me to share my working day with imaginative, funny, open, skilled, curious and generous young performers and that is what keeps me teaching!

Catherine Allberry
Spanish Teacher and Head of Pevensey House
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Catherine Allberry
Spanish Teacher and Head of Pevensey House

Catherine grew up in a boarding school in Madrid where her parents were teachers and houseparents so she has been speaking Spanish since she was 2 year old.  Catherine has been teaching for 13 years.

My parents and my childhood in Spain definitely had a huge impact on my choice to become a teacher! I then moved to Somerset and went to Queen’s College Taunton from the age of 6-18, studying Spanish, PE, RS and English Literature at A Level. I left school and went to study Spanish, Latin American Studies and Film studies at Newcastle University, before gaining my PGCE from Exeter university. I have traveled, worked and studied in Madrid, Malaga, Seville, Colombia, The Alps, Corsica and Paris and have taught some KS3 French alongside my main subject of Spanish. I’ve always worked and lived in boarding schools in Hampshire, Berkshire and Staffordshire.

Anselm de Pleave
Head of Religious Studies & Philosophy / English & EAL teacher / Head of Bodiam House / Positive Mental Health Champion / Lead for Equality & Diversity
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Anselm de Pleave
Head of Religious Studies & Philosophy / English & EAL teacher / Head of Bodiam House / Positive Mental Health Champion / Lead for Equality & Diversity

Anselm read History and Italian at Bristol University and later gained an MSc in Politics & Sociology at London University. Prior to being a teacher, he had various roles including parliamentary analyst for an American multinational.  Anselm has been teaching for 21 years and is a Positive Mental Health Champion and lead for the Equality and Diversity committee at Claremont.

I became a teacher a little later in life in order to lead a more meaningful, vocational life. I currently teach Religious Studies, Philosophy, English Language and Literature, EAL and the EPQ (Extended Project Qualification). I have also taught French, German, Politics and History.

Pippa Leeves
Head of Scotney House, Equestrian Manager & PE Teacher
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Pippa Leeves
Head of Scotney House, Equestrian Manager & PE Teacher

Pippa studied Physical Education with QTS at Brighton University and graduated in 2008. Pippa has been teaching for 13 years and has worked at Uckfield Community College, Benenden School and a variety of secondary & primary school across Kent as sports coordinator.  Pippa is a keen horse rider and manages the school Equestrian team. She also plays club netball in the Hastings and Eastbourne league.

Krishna Rasalingham
Maths Teacher & Head of Camber House
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Krishna Rasalingham
Maths Teacher & Head of Camber House

Krishna studied for his Mathematics degree and postgraduate degree in Actuarial Science at the University of Kent.  He fell in love with the craft of teaching following a period of tutoring in Mathematics during his postgraduate year, so he decided to pursue it as a career. Krishna has now been teaching for 14 years.

Teaching has taught me about the ‘feel good factor’ you get when you help others achieve their goals. It has has also helped me to be patient, become a better public speaker and develop my communication skills.

Sam Cotsford
Head of Futures, UCAS Coordinator & Business Teacher
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Sam Cotsford
Head of Futures, UCAS Coordinator & Business Teacher

Sam teaches Business & Finance and has been teaching for 8 years. He gained a First Class (BA) degree in Industrial Relations & Human Recourse Management  and an MA in International Social Policy from the University of Kent.  He worked in the International Dept at the University after he graduated and in their outreach programme specifically working with parents who had no formal qualifications to help them overcome barriers to education.

This in turn helped improve learning outcomes for their children. By breaking down the cycle of underperformance and aiding social mobility, they became more likely to succeed in the education system. From this experience, I went on to teach in Benin, West Africa which proved pivotal in my decision to return to university and obtain my PGCSE in Education.

Colin Divall
History Teacher
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Colin Divall
History Teacher

Colin graduated with a First Class Degree in History from the University of Kent. Although Colin’s degree offered the study of a broad sweep of History, his overall specialisms focused upon British military history (specifically the 18th and 19th centuries), the US Civil War and German History in the early 20th century.

I had always wanted to be a teacher and pass on the passion and love I have for History to a new generation of budding historians, and after leaving the Army I decided that the focus of my career would become an unrelenting push to make History the premier subject at school!

Beth Eckhoff
Head of Dance
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Beth Eckhoff
Head of Dance

Beth has been teaching Dance for over 15 years having attended private dance training in many styles until the age of 18 after which she studied for her BA degree in Dance Education at Liverpool John Moores University. Upon graduating Beth worked in London until she found her love for teaching dance teaching ‘baby ballet’ on Saturday mornings.

I took my ISTD Classical Ballet Diploma in Dance Instruction qualification and MA credits in Dance in Education and here I am 15 years later. I thoroughly enjoy working for AQA as Dance Examiner for GCSE dance which supports my joy of nurturing dance students to become confident humans and feel good about their self worth through the medium of dance.

Sara Kendall
Head of Business
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Sara Kendall
Head of Business

Sara studied Journalism, Communications and Business Studies at LCP and has BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the Open University and completed her teacher training at Christchurch University, Canterbury. Sara has been teaching for 15 years and currently teaches Business.

I have taught Economics, ICT, Psychology, Children’s Care, Learning and Development and I have worked in publishing, printing and software development for large companies such as Hodder & Stoughton and small start-ups. I have also worked in Administration, Procurement, Sales and Marketing and Business Development as well as freelance journalism.

Mimi McNally
Head of Psychology and EPQ / HPQ
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Mimi McNally
Head of Psychology and EPQ / HPQ

After graduating from Durham University with a First in Psychology, Mimi joined Accenture as a Management Consultant, specialising in Change Management and training both client personnel and new graduate recruits in London and Chicago. She left to join a niche qualitative research agency in London as a consumer psychologist, studying consumer behaviour in the UK, before training to teach Psychology A Level at Claremont.  Mimi has been teaching for 6 years.

I am passionate about the subject of Psychology as it gives students an invaluable vocabulary for understanding themselves and those around them. I am also a devotee of the EPQ and HPQ qualifications, which enable students to develop skills and interests that open many doors in later life.

Catherine Mower
Head of Modern Foreign Languages
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Catherine Mower
Head of Modern Foreign Languages

Catherine graduated in France and worked in Paris for a few years before becoming a teacher in England. Catherine has lived in Asia and Spain as well as the UK and has taught students from a wide variety of nationalities and backgrounds.  Catherine has been teaching for over 20 years.

This is what I love about my job; the reward of seeing young people progressing in languages, getting to know other cultures and being curious !

Jonathan Peters
Head of Co-Curricular Programme and Science teacher
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Jonathan Peters
Head of Co-Curricular Programme and Science teacher

Jonathan was educated locally at school and college in Hastings and Bexhill before progressing to Portsmouth University to study Palaeontology. Jonathan started his teacher training at Roehampton University before completing his qualification at Claremont where he has been teaching for 5 years.

I decided to become a teacher because I always wanted to help develop people and make a contribution to teaching someone something.

Siân Reeves
Head of EAL (English as an additional language)
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Siân Reeves
Head of EAL (English as an additional language)

Siân studied English Literature, Film and Drama at Reading University before pursuing post graduate studies in Theatre of the Deaf and Teacher Training during which she gained five separate qualifications including the Cambridge Diploma in English Language Teaching to International students. Siân has been teaching since she was 22 years old.

I have worked in schools and universities abroad and ran a bespoke freelance Business English course. I have also worked as an interpreter/facilitator for the D/deaf. I became a teacher as I am passionate about learning and am a ‘people person’. I have taught English/EAL to hearing/D/deaf students (also ICT and Maths to Deaf students) for many years. I also believe that Caring and Kindness are key.

Paul Richardson
Head of Physics
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Paul Richardson
Head of Physics

Paul has been teaching for 13 years and joined the Science department at Claremont when he moved to Hastings with his family.

A life long fascination with space, science and how the world works led me to study and complete a degree in Physics with Space Science at the University of Leicester. After gaining a Masters degree and a PGCE from King’s College London I taught at The London Oratory for just over ten years.

Marea Saunders
Head of Design & Technology
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Marea Saunders
Head of Design & Technology

After A Levels, Marea completed a Higher Level Apprenticeship in Engineering within electricity generation and was sponsored to complete a degree by her employer. Marea later had a career change and trained to teach Design & Technology specialising in Resistant Materials and Food Technology.

During my career I have also worked as an engineer in the rail industry and taught Art but I feel happiest in a workshop or kitchen! I am a trained coach mentor and have a special interest in working with trainees and newly qualified teachers.

James Sheriff
Head of Geography
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James Sheriff
Head of Geography

James BSc Geography degree from Bristol University, an MA Education from the Open University and has been teaching for 15 years.  He has taught in schools in London, Hong Kong, Cheltenham and Brighton.

I switched career to teaching so that I could make a positive contribution to the world, so that I could work with young people, and because I enjoy sharing my love of learning about the world.

Natasha Smith
Head of Music
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Natasha Smith
Head of Music

Natasha studied Creative Music Technology (BMus) at the University of Huddersfield, and then continued studying at the same university for her PGCE in Secondary Music.  She has been teaching for 8 years.

My first teaching job was at Nottingham High School where I taught Music and Music Technology. In 2020 I completed my MA in Music at the University of Nottingham, specialising in composition.

Lorraine Kasztura
SENDCo & Specialist Assessor
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Lorraine Kasztura
SENDCo & Specialist Assessor

Lorraine first studied at Strathclyde University in Glasgow before taking her PGCE at Bath University and has been teaching for years.

Before I started to teach in England I worked for Camp America, then went to teach in Poland before returning to the UK. I have worked in several different types of schools ranging from teaching at KS1 all the way through to Sixth Form. I worked for many years in SEMH (Social, Emotional & Mental Health) schools before starting at Claremont.

Louise Constable
Learning Support Assistant
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Louise Constable
Learning Support Assistant

Louise was previously a corporate banker, working for Citigroup in the Media & Communications department but took voluntary redundancy when she decided to start a family having worked at Citigroup for 20 years.

After having my two boys I decided it was time to return to work but wanted to be able to spend time with my family during the holidays so I took a course in Dyslexia at Brighton University and joined the SEN team at Claremont in 2011.

Tamsin Edwards
English Teacher
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Tamsin Edwards
English Teacher

Tamsin was brought up in London and then the West Country. She studied at the University of Keele and gained her PGCE from the London Institute of Education and has been teaching for 30 years. Tamsin’s teaching specialisms are English, Media, Drama and Psychology.

I have a love of Literature and the company of young people who want to be led and inspired – that’s why I teach!

Sarah Fretwell
Creative Digital Media Production Btec
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Sarah Fretwell
Creative Digital Media Production Btec

Sarah studied at Norwich School of Art and Design completing a BA (hons) in Graphic Design with a specialism in publishing. After university she returned to the South to work with young people and pursue a job as a designer.  Sarah has been teaching for 7 years.

Creativity was always a passion of mine and I could always be found making something, drawing, taking pictures and recreating a Blue Peter something or other. As my career unfolded I worked for a travel magazine, discovering I’m a country girl at heart and the London commute was not for me. In 2005 I started work for Hastings Borough Council as a graphic designer and created all manner of design material from illustrating to film editing. A career high point was making a recipe from oats, peanut butter and chocolate to formulate a convincing dog poop for a photoshoot! I was happy in my role but alongside this I was involved in a lot of youth work at our church. The call to combine my creativity and youth work led me to complete my PGCE and before joining Claremont.

Matthew Garvin
Art Teacher
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Matthew Garvin
Art Teacher

Matthew studied BA (Hons) Fine Art at the University of Wolverhampton and graduated in 2019. After spending time working in an independent school back in Zimbabwe as a teaching assistant, Matthew decided to pursue a teaching career and gained his PGCE in Secondary Art at Liverpool Hope University in 2020.

I joined Claremont in September 2021 and I have felt at home ever since!

Lydia Grant
English Teacher
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Lydia Grant
English Teacher

Lydia gained her English BA degree at Southampton University, and PGCE Secondary English from the University of Brighton. Lydia has been teaching English for 10 years and previously taught for six years in South London. She was inspired to go into teaching after teaching in Thailand.

Bettina Komaier
German Tutor and Learning Support Assistant
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Bettina Komaier
German Tutor and Learning Support Assistant

Bettina studied Russian, English and Dutch at the University of Vienna before moving to Amsterdam and later to the UK.  Bettina has been teaching for 4 years.

Languages have always been my passion. Before joining Claremont Senior School in Spring 2017, I worked for various international companies using my languages before becoming a full-time mum for 7 years. At Claremont I have been mostly working as a Learning Support Assistant, but I have also have been teaching small EAL and German classes.

Rachel Lane
English Teacher
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Rachel Lane
English Teacher

Rachel studied English at Cambridge University, ahead of completing her teacher training some years ago. Rachel took a break from teaching to raise a family, but kept her brain busy by tutoring and writing throughout.  She has been teaching for three years.

  It’s been a joy to return to the challenges and delights of classroom teaching at Claremont

Georgia Scott
Photography Teacher
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Georgia Scott
Photography Teacher

Georgia’s parents taught MA in Design and Ceramics so was influenced by their creativity. She studied Foundation in Art followed by BA (Hons) in 3D Design before starting work as a photographic assistant. This led to a successful career as Artist designing bespoke lighting for stores including Liberty, and working with Architects to design site specific sculptures along with workshops, in museums and at her own studio.  Georgia has been teaching for 7 years.

Teaching workshops and positive feedback led to completing my PGCE. This was driven by my passion and knowledge of the arts and desire to inspire students creativity and curiosity in learning.

Debra Shier
Science Teacher and Technician
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Debra Shier
Science Teacher and Technician

Debra studied at the University of Natal in South Africa where she gained an MSc degree and Higher Diploma in Education. Debra has been teaching for 34 years and currently teaches Physics.

A phrase or saying that inspires you. “It always seems impossible until it’s done”. Nelson Mandela.’

Tell us something about yourself not a lot of people would know. I am a PADI Divemaster

What are you currently ‘getting better’ at? British Sign Language

Claire Waller
Drama/LAMDA Teacher
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Claire Waller
Drama/LAMDA Teacher

Claire trained as an actor at Mountview Theatre School and performed professionally for many years until she started a family. Claire has been teaching for 24 years.

I became a teacher because I wanted to be surrounded by creative young people who keep me on my toes and I absolutely love it.

Toni Walton
Computer Science Teacher, Data Manager & Exams Officer
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Toni Walton
Computer Science Teacher, Data Manager & Exams Officer

Before teaching Toni worked with horses, in Administration, Sales and Accountancy.  Toni obtained my degree as a mature student with the Open University in Computing and has been teaching for 15 years.

I didn’t like school at all but developed a real love of learning when studying for my degree, which inspired me to try teaching. I then worked for 12 years in a state school before joining Claremont Senior School in 2015.

Hazel White
Politics and Global Perspectives Teacher
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Hazel White
Politics and Global Perspectives Teacher

Hazel teaches Global Perspectives and Politics A Level. She has a degree in Politics from De Montfort University and a PGCE in Secondary Citizenship. She has 15 years teaching experience and has also worked as an examiner and private tutor.

A phrase or saying that inspires you. ‘Learning isn’t a means to an end; it is an end in itself’

If you could go back in time to your own school days, what advice would you give your younger self? Stop mucking about and do some work!

Tell us something about yourself not a lot of people would know. I’m a huge Star Wars fan.

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

What has being a teacher taught YOU? That I’m still learning.

What are you currently ‘getting better’ at? Running. I started ‘Couch to 5K’ in lockdown and now I’m hooked!

Sarah Wright
Maths Teacher
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Sarah Wright
Maths Teacher

Sarah holds a Joint Hons Degree and MSc (Distinction) from King’s College, London. She originally worked in the NHS before moving to the City where she managed a Trade Business for a major US Bank.  Whilst her children were young, Sarah spent some time volunteering at her local primary school, working both inside and outside the classroom.  This later led to her work with children with special educational needs, in particular helping those with Maths difficulties. Having found her work with the children so rewarding, Sarah went on to train and work specifically in Maths teaching where over the last 4 years she has been able to develop her skills and also apply her experience of working in business.

Miranda Booth
School Nurse
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Miranda Booth
School Nurse

Miranda has worked in the care industry for nearly 30 years and in many different settings during that time to include A&E, orthopaedic trauma and child Immunisation. Miranda also worked for 9 years at the Conquest hospital in St Leonards with what she describes as ‘the most amazing team of dedicated individuals’.

I’ve had the absolute pleasure of being the Claremont School nurse for just over 4 years now and during that time, I have built a team of outstanding health professionals who support the children, staff and parents of our schools as well as our growing boarding community.

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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  • Claremont School

    Summer Holiday Activities 2022

    Dive into Summer at Claremont by registering your child for our Holiday Activity Programme 

    11th July – 26th August 2022

    For information and to book CLICK HERE