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The Senior Team
Reception And Early Years
Learning Resource Centre
Boarding And Non-teaching Staff
Mr Philip Stewart
A very warm welcome to Terra Nova School and our wonderful community.
Terra Nova is a vibrant and exciting school set in acres of wonderful grounds. The perfect place for a child to grow and develop. Our school is steeped in history and values the traditions that form the foundations on which our school grows stronger.
While the academic progress and achievement of each pupil is always at the centre of our concerns, we believe that school life should be enjoyed for itself and not just as a preparation for adulthood.
We help our pupils to become independent and courageous thinkers who are prepared to explore, innovate and meet life’s opportunities with creativity.
All children in the school are encouraged to develop their talents and realise their potential in the way that best meets their needs and personalities. The wellbeing of every child is at the heart of the school’s philosophy, for while we want them to develop a genuine love of learning, we also want them to be resilient, optimistic, confident and kind people who know how to form and sustain good relationships and make a positive contribution to society. Teachers know pupils very well and visitors often comment on the laughter, good humour and warmth that mark relationships between children and staff. We are a family. These relationships are further fostered and independency developed with the opportunity for children to board at Terra Nova; a great preparation for both Senior boarding schools and life itself.
We want our pupils to know that people can make a difference, and they are encouraged to see that they also can make their mark on the world. They are encouraged to develop an open mindset in which they can both acknowledge their weaknesses and learn how to overcome them, encounter academic and personal challenges with enthusiasm, ambition and a will to succeed. They learn to inspire, influence and collaborate with others and they learn how to manage conflict. They are helped to develop self-awareness and understand their impact on others.
While we enjoy enviable grounds in a prime location, it is our community – our pupils, staff and parents – that make this a special place to be. Our parents are tremendously supportive of the School, contributing a huge amount of time and energy to both ethos and events.
I look forward to welcoming you to our wonderful school community.
Mr Philip Stewart
Mr Rob Searle
Deputy Headmaster & Senior Prep School History teacher
Rob joined TN in September 2015. He has been a PE teacher, Head of House and Head of Department in secondary schools in Norfolk and North Wales. He was Director of Sport at Ranby House in Nottinghamshire, in 2005, where he and his wife, Alison, were also the Girls’ Houseparents. He then became both Head of Boarding and Head of Humanities. He has two children George and Victoria and a Jack Russell called Judi.
Mrs Carol Roach
Head of Early Years & Nursery teacher
Carol is married and has 2 grown up girls, her youngest daughter has followed in her footsteps in becoming a teacher and shares the same passion for making a difference to young childrens’ lives. Carol has worked in Early Years for most of her working life. She has joined Terra Nova to head up the Early Years department and has recently moved to a new house to be closer to the ‘TN family’.
Mrs Nicola Fox
Miss Pip Smith
Pip graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a degree in Early Childhood Studies with Early Years Professional Status (EYPS). After working as a room supervisor in a private day nursery, Pip joined TN in 2012. She started as a teaching assistant in the nursery and is now nursery coordinator.
Mrs Claire Clark
Nursery teaching assistant
Claire graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with an Early Childhood Studies degree. She began her career at Terra Nova and joined in 2012. Claire works as a teaching assistant in the nursery and Tembos (After School and Holiday Club). Claire is Tembos manager.
Miss Caroline Kirby
Caroline joined the nursery at Terra Nova in 2008, later moving to Reception. After studying her Bachelor of Education (Hons), her teaching career started in Nottingham, where she taught all years from nursery to Year 2. She has taught in Leicester, Manchester and Cheshire before joining the Terra Nova team. Caroline and her partner have 2 children, who keep them busy competing in mountain bike racing events.
Miss Danielle Camp
Danielle joined our team this academic year. Her heart is in Early Years and she is extremely passionate about inspiring the little ones and giving them the best start to their educational journey. She has been teaching in Reception for 5 years and has worked at two Primary Schools prior to joining Terra Nova. Danielle has lots of new and exciting ideas, and she has a huge love for travelling and exploring new places.
Mrs Karen Potts
Reception Teaching Assistant
Karen is a committed member of TN joining in January 2002 as a classroom assistant in nursery.. After graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University with a degree in Early Childhood Studies with Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) Karen has demonstrated her passion for the age group, moving up from nursery to be situated within the Reception department.
Mrs Lisa Jones
Reception Teaching Assistant
Mrs Jessica Ollier
Head of Junior Prep School & Year 3 teacher
During Jess’s teaching career of 20 years, 8 of which have been at TN which she joined in January 2010, her roles have been many and varied, including the past 3 years as Head of Junior Prep School. Jess is happily married, has 2 teenage children; Sam and Sophie and a beautiful rescue dog Poppy.
Miss Rebecca Harper
Year 1 teacher
Rebecca began her journey into teaching by studying Primary Education at Durham University and gaining a 1st class honours degree. She is originally from Cumbria and moved to Cheshire when she joined Terra Nova in 2012. Over the past three years Rebecca has been a Year 2 class teacher and has taught children across KS1.
Mrs Rhiannon Foster
Year 1 teacher
Rhiannon graduated from Manchester University in 2009 with a degree in Primary Education. Since then, she has taught a wide variety of ages from nursery up to Year 8. Rhiannon joined Terra Nova in September 2016 to teach English and Drama in the seniors. Rhiannon married David in August 2017.
Mrs Gemma Jackson
Year 1 teaching assistant
Gemma started her career in education in After school clubs and Nurseries. After volunteering in a local primary school, she worked at Nether Alderley Primary School for 5 years whilst completing her Level 3 NVQ as a Teaching assistant in Reception. Gemma then joined Terra Nova in 2012 in the Nursery and as Tembos Manager and has since been in Reception and is now the Teaching Assistant in Year 1.
Miss Rachel Lee
Year 2 teacher
Rachel is a graduate of Edge Hill University, gaining a 1st class honours degree in Primary Education. She joined Terra Nova in 2014, and during her time she has taught across KS1 and has been a member of the boarding team for 3 years. Rachel is currently expanding her own professional development by undertaking a Master’s Degree in Primary Education with a Mathematics specialism.
Mr Matthew Pearson
Year 2 teacher
After graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2013, Matthew worked for 2 years at Wheelock Primary School where he led both Science and IT across the curriculum. Matthew joined Terra Nova School in Sep 2015. Away from the classroom, Matthew has established a thriving Sailing Club and is the organiser behind the whole school charity challenges.
Mrs Natalie Walton
Year 2 teaching assistant
Natalie first came to Terra Nova in 1998 after successfully completing her NNEB, where Natalie decided to follow her mother’s footsteps (Miriam Taylor, former Year 1 Teacher) and started work in the Nursery. After 10 wonderful years in Nursery, Natalie became a Learning Support Assistant in the LRC. Natalie is married and has a son Izaak who is pupil at TN.
Miss Beth Cragg
Year 3 teacher
After graduating from Lancaster University Management School and extensive travel overseas, Beth completed a PGCE at St Martin’s College. Beth worked as Key Stage Leader in a school in Manchester and then returned to South East Asia to become Head of English at Shrewsbury International School, Bangkok. Before joining TN in 2014, Beth was responsible for developing a new curriculum at Queen’s College, London.
Mrs Leanie O’Connor
Year 3 teacher
Leanie graduated with a BA Hons in Theatre Studies and has been involved with the education department at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme. Throughout her 15 year teaching career, Leanie has welcomed the challenge of educating varying age groups with a particular emphasis on drama to encourage skills in all areas of the curriculum. Leanie is married to Martin and has two daughters Edie and Hetty.
Mrs Jenny Walker
Year 3 teaching assistant
Jenny joined Terra Nova in September 2015 after working in a similar role at Saint Mary’s Primary School in Congleton for eight years. She started her career working as a dental nurse in Manchester, then after having her children, she became a registered childminder, up until her children were old enough to start school. Jenny is married to Grant and has four children, three sons and a daughter who is a teacher in London.
Mrs Andrea Leigh
Year 4 teacher
Andrea graduated from the University of Warwick with a BA (Hons) in History. Following on from her PGCE she has taught in Primary schools in Lancashire and Sefton, and after that she taught at Jerudong International School in Brunei and then at the British American School of Charlotte in North Carolina, USA. After meeting her husband, she returned to the UK, when she began teaching at Terra Nova in 2011.
Mrs Jacqui Ward
Year 4 teacher
After completing a PGCE in primary education at St Martin’s, Lancaster University, Jacqui started her career at Terra Nova in 2003. Jacqui has taught in Year 3&4, run annual productions and activity weeks. She also coordinates the Gifted & Talented programme at Terra Nova, as well as running the student teacher mentoring scheme in conjunction with Chester University.
Mrs Christabel Westall
Head of Senior Prep School & English teacher
Christabel has spent the last 7 years teaching at Manchester High School for Girls: in Y3 where she was also the SENCo, and more recently in Y6 where she led curriculum development and assessment. Christabel is passionate about education and both Christabel’s daughter Millie and son, Max, have enjoyed separate schools which have suited their individual needs, and then together at Sedbergh School, where Christabel’s husband was also Director of Music.
Mrs Sarah Capewell
Head of English
Sarah studied French and Russian at the University of Manchester and went on to complete a PGCE in Bristol. Before starting at TN, Sarah was working as Head of English at a school in Staffordshire. In her spare time Sarah enjoys being with her two children and, unsurprisingly, is an avid bookworm. Sarah also loves exploring new places and revisiting her favourite place in the whole world – the Lake District.
Liz joined Terra Nova in 2012 and teaches in the English department and Learning Resource Centre. She has previously taught in Staffordshire, Sussex, Oxfordshire and elsewhere in Cheshire. She is married with three children, a dog called Chalkie and twin cats. Liz supports Liverpool Football Club, especially when they are winning, loves reading and is a not-so-secret baking fiend.
Mr Chris Hely
Head of Maths
Chris’s teaching career started in London at The Hall School in Hampstead. He then relocated to the North West and taught for two years before taking on the post of Head of Maths at Terra Nova. After then spending 13 years at The Ryleys, Chris returned to teach Maths at Terra Nova in 2014 and is once again Head of Maths. Chris and his wife, Deborah, are avid horse riders and regularly compete on the unaffiliated dressage circuit.
Mr Mick Kinzelmann
Michael has been working at Terra Nova for the past two years. He began his career at Cannon Lane Middle School, Harrow, teaching Maths in Years 4 to 7. Michael taught in several Middle Schools in the South East, before moving to Cheshire in 2003. He taught at Alderley Edge Primary School for 11 years, where he managed the Maths Intervention Programmes. He and his wife Sam have two boys, Gabriel and Josh.
Mr Simon Pickering
Head of Science
Simon graduated from Manchester University in 1989 and began working for British Petroleum at Sunbury-on-Thames. After doing a PGCE at Leeds University in 1996, Simon taught in North Lincolnshire and then moved to Ripon Cathedral Choir School as Head of Science where he taught for 14 years. Simon is an armchair fan of Leeds United and Leeds Rhino’s.
Toby began his TN journey in 2009 as a Science teacher. His passion for Science and IT combined, leading him to develop the delivery of IT in the Science curriculum. This in turn led to his current role as Head of Technology, helping to deliver computing and IT skills to pupils throughout the school. Toby is also passionate about sport; he is a qualified coach in football and cricket and is currently master in charge of cricket.
Mrs Anthea Lea
Head of Languages
Anthea began her teaching at the Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier. After travelling, she returned to the UK and completed a PGCE at MMU and took up the post of Head of French at Hartford High School in Northwich. Anthea joined TN doing supply work having stopped full time teaching to have her children William and Lydia. Anthea returned to TN on a full-time basis in 2003 where she has headed the modern languages department for 12 happy years.
Mrs Jo Evans
After graduating from Liverpool, Jo did a PGCE. She began her career as a teacher in Northolt, West London. Jo taught in schools both in London and Cheshire she then took a career break and gained a MSc in Psychology in January 2015. She joined TN in 2015. Jo has three children; William, Sebastian and Alexander, and she loves watching her sons play football and rugby; reads avidly and supports Liverpool FC.
Mz Liz Syed
Ms Liz Syed has taught Latin at Terra Nova since 2015, and has also recently taught Latin at King’s School Macclesfield and Cheadle Hulme School. Before starting her second career as a teacher, she was a Paediatric Speech and Language Therapist in Fife, Scotland. Liz loves music of all types, plays several instruments and sings in a choir. Two of her children, Reuben and Saskia, are pupils at Terra Nova.
After having graduated with a First Class degree in Textile Design from Loughborough College of Art, Fiona spent a year working in Bangkok, followed by 8 years as a freelance textile designer in the UK. Fiona joined Terra Nova as Head of Art in 2000, taking a sabbatical in 2005 to complete her PGCE in secondary Art at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Mrs Clare Curtis
Design & Technology
Clare graduated with a BA (Hons) in Creative Design from Loughborough University of Technology in 1982. Clare joined Terra Nova as Head of Art in September 1985. In 1993 Clare, moved on site as part of the Boarding staff team until the Summer of 2013. In 1996 she accepted the post of Head of Design Technology and that of Head of Boarding, a role she fulfilled until 2006. In 2003 she joined the Senior Management Team as Senior Mistress.
Mrs Jenny Hart
Director of Music
Jenny’s love of music has been a huge part of her life since she started learning the piano, the flute and the trombone. After gaining her Music degree at the University of Sheffield and her PGCE Music teaching qualification at Manchester, she then spent a year in the USA working at a Performing Arts school. Back in the UK, Jenny worked as a music teacher schools around the North West, before being appointed Director of Music at Terra Nova School in 2007.
Mr Nigel James
Mr Nigel James is a Music graduate from the University of Sheffield with teaching qualifications gained in Birmingham and Manchester (Primary Retraining). He has taught across Primary and Secondary phases over his career. He plays the organ, piano and viola and is currently Organist and Choirmaster of St. John the Evangelist, Great Sutton. He will continue in his role covering Mrs Hart’s maternity leave.
Gemma graduated from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff as a Nutritionist in 2005 and went on to study as a Physical Education teacher in 2007. She is a qualified aerobics, step, pilates and swimming teacher who has a passion for running, triathlons and dance. She joined Terra Nova in September 2014 as Director of Sport and is married to Mr Tom Williams, Director of Sport at Denstone College.
Mr Craig Malbon
Head of Boys PE & Games
Craig left secondary school aged 16 to pursue a professional playing career with Crewe Alexandra Football Club, but left the professional game at 19, to study full time at Manchester Metropolitan University. He graduated as a Teacher of Physical Education in 2006, and joining TN in 2014. Outside of school is currently working part time as an academy coach for Manchester United and makes up part of the coaching team for the U13 I.S.F.A. North West representative team.
Miss Emma Bailey
Emma graduated from the University of Bolton with a degree in Sports Development in 2012. Since then she has worked in two senior boarding schools in Reading and Dorset as a sports resident, before joining Terra Nova in September 2016. She loves sports and the outdoors and is a qualified Duke of Edinburgh assessor and archery instructor.
Miss Helen Salt
Helen joined TN in April 2015. She has been a specialist Specific Learning Difficulties teacher for over fifteen years, gaining her experience in a variety of educational settings. Helen decided to follow her great interest of supporting children on a 1:1 basis and has gained several postgraduate qualifications in this area. When not at school, life generally revolves round one cricket pitch or another supporting her young son.
Mrs Lindley has been teaching for the past fourteen years and previously served for fourteen years in the Royal Air Force. Prior to coming to Terra Nova in 2016 as a specialist teacher, to teach in the Learning Resource Centre, she taught English and Special Needs at an independent senior school in Lincoln. She is married and has two daughters, one currently serving in the RAF and the other in her final year at university in London.
Andrew has worked at Terra Nova since the beginning of 2017, having previously worked both as a class teacher and as a Higher-Level Teaching Assistant in primary schools for over 25 years. He is a keen follower of rugby league (in a non-playing capacity!) and football. He has a dog and three grown-up children.
Michelle has worked at Terra Nova as a teaching assistant for the last eight years. She began working in the Pre-Prep working with Reception, Year 1 and 2 and now thoroughly enjoys supporting the Special Educational Needs department. In her spare time, she is a Special Sergeant with the Cheshire Constabulary and has been known to make an appearance in uniform!
Mrs Helen Cliff
Helen began her career as a Teaching Assistant when she joined Terra Nova in 2008 and now works in the LRC. In her current role, she works with the whole school offering in class support, and also on a 1:1 basis with children who need additional support. She specialises in reading recovery support and Catch up Maths. She is married with 2 boys, who are 12 and 10. In her spare time she enjoys running, camping and travelling.
Mrs Hayley Jorden
Hayley joined TN in 2014 after a long and successful career in the Armed Forces. At the tender age of 18 Hayley signed up for duty, and went on to earn the Queen’s Commission and served for a further 11 years as an Officer, reaching the rank of Major in 2010. Before retiring in December 2013, she served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Germany, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mrs Caroline Davidson
Caroline started working at Terra Nova in 2005 initially as an administration officer, 3 days a week. She has more recently been promoted to the role of assistant bursar with her responsibilities including day to day financial processing, trips, external relations and coordinator of internal budgets. Caroline is married with two children, Elliott and Keira.
Mrs Melanie Machin
Melanie joined Terra Nova in January 2011 as Headmaster’s PA, and latterly as Registrar and School Secretary. Graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University, she has enjoyed a long and varied career including being a holiday rep, working in software as a salesperson, running her own consultancy business and as a PA to many CEOs. Melanie has a daughter Rosannah who also works at Terra Nova.
Mrs Melissa Hatton
Admissions & Marketing
Following a happy 6 years boarding at Wycombe Abbey, Melissa graduated from Oxford Brookes University. After 8 years working in the City in financial PR, Melissa relocated to Cheshire when she married, and having spent 7 years raising 3 small boys and running an online Anglesey holiday cottages rentals business, Melissa joined Terra Nova in May 2015 at the same time as her 3 boys, Bertie, Thomas and Casper who are pupils at the school.
Miss Emma Hargreaves
Emma joined Terra Nova in 2011 as a supply teacher in Nursery and loved it so much she never left! Emma then became a member of residential staff, taking an active role in the boarding team. Recently she has been delighted to accept the post of Head of Boarding and House Parent. Emma shares her home with a daughter, a cat and a teacup chihuahua.
Mrs Robina Smith
Robina joined Terra Nova in 2004 and has now spent a happy 40 years looking after children. Previously, she worked as a Nanny in Scotland for 4 years. In a former life she worked on a farm in Germany, alongside her husband who was a Livestock Manager. Sadly, after becoming a widow, Robina chose to re-join her previous love of working as a matron, which she did for 5 years in a Prep School in Scotland.
Sandra has been at Terra Nova over 11 years, and started out in the catering department. She was asked to apply for the job of Matron, as the Head felt her warmth of character and nurturing nature would make her perfect for the job. She has three boys of her own, along with one grandson.
Dr Janie La Coste
School Medical Officer
Dr La Coste is a GP at Holmes Chapel Health Centre and as the School Doctor advises us on all health issues and provides invaluable medical support.
Mr Tim Fryer
MIS Manager & Admissions
Tim joined the school in 1990 after stints at three other Prep Schools: Cundall Manor, Vinehall and Ardingly College. He arrived at Terra Nova Head of Science and ICT, and became Director of Studies in 1998 and Deputy Headmaster in 2000. In 2008, he became Registrar for three years before semi-retiring. Tim now runs the school management information system (School Manager) whilst supporting the school office, marketing and admissions.
Mr Peter Kirkham
Pete has been at Terra Nova nearly ten years, after 25 years in engineering. Pete and his team are responsible for transforming every single dormitory in the building, changing rooms and kitchens, the front office, all the decor, staging design and the recent build of our first Outdoor classroom. Pete has a dog, called Charlie and his granddaughter Millie was a pupil at TN.
Mr Paul Wilshaw
Paul joined us just over 4 years ago, after coachbuilding for 17 years, before working in fabrication and engineering. His range of experience makes him the perfect man for turning his hand to anything. Paul specialises in carpet fitting, carpeting, joinery and fencing. Paul has a daughter Chloe, who is 8 years old.
Mr Ed McStay
Edward joined the maintenance team in 2015 after re-training as a mature student to gain a qualification in joinery. He previously worked in engineering, customer service and logistics while contributing his practical skills to a variety of voluntary projects ranging from building steam train carriages to restoring churches in Romania. He lives on site with his wife and 2 children.
Mr Gareth Hughes
Mr James Edwards
James has worked in IT in banking, industry and education for over 20 years. He joined Terra Nova as a parent in 2003 where both of his children William and Georgia were educated from Nursery to Year 8. He took over the role as Network Manager at school in 2013 and has enjoyed implementing many new and exciting changes across the school.
Mrs Liz Stewart
Admissions & Marketing
3 members of the Terra Nova debating team: Sol BF, Ed P and Henry C were super ambassadors for TN at MUNCH 17, a model united nations event hosted by Cheadle Hulme. The event takes place at schools around the world and the one hosted at Cheadle Hulme was attended by...