Wandle Leading Teachers

Ciara Duffy

Wandle Leading Teacher

Southmead Primary School

Key Stage 2


Teaching in a multi-cultural and challenging area of London has given me the opportunity to work with many children from different backgrounds and abilities which has resulted in me planning lessons to suit my learners. Maths, in particular, is a passion which motivates and excites me — this in turn motivates the learners I teach.

There are many ways in which maths can be incorporated throughout the curriculum to enhance life skills and understanding of the world. Over the past three years, working in year 6 has enabled me to develop and improve learning aims/lessons for each cohort, which has resulted in the children enjoying lessons and as a result increase in maths attainment, each year.

I feel passionate about children enjoying learning maths concepts and being able to develop strategies to enhance their learning and independence with fluency, problem solving and reasoning. It is an area that I have enjoyed leading for the past three years and feel excited about the maths developments which are being made to support and encourage children to love maths.

I love a challenge and leading maths certainly presents testing situations for both teachers and pupils. However, I believe I work extremely hard to support my colleagues and motivate them to apply what we have learned from the new curriculum and research of mastery documents and resources available to us. It is extremely rewarding at the end of the year to evaluate how far we have come and to celebrate progress.

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Jessica Townend

Wandle Leading Teacher

St George's CE Primary School

Key Stage 1

English and Mathematics

I have been teaching for five years across both KS1 and KS2. St George’s is the second school I have taught in during my teaching career and I have been here for three years. Having gained experience in KS2, I began to transition into KS1 and I am now KS1 Leader. This is a career move which I have thoroughly enjoyed and has been a fantastic step into leadership.

I have taught in Year 2 for one year; during this time I have mentored two Schools Direct students. It has been a privilege to be able to help new teachers begin their teaching careers and I have enjoyed providing them with support. I am the RE coordinator and have led training and development across both data and assessment. Last year, we had a SIAMs church inspection which I was involved in alongside the Headteacher. We received ‘Outstanding’ in all areas.

I am extremely passionate about my job as a teacher. I am always striving to improve my practice for the benefit of the children. I feel challenges are an important part of learning, both for teachers and children. The children are my main motivation, particularly within the current context I work in, where education extends beyond what is learnt in the classroom. Building relationships with children enables strong behaviour management in order to create a culture where children develop a love of learning and want to be the best versions of themselves.

My greatest accomplishments are when children overcome a challenge they previously thought impossible after having developed their skills — the smile on their faces is the reason I love this job.

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Mairead Gibbons

Wandle Leading Teacher

Saint Cecilia's Church of England School



Over the past six years at Saint Cecilia’s, I have worked hard to establish myself as a key member of the English department. I am passionate about education and believe that all pupils and students should have the opportunity to excel and achieve.

I love teaching English and I believe that I can get pupils to engage and participate in learning, even if they have previously had negative thoughts about the subject.

I have set up a new English department scheme called ‘Vocab of the Week’. Each week we have five words that are stuck up in every English classroom. Pupils are encouraged to use these in all subjects and will get positive behaviour points if they use them correctly.

As a teacher of PSHE too, I organised a charity run, in 2016, for the mental health charity ‘Mind’; this was to raise awareness of mental health throughout the school and we managed to raise over £2,000 for the charity. More recently, I organised ‘The Little Sleep Out’; this was linked to the Year 7 Scheme of Work on homelessness. Year 7 and Sixth Form camped out on the playground and we managed to raise over £4,000 for ‘Crisis at Christmas’.

As EAL Coordinator, I regularly track and monitor the progress of all the EAL pupils and students. I have created an induction pack for new arrivals, as well as starting up the Buddy Mentor and Literacy Ambassador Scheme. The Literacy Ambassadors are usually pupils and students who are high attainers in English, or are studying English literature at A-level. The Ambassadors meet with EAL pupils, or pupils who may be struggling with English and communication skills, and partake in literacy based activities with these pupils.

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Sharif Anderson

Wandle Leading Teacher

Albemarle Primary School

Key Stage 2 (Year 5 and 6)

English (Writing)

I have been a teacher since 2013 after completing the Graduate Teacher Program for Kent County Council. I chose this route into teaching as I believed it would allow me to fully integrate with the school community I had been placed in. This choice proved to be the right one. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment and was pushed to become an adaptable and resilient teacher, often teaching for a higher percentage than I was intended to. After qualifying a month earlier than intended, I began my teaching career at a challenging school.

My NQT year was full of many challenges as I became the class teacher for a particularly difficult class, with a wide range of emotional and educational needs. Without this difficult year, I do not believe I would be the teacher I am today.

As my NQT year came to a close, I was moved away from Year 5 and started teaching Year 3. This opportunity allowed me to see the starting point of Key Stage 2 and also develop my teaching styles in order to suit all learners. The following year I was promoted to Year 3 leader and my roles included monitoring data and assessment in the year, day to day housekeeping and behavioural issues. This role allowed me to take responsibility over a small area and further develop as a professional. With this under my belt, I made the decision to move to London and join Albemarle. Over the last two years I have taught in Year 5 and 6 and have lead writing.

After 5 years as a teacher, I am still incredibly motivated and enthusiastic about the role I can play in a young person’s life. I still believe that a fantastic teacher can be the catalyst for social movement and aspiration and this is at the core of everything I do. Teachers and schools can change lives; inspiring those in their care to fully achieve their dreams and reach their potential. It is this drive for excellence that inspires me every day.

I teach phonics to children in Key Stage 2, still significantly behind and have received extensive Read Write Inc. training to facilitate this.

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