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Meet the Staff

Senior Leadership Team

Headteacher - Ruth RyanRuth Ryan





EYFS Manager - Steph Hartwell

My journey through education:

I feel very fortunate to have thoroughly enjoyed all of my time through education and this is down to the inspirational teachers and great friends I had.

I started school in my local village and I spent my time here from foundation up to year 8. It was here that my love of sport started and my favourite lesson was always PE.

When I joined upper school in Year 9 I was always excited to learn in all the subjects that I took but I always found Maths the most difficult. This is why I am so keen to enforce the Mastery approach that we use at Shepherdswell, as I love the ethos that no child is left behind. At upper school I was fortunate enough to be able to continue my love of sport and I competed in Athletics for the county. I took on PE as one of my A-levels as well as English, Sociology and Psychology.

When I left school I was unsure still of what I wanted to be “when I grew up” and I got a job as a nursery assistant and I loved it. While working in the nursery I gained my qualifications as a nursery nurse and teaching assistant and then I moved up into the main school to be a teaching assistant in Foundation. While working here I completed my degree in Early Childhood Studies and received my Early Years Teacher Status.

What Shepherdswell means to me:

I believe that our school has a certain magic, when you walk through the doors you get a feeling of awe and wonder about the school- which was certainly my feelings on my first visit to Shepherdswell.

Our ethos underpins all the learning that takes place throughout the school and this is why it is such a wonderful place for the children to learn, be curious and have fun. What I feel most passionate about is that Shepherdswell gives children the opportunity to be themselves and allows their individual characters to establish and flourish. We encourage the children to take on their learning independently and to be curious and creative and this is one of the reasons why we make such fantastic progress.

I want all the children who come through Shepherdswell to have happy memories of school. I want each day to be filled with adventures, challenges and achievements and for each child to be given opportunities to develop confidence, curiosity and a life long love of learning.

Teaching Staff


Foundation Stage Teacher - Sam Collins

My School Journey:

My time at School in George Elliot, from the age of 4 - 10 years was a rich and interesting time for me. I lived with my grandparents who really instilled a love of the outdoors, the natural world and learning in me!

My school helped to build my confidence in myself and believe that I could do anything if I worked hard enough! I really enjoyed being a part of a diverse multicultural community, with many languages and creeds amongst my peers.

In this photo I was an angel in the school nativity!! I loved to act and loved theatre!! I went on to study Theatre Studies at ‘A’ level!!

What Shepherdswell means to me:

Shepherdswell is the school that I have chosen to work in as it mirrors many of the wonderful opportunities for children that I experienced in my school years: A community school that celebrates diversity and individuality; allowing and encouraging children to learn through expressing their interests and fostering the learning attitude of an “inquiring mind” in children.

Senior Teaching Assistant and Intervention Lead - Demi Wiltshire

My School journey began at Shepherdwell. I have very fond memories of having good friendships and sharing a love for School. I particually enjoyed Arts and Crafts which is a skill that gradually deteriated, as I got older. I then attended Springfeild and went onto Shenley Brook End secondary School. I went onto further education at Milton Keynes college and studied Health and Social care. This is when I found my passion for working with children during one of my placements in a first School. I got a job in a private nursery as an Early Years Practitioner, which is where I did my Childcare qualifaction. Once I was qualified, I then got a job as a teaching assistant at Shepherdwell Acedemy.

What Shepherdswell means to me:

Shepherdswell holds a special place in my heart, as it’s where my educational journey all began. It taught me the foundations which I still use today in adulthood. I love that no matter what challenges arise, we do not fail any child. We will do whatever it takes which is down to the passion from the staff and the determination from the children. It is the best feeling seeing the children grow and become so independent and self driven. Seeing their personalities blossom by them being given the right learning tools to deepen their own learning.

Foundation Stage Teaching Assistant - Kelly Avery

Foundation Stage Teaching Assistant - Jodie Charters

Foundation Stage Teaching Assistant - Sharon Harrison


Year 1 Teacher - Chloe Brackenbury

My Journey Through Education:

I really enjoyed primary education and attended a school in Great Linford. My favourite subject was English and I loved to read and write. I have lots of wonderful memories from this school.

I moved on to The Radcliffe School in Wolverton for my secondary education, during this time I found I had a passion for drama and this particular lesson helped to build my confidence. I soon decided I would like to be a teacher and work with young children. I found out what qualifications I needed and started to work super hard. I was incredibly focused and studied well for my GCSEs.

I moved to Stantonbury Campus 6th form after my GCSEs to study Performing Arts. I had the best two years of my life here and gained so much confidence during this time. I made wonderful friends at Stantonbury who are still part of my life to this day.

I then attended MK College to study Early Years Education. Although this was hard work it prepared me well for university. Following college I attended UCN to study Early Years Education at degree level. This was an amazing course and I learnt so much. On completion of my degree I spent a year in London studying for a PGCE.

I came home to Milton Keynes as a qualified teacher and have worked in various different schools in the area. I have been teaching now for 14 years and cannot imagine doing anything else. It is definitely the perfect job for me.

What Shepherdswell Means to Me:

I joined Shepherdswell in September 2018. I had worked as a supply teacher in Year One the previous term and completely fell in love with the school. When the opportunity came up to work at Shepherdswell for an entire year I was super excited!

I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know the children and staff here and already feel part of the family. I love the ethos of the school and how all the children are at the centre of all that we do. Working in such a caring and supportive environment has helped me to fit in quickly and inspired me as a teacher. I am looking forward to continuing my career as a teacher at Shepherdswell Academy.

Year 1 Teacher - Colbie Robinson

Year 2 Teacher - Vanessa Noctor

Year 2 Teacher - Beth Evans


Year 1 HLTA - Claire Burrows

Year 1 Teaching Assistant - Amanda Swan

Year 1 Teaching Assistant - Sandy Wakefield


My School Journey:

I went to school in Tottenham, London. It was an old Victorian building with high ceilings. The toilets were outside in the playground. Also my mum and her brothers and sisters also went to the school when they were little.

The name of the school was Earlsmead infants and junior.

Year 2 HLTA and Music Lead - Clare Bywater

I can honestly say that I had an enjoyable and rewarding education and I still remember my first day! I remember how kind the teachers were and how safe I felt. I felt so grown up putting on my tie (even though a tad tricky) and to take the short walk up the hill to my school which led to a day filled with excitement. I've a lot of happy memories of my teachers and friends.

What Shepherdswell means to me:

Knowing that the start of my day will be welcomed with happy, smiling children and wonderful staff makes me proud to say that I'm a part of this school. Who wouldn't want to be that person in a child's day who said, "I've loved going to school because that teacher made it amazing!'

No matter what is happening outside of school, as soon as a child (or anyone!) steps foot inside Shepherdswell, their positive journey has begun. Every child has an equal opportunity to achieve at Shepherdswell…I am privileged to be a part of their journey.

Specialist Teacher (Department) and SENDCo - Sarah Champion

School - My Journey:

I loved my time at school. I went to a small village primary school and had a group of close friends throughout my school life. I was an avid reader from an early age and at secondary school also particularly enjoyed Maths, Sciences and Languages, as well as taking part in Music activities, although my reports always stated that I was ‘too quiet’!. I remember having some excellent teachers and I always enjoyed learning new things. I remember wanting to be a French teacher until quite late in my time in education. I got good ‘O’ level and ‘A’ level exam grades, but teaching was then not my first choice of career. After some years in nursing, I returned to what I knew I wanted to do and trained as a primary school teacher. Since then, I have developed a passion for teaching children with Autism and I absolutely love every day teaching the children in Sparrows!

What Shepherdswell means to me:

I can honestly say that Shepherdswell is the friendliest and most welcoming school I have worked in throughout my career. I feel that it is a ‘family’ made up of the children, their own families and all of the hardworking and dedicated staff. The ethos of the school fosters curious and independent lifelong learners and you only have to walk through the school to know how much the children enjoy being here and developing their learning muscles and values! What makes Shepherdswell extra-special for me is the celebration of diversity and the drive that all staff have to make sure that every child has the best education during their time with us, whatever that takes. Working in Sparrows, I love seeing the way that everyone in the school embraces and includes our children from the Department, whether it is in whole school activities, or even just with games on the playground, and I’m sure that, for me, this goes some way to making Shepherdswell the amazing school that it is!

Specialist Teaching Assistant - Carla Bell

Specialist Teaching Assistant - Megan Bright

Specialist Teaching Assistant - Vicki Southall

Specialist Teaching Assistant - Michelle Urbanowicz

One to One Teaching Assistant - Farzana Ambreen


Intervention Lead and HLTA - Sophie Bonici

My school journey:

Sophie is a very chatty and sociable child, who gravitates towards peers who may be struggling with their work rather than focusing on her own

Mrs Psard - 1998

During my time in primary education I was lucky enough to have the most nurturing and patient teachers, they are what made school such a wonderful experience for me.

I was never too keen on staring at a black board or repetitive hand writing sheets; I much preferred anything practical and exciting!

I didn’t know I was learning such incredible lessons, I just knew I was having fun and that’s exactly the experience I want for EVERY child I teach!

What Shepherdswell means to me:

Shepherdswell is a safe place where children are not afraid to explore, to challenge or to make mistakes.

EVERY child is heard, recognised and appreciated for the incredibly unique individual that they are.

Our school is such a special place and I am confident that every child we have the privilege to nurture will leave with the fondest memories, and lessons that will last them a lifetime!

Sports Coach - Jonathon Curtis

Subject Leaders


Beth Evans


Colbie Robinson


Sam Collins


Chloe Brackenbury

Computing Lead



Sarah Champion

Sports Coach

Jon Curtis

Forest school / Nurture

Elaine Noctor

School Council/Eco

Sandy Wakefield

Science Steph Hartwell
Music Clare Bywater

Intervention Leads

Sophie Bonici

Demi Wiltshire

Amanda Swan


Admin and Support Staff

Pupil Attendance and Family Liason Officer - Elaine Noctor

Administrator - Ruth Shuttlewood

Office Support - Sian Marett

Facilities Manager/Health and Safety Officer - Tony Nyman

Assistant Site Manager - Ian Petch

Site Assistant - Chris Tarbard



Breakfast Club/Lunch and Play Assistant - Melanie Kelly

Lunch and Play Assistant - Amino Abbi

Lunch and Play Assistant - Roda Ahmed

Lunch and Play Assistant - Simone Boulton

Lunch and Play Assistant - Toni Moore

Cleaner - Jemma Plummer


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