School Staff

Brookes is home to a team of highly qualified, passionate educators with a wealth of experience. Our staff prioritise our student’s wellbeing, ensuring a happy and harmonious atmosphere where they are inspired to follow their passions.  Our small class sizes create the opportunity for personalised tuition based on individual learning needs and enable teachers to foster a supportive, family environment – a hallmark of the Brookes ethos.

Senior Leadership

David Rose

Brookes Education Group

Director | Africa, Europe, Middle East

David Rose

Brookes Education Group

Director | Africa, Europe, Middle East

I have more than 40 years of international school experience, having taught in six different countries. I have served as the Headmaster of three schools: Montgomery School in Germany, the British School of Houston in the US, and was past Head of School of Dwight School London, an IB World School which piloted the development of online IB Diploma courses. I was Chair of the London International Schools Association, a collaborative group comprising the major international schools in the UK and I was involved in important projects aimed at bringing international education to Iraq, India and China. In 2009, I founded the highly successful Holmewood School London which provides specialist education for those with learning differences and most recently founded Brookes Moscow, Brookes Saint Petersburg and the Russian school called Brookes Life. I am an Independent Schools inspector (UK) and I am a  Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Natalie Taylor

Principal

ntaylor@uk.brookes.org

Natalie Taylor

Principal

ntaylor@uk.brookes.org

My passion for teaching started with my passion for sport. During my teenage years I coached gymnastics and then attended college to complete my sport and teaching degree.
I have always had a passion for Early Years and teaching younger primary children. I started teaching in London and over the years I have moved and taught in different counties. During this time, I have held senior positions in schools including that of Deputy and Head teacher. I moved to Cherry Trees in 2012 as Nursery manager and thoroughly enjoyed retraining as a Montessori teacher. I have spent the last few years working in KS1 until I took on the position of Principal this year.

Becky Lynch

SENDCo

Becky Lynch

SENDCo

My dream in life was always to teach and growing up, I absolutely loved school! Prior to university I volunteered for many years at my local Brownie group and on completion of my Psychology and Sports degree I also volunteered in a school before completing my Primary PGCE. Throughout my 18 years of teaching I have led mathematics and PE, and am also an experienced Level 3 Forest School Practitioner. I worked for many years as a KS1 Moderator for both Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, and have led whole school improvement as an assessment and curriculum leader. I have been fortunate to travel the world over the years and as part of this I volunteered for an education charity in Cambodia, creating a teaching resource pack for teachers in the UK. As well as being a classroom teacher, I have also worked as an Assistant and Deputy Headteacher and am currently studying with the University of Hertfordshire for my National SENCo Award,

Sarah Elford

Deputy Principal/Senior Science

Year 11 Tutor

Sarah Elford

Deputy Principal/Senior Science

Year 11 Tutor

Science is an amazing subject as it explains so many things around us & that is what I try to use throughout my teaching. I came to Brookes in 2016 having taught Science in Middle & High Schools for many years as well as being a Head of department & assistant Head teacher. It was an exciting time as the building of Gryphon House had just begun so I was able to set up the Science Lab from scratch and build the science curriculum to provide a variety of practical opportunities through all years. I am now Senior School lead as well as still continuing my science role.

Senior School

Sarah Elford

Deputy Principal/Senior Science

Year 11 Tutor

Sarah Elford

Deputy Principal/Senior Science

Year 11 Tutor

Science is an amazing subject as it explains so many things around us & that is what I try to use throughout my teaching. I came to Brookes in 2016 having taught Science in Middle & High Schools for many years as well as being a Head of department & assistant Head teacher. It was an exciting time as the building of Gryphon House had just begun so I was able to set up the Science Lab from scratch and build the science curriculum to provide a variety of practical opportunities through all years. I am now Senior School lead as well as still continuing my science role.

Imogene Bongjoh-West

Senior Mathematics

Year 7 Tutor

Imogene Bongjoh-West

Senior Mathematics

Year 7 Tutor

I was born in Cameroon where I attended school and trained as a Biology and Human Biology teacher in a Bilingual High school.
Aged 25, I moved to Suffolk, worked as a Tourist information assistant in Aldeburgh. Shortly afterwards, I retrained to teach Mathematics, obtaining an BSc(hons) degree in Mathematics, a maths scholarship and a PGCE (with QTS) in Mathematics.
My greatest achievement apart from my three children is believing in myself to apply for and gaining a maths scholarship, which gave me access to numerous prestigious mathematical associations in the country as well as access to high quality CPD.

I am passionate about mathematics and how each child/adult given the correct opportunity can excel beyond what they thought possible in the subject.
Believe, Persevere and be kind to yourself when things do not go to plan. Maths builds resilience through problem solving.’

When not thinking about Mathematics, I enjoy trips to the cinema, listening to audiobooks and watching Formula 1.

Helen Childerhouse

Senior Humanities

Helen Childerhouse

Senior Humanities

I am Mrs Childerhouse and I was born and raised in Suffolk. I completed a degree in geology at the University of Durham before completing my teacher training. I have taught geography for Over 20 years now and my passion for the subject only increases.

It is so important that students understand the world we live in and how the physical and human world interact.

My classroom is Reflects my passion for my subject.

I’ve also had the privilege of teaching history this year another one of my passions. If we do not understand our history then we are destined to repeat mistakes of the past.

Claire Cockayne

Art

Claire Cockayne

Art

I have a degree in Illustration from John Moores, Liverpool, an MA in Fine Art from Camberwell College of Art, London, and a PGCE from Manchester Metropolitan University. I am a highly experienced teacher of Art and Design with a specialism in printmaking and a career spanning over twenty-five years across both primary and secondary sectors. I have taught A-level; International Baccalaureat, and a range of examination boards at GCSE and iGCSE. I am a Cambridge iGCSE and A-level examiner. I have been a Houseparent in a large boarding school, an Artist in Residence and have set up and run Art businesses. I have been teaching art at Brookes since 2016 where I joined a primary school with aspirations to grow through to secondary. I have grown the Art department from scratch and am proud of the the award winning achievements of my students. Art is a very popular subject choice for GCSE at Brookes Uk. I like to think I teach creativity rather than Art and Design and work on the premise that every child is an artist.
I stay active as an artist and exhibit regularly. My publisher Greenpebble uses my work to make cards,gift wrap and calenders.I believe staying active as an artist helps carry my passion into my devoted and enthusiastic teaching.

Nicola Dreuitt

MFL - French

Year 8 Tutor

Nicola Dreuitt

MFL - French

Year 8 Tutor

I joined Brookes in September 2020 having taught in Cambridgeshire schools since 2016. Before training to become a teacher, I worked as a Teaching Assistant and prior to that, as a project manager. Since 2012, I have hosted French and Spanish students during the holidays, teaching them English and helping them to learn more about English culture and the local area. My degree is in French and Management and the highlight of this course was spending a year in Montpellier, France. I had such a wonderful time studying at a Business school and living with French students and really appreciate the experience we are able to offer here at Brookes to our international students.

Graham Ellis

Sport & PE

Year 10 Tutor

Graham Ellis

Sport & PE

Year 10 Tutor

I have been teaching at Brookes for seven years and have many years of experience teaching Sport and PE at an Independent school in Scotland. I was also fortunate to have had the opportunity to play professional rugby for Edinburgh. I really enjoy educating young people through sport and PE and believe it is a fantastic environment for them to learn about health, fitness and wellbeing but also social and life skills, for example, team work, leadership, cooperation and kindness. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling to new places, doing long distance walks, and engaging in my new passion – permaculture!

Jo Marsh

Senior English

Year 9 Tutor

Jo Marsh

Senior English

Year 9 Tutor

After a successful career in the Civil Service spanning almost 20 years, I retrained to teach at Homerton College, Cambridge in 2011. I have taught English Language, English Literature and Media Studies through to A Level. Alongside my classroom teaching I work as Teacher Trainer for Cambridge International and am involved in the authoring, standardising and examining of exam papers for the International Baccalaureate, AQA and Cambridge Assessment.
I am passionate about learners achieving their full potential and have realised that teaching topics through engaging methods can often revive a love of the subject and additionally aide retention of information. As such, I pride myself in approaching teaching in creative ways in order to maximise the potential for progression. I have a proven track record of excellent results, something that stems from both my creative approach and my love of both learning and nurturing the same interest in my students.
In my spare time I enjoy long forest walks with my dogs, gardening, going to the theatre and (of course) reading.

Corinna Holdaway

KS2 Teacher/ Music Teacher

Year 3/4 Tutor

Corinna Holdaway

KS2 Teacher/ Music Teacher

Year 3/4 Tutor

Since a young age I had a passion for performing and playing music.  I was lucky to attend a fantastic Saturday morning music school in the town where I grew up. I had the opportunity to play in orchestras, brass bands and small ensembles, progressing to county level.  It was only ever going to be music that I studied at university, so after completing my A levels I went on to study for a BA (Hons) in Music at the University of Reading. I then briefly working for an independent record label but found myself longing for more variety and challenge in my working day.  I decided to complete the PGCE in Secondary Music. Since graduating, I have taught in Hampshire, inner London and Cambridgeshire. I absolutely adore working at Brookes UK – the students, the staff, the school, make every day a pleasure.

Lauren Nightingale

LSA 1:1

Lauren Nightingale

LSA 1:1

I have been working with children for 20 years, in a variety of childcare settings from nurseries, primary and secondary schools. I have even worked on a cruise ship, travelling around the world. Over the years I have been trained in Makaton, Elkan and Forest School to name a few, the learning never stops even for grownups!
I love to read and I adore the Big red library bus here at Brookes. I open it three times a week as a space where the pupils can come and read, in a calm, relaxing environment.

Sue O'Callaghan

LSA 1:1

Sue O'Callaghan

LSA 1:1

I have been working in Private Education for the past 11 years as part of the highly trained 1:1 ABA therapy team for Freya. I very much enjoy the day to day challenges that this brings (for both myself & Freya).
I worked as a Communications Support Worker for Deafblind children and adults, as a support worker within the  in Social Care Services supporting adults with Sensory loss to live active and independent lives in their communities.
I’m married with two grown up Sons and have two grandsons. At weekends I love being at the coast and spending time with family.

 

Lower School

Graham Ellis

Sport & PE

Year 10 Tutor

Graham Ellis

Sport & PE

Year 10 Tutor

I have been teaching at Brookes for seven years and have many years of experience teaching Sport and PE at an Independent school in Scotland. I was also fortunate to have had the opportunity to play professional rugby for Edinburgh. I really enjoy educating young people through sport and PE and believe it is a fantastic environment for them to learn about health, fitness and wellbeing but also social and life skills, for example, team work, leadership, cooperation and kindness. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling to new places, doing long distance walks, and engaging in my new passion – permaculture!

Fiona Croft

KS1 Teacher

Fiona Croft

KS1 Teacher

I’ve been teaching for over ten years, mostly specialising in Early Years and child development. I enjoy bringing creative, hands on, and practical experiences into the classroom for children to apply their knowledge and skills. Outdoor learning is a real passion and I have spent the last year completing my Forest School Leader Level 3 qualification. Leading Forest School sessions for our youngest learners at school is the highlight of my week. Helping children to grow in confidence, take risks, and view their choices as important is key to my pedagogy. In my spare time I enjoy being in the great outdoors and spending time in my garden. I love to explore places near and far- you will usually find me planning the next adventure!

Claire Gale

KS2 Teacher

Year 5/6 Tutor

Claire Gale

KS2 Teacher

Year 5/6 Tutor

I’ve been the Year 5 & 6 teacher and form tutor at Brookes UK for three years. I began my teaching career at a primary in Newmarket, where I worked across Key Stage 2 for over 10 years. Prior to becoming a teacher, I had a varied career in science, technology and medical public relations, followed by a number of years owning a children’s cookery school.

Whilst I strive to challenge my pupils at every opportunity, delivering a full and varied curriculum, my overarching aim is to have happy and secure children who will flourish under my care. I am passionate about all areas of the KS2 curriculum and hope to provide inspirational learning experiences at every opportunity.

Corinna Holdaway

KS2 Teacher/ Music Teacher

Year 3/4 Tutor

Corinna Holdaway

KS2 Teacher/ Music Teacher

Year 3/4 Tutor

Since a young age I had a passion for performing and playing music.  I was lucky to attend a fantastic Saturday morning music school in the town where I grew up. I had the opportunity to play in orchestras, brass bands and small ensembles, progressing to county level.  It was only ever going to be music that I studied at university, so after completing my A levels I went on to study for a BA (Hons) in Music at the University of Reading. I then briefly working for an independent record label but found myself longing for more variety and challenge in my working day.  I decided to complete the PGCE in Secondary Music. Since graduating, I have taught in Hampshire, inner London and Cambridgeshire. I absolutely adore working at Brookes UK – the students, the staff, the school, make every day a pleasure.

Laura Nevill

KS1 Teacher

Laura Nevill

KS1 Teacher

I was born in Transylvania, Romania and no, I haven’t met Dracula…yet. After I received my Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Educational Sciences, I worked as a Speech and Language Therapist but I felt something is missing. Home didn’t feel like home anymore so I’ve started my travels to find “my place”. After a short stop in Germany for 2 years, I arrived in England in 2010 and have instantly felt like home. I have always worked with children in different settings but I started working in Independent schools in 2012. I was awarded Qualified Teacher Status in 2017 but I absolutely enjoyed having a variation of roles within Brookes. Every one of these roles and every child I’ve worked with, helped me become a better teacher.

In my spare time I love reading, swimming and cooking.

 

Hannah Sophie

Hannah Sophie

I have a degree in Technical Theatre and love bringing elements of drama in and around the classroom. I enjoy the Montessori ethos and try to include this into my pedagogy, aiming to promote independence, learning through practical experiences and developing a high self-belief system. In my spare time you will find me behind a sewing machine making children’s clothes for friends and family or planning my next west end theatre trip.

Peri Carter

LSA 1:1

Peri Carter

LSA 1:1

I have worked in childcare and education for 20 years now. I actually completed my first qualification, of a Montessori diploma, as an apprentice at Brookes (known as Cherry Trees back then) when I was 18. I enjoyed working in early years for many years, before I ventured off to work as a private nanny and maternity nurse, travelling with the families I worked for before starting my own family. I wanted my own children to have the Montessori Early Years Experience so I returned to Brookes in 2014. It was then that I truly discovered my passion for working with, and supporting pupils with additional needs. I have since moved into the school as a learning support assistant and feel I have found my true passion. Along the way I have also gained a CACHE level 3 qualification in specialist support for teaching and learning, level 1 in autism awareness, Makaton and Elklan.

Nicole Coetzee

LSA 1:1

Nicole Coetzee

LSA 1:1

I was born in South Africa and have lived in England for eleven years . I have been working with children since 2014, first as a midday supervisor and then as a teaching assistant as well as an SEN assistant in year 1 to 3. My passion is to create a positive atmosphere where children love to come to school and learn.

I love spending time with my husband, daughter and little dog. Gardening and going on nature walks are my favourite things to do.

Karen Kendall

LSA 1:1

Karen Kendall

LSA 1:1

I am currently studying BA in Pluralistic counselling with Chrysalis in Norwich. I currently hold level 3 cert.

I previously studied fashion and design in Birmingham as well as working as a technical demonstrator teaching carpentry at a local college, level 2 qualified.

I have experience in learning support and taught life skills coaching teenagers aged 16-17 yrs.

I have also worked in the caring field and supported living with vulnerable, multi complex learning difficulties and disabled children and adults

Sarah Holman

LSA 1:1

Sarah Holman

LSA 1:1

When I became a mum over a decade ago, I realised where my true passion lay. Watching and encouraging my own children’s curiosity about the world made me want to share that passion and excitement with other children. I trained to be a Teaching Assistant and did this for a number of years. I was then asked if I wanted to work with children with additional needs. I jumped at the chance, and from then on I have been a Learning Support Assistant. This has given me the opportunities to get qualifications in Makaton, Understanding Autism, PECS, Managing Difficult Behaviour and much more. The most important lesson however, is it has taught me how every child is unique, whether they are neurodiverse or neurotypical, we all learn in our own way and at our own pace! In the meantime, be patient, be supportive, never give up and never grow up!

Cherry Trees

Lucy Golland

Head of Cherry Trees

Lucy Golland

Head of Cherry Trees

I graduated as a qualified  teacher, specialising in P.E. and Early Years. I have been teaching for 25 years in a number of different schools in the UK and 6 of those years in an international school in Thailand. During this time I travelled extensively across South East Asia.

Apart from teaching, my passion is in interior design and upcycling. I am currently embarking on an exciting new adventure, living in a caravan for a year and building a house with my partner (I’m leaving the building part to him!)

Katie Brookes

Class Teacher

Katie Brookes

Class Teacher

I am currently in my first year of teaching after qualifying in July 2021. Previous to teaching I have worked alongside children and young people over the course of my career either in early years settings or in residential homes (Social, emotional and behavioural and/or disabilities/SEN). I adore working with children and exploring the world with them. I am very passionate about inclusivity, reading and PLAY!
Outside of school you will find me walking, taking my daughter and dog on adventures and reading. I also have a degree in Creative Writing, my level 3 in (Residential) Childcare and sign language.

Jennie Donlon

SendCo

Jennie Donlon

SendCo

I have worked in Early Years for 17 years, undertaking my training in Montessori 15 years ago. During this time I have studied and obtained the following qualifications ;- Level 4 Montessori, Level 3 Cache Diploma in Preschool Practice, Level 2 Cache Certificate in Preschool Practice, Safeguarding, First Aid, to name a few. I enjoy the ethos of Montessori and how it promotes independence, confidence and self discovery within children.

Five years ago I was offered the opportunity to undertake further qualifications relating to Special Needs, which led to me becoming the Senco Lead these qualifications included Level 3 Role of the Senco, Good Beginnings Autistic Awareness, Cache Level 2 Awareness of Mental Health, Cache Level 2 Mental Health in Children, Cache Level 2 Working in Mental Health, PEC’s, and many others . Being both an EY practitioner in Reception and Senco instills passion, drive and commitment in myself and my work.

I enjoy learning outside of work and have recently signed up to do a Neuroscience course in Early Years.

Rachel Askew

Early Years Practitioner

Rachel Askew

Early Years Practitioner

I am a level 3 qualified practitioner. I worked at Riverwalk for 2 years throughout my training prior to coming to Cherry Trees.

I enjoy arts and crafts with children. Outside school I am a member of Silver Mist Majorettes as a lead dancer, choreographing dances and taking part in competitions

Anna Newton

Early Years Practitioner

Anna Newton

Early Years Practitioner

I have been working at Cherry Trees for three months supporting one of the children.

This experience has given me a great insight to speech and language development and I hoping to carry this interest further.

I am a keen crafter enjoying knitting and dress making.

 

Muti Edwards

Early Years Practitioner

Muti Edwards

Early Years Practitioner

I moved to the area in during the pandemic and joined Cherry Trees in Spring 2021 after living in Nairobi, Kenya for nine years but I’m originally from Malawi. I have a level 5 foundation degree in early years play, work and education. I qualified as a Montessori practitioner 6 years ago. I take great pleasure in instilling a love for learning with the children at Cherry Trees.

Diane Hamilton

Early Years Practitioner

Diane Hamilton

Early Years Practitioner

I have worked in Early Years for over 17 years. Previously I worked in a nursery for 10 years and the Woman’s refuge ad a child support worker.

I am currently studying for my CACHE level 5 senior practitioner. I am also extending my skills in the role of SEN, which is a new challenge for me! I thoroughly enjoy watching children grow and learn, the big smiles when they master a new skill makes my day.

Away from school I love adventures with son. We spend many weekends exploring the local area. When I have a quiet moment in the evening you will find me knitting!

 

Hannah Smailes

Early Years Practitioner

Hannah Smailes

Early Years Practitioner

I’ve been working in Early Years since qualifying as a Level 3 in 2013. I joined the Cherry Trees Team in their Toddler Room in February 2022.
I especially enjoy watching the children engaging in new experiences and developing their relationships.

Lisa Newby

Cherry Trees Practitioner

Lisa Newby

Cherry Trees Practitioner

Before joining  Cherry Trees, I worked at Colourbox Montessori, where I started my Level 3 Early Year Educator qualification. I am due to qualify in the next few weeks.

I enjoy developing messy play activities for the children at school and at home I enjoy walking and holidaying in sunny destinations.

Camelia Rus

Early Years Practitioner

Camelia Rus

Early Years Practitioner

I have been working in childcare 10 years and I have a degree in Philology (the study of languages). I am a qualified teacher and I have a level 4 Montessori qualification. Prior to working at Cherry Trees I worked in a Montessori nursery in London.

 

 

 

Tara Waddilove

Early Years Practitioner

Tara Waddilove

Early Years Practitioner

I have worked within the Early Years Education sector for over 25 years. The Early Years is the most important time within a child’s development and for me the most interesting. It is during this time that we as Educators should nurture their individual developmental needs and interests in a stimulating environment that inspires their thirst for future learning. Over my career I have worked within a variety of different educational settings including a Day Nursery as a Preschool room leader, Kindergarten Teacher in an independent school, Reception Teacher, Early Years Vocational Qualifications Tutor and most recently as a Learning Support for Special Educational Needs. My qualifications include a Level 3 in Nursery Nursing, Level 4 Advanced Diploma in Childcare and Education, Certificate in Higher Education (Early Years) and a BSc Degree.

Business Support

Rachel Warbey

Financial Controller

Rachel Warbey

Financial Controller

I was born in Surrey but moved to Suffok when I was six. I have worked in Finance since I left school, mainly in the Tool Hire and Water industry. I joined Cherry Trees Preparatory School and Montessori Nursery as it was known then in 2004. I took a four year break in 2017 but returned last year. I enjoy working with such inspiring teachers and children and every day is different.

In my free time I work for a local Charity doing their bookkeeping. I enjoy gardening and spending time eating out with my friends and family, particularly my three Grandchildren who keep me very entertained.

Vanessa McAndrew

Reception & Admissions

Vanessa McAndrew

Reception & Admissions

I am a qualified mental health social worker, in the past I have worked with a wide variety of vulnerable people both here and in the USA.

Sam Turner

Academic Officer

Mental Health First Aider

Sam Turner

Academic Officer

Mental Health First Aider

I have been at Brooke’s for 4 1/2 years having previously worked in my local primary school as school office manager for 13 years.
I went to school in West Norfolk and attended the West Suffolk college where I completed a two-year course in Marketing and Advertising. After working in this field for a few years as an account manager, I then went to work for a local international music publisher running their mail order and schools department.

Recruitment | Admissions

Natalie Taylor

Principal

ntaylor@uk.brookes.org

Natalie Taylor

Principal

ntaylor@uk.brookes.org

My passion for teaching started with my passion for sport. During my teenage years I coached gymnastics and then attended college to complete my sport and teaching degree.
I have always had a passion for Early Years and teaching younger primary children. I started teaching in London and over the years I have moved and taught in different counties. During this time, I have held senior positions in schools including that of Deputy and Head teacher. I moved to Cherry Trees in 2012 as Nursery manager and thoroughly enjoyed retraining as a Montessori teacher. I have spent the last few years working in KS1 until I took on the position of Principal this year.

Pete Fiaschi

Executive Recruitment Director (Asia, Eastern & Western Europe, UK, Middle East & Africa)

pfiaschi@brookes.org | HK: +852.9869.7587 | IT: +39.349.818.2537

Pete Fiaschi

Executive Recruitment Director (Asia, Eastern & Western Europe, UK, Middle East & Africa)

pfiaschi@brookes.org | HK: +852.9869.7587 | IT: +39.349.818.2537

Born in Canada, with British-Italian parents, I have worked in Education and Recruitment for over 25 years, and have assisted many schools & their students globally in UK & Europe, Canada, USA
I have lived in many countries including China, HK and Europe speaking various languages and always very happy to help and work in international education.

Want to join the Brookes UK team? Check out our latest vacancies here.