Leadership Team and Staff

Leadership Team and Staff

People are what make our school inspirational. Come and meet our team.

Ian Thorpe

Ian Thorpe

Headmaster

Ian’s track record in the Surrey prep schools sector is impressive. Prior to joining Downsend he was Headmaster at Chinthurst, Head of City of London Freemen’s Junior School and Deputy Head at ...

Seb Watts

Seb Watts

Deputy Head

A graduate of London and Cambridge Universities Seb taught History and Politics at Watford Boys Grammar School to A level standard and went on to Worth School where he was a Boarding Housemaster.

Karl Newland

Karl Newland

Head of Upper School

An experienced teacher of 23 years Karl is a graduate of Surrey (BSc), Southampton (PGCE) and Buckingham Universities and holds a Master’s Degree in Education.  He has been both a Head of Scienc...

Jon Albert

Jon Albert

Assistant Head

As a secondary trained teacher with a BSc degree and MA in Educational Leadership & Management from Kingston University, Jon has a wealth ...

Clare Kirkham

Clare Kirkham

Head of Lower School

A graduate of Leeds University and the Institute of Education, Clare began her teaching career, at Barfield Preparatory School in Farnham. During her 5 years there, she became Head of the Pre-Prep ...

Carole Dickie

Carole Dickie

Business Manager

Carole has spent the majority of her career in the field of Business Management, most notably in the education sector within the London boroughs. Since 1991, her experience as Bursar has taken Caro...

Vanessa Conlan

Vanessa Conlan

Head of Epsom Pre-Prep School

An experienced teacher of 20 years, the last 8 in headship, Vanessa is a graduate of the University of Southampton where she obtained a BEd (Hons) in Primary Education with music specialism.

Tessa Roberts

Tessa Roberts

Head of Ashtead Pre-Prep School

Tessa gained her BEd at Cheltenham Teacher Training College. Her career began in Cornwall, teaching in both Infant and primary schools. Following her appointment as Deputy Head of the outsta...

Gill Brooks

Gill Brooks

Head of Leatherhead Pre-Prep School

A graduate of Southlands College (Surrey University), Gill has been a Head for the past 26 years, 19 of those as Head of Leatherhead Pre-Prep. She has started hundreds of children on their e...

Title  Forename  Surname Qualifications Role
Mr Jon Albert BSc (Hons), QTS Assistant Head (External Relations)
Mrs Lauren Albert Lower School Administrator
Mrs Colette Allen Office Manager
Mrs Nicole Allison BMus, Dip Ed Head of Music
Mrs Sandra Attenberger Admin Support
Miss Julia Aylen BSc, PGCE Head of Art
Mrs Clare Bantock BEd (Hons) Technology Teacher
Miss Lucy Bates Teaching Assistant
Mrs Marian Bayley BA (Music), PGCE KS2 Class Teacher & Head of Year 3
Miss Vicky Birch BA (Hons), PGCE KS2 Class Teacher
Miss Helen Black BA (Hons), PGCE Deputy Head of Lower School & Head of History
Mrs Joanne Brettell Receptionist
Mrs Wendy Bruce Facilities Administrator
Mrs Lisa Brunt BEd Hons Subject Teacher & Curriculum Manager
Mr Christopher Bryant BA (Hons), PGCE, QTS Head of English & Drama
Mrs Lisa Burns PGCE, QTS, BA (Hons) KS1 Class Teacher, Head KS2 English, Head of Year 2 Academic
Mrs Rebecca Butler Interim Head of Marketing & Admissions
Mrs Alison Caldwell Learning Support Assistant
Mrs Ljubica Carmody Graduated Teacher, QTS KS2 Class Teacher & 2ic ICT
Miss Camilla Coates BA (Hons), PGCE KS2 Class Teacher
Ms Sarah Concanon Admissions Registrar
Mrs Elaine Cooper Teaching Assistant & D+ Co-Leader
Mrs Claire Cooper-James PGCE, BSc (Hons) Teacher of PE & Girls’ Games
Ms Sharon Corr Teaching Assistant
Mrs Karen Cresswell BEd Librarian
Mrs Michelle Crow Teaching Assistant
Mrs Beth Day BA (Hons), EAFL, QTS Head of Design & Technology
Mrs Yvette De Vries Higher and Further Dip Ed KS2 Class Teacher, Head of Year 2, Pastoral & Deputy DSL
Mr Charles Densham Facilities Manager
Mrs Carole Dickie Business Manager
Mrs Susan Dinnage BEd (Hons) Teacher of RS & History
Mr Adrian Dunning BEd (Hons) Senior Teacher & Head of Geography
Mr Josh Evans FA UEFA B Coach of Boys’ Games (part-time)
Mrs Rachel Faulkner BA (Hons), DipM Marketing Communications and Events Coordinator
Mrs Helen Ferguson RGN School Nurse
Mrs Fiona Fitch BA (Hons), PGCE Head of Lower School Games
Mr Toby Fraser Gap Year Student
Miss Emily Friend BA (Hons), PGCE KS2 Class Teacher & Lower School G&T Co-ordinator
Mrs Jane Giannelli Part-Time Receptionist/Admin Assistant
Mrs Jenny Graham Cert Ed Head of Religious Studies
Mrs Christine Greaves Finance Assistant
Mrs Alison Grimmer BA (Ed) Hons Teacher of Mathematics
Mrs Melanie Grimshaw-Smith BA (Hons), PGCE Teacher of Design & Technology
Mrs Louise Hallam BA (Hons), PGCE Teacher of French & Spanish
Mrs Sarah Hallsworth BA, Dyslexia Action Training, SEND SENCO
Mrs Suzie Hammett Learning Support Specialist
Mrs Jo Hawes BEd (Hons), MEd Teacher of PE & Girls’ Games & Head of Year 6
Mrs Tanya Haylett BA (Hons), QTS Teacher of English
Mrs Katie Hayward BA (Hons) Teacher of English
Mr Michael Henderson Premises Assistant
Mrs Judy Houlden BA, BA Open Spanish, PGCE Spanish Teacher
Mr Rupert Howe BA (Hons), PGCE Teacher of PE & Boys’ Games
Miss Gayle Hughes BA (Hons), PGCE KS2 Class Teacher & Head of Year 5
Mrs Jill Izatt Teaching Assistant
Miss Rosie Kendrick Teaching Assistant
Mrs Clare Kirkham BA (Hons), PGCE Head of Lower School
Mr Grant Lawrence BA (Hons), QTS Head of Boys’ Games & Academic PE
Ms Natasha Ludlam MA, MA (Hons), PGCE KS2 Class Teacher
Ms Joanne Maddison RGN School Nurse – part time
Mr John Marchant Finance Officer
Mrs Anna Mercer BA (Hons) with QTS Teacher of Maths, Head of Year 7 & Head of KS2/3 Transition
Mr Peter Mitchell BA (Hons), QTS KS2 Class Teacher
Mrs Jodie Newberry BA (Hons), QTS KS2 Class Teacher & Head of Year 4
Miss Helen Newhall Gap Year Student
Mr Karl Newland BSc (Hons), PGCE Head of Upper School
Mr Stephen Noble BA (Hons), MSc, PGCE Head of Maths
Mrs Charlotte Oliver MChem (Hons), MSc, QTS Head of Science & Innovation
Mrs Jill Oliver BSc (Hons), PGCE, QTS Head of Sport
Mrs Sarah Orr Teaching Assistant
Mrs Vinnie Pankhania SEN Administrator
Mr Jamie Paul Teaching Assistant
Ms Rebecca Peek Cache Level 3 NVQ Children’s Care, Learning & Dev.i Downsend Plus Co-Leader
Mr Marc Popham BSc (Hons), QTS KS2 Class Teacher
Mr Iain Potter Premises Assistant
Mrs Alison Richardson Classroom Support Assistant
Miss Ceci Rodriguez Turano Girls Hockey Coach
Mrs Ing-Marie Rogers Teaching Assistant
Mrs Michelle Sehgal BA (Hons) QTS Teacher of Science & 2ic Science
Miss Marie Seivewright BEd (Hons) Head of Girls’ Sport
Mr Lee Silva BEd, MA, QTS Deputy Head Upper School, Head of Year 8, Science Teacher, Acting Head ICT
Mr Martin Skitt BA, MA, PGCE, QTS Head of Languages
Mrs Heather Smith Teaching Assistant
Mrs Ginny Staddon Learning Support Assistant
Mrs Amy Sutton BSc (Hons), PCGE KS2 Class Teacher and 2ic Maths
Mrs Susie Taylor BSc (Hons), PCGE French Teacher, 2ic Languages
Mrs Sally Temlett BSc (Hons), PCGE KS1 Class Teacher
Mr Ian Thorpe BEd (Hons), MA (Ed) Headmaster
Mrs Victoria Topa BA (Hons), MA (Ed) Teacher of PE & Girls’ Games  (Mat leave)
Mrs Dee Vanstone BEd Second i/c English & Head of PSHE
Mr Seb Watts BA (Hons), PGCE Deputy Headmaster & DSL
Miss Chelsea Wilby BA (Hons) KS1 Class Teacher
Mr Ian Winmill STEM Technician
Mrs Sue Wood HR Administrator
Mrs Karen Wyatt Finance Assistant
Mrs Catherine Young Teaching Assistant

Member of Staff Age Group Taught / Additional Roles Qualifications
Headteacher

 

Tessa Roberts

 

 

Health and Safety Coordinator

Behaviour Management Officer

 

 

BEd

Teachers

 

Janet Catlow

 

 

Year One

Deputy Head

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

 

 

BA (Hons), PGCE

Christeen Hill Reception

Early Years Coordinator

BSC Hons, IPGCE
Melanie Chipperton Reception

Early Years DSL

Deputy DSL

Educational Visits Coordinator

BA (Hons), PGCE
Julie James First Steps NVQ3
Sally Rose Rising Reception NVQ3
Sarah Murray French BA (Hons), PGCE
Rachel Shaw Music Theatre Studies
Sally Thomas Dance / Drama Dance Teacher Cert.
Teaching Assistants

 

Tracey Cobb

 

 

First Steps

Year One

Shazia Gale First Steps
Katherine Gray First Steps

Year One

Ella Hodgkinson Rising Reception

Teacher Afternoons FS & RR

Amanda Humphries Year One

Early Birds Supervisor

Extended Day Supervisor

Sally Jones Rising Reception
Cindy Lockyer First Steps

Teacher Afternoons FS & RR

Avril Macfarlane   Reception

Early Birds Assistant

Debbie Nicholson First Steps

Year One

Extended Day Supervisor

Catering / Extended Day

Jan Filby

 

 

Extended Day Assistant

Clare McCluskey Cook
Secretarial

 

Sarah Hegarty

 

 

School Secretary

Member of Staff Age Group Taught Qualifications
Headteacher
Mrs V Conlan Head Teacher BEd (Hons), NPQH
Teachers
Mr J Albert Games Teacher BSc Hons, MA (Ed), QTS
Mrs C Bantock Rising Reception Class Teacher BEd (Hons)
Mr J Bayley Music Teacher BMus, MPerf
Mrs S Butler Reception Class Teacher BEd (Hons)
Mrs S Bullock Rising Reception Class Teacher NVQ Level 4 Early Years Education & Childcare
Mrs A Burbidge Year 1 Teacher BEd (Hons), QTS
Mrs A Carruthers Early Years Leader & First Steps BA (Hons), QTS
Miss C Clayton Rising Reception Class Teacher BA (Hons)
Mrs Freeman-White Dance Teacher
Mrs S Goldsmith Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator BA (Hons), OCR Dip SpLD (Level 7)
Mrs J Langham Swimming Teacher ASA  Swimming Certificate
Miss P McIntyre Year 1 Teacher BSc, PGCE
Mrs S Murray French Teacher
Mrs R Parmar Rising Reception Class Teacher NVQ 3 Early Years & Childcare
Teaching Assistants
Mrs L Bernard Teaching Assistant
Miss I Bowles Teaching Assistant
Extended Day Supervisor
Mrs J Dreghorn Teaching Assistant
Mrs N Gillott Teaching Assistant
Mrs S Matthews Teaching Assistant
Miss J Organ Teaching Assistant
Mrs J Simpson Teaching Assistant
Mrs S Strange Teaching Assistant
Catering
Mrs J Thomson Catering Assistant
Secretarial
Mrs A Tucker School Secretary

Member of Staff Age Group Taught Qualifications
Headteacher
Gill Brooks Cert Ed
Teachers
Vanda Laverock Year 1 BA (Hons), PGCE
ICT/Science Co-ordinator
DSL
Amy Hodges Year 1 BA Hons Early Years, IPGCE
Deputy Head
EVC
Sarah Butcher Year 1 B Ed (Hons)
Jessica Barber Reception BA Hons, EYPS, IPGCE
Jenny Ellis Reception BA English with QTS
Anita Grimstone Reception BA (Hons) Early Years, NVQ3
Catherine McInnes Reception Early Years Foundation Degree
Liane Corden Rising Reception NVQ3
Deputy DSL
Angela Hampshire Rising Reception BSc Hons, NVQ3
Carolyn Potter First Steps BA Hons Early Years, EYPS
Early Years Coordinator
EYFS DSL
Jon Bayley Music BMus, MPerf
Liz Roscoe French BA Hons
Sally Thomas Dance / Drama Dance Teacher’s Cert
Jo Langham Swimming ASA Swimming
Teaching Assistants
Amy Bassett First Steps
Aliona Braileanu First Steps
Kelly Hilsley First Steps
Sally Webb First Steps
Joanna White First Steps
Abbie Deane-Armstrong Rising Reception
Rebecca Hajdu Rising Reception
Victoria Penny Rising Reception
Tracey Tullett Rising Reception
Sue Colvin Reception
Sara Corrigan Reception
Rebecca Goldsmith Reception
Heidi Bazlinton Year 1
Susan Dakin-White Year 1
Niki Taylor Year 1
Rosie Wood Year 1
Catering Staff
Elaine Hook Caterer
Maria Santos Catering Assistant
Secretarial
Esther Booth  Secretary

Name, address and telephone number of Proprietor:

Cognita Schools,

5 & 7 Diamond Court,
Opal Drive,
Eastlake Park,
Fox Milne,
Milton Keynes,
MK15 0DU

01908 396250

Name of Chair of Governors (ADE):

 

James Carroll
01908 396250

01372 372311