People are what make our school inspirational. 

Find out more about our senior leadership team in their profiles and the other members of staff that support our school and the success of our students.

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 ...

Vanessa Conlan

Vanessa Conlan

Head - Little Downsend Ashtead, Epsom and Leatherhead

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.

Karl Newland

Karl Newland

Head of Senior 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...

Clare Kirkham

Clare Kirkham

Head of Junior 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 ...

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 ...

Business Manager
Kate Timms

Kate Timms

Head of Marketing and Admissions

After gaining her degree from the University of Exeter in 2001, Kate has pursued a career in marketing, events and recruitment. Initially working in agencies to support the pharmaceutical sector in...

TitlePreferred ForenamePreferred SurnameJob TitleQ Title
MrJonathanAlbertAssistant Head (Enrichment)BSc (Hons)
QTS
MrsNicoleAllisonHead of MusicBMus
Dip.Ed
MissJuliaAylenHead of ArtBSc
PGCE
MissLucyBatesTeaching Assistant
MrsMarianBayleyKS2 ClassTeacher & Head of Year 3BA (Music)
PGCE
MissVictoriaBirchKS2 Class TeacherBA (Hons)
PGCE
MissHelenBlackDeputy Head of Junior School & Head of HistoryBA (Hons)
PGCE
MrRobertBlackwellMinibus Driver
MrKevinBrewerFacilities Manager
MrsJanBrookSchool Receptionist
MrsWendyBruceFacilities Administrator
MrsLisaBruntAssessment & Exams ManagerBEd Hons
BEd (Hons)
MrChristopherBryantHead of DramaBA (Hons)
PGCE
QTS
MrsSarahButcherKS1 TeacherBEd (Hons)
MrsLjubicaCarmodyKS2 Class Teacher & 2ic ICTQTS
Graduated Teacher
MissCamillaCoatesKS2 Class Teacher & Head of JS EnglishBA (Hons)
PGCE
MrsElaineCooperDownsend+ Co-Leader
MrsClaireCooper-JamesTeacher of PE & Girls’ GamesPGCE
BSc (Hons)
MsSharonCorrTeaching Assistant
MissCharlotteCoulsonKS2 Class TeacherGTP with QTS
MrsMichelleCrowTeaching Assistant & ELSA
MrsBeckyDaviesKS1-2 Class TeacherBA (Hons) Geography
PGCE
MrsBethDayHead of Design &TechnologyBA (Hons)
EAFL
QTS
MrsYvetteDe VriesKS2 Class Teacher, Head Yr2  & Deputy DSLFurther Dip.Ed
Higher Dip.Ed
MrsSusanDinnageKS2 TeacherBEd (Hons)
MrsCarolineDriscollKS1-2 Teacher and HoY5Bachelor of Education
Diploma of Higher Education
MrMatthewDuffieldHead of EnglishBA Hons in Communication Studies
PGCE
MrAdrianDunningSenior Teacher & Teacher of GeographyB Ed (Hons)
MrsNikkiEarlyLearning Support Administrator (mat cover)
MrsStephanieElmasTeacher of EnglishBA (Hons)
MA
QTS
MissEmilyFriendKS2 Class Teacher & Lower School G&T Co-ordinatorBA (Hons)
PGCE
MrCharlesGibbonsHead of ScienceBSc
PGCE
QTS
MrsJennyGrahamHead of Religious StudiesCert.Ed
MrsHeidiGrayTeacher of MusicBA (Hons)
PGCE
MrsAlisonGrimmerTeacher of MathematicsBA (Ed) Hons
MrsLouiseHallamTeacher of French & SpanishBA (Hons)
PGCE
MrsSarahHallsworthSENCOPG Cert SEND Level 7
BPS RQTU
BA (Hons)
MrsSuzanneHammettLearning Support SpecialistOCR Level 5 Diploma
MrsLisaHardwickSenior School Administrator & Receptionist
MrsHannahHarrisonAdmissions Manager
MrPaulHarrisonTeacher of GeographyBSc
PGCE
MrsJoHawesTeacher of PE & Girls’ Games & Head of Year 6BEd (Hons)
M.Ed.
MrsTanyaHaylettTeacher of EnglishQTS
BA (Hons)
MrsKatharineHaywardTeacher of EnglishBA (Hons)
MrsSarahHegartyJunior School Administrator
MrMichaelHendersonPremises Assistant
MrRupertHoweTeacher of PE & Boys’ GamesBA (Hons)
PGCE
MrMarkHugallBusiness ManagerAssociate CIMA; Chartered Global MA
MissRebeccaHurleyTeacher of PE & GamesBA
PGCE
MrThomasHyamTeacher of PE & GamesBSc
PGCE with QTS
MrsKatherineKeenAdmissions Assistant
MissRosieKendrickTeaching Assistant
MrsRhianKiddSchool Nurse
MrsClareKirkhamHead of Junior SchoolBA (Hons)
PGCE
MrGrantLawrenceDirector of SportBA (Hons)
QTS
MsNatashaLudlamKS2 Class TeacherMA
MA (Hons)
PGCE
MrJohnMarchantFinance Officer
MrsTiffanyMarksLearning Support Assistant
MrSteveMcCreadyMinibus Driver
MrsAnnaMercerTeacher of Maths, HoY 7 & Head of KS2/3TransitionBA (Hons) with QTS
MrCraigMooreTeacher of PE and GamesBSc (Hons) Sports, PE & Coaching Science
MrsJodieNewberryKS2 Class Teacher & HoY4 (Academic)BA (Hons)
QTS
MrKarlNewlandHead of Senior SchoolBSc (Hons)
PGCE
MrsCarlaNichollsTeaching Assistant
MrsSarahOrrTeaching Assistant
MrsJaneParkSchool Nurse
MrsCarolinePeacockPA to Headmaster
MrTimPearneJunior School Leader of Learning & InnovationB Mus (Hons)
PGCE
MsRebeccaPeekDownsend Plus Co-Leader
MrMarcPophamKS2 Class TeacherBSc (Hons)
QTS
MrIainPotterPremises Assistant
MrsAnne-MarieRalphMarketing Manager
MrsAlisonRichardsonClassroom Support Assistant
MissCeciRodriguez TuranoGirls Hockey Coach
MrsIng-MarieRogersTeaching Assistant
MrMatthewRowdenTeacher of ScienceBASc
PGCE
MrsMichelleSehgalTeacher of Science & 2ic ScienceBA (Hons) QTS
MissMarieSeivewrightHead of Girls’ SportBEd (Hons)
MA
QTS
MissGemmaSkerryLearning Support Assistant
MrMartinSkittHead of LanguagesBA
MA
PGCE
QTS
MrsSarahSkittHead of HumanitiesBA
PGCE
MrsHeatherSmithTeaching Assistant
MrsLauraStackHead of MathsBSc
PGCE
MrsGinnyStaddonLearning Support Assistant
MrsAmySuttonKS2 ClassTeacher and 2ic MathsBSc (Hons)
PGCE
MrsSusannaTaylorFrench Teacher, 2ic LanguagesBA (Hons)
PGCE
MrsRobynTemlettTeacher & LibrarianQTS
BA Sc
MrsSallyTemlettKS1 Class Teacher & Head of JS MathsBA (Hons)
PGCE
MrIanThorpeHeadmasterBEd (Hons)
MA (Ed)
MrsKateTimmsHead of Marketing & AdmissionsBA (Hons) English & PG Cert. Marketing
MrsDeeVanstoneSecond i/c English & Head of PSHEBEd
MissChelseaWilbyKS1 Class TeacherBA (Hons)
MrIanWinmillSTEM Technician
MissAlexaWinnKS1-2 Class TeacherBA Hons
PGCE
MrsSueWoodHR Administrator
MrAnthonyYounasTeacher of Modern Foreign LanguagesBA (Hons)
PGCE

Member of StaffAge Group Taught / Additional RolesQualifications
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 HillReception

Early Years Coordinator

BSC Hons, IPGCE
Melanie ChippertonReception

Early Years DSL

Deputy DSL

Educational Visits Coordinator

BA (Hons), PGCE
Julie JamesFirst StepsNVQ3
Sally RoseRising ReceptionNVQ3
Sarah MurrayFrenchBA (Hons), PGCE
Rachel ShawMusicTheatre Studies
Sally ThomasDance / DramaDance Teacher Cert.
Teaching Assistants

 

Tracey Cobb

 

 

First Steps

Shazia GaleFirst Steps
Katherine GrayFirst Steps

Year One

Ella HodgkinsonRising Reception

Teacher Afternoons FS & RR

Amanda HumphriesYear One

Early Birds Supervisor

Extended Day Supervisor

Sally JonesRising Reception
Cindy LockyerFirst Steps

Teacher Afternoons FS & RR

Avril Macfarlane  Reception

Early Birds Assistant

Debbie NicholsonFirst Steps

Year One

Extended Day Supervisor

Catering / Extended Day

Jan Filby

 

 

Extended Day Assistant

Clare McCluskeyCook
Secretarial

 

Sarah Hegarty

 

 

School Secretary

Member of StaffAge Group TaughtQualifications
Headteacher
Mrs V ConlanHead TeacherBEd (Hons), NPQH
Head of School
Mrs L BurnsYear 1 teacher
Teachers
Mr J BayleyMusic TeacherBMus, MPerf
Mrs K BeesFS and RR sports teacher
Mrs S ButlerReception Class TeacherBEd (Hons)
Mrs A BurbidgeYear 1 TeacherBEd (Hons)
Mrs A CarruthersEarly Years Leader & First Steps (currently on maternity leave)BA (Hons), QTS
Miss C ClaytonRising Reception Class TeacherBA (Hons)
Mrs Freeman-WhiteDance Teacher (Maternity Leave
Mrs S MurrayFrench Teacher
Miss M SeivewrightSwimming teacherASA Swimming
Mr R ParsonsR and Y1 games teacher
Mrs J SimpsonFirst Steps teacher (Maternity Cover)BEd (Hons)
Mrs Emma TaylorSENCoBed (Hons) OCR Cert, SpLD, National SENCo award
Ms Verity PennDance Teacher (Maternity Cover)
Teaching Assistants
Mrs S BullockExtended day SupervisorNVQ Level 4 Early Years Education & Childcare
Miss K ColesTeaching Assistant & Extended day supervisorNVQ Level 5 Early Years Education & Childcare
Miss R GoldsmithTeaching Assistant
Mrs J JacksonTeaching AssistantMontessori diploma
Ms S JossTeaching Assistant
Mrs S MatthewsTeaching Assistant
Miss T-J McLarenMidday Supervisor & Teaching AssistantNVQ2
Miss J OrganTeaching AssistantNVQ3
Mrs S StrangeTeaching AssistantNVQ3
Miss J WhiteTeaching AssistantNVQ Level 5 Early Years Education & Childcare
Catering
Mrs J ThomsonCook
Miss J ShacklockCatering Assistant
Secretarial
Mrs A TuckerSchool Secretary

Member of Staff Age Group Taught Qualifications 
Headteacher    
Vanessa Conlan  BEd (Hons), NPQH 
   
Head of school   
Amy Hodges Reception 

EVC 

BA Hons Early Years 

IPGCE 

Teachers   
Vanda Laverock Year 1 BA Hons with QTS 
 DSL PGCE  
Emma Taylor SENCO Bed (Hons) OCR Cert, SpLD, National SENCo award 
Jessica Barber Reception BA Hons   

EYPS 

 IPGCE 

Jenny Ellis Rising Reception 

Little Downsend Teaching, Learning and Assessment Lead 

BA Hons with QTS 
Catherine McInnes Year 1 PGCE with QTS 

Digital Champion 

Carolyn Potter First Steps 

Pastoral Lead 

BA Hons Early Years  

EYPS 

 

Rachel Shaw Music Theatre Studies 
Liz Roscoe French BA Hons 
Chelsea Wilby Swimming ASA Swimming 
Teaching Assistants   
Amy Bassett Early Years  
Toni Toledo Rising Reception  
Tracey Tullett Reception  
Heidi Bazlinton Year 1  
Kelly Hilsley Year 1  
Catering Staff   
Elaine Hook Caterer  
Antonella Menhennet Kitchen Assistant  
Secretarial    
Esther Booth  School Secretary  
   
Peripatetic staff   
Jay Bristow Woodlands Forest School  
Lisa Hardwick Poptastic 
Elisa Hamer Stagestars  
Rob Parsons Josh Evans Soccer School  

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

Director of Education:

 

James Carroll
01908 396250

01372 372197