The Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT has a dedicated team working to ensure that your training with us is well supported and student focused.
Our central team is based in dedicated offices in The Suthers Building on the Toot Hill School campus in Bingham.
In addition to the central team, you will be working closely with individual subject mentors and other professionals within the organisation throughout your training.
The Central Team
Treena PhilpottsSCITT Director
Treena has 20 years of experience working and teaching in primary and secondary schools. She began her career as a teacher of Physical Education and Geography working in a variety of schools in the West Midlands . She developed her experience in teacher training as a regional teacher trainer for the Sandwell then Rushcliffe Sports Partnership and later became Head of PE at Toot Hill School.
In more recent years in her role as a Strategic School Leader, she had responsibility for Continuing Professional Development of teachers, delivering the National Professional Qualification Leadership courses and developing MA research and development.
Treena now works within the Nova Education Trust as Director of the Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT and Teaching School Alliance leading teacher professional development across all career stages.
Rachel RimmingtonSCITT Administration Manager
Rachel is the first port of call for any enquiries you might have about School Centred Initial Teacher Training or School Direct.
She has been working with the Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT since September 2014.
Please feel free to give her a call or email her with any queries or questions you might have and she will be able to assist.
Kat NooneDeputy Director (Secondary)
Kat has over 10 years of experience working and teaching in secondary schools as an ICT teacher and subject co-ordinator.
Now as ITT and NQT Co-ordinator at Toot Hill School, Kat has in-depth knowledge and experience working with beginning teachers; for the past three years she has worked in close partnership with a range of ITT providers across the region.
Throughout her career, Kat has always played a part in whole school staff training as well as working collaboratively with partnership schools.
Kat has dedicated many years of her career to mentoring beginning teachers which ensures they feel fully supported moving from ITT to become successful NQTs. Her role now extends to supporting NTS partner schools in the planning and delivery of school based mentorship, in school ITT provision and Newly Qualified Teacher training.
Shelly GeesonDeputy Director (Primary)
Shelly qualified as a primary school teacher in 2004 and has taught across Key Stage 1 and 2, including the Foundation Stage. The majority of her teaching experience has been in Nottingham City. Her previous Senior Leadership Roles include English Coordinator, SENDCo and a KS2 Lead, where she has also supported and mentored students, NQTs and RQTs.
In the last year, Shelly has worked in partnership with the UoN to support their Primary School Direct Programme and is currently working as the Deputy Director for SCITT, responsible for managing and implementing the Primary Programme and developing our Primary Partnerships. In addition to this, she has written and delivered CPD courses for the Nova Academy Trust for Middle Leadership and RQT Training.
Natalie LawrenceSenior Lead Tutor
Natalie has taught PE since 2007 in Manchester and Nottingham, taking on a variety of departmental roles from Key Stage Coordinator to Performance Director. She has completed an MA in Education with a particular focus on teachers and their values. Natalie has several years’ experience of coaching and mentoring at both NQT and ITT level, including working with PGCE students from a number of universities throughout England. For the last two years, Natalie has been the PE subject tutor for the Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT and has been recently appointed as the Senior Tutor.
Kristian RoebuckMarketing and Social Media Ambassador
Kristian came to the education sector as a career changer, completing his initial teacher training with Nottingham Torch SCITT and his NQT year in one of the Nova Education Trust secondary schools as a Mathematics and Physics teacher.
Prior to teaching, Kristian’s first career was as a professional sportsman. Over a seven-year period, he represented England on the world badminton tour, where he reached a career high No.14 in the world rankings.
Following this, Kristian worked for a multinational construction services company for 10 years delivering infrastructure projects across the country a Project and Business Manager.
As part of the SCITT team, Kristian will be responsible for promoting teaching as a career through social media and teacher training marketing events.
Poppy GordonMarketing and Social Media Ambassador
Poppy is the newest member of our team and joins us as a marketing and social media ambassador. She is a recently qualified teacher in one of the Nova Education Trust secondary schools; a Physical Education specialist and Assistant Head of Year 11. Currently completing a MA in Education, Poppy has a particular focus on physical literacy and its integration into the Physical Education curriculum.
As part of the SCITT team, Poppy will be responsible for promoting teaching as a career through social media platforms.
Lead Subject Tutors
Claire WesleyPrimary Lead Tutor
Claire has over 10 years of experience working in Primary Schools in Nottinghamshire and North Yorkshire, working predominantly in Early Years and Key Stage 1. She gained her SENCO qualification in 2017 and through her role of SENCO supports NQT’s and staff in their provision for children with Special Educational Needs. She has several years of experience mentoring trainees from School Direct programmes led by local universities as well as trainees from the Nottinghamshire SCITT.
Sem CaoEnglish Lead Tutor - Primary
Sem has over 10 years’ experience teaching in city primary schools in Nottingham. During this time, she has led her specialism of English across schools and mentored and coached both new and experienced staff. She has driven change and improvement in the schools that she has worked in through her in-depth knowledge and high expectations of Teaching and Learning. In the last few years, she has worked as an Assistant Head of School and Deputy Headteacher to support and develop staff in their teaching practice. Sem has extensive knowledge and experience of teaching and learning in Key Stage 1 and has moderated for the Local Authority. Sem's role continues to require her to deliver effective professional development to staff on a trust-wide basis.
Justin StarrMaths Lead Tutor - Primary
Justin has 16 years of teaching experience across KS1, 2 & 3 in a range of different school settings in Nottinghamshire, inner city Manchester, Dorset and Peterborough. For the past 5 years he has been Deputy Head as well as English, Assessment and pupil premium leader at a large Junior School. He has also had the opportunity to act as an SLE, supporting other schools county wide on implementing improvements in teaching and learning. Justin has also planned and delivered CPD workshops at various conferences nationwide on aspects of teaching and learning.
Rhydian WatkinsLead Subject Tutor for Mathematics
Rhydian has gained his initial experience within the Outwood Grange Academies Trust. He has worked at the forefront of new teaching techniques developed from the Shanghai Exchange programme implementing and developing his understanding of the mastery style of teaching to promote teaching for understanding, through which he is a Secondary Teaching for Mastery Specialist in the UK. His work has involved working across schools to develop and improve the outcomes of students. Rhydian has experienced two years as a Lead Teacher for Outwood Grange Academy Trust before his role with Nova Education Trust as a Director of Maths. His work across numerous schools in developing teaching and learning has been crucial in promoting rapid and sustained progress. Last year was spent as the Senior Director of Maths for Nova and now joins our SCITT team in September to lead the Subject Specific Maths Programme for the SCITT.
Helen GibneyLead Subject Tutor for English
Helen has 17 years of experience teaching English and Drama within secondary schools in Cambridgeshire and Nottinghamshire. She currently holds responsibility for Key Stage 5 English at Meden School and also has previous experience as a literacy co-ordinator.She has a wealth of experience in ITT and NQT mentoring, since first taking on the role of mentor in 2003. Helen is currently involved in the delivery of training for NQTs for the Nottinghamshire Education Authority.
Lynne CullingworthLead Subject Tutor for Science
Lynne has had over 20 years teaching experience and many years of being a PGCE/School Direct/NQT mentor. During her teaching career she has been a Head of Biology and for the last 12 years was the Leading Teacher for Gifted and Talented/Most Able and Aspiring pupils at Toot Hill School. During this time she successfully developed the whole school programme for more able students, resulting in the school receiving the prestigious NACE Challenge Award in recognition of this. Lynne is an SLE (Gifted and Talented) and currently leads the Nottinghamshire G and T Network. In 2015 Lynne was awarded an MA in Education by The University of Nottingham.
Jackie MyersLead Subject Tutor for MFL
Jackie has 20 years of experience working and teaching in secondary schools.
As Performance Director of MFL at Toot Hill School, Jackie has developed and led the Languages Departments in a number of large comprehensive schools.
In 2012 Jackie became a Specialist Leader of Education and MFL Lead Practitioner within the Torch Academy Gateway Trust.
As an experienced ITT and NQT mentor, Jackie brings a wealth of knowledge to her role in the Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT.
Hannah LawLead Subject Tutor for History
Hannah has 10 years of experience teaching History and Politics within secondary schools in Suffolk and Nottinghamshire. She has been Performance Director at Toot Hill for the past six years and last year took on the role of Subject Director for History for the Nova Education Trust. Hannah has recently taken up the role of Associate School Leader in Teaching and Learning alongside her role as PD of History. Hannah has experience of working with the different History departments across the trust in order to develop teaching and learning. She has a wealth of experience in ITT and NQT mentoring, both in her current and previous posts. Hannah is committed to a lively and interactive style of History teaching which engages pupils and enables the full ability range to make good progress in developing their historical skills and understanding.
Amandeep MadherLead Subject Tutor for Geography and RE
Amandeep qualified as a teacher in 2010. Over the past five years, she has taught in a range of schools from Outstanding to Requiring Improvement. In 2012, she became Curriculum Leader of Geography at Meden School. Throughout her time with the Nova Education Trust, she has been involved in promoting literacy within school and is now the Head of Humanities at Meden School. Amandeep has worked mentoring many ITT students within the Humanities Department.
Sarah LynasLead Subject Tutor for PE
Sarah has over 10 years of experience teaching physical education in secondary schools. She currently holds responsibility for Key Stage 4 and 5 vocational qualifications in PE and has previously had had experience of pastoral support and Key Stage 4 achievement as an Achievement Co-ordinator. Sarah has completed an MA in Education with a particular focus on the role mentoring can have on both the well-being and academic achievement of pupils within secondary school.
Michaela MiddletonLead Subject Tutor for Social Sciences
Michaela has been teaching at Toot Hill School since 2014. She became a lead teacher within her department during her second year of teaching and is now Performance Director for Social Sciences. She is also the Gifted and Talented Coordinator at Toot Hill and spends time enhancing the Gifted and Talented Provision for students across the trust. She led Toot Hill into their third accreditation of the National Association for Aspiring Students in Education (NACE) award this year. Michaela has delivered training sessions focused around enhancing the learning for G&T students to experienced teachers, NQT’s and trainee teachers and has a wide range of experience and knowledge within this area.
Maria CassidyLead Subject Tutor for Art and D&T
Maria joined the trust in September 2015 as Performance Director of Art at Toot Hill School after teaching in Skipton, North Yorkshire. She has several years of experience of mentoring and coaching teachers and since September 2018 she has become a Learning Mentor for teachers at different stages of their career as part of her Associate School Leader role. Maria has been involved in coaching and delivering CPD for teachers at Toot Hill, as well as facilitating the ‘Good to Outstanding’ programme, developing classroom practice with teachers from schools within Skipton, Harrogate and Bradford. Maria has collaborated with both primary and secondary schools within the trust to effectively develop our art provision.
David WrightLead Subject Tutor for Business and Finance
David has significant experience teaching Business and Finance within secondary schools in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire following many years in senior roles running government-devolved businesses. He currently leads the department delivering Key Stage 4 and 5 Business and Finance at The Garibaldi School. David also has previous experience as a Head of House with pastoral lead for achievement and behaviour.
James ConnollyLead Subject Tutor for Computer Science
James has 11 years of experience teaching Computer Science within secondary schools in Nottinghamshire and Middlesbrough. Prior to becoming a teacher James worked as a web designer for a radio station and a design agency. Having progressed into teaching via the SCITT route James has personal experience of the system and the great benefits this opportunity has to offer. He has been involved with the Computer Science side of SCITT for the last 2 years and enjoys building computer systems (most recently a fully working arcade cabinet) in his spare time.
Torch Teaching School Alliance
The Torch Teaching School Alliance is a partnership of 22 multi-phase schools spread across the East Midlands, based at Toot Hill School, Bingham, who all share a common goal of continuous school improvement through collaboration.
The prime aim of our teaching school alliance can be distilled into two key targets:
- Improving the quality of teaching in the classroom
- Raising levels of attainment and progress through all key stages
For further information on the Torch Teaching School Alliance and the courses and services we offer, please visit www.torchtsa.co.uk.
Nova Education Trust
The Nova Education Trust is a dynamic and growing MAT Group based in the East Midlands. Our Trust Group is committed to providing high quality education to all of our students, regardless of their backgrounds. Our track record demonstrates our ability to deliver our core goal, achievement for every child.
Our portfolio of schools includes both secondary and primary schools, working in a range of contexts. In 2012 we founded the Torch Teaching School Alliance, which links 23 schools together sharing effective practice and developing new models for staff development.
In 2013 the work of the TSA was complemented by the introduction of the Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT in partnership with the University of Nottingham, providing School Centred Initial Teacher Training and School Direct courses in our schools.
Our values are central to developing a positive ethos throughout our group of schools. This approach is focused on securing success for all our learners and providing them with the very best life opportunities.
We believe nothing is more important than making a difference to children.
- Trust: All stakeholders work together to realise our vision
- Integrity: All decisions are based on the best interests of our students
- Mutual Respect: Ensuring a voice for all stakeholders
- Empathy: Teaching should be well planned, varied and stimulating
- Self Improvement: A commitment to supporting the development of our staff, students and wider community
- High expectations are essential to raising standards
- Everyone can succeed
- Barriers to learning must be challenged and overcome
- Teaching should be well planned, varied and stimulating
- Learning should be active, focussed and engaged
- High standards of behaviour are expected at all times
- Clear lines of accountability exist at all levels
- Developing staff and students to engage in effective teaching and learning
Our vision is to build capacity for sustained improvement. There are a number of short term strategies that can be initially used to enhance outcomes but it is out view that these need to be supplemented by a process that transforms a school for long term improvement.
This work is centred on transforming a school using our 'Pillars of Success' improvement model. Transformation is achieved through the combination of a number of changes and improvements to each of these pillars within a school:
- Learning Organisation
- Care, Support, Guidance
- Performance Mangement
- Tracking and Intervention
For further information on the Nova Education Trust, please visit www.novaeducationtrust.net.